Archive for February, 2008

happy 3 months old!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

charlotte turned 3 months old the other day. it seems absurd that she’s already so old, and that she’s only been around for 3 months. she’s a very different baby today than she was a few weeks ago. she’s actually found some sort of pattern to sleeping and eating, which has helped tremendously. the fact that she’s sleeping at all during the day was welcome enough, actually. her general schedule looks something like this:

8:00 am-wake up and eat (often we have to wake her)
8:30 am-head back to sleep (sometimes she doesn’t get sleepy again until 9:30 or so)
sometime between 11am and 12:30pm-wake up and eat again (again, i often have to wake her)
2:30ish(sometimes earlier if she gets fussy or sleepy)-eat some more
sometime between 3 and 5 pm – another nap. usually about 2 hours long.
post-nap: more feeding
8:00 ish: food!
10:30 ish: food!
sometime between 10:30 and midnight: bedtime!

If you’re doing the math, that’s a stretch of almost 10 hours at night between feedings. now you see why we wake her up ;) it’s also only 6 feedings a day. we manage 7 on days where she’s awake for the bulk of the afternoon. this concerns me a bit, what with her small size, but she’s not unhappy and always drinks her fill, so i’m not too worried, at least intellectually.

and now, for posterity, milestone “expectations” from what to expect:

“should be able to”

  • on stomach, lift head up 45 degrees passed this sometime during month 2 or so

“will probably be able to”

  • laugh out loud she just started doing something that slightly resembles laughter
  • on stomach, lift head up 90 degrees if only to escape the evils of tummytime ;)
  • squeal in delight most definitely, in the last few days
  • bring both hands together to put them in her mouth ;)
  • smile spontaneously she’s been smiling at her mobile for weeks, and at me when i lean over her crib for the last week or so
  • follow an object.. i’ll spare you the paragraph, but yes, she can track objects

“may possibly be able to”

  • hold head steady when upright …since she was maybe 3 weeks old?
  • on stomach, raise chest, supported by arms …once or twice maybe? she really hates tummy time
  • roll over(one way) she threatens to on the changing table all the time, but again, evil tummy time keeps this one at bay
  • grasp a rattle held to backs of fingers for a couple of weeks
  • pay attention to an object as small as a raisin …i don’t think so. she’s a bit too enraptured with the world around her to get her to focus on something so small, yet.

“may even be able to”

  • bear some weight on legs when held upright *some* weight?! she spends most of her evenings standing on our laps, popping up and down, keeping her balance freakishly well
  • reach for an object within the last day or so, she’s started grabbing at the toys dangling from her interactive seat
  • keep head level with body when pulled to sitting if she’s awake and not sleepy, she’s got her head held up, no matter what the circumstances. she’s a freak ;)
  • turn in the direction of a voice, particularly mommy’s turn? maybe not, but she clearly recognizes my voice. if she’s fussing in her crib and i call out as i’m approaching, she’ll calm down…at least temporarily ;)
  • say “ah-goo” or similar vowel-consonant combination she makes all manner of sounds, something she’s picked up in the last few days, but i’m not sure she’s doing any sort of active vowel/consonant pairings just yet
  • razz aaaaalmost. she’s a big fan of sticking out her tongue and vocalizing as she drools. i suspect that as soon as she stops drooling through it, she’ll make a mighty noise.

i have to keep reminding myself that she’s not so much “behind” with the tummytime related skills, but that she’s far ahead with the other gross motor skills. she hates the mats and the floor, but ryan’s had some success with her on the couch. of course, this won’t last once she starts to roll over in earnest ;)

breastfeeding: 3 months in

Monday, February 4th, 2008

i think the question of which is easier, breastfeeding or formula is pretty much a wash. i’m sure if you handed a breast to someone who’d been formula feeding they’d marvel at how there’s no cans to buy and no bottles to wash and it’s always right there when you want it. by the same token, all you have to do with formula is mix it up and go, plus you always know how much she’s eating and anyone can do it anywhere you go. plus, while breastfeeding seems normal, feeding her from a bottle seems all special.

