Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Quarter Year!

We did it! We made it to three months! Hurray!

Contrary to everything I read and was told, things haven't magically changed at the three month mark. That's OK. Although I hoped he magically wouldn't be so high-needs at three months, I figured it wasn't likely. Last night was his worst night for a long, long (long) time. He got up no less than six times. Later, I read his baby book. It's crazy to think that, just a short month ago, he was sleeping 10 hours at night, only getting up once. I miss that uninterupted sleep!

The difficult night was preceded by a very difficult evening. He cried and wailed like he used to, and he was only contented by nursing. I think he's teething, and I think he has been for about four or five weeks. Really, that's the only thing (I think) that explains the drastic shift in sleep and behavior. Besides, he's been a drool machine for weeks (he sops through his clothes every hour if I don't diligently wipe his mouth). He gnaws on everything. Also, he's been wanting to eat every hour again instead of his usual 2.5 hours. I discovered this morning that he's contented by sucking on my finger. Still, I don't see or feel any teeth. Hopefully, they'll come soon.

In other sleep news, he's letting me put him in his infant seat for naps! OK, so he doesn't fall alseep in there on his own much (he's only done that a handful of times), but he no longer wakes up screaming as soon as his back touches it. This is allowing me to get a few things done around the house. On the down side, his naps don't last that long (half an hour or so) because when he wakes up, he wants to be picked back up right away. Hopefully, he'll learn to extend that out because I read somewhere that babies don't get through a full sleep cycle unless they sleep one full hour.

This month, Oliver has both forgotten and re-learned how to drink from a bottle. I freaked out for a few weeks that I'd never be able to leave home for more than two hours, ever, but Andrew jumped in and taught our boy how to drink from the bottle.

Also, he's started to watch TV! He loves it. I hate that, to be honest. I used to watch TV while nursing him, just to pass the time. A couple of weeks ago, he started craning his head back to watch, too! So now I keep it off.

Of course, there have been many positive changes and developments this month as well. He's really starting to sit well! One of his favorite things to do is sit on the counter while Andrew supports him. Seriously, Andrew can support him with two fingers. He just sits there, looking around, looking like a big boy.

He's also getting closer to rolling over, and he's finally letting us put him on his tummy for short stints. A couple of times, while he was on his back, he's flipped himself onto his side. However, he doesn't have the strength yet to push himself over his shoulder. I think it'll be a while because I need to help him a lot to get him over that hump! Maybe he'll learn to roll front to back this month. We'll have to wait and see!

He's getting really, really good at using his hands. He grabs his animals on his bouncer and turns them around, studying them. He also grabs and holds onto the animals in his gym (I call his play mat his jungle gym). Although he has to put a lot of effort in, he can use his hand and go straight for objects; he no longer has to do general sweeping motions to catch his toys. And, of course, he's completely mastered sucking his hands! He's always been good at it, but he used to have to pin them down to get ahold of them. Now, he goes straight for his mouth!

Oliver's been talking so much, too. In addition to his vowels, he's using a lot of consonents. His favorite is the letter "H," but he also uses "N" and "G" a lot. He's used "M" and "L" and "Th" and "W." His most recent sound is "Buh," but he doesn't use that much.

He can entertain himself for periods of time, too. He'll sit in his bouncy chair, playing, while I shower. He'll also sit and play with his favorite toy, Froggy, in the mornings while I eat a bowl of cereal. These changes have allowed us a little more freedom. This month, we took him to the store for the first time (he's gone to Costco and Safeway). He's gone to the post office a few times, and he lasted a full hour at Starbucks (and even then, he didn't throw a fit; he just got fussy). Yesterday, I took him to Andrew's work to show him off to all of his coworkers (they loved him, of course!! Ollie was so good), and then we went out to eat for the first time ever with Oliver. We went to Chipotle! Oliver played for about 10 minutes on his own while we ate. Just as we were finishing up, he started fussing. We wolfed down the last of our food and left before his fusses turned into cries. It felt really great to go out to eat, the three of us.

