How to calm an upset baby

Upset baby? Some of the most tried-and-true ways to meet a baby's needs when s/he needs love, comfort, security, snuggling and just to be calm and close to a loving parent.

#1 - Breastfeed! When in doubt, whip 'em out. Breastfeeding is perfect for more than just hunger or thirst needs -- human babies, as part of the carry mammal group, need to nurse for a baseline level of development and secure attachment.

#2 - Have skin to skin time with your baby. Nothing is more soothing and regulating for temperature, hormones, and respiration.

#3 - Babywear. Let friends and family know that you'd like a quality wrap or carrier (Moby Wrap, or similar stretchy wrap for snuggly newborn months; or a Kinderpack, Lillebaby, or Tula for heavier/older babies). This allows a parent to have two free hands, while keeping baby safe and snuggled in their natural habitat - close to a parent's beating heart.

#4 - Dance with your baby. Babies love (and need!) gentle, swaying, calm motion. This not only assists in core strength and development, but soothes a little one who was used to growing up for 9-10 months inside with the constant motion of mom's body. Couple babywearing with dancing, and you've got the perfect pair!

#5 - Sing to your baby. Your baby knows your voice from all their time inside, and this is another centering, calming way to settle your little one. If you're currently pregnant, you can pick a sweet song you love and start singing it now, while baby is growing within -- your baby will recognize the tune when s/he arrives and it will be a fast way to calm while rocking, wearing, and dancing together in the moonlight.

#6 - Take a warm bath with your baby (water only - skip the soap as baby skin does best with only warm water). Your little one grew up close to you in water, and a warm water soak with mom (or dad) revisits this soothing state of being. Don't climb into the bath while holding baby - have a small bouncy chair, or even basket with towel next to the tub for baby to safely lay or sit in while you get in, and then gently lift baby into the water with you. A warm set of towels nearby will help with easy, gentle transfer into a bundle when you're ready to get out. Breastfeeding in the bath is heaven for little ones!

#7 - Take baby for a walk. Whether in a wrap or carrier, or in a stroller, taking a daily stroll with your little one allows for calming motion needs to be met, while slowly exposing your baby to the world around them. Even before they are able to understand, tell your baby stories about what you see on your walk; talk with them about what you encounter. This will stimulate baby's brain development, language comprehension, and double the soothing as your little one hears your voice along your walk.

#8 - Rock with your baby.

#9 - Go on a drive with your baby. While this is not the case for all, many babies enjoy the soothing hum and rhythm of riding in a comfortable car seat in the car. If this is the case with your baby, taking a drive (when you yourself are NOT too tired) can provide a break while calming music plays along the way.

#10 - Have a trusted friend or loving individual step in and implement the above soothing items. When you are taxed, tired, and need a break - for a nap, shower, or just to run errands solo, a mom's helper for even an hour or two can make a world of difference. This is especially the case for those mothering solo. You need a break too, and that's okay. Nurse baby right before, and right after, and ensure you have someone who takes over that is on board with being calming, gentle, and keeping your baby in-arms.

Additional tips and practical solutions for calming an upset baby can be found in Dr. Sears' The Fussy Baby Book. Dr. Linda Palmer also covers nutritional/gut health reasons for potential infant pain, reflux, "colic" and other underlying reasons for crying babies in her fantastic book, Baby Matters -- a must-read especially for breastfeeding mothers or those interested in the science behind infant health and development.

Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2019

Registration and Sponsorship also at:

Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2019 takes place March 28-April 3 and we need your help to make this year's Washington D.C. event a powerful one! As advocates travel to D.C. to participate, and floods of tourists the world over gather in D.C. for the height of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, we strive to have intact materials on hand to reach a large number of people at our nation's capitol. These are items that parents and professionals, young and old, from all backgrounds and locations in life will want to take home with them for further review. Making this happen takes a significant amount of planning, organization, and resources on the part of many people, and it also takes financial support.

