Monday, October 30, 2006

baby goal for the day: get isabella to sleep more!

You know you're reading about a new mom when you see that she has only a few goals (at most) planned for the day. I have one and only one goal today: get Isabella to sleep more. How are we doing on achieving this goal thus far?

Not good. After one of the earlier feedings, she really didn't sleep. The swing, laying on our bed, being in the Baby Bjorn . . . didn't encourage her to sleep. Next feeding, well, she slept for about an hour. That's not too bad. After the most recent feeding, she slept for maybe ten or fifteen minutes. Now? She's in the Baby Bjorn, sleeping lightly. We're doing our best here.

Last night was not one of the better nights. I thought I was giving in by nursing her to sleep. Well, I was hoping she'd sleep. Even nursed her on both sides. Result? Screaming baby. What happened after that? Well, I tried and tried to calm her down. Mercifully, Troy volunteered to take Isabella. Daddy took a good beating, I mean crying, before she finally calmed down and fell asleep an hour or so later. Troy somehow miraculously got her to stay asleep until the next feeding, a couple hours into the night.

BTW, I'm trying to keep track of just how much Isabella is sleeping in a day, just in case I call her pediatrician in desperation. We need Isabella to sleep, not just for our sake, but for her sake. Help! I think she's only sleeping seven to ten hours a day, which is way too little for a little one.

Friday, October 27, 2006

diapers stuff

I've found the tips I got from pregnancy weekly, on diapers stuff, helpful. I particularly like the idea of putting a dryer sheet at the bottom of the Diaper Champ; I'll try that soon.

Since changing diapers is probably one of your most frequent activities these days (second only to feeding), here are some tips:
  • To help deodorize the diaper pail, throw in a scented dryer sheet or two.
  • Create little mini-changing stations at several locations around your house so you don't have to run to the nursery for a quick change. Stock each station with a few diapers, wipes, a changing pad, and a few toys. Keep the items in a basket that can be stored under a table or bed.
  • Keep several diaper bags packed and ready to go with the basic necessities. This will save you from tracking down lotions, wipes, and diapers when you're trying to get out the door.

MAJOR DIAPER BLOW-OUT, through the onesie & through her receiving blanket

I'm attempting to cook dinner, a really simple dish, and I hear Isabella softly crying. I turn the stove down and make sure the contents of the pan (an onion and chicken broth) are okay. I go to tend Isabella and see why she's upset. While I'm picking her up, I notice a yellowish brown tinge on her burrito wrap (a.k.a. the receiving blanket with which I swaddled her). To make a long story short, the blow out was on a good portion of one side of her onesie as well as the receiving blanket in which she was wrapped. No wonder she was upset. Any one of us would be upset if we were wrapped in our own filth. Anyways, I cleaned her up, clothed her in a clean onesie, and saddled her up in the Baby Bjorn. Now she's asleep again. And, I've got to finish cooking!

we seem to have a gassy, colicky baby

The day before yesterday, oddly enough, from the gal who came to clean our home (she has five children and a sixth on the way), we learned that baby Isabella seems to have some serious gas issues. I remember reading and seeing that when babies cry and raise their legs up, that's an indication that their tummies hurt. But, somehow, I didn't completely make the connection, because Isabella likes to move her legs all the time. In hindsight, that she has gas problems makes sense. She tends to be less fussy when she's in an upright position, in the Baby Bjorn. I learned from my parents yesterday that even for the short duration I was breastfed as a baby, I needed to be burped after each feeding. Likewise, I've noticed that Isabella has gas after I nurse her. Amazing the things I'm gradually learning. Isabella also tends to get more fussy in the afternoon and into the evening. Some evenings, like last night, she seems almost inconsolable. Poor baby.

The good news is that from what I've read, after the baby's a few months old, oftentimes the colickyness works itself out. And, babies grow stronger digestive systems. In the meantime, I'm trying my best to stay away from eating foods known to be gassy . . . broccoli, cabbage, beans, spicy (picante) foods, etc.

The following is a helpful article I read on Coping with Colic, from pampers.com:

Coping With Colic

Article By:
Suzanne Dixon, M.D., M.P.H.

View Biography



What is colic? All babies cry. This is true all over the world. They typically cry most between the ages of 3 weeks and 3 months, and that extra crying usually occurs during the afternoon and evening hours. The exact amount of crying you can expect from an infant varies by temperament and circumstances, but when it gets to be three or more hours a day for three or more days a week over a period of three or more weeks, experts call it "colic."

