Aria’s front-facing bookshelf

When it comes to selecting books for Aria, we try to pay attention to a few things.

We like books with photos or realistic drawings.

Potty and favourite book

A while ago, I posted how it was becoming impossible for me to change Aria’s diaper. Based on some advice and things I had read about elimination communication and Montessori style potty learning, we decided to start using the potty.

In this post, I would like to share how we’re doing things and why. This is entirely based on what works for us at this moment in time and for Aria.

To be honest, I already tried putting her on a potty last summer. I read about elimination communication, but somehow I felt very overwhelmed by the idea. To regularly…

All the legumes in our pantry

On our first date, my husband, Dani, and I went for drinks in one of my favourite bars. He ordered the first round, and I ordered the second. When I asked him what he wanted, he specified he didn’t want a straw. This was in March 2017. I had never heard about zero waste or single-use plastics.

I ordered the drinks at the bar and made sure to pass his ‘no-straw’ request. The waiter forgot and when he realised he quickly took the straw out and threw it in the trash. When I got back to our table, I explained…

As we saw that Aria was becoming more mobile, we started evaluating if our living room was safe for her and if we needed to make some changes. We don’t have a playpen, so Aria has access to the whole living room at all times.

We started by making two changes:

  • We removed our coffee table. It’s one of those design glass tables that easily flips if you put any weight on the side. It would have been dangerous for Aria and my table.
  • We moved some cabinets in front of some electrical sockets and cables, so she wouldn’t be…

As you might have seen in our stories on Instagram, we are trying to teach Aria some signs. In this post, I want to explain why we decided to teach her signs and how we do it.

Why we use sign language

We do this for several reasons:

  • Children develop in a way that they can connect language to movements before they can speak.
  • As you can read in our last post, we’re a multilingual family. Children that grow up with multiple languages usually take more time to learn to speak.
  • The usage of signs will enable us to communicate better with Aria at a…

I want to talk in a later post about how we use signs to communicate with Aria, but first, I want to explain how language in general works in our home.⁠

My mother tongue is Dutch, and Dani’s is Spanish. We speak English with each other. Matteo only spoke Dutch until recently. On top of this, we live in Brussels, which is mainly French-speaking.⁠

We try to be conscious of the language we use in our home for two reasons:⁠

  • We want Matteo to feel at home. …

There are many conflicting opinions and advice about every possible topic regarding parenting, especially when it comes to babies:

  • From following your baby’s sleep cue’s to sleeping on a schedule.
  • From breastfeeding on demand to bottle-feeding on a schedule.
  • From letting your baby cry to sleep to nursing your baby to sleep.
  • From using baby seats on wheels to letting your child naturally develop their gross motor skills.
  • From sturdy to flexible first shoes.

What would it be like in the natural world?

As a parent, I try to follow my instinct, but sometimes it’s hard to understand what the best thing is that I can do for my…

Milk break in the middle of the forest

I breastfed Matteo for a year, and I have been breastfeeding Aria for over 7 months. These are the things I wish I had known before starting on my first breastfeeding journey:

1. Get help from a lactation expert

My number one tip is to already select a lactation expert (for example a midwife with a specialisation in lactation) while you’re pregnant so that they can come to visit you at home after you give birth. I honestly don’t think my breastfeeding journeys would have been a success without the help of the specialised midwives that came by after my babies were born. …

If you’ve read Aria’s birth story (from Dani’s perspective), you know that she was born at high speed. The gynaecologist didn’t arrive yet. The midwife was preparing something in our room, apparently unaware of how imminent Aria’s birth was. When she was born, Dani caught her, and not much later, we were both holding her in our hands. I was in shock. I didn’t know what to do. I was looking for confirmation that she was ok.

What happened next is a blur to me. Someone took her. I thought the midwife had taken her to weigh her. I was…

As I mentioned in my previous post, we made a birth plan. I wasn’t planning on making one. I wouldn’t know what to put in it. That is until I read The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill.

Sarah Denayer

Mom of two | Curious | Designing people-oriented digital services for clients

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