If you have never been to GIAW in D.C., here's a quick snapshot of a day's event:

We are standing with a dozen others in front of the U.S. Capitol, with giant pro-intact signs that draw people in, and can be seen from the streets all around the Capitol's bus route. A group of 200 senior high students come up, interested in what we have to share. Teachers shuffle students along for group photos, and we have mere minutes to plant seeds of information, respond to quick questions, and get interesting materials into hands of these future parents -- materials they eagerly take with them because their curiosity is spiked! Students grab things to take back on the bus (bracelets, cards, stickers, buttons), and look things up on their phone on their way to their next destination... This happens every single hour. Multiple times a day. Sun-up to sun-down. The need is great for GIAW. The impact is monumental. And we need your support in this important effort.

We will also be hosting two booths with free materials on the West Lawn:

The Men's Health table includes a variety of restoration devices for men to hold, learn about, and explore their options; information on adult sexual health, and the impact that genital cutting and restoration has on adult men and their partners.

The Baby Health table includes instruments used in infant circumcision, information on the purposes of the foreskin, intact care materials, and resources for parents to pass on to friends and their home care provider. This table also has items for our young visitors because families who stop to talk often have children who want things of their own (child sized bracelets, stickers, bubbles, coloring pages, flags, hats, etc.).

Business Sponsors: Please include a note with your GIAW contribution and your organization name/URL that you'd like to have linked (website, Facebook page, etc.). With your support of $100 or more, we invite you to provide an image/logo or coupon to be shared with the community at large. Email this to, or we will create one for you. Your business or group will be featured at at the main GIAW website, at, and at, as well as with social media circles of Peaceful ParentingSaving Our Sons, The Intact NetworkGIAW, Intact State Chapters, and be permanently linked at Genital Integrity Awareness Week and found on Google.

GIAW Sponsors:  2018  |  2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013

Individuals: If you are sponsoring in honor of someone, we invite you to include a message with your gift and it will be included below. Individual sponsors will be listed by first name, last initial only for privacy.

Supporters: All supporting GIAW 2019 with your gift of any amount will receive commemorative vinyl decals with additional intact awareness stickers to plant in your area, if a mailing address is provided. For GIAW sponsors giving $25 or more, a registration pack (below) will be shipped, or can be picked up in DC.

Support on Etsy, or by PayPal, or by mail (below). Include a note with your address and selection choices, or email this to

Registration and Thank You packs include:

• 5 GIAW 2019 / Child Abuse Prevention Month vinyl decal stickers (3x3 inches)
• 1 GIAW 2019 commemorative button
• 5 American Circumcision and 5 Elephant in the Hospital waterproof, vinyl stickers for seed-planting in your area
• 1 intact bracelet of your choice (view options)
• 1 intact pen of your choice (view options)
• Set of 25 vinyl stickers or professionally made cards of your choice (see sticker options here | see card options here
* If attending GIAW and picking up in DC: intact water bottle - or add $5 more to your donation to cover extra shipping and include a note that you'd like the water bottle 

On behalf of the next generation of babies to be born, and the adults they will become -
Thank you for supporting GIAW!

By Mail:
Saving Our Sons
P.O. Box 1302
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

PayPal Friends/Family To:
(no PayPal fee withdrawn)

GIAW 2019 Organization Sponsors
Please visit and support these intact-friendly businesses and groups!

NORM: National Organization of Restoring Men | Facebook | Twitter

Individual GIAW 2019 Supporters
Thank you greatly for your generosity and support!

★ Christina H., Intact Virginia 

★ Joe P.

★ Wendy B.

★ Brittany C.

★ Sean B.

★ Marc D. 

★ Elizabeth M. 

★ Danelle D.
In honor of my healthy, happy, whole children,
and the future men we will save who will be 'born perfect' as babies this year!

★ David Wilson, GIAW Founder

* Need: Funding for KIDS' SIGNS! * 
GIAW will have many children this year - each who want to hold signs like their parents. We need the funding by Wednesday, March 20 to have NEW children's signs produced for GIAW. If your kids borrow a sign at GIAW, please return so that they can be used in the future. Thank you!

