Ep. 57: Shake, Rattle and . . . Then What?!

August 5, 2019

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Laura and Shanna wonder what in the hell we are supposed to do in an earthquake with a baby, and they try their best to chill out about baby milestones in this week’s special segment, “OMG I’m Freaking Out.” Also, Shanna laments her baby’s early-morning wakings, and Laura talks about her baby’s new perspective on the world now that he can sit up. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is 29 weeks old, and Laura’s baby is 25 weeks old.| This episode’s show notes – https://bigfatpositivepodcast.com/ep-57/ | Get social – Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bfppodcast/ | Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/bigfatpositivepodcast/ | Email – [email protected] | Our mom-tested ultimate baby registry list – https://bigfatpositivepodcast.com/registry/

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Episode Transcript


Laura Birek: Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. This week we have our weekly check-ins, we have our special segment, OMG I’m Freaking Out, where we have some earth-shaking revelations and we have our BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get started.


Laura Birek: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode 57. Hi, Shanna.

Shanna Micko: Hi.

Laura Birek: We want to hear what’s been going on with your week. How old is your baby now?

Shanna Micko: She’s 29 weeks, which is about six and three weeks or so.

Laura Birek: Okay.

Shanna Micko: She’s making some serious progress towards crawling.

Laura Birek: Oh, really?

Shanna Micko: She’s getting close and getting frustrated as hell. She’s just trying so hard and getting so frustrated and screeching and moaning and I’m just like, oh, please, you can do it. You can do it. You can do it. I get the sense that she’s going to be a happier baby when she is mobile. She’s just so desperate to move and my dreams of her just being a little tiny baby standing and running continue, because I just have this sense that she’s a kid that wants to be on the move run, et cetera.

Laura Birek: She needs to be free.

Shanna Micko: I think she wants to break free. I think that’s what it is and she’s also really close to sitting on her own. I can plop her in the sitting position and she’ll stay there. But from being on all fours to she kind of gets over onto her butt, but then it’s just leaning on her side and doesn’t know how to push all the way up to sitting. So that frustrates her too. There’s just a lot of frustration going on with CeCe this week.

Laura Birek: It seems like that’s a really hard thing to get from tummy time to getting on your butt.

Shanna Micko: It is. There’s a lot of different steps involved.

Laura Birek: Because my guy, I can plop him down on his butt and he’s actually pretty good at sitting too. I still sort of have a bit of a watchful perimeter around him. I like to do it in sort of the well of my legs, but he is so far from being able to push up on his own and I wonder, am I supposed to be plopping him on his butt? I feel like RIE is very big in… RIE is R-I-E, the resources for infant educators. It’s a parenting method we both like, but I feel like one of the things they’re into is not putting kids in positions they can’t get into by themselves, right?

Shanna Micko: Yeah, 100%. You’re not supposed to put them on their butt. You’re not supposed to I think even put them in tummy time.

Laura Birek: What? Really?

Shanna Micko: Like they said, they’ll roll there and get there on their own and I love a lot of aspects of RIE: the respectful parenting. Well, that is supposedly respectful too: not putting them in positions that they’re not able to get in. But for me personally, I’ve found that impractical, especially with a baby that does not want to be in one position, wants to experience things from a different vantage.

Laura Birek: Totally.

Shanna Micko: I put her in all these positions…

Laura Birek: I think it is proper for you to acknowledge that she yearns to be free and she needs to be in different positions.

Shanna Micko: Exactly. I’m a loose with my parenting philosophies. 

That’s one thing I’m a little bit like, you take some. You leave some. That’s one that I leave and she’s been fine. Her development has not been hindered in any way, because I haven’t allowed her to do that. But I think that one reason you wouldn’t want to put them in a position they aren’t able to get in yet, et cetera, is that in a way you’re taking away their discovery. They have one chance in life to discover getting to their tummy for the first time and doing it themselves and being like, wow. This is what being on my tummy is and this is rolling over. When we push them to do that or when we’re playing with them when they’re older and we have parent-led play as opposed to letting them naturally play and we just observe, it’s kind of like we introduce things to them when they could discover it on their own and have that moment of, wow, this is me getting on a swing. From their philosophy, we take that away from them if we plop them on the swing.