For parents, colic can be frustrating and stressful, especially since the cause and the cure (except for time) are not clear. The best explanation seems to be that as a baby takes in the experiences of his day, there comes a point when his immature nervous system becomes overloaded with input. As a result, all his body systems go into hyperdrive, including his tummy, bowels, and muscles. This makes it difficult for him to settle down, so he cries. Sensitive and active babies tend to develop this pattern more readily, and colic even seems to run in families. Fortunately, as your baby grows and his nervous system matures, he will develop more skills to block things out and become better able to quiet himself. But until then, life can be tough for a family. What can you do in the meantime?



How to calm a colicky baby The following are some tried-and-true tactics to help soothe a crying child:

• Movement: Swinging in a swing, rocking, riding in a car, dancing in the arms of mom or dad. Movement almost seems to override the fussiness. Experiment with different types of movement, as all babies are different.

• Sound: Music (but no heavy metal!), singing, white noise from a fan or another mechanical device.

• Touch: Research shows that carrying an infant in a front-pack during the early part of the day (when he's not crying), will actually reduce the duration — but not the frequency — of evening crying spells. Once the crying starts, a back rub, pressure on the tummy, and swaddling in a blanket can help.

• Blowing off steam: Sometimes the more you do for a baby, the more it fuels his overload. That's when it's time to swaddle him well, put him down, and let him blow off steam on his own. This is an especially helpful approach if you're getting wound up as well.



What if it's not colic? In rare cases, something in a breastfeeding mom's diet can upset a baby. So try to cut out the caffeine or the cabbage, the spice or the beans, and see if it helps. Switching formulas if you're bottle-feeding rarely works, so check with your doctor before you start down that route. Also be alert for any illness or injury (see Signs of Illness); obviously, these can make a baby cry as well.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

demand feeding vs. scheduled feeding

Isabella will be five weeks old this coming Tuesday. Until now, I've been feeding her on demand, namely, whenever she wants. However, I've been observing in the last several days that sometimes she cries for my breast . . . for comfort. How do I know that? Well, when I put her on my breast, she doesn't eat more than a few minutes. My breast has pacified and comforted her, and she is off to sleep. I'm feeding her or she's on my breast sometimes as soon as every fifty to fifty five minutes . . . yes, even now.

So, do I continue to demand feed her, even though she seems to be snacking or grazing? Here's the rest of the story. In the middle of the night, at least in the past four or so days, she sleeps two to three hours at a stretch, without eating. During the day, though, I've generally be feeding not too long after she's super fussy. Yes, I try all kinds of diversions . . . the take-along swing, the bouncer, the Baby Bjorn. She fusses only so long before Mommy and Daddy cave in to her cries. Yes, Daddy has a super soft spot for cries, too.

There's another bit, when she is on my breast, I've left her on there for as long as half an hour or forty-five minutes! Talk about serious work my breasts and nipples are undergoing. I apologize to any men family or friends that are reading this . . .

After talking with some other relatively new moms, I wanted to try and put Isabella on some sort of schedule, not a rigid schedule, mind you. But, my desire is to push feedings to every two to three hours, anything besides every hour. By five weeks, should she still be eating every hour? My intuition says 'no.' I am no expert, though.

One of the friends with whom I spoke said that getting Isabella to feed every two hours (and perhaps three eventually), instead of every hour, will be more satisfying not only to us but to her. I hope so . . . She said this would take several feedings, perhaps several days. We'll see how this goes.

I'm going to contact Isabella's pediatrician and my lactation consultant to see what they think about the matter.

The Baby Bjorn, my new favorite baby product

As of now, not to make any hasty generalizations, but the Baby Bjorn may be my favorite baby product right now. Yesterday, when Isabella and I were traveling around Target, I held her, belly to belly, in the Baby Bjorn. She slept the entire time. This afternoon, when she was being fussy, and I was sure she was well fed and changed, I put her in the Baby Bjorn. Given some time, she eventually fell asleep and stayed asleep for about an hour or so. The trick is to keep moving; she doesn't like me to sit, when she's strapped into the Baby Bjorn. Yay for the Baby Bjorn!!! Thanks Manda & Johnny.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Breastfeeding in public and the BabyTalk August 2006 cover controversy

This afternoon, I received my November 2006 issue of the babytalk magazine. Close to the front of the magazine was a letter from the magazine's Editor-in-Chief, responding to 8,500 letters written in response to the August 2006 cover. Not far from that were some sample letters, cons and pros, written in response to the cover.

I didn't realize that in America, land of scantily clad women, people - including women - find breastfeeding in public disgusting, even if the breastfeeding mother is covering up what she is doing (namely, breastfeeding her child).

