Friday, January 29, 2010

Things I've Bought

Going into this whole "baby" thing we had received or purchased everything off our registry. i thought I was as prepared as any woman could possibly be, but I've still found a few odds and ends that I didn't know I'd need. I thought it might interest some future mommys out there to know the things you may want/need but not realize you do.

they are:

1. Medela soothies. These feel so great on sore nips.
2. An extra changing pad cover. Make that two extra changing pad covers. Especially at the beginning, James was peeing and pooing a lot on the changing table and three changing pad covers was what it took to keep me from having to do laundry all the time.
3. Another swaddler. We have the miracle blanket and really like it, but sometimes he'd spit up on it or pee on it in the night. We bought a SwaddleMe Summer weight swaddler as our backup.
4. A Wubbanub. I like using the Soothies pacif
ier because the LC told me they are the closest thing to a breast and are unlikely to interfere with BFing. James has a hard time keeping the paci in his mouth and the Wubbanubb helps. Plus, it's cute to see him wrap his little hands around it.
5. Burp cloths. We had a few of these, but they weren't absorbent enough. I bought some cloth diapers with a little pattern on them and those do the trick.
6. Diaper genie refills. Have lots of these on hand. You'll use them all eventually and it's one less thing to make a pharmacy run for in those early days.
7. Sleepers. I actually didn't have to buy any more sleepers, but I was only saved by the fact that my coworker gave me a bunch of hand-me-downs at the end of my pregnancy. There have been nights when James will go throug
h two or three sleepers, so I like having enough that I don't have to do laundry every day.
8. Diapers, size 0. We had to make a few trips to the store for more of these. i only had one box on hand since I was expecting a big baby. James was indeed 8 pounds, but he continued wearing the size 0 diapers until he was about 11 pounds.
9. Trumpette Johnny's. This was a splurge purchase that I could not resist. These little socks that look like sneakers are the cutest stinking thing I've ever seen.

10. Pouch sling. I have an infantino carrier, which I like to use on long walks and a Moby Wrap that's great when I'm getting stuff done around the house, but I felt like I needed something compact and easy to get him into. When I run errands, I prefer to wear him rather than lug around the back-breaking car seat.
11. Nursing bras and tanks. I had one nursing bra and one tank before he was born. I thought this would be plenty because I used to alternate between two bras and then wash them both on the weekend. Well, that was before I continually leaked breastmilk, which inevitably ends up all over my bras. i now have three nursing tanks and two nursing bras that I wear. When I wear one of the bras, I usually put a Bella Band on too so that I can nurse in public without people catching a glimpse of the stretchies on my flabby tummy. I am thinking about getting a sleeping bra too. I've been wearing regular nursing bras to bed but they aren't comfortable. I'm a really bad leaker, so going braless at night just wouldn't turn out well.

And last, but certainly not least, here's a recent pic of my little man.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

10 Days Without Writing

It's been awhile since I've posted. Not for any particular reason except that there's not a lot to update on. Although he did a 4.5 hour stretch of sleep a couple weeks ago, I'm thinking that may have been a fluke because it has not been repeated since then. He is consistently sleeping between three and four hours at a time during the nights, but we still get up twice. At least when he gets up we are pretty quick at getting him back to sleep. I can nurse him, change his diaper, and get him to sleep again within about 30 minutes.

We are still breastfeeding and it's going well. He has started to be satiated on just one breast, which is more convenient, but it made me a little nervous at first because I worried he wasn't getting enough to eat. He's turning into quit a chunk. He weighed about 12 pounds this past Wednesday when he was just over 6 weeks old.

He also started to smile over the past week. He has the most precious smile I've ever seen. Some of the time it's crooked and only on half his mouth. Other times he opens his mouth in a big, wide grin. I have some great video of it that I'll post soon.

The biggest challenge I am dealing with is that I return to work in about 5 weeks. I know that I will miss James and it will be a big transition to be away from him for 8 hours each day, but I think that I will get used to it after a week or two. What I am most nervous about is how I can maximize my time with him on the evenings and weekends. I don't want to spend the few hours a day I'll have with him working on laundry, dinner, or cleaning the house. Luckily, we already have a cleaning lady, so that cuts back on some of the "extras" we have to manage.

A few nights ago I got up to feed James and couldn't fall back asleep for three hours. I was worrying so much about squeezing in work, time with James, exercising, cooking, etc. The next evening, Brett and I sat down and made a list of all the different areas of our lives that create work for us. We divided up all the tasks so that he has responsibility for some (picking up the house each night, cooking once a week, dropping off James at day care, making sure Champ is clean and healthy, our laundry, etc.) and I have responsibility for others (planning our menus, cooking once a week, picking James up at day care, baby laundry, groceries, etc.) Just talking through things made me feel much better.

