Brain dump, life with a six-week old edition

I’m tired. Not the all-encompassing OhMyGodIMightPukeI’mSoTired kind of tired, more like the EveryThreeHoursOverandOverandOhMyGodThisisForever kind of tired.

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aka: the “looking into the horizon at my unlimited future Senior Picture” pose

I haven’t blogged because I’m not sure what to say. Unloading my anxieties just makes me feel bad afterward; I’m not at the point yet where I have solutions and when I do, I’m past the point of having the time to blog about them.

Case in point: when breastfeeding, rather than try to guide the kid’s head by his head, instead put your hand on his upper back/ neck and make sure he’s solid there. He’ll then be free to bob his head until he’s comfortable. Newborns have a surprising amount of head control.

Also: when the latch is good, his body will relax. In addition to listening for the sounds of swallowing and making sure his lips look like a fish’s, check out this body language. This is also helpful to know when making sure the kid doesn’t drown when drinking from a bottle or when confirming he’s ready for sleepy time and happy with his pacifier (rather than hungry). Relaxed body = good.

By the time I’ve learned, I’ve moved on, and time is too precious to spend blogging about things that don’t directly affect my life right this minute. (Exceptions: the hours I spend mindlessly catching up on posts in my Reader – but lacking the energy to comment – and those spent researching yet another doodad we need to buy. This kid is worse for the bank account than all of our hobbies put together.)

~~~

So, every three-ish hours, the cycle of eat-play(=diaper change)-sleep repeats. On a good day. On a not-so-good day, the cycle is shorter and less under control, with both parents frantically guessing at what might help and the kid getting increasingly annoyed and frantic.

And because I am a Rule Follower (hi, I’m a nerd), I jump from one baby-management framework to another, never feeling like I’m doing them “right” but not willing to insist we adapt to allow for that.

I’ve now read at least four books on babies and sleeping (not to mention the $30 blown on Moms on Call). The only change in our lives, it seems, is that my level of anxiety because we’re not doing it right is increasing. Fail.

This week, week six, the glorious week six we’ve been looking forward to since the craziness of week four began, week six is finally behind us. And still, we’ve spent half our days on the verge of frantic, trying to figure out what’s up with the kid.

We take him out in public and people stop us to chat, unable to resist telling us about their own kids. The sweet ones look at us sympathetically and assure us that things get better. We try to smile, bleary-eyed and not quite sure we’re ready to hope.

This son of ours, he’s an experiment, a guinea pig, our first born not-the-control study. I spent so much time apologizing to him for not knowing what the hell I was doing, I felt like, “I’m sorry” would be his first words. We do things like buy generic formula because it seems like a good idea then all suffer the consequences (hello, no sleep). (Another post I won’t get around to writing should be titled, “Even If the Ingredients Are the Same, It May Not Be QUITE the Same.” Or another called, “Switching from Enfamil to Similac May Cause Exorcist-style Puking.”) We swap from tracking wakefulness to tracking feeding intervals and back. We hand him off like a hot potato, trading kid-for-wine and back.

God love this little guinea pig, he sure is cute.

~~~

I’m going to tempt fate and share a few things because I found it so helpful when my fellow bloggers did the same.

As of this moment, I’m NOT SAYING* the following might be sort of working*:

  • Tracking feeding intervals so we don’t constantly try to feed the kid when he’s fussy. He’ll sort of eat, then get annoyed, then we get annoyed, then things deteriorate. So, we track feeding intervals and shoot for at least 2.5 hours between bottles. Next week, we shoot for three- and four-hour intervals.
  • Tracking awake times so we know when fussy = sleepy, approximately 80 minutes from the time he last woke up. For a few days I thought the 90 minute guideline was a rule, but it’s really just a hint around here. Sometimes he’s sleepy way sooner, other time not at all, but it’s helpful.
  • What if feeding and awake intervals collide? Last week I let the awake win, this week I’m paying more attention to the feeding times. I’ll let you know if I work out the math problem.
  • The Baby Connect iPhone/ iPod app. Sara recommended it and I paid five bucks in desperation one morning, and man, the thing is great. I particularly like the graph showing weight percentiles (go, baby boy, go!) and the little bubble that tells me how much he’d eaten or slept as of this moment yesterday so I can compare.  Also helpful: you can enter info online, although the graphs aren’t available there. Since my iPod is now a really expensive white noise machine for the kiddo, I can retreat to the living room to log his latest bottle.
  • Swaddle blankets by Summer. I don’t mind swaddling with a regular flat blanket (in fact, I made like five of them and quite fancy them, thankyouverymuch), but my husband can’t manage to make it work, so we broke out the one velcro blanket we got as a gift and then promptly ordered three more. I know lots of people prefer the Miracle Blanket and I kind of want the Halo Sleepsack Swaddler, but these were less expensive so we can have one everywhere we look. No more frantic 3 am searches for the one special swaddler.

More later. I’m off to blow my glorious evening quiet hours doing nothing productive and continuing my prayers to the gods of sleep and parenthood that my child stays asleep for a while.

*Parents of infants are very superstitious. “Where is the SPECIAL swaddle  blanket? You know, the one he slept in for 5 hours the other night?” So we don’t say anything is working, EVER, lest it stop working because we’ve jinxed it. Yes, we’re like third graders now. I’m NOT saying any of this stuff is working, wink, wink.

