Archive for the ‘weeks 7 - 12’ Category

A Day in the Life of Elliott

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

7:00 – 8:00am Wake up. The timing on this is largely based on how loud Charlotte is in the morning and how full my diaper gets. Also, if I’ve smushed myself into the corner of the bassinet, I’ll get cranky when I start wakening up. After getting my clothes changed it’s time for breakfast! I’d probably eat 8 or more ounces, but since I’ll spit up anything over 6, it’s 6 ounces.

9:30 – 10:30am I’m so hungry! I’ve spent the last couple of hours hanging out in my swing or with some tummy time or (god forbid) in my car seat while mom runs errands. When I start fussing again and it’s clear that cuddles and a dry diaper are not going to cut it, it’s time to eat again. Depending on how long it’s been since breakfast, this could be anywhere from 2-6 ounces. Usually mom gives me 4 and I eat almost all of it. (more…)

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.

baby week 11: who’s a big girl?

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

last week we upgraded her footed sleepers, but left the rest of her wardrobe largely in place. friday afternoon i struggled getting a onezie over her head, pulled some pants on her that struggled to cover her diaper, went through a few pairs of socks before finding some that weren’t ridiculously small, and realized it was probably time for a full upgrade. this evening i swapped out the rest of her clothes. she has more “real person” outfits to wear now. i look forward to playing dress up with her :)

also today, instead of opening up the package of “size 1″ diapers, i picked up one of the “size 2″ that we’d received as part of a diaper cake. the 1’s still fit well enough, but elastic lines were clearly visible on her behind. the 2’s seem to be a bit better and perhaps more capable of containing her next poop-quake.

we’ll be picking up new diapers and probably a few undershirt-like onezies the next time we’re at the store. they seem to be the only thing that baby showers and gifts didn’t provide for the next 3 “months”.

baby week 10.5: good nap

Monday, January 21st, 2008

they say that babies grow and “learn” while they sleep. well, if not learning while they sleep, internalizing and hard-wiring the things they learned throughout the day. charlotte must have had some good naps this weekend, because she’s a different baby today.

for starters, i noticed that the 0-3 month sleepers were getting a bit short. when i examined the 3-6 month ones, they looked a little long. better a little long than too short, so i washed them up and put them in the dresser. thanks to this week’s poop-quake, we’ve already gone through two of them today, and i must say, they fit much better. she also *looks* like she grew another inch or so overnight, but i’m sure that’s a trick of the eye. she’s a skinny little mini, so they’re a bit wide on her. we’re still keeping the smaller onezies, tops, and foot-less pants out, since they’re not as affected by the length issue.

we also bumped the straps in the car carrier up a notch. she’s much more comfortable now, sitting more upright and much less hunched. i feel kind of bad that we hadn’t done it sooner.

one of charlotte’s favorite toys is a leapfrog seat with a bar across it. the bar has 3 shapes that dangle from it and when you hit them, music plays for about 5 minutes or so. when it stops, you need to hit one of the shapes again to make it go. after a weekend of daddy showing her how it works, today she started triggering it on her own. i don’t think she’s quite figured out that it’s the hand and the shape making the music, but she knows if she bounces around and flails her arms in their general direction, more often than not, she’ll get what she wants.

after the poop-quake rendered the seat inoperable until it gets laundered, i dropped her in her swing to finish cleaning up. normally she looks up at the mobile and track the animals. today, she greeted the with a spontaneous smile and some cooing, as if the were old friends. she has done that before, with the mobile in her crib, but never the swing. she was much more engaged than she’s ever been, and for much longer.

all this added mobility and sight means she’s better entertained by the world around her. this makes her a much happier baby than she was a month ago, and has made it much easier to care for her while doing other things like laundry and blog writing :)

CTotD: rocking baby

Friday, January 18th, 2008

she’s strong enough now that (with help) she can sit on my lap in the previously mentioned bouncy/rocking chair. when you’re bouncing, she can bounce along with you, keeping her body and head upright. when you stop, she slows down, the starts rocking even harder as if to say “what happened to my ride?”

it is the cute thing of the day.

baby week 10: doctor’s visit

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

today we had a mini-checkup at the doctor’s office and learned the following:

  • charlotte weighs 10lbs, 6oz
  • with a weight gain of 10oz over the past 2 weeks, she’s just fine
  • that’s she’s probably not teething, but those little bumps “sure are weird”
  • that she spends a bit too much time on her right side, so now she needs to spend a bit too much time on her left to even things out
  • that all formulas are mostly created equal – just stick to the normal non-fancy milk replacement ones

and that’s about it until her 4 month checkup in 6 weeks!

baby week 9: digestion “issues”

Monday, January 14th, 2008

the internet tells me that babies that are breast-fed exclusively may not poop for days at a time. this is because breast milk is so “perfect” that most of it is used up, leaving little for waste, aka poop. while the expert articles suggest that 5-7 days is normal, the anecdotal evidence in the articles’ comments mention 10+ days to more than 2 weeks as being perfectly healthy.