I feel so lucky to have a husband who is supportive of my desire to continue working. Not only will he "let" me keep working, he's also committed to being an equal partner in all the work that remains to be done at home.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm Walking on Sunshine

We had a great night last night. I mentioned in my previous post that James was feeding a lot in the early evenings and then waking up more frequently during the night. I was one tired momma, but I think it was indeed just a growth spurt. Last night was his best night yet. He fed for quite awhile between 10 and 11, then fell asleep at 11 pm. He didn't wake up until 3:30 am, making it a 4.5 hour stretch! I nursed him and got him back in his crib within about 45 minutes, then he slept another 3.5 hours. I feel so great to have gotten a decent rest and I really hope this is the start of a new sleeping pattern. Previously, the longest he could sleep was 3 hours, but usually he only made it about 2.5 hours.

Yesterday we went to mommy and baby yoga again. He was so well-behaved this time. Right as we got there, he became super alert and spent most of the class time just looking around at the room and the other kids. I nursed him once part way through, then he just laid on my chest during the relaxation poses. It was so much fun.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


James had his one-month pediatrician appointment on Thursday. He weighed in at 10 lbs 6 oz, 22 inches long, with a head circumference of 15.5 inches. He was in the 75th percentile for all of these measurements. Everything else seemed healthy.

Our only challenge right now is that he is wanting to nurse a lot. I'm hoping it's just a growth spurt, rather than an indication of low supply. He seems to be cluster feeding in the evenings before bed and sometime in the early morning hours. Mommy is getting very tired from all the nursing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yoga, Playdates, and Rolling Over

James and I went to Mommy and Baby yoga this morning. It's pretty much like regular yoga, except that since all the other participants are moms, it's completely acceptable and expected that you'll have to pause to nurse, change a diaper, or calm a fussy baby. The instructor was super nice and held fussy babies so that their moms could continue with the poses.

After yoga, we went to visit Kelly from our birthing class and her daughter. The funniest thing is that I was sort of nervous to admit that I got an epidural since going "natural" was the whole goal of our birthing class. At the same time, she was nervous to admit to me that she is formula feeding due to low supply. I, of course, have absolutely no judgements on that. If there's one thing I've learned as a new mommy, it's that we all have to do what's best for ourselves and our babies and that's different for different people.

The last big news item is that James rolled over today!! While I was eating lunch, I put him on his activity mat for some tummy time. He slowly worked his way onto his side and then flipped onto his back. Thinking it was just a fluke, I put him on his tummy again and he rolled over again! By the end of the day, he had rolled over six times. Apparently, it's pretty early for him to be rolling over, which makes me nervous that we may have a very active little boy on our hands.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happiest Baby on the Block

James is now officially the happiest baby on the block. Not much of a feat, considering that we're pretty sure he's the only baby on the block. Over the past week, Brett read Happiest Baby on the Block. I cheated and got it on DVD. Although I think Dr Harvey Karp seems a little like a fish oil salesman, I really do think his 5 S's technique works. For those who are unfamiliar, Dr. Karp says there are 5 S's that can trigger a baby's calming reflex. They are:

  1. Swaddling: which he recommends doing first so that the baby's hands don't distract him/her from being impacted by the other S's. Dr Karp has his own recommended swaddling method, but we use the miracle blanket and I think it accomplishes the same thing.
  2. Shhhing: He recommends a loud shhshing noise a couple inches from the baby's ear. The sound should be as loud as the baby's cries. We make the shhhing noise ourselves during the day, but turn on a loud white noise machine at night. I went to Target for the white noise machine. It was $42 for the white noise machine in the baby section and only $25 for a similar item in the home spa section. We got this one.
  3. Swinging: Karp says swinging, but it's really more like a jiggling motion. We accomplish the same motion by patting James' upper back as in burping him.
  4. Side/Stomach position: Dr. Karp likes kids to be held parallel to the ground and on their side or stomach. He still recommends laying them on their back to sleep. I hold James upright against my chest and I think it accomplishes the same thing.
  5. Sucking: Last, but not least, sucking really calms infants. Dr. Karp says you can use a pacifier or breastfeed. We generally opt for breastfeeding.

Although Dr. Karp says that these methods will improve a baby's sleep, I haven't noticed James sleeping for any longer stretches at night. However, I have found that I can get him back to sleep faster when he does wake up. Rather than taking an hour to and hour-and-a-half to nurse him and put him back down, I am probably averaging about 45 minutes now. He is still waking up about twice per night and sleeping in two to three hour stretches.

In other news, I've found a Mommy and Baby yoga class in town. I'm planning to check it our Wednesday morning. Wednesday afternoon we have a play date with Kelly and Ava from our birthing class. On Thursday, we go to the pediatrician for James' one-month appointment.

Brett went back to work today, but he works from home, so it's not too big of a change. I was very careful about not bothering him, but it was easy to do since my mother-in-law is here for a couple days to help out.