April 18, 2015

Cai Alexander: Five Months

New Things: Cai is doing SO MANY new things. It seems he learns something new every day. He can:

  • Roll over from back to belly (he has also gone from belly to back but only two or three times.
  • Reach for and grab almost any object.
  • Reach out to touch the dog.
  • Blow raspberries. 
  • Stand up with very little support.
  • Laugh, squeal, grunt as a complaint, 
  • Creep...sort of...he does this inch worm thing, pushing his butt up in the air and scooting forward.
  • Grab the fingers of anyone holding him and shoving them in his mouth.
  • Pull his pacifier out of his mouth and stick it back in (about 7 times out of 10)
  • Chew on his toes.

Growth: Cai now weighs 15 lbs. 5 oz., keeping him right around the 45-50th percentile where he has been. He is now 26.5 inches long (2.5 inches of growth), jumping him from the 50th percentile to the 75th. Not that percentile really matters, it's just kind of cool. The ladies at the doctor's office were surprised at how big he had gotten since his three month well baby visit.

Sleep: Cai naps beautifully, most of the time. As long as we stick to our routine, Cai usually falls asleep very quickly. Our only problem with naps lately is that when he wakes up, even only half way, he immediately rolls over then gets upset because he's stuck on his belly. This week he started to be able to fall back to sleep on his belly or back, but usually one of us has to flip him back over and give him his pacifier. Usually he'll go back to sleep, but not always. We still swaddle him with one arm out, but we are slowly trying to phase out the swaddle. It's slow going; I had stopped swaddling both arms for a week or so and he went from sleep an hour and a half at a time to thirty to forty five minutes. It took me awhile to make the connection, but once I started swaddling on arm again, his naps got longer; he even took a two and a half hour nap this week.

Nighttime sleeping has changed quite a bit. He wakes fairly often, but usually just needs someone to put his pacifier in, and he goes right back to sleep. This week he has consistently been waking to nurse between 4:30 and 5:30. I'm not really loving having to wake up at that time, but he also has been sleeping half an hour later. I think the change is a combination of teething and the "four month sleep regression". 

Breastfeeding: For the most part I feel like we have this whole breastfeeding thing down pat now. We seem to be past any issues of oversupply, engorgement, dairy intolerance, and latch issues. Our only issue right now is this weird thing he does during his last feeding before bedtime. Not every night, but many nights, he seems hungry then starts crying after a few minutes of nursing. I can't pin down a reason for it. First I thought tummy issues, but that doesn't seem to fit. Then I thought maybe my supply is just low at night, but I seem to still be pretty full, although it could just not be coming out fast enough? Sometimes it seems to be due to teething; if we give him some Hylands Teething Tablets, he calms down and eats. Other times he just needs to stop an do something else, like have his diaper change, and then he eats without a problem. And still other times, he just refuses to eat altogether, and we put him to bed.
Overall, he nurses between five and seven times a day. The days he eats more often are usually days when he cluster feeds because he gets distracted and doesn't finish a normal feeding.

Likes: In addition to learning new things, Cai enjoys doing new things. His favorite things right now are:
Singing "Jesse's Girl" with Daddy
  • Playing in his activity center. He likes to try to chew on everything and gets made when he can't get all of the toys in his mouth. He has really started to bounce in it. A lot.
  • Watching Finn. Finn is the funniest thing in our house right now. Everything he does is hilarious. At least to Cai.
  • Singing. Cai likes it when Mama or Daddy sing with him or to him, particularly songs like "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Head and Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," but this week he also really loved it when I loudly sang "Good Morning" from Singing in the Rain.
  • Chewing on everything. Sometimes frantically. He has at least one bottom tooth getting ready to pop through. And the drool. It's ridiculous. This kid is constantly soaked.
    Greg (Aunt Katie named him)
  • Stuffed animals. Cai really seems to enjoy plush. He sleeps with either Greg, a little Garanimals brand "lovey," or a stuffed puppy he has. He likes to snuggle them, play with them, and mostly chew on them.
  • The Wind Up. Cai apparently likes anticipation. He likes to be thrown in the air, but more than that he likes if you count to three and lift him just a little on each number before  you throw him. He also likes to be tickled, but mostly he likes when you start by wiggling your fingers in the air high above him and making them creep toward him.
    Reaching for Mama's p
  • Sticking out his tongue.
  • Reaching for Mama or Daddy's phones, which he is not allowed to have.
  • Watching TV. Ugh. We do not want him to watch TV, but this kid is attracted to it. I am one who enjoys having the TV on as background noise when I am doing things around the house, but I have to be careful now.



