Join as we check in with Jasmine, Brian, and 10-month-old baby Moriah.
Last time we chatted with Jasmine and Brian, they told us about baby Moriah’s latest milestones. This sweet family was faced with quite a bit of uncertainty in the beginning, no thanks to a worldwide pandemic and some unexpected health issues Jasmine has had to deal with. Despite the challenges, all those worries melted away with Moriah’s arrival. Since then, Moriah has taught herself to scoot and “leap” for items just out of her reach, and she still wakes twice every night wanting snuggles and a bottle from Brian. Jasmine told us that’s their “daddy-daughter time,” and they never miss it.
Jasmine had originally planned to breastfeed, but due to her health issues she knew early on she would need to exclusively formula feed. She put in a ton of research and ultimately decided on Enfamil Enspire as the best choice for her baby since it’s Enfamil’s closest formula to breastmilk.* Enspire is still their formula of choice — and Dad loves the daddy-daughter time when it comes to feedings.
We’re so thankful this sweet family has partnered with Scary Mommy and Enfamil Enspire to give our readers a glimpse of the inner world of new parents. This is part four of their story.
We know you were excited to start branching out and doing things like take Moriah to the park. How has Moriah’s world expanded as the world around your family opens up?
Since the pandemic is unfortunately still ongoing, we have carefully decided to allow for some safe branching out with Moriah. This was very important for us, not only to get to experience different things with Moriah, but also not to rob Moriah of some exposure and experiences of her own. Moriah has gone shopping with us, though for a shorter period of time than we’re normally used to shopping, and has been able to see a portion of the mall.
We have also taken Moriah to the park and have placed her on a swing. She loves it — in fact, it relaxes her. We also did our first family vacation and opted for activities like sight-seeing and entering facilities where we could do in-door activities alone as a family to have fun but keep safe. Among those things was taking Moriah to various escape rooms in a private room. She has been quite the good luck charm — each escape room she has done with us, we have won! We did not have the same fate before.
One important milestone we were able to do in-person (with everyone involved vaccinated and masked) was her christening. Whereas our gender reveal and baby shower were held virtually, this was the first family and friends event relating to Moriah that we were able to do in-person. We are excited to continue to branch out more, safely and gradually.
Now that Moriah is getting more of her nutrition from food, how is supplementing with formula benefitting you as you transition? How has the decision to formula feed impacted your journey?
At first, the feeling of not having the sense of agency to decide between breastfeeding or formula feeding was difficult. But as smooth as the journey of formula feeding with Enfamil Enspire has been, it is honestly a win we would not trade. We know we made the right formula choice, considering how well Moriah is doing. That is confirmed with every follow-up doctor appointment. Each of us has coworkers who are expecting, and when they ask us about formula feeding, we share how the experience with Enspire has been for us. It’s interesting to have these conversations because it reflects that others are also considering formula feeding, and we’re not alone in that decision. It feels like a badge of honor as first time parents to be able to share a parenthood tip that was successful for us.
The ultimate advice we would give to parents when it comes to formula feeding is to make the choice that best meets their child’s needs and their comfort as parents. There is an unfair taboo with formula feeding versus breastfeeding, and what we have come to learn is, it’s not the entire picture — and in some cases, not an accurate picture. We encourage parents to do the research on which formula makes them feel most comfortable. In our case, Enfamil Enspire checked off all the nutrient list items we wanted to provide for Moriah.
We admit we never imagined the transition to solid food would be difficult. Thus far, sweet potatoes and pumpkin are our go-tos, but unfortunately nothing else. We are still trying to figure out what food Moriah likes and ensure that while she transitions, she is still receiving all the nutrients necessary for her. On a recent visit to Moriah’s pediatrician, he let us know we should continue formula feeding because it’s still where she’s really going to get her key nutrients.
Has Moriah added any new words to her vocabulary? What are some of your favorite things she does to communicate?
In addition to “grandma,” Moriah says “hey” and now excitedly says “mama”! It melts our hearts each time she says it, especially since it’s randomly whenever she wants to. More often, she cutely babbles in her baby talk language, adding to her emotions or pointing at what she wants.
Moriah now does this cute impression when she wants something or if something is in her way. She does an impression of her favorite duck character and sucks her lips tight and babbles on and spits away. Moriah uses facial expressions to communicate with us, too. She smiles all the time and giggles loudly at tickles or silly remarks we make to her. She also rumbles her hands together when she wants to play “fight.” This actually surprised us because she made it up on her own and it’s just so cute.
Moriah is surprisingly and adorably very expressive in communicating dissatisfaction. If you do not give her the phone or take away the toys for a nap time, she will give a stare with eyes locked tight on you, communicating her disapproval. She’ll communicate about solid food she doesn’t like by shaking her head and closing her lips tight — her own way of saying “no.” On the flip side, she will also reach out to hold the spoon and open her mouth if she likes the food and wants more.
Our most favorite thing that she communicates to us is her love and affection. Moriah loves to give kisses. She also likes to cuddle and will crawl on her own to wherever we are lying near her and just curls up and lays side-by-side holding onto our arm. It’s the sweetest love language.
How are you and Brian managing work-life balance as Moriah grows? What’s working well for you? Is there anything you would change if you could?
Managing our work-life balance is something we are still learning. Our support system has truly allowed for the balance to be a smoother one. We know they love Moriah and will take good care of her while we’re at work. They are also great at doing video calls with us to connect with her, and they send us photos throughout the day. It connects us to her even while we are apart.
The balance we’re really working on is leaving work with enough time to spend with our daughter, even when one of us is working from home — being committed to separating work hours from family time. Always keeping this goal in mind is what helps reinforce our day-to-day work-life efforts.
Of course, generally speaking in a world of luxury and fantasy, the one thing we would want to change is even having to work. It would be lovely not to have to work and just be there with our daughter all the time. For our real life circumstances, however, what we have going thus far is working for us, and we are sure we’ll continue to work on making it better.
What thought process/mindset has changed from the beginning of your parenthood journey to now?
A fundamental thought process or mindset that has changed from the beginning of our parenthood journey is the ideology of what it is to be a perfect parent. We have learned that in the midst of our imperfection as new parents, there in fact was perfection — just as long as our intentions are always to do what is best for our daughter. We’ve learned that we will have unexpected moments, but at the end of each hurdle is our daughter who showers us with love and appreciation — this is a fundamental wisdom we will hold onto in the future. Our focus, therefore, has shifted from trying to be perfect parents to simply ensuring our daughter is well cared for and happy, and that we are doing this as a team. Our goal is not to be perfect parents, but to be the best parents we can be for our daughter.
For tips, discounts and the chance to win free formula for a year, sign up for Enspire Family Beginnings today. Enfamil Enspire is Enfamil’s closest formula to breast milk. It offers 5 important nutrient benefits in one formula to support the overall health and development of your baby including immune and gut health, language development, motor skills, and attention span. You can learn more about Enspire here.
*None of the statements contained in this article have been reviewed by a physician. Please visit the Enfamil site for further information about the ingredients in this formula.