Laura Birek: I can sort of see that being a lot more practical with an older kid who has a whole playground of possibilities. But when you have like a tiny infant who literally can’t move off of the play mat, it feels a little bit less like about trying to get them to experience it on their own versus like, holy shit. I have the whole afternoon with this baby.

Shanna Micko: Honestly, a lot of it’s about me. Like what are we going to do to fill the time? Okay. Sit on your butt now.

Laura Birek: My guy is very susceptible to change of scenery. If he starts getting fussy, I’m like, no, we are going to go look out the window and he’s like, okay. Wow, this is totally different.

Shanna Micko: That’s so cute. Same. So many pediatricians recommend tummy time. Let them build their strength, let them develop those muscles, so I’m going with that.

Laura Birek: I think the consensus is fairly in on tummy time.

Shanna Micko: Yes, I agree. Then the other thing is a little update to our early morning wakings, which I talked about. They’re not improving.

Laura Birek: Oh, no.

Shanna Micko: The main reason is now she has started like clockwork pooping at 5:00 a.m., which of course wakes her up and yada, yada, yada.

Laura Birek: Come on, CeCe.

Shanna Micko: So the way we’ve been addressing this is actually Steve’s been really, really great about being on this part of the baby duty. The way we’ve been dealing with this and Steve’s been handling a lot of this, so thank you, Steve. I love you, is that he’s been waking up with her, changing that poopy diaper, putting her back in bed and she does sleep a little while longer usually probably to about six.

Laura Birek: She actually goes back to bed, because I would think like, oh man, that ship is sailed if it’s 5:30.

Shanna Micko: Yes, sometimes I do, which is why he’s better at this job than me, because he is much better at hearing her cry a little bit while she works back to sleep, whereas the anxiety kills me and I will give in and just be like, forget it. We’re just getting up and starting the day at 5:30 and then everyone’s miserable. So it’s better that we just put her back in bed, let her cry it out for like 5 to 10 minutes and she goes back to sleep and then everyone starts the day a little bit happier.

Laura Birek: That’s nice. Plus you’re setting that sort of 6:00 a.m. goal, right?

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: In theory, someday, she might not be pooping every day at 5:30 in the morning or whatever it is and she might just remember that 6:00 a.m. is the time.

Shanna Micko: Exactly. That is what I’m hoping and the stuff I’ve been reading online is maybe you can adjust your solids feeding time, because I’ve been feeding her solids around dinner time usually just once a day and so maybe that’s contributing to the early morning pooping. I don’t know.

Laura Birek: Maybe.

Shanna Micko: So I’m going to try switching it to lunch. I’ve done that like once this week and so I’m going to see if that help Fingers cross. Oh my gosh.

Laura Birek: Hopefully. Keep us posted. If only there was a way for you to keep us posted every week on your progress.

Shanna Micko: I know. Maybe I will send a carrier pigeon with notes to all our listeners.

Laura Birek: Great idea. Very good.

Shanna Micko: What about you? What’s going on with you guys this week?

Laura Birek: Well, my baby is 25 weeks old, which is five months and change. It’s easy for us to figure out, because our babies are about a month apart. So it’s like five months and three weeks-ish. He is coming up onto his six month birthday, but he hasn’t quite gotten there yet. But he is sitting like a pro these days. Like I mentioned earlier, even in the last couple days he has just gotten very stable in the sitting position. Obviously when you plop him down, he’s not anywhere close to getting himself in that position. But it’s opened up a world of possibilities for us, because I’ve realized that now I can put him in high chairs in restaurants.

Shanna Micko: Isn’t that great?

Laura Birek: It’s so awesome. Although I’m a little nervous still. 

I went to lunch after Mommy & Me class and there were six women and we all had our babies with us. So it was like a stroller apocalypse and I was like, wait, my baby sits really great now. Maybe I should try a high chair. I got one out and I put him in it and lo and behold, he sat really well in it and he loved being at the table with us.

Shanna Micko: He just loved looking see everything going on.

Laura Birek: I got him a little side of avocado that he could numb on while we were all eating and he totally loved it. I did keep one hand on him the whole time though, because he’s still tiny. He’s 10th percentile in weight and 50th in height. He’s just like a little guy and those high chairs are meant for two years old or something. They’ve got big leg holes and I’m just like, not 100% trusting that they’re really stable for him. But it is fun to get him out of the stroller and get him up.

