Weekend Reading Round Up

I don’t think I’d even notice it was the weekend right now except that Mr. G is sitting on the couch watching rugby with Baby on his lap and it’s the middle of the day. Funny how days just merge together when you’re home with a baby! Anyway, now that I’ve got some extra hands to help with Baby during the day, I’ve got time to read some articles I noticed during the week, but never got round to actually reading. It’s a small list again, but hey! I guess that’s a good sign that I’m starting to be able to read more these days 🙂

  1. Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt – I don’t know how I’d never stumbled across Momastery before, but there’s some really thought provoking stuff on there. Reading blogs, it’s easy to feel like you’re not quite measuring up or you need to work harder to present a beautiful happy front. This article is a nice reminder to be grateful for everything we do have and to enjoy it!
  2. Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask – I love Abigail Ahern’s design blog. It’s easy to get lost in her unusual approach to interiors. This post is for anyone thinking about or currently starting their own business.
  3. Salted Caramel & Apricot Pots – You guys, when I was about 8 months pregnant I inexplicably got a craving for salted caramel. I wish I could cook as well as Eva, but I can’t. And yet…I have to try this one out.

Any other articles out there worth reading this week?

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A Baby’s Brain

I find myself continuously amazed by Baby G’s progress these past few weeks. She’s gone from this little bundle that lay there and took everything in to this slightly bigger bundle that’s gurgling at me and trying to figure out how to grab things (including my nose and mouth when I look at her) and she’s even started rolling over. (Only one way, but still!) She’s also been watching myself and Mr. G eating at meal times with huge interest just these last few days. I think she’s getting ready to make another leap…it’s amazing to watch her develop.

I came across this interesting program on YouTube today – The Secret Life of the Brain (The Baby’s Brain). So interesting how their brain works. Makes you wonder the kinds of ways that are best for helping them along…

Introducing….1st Time Parent Podcast

So I’m starting a podcast for first time parents.

Yep. That’s a bold statement. But it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and hey…if I publish the idea on this blog, it’ll force me to follow through.

Below is the first episode which I’ve just finished. It’s not up on iTunes yet because I still have a few tweaks I want to make. Please feel free to listen and leave me comments! Would love your feedback. Hope you like it…

Episode One: Beginner Breastfeeding Survival Tips

Today’s episode looks at some tips that I found really useful or important when I began breastfeeding my daughter. In short, these tips are:

  1. Food & Water
  2. Breast pads
  3. Sleep Bras
  4. Breastfeeding Positions
  5. Lanolin
  6. The shower is your friend!
  7. Cabbage leaves
  8. Support groups

What did you find most useful when you were starting to breastfeed? Do you think I missed anything?

Teething at Two Months?!

You might think I’m crazy for suggesting this but I think Baby G is already teething (she’ll be 11 weeks old in 2 days).

For the last week, she just hasn’t been herself. She’s able to get to sleep, though that can be tricky sometimes, but when she’s awake she’s been crying more and more and it seems nothing we do can help her. Her symptoms include: crying and irritability, turning away from the boob, drooling, touching her cheeks and ears (with her tiny, jerky, newborn movements that I adore), sucking/chewing on her hand and anything else she can and also a change in dirty nappies.

I know…I’ve read from countless sources (like here) that teething typically occurs around 4 months. But I’ve also read that babies can be born with teeth (can you imagine?) and some sources (like here) seem to think teething can occur at any time…even as young as 2 months.

Last weekend, she was so upset we decided to give her some calpol and it actually worked. She fell asleep and when she woke up she was happy. For a few hours. Then the crying started up again.

Today, my sister gave me some Nelson’s Teetha Granules to try because they really helped when her daughter was teething. If you don’t know what they are – they’re basically camomile extract suitable for babies 1 month+. The camomile helps soothe them and calm them down. So this evening, when she really started to cry again, I put some of the granules on my finger and let her suck on them and repeated this until about half the sachet was gone. The result? She quietened down (I even got some smiles and chats!) and…SHE FELL ASLEEP. In her crib. On her own.

It may be a 1st time coincidence, but right now I feel like my suspicions have been confirmed.

Anyone else going through teething with their really young baby??

 

Baby Bedtime Problems

Ok.

When I was pregnant I read quite a bit. Books like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and “The Happiest Baby On The Block”. I enjoyed reading about everything I was going through, what the baby inside me was going through and what I could expect for the first little while after we brought her home from the hospital. But I was so bombarded with all the pregnancy and delivery stuff (I was pretty scared about going into labour for the first time) that I kind of had no room for all the stuff that came AFTER the delivery. I figured I’d be able to do my reading about that when I had my baby beside me and could actually put into practice what I was learning.

Good joke! Who has time or free hands to read a book when they have a newborn?!

Anyway, one of the ideas I came across before I gave birth was the ‘4th Trimester’ in “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Karp. I really loved this idea and knew that was something I’d want to follow from the beginning. Dr Karp believes that all human babies are born 3 months before they’re fully ready to be part of the outside world unlike any other animals who are born ready to survive. The reason behind this is because the human brain grows so rapidly in those final 3 months that if the baby stayed inside the mother the head would be far too large to be birthed naturally. He believes we should treat the first 3 months of a baby’s life essentially as the 4th trimester of pregnancy. This means responding to them when they call (or cry) for you.