Breastfeeding moms aren't even the ones who try to dress indecently. Come on folks! We're talking about feeding a baby nutrients; doctors, nurses, companies, and all kinds of people are pushing breastfeeding.

This is just my thoughts on the matter. Breastfeeding is hard enough as it is. Takes forever for both mom and baby to learn the endeavor. Nipples hurt, at least mine do. Some people have worse problems, such as cracked or bleeding nipples, from breastfeeding. Breastfeeding moms are supposed to breastfeed on demand. Do you know what that means? Our little beauty eats sometimes every hour or more frequently. Even if she's latched on properly, that's a lot of work my pair is doing! No wonder I'm sore. What's wrong with breastfeeding in public?! Are breastfeeding moms supposed to stay home until babies are finished breastfeeding altogether? Or are breastfeeding moms supposed to pump milk and only feed out of a bottle in public?

I happen to be a mom that nurses and pumps milk. But, I am trying to store some of the milk I pump, for when I go back to work. That way, Daddy-o (Troy) can bottle feed Isabella my breastmilk when I'm teaching.

I'll get off my soap box now and do some other stuff. Bye.

The following is an article by Associated Press about the outrage raised by the August cover of babytalk:
Eyeful of breast-feeding mom sparks outrage: Magazine cover blasted by public squeamish over sight of nursing breast

What a Baby is Doing at 1-month

I found the following information on a baby's 1-month development from excite.com:

Milestones this month*
  • Your baby can lift his head slightly for a few seconds when lying on his stomach.

  • He focuses his eyes on your face.

  • With his eyes, he'll follow an object moved about six inches above his face.

*All babies have their own internal developmental timetable. If your 1-month-old hasn't yet reached these milestones, rest assured that he will in time. If you have concerns about your baby's development, discuss them with his doctor.


Your newborn's natural reflexes

After nine months in the womb, your baby will be equipped to say hello to the world with these universal reflexes:
  • Grasp: His little hand will grip your finger when you stroke his palm.

  • Startle: When he's startled by a loud noise or a quick movement, your baby will thrust out his arms and legs, then draw them back and cry.

  • Rooting: When you rub the corner of your baby's mouth, he'll immediately turn toward your finger. This rooting instinct is what helps him to latch onto your nipple for feeding.

  • Sucking: Your baby is ready and willing to suck for feeding; sucking also comforts him.

  • Tonic neck: Lie your newborn on his side, and watch how he extends his arm and leg on the side he's lying on, and flexes the arm and leg on the opposite side.

  • Walking: Although he's far from ready for the real thing, if you support your baby upright in a standing position, you'll see him naturally try to step out.


Your baby's developing senses

At 1 month, your baby will be experiencing a symphony of the senses. What he hears and sees can make him quiet, agitated, satisfied, or blissfulÐand sometimes all four emotions in the same breath!


  • Seeing: Your baby's vision tends to be nearsighted: he's able to focus best on objects eight to 15 inches away. Bold shapes and bold black-and-white patterns attract his attention. Place a mobile over his crib so your baby can follow its movements. He's already turning his head and eyes to look at you. And your baby also is trying out his mime talents by imitating your facial expressions.

  • Hearing: Your baby knows your voice well, and he responds to it by growing quieter or more excited. Speak to your baby or sing to him as you feed, diaper, rock, and bathe him. Your words will be his first tools of communication. From you your newborn will learn to speak and to listen. You'll also discover that babies like the sound of music; play soft lullaby tapes throughout the day and at bedtime to help him relax.

  • Touching: Your tiny one responds to your touch. Take advantage of the opportunities to be closeÐfeeding, cuddling, or just rocking. Respond to your baby's cries; this will help him learn very early that you're there to comfort and care for him.


Snooze news

During these first weeks, your little one will sleep -- and sleep -- and sleep. The average newborn logs 15 to 18 hours of sleep per day, often in the form of short naps. Though you're probably hoping that his longest sleep stretches will occur during the night, don't count on itÐat least not for awhile. One way to move closer to that goal is to wake him if he sleeps for more than three to four hours at a time during the day.


Dinner!

Already, your baby anticipates mealtime. If you're breastfeeding, plan to nurse him every two to three hours. You'll know he's getting enough to eat if he seems satisfied following the feeding, if he continues to have wet diapers and stays within a normal growth curve.

If your baby is taking formula from a bottle, plan on feeding him every three to four hours. Initially, he'll eat about two to four fluid ounces at each feeding, but gradually the amount will increase.