Shanna Micko: You know what’s a tip that I do sometimes when I put her in the high chair and it all feels too spacious and I get really nervous about her flailing around is if I have one, I’ll roll up a blanket or one of those muslin blankets or something and put it behind her back or anything I have that can kind of push her forward a little bit. So she’s not kind of just flailing around in that high chair.

Laura Birek: I should do that, because I always have those muslin swaddle blankets that you never use to swaddle like they call them.

Shanna Micko: Never.

Laura Birek: They’re burp clothes. They’re nursing covers. They’re blankets. They’re floor coverings. They are not swaddles. Maybe someone uses them for swaddles.

Shanna Micko: Maybe.

Laura Birek: But I always have at least one, sometimes two in my bags. I will start doing that. I could probably use my baby carrier too. You could even probably click it in like add extra buckles. No, that’s a good idea. I’ll have to start doing that, because I see a lot high chairs.

Shanna Micko: He’ll grow it soon and be just fine in that thing, but for now a little transition thing.

Laura Birek: That’s cool. That’s a great tip, Shanna.

Shanna Micko: Thanks.

Laura Birek: Been there, done that mom. The other cool thing about him being a great sitter is that we’ve upgraded to the big boy stroller.

Shanna Micko: So fun.

Laura Birek: What I mean by that for people who maybe aren’t at this stage yet or don’t have a baby and don’t understand, I’ve been using the stroller basically as a frame to click the car seat into it and you’d move the baby still clicked into the car seat, you click them into the car and then you click them into the stroller and they’re always in the car seat. It’s really convenient when they’re tiny, oh my gosh, it’s the best thing to have a stroller frame that you can just click that car seat into.

Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah.

Laura Birek: But now that they’re getting bigger and they want to be moving around and they want to sit more upright and seeing the world, we’ve ditched the car seat. We leave it in the car and we just put him in a stroller, like a normal, big boy stroller. He loves it. He’s still a little bit swimming in it, because again, it’s a stroller that goes up to age like three or four. He’s just this little guy. But it’s so fun and he loves it. He was watching the world. He gets really pensive on walks, but he’s just soaking it all in. I’m so happy and the other cool thing is it’s a lot cooler than being in the car seat and it is summer now. So he’s not as sweaty in the big boy stroller. That’s his sort of the benefits of being able to sit up are huge in my opinion.

Shanna Micko: Absolutely. It’s so much to see and I’ve noticed that one thing I’ve done with CeCe, because she’s able to do that too, is put her in shopping carts in grocery stores in Target.

Laura Birek: Shopping carts, that’s right. I didn’t remember that those existed. That’s just where you put your eggs.

Shanna Micko: No, and they’re so fun for babies, because you got to make sure you have the one with the buckle and tighten it up and it kind of just holds them there. They can’t even really bend forward, because you get it tight enough and stroll them around. Oh my God, she loves it and you get a lot of attention, because you’ve got a tiny, adorable baby in the front of a shopping cart and you’re walking around and they’re just like looking at everyone and smiling. We got so much attention at Trader Joe’s. It was fun, because I’m just a cooped up mom working at home. I don’t see anyone in the world. So we go out shopping. I put that baby up there and I’m like, hello? Hi, everybody.

Laura Birek: Baby on display.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: That’s awesome.

Shanna Micko: That’s my social life these days.

Laura Birek: I am guilty of wanting to show my baby off. I love going on walks with him and especially putting him in those little sunglasses. I love when people stop are like, “Oh my God, that’s a cute baby.” I’m like, “Yes, he is. Thank you very much. I made that one.”

Shanna Micko: I know it is. It’s really fun.

Laura Birek: The one other thing that I want to check in about this week is if you recall we did sleep training. Sleep training went great and now we needed to move on to nap training. But my problem was that we were doing there’s all this construction going on at my house and it was freaking crazy. So I didn’t know if I’d be able to do nap training, but the plumbers have dug all these holes around the house and it’s a long story. But the point that there were days where they were jack-hammering under the house. I actually took an audio. Should we play the audio so you can hear the insanity?

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: Okay. This is the sound of the, I don’t know if they were jack-hammering or drilling or what, but they had to connect some pipes from the garage conversion down into underneath our house. So they were literally right underneath our house doing this while I was trying to get the baby to nap.

Laura’s construction audio: So this is what’s going on in my house right now directly underneath my bedroom. Baby naps going great. Going great.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God, Laura, that sounds like a nightmare.

