Archive | May, 2012

On Having a Son

31 May

It’s amazing how much I love this little person which didn’t even exist a few months ago.

It’s terrifying how much he depends on me, how much of his present and future life is in my hands.

It’s overwhelming how little he needs from me to have a happy, excited smile.

Sometimes I feel like my body is filled with some light substance, that is trapped inside me – but is reaching out to Timothy like a compass due North. It fills me up – the love for him. It squeezes my heart – the fear for him. It’s overwhelming.

Timothy Update

24 May

I think I am starting to neglect this blog. To blame are the regular letters I send out to friends and relatives – and I sort of am lazy to write the thing twice (the letters are not in English, so copy-paste won’t do :))

So what’s new?

THE BLOCKED TEAR DUCT

Remember I complained about the right eye, the blocked tear duct? The pediatrician didn’t seem too concerned last time we saw her (about 6 weeks ago), but the situation started to worsen: the goo became yellowish-green, brown upon drying, and his eye was constantly covered in unseemly crust. Careful aiming was required to plant a kiss, or else you might end up with that stuff on your lips. Yes, he’s my baby, but still kind of gross.

I started to get advice – eye massages, squeezing some milk into the eye after feeding, polisporyn (sp?) red eye drops, wash with tea… I tried some (milk, massages), refrained from others (the drops I hesitated to use without a ped’s prescription) until one day, a week ago, he woke up and the whole dirty-eye thing was gone. No more. Both eyes are now clear blue, intent with curiosity. Yay!

MOVEMENT

Timothy learned to move. What he does is raise his legs high up in the air, then bring them down with a bang, straighten the legs and propel himself forward a few inches. An absolutely necessary attribute of this move: scary facial expression with bulging eyes 🙂 The other day he spent 10 minutes bragging to hubby and eye about his new skill. He would look at us, tense, get ready, do the move, and then bask in our cheers 🙂

TURNING

He turned on his side. Just once, it was a week ago. He turned and remained on his side for a few minutes. We didn’t see how he turned – I saw how he rolled back on his back, though.

SITTING UP

Now this is a ridiculous one. I was terrified of putting too much pressure on his spine (I think someone told me to never sit up a child when I was in my teenage years), and then I read that I should be doing it – while supporting his back. He has very string spine, I feel he could sit on his own if he just had the coordination for it.

But the funny thing is that a few days ago my hubby was holding Timothy in a semi-seated position in his lap, when Timothy raised his head and… sat up. We shut up in the middle of our conversation and stared, half expecting him to jump off his lap and walk away (just kidding :))

Again, he hasn’t repeated it, but he loves sitting up.

STANDING

He loves standing up, too. What surprised me is that he actually stands firmly on his feet. I remember my niece always curling her toes like a ballerina so it was nearly impossible to get her to stand even when she was 6 months old. Timothy just plants his feet on the ground and stands.

He loves jumping, too – but he hasn’t got the idea yet that he is supposed to be jumping (or at least bending the knees), so for now it’s me tossing him in the air 🙂

SINGING ALONG

Timothy loves it hen I sing to him or when my hubby plays the guitar – he actually sings along, it’s so cute. He goes eh, eh, eh… 🙂

Mmmmm… I think that’s about it for now.

Oh, one more thing.

SLEEPING

I finally put the black-out curtains in his bedroom. He now sleeps in. Two days ago we slept until 9 am (yes, he still wakes up once around 4-6 am for a feeding). I am so happy about the sleeping in thing. I hope those days when he felt like starting the day at 6:30 are gone!

Sleep Habits

16 May

Timothy and I are attending new mom classes – every week they invite various specialists to talk to the group. Last week it was a baby massage specialist, this week – baby food/solids specialist and a sleep consultant.

SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT

While I don’t remember all the specifics (they’ll send the details by email later), the core message was that babies are supposed to sleep through the night by the age of 2 months (I think 6-8 hours straight) and by the time they turn 4 months old, they should sleep 10-12 hours straight.

So the idea is that babies don’t need to nurse at night. We shouldn’t pick them up when they fuss a bit – they most likely will fall back asleep again. We shouldn’t feed them if they start crying – pick them up, yes, but try to soothe them and put back to sleep. Her advice was to keep trying to soothe them for 20 minutes – if they still cry – then feed them, but catch a moment when they calm down a bit (or else they’ll think that they always need to scream their head off to get a feeding).

She says that most people start with something like a 12-5 am night stretch. Once the baby makes it all the way to 7 am, put the baby to bed half an hour earlier. If he still sleeps until 7 am, add another half hour. And so on.

Well.

That’s what we’ve been doing – adding gradually 30 minutes to bed time, the only thing is that we started doing that when Timothy had begun to sleep until 6-6:30. That’s why he keeps waking at 6 am, eating, and then sleeping some more until 7-8 am. This should not be the case.

