Tag Archives: infant care

Bringing Up Baby – Weeks 6 & 7

Biggest Surprise: Say Goodbye to Light Packing

Spring break was last week so we took the opportunity to visit the grandparents over the weekend and then my mom and I took baby M to visit my sister for a couple of days. The trips went well but boy does traveling with a baby take a lot of stuff! I used to pride myself on being such a light packer – just my backpack and a medium sized purse could get me a whole week almost anywhere – no longer. We had the car filled and we didn’t even take the stroller or a pack and play. But with all the diapers and breast pump and extra outfits for everyone in case of spit ups or blowouts, it makes for a fuller car than our trips pre-little one.

Biggest Challenge: Knowing What to Expect

Just when we think we have something figured out, little miss changes it up on us. Not to be crude, but let’s take pooping for example (Because really, how have I gone so far into this series without talking about baby poop yet?). We were getting to be poop experts, knew what color and consistency and how often (just about every feeding) and how to change the diaper without it getting everywhere. But then sometime during week 7 she suddenly slowed down. We didn’t have a poop for 2 days! And of course we are scouring the Internet – is this normal? She’s exclusively breastfed so she can’t be constipated. How long can they go? A whole week?!? Luckily, my sister is a pediatric nurse practitioner and my mom is a pediatric nurse. So I have great information when I need it. And yes, it turns out that it is normal for their intestinal tract to slow down after about 6 weeks. I guess this is just one of our first little lessons that parenting is always going to throw us a few curve balls and we better be able to go with the flow.

Best Baby Care Item: Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper

We still aren’t sleeping for very long stretches yet (3 hrs max but usually more like 2), and I really am appreciating our bassinet. This one is really nice – it has a vibrate feature and plays music or forest sounds or a heartbeat – but what I most like is how easily it swivels into place right next to the bed and how the side can be pushed down to make it easier to set her down in the middle of the night. I know parents have very strong feelings about whether baby should be in their own room or not, but for us this has just made the most sense. It would be much harder on me nursing-wise if I had to get all the way up and go into another room to get her. And this way we get the benefits of co-sleeping without the safety problems. When we were pregnant and trying to decide whether to get a bassinet or not, I kept thinking about our first few weeks with Tesla when she was a puppy. When we brought her home initially we kept the crate in another room and at night she would cry and cry. Finally I found some resources online that suggested bringing the crate into the bedroom. This is especially important for puppies if you work outside the home, it said, because the 6-8 hours of sleep time still counts as pack bonding time if you are in the same room. Just being able to hear your breathing and sense your energy makes a difference. Well, not to say that having a baby is like having a dog – in fact Will and I have been laughing lately about how different it is and how silly we were to think that being pet parents prepared us for being people parents – but it makes sense to me that if being in the same room would comfort a puppy of course it would comfort a baby too.

Best Mommy Care Item: Medela Breast Pump

I’m really glad that we decided to buy our own breast pump and that we spent the money on the nice model.  I am lucky that the only time I have to be away from her long enough that I have to pump is during my evening MBA classes.  I pump on my break during the 4 hour class.  But building up supply has left us with more options – like for times when I have a test coming up and need to go to a study group or for nights when Will can get up and do a feeding to give me a little longer stretch of sleep.  We’re talking about the value of real options in my finance class right now.  I would say that the flexibility that we’ve gained is worth the investment.

Favorite Memory: Mornings with Miss M and Watching Her Discover Her Thumb

She is so happy in the mornings 🙂  I have started adding a little extra play and picture time to our morning routine to take advantage of it.  I have also really enjoyed watching her discover her thumb over the last couple of weeks.  She will bring her hand up to one side of her mouth, and then the other, and finally finds it to suck on her fingers.  It is so neat to watch her learning process.