Laura Birek: It was definitely unpleasant, but the good news is that that happened for the beginning of the week and then I got a message from our contractor saying that all the work was done, but there wasn’t going to be any more work done for a week, because the inspectors had to come and they couldn’t figure out the schedule, blah, blah, blah. So that was my cue to be like, all right. Nap training starts immediately, because I knew I would have a week of quiet. We started nap training, which is just like sleep training but with naps.

Shanna Micko: Ooh.

Laura Birek: It’s the same thing you do like the pop-ins. You put the baby down awake and you do the pop-ins and it’s harder actually in a lot of ways, because they’re not necessarily as tired as they are at night. We’ve had sort of a mixed bag. We’ve had some naps where he goes down no problem. Some where he cries. He cried really 27 minutes on one of them. It was horrible, but then he ended up sleeping for like 40. So I was like, is this even worth it? But I think I’m seeing progress. He seems to be crying less and less and he is sleeping in his crib. Taking that as a win at least for the first two naps of the day, because before this I was booming him to nap for every nap because he wouldn’t go down by himself. At least, even if they’re short naps, I have a little bit of free time. I’m really hoping it improves and next week I’ll be sure to update. I think he can take two or three weeks with nap training.

Shanna Micko: Okay. Is he on three naps a day? What’s his schedule?

Laura Birek: Yeah, he’s on three naps a day. We’re doing Taking Cara Babies. Of course, we’ve done that with everything and she does the first wake window is two hours and then it’s like two and a half to three hours for the rest of the wake windows. So it works out to three naps. Sometimes you have to take a little cat nap around 4:30 to make sure you can make it to bedtime. We’re working on it. Like I said, it’s a mixed bag. There have been a couple really good naps. One day he actually napped for two hours.

Shanna Micko: Glory. Glory. Hallelujah.

Laura Birek: I did not know what to do with myself and then the next day he cried for like 20 minutes and then slept for 35. We’ll see.

Shanna Micko: He’ll get there.

Laura Birek: That’s what’s going on in my week, but at least it was quiet and there was no drilling.

Shanna Micko: That must have been really nice. I hope that when the drilling or whatever sounds return, he isn’t like, screw nap training. Time to party.

Laura Birek: I know. Me too. It’s interesting too, because our backyard is like a death trap right now and so I’ve kind of been held up at home, because leaving the house and going back to my car is kind of a pain.

Shanna Micko: Because you have to walk through your backyard to get to your car.

Laura Birek: Exactly. My backyard is like mounds of dirt piled up from where they dug out for the drainage pipes and we have a gate that we go out that is completely off its hinges. So you have to really pull up on it to get it out. I took a little video. I’ll put that on Instagram, a little video tour of the insanity that’s going on in my backyard.

Shanna Micko: Oh, man.

Laura Birek: But yeah, things are in flux over here. But it should all lead to good things.

Shanna Micko: I’m already visualizing how great it’s all going to be.

Laura Birek: It’s a metaphor that the outside construction is a metaphor for his nap construction.

Shanna Micko: Let’s hope his nap construction doesn’t take as long as the construction of that unit.

Laura Birek: Right. Also, maybe not as expensive.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: Anyway, that’s all I’ve got this week.

Shanna Micko: All right. Shall we move on after this break?

Laura Birek: Let’s do it.


Shanna Micko: We’re back and this week’s special segment is OMG I’m Freaking Out, one of our classic segments that we have decided to resurrect now that we are new parents. Laura, what do you have for us this week?

Laura Birek: All right. This is a big one. I am freaking out about what the hell do you do with a baby during an earthquake.

Shanna Micko: Which is very relevant to us living in Southern California and having lived through one recently.

Laura Birek: Two recently.

Shanna Micko: I only felt one of those, but yeah.

Laura Birek: Really? That’s so interesting. You might have heard in the news there were two pretty big earthquakes Northeast of Los Angeles in some place called Ridgecrest and the first one was 6.5, 7.67 in the high sixes. Then about 30 hours later, there was another one that was bigger: a 7.1.

Shanna Micko: That’s the one I felt.

