Thursday, October 7, 2010

24 days

What's new in Birdie land? Isn't it a wonder how much a newborn changes daily! Each day, she is becoming more and more interactive. Yesterday I was greeting her post-nap with my usual huge smile and "mommy loves you" repeated in silly voices and I got a tiny smile back. I quickly called her daddy, and she did it again leaving me and husband jumping for joy. Oh how your definition of "success" changes. Lately give me several wet diapers and chubbier by the day cheeks and I feel like I'm having the best day ever.
I've been feeling slightly lonely recently- we still are not going out much, other than for walks around the neighborhood and I'd been mostly discouraging visitors trying to get a hang of Birdie's needs/routine first and it's easier dealing with her fussy moods without guests around. Today I had my pregnancy buddy (who's little boy is two months old) come over for a play-date and she was absolutely surprised at how alert and active Birdie is. She loves being held up with her chin resting on my shoulder and observing the world with her neck held straight. Our little one came out of my womb eyes wide open, and she was lifting her neck from day one. Now she turns her head to follow noises, makes eye contact and stares for long periods of time with an intense gaze and new faces/art work... I'm also feeling far more confident about having folks over, so we are going to start having friends over more often now.
So we're doing better, both her and I. I feel like every day is a learning day, and we're surely (albeit slowly) learning how to read her moods, how to soothe her etc. Not saying by any means that I'm an expert, but somethings that have helped recently:
  • white noise: husband discovered that Birdie loved the sound of the faucet on when she was having one of her crying fits. Since then I've downloaded the white noise app on my iPhone and she falls asleep well to the sound of waves or rain fall. It's been a life saver
  • sleeping on her tummy: I know this one is controversial but we realised that the reason our little one may be so fussy day time is that she wasn't napping at all. She'd fall asleep nursing and would sleep on my lap but as soon as I put her down in her crib, she'd be awake a few minutes later. Now I let her sleep on my lap for longer until she's in deep sleep, and for one afternoon nap I transfer her to my bed and lay her on her belly. I get a book and sit on the bed next to her and keep a close eye on her. She sleeps really well this way and gets in atleast one afternoon 2 hour nap. She's been a whole lot unfussier as a result. My mom said when we were babies, we usually slept on our bellies and that it really helps a baby with intestinal issues/gas etc. Whatever it is- it works!
  • Burping: I'd try burping her and sometimes she's let one out, but often times after a minute or two I'd give up. Now I make sure to get a good burp out of her after each feeding. New positions have helped: for Birdie, bouncing her in my lap for a few seconds and then cupping her chin and leaning her over slightly seem to work usually. The position I was taught with her resting on my shoulder, tapping her back rarely worked for us.
  • Not over stimulating her: it goes against instinct. Usually when she's fussy, we'd try everything under the roof to see if it'd work, and in doing that overstimulate her even more it seems. Now we try to keep things as calm as possible and maybe try one or two things at most, and she calms down easier
  • Evening massage time: I use warm organic extra virgin olive oil and give my little one a gentle massage. Back home, babies get massages twice a day and it is said to help with everything from circulation to easing their growing pains and aid in relaxing them. We've started giving Birdie a massage each evening to establish some resemblance of a routine- I'll nurse her around 9pm, we'll do a massage, diaper change, pajamas, and then one more feeding before rocking her to sleep around 11pm. She sleeps really well after this.

These are small tricks that have worked for us. It's interesting how each baby is so different- after a few fussy evenings, we offered her a pacifier and she wouldn't take it (tried Avent, Nuk, Soothie..). She also doesn't like the Swing that so many blog parents have raved about.

My breast pump arrived today so I'm beyond excited to try that out and hopefully become more mobile as a result. Last weekend, husband and I ventured a little further from home than we had with Birdie and went to do some cold weather clothing shopping for her. She was behaving fine, so we even bought some coffee and falafel sandwiches to enjoy in the park. I used my nursing cape to feed her in public (a first! and it wasn't so bad other than my aching arms...). I was glad to see I was fine doing this, but I still think pumping will be easier in NY. Especially now as it gets chillier.

So that's our update. My little one has been sleeping 6-8 hours straight most nights (we checked with her dr and she said up to 8 hours was fine and not to wake her up to feed her!!) which has been amazing. Granted I'm still getting up every hour or two to check on her, but it's still amazing. She is usually famished when she does wake up and I think we make up for it day time by having lots and lots of nursing time.

In short that is how we're doing- I've never been more tired, and at times I miss mini-aspects of my pre-baby life (dying to go Fall shopping!!) but each and every day with Birdie is so much fun and I'm loving motherhood. Especially as we learn more about our babe and how to keep her calm and happy :)


Amber said...

My little one doesn't like the swing or pacifiers either. In fact, she gets really angry when I even get near the swing...

Yay for a good sleeper! That's the best thing for your sanity! I definitely say let her sleep as long as she will- waking her up has never done us any good. :)

Jill said...

We have the same bouncy seat! Baby Girl didn't use to care about the music/lights but now she loves them! And I am always finding myself humming the songs from it at work!

Glad you are all doing well!

K said...

I'm not sure where you are in the city, but when you're ready, check out MeetUp for Moms groups. There's a pretty active group in Astoria, which I'm looking forward to joining come January.

Courtney said...

Things look great! Birdie is so adorable!
I hope you are feeling great too!