At three months old, these are Oliver's likes:

*Sitting on the counter
*Raffi the Giraffe (It's the most creative name I've come up with for any of his toys)

*Playing in his "jungle gym"
*Pulling on the lion in his bouncy chair
*Being naked
*Talking to us on the changing table
*Sucking his hands
*Watching the ceiling fan

*Watching TV (unfortunately!)
*Being read to (sometimes, he turns the pages! I think that's an accident.)
*Taking baths (I think. It's hard to tell, but he never cries and always splashes)
*Watching us eat
*Apples (I let him gum at my apple, and he loved it! I'm trying to be good and not do that again)
*The stove vent
*His reflection
*Going upstairs
*Outside (we walked to the mail box once, and he dug it)

*The car seat
*Hats (although it's getting much better)
*Pants (although that's getting better, too)
*Red stoplights (keep driving!)
*Going downstairs
*Getting his diaper changed at night
*8pm bedtime (he always wants to go to sleep earlier and earlier!)
*Wet diapers
*Daddy holding him facing inwards (it's OK for Mommy to, though)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Updated Sleeping Habits

Oliver put himself to sleep again today! He amazes me daily. I was holding him, and he was getting a little drowsy. I was hoping he'd fall asleep because I really had to use the bathroom. After a few minutes, I decided I couldn't wait any more. I plopped him in his infant seat, handed him his frog in hopes it would keep him from crying, and ran to the bathroom. When I was done, Ollie was sound asleep in his chair.

Contrary to what a lot of experts say, napping well has definitely effected his night time sleeping. He's getting much-needed sleep this way, so I'm not complaining (too much). He insists on getting up at 5am these days. Before, when he wasn't napping well, he almost always slept until at least 6:30am (and occassionally until 7:30am).

In other news, he's getting close to rolling over from back to front! He's pulling his knees up to his chest and rolling like a ball. He just barely doesn't have enough thrust to make it over his shoulder. Soon, though! He's going to hate it when he does...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Oliver Puts Himself to Sleep (Twice)

"Put him to bed when he's still a little awake." Many people, from the nurse at the hospital to random people on, advised me to make sure Oliver was still slightly awake before putting him to bed. I followed that advise on nights Oliver was in a good mood. I'd rock and pat him until he was almost completely asleep, and then I'd set him down in his crib. Sometimes, he'd stir, but then he'd fall back asleep.

Last night, however, when I set him down for the night, his eyes flew open. Rather than going through our nighttime routine again, I decided to let him try to go to bed on his own. I pat him on his belly and said, "Good night; sleep tight." And I left the room. That was it. He fell asleep on his own!

Oliver got up at midnight for his feeding, which is very early for him. Then, at 2am, he woke up again. I listened to him fuss and squirm as I tried to muster up the energy to get out of bed again. Then, instead of going into a full-on cry, Oliver fell asleep. He put himself to sleep again! And he proceeded to sleep until 5am. Way to go, Boy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Thankfully, Oliver is almost over his cold. He's been stuffy and waking up a lot in the middle of the night. Last night, he finally went back to his old routine of one middle-of-the-night feeding. It was just in time, too, as I was getting very tired and irritable from lack of sleep. Seriously, I was down to about 4 hours a night for the last few days!

We've been casually working on a few minor problems. Andrew's been giving Ollie a bottle of expressed breast milk almost every day in hopes of re-teaching him how to drink from the bottle. He's latched on to the bottle three times and drank about half an ounce each time before gnawing on the bottle nipple.

Also, thanks to advice from friends, Oliver's getting more tummy time. See, he's supposed to have about 30 minutes of tummy time daily to strengthen his head and neck as well as give him the opportunity to learn to roll over. He hates it, though, and was down to about 30 seconds of tummy time a day. We finally tried putting him on hisbelly on the boppy, and it works much better. He'll lay for a full minute before flipping out!

In other news, I can officially take showers! Oliver likes his bouncy chair well enough that I can put him in it for ten full minutes at a time! When he's in a good mood (post-nap and -feeding), I set the bouncy chair in front of the bathroom door, and I'm able to take a nice shower. Thank goodness!