Furthermore, it looks like we rushed with the 8 pm bedtime. He is now waking at odd hours for the feeding – today it was 3:50 am, for example. I thought it’s no big deal – he still wakes up only once, who cares if it’s at 3 am or 6 am? But if the idea is to get him to sleep all the way to 7 am, then we should move back to 9 pm bedtime and wait until he can make it consistently all the way to 7 am. As much as I enjoy putting him to bed at 8:45 and having the rest of the evening to spend with my hubby, it’s too early for that (and hey… compared to some other babies out there, I seriously shouldn’t complain).

DAYTIME NAPS

And then daytime sleep. This is where things are really messy for us, according to the sleep consultant. Timothy is supposed to get 1.5-2 hour naps, 3-4 times a day.

So here’s the thing: babies have a shallow sleep phase for 45 minutes, and a deep sleep phase for another 45 minutes. What often happens is that they wake up at the end of that first phase and start playing or crying or whatever – bottom line, they don’t get really good sleep. Chances are, they’ll have to take another catnap before the next feed. Or right after the next feed – but then they won’t be tired enough for the following nap (are you following my train of thought?)

So what I need to do is to encourage him to nap longer – get him back to sleep if he wakes up too early. Rock him, give a paci, whatever. But – BUT – not to let him sleep for more than 2 hours at a time.

So this is what I did today – when he got tired in the morning, I put him in his crib upstairs, He slept for some 30 minutes, woke up. I went it, gave him the paci, re-swaddled him, stroke him, kissed him, left. He slept some more, woke up, I repeated the whole thing. And now it’s been 2 hours nap time! Interrupted, yes – but he napped for 2 hours!

Now I’m gonna go wake him up.

The idea is that after a few days of enforced long naps, he will get used to the long naps and will crave them.

The idea is that at this point, I should be able to say what I am doing at, say, 2 pm next Monday. His schedule should be that predictable.

So – this is what we’re gonna do for the next few days: get back to 9 pm bedtime. Enforce long naps.

Are you still with me? Thank you for your attention 🙂

Totally TMI

14 May

Yesterday we FINALLY succeeded at DTD. We didn’t even try for the first 7 weeks or so, and then when we tried I was in so much pain that we could barely get anywhere.

And, finally, 3 months and one week postpartum, we were able to! It still hurt – but the pleasure outweighed the discomfort.

Told you it’s totally TMI 🙂

Annnnd It’s All Good!

14 May

Timothy was in bed by 8:45 pm yesterday. He babbled for a few minutes and fell asleep. He woke up for a feeding at 5:30 am and then slept until 8 am – yay!

Perfect Time to Go to Bed

13 May

This past week, I moved back to my bedroom. My and my hubby’s bedroom, that is. The day Timothy turned 3 months – I moved out. I put him in bed, walked out, closed the door, and didn’t return until he woke up for the feeding.

I am not sure whether he senses my absence, misses my snoring, is going through a growth spurt – but his sleeping was sketchy this week (well… sketchy for him).

Usually, we start the night time routine at 9 pm. We had tried earlier bedtimes a few times – and it always led to multiple wakings during the night.

So we stuck with the 9 pm one.

My hubby brings him up to his bedroom, changes him slowly, talking and laughing with him, while I prepare the room for the bedtime – fill up and turn on the humidifier (for white noise, primarily), lay out the sleep sack on the mattress, turn on the night light (used while feeding to send the night time signal, I turn it off when I leave the room). Hubby changes the diaper, puts on a onesie, hands him to me for the feeding. I feed him (the night time feed is a luxuriously slow one, 30 minutes at least), burp him, put the sleep sack on, whisper “good night” in his ear, stroke him once head to toe with both hands, turn off the night light and leave. Then he wakes up between 5 and 6:30 am for the “night feed” and then sleeps until 7-8 am.

Well, this week he was barely awake and tired during the evening feeds, so it was hard to get him to get a good feeding. Perhaps that’s the reason he started waking up earlier than usual – at 3:30-4:30 am instead of 6 am; there even was a night when he woke up at 1, then at 5, and then again at 6:30 am (at which point, since he clearly wasn’t hungry, my hubby took charge and let me sleep).

So we decided to move his bedtime to 8-8:30 pm. Yesterday he was in bed at 8:45 pm, fed and sleepy – and slept until 5:30 am (and then until 7 am) – yay!

Let’s see how tonight goes. Hopefully the earlier night time will resolve his sketchier sleep issues. Hopefully the reason for bad sleeping was not eating enough in the evening due to being too tired and sleepy. After all, babies and toddlers are supposed to have their bedtime start between 7 and 8 pm. So perhaps Timothy has reached the point where that’s what he needs.

We shall see.

First Giggle

8 May

I was sitting on the floor, knees bent, with Timothy in my lap, back against my legs. I pulled him up to a sitting position and he giggled!

He didn’t repeat – next pull-ups got only excited smiles with his tongue down to his chest, but anyway – first giggle! Yay 🙂