April 08, 2015

Five Favorite Apps for New Mamas

I know our mothers and grandmothers survived being mothers without the technology we have today, but I have to say that I have really appreciated some of the apps I've been able to use as a new mom. I thought I'd share some of them and what I like about them, especially because I know quite a few other new mamas right now. All of the apps I'm listing are Android apps. Not sure if they're available for the iphone.

  Feed Baby Pro
I started out with just the Feed Baby Free and upgraded when the free trial of the paid app expired. I honestly don't remember why I felt the need to upgrade, but I think the paid app was $1.99. I have found this app incredibly useful, especially in the beginning. I remember coming home from the hospital and thinking, "If I'm feeding on demand, why do I even need to keep track of feedings." I quickly learned how important it was, at least for me. This app can keep track of almost any information you put into it; feedings, pumping sessions, diaper changes, sleep, baths, medications, and growth. It also has a section where you can journal. I use it mainly to keep track of feedings and sleep.


You can use it on multiple devices and sync them together. I use it on my phone and my Nook tablet. In the picture above, I hadn't hit the sync button, so it hadn't pulled the info from my phone which is why it says that it had been 126 hrs. since the last feeding. :) But you can see that it helps me keep track of which side I last fed from, how long each feeding was, and how long it has been since the last feeding. The buttons at the top allow you to enter different types of feeds; left breast, right breast, bottle, and solids.
It also give you some useful summaries. I can see how long he has fed throughout the day. I like that because I can see when growth spurts have started (feed times double) and also get an idea as to whether or not he will wake up in the night to eat (if he spends less than an hour and half eating right now, I can be pretty sure he'll wake up in the night to eat).
Right now, I use this page a ton. It's basically a timeline of whatever options you want to put in. This was really helpful as I tried to get Cai on a napping schedule. You can see that right now, most days he takes three naps. He goes down for the first between 8:30 and 9:30, the second between 12:00 and 1:00 and the last between 3:00 and 4:00. You can also see that some days I don't keep perfect track, or we are out and about and our routine gets a little messed up. 

This app has a lot more uses than what I use it for, and I highly recommend it, especially for first time moms. Although I didn't use it for keeping track of diaper changes, I can see how it would be extremely helpful in the beginning (especially for breastfeeding mamas when you can't see how much milk baby is getting) so you can see that baby is having enough output and getting enough food.

White Noise Baby

I only used this app for a short time when Cai was a newborn, but it was helpful. I used the doppler ultrasound option and would put it on at nap times. It helped disguise any loud or sudden noises. I also used it overnight when we had friends or family with children spend the night in hopes that it would disguise any crying the other children might do in the middle of the night. It has a good variety of noises. I didn't bother getting the paid version of this app because the free was enough.
It also has a baby mode which is basically like airplane mode on your phone, so that baby doesn't get woken up by texts, phone calls, etc. Oh, and I never used it, but it has a "rattle" button so that baby can use your phone as a rattle. Crazy. 


The Wonder Weeks App

I only recently discovered this app when it was recommended to me, and I wish I had gotten it earlier. I think I paid like two dollars for it. Basically, it's based on the book The Wonder Weeks, and it tells you when (based on your baby's due date) you can expect fussiness due to your baby making a "leap" which is basically a jump in cognitive ability. Cai is currently in his fourth leap, and he definitely became more fussy almost on cue when the leap started. I'm anxious to see how he changes when this leap is over.