And, lastly, we took Oliver to the grocery store for the first time this week! On Sunday, I nursed Oliver and then put him in his car seat. He was peeved at first, but by the time we got to Costco, he was asleep. The motion of the cart and the noise of the store kept him asleep. He didn't wake up until we got back to the car (but he did wail the whole way home). I felt a surge of hope. Perhaps I wouldn't be confined at home with him any more! Yesterday, I repeated the process from Sunday. He was asleep when we reached Safeway. We ran in, grabbed some soy sausages and were back in the car before he woke up, crying. Success!

At nearly three months old, Oliver is starting to grow a little more independent. I'm happy he lets us set him down sometimes and lets us sit down while holding him (if only for short periods of time). I'm also so happy to know we can make quick trips to the grocery store and I can take quick showers. Life is starting to get much easier!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Drowsy Ollie

My little boy has never slept as much as he did yesterday. After our nap together from 7:30am to 10am, he napped from 11:15 to 11:45 and then again from 1:15pm to 2:15pm and then again from 5pm to 5:45pm. I think it was a side effect from the vaccinations. However, I also know babies his age are supposed to nap about that much each day. He just never really has.

I got so much done around the house from cleaning the floors to vacuuming. It was the first time I got to vacuum the stairs since we moved in! I couldn't lift the vacuum up and down the stairs while I was pregnant, and ever since having Oliver, I haven't had the time. It looks great.

I also got to make dinner for Andrew before he got home, which I've only been able to do one other time before. I used all the leftover stuff in the fridge and came up with egg salad sandwiches and garlic asparagus.

Last night, it was slightly more difficult to get Oliver to sleep than normal. Actually, he cried when I started rocking him to sleep. I stood up and patted him, and he fell asleep on my shoulder at 8pm. He slept through until 3:30am! And then he slept again from 4am to 5:30am.

I wasn't able to sleep after waking up at 3:30am, but I laid in bed, resting, until he got up for the day. Now he's napping again (which is normal for him around 7am or so). But what's new and different is... he's napping outside of my arms! He's napping in his infant seat. Hurray!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day After Vaccinations

I expected (and still expect) last night, today, and the weekend to be a little rough for Ollie Pop since his vaccinations.

Today, he's sleeping so much. We napped together from 7:30am to 10am because I was desperate for some sleep. Then he slept from 11am to 11:45am. He fell asleep again at 1:15pm and is just waking up now, so, actually, I have to go tend to my little man.

So much sleep! I wonder how it'll be tonight?


Yesterday, Ollie went in to the Jefferson County Health Department for his vaccinations. My mom went with me for emotional support, and, boy, did I need it! As soon as they gave Oliver his first shot, he started screaming, and I started sobbing.

He settled down pretty quickly and acted normal for the rest of the day. I took extra careful with his legs, and I was afraid to carry him and change his diaper. Still, we did just fine. At 2am, he woke up for his usual night time feeding and diaper change. I put him back to bed, but I couldn't sleep. I laid there, listening to him shift and squirm, for about two hours. Then, just after four, he cried.

I picked him up, and he fell asleep almost immediately in my arms. Poor guy apparently wasn't able to fall asleep earlier. I was just about to get up to put him back in his crib when he started to fuss again. I decided to burp him in case he was having gas pains. He burped the weirdest burp. It sounded kind of liquidy, so I figured he'd spit up, but there was nothing. Then his breathing sounded labored. At least, something sounded liquidy in him.

I went to the changing table to unswaddle him. As soon as I set him down, he projectile vomitted. I started freaking out and yelling to Andrew. Oliver proceeded to fall asleep on the changing table. He must have been so tired.

I remembered that one of the side effects one of his vaccines was vomitting. I also remembered that it was supposed to be mild, so I calmed down, too. I rewrapped Oliver in clean blankets and put him to bed.