Laura Birek: What’s interesting is I actually felt the smaller one a little more and there’s all this stuff. If you follow Dr. Lucy Jones on Twitter, she’s super interesting. But she talks about the direction of the movement in which way the fault is facing and how it affects who feels what. Our friend Crystal was down in Torrance or something. I always forget exactly where she lives, but she lives on the west side way south. Her husband posted a video of her pool sloshing.

Shanna Micko: What?

Laura Birek: I barely felt the second one, but what I’m freaking out about is the first one I was nursing the baby. We were on the couch and I was nursing the baby and I was like, what’s happening? It was a long one. It was very rolly. It was very gentle rolling, but still the house was moving. It made you kind of feel seasick and by the time I thought to do anything, it was over. So I was like, all right. I guess that’s that and I knew it must have been big, because I got a text message immediately from my dad who lives in Fresno, which is 300 and some miles away from Los Angeles. Immediately my dad says, “Are you okay?” I was like, “Yeah, why?” He’s like, “Earthquake.” I was like, “You felt that?” It turns out that the Central Valley felt the earthquake too.

Shanna Micko: Wow.

Laura Birek: I was like, shoot, that must have been a big one. But I was nursing for that one and it was okay. The next one was later at night and I was home alone. I was actually editing the podcast when it happened and my baby having been sleep trained, he was very calmly sleeping in his crib and I was sitting there at my computer and suddenly I started feeling the shaking and it was kind of like shimmy, shimmy, shimmy, shimmy. I was like, what do I do? I kind of froze and I realized I know what to do with myself during an earthquake. If I had just been alone, I would’ve just knee jerk reaction gotten down underneath the dining table and braced. But I was frozen staring at the baby monitor trying to figure out what the hell I’m supposed to do, because you’re not supposed to run into other rooms during an earthquake. But am I supposed to just leave my baby sleeping in his crib? Anyway, I Googled it.

Shanna Micko: Tell us, because I’m at a loss for words.

Laura Birek: It doesn’t even help. What did you do? Tell me about how you felt the earthquake.

Shanna Micko: I felt it. It was probably the biggest one I’ve ever felt living in Southern California for 15 years and I had just left actually my older girl’s room. I was putting her to bed and I closed the door and felt it and at first I didn’t know what it was. I never do. I always think like, God, I think I’m going to faint and then five seconds later, I’m like, I know what this is. So I opened the door and went back in because I knew she was going to feel it and her curtains were swaying back and forth and she said, “Mama, why is my bed moving?”

Laura Birek: Aww.

Shanna Micko: I know. I was like, oh my God, she doesn’t know the concept of earthquakes yet.

Laura Birek: Shoot.

Shanna Micko: I don’t think I should introduce that to her right at this moment right before bed.

Laura Birek: Mama, sometimes the earth just moves and sometimes it makes the house fall down on you. Have a good night.

Shanna Micko: Night. Night. This is kind of a mom confession actually. I was like, “It’s because I was stepping really hard on the floor. I think it kind of made the bed shake.”

Laura Birek: Ooh.

Shanna Micko: She bought it and I felt really, really bad about lying to her. But we sat there and felt it move and sway for probably like 20 seconds. It was really long.

Laura Birek: You were much closer to the epicenter where you live in LA, because you live in the north end of the LA basin.

Shanna Micko: That is true. I forgot about the baby. The baby was sleeping in her crib and especially, what do you do when you have two kids? What if I was home alone with two kids? Who would I run to? What do I do? I don’t know. I have no idea.

Laura Birek: Yeah, it’s so messed up. Okay. So I did some Googling, because no one has ever told me. I feel like in Los Angeles this should be part of your prenatal care class: oh, by the way, if there’s an earthquake, do this. But no one tells us. This is what shakeout.org says: how to drop cover and hold on with an infant. It says, “A parent or caregiver should carefully pick up the baby in their arms, holding the child against their chest and carry them as they drop cover and hold on. The adult will provide additional protection above and on either side of the child. This is a bit easier with infants who are not crawling yet.”

Shanna Micko: Whoopsy.

Laura Birek: “But the adult can still provide protection to an older child either by crouching over and therefore surrounding the child with their body or using an arm to pull the child up next to an adult holding them in place.” So you’re supposed to crouch around them, but that doesn’t answer what you do if they’re in the other room in their freaking crib.

Shanna Micko: If they’re in the other room. Do you run to them?