Allocation of GIAW 2019 Funds
(materials can only be ordered in the quantities we have funding for by March 20 - please help us reach our needed goal!) 

$680 new giant banners for self-standing on each side of the Capitol West Wall, and signage that will continue to be used throughout the year for rallies, expos, events, and future GIAW dates. We especially need 4 new giant vinyl banners with positive, pro-intact messages, the PVC tubing to go with each of these (approximately $20 per sign to build) along both sides of the Capitol lawn, and a few new signs for kids to hold as ours are several years old and we have approximately 24 children attending GIAW with their families this year. Children love to participate alongside their parents and need age-appropriate signs. 

$620 professionally printed materials to give away at GIAW 2019. This week-long event functions as an expo, with booths of items that are entirely free for the public, meeting with people across the West Lawn from sun-up to sun-down each day for 7 days. Having enough well respected, quality literature on hand is crucial to GIAW's success. 

$400 flags for passing out each day during GIAW, as well as along the march route, and giving away at the White House. Each flag will have intact information attached to it on both sides. Flags are *very* popular in DC, at the Capitol, and White House, and frequently chaperone groups who will not allow students to take other materials from GIAW leaders will allow them to accept and take home flags, a hat, or bracelet (getting intact material into their hands). It is important to have enough flags (with stickers attached to each one) for every day during GIAW.

$700 bracelets, buttons, and baseball caps to give away throughout the week. These items are key in that they are the most requested items, especially by students - tomorrow's parents. We need materials that young people desire to hold onto, take home with them, and spark interest enough to check out the websites/share with friends. Awareness is key! 

$50 two full-color, full-page books of intact celebrities - one for the men's health booth, and one for the front West Wall of the Capitol where the most conversations take place.

$300 to add 2 additional (used/not supporting the manufacture) circumstraints to the silent men's demonstration at the Capitol West Wall 

$200 demonstration glans/foreskin models (in multiple skin shades) to highlight the normal adhesion of the foreskin to the glans/shaft in infancy, and the probing, severing, and cutting that must take place for infant circumcision to be achieved. These models are highly useful in one-on-one or small group education at expo booths.

If GIAW funds are raised beyond those needed, we will have intact material packs available to go home with people (U.S. advocates, leaders, teachers, and international educators who visit the Capitol during GIAW often ask for packets they can take back home with them to share).  

Lanyard Options to Select From:
• Royal Blue: Genital Autonomy is a Human Right
• Violet: All Babies are Born Perfect
• Hot Pink: Foreskin is Fun & Functional
• Deep Aqua Blue: Boys are Not Born Broken

GIAW 2019 Buttons


Breastfeeding After Cancer

Nikki Heying shares publicly in celebration:

6 weeks old on the left, 30 weeks old on the right.

It’s been 6 months.

Six months since I was allowed to breastfeed my son.

Six months of a hard battle against CANCER, getting poisoned with chemo that tainted my breastmilk and prevented me from nursing my infant son.

Six months of pumping every few hours and dumping every single ounce of it all down the drain, just so I could keep my supply up, in hopes of eventually being allowed to nurse my baby again.

Six months of having a dear, sweet, generous friend (Bec Nikodem) come to my house 1-2 times a week to latch my son, just so he would remember HOW to breastfeed again when I was able.

Well, here we are; I had my last chemo session in January and it’s been 35 days post-chemo. My breastmilk no longer contains any remnants of chemo in it, and last night I was able to BREASTFEED MY SON AGAIN!!!!

It’s been a long road, but I wanted to share my journey publicly in hopes that it can be shared and might inspire others in some small way.

💚 God is GOOD. The power or prayer is REAL. 💚

#normalizebreastfeeding #fcancer #breastfeeding


The Breastfeeding Group


Chris Beat Cancer

The Circle Maker

Taking My Name Back: Recognizing and Rising Above Domestic Abuse

Publicly on Facebook here.