It gives tips on ways to help your baby through the leap as well as what abilities your baby will probably gain by the end of the leap. It's pretty cool.
You can see Cai is 18 weeks past his due date and has six days left in this leap.

Cozi
I think I've talked about Cozi on the blog before, but I love the calendar, to do list, and shopping list functions of this app. I use the free version, but you can subscrive and upgrade to Gold for a monthly fee. I can schedule appointments, mark them as for me, Steve, or all of us, and even set it up to text us a reminder from an hour to a week before the appointment. I can also create a shopping list, and Steve can access it from his phone, which is super convenient because he manages a grocery store. I use it even more now that we have Cai because otherwise I would not be able to keep track of all of our appointments (I missed one of my doctor's appointments in the beginning), and I need reminders--so does Steve! 

Groovebook

I LOVE this app! If you watch Shark Tank, you've seen heard about this app. The creators just made a deal with Shutterfly for like 17 million dollars! Basically, it's a photo subscription service. or $2.99 a month you can choose 100 photos from your phone and they will be printed in the perfect size for cell phone photos in a little paper back album, with perforation so that you can easily tear out the photos. You can pick which photos and how many copies of each one you want. You have all month to upload them and make changes. If you have more than 100 photos that month (a problem I've been having because of all the pictures I take of Cai), you can close the book early and get charged an extra $2.99 that month. If you don't upload a full 100 photos, they will send you double copies of some of yours to fill up your full 100. You can even send extra Groovebooks to family and friends. The albums are super cute too, although I tear mine out and put them in Cai's baby album or our family photo album. It's so nice to be able to get all of those photos off of my phone. 



Basically these apps cover all of the important things for me right now (or in the first few weeks with a baby); feeding, sleeping, surviving, organizing, and recording all of the awesome memories!

April 03, 2015

Baby's First Easter Basket

I know there's no real point in giving my four and a half month old an Easter basket (is there really much of point in giving anyone an Easter basket?), just like there wasn't much point in giving my one month old Christmas presents. Except that it makes me happy. 

Obviously I'm not going to be giving him any candy, but I did buy a little basket and put four things in it. I was inspired by Logan's post from With Great Expectation on Easter basket ideas for baby girls and this post from The Humbled Homemaker with 65+ Spiritual Gift Ideas for Kids.

So, in Cai's basket I included...

Fisher Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse

It plays music and glows. It has absolutely no spiritual significance at all, and I wouldn't normally buy something like this, but a) I got it 70% off at Kohls (marked 40% off and had a 30% off coupon) and b) Cai is starting to enjoy playing and cuddling with things in his crib, so I thought he might enjoy this.


The Bunny Rabbit Show by Sandra Boynton

Again, no spiritual significance, but I like having more books. Sandra Boynton's are cute and sh          h nap time. Even doing that though, I still feel like I've just read all of them and get bored super fast, so adding a new one is great. 


The Tale of Three Trees, a folktale

This one does have spiritual significance. It's a story of three trees who all want to grow up to do something great. The first is cut down and made into the manger that holds Jesus, the second is made into the boat Jesus is on when He calms the storm, and the third is made into Jesus's cross. It's pretty neat. I will enjoy reading it to Cai. 

Stuffed Dog

Ha! I can't find a picture online for this one, but you know those The Dog greeting cards and stuff that are pictures of a dog that are focused on the nose, so it looks bigger than the rest of him? Well, they have stuffed dog versions. I got the French bulldog. It was on clearance. :P

I put it all in a basket I bought at Walmart that was blue with a multi-color striped fabric lining. I figured it could have multiple uses in his bedroom down the road.

Anybody else get their little ones an Easter basket? What did you put in it? Do you think I'm nuts for making one for Cai?