Laura Birek: I don’t know. I literally can’t find an answer and I actually tweeted about it thinking someone might be able to answer and I haven’t heard any responses. So I’d love to hear. Is there any one of our listeners who actually knows, because there’s a lot of misinformation? I was talking to a bunch of friends after the earthquake and a bunch of people were like, “I ran right outside,” and I was like, “Not supposed to do that. Definitely not.”

Shanna Micko: No, that I do know.

Laura Birek: A lot of people are like, “I would run right outside.” I’m like, “That is not good,” and then other people are like, “Stand under the doorway,” which is what I was taught as a kid. But that’s outdated now. Then there’s this whole triangle of life thing that’s apparently a complete hoax where you’re supposed to crouch next to a bed or something. You’re supposed to stay in bed. If there’s an earthquake, jump in bed. But what if your baby is in the freaking crib? Anyway, the one thing I will say is that I am vigilant about not having anything that hangs over my bed or the baby’s crib.

Shanna Micko: No, no, no.

Laura Birek: There was some point where Corey was like, “We could hang these really lightweight canvas prints above our bed. If they fall, they’re not going to hurt us.” But I’m like, “Nope. Nope. Nothing that can fall.” I’m really glad about that.

Shanna Micko: That’s why wall decals are really fantastic.

Laura Birek: Exactly. We both have wall decals in our nurseries, which are awesome. I love the wall decals. Have we posted pictures of those? I feel like we should. They’re really cute. Mine are like rock and roll and music notes and you have this adorable rainbow thing.

Shanna Micko: Little happy clouds.

Laura Birek: I’m all about the decals. It did make me feel good about that. I will say also eerily the day before the earthquake, I was securing some stuff around the house. I had a nest cam that I just had sitting on top of a box instead of being mounted on the wall, so I mounted it on the wall. I said to Corey, I was like, “Did you secure all the furniture?” He was like, “Yeah, everything. Except for this one.” We have one of those tall Kallax cubicle things from Ikea. He was like, “That thing’s so heavy. It would take a really big earthquake to knock it over.” I was really getting kind of pissy about it. I was like, “No, you need to do it.” He was definitely chilled out, “You’re being paranoid.” I was like, “No, we need to secure it,” and then the next day there was a big earthquake and I was like, “See.” It didn’t fall. It wasn’t close enough, but I need to.

Shanna Micko: But I think that if it’s a piece of furniture that’s big and heavy enough that it’s going to take a big earthquake, that’s definitely the one you want to anchor, because that’s the one that’s going to kill you.

Laura Birek: That needs to happen ASAP. One problem we have is you have to find the right wall anchors and all that stuff and it’s in the baby’s room and the baby sleeps 12 hours and then he naps a lot. Then when I’m home alone with him, I can’t do it while he’s playing in the other room. I can’t get on a screwdriver. You know what I mean?

Shanna Micko: Hire a handyman.

Laura Birek: I should hire a handyman. You’re right.

Shanna Micko: Do it.

Laura Birek: I should do that.

Shanna Micko: I should take my own advice. We need to anchor almost all of our furniture.

Laura Birek: Really?

Shanna Micko: During the earthquake, my husband, Steve, you know what he did? Did he drop and cover? No. He ran over to the TV and held it.

Laura Birek: I was going to say, did he run over to the TV? Oh my God, I will say that was the first thing Corey anchored. When I was like, ‘We need to get an anchor kit.” He’s like, “You’re right. We need to protect the TV.”

Shanna Micko: Priorities.

Laura Birek: He is a TV writer. It’s an important tool of his trade. Man, but anyway, I would love to hear from listeners if you actually know what the hell we’re supposed to do, because it might actually come in handy. Do I run into the baby’s room and scoop him up? Is he safer? Maybe he’s safer in his crib. I don’t know.

Shanna Micko: Hopefully, we’ll find out. Tell us. Teach us.

Laura Birek: That is what I’m freaking out about. Shanna, what are you freaking out about?

Shanna Micko: Okay. I know that we are not supposed to get hung up on milestones. Dr. Robert Hamilton in our interview with him even was like, “Don’t worry about milestones. Every baby is different.”

Laura Birek: That’s right. He did say that.

Shanna Micko: He did. I really hooked onto that and apparently, it hasn’t sunk in quite enough because I’ve been a little bit freaked out recently that CeCe is not babbling as much as I think she should. Or maybe I should say as much as my first daughter was at this point. So I think this might be me comparing my daughters.

