Monday, October 20, 2014

2 months and Baby Registry Advice

Hey everyone!

So, L had his 2 month checkup this week -- my baby was so brave getting all his shots! I nearly cried myself. Somehow it's heartbreaking to watch their little faces break and start crying and they don't understand why. Actually the worst part was how sore he was afterwards (he's actually still really fussy 4 days later, ugh). A little Tylenol and some sleep seemed to help. But, he's gaining immunity little by little! Unfortunately, he can't get a flu shot this year, so let's pray that he doesn't get exposed to that! He's in the 80-90th percentile for pretty much everything: 14 lbs 5 ounces, 23.75 inches long, and a 16 inch head (kid has a big head). Let's see: he's in size 2 diapers at this point and wears 6 month or 3 month clothing (depends on the brand). He's rather long, so I feel like he needs 6 month clothing for the length, but it's kind of baggy on him. We have been nailing down a consistent schedule, which is going pretty well, although there are frustrating days. Right now, our schedule is like this:

7 am - wakeup, eat and play
8/8:30 - nap
10/10:30 - feed and activity
11:30ish - nap
1:30 - feed and activity
3ish - nap
4:30 - feed and activity
5:30/6 - catnap (usually in swing or on one of us), typically 30-45 minutes long
7ish - bath and massage
7:30-8 - feed (I try to have him eat as much as he can and sometimes wait 20-30 minutes and try again to fill him up). Rocking, lullabies and cuddles.

You're probably thinking, "your 2 month old sleeps 11 hours?". Well... not exactly. But, that's the goal. For instance, this morning, he woke up at 5:30 am, and we played paci-pong for an hour and a half (that's where you give him the pacifier, rub his belly, leave, 3-15 minutes later he cries again and you repeat). However, getting him off schedule is not good, and he's not starving (he doesn't even eat that much in his morning feed). And some of those naps I have to hold him for part of the time. So, we're still working on it. For the record, the schedule is straight out of the book, "Moms on Call", which puts together age appropriate schedules for babies - toddlers. Their book was super helpful.

Anyway, I actually wanted to write to tell about the stuff that we've been using and what's been really useful. If any pregnant friends are reading, these are the things I would recommend registering for.

This is mostly geared toward breastfeeding because that's what we've been doing (no judgement on how you feed your baby though).

Breast Pump - You can get this free through your insurance company. I went with the Medela Pump in Style Advanced and I really like it. The first few weeks I pumped so much that I ended up buying a second set of parts so that I didn't have to wash them every time.

Bottles - Honestly, the bottle that came with the breast pump worked pretty well for us. L didn't really have any reflux problems, so we didn't use anything special. I remember stressing about different bottles, but I don't think it really matters too much (unless you have reflux issues).

Nipple Shield - Just get one for the first few weeks. It can really save you.

Breast pads - So, I leak... a lot. I like the disposable Lansinoh ones.

Formula - I recommend having some on hand even if you plan on breastfeeding. If you've signed up for maternity stuff, you may have gotten samples in the mail. We have formula from the mail, my OB's office, and the hospital. We didn't have to buy any.

Pillow - My breast friend - love that thing. I can't get the boppy to work for me. I also use a towel to prop up his head to the right height.

Nursing Stool - I ended up buying the KidKraft one from Amazon, which really helped me get comfortable during nursing.

Burp cloths - Old school flat cloth diapers work great.

Diapers - We love Pampers Swaddlers.

Changing Pad - I love our Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer. One of our friends recommended this to us (and actually bought it for us too), and it has been awesome. No changing covers to wash. It's easy to wipe down.

Diaper Pail - Diaper Dekor. I really like the way this works and it keeps the smells away really easily.

Wipes Holder - OXO Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser.

Sleep sacks - I love the Halo ones with the swaddle arms. They work really well. Highly recommend. We used the woombie for the first few weeks and I liked it as well, but it's pretty tiny, so he outgrew it quickly. I also really like the miracle blanket. That thing is awesome for swaddling (which makes a huge difference for sleeping). I also use the Aden and Ani swaddle blankets for naptime. He can break out of my swaddle, so I'm not comfortable with him in them at night. (Actually he can break out of the Halo swaddle arms, which is downright impressive).

Pacifiers - The AAP recommends pacifiers as a protection against SIDS and it can also help with soothing for sleep. We have tried all the brands and L seems to like the MAM ones the best (every baby is different though). The soothies kind fell out of his mouth a lot (or gagged him). He liked the Nuk ones okay at first, but now he doesn't.

Crib - Ours is from the Land of Nod. I love it.

Crib mattress - We bought a highly rated one from Amazon (foam), but I can't remember which one now. Honestly, they should all meet standards and work fine.

PJs - We use PJs under the sleep sack. I like the footed zip up kind. Snapping a gazillion snaps at 3 AM is not fun. Zippers are your friend. (Carters makes great cotton zip up footed PJs).

White noise - So, we started out with the Sleep Sheep. Which is great and super cute. But... it only goes for 45 minutes. So, we ended up buying a plain white noise machine off Amazon (myBaby SoundSpa portable) so that it can go all night. It does help with reducing noise from other sources around the house (like all of our creaky boards).
Play gym - The Fischer Price Rainforest friends one is super popular. Mostly because it has lights. Babies love lights. We also have the Kick and Play Piano gym, which I think will become more popular when L is less obsessed with lights.