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We play the smoochy game, where I smooch him over and over and he leans into it and smiles. *swoon* Thank you, God, for giving me a kid who leans into smoochies from his mama. (Please note that his camo print shorts are actually dinosaurs.)

P.S. I’m stroller shopping. Does anybody know anybody that didn’t love their Bob stroller? So far all I find are raves, but I’m feeling like I’m not quite hard core enough
for a Bob.

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10 thoughts on “Brain dump, life with a six-week old edition

  1. I’d consider a Baby Jogger Summit. It’s a great stroller very similar to the Bob, but a little cheaper since Bob raised their price this year. It’s got a great sun canopy that offers really great coverage and it moves like a dream. The straps are more padded too. But the Bob would have been my second choice; I don’t think you can go wrong with it. The wheels are wide though, so don’t expect to easily navigate department stores easily.

    • @Diana, I should have mentioned that I just bought an Uppababy G-Luxe, so I’m covered on the “lightweight and easy to maneuver” side. That said, our greenways are really rough, so I’d like something a little more rugged.

      The Baby Jogger strollers look way bigger than Bob’s. I’ll go compare measurements.

      • @Marisa, Just a FYI The Summit is the Bob Revolution equivalent. I took ours this weekend to a local state park and were going over some of the smoother hiking trails and it handled it with no problem. It’s a whole different world than the City series.

      • @Diana, Also, I saw them side by side in Buy Buy Baby and they were the same size. I liked that the Baby Jogger Summit looked a little more sleek. But I’ve heard many raves about the Bob and the one time I ran with one, I was really nice.

  2. Oh marisa!

    1. My baby never fell into any book proclaimed routine/cycle of eat/play/sleep. She actually fell into what http://www.askmoxie.com wrote about the “2, 3, 4 sleep cycle”;
    ****Once babies hit 6 months or so, many of them will settle into a 2-3-4 pattern. That means that they’ll take their first nap 2 hours after waking up in the morning. They’ll take their second nap 3 hours after waking up from the first nap. They’ll go down for the night 4 hours after waking from the second nap. Not all kids do this, but a surprising number of them seem to****=
    http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/2005/12/quick_and_dirty.html

    I would recommend making yourself feel better and COMB through the ask moxie website. It did me WONDERS when i read the topics and comments sections where there wasn’t any mommy bullying. It is just full of brutal mommy sharing and made me feel like “yes! I am not the only one who has unpredictable sleep with a baby- its not my parenting! Its about BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!!” 😉

    Cant say i have any experience with any other stroller besides the BOB revolution 2010… And the UppaBaby Gluxe. We love them both.

    One thing- do you habe an exercise ball? I held my baby and gently bounced on thd ball COUNTLESS hours- it help me get her to chill out & sleep when i couldnt pace/walk/cradle the baby in my arms.

    Hang in there mommacita. I too had anxiousness about caring for my newborn. She cried A LOT! it was horrible. If i could send a message in a bottle to the me caring for my daughter at 1, 2, 3 months i would say “sleep when the baby sleeps…. And record every show u like on tv so when u are up late at night ‘killing time’ u have something to do” 😉

  3. I’ve got to rave about the BOB – even if you aren’t a big runner, it is such a nice stroller to take on walks, esp if you’ve got rough terrain (or even sidewalks) where you are. (we have the revolution SE) I use it as our everyday stroller too. yesterday marked 6 weeks for our little guy and seriously- I swear he likes to wake up every 1.5 hours unless I have him sleeping right next to me…which may or may not be forming bad habits that I won’t be able to break. right? goal of this week: keep him in his crib for at least 5 hours (non-consecutive) a night. 🙂

  4. Your little man is so beautiful! What a great looking little guy.

    I am so curious about the Bob, all the families in our neighborhood have one (yes, I recognize strollers by brand…) and it looks so great

  5. The BOB stroller is AWESOME!!! It’s our only stroller (besides the snap & go when she was little) and we use it all the time. It’s a little bulky for going to the doctors office or whatever, but who cares. The thing just rocks. I love it because it’s so easy to push, it reclines for naps during walks or sits up so the babe can see. It turns on a dime. The storage pocket underneath is big. The console you can get ($20) is great for drinks and has a zip pouch for your phone. The seat part has two little pockets for sippy cups and pacifiers. The straps are soft. If you want to go for a run (I have not) the front wheel locks straight, otherwise, it turns 360 degrees and makes turning effortless, even with a big kid (I think it goes up to 40 lbs? My kid is only 22 lbs). We were even able to find a little tiny bike pump that straps to the back of the frame to pump up the tires when we need to. I love the wheels because they are like bike wheels, not plastic like most. That means a smooth ride all the time for the babe, even when going over gravel or a not-well-paved sidewalk. I always felt like the plastic wheels of my snap-n-go got gritty and bumpy. Not the BOB.

    I love my million dollar stroller. In my past life (before kids) I would have never dreamed of spending almost $400 on a stroller… but man, I love that thing. So.Totally.Worth.It.

  6. We decided on a Baby Jogger Summit XC over the BOB… a bit less expensive, has three wheel suspension, hand break and one hand folding…and I’ve heard great reviews. I read that the BOB was kind of big but nothing else bad about it.

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