Week 6
Week 6
Week 7

Bringing Up Baby – Week 1

I mentioned in my very first post that one of my original ideas for this blog was an online baby book – so now that baby girl is here I think it is only fitting that I start posting about my sweet little one.  I have really enjoyed writing my Weekly Recipe Roundup posts, so I think I am going to try a weekly baby post.  I want this weekly post to help me capture and share memories, but I also hope it will be helpful to any new moms or moms-to-be out there who might be looking for an additional perspective to add to their bag of tricks.  So without further ado:

Bringing Up Baby Week 1

Biggest Surprise: So in Love

I knew that I would love my baby of course, but I just had no idea how much I would love her.  Will and I have both been puppy parents for a while now and we love our fur babies and feel a huge sense of responsibility for them.  But it is nothing in comparison to how we feel about Baby M.  I really can’t put it into words, but we are just completely smitten and can’t believe how perfect she is.  I can sit for hours just watching her sleep in my arms.  On my more hormonal days I just start crying because I am overcome with how much I love her.  And then I start laughing at myself for being such a baby.

Biggest Challenge: Sleeping

Baby M has the perfect temperament and sleeps great – as long as she is in someone’s arms lol.  She wants to be held all the time!  I love this, except that it makes sleeping darn near impossible.  Now that we are getting to the end of week 1, we are finally starting to have some luck with putting her in the MammaRoo and the infant car seat, but no luck at all with the bassinet yet.  The real lifesaver this first week is that my mom has come over to help me.  She comes from about 10 or 11pm to 4am and lets me sleep between feedings, and even just 4 hours a night has made a huge difference.  She also has been coming back in the afternoons and helping me from about noon until 5.  And the extra afternoon nap helps too.  Since Will is working, he wasn’t able to help with night duty until the weekend; so having mom here was huge.  This weekend we have been on our own and I think it is going reasonably well.  We’ll see how week two goes.

Best Baby Care Item: The Original Boppy Pillow
The Boppy has been a great tool and not just for nursing. It is great for dad too and helps prevent tight shoulders when we are spending so much time holding little M. To be honest, the Boppy was a little bit hard to use for nursing the first couple of days and actually got in the way. But after we started getting the hang of our best positions it has been great. And like I said, it has been great for everyone’s comfort during normal holding while sitting.

Best Mommy Care Item: Warm Buddy Warming Blanket
This was actually a surprise. My mother-in-law had given me this warming blanket as a gift a couple of years ago but I had only needed it once or twice before. However, when we got home from the hospital I was so surprised how sore my arms and shoulders were and I was looking for something to help. This has been awesome. It’s not as big as a full size blanket so it is easy to maneuver into different shapes. And you just pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to heat it up so there are no cords to worry about like with a heating pad. It has been great for sore muscles, but it was also really helpful when my milk first came in and I could use it to heat up my chest so I could pump when lil M wasn’t quite keeping up with production yet.

Favorite Memory: Baby Faces

She makes all kinds of funny faces already!  Will says it looks like she is taking her face for a test drive – trying out all kinds of looks.  I wish I could get pictures of all of them. Even her little scowls are the most precious thing ever!

Other Thoughts to Share: 

There have been many tough decisions to make since we found out that we were becoming parents, but breastfeeding has not been one of them. From the moment I found out we were pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. The actual execution of breastfeeding, however, has been a little more challenging. And this is after having read books and websites and articles in order to prepare. It is going well now, but the first couple of days were tough. Our biggest challenge was with positioning. To be totally honest, I had to sort of forget everything that I had read and that the lactation consultants had told me. When I was trying to “get it right” it was frustrating for both of us. When I finally let go and just tried to do what felt natural to me, she got the latch and everything else fell into place. Then we could go back and correct the positioning and worry about making my neck and wrist and all of that more comfortable. But what really helped us turn the corner was me letting go of doing it right and just doing what felt good for us.

Introducing the Dogs
We took the dogs to the kennel for a few days of boarding the day I went into labor. We had thought that we would pick them up the day we left the hospital, but we ended up waiting one more night and I think that was a really great decision. The first night at home with baby is a big enough change on its own without adding in extra variables. If there is enough interest I will do a whole post about how we introduced the dogs to baby girl. Just let me know in the comments.

Taking Care of You
Try to do one little thing every day to just take care of you. I never imagined that taking a hot shower and getting to shave my legs would be such a treat lol, but just that one little thing can make such a big difference! Other little treats I indulged in this week: drafting this blog post (I was missing getting to write), posting an announcement to Facebook, and meditating. Maybe next week I will get to bake something 😊

Week 1 with Baby M