I also knew that Baby G would sleep in our room – but in a co-sleeper. I was worried about the dangers of her being in the bed with us. We bought a crib and assembled it next to our bed, but honestly she was so tiny inside it and reaching in and out constantly in the middle of the night was just not working. So after losing my mind a couple of times (and hurting my back and knocking my head once or twice) Baby G began to end up in the actual bed with us which made me very nervous. So I did some research for actual co-sleepers and came across the SnuzPod. This seemed to be the perfect solution – it fit perfectly with our bed, was a better size for our tiny little baby and it easily transforms into a stand alone crib for when we want to start establishing some independence. So I bought the pod hoping it would be the answer to my prayers and well…it kind of was but it also really wasn’t. Feeding became so much easier but Baby G still wanted to sleep mostly beside us in the bed. It’s like she could tell the difference between her mattress and ours and she’d rarely want to go to sleep in it. It was becoming impossible to get her to go to bed on her own. She always wanted to be with us and sensed the second we wanted to put her down and would start crying. She was happier (and quiet) when she was with us.

I also have to say that it’s been this way since day one. I tried to get her to sleep in her own crib beside us from the very beginning but she always hated being on her own.

So then I went looking for ideas. Everyone was telling me over and over that we needed a proper BEDTIME ROUTINE. But how do you establish a bedtime routine with a baby who is different every single day? Some days she’s sleepy, other days she’s active. Some days she’s constantly hungry, other days she just snacks. Some days she’s fussy and other other days she’s so easy going and happy. But we were slacking on a proper routine – but that’s part of being new parents right? So we decided to come up with a real routine to follow.

Our current bedtime routine is this:

  • Bring Baby G into the bedroom and close the curtains. Turn on her night light which plays some lullabies to signal it’s bed time.
  • Feed her. (If she’s hungry at this point. Sometimes she’s not interested in anything other than a snack).
  • Change her nappy and put her into a bedtime onesie. Every other night we also give her a bath.
  • Read her a story.
  • Rock her a little and then place her gently down in her crib to sleep.

But here’s my problem. Once I get her into the bedroom, she may or may not start crying. And crying. And crying and crying. If she’s crying I can’t read her a story and we tried to soothe her with a bath once but it just made her worse. Sometimes her crying can last 30 minutes and other times it can take me 3 hours to settle her. She doesn’t have collic, and she isn’t a baby that usually cries unless something’s wrong or she wants something. She’s normally very placid.

But for whatever reason, the evenings seem to be our problem. Some evenings the bedtime routine works easily and really makes my day. But on those other evenings, pacing around the bedroom, putting her down and picking her back up to soothe her and trying to put her down again repeatedly for 3 hours is just not sustainable. My back and neck are in bits and it means we have no time together in the evenings. It’s also not fair on her because she spends her evenings before bed so upset. But there’s just no telling what way the routine will go. (You know, I think she might be starting to teethe but everyone’s telling me she’s too young at 10 weeks).

So I went looking for better ideas. Another blogger, Amie from Bump Baby & Me, suggested I check out Tracy Hogg’s “The Baby Whisperer”. Knowing I couldn’t really find time to read a full book I decided to buy the audio book. I listened to it the first night through and went through everything she suggested (pick up to soothe and then put back down once they stop crying). And you know what? That night was the first time she slept through for 6 hours. I thought I’d hit the jackpot!

Until I repeated the routine step by step and almost word for word the following night and all hell broke loose. Nothing I did would help her settle and it took 3 hours for her to just tire herself out and go to sleep. She was awake every 2 hours that night and she hasn’t slept for 6 hours solid since.

Right now I’m itching to implement a proper bedtime routine that works but we haven’t been able to find a consistency that works for us. I’ve even considered letting her cry it out – but I don’t want to do anything like that until she’s at least 3 months old. Even then, I’m not sure I’m strong enough for it. Maybe I have to be. But really how can you rely on a bedtime routine for someone so new to the world? She’s growing and changing so much – some days she’s more alert than others. I can’t really expect her to do anything she doesn’t want to do, right?

In the meantime, I’ve started keeping a baby sleep diary trying to track her routine (I’ll do another post on that soon). I have a few weeks before she is officially 3 months and out of the 4th trimester. Until then, I’m reading small bits when I can, I’m listening to podcasts and audiobooks and I’m watching the baby for any sleep patterns she might have.

Has anyone had similar experiences to me? I’d be interested to hear how you are all getting on with your own bedtime routines. Any and all suggestions welcome!

 

Weekend Reading – For New Moms

Being a new mum you, like me, probably find it hard to find the time to sit down and read things or just peruse the internet. Here’s a list of some interesting articles I’ve come across and hope to get through this weekend!

  1. Things To Do For a New Mama – I love this list put together by Erika over on To The Sea. I’ve been thinking about doing a similar post myself and this just gives me more motivation to do so!
  2. I Am Not a Human Pacifier – a must read for all breast feeding momma’s out there! Sometimes it’s easy to feel drained by being boob on demand, particularly on those days when you’re really tired. But this piece really puts it all in perspective and reminds just how wonderful an experience breast feeding is.
  3. The Day I Left My Son In The Car – something to be learned by everyone (parents and non-parents alike) in this piece posted on Salon.com

I wish this post could be longer, but unfortunately I don’t have that much time to even find things to bookmark that I’d like to read for later on! Also…it’s about quality, not quantity 🙂

Got any other articles worth reading? Please share them with us in the comments below!