Laura Birek: But that must be hard, because Elle is your frame of reference for what babies do.

Shanna Micko: Yes, the funny thing is I remember Steve and I worried about Elle not babbling enough. I actually have on video of her five months. It’s a picture of her and she’s like “Ba, ba, ba, ba.” and Steve says, “Huh, just yesterday I was worried she wasn’t babbling enough.” Almost like a light switch, the next day she was like, ‘Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba.” So that probably will happen with CeCe. She’s almost seven months now and when she was five months, she was saying things like, “Na, na, na,” and then it stopped.

Laura Birek: Interesting. Here’s what I will say is that at my Mommy & Me class they talked about language development and one thing my teacher said was that they will do a thing and then conquer it and then stop, because they’re like, I’m done with that.

Shanna Micko: Interesting.

Laura Birek: Maybe she’s already past it. She’s over it.

Shanna Micko: She might be over it. Like I said, she is very, very motivated to move her body. So maybe all her energy and all her mental energy is going towards learning to crawl and sit and do all of those things and she’s like, who needs to talk? Especially because she’s got a very chatty older sister, she’s like that girl will do all the talking.

Laura Birek: She can’t get a word in edgewise.

Shanna Micko: Except when she shrieks.

Laura Birek: She’s doing her best to interrupt.

Shanna Micko: She’s so cute. But deep down and intellectually, I think I know that it’s fine. 

But I do want to keep an eye on it, because if she does need any kind of intervention, I’m willing to do that and I’m willing to give her extra support in that way. But it is something I’m keeping my eye on for sure. Is your baby doing any kind of consonants babbling?

Laura Birek: Not really. He was very into, “Gagu” for a while.

Shanna Micko: That’s cute.

Laura Birek: There was a lot of “Gagu,” which is so stereotypical. It’s such a basic, “Gagu.” But it wasn’t, “Gaga gugu.” “Gagu.” But there’s not really, “Ba-bas, ma-mas.” He’s not yet six months, so I think he’s still a little on the younger side for those kind of consonants. There’s a lot of like dip thongs, a lot of like, “Ow, Ia.”

Shanna Micko: Lots of vowels. That’s good.

Laura Birek: No, he’s not really doing the babbling thing either yet. I do think it’s so hard. I’m always Googling the milestones, because it’s this weird double edged sword where on one hand if your baby is excelling, you’re like, ha, I knew it. My baby’s so smart. Then if there’s anything they’re not doing, you’re like, oh my God, something’s definitely wrong with my baby.

Shanna Micko: Definitely.

Laura Birek: I always try to remember that comparison is the thief of joy and we have to let our babies develop on their own. Also, it’s important to remember that even if something is “wrong” if they’re developing at a different speed, we need to remember that ableism is a real thing. Like if my baby doesn’t end up babbling, if he does have some kind of developmental delay that impairs speech, I’m not going to love him any less.

Shanna Micko: Exactly.

Laura Birek: It’s just important to just keep an eye on it, but I think she’s probably doing just fine and she’s just really focused on getting those knees under her and she’s got to crawl. She’s going to do it.

Shanna Micko: She really is so focused on that, so she’s probably like, why would I want to take time to sit and talk to you when I need to figure out crawling?

Laura Birek: I also think it must have to do with personality. Some people are talkers, some people are chatty and some people are not.

Shanna Micko: She could be more reserved. When you think about it that way it’s exciting to see how is the personality going to develop.

Laura Birek: Definitely.

Shanna Micko: We’ll see. I’ll just have to sit and wait and watch and keep you updated via messenger pigeon.

Laura Birek: Messenger pigeon in that shit.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: Okay. You want to take a break and do some deep breathing and then come back for our final segment.

Shanna Micko: All right. Let’s do it.


Laura Birek: We close every show with our big fat positives or big fat negatives of the week. Shanna, do you have a BFP or a BFN for us?

Shanna Micko: BFP baby. Man, this baby has started giving kisses.

Laura Birek: Come on. That’s so cute.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God, this is one of my absolute favorite things that Elle did when she was a baby and CeCe started doing it too. It’s like, an open mouth kiss. She just kind of plants her face on my face and her mouth is open and honestly, she’s probably just trying to teeth on my cheek. But I’m going to go with it, because I think it is so cute and so sweet and I love it and I want her baby kisses all over my face. I love it.

