Life so far with baby Will

I’m going to try to keep track of how things are going here, but with a few notes. I’m a little bit afraid of anyone chiming in saying “Parenting, UR Doin it wrong”. This is just what we’ve done so far, what’s worked and what hasn’t, and our experiences as they’ve happened. Feel free to offer advice, but we may or may not decide to do things that way. Having a baby in the family has totally re-arranged our daily routine (just ask Trigger how he feels about his new restrictions), but neither of us would say we have a difficult baby … at least just yet! He’s 5 days old today, so obviously we have a long ways to go 🙂 This is my journal / baby book for Will, and I’m hoping I won’t regret choosing to make it public for anyone to read! I’ve benefitted from reading the experiences of other new mommies, though, both good and bad. If I liked talking on the phone we could all have this chat in person, but instead it’ll be a little bit more of a one-sided conversation. I love getting comments and facebook messages that let me know you’ve been reading, though!

– Receiving blankets: I had heard that we’d get a lot of blankets for gifts, and of course I couldn’t help but make a quilt and a few blankets myself, so I didn’t wash them all right at once. I realized at the hospital, though, that it’s possible to go through quite a few of the thin flannel receiving blankets by the time they get peed on, spit up on, and occasionally used two at a time for a good swaddle. So one of the first things I did when we got home was to wash the six pack of Carter’s blankets we had but I wasn’t sure we’d need, and pull out all of the lightweight blankets I’d already washed. Thicker blankets I drape loosely over the bassinet if our bedroom is feeling a little cool.

– We have a flailer! Will isn’t very happy being swaddled with his arms in, although he does seem to fall asleep best at night in a loose swaddle. When I hear him wake up in the morning, though, it’s not unusual to find him having kicked all of his blankets free, and this morning he had even managed to pull his arm out of his shirt. Sometimes his activity makes him “roll” his body from his back to his side, and a lot of times when we’re holding him he’ll push off to “climb” further up our bodies. It’s fun seeing how much he’s already developing his muscles.

– Confused days and nights: Will’s biggest stretch of awake time seems to be in the middle of the night, and he’s not thrilled about being on his own when he’s wide awake. He also “cluster feeds” during this time period, so I just have to be prepared to be awake for a long stretch in the middle of the night, and nurse up to five times with short naps and/or diaper changes in between. Once we make it to 3 or 4 am, he sleeps for about 4 hours. After the first daylight feeding, I can pass him off to Carl and get a nap in before we start the day. Each night seems easier, so either we’re sleeping a little more each night or I’m adjusting to the schedule. During the day I can get things done while Will naps if I set him in his bassinet, but a lot of times one of us holds him just because it’s more likely to guarantee that he’ll stay asleep. We encourage him to be awake as long as he can during the day, but we’re not going to worry about a sleep schedule until we’re out of the super-frequent feeding schedule of a newborn. So far we’re not feeling the effects of sleep deprivation too badly either, but we’re also taking it pretty easy ourselves. The first night in the hospital we hardly slept at all because he’d been spitting up and we were so nervous that he’d choke on his spit up if it started happening while he was lying on his back in the crib. We still listen carefully for sounds in the night and sleep lightly, but we’re not as nervous as we were that night! We were wondering then if we’d have to trade off sleeping so that one of us could be sitting up holding him, but the reflux seems to have settled down a little and he’s not as fussy.

– Nursing: Will latched on right away and seems to be doing well, although we’re going back to the doctor tomorrow morning to check on his weight. My milk came in on Thursday night, but today I can tell the volume has increased – one book I read called it the “abundant supply”. So today’s the first day I’ve felt any tenderness if we’ve gone too long in between feedings. The biggest thing we’re dealing with is keeping him awake the whole time he’s eating, and usually by the time he’s finished with one side he’s asleep again. So he doesn’t really eat from both sides every time, but will do 30 minutes on one side and then after a short nap will wake up for 30 minutes on the other side. He’ll sleep then for a couple hours unless it’s the middle of the night when we repeat the cycle a couple more times.

– Diapers: I’m still learning to change boy diapers without making a big mess. We’ve had a couple wet leaks, but I don’t know if that’s because of the fit of the diapers we’re using right now or if they were just on wrong. I’m not planning on starting the cloth diapers until his wound is healed sometime next week, since he kicks quite a bit when he feels the air and it’s all I can do to get the discomfort over quickly.

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4 thoughts on “Life so far with baby Will

  1. I thank you for sharing. I don’t have advice and would never give out any if I did. I cannot tell you how tired I am of hearing what everyone has to say about this and that regarding kids. I would like to ask you about which cloth diapers you chose to use and what kind of things you packed in your hospital bag, if you don’t mind sharing?

    Thank you and congratulations on having a beautiful healthy baby boy!

    • Great questions! I’ll post my answers as a blog post later, too. I’m not completely settled on a kind of cloth diaper. Every brand seemed to have its pros and cons and people who liked it based on one feature or another. I didn’t want to make the investment in 20 diapers of one kind and then not like them. I think we’re going to go primarily with prefolds with snappis & thirsties covers, but we haven’t started yet and I’m already wondering if I’ll be annoyed by how long it takes to change each one, now that we’ve had several accidents in the process of diaper changes. We also have a couple bumgenius & a 5-pack of kushies. The kushies are a lot cheaper, but there must be a reason that bumgenius have such a loyal following, too. I’m trying to remind myself that the investment will pay off over time, but they’re just so expensive to start with!

      Hospital bag – I actually packed in advance, thanks to reminders from Carl, but he didn’t pack all of his stuff until we were rushing out the door, and I don’t think I followed much of a system in packing based on what I ended up with. What we brought: – sparkling juice for a toast, we totally forgot to do in the excitement of having a new baby – camera – camera cord, phone chargers, computer, computer charger – Playstation (so we could watch movies in our room) – flip-flops for the shower – my legs didn’t feel well enough to use the shower while I was in labor, though – slippers – didn’t really use – pajamas, nursing tank & bra – I changed into pj’s on day 2 because I was tired of the lack of coverage from the hospital gown. I somehow didn’t have enough t-shirts, though, just one to go home in, so I ended up wearing one of Carl’s – robe – didn’t use, changed to my pajamas when I got tired of the hospital gown and didn’t leave the room a whole lot anyway – quilt/pillow – I used the pillow, Carl used the quilt (could have used a sleeping bag) – sleeping mat for Carl – he appreciated being able to sleep flat on the floor instead of partially propped up by the recliner. – snacks: I appreciated having some fruit to snack on when it wasn’t time to order a meal – toiletries: I didn’t actually shower until we were getting ready to go home. Of course I couldn’t find a comb for my hair (must have gotten left behind in the rush out the door) and of course I had brought shampoo but no conditioner so my hair was a real mess. I also couldn’t find the soap provided by the hospital, but I had planned on using shampoo for that anyway. – books/magazines: I was glad to have a few things to flip through. There were a lot of hours when the baby wasn’t in our room and tv/movies alone got kind of old.

      What I wish I would have known: – bring your medications! The hospital pharmacy didn’t have everything I take in stock, so I was responsible for getting that and Carl had to make a run to Walgreen’s for my over-the-counter meds – bring an extra outfit for the baby…we brought a couple sizes because we didn’t know how big he’d be, but of course I got him dressed to leave and his diaper immediately leaked all of the place.

  2. micahandheather says:

    You are Will’s only mommy so you get to raise him how you want & he will think you are wonderful. You are his whole world right now! Don’t worry about what other people may try & tell you!

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