Tummy time - I use a boppy for propping him up during tummy time. This helps him to look up more than if he were flat on the floor. Still, tummy time isn't super popular.

Board books - He doesn't really get them yet, but whatever. I still read to him. I also have a Children's Bible I read from.

Boppy lounger - This thing is great. We have it on our kitchen table, and L can join us for meals.

Swing - We were loaned the Snugabunny swing, which works well. He doesn't spend a ton of time in the swing.

Rock and Play - We have the Rock and Play sleeper in our living room. He doesn't ever sleep in it really, but it's good for a place to put him so he can look around and stuff. Honestly, we would be fine without this, but it's nice to have a place to put him in that room and he's tired of being on the floor.

Car seat - We have the Chicco one. I like it. We also have the stroller frame for it. I don't have any other stroller yet because I haven't decided on what I want to use when he can sit up securely on his own.

Nail clippers - I use the Piyo Piyo Baby Nail Scissors. I say "I" because I'm the only one with the guts to clip his nails. I really do like them and have yet to nick his fingers.

Nasal aspirator - We have the bulb type. People swear by the Nose Frieda. But it really grosses me out.

Portable changing pad - Definitely nice to have a diaper changing area outside of his bedroom, especially since we have multiple floors.

Bathtub - I would get one that fits in your sink so you don't have to bend into the tub when they're little.

Towels - I love the Pottery Barn kids ones. They are really soft and absorbent.

Baby Wise - Worth reading, but slightly confusing and tedious.

Moms on Call - Concise, easy to read, clear advice --> love it!

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer - Highly recommend. Great book. That with the Moms on Call book is wonderful.

What to Expect in the First Year - Good reference book. Or you could sign up for the BabyCenter weekly emails. They are pretty much the same info.

Heading Home With Your Newborn - Good book if you want to skip the parenting classes. Has a lot of information.

Alright, Gotta wake the kid for his feeding! Until next time!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Baby Update

Hey guys! It's been a while, I realize since I last updated the blog. L is almost 2 months old (on Wednesday)! Which means, we are officially past the 6 week post partum scariness, which is nice. I have more confidence that I can actually do this whole being a mom thing. That being said, I have had lots of help over the past 8 weeks. My mom was with us for 3 weeks after he was born, J's mom was here the week after and then for a day visit the week after that. My mom came again for a few days the following week, and I was up in PA with my parents 2 weeks ago. Traveling with a baby by myself was way more challenging than I had imagined. Last week was our first full week with just the 3 of us, and we made it through! We finally did get the hang of breastfeeding and I am now exclusively breastfeeding, which is nice. I know we should probably introduce bottles again soon so that he will transition to daycare okay, but I just don't want to because then I have to pump. I actually don't hate pumping, but I would miss nursing time. His latch is getting better as he gets bigger. It still sometimes hurts a lot, but there's a toughening up that happens. He also sometimes reverts to a shallow latch and then gets upset if I try to re-latch him. But, all of this is normal. I have been blessed with a good supply, and he is gaining weight like crazy. He's about 14 pounds at this point, so yea... It's actually getting hard to lift him, especially since he still has a somewhat floppy head. He can lift his head and does okay at tummy time (which isn't a popular activity), but sometimes he just decides he's done with holding his head and will let it droop.

L is a great baby. He has been sleeping through the night (defined as a 6 hour stretch) since about a month old, and he will do 8 hours some nights (which is totally awesome, even though it feels like my boobs might explode by the time he wakes up). I have been focusing this past week on getting him on a schedule, which has been slightly challenging. It sometimes feels like 2 steps forward, one step back. One of our challenges was getting him to nap in the crib. He sleeps in the crib well at night, but he was taking most of his naps in the carseat, carrier, or on me after nursing, which made getting anything done difficult. One of my friends gave me the book, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, which has been hugely helpful. I also started reading Baby Wise, which I didn't find as helpful. It laid out a similar scheduling plan, but was not flexible at all (after describing how it was flexible). We don't necessarily have a schedule the same time each day, but we are trying to follow the EASY approach she lays out (E-eat, A-activity, S-sleep, Y-you time). The cycle basically repeats itself every 2.5-3 hours during the day. The activity can be varied. For instance, this morning it was watch mommy eat breakfast, storytime from the children's Bible I have, and tummy time. However, this afternoon's activity was mostly trying to get him to calm down since he was trying to work out a poop and had lots of gas after eating. Getting him to nap in the crib was facilitated a lot by swaddling. He keeps punching himself in the face if he isn't swaddled. I've been putting him down to sleep awake, which took a few days to get him okay with that and lots of coming back to reassure him (this is not crying it out). What else? He likes a pacifier, which is great because he was using me as a human pacifier for a while. I've joined a nursing moms Bible Study, which is super nice. I'm also part of a new mom's group which organizes a lot of fun activities. I try to get out of the house pretty frequently, which helps.

L is socially smiling now, which is super awesome. The other morning (at like 4 AM) when J and I were in his room to see why L wasn't sleeping, he just looked up at us and started grinning away. Made the early wake up much less painful. :) I find I am praying much more these days. I think parenting makes you realize how much is totally out of your control. God has blessed us with a wonderful baby. And He has gotten me through some pretty hard days (I don't function well on little sleep). Anyway, that's what's going on in our neck of the woods: eating, burping, diapers, playtime, baths, and sleeping.

And now, a few pictures...