i’m struggling with staying motivated to breastfeed. every time someone is surprised or unexpectedly impressed with the fact that i’m still doing it, what i hear is “nobody expects you to still be doing it.” even my aunt, who breastfed for over a year with her children, had assumed i had stopped by now.

i broke a few “rules” of breastfeeding. we use a pacifier to …well, pacify her. we probably wouldn’t have ever started, but thanks to colic, it was pretty much a necessity to keep us sane and her free from unnecessary distress. we use it less often now, but still a few times a day. charlotte also gets fed from a bottle on average once a day or more. usually this comes in 2-3 bottles/day shifts while i’m at work, so she has days where almost half of her meals come from a bottle. add that to the pacifier usage, and even though she’s well past the age where nipple confusion is a risk, she’s getting a bit lazy when faced with the challenge of a breast instead of a bottle. it’s something we can work around/through, but it means breastfeeding is becoming more work instead of less.

and then there’s the cardinal rule of breastfeeding survival that we broke: we’re supplementing with formula. i cannot tell you how many times i’ve read/heard the warnings against the evil powder and how i should put any formula samples under lock and key so that i’m not tempted during a weak moment.

basically, i was faced with a choice. either i’m attached to a breastpump or a baby for a very large portion of some of my days, or we trade out a meal or two a day with formula. even if she was only drinking breastmilk, pumping messes with supply. it’s manageable, but it’s rough. if it was just an inconvenience for me, it would be one thing, but with all the drama about her size, the stress of making sure i was producing enough would be my undoing.

well, thanks to enfamil dropping a few sample cans of formula on our doorstep, the choice became even easier to make. by my calculations, we’ll run out of formula sometime in april…when she’s almost 6 months old and likely ready to start transitioning to solids anyway. to get her acclimated, we’ve started giving her about 2 meals a week (4oz each) with formula, and i’ve encouraged her babysitters to give her a formula “snack” if she eats through the breastmilk before we get home and she’s very hungry. it’s all been in prep for my full days at work, which start this week.

i still want to breastfeed as much as possible until she’s 6 months at least, but i know that the more we supplement, the more difficult it will be to keep supply going long term, and “going back to work” is another key period where it gets extra challenging. i’m also self-aware enough that i’m probably doing a bit of pre-sabotage to try and control when i stop breastfeeding instead of having it fade on me when i’m not prepared.

i suppose i just need to keep focused on why this was the best choice for our family, and remember that buying formula, bottle maintenance, and most importantly, losing that bond are things i don’t really want to do yet.

baby week 12: keeps getting older

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

i don’t think i realized how traumatic moving her from the bassinet in our bedroom to her “big girl crib” would be. she’s had a nap or two in there, and the mobile has been a handy distraction when i’ve needed to contain her for a few minutes. last night we picked up a baby monitor and made the switch for bed time as well.

i did not like it. not having her *right there* while we slept felt like we had abandoned her somehow, even though the baby monitor was so sensitive we could hear her sucking on her hand. i couldn’t shake the fact that she was too far away and it took me quite a while to get to sleep. we all slept through the night, so at 7am when i woke up and hadn’t fed her and hadn’t heard her, i was a bit concerned. she was happy as a clam in her bed though. awake, but not fussy, so she didn’t make a peep on the monitor. i gave her breakfast and she went right back to sleep. when we got up at 10ish, she was still down, so we let her sleep until she woke up.

that’s actually the second time in a few days where she’s slept all the way from 11:30 to 7am, and then slept another 4 hours afterwards. she doesn’t seem to be inordinately hungry or extra awake during the day afterwards, so i’m not going to complain too much about it ;)

anyway, back to the crib. since it was such a success last night, and to prevent the temptation from bringing her back into the bedroom for no good reason, i took the bedding off of it today to wash it and put it away. as i came out of the bedroom and announced “bye, bye bassinet”, even ryan got a bit gloomy. she’s still a very tiny little baby, and not even 3 months old yet, but she’s growing up fast. as great as it is, it tugs at heartstrings.

in other news, ryan added a video to his blog, and i put a bunch more pictures on flickr, so you can keep up with her. my goal for this week is to get a vid of her smiling and giggling, but it’s not as easy to get her going with the camera between my face and hers.