since about new year’s day, charlotte’s pooping habits changed. instead of almost always going (every diaper change was both wet and dirty), it was like someone fixed the leaky faucet. she’d go once, maybe twice a day, sometimes 36 hours between poops and the rest of her diapers would be wet but clean. then the big break happened. charlotte pooped last saturday night (1/5) and again the next morning. then she went on a poop strike. on thursday i called the pediatrician. i wanted some verbal confirmation that the internet and its experts weren’t lying to me. the nurse said that it was perfectly normal since she was happy and eating regularly. she told me to call back on monday (today) if she still hadn’t gone, but that they would likely just tell me to keep watching her if she was still happy and healthy.

so we waited and she farted (super-stinky farts) with increasing regularity. saturday night (day 6ish of the poop-strike), she demonstrated that everything was still working by dropping a dime-sized amount. then nothing. had the nurse not told me she wasn’t going to be concerned and if we didn’t have an appt. on thursday already, i might have called today. as it was, i didn’t have to.

there we were, minding our own business, playing “how strong is my neck” (pulling her into a sitting position slowly by her arms) and the poop-strike was over. she of course gave no indication that anything different was going on, and would have been content to keep playing, regardless of how leaky she’d become. one very dirty diaper, several wipes, an impromptu second bath, and a new onesie later and she was happy as a clam. i also changed clothes.

as if we weren’t having enough fun, we’re fairly certain she’s on the cusp of teething as well. she has two bumps in her mouth where her lower canines might grow. when you rub them, she clamps down on your finger and is content. when she’s cranky at night (a different sort of cranky than colic), she’s content about 10 minutes after you give her a shot of tylenol.

we have a doctor’s appointment on thursday to verify that she’s gaining weight steadily enough. i’m glad she pooped today instead of closer to the appointment. it’ll give us time to fill her back up ;)

picture post!

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

i added a bunch of new pictures to the flickr account, today. it no longer “stops” at thanksgiving. my favorite is this one, although some others come close

oh, and it turns out that breast-fed babies sometimes go a week or more without pooping. how weird is that? charlotte’s record is 4 days and counting.  i’m kind of hoping she “breaks her streak” when she’s being babysat by grandpa tonight or grandma tomorrow, but for their sake, i kinda hope ryan and i are the ones that have to deal with the next “poop-quake”.  

baby checkup: 2 months

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

okay, so she’s not 2 months until tuesday, but she had her two-month checkup today, so it still counts.

charlotte continues to be healthy. we chatted about various things like developmental milestones, cradle cap, dry skin, and the fact that she kicks like a fiend. the doctor assured us that she was perfectly normal. she also doesn’t have pink eye. which makes one of us ;)

she’s of average length (22.25 inches), but a bit small (9lbs 12 oz). we’re hitting all the numbers (feedings, dirty/wet diapers), but since she hasn’t gained weight as rapidly since the last appointment as she had for the two before this one, there’s some slight concern. it’s likely that the last week’s bought of sickness on my part has caused some of this. turns out dehydrated mommies don’t make all that much milk. we’ll be going back in a couple of weeks to make sure that she’s still growing at a decent clip.

in the mean time, we’re going to make some slight adjustments to her feedings. she’s been averaging about 6 – 8 feedings a day, but when she gets fussy between feedings, we distract her with other things instead of giving her a boob (which *always* works, at least while she’s attached). we’re going to stop doing that from now on, at least when i’m around. i’m also going to always offer both boobs at each feeding, no matter how sated she looks after draining the first one. i stopped writing down all the ins and outs early last month, but i’m going to start it up again, just to prove to me that we’re still on track.

then it came time for the vaccines. one by mouth (with a bit of tylenol to start us off), went very smoothly. i wasn’t too surprised. she’s easily distractible by new/different sensations, especially in her mouth (vitamins, gas drops, etc). then there were shots. two in each thigh in very rapid succession. while it was happening, charlotte and i had a good talk about how they hurt, but it was okay, and they were good for her, so it needed to be done. i’m not sure how much she understood, but it certainly made me feel better. she let out a few cries after the shock of all 4 shots was over that hit completely new pitches and volume levels, but that was about it. she fell asleep before we had made it back to the waiting room to schedule her new appointments. perhaps the colic has taught us how to soothe her quickly, and taught her that pain is temporary and she’ll be fine soon. she slept until we got home and cried a bit more when she woke up. once she had food, however, she stopped caring again.

she’s not any more fussy than she normally is as far as duration or tone, but the intensity of the wails is a bit sharper this evening. it’s like she’s maximizing the capacity of her newfound range. her legs seem a wee bit swollen, but i think that’s largely my imagination.

it’s odd, really, and a bit anticlimactic after all the “just you wait” warnings we’ve received from all of our baby-having friends. i expected all of us to be much more upset over the whole thing.

maybe at her 4-month set?