He slept for a couple of hours, occassionally waking up with a cry, but he quickly fell back asleep. I laid in bed, listening, worrying, falling in and out of sleep. At six, he started crying for real, so we got up to start the day.

I think he's feeling OK. Right now, he's playing with and talking to the bunny on his infant seat.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oliver Refuses Sleep

OK, the nap thing yesterday might have backfired. Last night was Oliver's most difficult night since his first night home from the hospital (nothing could compare to that completely sleepless night!).

I took the advice from The No-Cry Sleep Solution and put Oliver to bed as soon as he was feeling tired. That happened at 7:30pm. He slept his longest stretch, ever, and slept until 3:30am. That's 8 hours!!!

The only problem is, after that 8 hours, he refused to go back to sleep. That actually was a big problem because I hadn't gone to sleep until 11pm the night before, and I'd woken up at 2am waiting for him to wake up for his usual nighttime feeding. Let me tell you, three hours of sleep is just not enough.

I tried to nurse him to settle him down. He ate, but he didn't settle. Then I tried to rock him and pat him (that's how he usually falls asleep), but he wasn't having it. I started to feel angry with him, but I knew that wasn't rational. Still, he wouldn't stop screaming, and it was hard to keep a sane perspective. Finally, when I thought I was going to break down (4:30am), I woke up Andrew and asked him to please take the baby.

Andrew tried to settle him down to no avail. I couldn't sleep knowing Oliver was so upset, so I decided to get back up. I took Oliver from Andrew and went back upstairs. That time, the rocking and patting worked, and Oliver drifted off into sleep. Success! I went back to bed, but I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking about what a horrible mom I was for feeling so mad at the little baby. I love him so much, but I couldn't deal with one night of sleeplessness.

Then, about 30 minutes later (5:30am), he woke back up, crying. I ran to his room and picked him up, hoping to rock him back to sleep before he was completely awake. It didn't work. He wailed into my ears. I kept thinking to myself, "He's just a baby. He has a cold. He's on a new schedule. He's just a baby..."

I didn't last more than ten minutes. I heard myself say to him, "Oliver, stop crying and go to sleep." When I realized I was seriously trying to tell him what to do, I feared I'd gone legitimately crazy. Andrew has to work today, and I didn't want to wake him. However, I was worried about my mental state at that point and wasn't sure I should be holding the most important thing to me when I didn't know up from down. I woke Andrew back up and asked him if he would be willing to start his day extra early.

Andrew took Oliver downstairs, and everything was quiet. I laid in bed, unable to sleep. What were Ollie and Andrew doing? Were they sleeping? Did Andrew take him for a drive? Is Andrew feeling like he's going crazy? What if he thinks he can't come back to wake me up because he thinks I can't handle it? What if he can't handle it? What if Oliver is hungry, but Andrew doesn't think he can ask me to feed him? Why didn't I feed Oliver before I gave him to Andrew?

Six-thirty in the morning, and I dragged myself out of bed. I wasn't going to get any more sleep. I went downstairs, apparently crying (didn't realize I was until Andrew asked me what was wrong). Andrew was laying on the couch; Oliver was sleeping on his chest. I went to the kitchen and brewed a huge pot of coffee.

I don't want to give up on the book, and I don't want to give up on Oliver's napping. However, to keep my sanity, I think it's in my best interest to go to bed when Oliver does, even if it's at 7:30pm. That way, when he wakes up at 3 or 4am and refuses to sleep, I'll be well-rested. Honestly, I haven't gotten to sleep more than about 4 hours at a time since having Oliver. Sleeping from 7:30pm to 3:30am sounds like a dream...

So, after day 1 of The No-Cry Sleep Solution, Oliver has slept his longest stretch to date. However, his total number of night-time sleep hours has dropped. Which is better? I'm not sure.

I'm just glad I feel sane again and that we all made it through the difficult night.

