Pia Mattix Davis
Five days ago, my nineteen month old son and I celebrated our nineteen month breastfeeding anniversary. Yay us! According to the Centers for Disease Control, fewer than 8% of 18 month olds living in the US were still being breastfed. The majority of nursing mothers ceased the practice after 9 months of age, which according to World Health Organization, and the American Academy of Pediatrics , is too early to quit.
Our Journey, while it has been wonderful, has encountered many complications. Sore nipples, seemingly nonstop nursing during growth spurts and the need to pump three times a day since I work full time have tested my resolve, but I am so proud that we persevered.
I must admit that even though breastfeeding provides optimal supplementary nourishment for my son, my desire to continue to breastfeeding is mostly selfish in origin.
1. Breastfeeding is free - Some moms might require nipple shields for a short period of time, but for us mom and baby were all that is required. Formula is no more expensive than regular food, but it is money that my hsuabnd and I did not have to spend.
2. Nursing reduces the rate of breast cancer - According to Yale School of Medicine researcher Tongzhang Zheng, breastfeeding reduced the risk of developing breast cancer by 50% among women in China. I am all about improving my health outcome, so why would I cease nursing.
3.Nursing burns calories - The average women burns 20 calories for every ounce of breastmilk created. The average child under the age of 12 consumes 24 to 36 ounces of breastmilk per day, that is 480 to 720 calories a day burned without ever stepping foot on a treadmill.
4. Nursing relieves stress - Oxytocin, known as the love hormone, which is released during nursing sessions, lowers the stress response compared to non-nursing mothers. At the end of the day, coming in an nursing my son instantly relaxes me and removes any stress that I might have accumulated during the day.
5. My son is still a baby - I have no desire to turn my son into a big boy. In time he will develop an extensive vocabulary and use a potty, but for now we are content to sit in the glider and nurse.
Krystal aka the Brown Skin Mom
Ever since I found out I was pregnant with my Munchkin, I knew I'd make her food. Everything from purees to things we'd try for Baby Led weaning. The idea for making teething biscuits came from attending my first Stroller Strides class here in Chicago. After strolling and striding through the University of Chicago's beautiful campus, we stopped at a food truck park for lunch. I wasn't prepared to eat at a food truck, I was new to Chi-town and needed to socialize with other adults. I searched for something that I could share my little one,and decided to order something from a Mexican food truck; rice, soft veggies, and beans. It was not her normal, but it would have to do.
I sat there with two mom's chowing down and feeding my baby Mexican food, and she loved it. She was grabbing at my plate so I knew that she loved it and I wasn't moving fast enough. The mommy who organized the stride pulled out a pouch and asked if my daughter wanted some. The pouch contained spinah, apple, broccoli, and maybe something else, I can't remember. It was green and my baby needed greenery, and she loved the puréed mixture. Once the contents of the pouch were consumed, the same mom shared her son's homemade teething biscuits. I had two thoughts in that moment, one this woman is the bomb and two, I need to make my own teething biscuits!
After our lunch, the thought left for a few days until I remembered how awesome this mom was to share her baby's food with mine. I checked my pantry and searched Pinterest for a recipe. Got all the ingredients I'll need, check.
Below is a 3-5 ingredient recipe for teething biscuits that will bring all the babies to the yard. Cue the nursery rhyme remix of "Millshake". These are super simple to make. Most importantly, you know what is in these things. You put the ingredients together yourself! So grab a glass of your favorite vino, put on some Dizzy, Childish Gambino or Sesame Street and let's get these made.
2 cups of Old Fashioned Oats (no instant oats)
1 ripe banana
2 Tablespoons Coconut or Olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Throw oats into a blender or food processor and grind until you reach your desired coarseness. You're going for an oat flour here. My first time making these my oat flour was sort of coarse but texture brings life to your baby's diet.
-Once done grinding the oats, add the banana (The darker the banana the sweeter the biscuit) and oil. (Add any mix-ins here) Depending on your gadget, you may be able to blend these all together to make your dough. I had to take the dough out of the blender because it started to get stuck. I finished making my dough by hand using an old school pastry blender.
-Shape your dough into a rectangle and cut into 12 even bars, about 4" long and 1 1/2 to 2" wide. The bars should be easy for your baby can hold. Or do what I discovered and make twelve balls then shape into a bar, which is much more fun. If going this route, use a little of the oil you used earlier on your hands to prevent stickiness.
-Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes flipping halfway through. When done they'll bend very little. Store in a ziplock bag in the cabinet for about a month.
The next week, I was too pumped to share my homemade teething biscuits with my Stroller Stride friends, as I shared with the mom I met the week prior, and her son loved it Her little one was chewing his little heart out.
I've shared this recipe with mamas here in Chicago, and their babies enjoyed them. These biscuits are meant to be something tasty for infants to gnaw on when their gums are sore from teething. The coarse texture will make your baby gnaw aggressively which is soothing to the gums.
If you make these, post a pic. We'd love to see them over at Mothers Like Us.