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.