April 01, 2015

I'm Loving

I have been neglecting my blog as of late. I have several posts I want to write, but haven't sat down to write them.  I totally missed writing Cai's four month post, but at this point I'm going to just skip it and write the five month post in two weeks. He has started so many new things since writing his three month post, and I can't remember which he started when! Anyway, today is a post of things I'm loving right now.

Cai
I cannot say enough how much I love this kid. Today especially was a wonderful today. We visited our fertility clinic  and introduced Cai to Dr. Peters and basically everybody there. When we mentioned that we were also there to visit my dad in the offices downstairs, one of the ladies who posts to the Sher Fertility Facebook page ran downstairs and grabbed my dad and took some pictures of him to upload to Facebook. Cai posed for some additional pictures and even grinned on cue.

Just generally though, Cai is a lot of fun right now. He's able to do new things every day, and I'm loving watching him learn! Steve and I spent a lot of time just marveling at him today. He's so smiley and joyful. He's so interactive, not only with us, but with the dog too. He LOVES Finn! He lights up when Finn comes near him, reaches out to pet him (we've been teaching him "gentle"), tracks him when he walks around the room, and seems to appreciate it when Finn licks up his puke. :/

I'm loving being a mom right now.

A bathing suit that actually fits my boobs
I'm a freaking 38G cup size. Finding a bathing suit that fits over them has been nearly impossible. Even at stores like Lane Bryant I've had a hard time, but this last week I finally took a risk and bought one online from Figleaves.com. I bought a Curvy Kate tankini top, and I'm super happy with it. I cut off the bow between the boobs though, haha. What kills me though, is that Curvy Kate designs for curvy girls --they make bras and swimsuits for D-K cup sizes-- but most websites that carry their suits, have pictures of skinny girls in them (the picture to the left comes from herroom.com, the only site I could find that markets it with a "bigger" sized girl). Seriously? Anyway, the suit top fits (I paired it with a black skirt bottom I already own) and I actually feel kind of cute in it which is saying a lot because I'm still learning to embrace my post pregnancy belly (eight more pounds to pre-pregnancy weight and thirty+ to a healthy weight, but my goal is to like myself at every weight). I'm super excited about wearing it on vacation.

Longer days
I love everything about more sunlight. It gives me more energy and makes me so excited for warm days ahead.

Hylands Teething Tablets
They're seriously like magic. When it's clear that chomping on a teether is actually making things worse not better, some teething tablets (usually) work in literally minutes. We're not comfortable with using Advil or Tylenol on Cai, so it's super comforting to know that something natural works.

Five Kids is a Lot of Kids
I stumbled across this blog when I saw that she let her eight year old boys guest post on her blog. I started browsing around and ending up laughing out loud at some of her posts like when she pooped her closet, how her husband offers to support her, and how she lets her kids ask her questions about sex. I haven't read many more posts than that, but her writing style definitely had me in stitches.

My plan to make a teepee
I'm so excited about making a tepee. I'll blog about it when I do. I want something that we can use outside all summer to protect Cai from too much sunlight, but something that we can use while camping and in his bedroom down the road. I'm so excited about doing it, and hope to shop for the supplies tomorrow or Friday.

Spring Cleaning
Now don't get me wrong, I am not one who usually enjoys cleaning. I am a major procrastinator. But spring cleaning is different. I make huge lists. Like, seriously, I made six pages of lists this year. So far I've only checked off about four or five items, but I really love having a list and cleaning all of the little details that we don't normally pay attention to. I spent some time this week making a "command center" in our kitchen. Hopefully it helps us to be a little bit more organized. If not, I still like the way it looks. :)


March 17, 2015

A Year Ago Today...

A year ago today, around this same time in the evening, Steve and I sat on the couch in our living room and listened to a voice mail. The original call had come around two early that day, but I refused to listen to it until we were together. We snuggled on the couch, held each other's hands and listened.