My name is Hannah Hollander and today is my birthday. I am 24 years old and am in the process of taking my name back. Rather than hiding in shame and embarrassment, (which, trust me, I really want to do most days) today I’m muffing up the courage to tell you part of my story, but it’s really the story of countless women across the world. I recommend you take the time to read, because 1 in every 3 women have similar stories. It might be the story of your aunt, or your grandma, or the girl you sit next to in class, or the girl at the register when you buy your food. I recommend you read, because chances are we all have a part to play in someone’s life who’s story is similar to mine. Let’s do our part and help make this world a safer place.

“Why didn’t you call the police?”

“Ideally you would have reported the abuse after it happened.”

“Normally victims are scared of their abusers.”

“I don’t believe there are any grounds for divorce.”

“I would have fought back.”

“You got married really young. Did you see the signs before you were married?”

“Did you think about calling the police? Well, why didn’t you?”

I’ve heard a lot of responses over the last couple months. Most of which are positive, loving, and validating. But these are the responses that circle in my head, the ones my brain chooses to fixate on.

This first photo used to be one of my favorite from our wedding. I had worked out my arms for months because I was self conscious of them and I remember a friend telling me “Hannah, your arms look so good!”

Many people judged me for getting married young. I had a close mentor tell me that I had no clue what I was getting into. I had a friend who basically had an intervention with me. I had an aunt who told me, “You know, you don’t have to do this,” right after we were engaged. At the time I remember scoffing, thinking, “All it takes is commitment.”

Days after this first photo was taken I would hear the words "I want a divorce," for the first time, on our honeymoon. I would hear it countless times after that, but I was committed. This was the guy who treated me, told me how amazing I was, told me about the extravagant life he wanted to build together. It was the guy my parents and family fell in love with. It was the guy who said he wanted to provide for me, who wrote me long letters and sent flowers.

And after every curse, every name-call, every shove, I believed it would just get better. This wasn’t who he was, I believed. “Marriage is really hard,” I was told, “you just have to stick it through, it gets better.” And I was committed.

I was so committed I kept everything a secret, not wanting to taint his character. I suggested we get tattoo rings so he could no longer take it off and throw it when he was angry. I always chose to drive, just in case we got in an argument in the car. I went to counseling so that I could figure out how to contain his anger by using “I” statements and apologizing first. I painted the walls and doors he punched. I cleaned up the shards of the mirror he broke. I stopped asking him to do things. I stopped interrupting him. I let him tell the stories. I laughed when he made mean jokes about me because he was “just joking.”

I was committed. Divorce wasn’t an option for me.

For several months I’ve been angry.

Angry I was never educated on what abuse is.

Angry I hadn’t seen signs.

Angry that other relationships seemed to have no problems.

Angry that for three years I believed I wasn’t being abused, because “abused people end up in hospitals.”

Angry I didn’t own my worth sooner.

Angry I have four relatives that divorced their husbands over domestic violence, but was never told their stories until this past year.

But now I get it. No one wants to talk about the specifics of abuse because it feels like no one really wants to hear it. You watch their bodies tense up, their faces not knowing what expression to show. Most will end up saying “I’m sorry.” But then your gut reaction will be to say, “It’s okay,” when it really isn’t okay. And you’ll start to blame yourself by saying, “I was young, I was naïve, I should have seen the signs,” even though countless people will tell you, “This isn’t your fault.” You’ll begin to feel validated and strong. But then someone will respond in the worst way, like the lawyers who say, “Well, why didn’t you call the police?” And you question everything.

I don’t share this to slander him or pit others against him. Someday I know I’ll be able to forgive him for the three years I feel like he stole from my life, even though that day is not now. There also needs to be more accountability and avenues of healing for people who have been the oppressor, but that’s not what this post is about.

I’m not sharing this because I’m angry or as a “woe is me.” I’m honestly in a really great place now, surrounded by family and friends who are crazy supportive. I don’t need people to validate me anymore or tell me how brave I was for leaving (you’ll hear that a lot too). I have the support I need.