As he begins to recognize your face, your voice, and your touch, he's also building his fledgling memory bank. And before you know it, he'll express that recognition and trust with a big, beautiful smileÐincredible!

Experts agree that breastmilk is best for your baby. Not only is it the most nutritionally complete food your newborn will ever eat, but it also benefits your baby in other ways. Even if you plan to bottle-feed formula to your baby, consider breastfeeding these first few days so your baby can benefit from this nutritious natural food.

Pregnancy Q & A, and More - a fun forward

One of my friends, Rhonda, sent this to me. I've read the Pregnancy Q&A previously. I think this is a great forward.

Pregnancy, Estrogen, and Women
  
PREGNANCY Q&A & MORE!
  
Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.
  
Q: I’m two months pregnant now. When will the baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.
  
Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.
  
Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?
  
Q: My childbirth instructor says it’s not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.
  
Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.
  
Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word alimony means anything to you.
  
Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.
  
Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.
  
Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.
  
ESTROGEN ISSUES
  
10 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE ESTROGEN ISSUES
  
1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing with everything you say.
5. You're using your cell phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: How's my driving-call 1-800-
6. Everyone’s head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from outer space.
8. You can't believe they don't make a tampon bigger than Super Plus.
9. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.
  
TOP TEN THINGS ONLY WOMEN UNDERSTAND
  
10. Cat’s facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
8. Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.
3. Eyelash curlers.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.
  
AND, the Number One thing only women understand:
1. OTHER WOMEN

Thursday, October 19, 2006

cradle cap

got this tip as an e-mail, from pregnancyweekly.com. haven't had this trouble yet; knock on wood.

If your baby develops a yellow, hard crust on his or her scalp, don't worry - this is called cradle cap and it's very common. If your baby develops a yellow, hard crust on his or her scalp, don't worry - this is called cradle cap and it's very common. To soften the flakey skin, try rubbing a small amount of vegetable oil (such as olive oil) on your baby's scalp, leave it on for about 15 minutes, and then use a fine-tooth comb or soft brush to gently brush the flakes off. However, be careful not to brush too harshly; your baby's scalp is delicate and can get sore and red if brushed in the same spot too long or too hard. Make sure you wash your baby's scalp after applying the oil; leaving the oil on can cause the flakes to stick even more. To help dissolve all the oil, leave the shampoo on for a few minutes before rinsing off.

Monday, October 16, 2006

the aquarium take-along swing and the bouncer are the bomb!

I took this picture on 10-15-06


So, Christine's been bugging me about trying the Oceans Wonder Take-Along Swing with Isabella. My only reservation was whether she is too small for such a thing; she's still got somewhat of a bobby head. When Manda and Johnny came over yesterday afternoon, Manda suggested I try it, too. So, I did. She slept for at least two hours in it yesterday afternoon. Whoo hoo! Another perk insofar as the swing is concerned is there's no winding involved. Alright, so we should invest in stocks for batteries, because we'll be using loads of batteries to keep her entertained, but still. . . A happy baby increases the likelihood of a happy mommy.

This morning, one of my ethics students was scheduled to make-up an exam. That and the fact that I hadn't eaten yet so far today were both motivating factors to keep Isabella occupied. So, thanks to Manda's handy work, the Oceans Wonder Bouncer was already assembled. I needed to toss a battery into the machine, put the baby into the bouncer, and viola! She's a happy camper, at least for now. . . uh, oh. I hear baby sounds. Better go!

Friday, October 13, 2006

baby isabella's first sponge bath since she's been home

alright, alright . . . some really ambitious mommies probably would have done this a lot sooner. but . . . i've been super busy attempting to keep her fed and satisfied. anyways, my friend, junko, and i gave her a sponge bath.

where did this wonderfully exciting event take place? on top of her changing table. yup, got all the stuff ready and set her on the changing table on her dresser.

the stuff i lined up in preparation for the bath included:
  • a large towel to cover the changing table.
  • a hooded towel, to keep isabella warm during the sponge bath.
  • two clean diapers.
  • a clean onesie.
  • a rectangular tub we took home from the hospital, filled with warm/a bit hot water.
  • two wash cloths.
  • brush.
  • two cotton rounds - one for cleaning each eye, from the part of the eye closest to her nose outwards.
  • baby liquid soap / shampoo - i used the arbonne baby product, which i think is much better for baby.
baby isabella after her sponge bath.


baby isabella loves to move her arms, when she's startled and when she's trying to tell mommy she's hungry. oh, and sometimes she'll move them in her sleep, too.


junko and baby isabella.