Update: Oliver is in a great mood today! He even let me suction out his boogers. I apologized to him for instructing him to go to sleep last night. He smiled and said, "wwwaaaa," and I think that means, "I forgive you, Mommy." Right now, he's playing with his duck and talking to our ceiling fan.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Update: Life with Oliver

In regards to Oliver's napping, I've decided to first focus on condensing his naps and then move on to teaching him to nap outside of my arms. Currently, he's used to napping for multiple, short intervals. After reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution, I think it'll be better for him to sleep for longer stints. After a couple of weeks of mastering the art of longer naps, I'm going to start setting him down in his crib when he starts sleeping. We'll see how that works!

In other news, Oliver has forgotten how to drink from a bottle! When we were in the hospital, our lactation specialist told me to introduce the bottle after two weeks. She explained that, if we waited longer than that, he might reject it. We introduced the bottle right at two weeks, and he had no problem with it whatsoever.

Andrew and I started to go out on a date one night each weekend and left Oliver with the grandparents. No issues.

For Christmas weekend, we didn't leave him. There was no need since we were out and about visiting family. The weekend after, my parents were out of town, and we decided to enjoy a long weekend at home. Again, no sitter.

The following week, I left Oliver with his grandma when I went to an appointment. I came back a couple of hours later, and she told me he hadn't wanted to eat. I figured he just hadn't been hungry and didn't think anything about it.

This past weekend, on January 9, I dropped Oliver off with my mom and dad so Andrew and I could go play Bingo. We came back to learn that Oliver refused his bottle and didn't eat for three hours. Crazy! That's when Andrew told me Oliver didn't drink from his bottle when I'd gone to the gym and left the two of them alone.

My initial reaction? Panic! It feels a little claustrophobic to think you can't leave your baby for more than two hours at a time. I immediately went online in search of a solution. I learned there really isn't any. Many mothers blogged that they spent hundreds of dollars on nipples and bottles trying to find one their baby would take. Some finally found one; others didn't.

A few mothers swore by the Playtex latex nipples. I went out today and purchased some. Oliver latched on for a second or two, but then dismissed it. His grandma tried a few hours later, but Oliver refused it.

I don't want to drop hundreds of dollars on different nipples, so I'm determined to make it work with what we have. Don't worry; we're not going to torment the poor baby boy. Our plan is simply to offer him a bottle once a night, every night. We won't wait for him to be super hungry to avoid making him mad. Andrew will offer him the bottle when he's happy and willing to eat. Hopefully, at some point, he'll latch onto it instead of gnawing at it.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Nap Progress!

Can I say "Thank you" again to Missy? I'm loving The No-Cry Sleep Solution. I love reading the little blurbs from mothers, most of whom feel the same way I do. When I read about their experiences trying to let their babies "cry it out," I cried, too. Just my five minute experience with it the other day was enough for me to swear off of it forever. Apparently, I'm not the only one!

Today, I was reading how frequently and long Oliver should be napping. She briefly mentioned that babies shouldn't nap less than an hour because they don't get to complete their sleep cycle and can, in turn, be more tired. That really jumped out at me because Ollie's naps in my arms are sometimes 20 minutes, sometimes 30, but most frequently, they're 45 minutes. Only once on the occasional day does he nap for an hour or more.

Today, he drifted off to sleep in my arms at 8:15am. I sat in the computer chair with him so I could read more of The No-Cry Sleep Solution. Ollie started fidgeting after half an hour. I proptly rocked him in the chair and patted his back, and he settled back down into sleep. Fifteen minutes later, we repeated the process, and again ten minutes after that. At 9:15am, I celebrated silently that he'd slept an hour. Then, since he reached the milestone, I set him in his infant seat so I could pee and brew some coffee. I expected him to wake up immediately like always, but he's still sleeping (20 minutes later)!

I also read that babies shouldn't nap more than 3 hours in a row because then they can flip their nights and days. If he's still sleeping at 10:30am, I'll take him upstairs and change his diaper to wake him up. I don't think that will be an issue, though.

Time to enjoy my coffee and do the dishes!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The No-Cry Sleep Solution

My cousin, Missy, who's the mother of 3-year-old Jack, recommended The No-Cry Sleep Solution for me. There was a waiting list for it at the library, and it was sold out at Borders, so Andrew downloaded it for me online. I'm halfway through the intro, and the book is already helping me!