I only share this because I wish I knew back then what I know now. And if I can educate one woman on abuse, it will be worth it. After I left, I learned that 1 in 3 women will be victims of domestic violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. ONE IN THREE. Many of whom will stay in these relationships for many years. It’s time to start educating our daughters on what abuse actually is.

If he calls you names like bitch and cunt, that’s not normal -- it’s abuse.

If he blames you for everything and is not taking responsibility for his own actions, that’s not normal -- it’s manipulation and abuse.

If he creates a “reality” where you’re the monster and he’s the victim, that’s not normal -- it’s manipulation and abuse.

If he repeatedly swears at you, or says he wants a divorce (or threatens to break up), that’s not normal -- it’s manipulation and abuse.

If he blocks you with his body, or pushes you, even if you aren’t hurt, that’s not normal -- it’s abuse.

If he spits on you, leaves you, or keeps you from leaving, punishes you in some way, punches walls, says he wants to kill you or kill himself, yells in your face, throws your clothes outside, makes messes you’re expected to clean up, THAT'S NOT NORMAL -- it’s manipulation and abuse.

I know now why women stay in these relationships. I know now why women keep their secrets and hide their bruises. I know now why women never press charges for sexual assault or don’t come forward for many years.

I know now why we don’t call the police.

The first step in my journey of freedom was texting the domestic violence hotline at 741-741. They were the ones who encouraged me to reach out and tell a friend, which turned into telling my parents, which led to leaving and finding safety, which led to choosing divorce (or rather, freedom).

If you are experiencing things like the above from your significant other, or any other thing that just doesn’t feel “right,” I encourage you to tell someone. Anyone. Even a stranger on the other end of a text message. If you’re keeping it a secret, it’s likely wrong and needs to stop. 741-741.

If someone reaches out to you and shares that their marriage or relationship is struggling, ask questions. Ask them if they ever feel unsafe. Ask them what it’s like during arguments. If it sounds sketchy, kindly ask them if they’ve ever thought about calling the police. Because if they are in an abusive situation, chances are they’ve thought about it, they’ll just likely never do it.

The second photo I took about 3 weeks after I left. I look at her face and it makes me feel hope. She was jobless, homeless, tired, and sad. But her hair looked good, so she decided to take a selfie.

There are days when the world seems gray. When it feels like it’s never going to end. When every little thing feels like a mountain even though I know in my head it’s insignificant. But on the day I took this photo, a friend told me, “Hannah, someday you’ll see the colors again,” and when I look at that photo, I believe it to be true.

If you feel moved (and for my birthday😊), I encourage you to donate a couple bucks to a non-profit in your local community that affects the lives of young women like me whose stories are similar to mine.

Love y’all so much. 💜
#SpeakYourTruth #BelieveWomen #DomesticAbuseAwareness

End Note: THANK YOU for sharing my story. I am so encouraged by the growing awareness. I have created a Facebook group so we can share encouragement and resources in recovering from abuse. Anyone is welcome to join. Please head over to Speak Your Truth and share your story with us.


Should I Nurse My Baby From Both Sides?

BREASTFEEDING - Should I offer both breasts?

Mammal mothers don't worry about minutes, milk transfer, or changing sides. They nurse as long as they feel comfortable in that position, and they change positions when they want to, or when baby stops being happy with what's happening.

Think of a breast as a 'serving.' Some babies want two servings right in a row; some fall asleep after the first one, and save the second for later. Some, who are trying to build milk supply, take three or four or more servings before dozing off.

Since you'll be nursing your baby again whenever s/he tells you they need it, it does not really matter how many servings baby takes in a row - as long as your little one is satisfied when finished. You can trust that your breasts will let you know if you're not feeding enough from one side [they will become firm/engorged.]

-La Leche League's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding:

The Amazing Powers of Human Lactation

Photo via @obstetrica.angela -- the amazing powers of human lactation!

To join in the celebration, nursing mothers and lactation consultants are welcome in the Breastfeeding group - a mother/baby-friendly, research based group for community and learning.



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