Our nurse Kristine's voice rang out,  "Hello, Lorena..." I didn't really have to hear the rest, her tone of voice was enough, but just to be sure, I listened on. "We got the results of your beta back. You are pregnant! Congratulations!" We hugged each other and cried, and our world changed forever.

Five and half years of waiting was finally over.


And the past year has been filled with ups and downs, like any year (IVF, Steve's promotion to Philly, Steve's being moved to Reading, selling our house, not selling our house, leaving my job to be a mom, Steve taking a new job, HAVING A BABY), but I can honestly say that it has probably been the best year of my life. I think I can even say that it has been the best year of our life. Steve and I have grown even closer and our marriage has become even stronger.

Our little Cai turns four months old tomorrow, and he certainly fits the meaning of his name, "rejoice", both because he makes us rejoice and because he is such a joyful baby.

I've been mentally writing another post about infertility and the continuing effects it still has on us, but right now, I just want to rejoice.

Thank you , Lord, for all that you have given.

February 23, 2015

Today I'm Feeling...

One year ago this week, I made another post with the same title. I thought I'd do a comparison post today.


Last Year
Tired. The past couple of days have been super stressful between financial drama regarding the IVF and the snow causing me to be late for doctor's appointments, and battling a severe headache today. Is it spring yet?

This Year
Healthy. I have not been sick since a slight cold just after becoming pregnant. I think that is the longest I have gone in my ENTIRE LIFE without being sick. I'm chalking it up mostly to God's graciousness with a small nod to my prenatal vitamins. I'm tired, but not extremely so. I'm also feeling pretty emotionally healthy too.

Last Year
Relieved. All of the financial issues were worked out thanks to an amazing husband who jumped to the rescue to the point of leaving work early and driving two and a half hours to pick me up and work things out at the bank, and thanks to God's perfect timing with our income tax return.

This Year
Provided for. We cut our income significantly between Steve's pay cut with his job change and my not working, but God is providing everything that we need. More importantly, Steve is home at least four more hours a day than he used to be and is far less stressed now that he is no longer working for Walmart. 

Last Year
Thankful. For my Lord's perfect timing. Between all of the money falling into place at literally the eleventh hour and some other little things that He's done, I'm feeling so thankful. I mean, even, in a weird way, the fact that my sister has been sick and home from work for a few weeks now has been a blessing. Having someone here with me when Steve is stuck at work because of the snow has made this stressful time (and dark winter) bearable. I'm not glad that she's sick, but the timing has been a blessing to me and I'm so thankful for her and how she's helped me. (Pray for her if you think of it. Although she's not really in any real danger, the time until full recovery is indefinite right now.)

This Year
Content. I feel like I am exactly where I should be at the this point in my life. Although I miss my identity as a teacher, I am 100% happy with being a stay at home wife and mom. This is what God has designed me for right now, and although it was difficult waiting for Him to bring us to this point, I wouldn't give up anything that led us here.

Last Year
Excited. It's all really starting to feel real now. I will most likely be pregnant soon (I'm not going to share the exact timing, partly because I don't know it yet, and partly because I want to be able to keep it to ourselves for at least a day or so after we find out, haha).


This Year
Excited. Cai is growing and changing so much every day, and I'm excited to see what comes next. We are going to be going on vacation with Steve's family my family in May, and I can't wait to experience it with Cai. It's so weird to think about all of the things we have to pack for traveling with a baby and that Cai will be a different baby in three months than he is now, doing completely different things! It is so fun to watch him learn and try news things every day!

Last Year
Hopefully Expectant. I feel like I have turned a corner with hope and am feeling more expectant than intrepid right now. I feel like I had to take a faith jump this week to prove that. It's a silly thing, but I have to order my bridesmaid dress for my sister-in-law's wedding which is in July. The dress is being discontinued, so I have to order it before I find out that I'm definitely pregnant, but I'm still going to order as if I will be pregnant. Actually, per the David's Bridal consultant suggestion, I will order three sizes bigger instead of the normally suggested two sizes because as she put it, "you're more likely to have twins, so I would go up three sizes." Apparently she is moderately familiar with IVF, haha.