How is it helping me so quickly? I'm appreciating his sleep so much more! I would be so helpless if he was one of those babies who woke up 8 times a night. Oliver, my sweet, sweet baby, thank you for only getting up 1-2 times each night. I love you for that sleep!

I'm eager to continue with the book and read her ideas. It'll be helpful to (one day) teach him to fall asleep on his own. It's not necessary right now, since I still nurse him, and he falls asleep while I nurse. I'm also eager to learn how to help him nap (outside of my arms!).

I'll continue writing updates on the book, and hopefully see some real progress!

How (Not) to Get Some Sleep

Oliver's been on a weird sleep schedule since catching this cold. Until today, he's been napping a lot during the day on my shoulder. At night, he's still sleeping, but he's getting up more frequently.

This has resulted in one super tired Mommy. Today, I was desperate for a nap. I thought I'd lay down and catch one while he napped.

Well, my little buddy didn't seem interested in a nap today. He went from 6am to 11am with no nap at all. At 11am, I was about to fall asleep, and I knew he needed some rest, so I tried rocking him while I nursed him. He fell asleep. I crawled into bed with him, and he woke up crying. Shoot!

So I decided to nurse him while we laid on the bed. I figured, he'd drift off into sleep, and then I could. That would have worked if he fell asleep. He was very contented to lay there, sucking away (even after the tap was empty). Well, I reasoned, I could sleep while he sucks. So I started to drift off, but every time I was almost alseep, he'd fall off the breast and whine for me to offer it again.

I decided I'd get up. I wasn't getting rest, anyway. So I got up and brought him downstairs. Within minutes, he was asleep on my shoulder. I rejoiced. Back upstairs we went. I laid him on the bed, crawled in next to him, and...

...he woke up, crying. I've never let Oliver "cry it out" before. At that moment, my tired self decided to let him cry it out. I thought it would be a good trial run at it since I was laying next to him. I did my best to block out his cries, and I tried to sleep with the wailing baby next to me. His cries started getting louder and more desperate. And then, then, they started to get hysterical (literally). Worst mom, ever.

I scooped him up and cooed in his ear. He calmed. Once his crying ceased, I, again, thought of sleep. And, so, I swaddled Oliver up. I took him to the rocking chair and nursed him until he slept (again). I laid us down on the bed where we slept for an hour and a half. I feel fantastic!

Once I woke, I crept out of bed and set up the monitor. I snuck downstairs. That's about the moment when Oliver's mommy detector went off, as he woke up, crying. I ran back upstairs and unswaddled him. I changed his diaper, cooed at him on the changing table, and then took him downstairs. Almost immediately, he fell asleep on my shoulder.

So, here we are again. I'm at the computer, getting my blog on, as Ollie sleeps noisily against my chest.

We'll get this napping thing down one day. Won't we?

First Cold, Part II

My heart must have seized half a dozen times yesterday. Oliver would start coughing, and I could hear the mucous in it. It sounded like he was struggling to breathe through it after he coughed. I didn't know what to do except pick him up, pat him on the back, and then use the aspirator. Poor baby's going to have a helicopter mom every time he's sick.

I did a few tricks that (might have) helped. I used the humidifier at full blast, and I gave him a bath. I also opened up all the blinds and held him to the sun, hoping to boost his vitamin D. Of course, I'm taking my vitamins as well.

I'm going to give him a bath today, too. I also want to try to give him a little baby massage to see if I can loosen up any mucous (not that I know there's mucous that needs loosening... that's the problem with him not being able to tell me what's wrong).

I guess, intellectually, I know he's OK. It's just so hard seeing him struggle and hearing him cough. Can't wait until he's feeling better again...

Monday, January 11, 2010

First Cold

Oliver and I have caught a cold. I'm very thankful that it's mild, but poor Ollie still seems miserable.

