Our little Valentine somehow turned 8 months! She’s sitting up, curious as ever, silly, LOVES food and is at such a fun stage. We’re loving it! Answering more of your questions on how things have been going down below…

Shop our favourites of the month…

Are you sleep training Grace? How did her transition go to the crib?

We did Taking Cara Babies from 4 weeks onward and Gracie has always been such an amazing sleeper! My cousin’s baby is a few months older than Grace and guided us really early on which was so helpful and why we decided to go this route! She transitioned nicely into the crib as she was already sleeping in her own room by herself since she was 3 months old, then we moved her out of her SNOO and into the crib which is in the same room. It definitely felt different to her because she had way more space to move around but after the first two days adjusting it was seamless! We ensure we have age appropriate wake windows and are in tune with her sleepy cues, so currently she’s up for 3-4 hours at a time. We have a consistent schedule daily which we see she thrives on!

First birthday baby girl outfit links?

I am so excited for Gracie’s 1st birthday coming up, I have already started buying things and planning! Depending on if you have a “theme” I love Amazon or Etsy for unique baby girl dresses!

How did you introduce solids? I’m wondering if I should do baby led weaning with mine!

I was pretty anxious to begin solids, I’m not going to lie! It was nerve racking and so Neal and I actually took a course from Happy Healthy Eaters and man were we so happy we did! There were SO many things I had NO CLUE about feeding a baby. Like did you know babies need more iron than an adult male (the course tells you why)!? There are also different sources of iron that are better for your baby like heme and non-heme iron (the course also shares how to best get this in their diet). Then there are things like introducing allergens and how to do that, this eased a lot of my nerves and educated me so much. Nutrition, properly preparing/serving meals, having a balanced plate, safety concerns, ingredients you can/can’t use — there is so much to learn! I highly recommend taking a course to prepare you for this so you can give your baby the best nutrition possible. I really wanted to make Gracie her meals, but we do incorporate some pouches of purees (I just check that the ingredients are really clean nothing but the food ingredient and water, I love Bio-Italia and Once Upon A Farm for this reason). We began with purees because I was nervous about choking and felt most comfortable starting there, again you know your baby best (I also recommend taking a CPR course, the Happy Healthy Eaters course includes great info and guidance on choking/gagging as well). Since then we’ve began slowly doing baby led weaning with different foods (I love how the course shows you how to serve the foods so its safer for your baby) and they share great tools to use for baby food prep. I also did a blogpost on some of my favourite things for baby feeding here.

After taking the course I signed up to become an affiliate partner because I loved it so much, so if you do decide to take the course you can use my code: JOLLY to get 15% off! It truly is so valuable, not just to equip you as a parent but also to set your baby up for less chances of picky eating and optimal nutrition.

How is breastfeeding going?

I’m still continuing to breastfeed, however my supply just isn’t where it used to be so I still supplement with formula in addition to giving Grace solids for meals. We switched her over to Holle organic goat milk formula which we have to order from Europe, but I just found the ingredients were way better than the options available here in Canada. Goat milk is also easier for babies to digest 🙂

What’s Grace’s current sleep/feeding schedule?

I found this awesome guide from Happy Healthy Eater’s Instagram page on how many meals to give your baby and when so you can apply it to your own baby! We now give Grace 3 meals and she takes 2-3 naps a day (you can see on the chart where to place the meals).

How do you keep yourself sane as a first time mom during this crazy times?

Oh mama! I got a few of these in my open Q&A and can I just give you a big hug right now? It’s really freaking hard. I never envisioned being a first time mom in such a mess of a world and between that and the cold winter months locked up inside, it can be really hard on my mental health. I’m so grateful Neal is home with me and we share the daily load, but it’s still hard. Grace truly brings me so much joy and we have so much fun with her, I am so thankful for her all the time. The stress of it all can be rough on milk supply, our postpartum hormones and never ending to-do lists while caring for the home, baby etc. so what I really try to do is care for myself as well! I try to eat really well to be nourished and gain strength and then I add more nutrients through supplements (I have a few I take daily but my must haves I cannot go without are Vitamin D in the morning and magnesium at night – great for stress relief, nervous system, muscle pains and so much more). I also have to include some type of exercise or stretching each day (even if it’s a walk with the dog, a light yoga flow or laying on my acupressure mat while Grace does tummy time). I have check-ins with my therapist who I’ve seen for years off and on, be sure to make time for friends, getting out when we can even to just walk around the mall and change the scenery and seeing family to connect and laugh! I really try to turn the crazy news cycle off, it just breeds anxiety but I do stay informed. I focus on the present day, one at a time, but I also like to plan for the future and so planning Grace’s birthday party is one of my happy escapes. Sending so much love to all of your first time moms. It has been such a different experience, some of you haven’t been able to access help, be around family/friends etc. Trying my best to limit the stress, do things that bring me joy and focus my energy on my baby girl’s development. Anything that drains my energy needs major boundaries and I need to step back so I can recharge. I give the rest to God that I can’t control. Anything I do in my own strength becomes incredibly hard, including motherhood, so I invite God into the process daily and He always shows up. Grateful I can tap into this. Sending you all so much love!

Baby Feeding (linked more in this post) // Mushie Stacking Cups (one of her fave toys) // Hello Bello Diapers (I love these non-toxic diapers) // Barefoot Dreams Bunny Lovey (great little comfort toy) // Daisy Bib (love that this wipes clean and catches any fallout from meal time) // Egg Pjs (sucker for cute pjs, she even wears these during the day because I want her to be comfy at home) // Skip Hop Activity Gym (this helps mama be hands free while I get a meal together and she LOVES hanging out playing in this) // Bio-Italia Purees (super clean ingredients, I always have a pouch of prunes on hand to help for when she gets constipated, shoutout to my gf for putting me on these!)

Use my discount JOLLY to get 15% off the Happy Healthy Eaters Course! Questions? Leave me them down below in the comments! xo