This Year
Hopefully Expectant. We are already thinking about when we will do a frozen embryo transfer with two of the four frozen babies we have. There's a sense of urgency knowing that they are already in existence and waiting for us. I would like to breast feed for a full year, then take a month or so to do some detoxing, focusing specifically on liver health in hopes of preventing a recurrence of cholestasis during my (Lord willing) next pregnancy, then start the process of the FET. It will be less expensive and less time consuming than a fresh IVF was. The possibility of twins is a little more daunting now that we've had one baby than it was before we had any, but with the possibility of having to have more c sections, we don't want to risk four pregnancies. It's also difficult not to assume that future pregnancy will happen because we were successful on our first try. We are still battling infertility even though we have a baby now (although it is completely different now), and I have to remind myself that it may be in God's plan that we have only one biological baby. 

Last Year
Puffy. I started the FSH stimulating meds this week and my ovaries started to feel puffy and bloated very quickly, like after the second day of these. Because of my PCOS, I'm at risk for hyperstimulation, so this concerned me, but I went in for my bloodwork today to check my estradiol level and the doctor decided to cut the rest of my Follistim doses in half just to be safe. This makes me feel better and safer. Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome is not super common (I think like 5% of women get it or something), but another blogger I follow, who also has PCOS, just went through it, and I'd like to avoid it at all costs.
Because of the puffiness in my abdomen, I've been leaning toward looser clothing like yoga pants, and stretchy skirts and dresses. Unfortunately I can't wear yoga pants to work and have a limited number of dresses and skirts that I can wear (especially with boots which I'm leaning toward because I'm still having to park at the end of my very long driveway and walk down through the snow every morning), so I'm finding myself making a wish list of dresses like this one from Like Twice or this one from Target.

Sore. I'm not a huge fan of the Follistim pen and the menopur injections. They sting for a while afterward even after I ice the injection spot. Keeping busy and distracted after giving them helps. So does putting ice on them afterward, but I'm still not loving it. Giving myself the lupron injections made me feel empowered. These new ones are not my friends though. I did read some tips on handling these from this blog and this one.

This Year
Plump. And not pleasantly. Technically I have only ten more pounds of baby weight to lose, but I still feel huge. Not to mention I was overweight to begin with, so there's a lot more weight I would like to lose. I go through cycles of being content with having a different body now to being disgusted with the way I look. I am basically one giant stretch mark now. The only body parts without stretch marks are my feet (amazingly enough because they looked like somebody pumped them up with a bicycle pump) and my face. I have more chins than I ever have before and a belly that isn't just bigger than I want it to be, but that flops over. I do some exercising, but pregnancy has left my joints very stiff; I often still feel like I'm carrying the full 45 lbs. I gained, especially in my hips and knees. There's a fine balance between loving your body where it is now and striving for good health, and I have yet to find it.

Last Year
Surrounded. By the prayers and encouragement of so many people. It makes me really glad that I'm being open about this process. Although I'm sure others think I'm nuts because I'm being so open, it has made me feel loved and helps to know that so many people are praying. My coworkers and bosses have been particularly amazing and accommodating. My family has also been absolutely amazing.

This Year
Conflicted. I am over the moon with joy about God putting Cai in our life, and I want to shout it from the roof tops, but sometimes I feel guilty shouting so loudly, because I know there are women struggling like I did, some who feel like they have no hope. I try to remember that I was excited and happy for people I knew who went from struggling to having a baby, but I also don't want to flaunt my happiness. There's almost a feeling of guilt for feeling so happy and fulfilled. It's another area where I need to find balance. Which reminds me, Logan of With Great Expectation, whose blog posts I have shared here here before, made a post this week about the conflict between the difficulty of being a mom and feeling guilty because other people are desperate for even the hard parts. I can honestly say that being a mom hasn't been super difficult for me yet, but I really struggled with those feeling while I was pregnant, especially in the last trimester when I was still puking, itching all over, aching, etc. I did not enjoy that at all, and I wanted to, and did, complain, but I was still thankful. Again, it's a difficult balance.