He's sleeping a lot during the day, which is quite a change, but when he's awake, he's crying. I just hold him, smooch him and love him. Oliver is also only eating in small amounts, which is unusual for him. I think it's because he's phlegmy.

Even with the virus, he's insisting I hold him for his naps. I tried to lay next to him in hopes I could catch a nap, too. He woke up about 30 seconds later, screaming. I picked him up, and as soon as I did, he burrowed against my shoulder and fell back asleep. And so it is, I'm back at the computer, typing one-handed, as Oliver catches some much needed sleep in my arms.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Poor Oliver :(

Our little baby seems to be sick. I think it might be because I reintroduced dairy into my diet a couple of days ago. Dang it.

Oliver's doctor disagreed with the doctors at Children's Hospital. He said he's never seen an allergy so severe to cause blood in a baby's diaper. He told me I could cut out dairy for two weeks and then try reintroducing it to see what happens.

This is the first night in about 9 weeks where he didn't go to sleep. It took an hour and a half for him to fall asleep, and during that time, he kept spitting up. He spit up so much...

I'm trying not to be mad at myself, but I am. Why did I try to reintroduce dairy? I was worried about my protein intake, but, deep down, I just knew he was allergic to it
. I should have gone with that gut instinct. Because I didn't, Ollie's throwing up and feeling yucky.

I don't think it's a virus because he has no fever and no other symptoms. Actually, he was in a good mood all night, even when he was spewing all over us.

Stupid dairy.

Getting Ollie Used to Napping

Getting Oliver used to napping is no easy feat. Even on days he's not having it, I try to get him at least in the routine of napping by laying him down at roughly the same time every day. I'll nurse him until he sleeps, and then slip away. Often, he'll wake up five minutes later, crying. I'll come back and try one more time. If that fails, I'll let him sleep in my arms.

Today, he seems to be sleeping really well. I gave him a bath first! I can't give him a bath every day, but I think I'll give him a bath at the same time (every third day). Hopefully, he'll get used to sleeping around 1pm or 2pm every day.

We're slowly making progress at the nap thing, and it's helping me out a lot. Since I slipped away from him 15 minutes ago, I was able to quickly fold the laundry, unload the dishwasher, and now take a little break to blog and drink the coffee I brewed at 10am.

It's baby steps, but I think we're headed in the right direction!

Update: Ollie woke up 10 minutes later. I tried to nurse him back to sleep without success. I finally let him sleep in my arms, where he slept for an hour and a half! Now if only he could learn to do that in his crib or on my bed...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cloth Vs. Disposable Diapers

Andrew and I took an infant care class a couple of weeks before Oliver was born. Our instructor was discussing diapers and asked if any couple was planning on using cloth diapers. We raised our hands because we were planning on using cloth for most of our needs. We were the only couple of the group with plans to use cloth. That made me nervous; I thought maybe they all knew something I didn't, and that it was going to be difficult to do.

Our instructor explained we'd save a substantial amount of money by using cloth (and we do!). However, she warned us that it would be tricky to do things like bring cloth diapers to the hospital ("If you're dedicated, you can make it work," I remember her saying.). I responded that we'd simply use disposable diapers during those inconvienent times, and she looked at me like I was crazy.

Indeed, that's exactly what we did. We used disposable diapers at the hospital, and we continued using them at night at home because, frankly, Oliver sleeps longer in disposable diapers than cloth diapers. He doesn't feel the wetness of the disposable as much as he does with the cloth.

When people find out we use cloth diapers during the day, they seem to think it must be challenging and gross. That's not the case at all. I was pleasantly surprised to find that his cloth diapers aren't gross. In fact, I don't even have to rinse them (that might change once he starts eating solids).

We use both Bum Genius and Bumpkins cloth diapers. Basically, they're cloth diapers with an outer, waterproof layer. It's not separate like old cloth diapers. Then, there's a cloth liner you can put in for extra absorbancy. When I change Oliver's cloth diaper, I simply remove the cloth liner from the cloth diaper and toss both pieces in the hamper. When we change his disposable diapers, we toss them into a garbage bag. The garbage bag always has a slight odor to it, but the hamper never does (most likely because I do laundry daily, but the garbage bag lasts multiple days).