Laura Birek: How much drool do you end up with?

Shanna Micko: So much drool. I don’t care. My drool tolerance has gotten so high. It says give me all the drool. Give me all the baby kisses.

Laura Birek: Aww, that’s so cute. I love snuggles. I’m just so into. I feel like my baby sucker fishes on various parts of your body all the time.

Shanna Micko: It’s like baby hickies.

Laura Birek: I actually have a picture of him sucker fishing onto your face when we were at the Huntington Gardens a few weeks ago.

Shanna Micko: Love it.

Laura Birek: But I don’t think he thinks of them as kisses. I don’t think they’re affection yet. They’re just like, I would like to eat this.

Shanna Micko: Totally.

Laura Birek: It’s so cute. Just like any excuse to snuggle basically.

Shanna Micko: Baby snuggles are the best. What about you? What do you have for us this week?

Laura Birek: I also have a BFP.

Shanna Micko: Yay.

Laura Birek: It’s a product shock of all shocks that I got on Amazon. More shocking news.

Shanna Micko: You shop at Amazon? I didn’t know.

Laura Birek: I know. Do I shop anywhere else? I don’t know how people got shit done without Amazon. I can’t remember. I was alive before Amazon.

Shanna Micko: Did we even exist before Amazon?

Laura Birek: I don’t think so. If the tree falls in the forest, will Amazon premier it in two days? So we got this thing that was recommended by the Mommy & Me teacher that she uses in every class and it’s called the Gazillion Bubbles Hurricane Machine.

Shanna Micko: I know about this. Tell us though.

Laura Birek: It’s a bubble machine on steroids. I want to say it’s about the size of my breast pump. It’s maybe smaller than a basketball let’s say and you put the bubble juice in the well and you turn it on. It takes six double AA batteries. So it’s got power batteries and then it rotates. It has a fan that goes and rotates the little wands around, but it puts out so many fucking bubbles.

Shanna Micko: It’s so good.

Laura Birek: It’s such a good machine and it was recommended, especially because the bubble solution isn’t sticky and doesn’t leave a residue. So it’s actually okay for using indoors. That’s what they use at the Mommy & Me class.

Shanna Micko: That’s clever. I didn’t know that.

Laura Birek: It doesn’t sting if it gets in your eyes either. The Mommy & Me teacher says she always tests by letting one pop in her eye. Putting herself on the front lines for these babies.

Shanna Micko: Sacrifice.

Laura Birek: But it’s awesome and of course have a video. I’ll put it on our Instagram of the bubble machine and we sing the bubble songs: they’re bubbles in the air. We have this whole song.

Shanna Micko: That’s so cute. I can try that with the baby. I haven’t even thought of showing her bubbles, because of course I’m like, yes, we had this for the older kid at her birthday party and blah, blah, blah. But it’s like, oh yeah, I could do that for the baby too.

Laura Birek: He’s fascinated by them and it’s fun for the whole family. The cats love it too.

Shanna Micko: There you go.

Laura Birek: But the real key is everyone knows about bubbles. But this machine, it puts them out in massive quantities and then it’s not sticky, slippery or leaving a residue on the floor, so it’s cool for using indoors.

Shanna Micko: Awesome.

Laura Birek: Gazillion Bubbles Hurricane Machine. I will post a link to that, of course, on our website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com. We will also post all kinds of information and photos and stuff on our socials, which is at BFP Podcast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and if you’re interested, we have a Facebook community group. It’s a closed group, so you have to ask to get approved. Just ask to join and I will approve you and that way you can privately talk with other BFP fans and you can ask all kinds of pregnancy related questions in a very safe and loving environment. I’m loving our community group.

Shanna Micko: I know me too.

Laura Birek: It’s so great.

Shanna Micko: It’s so fun to talk to everybody. It’s just fantastic.

Laura Birek: Just search Big Fat Positive community on Facebook. You’ll find it and request to join.

Shanna Micko: If you love our show, please consider reviewing and rating us on whatever platform you listen to us and tell a friend. If you know anyone who’s pregnant or a new mom, share the love. Let them know about Big Fat Positive Podcast.

Laura Birek: Big Fat Positive is produced by Shanna Micko, Laura Birek and Steve Yager.

Shanna Micko: Thanks, everyone. See you next week.

Laura Birek: See you. Bye.