February 19, 2015

Cai Alexander: Three Months

Yesterday, Cai turned three months old. This is one of my favorite baby stages! He's starting to interact and his personality is beginning to show. Here's what's going on in Cai's world right now...

New Things: Cai has discovered his hands. They are constantly being chewed on, sucked on, and clasped against his chest. This was our first sign of another new thing, teething. He started the chewing a few weeks ago and followed it up with ridiculous amounts of drool. I thought it was highly unlikely that he was starting to teeth at two months, but in the past two days we've noticed a little bleeding on his gums where a first tooth usually shows up and some extra fussiness. He's still a happy baby, but there are times when you can tell he's uncomfortable. Thankfully it hasn't affected his ability to sleep through the night or to nurse comfortably. I do feel really bad for him though because he's not coordinated enough to put anything other than his hands in his mouth, so he can't even use a teether right now. I do plan to try giving him a frozen washcloth to gnaw on, and I bought some Hyland's teething tablets. 
Other than that, he has started to pay attention to toys around him, he can recognize mama from across the room. He smiles and giggles spontaneously at people. He has let a real belly laugh a few times, but it's difficult to make it happen. Actually, every time we've heard it has been while he's on the changing table, his favorite spot.  I'm pretty sure rolling over isn't too far away. He really likes to "stand"; sometimes it's actually difficult to get him to sit. He holds his head up pretty steadily almost all the time, unless he's about to fall asleep, then he looks like a drunk bald man.

Growth: Cai is now 13 lbs 1 oz. and 24 inches long which is perfectly average, right at the 50th percentile. He is still wearing 0-3 month clothes, but about half of those are too small.  He went through a growth spurt last week, nursing constantly. He went from spending an average of two and a half hours a day eating to five hours! I felt like I never left the couch! 
Sleep: Cai sleeps through the night almost every night. About once a week he will wake up once for a feeding, but he goes right back down. He sleeps from between 8-9 PM to 7-8:30 AM. For awhile we were struggling with getting him to go to sleep easily, but three out of the past four nights he has gone to sleep without a peep. I'm chalking it up to establishing a clearer routine for him. I nurse him in the living room, then bring him to his room, change his diaper, dim the lights, put a little bit of lavender lotion on him, swaddle him (with one arm out so he can suck on his fist), read him a Bible story, pray, sing him a lullaby, and lay him down. By the time I lay him down, he is almost asleep. It's great!
Naps on the other hand have been a bit trickier. For a long time he had been taking two 2-3 hour naps a day. Right now though, I can barely get him to sleep a full hour at a time. Most naps are over in twenty minutes. I think we need to establish a better routine for naps, and I think I need to discourage cat naps, and try to get him to go back to sleep if he wakes up to early. 

Diapering: I have finally gotten a handle on exactly what I'm eating that causes Cai's diaper rashes. I've found I can't have any fresh dairy at all. I can have butter, milk, etc. if it's baked inside things. I can't have cheese in any form. As long as I stay away from these things, he is totally rash free. I feel like cloth diapering helps with this too. We've had to use disposables a lot this week (we were without heat and hot water for a day and a half, so I couldn't wash the diapers), and it has made me super thankful for cloth. We had THREE blowouts in two days. I've never had one in cloth. In the defense of the disposables though, Cai has been pooping less lately, only once or twice a day (common for breastfed babies), and when he does poop, he poops A LOT. The elastic in the cloth diapers seems to hold this in better though. One of the nice things about the less frequent pooping is that if a little dairy slips into my meal, it doesn't affect his tushie as much as it did before.
Overall, Cai is a really easy baby. Like, to the point that I'm afraid that baby number 2 (Lord willing), will be quite a shock. Again, I know this could change at any moment, so I'm trying not to take it for granted. 







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