In addition the fact that they're environmentally and budget friendly, there are other advantages to cloth diapers. First, I feel better that there's not chemicals pressed against his skin all day. Second, he feels the wetness in the cloth diapers quickly, so we know right away when he's wet himself. He doesn't sit in it, so he doesn't get as many diaper rashes. I read that babies who wear cloth diapers are also much easier to potty train for this reason.

I don't shun disposable diapers, though. Some people are completely against them because of their impact on the environment. While I acknowledge that, I think it's fair to compromise and not hold oneself to difficult standards. We use disposable diapers regularly. Oliver wears them at night to help him sleep for longer stretches, and we wears them if I've been slacking on the laundry and don't have a cloth one available. Any time we travel (including going across town to visit a grandparent), we also use them. To me, it would be very inconienent to pack cloth diapers, ask his grandparents to use them, and then drive a pile of dirty diapers home.

I feel better about using the cloth diapers and am glad we made it work. In fact, I've encouraged other moms to use them as well. Still, in our personal experience, what's worked best is compromising and using them along with disposable diapers.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Colicky Ollie?

I've frequently wondered if Oliver is colicky. He has more good days now, and he has longer periods in the morning with no crying. Still, many days, like today, feel impossible.

Oliver has been crying and fussing since noon today (7 hours). Feeding him keeps him soothed while he's eating and for about 10 minutes after, but then it's back to crying.

I don't think it's "normal" fussiness because Andrew and I can't even entertain the idea of taking him out to eat or anything. We never, ever get to eat dinner together unless Oliver's over at his grandparents'.

I read online that a baby is considered to have colic if he cries more than three hours a day, at least three days a week, for a minimum of three weeks. I'd say Ollie cries about six hours a day (mostly after 11am), 4-5 times a week. The other few days a week, he probably cries/fusses about two or three hours. Those days, it seems much easier to handle and completely enjoyable.

Ollie is 9 weeks old, and today is the first day I've gotten to take a shower without Andrew home to keep him comforted.

I think Andrew and I deal with it well; we love our baby so much. We never complain to each other; we just pass him off to the other when we feel overwhelmed. There are moments, though, where I feel jealous of parents who talk about going out to dinner with their new family or eating together while the baby sleeps. The only time Andrew and I have together is after 8pm, when Oliver goes to sleep.

Thankfully, if it is colic, we only have three more weeks to deal with it! I look forward to days when we can put Oliver in his high chair, eat meals as a family, and go out in public!

Happy New Year 2010!

Happy New Year! Andrew, Oliver, and I rung in the new year by sleeping through it. Honestly, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

This year, most of my resolutions deal with my fitness level. I've already lost my "baby weight," but my body is out of shape. To deal with my sagging stomach, I resolve to do a minimum of 50 crunches 5 days a week. Crunches are easy for me to do because I can get them done and count aloud to Oliver as he plays.

I also resolve to extend my running. In 2008, I ran a 5k without walking for the first time. I also completed my first 10k. In early 2009, I completed my first half marathon. Now, post-pregnancy, I can't run more than a quarter-mile. I know it's going to be slow moving, but I'm determined to get my distance back up. It's my goal to complete the Cherry Creek Sneak 5k (April 25), even if I have to take multiple walk breaks to do it.

To work on my distance, I'll continue going to the gym. It hurts to run still from delivery, but it doesn't hurt to "run" on the elliptical. Once I'm healed, I'll move to the treadmill, and, once it's warmer, I'll take Ollie for jogs in his jogging stroller.

Speaking of Ollie, my last resolution is to be a patient mother. I need to relax and enjoy Oliver in this infant stage and not be as concerned with what I'm not getting done around the house. If I have to, I'll use my weekends for cleaning. I only get to enjoy these moments once! Before I know it, he'll be complaining for me to put him down instead of pick him up, and then I'll miss these days.