Thursday, May 23, 2013

One Month Old: Where Did My Newborn Go?

I can't believe my baby is one month old already! It has been so much fun watching this little guy grow and change everyday.

In just this past week, Jesse and I have been amazed at his transformation. I found myself asking "where did my newborn go?" Technically, Emerson is still a newborn, but he has grown from a sleepy baby to a more alert baby who is starting to show a little personality. Everyday he is fun to watch as he grows.

This month has been all about learning each other and learning our new roles. I now can differentiate his cries and I know he recognizes our voices. On my part, I am still learning how to mange my new lifestyle change. I want to go, go, go all the time, but I am learning that naps are necessary and I need to slow down. Jesse and I both agree that Emerson has made us super efficient with our time. We both work ten times harder and faster to accomplish things at home when he sleeps...and then we rest : )
 I was able to capture at least one sweet semi-smile.

Here is a breakdown of his activity this month:

Sleeping: The first few weeks Emerson slept a lot during the day and in very short, erratic spurts at
night. Now he seems to have flopped a bit. He consistently takes a nap, which range from 30 min-2 hours. We have started a bedtime routine to help him establish day sleep from night sleep. It may be a little early for him to understand "oh it is night, time to go to sleep" , but it seems to help and I know it will be helpful to him even more once he is a little older. He now sleeps in 2-4 hour stretches at night for the most part. He sleeps best in his car seat after a drive around town. Thankfully, I have not had to get up in the middle of the night and go for a drive to put him to sleep, but it is nice to know he will go to sleep that way if we get desperate for sleep.

The one consistent piece of advice I received was "sleep when the baby sleeps." Well that is all good in theory, but it is the hardest piece of advice to follow. When the sun is up, I am up and I want to get things done. No matter how tired I am, I don't realize it until it gets dark and then all I want to do is sleep. Needless to say, I am working on taking more naps.

Eating: This kid can eat! His cute chubby thighs confirm that : )

Although you couldn't tell it now, in the beginning feeding was hard and frustrating. I wanted to breast feed or at least give it a fair shot. Everyone told me to give it two weeks, which doesn't sound like a long time, but when your baby won't eat and his life depends on you feeding him, it can be stressful. Thankfully after a week of working hard at it, we figured it out and now he is an excellent eater.

Activity: This is still pretty limited, but we have "play" time everyday between feedings and naps. Play time includes tummy time, playing on the floor mat, sitting in his swing, singing, reading a book and bath time. Each of these activities only last about 15 min. I have noticed in the past week, he is more alert in between feedings and naps, which has been fun to watch him interact more. First thing in the morning after he eats, our "play" time is just talking to each other. This is when he likes to mimic my faces the most and I can get the most smiles out of him.

Doctor visit stats:
  • Weight: 10 lbs 14 oz
  • Height: 22.5 inches long
  • Other: He had to get a shot at this visit, which I was not expecting. He did great though. He cried at first, but then went right to sleep.

 Likes, dislikes and other milestones:
  • He does not like getting his diaper changed. It is only manageable of he is fed first. Although, I think once he has better control over his hands and legs, is won't be as bad. Half the time I think he just scares himself moving around.
  • He is starting to like bath time. We have to heat up the room, keep a warm wash cloth on his belly and sometimes a pacifier in his mouth, but hey it works! 
  • He really likes getting his legs and feet massaged with lotion after bath time.
  • No longer in newborn clothes. Now wearing 0-3 mo. 
  • We are also transitioning out of newborn diapers.
  • He definitely laughed for the first time and gave me an ear-to-ear real smile.
  • He has now started mimicking some of our facial expressions. He can smile if you start smiling at him and he tries to stick his tongue out. It's very funny to watch him move his mouth around trying.
  • The first two weeks he never spit up, now he spits up more frequent...I guess he is learning to eat quicker and his stomach can't keep up.
  • Tummy time is hit or miss, but for the most part he doesn't mind and his neck is becoming so strong, he can turn his head side-to-side.
  • He loves looking at lights. I have to shield the little night light from his face during night time feedings or else we will wake up completely and just want to stare at the light instead of eating. 

 Towards to end of the photo taking session.  
    What a blessing this little guy has been in our lives! I am excited to see what new changes next month will bring.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Celebrating My First Mothers Day

I have been a mom now for about three weeks and yet it feels like it's all I have ever been : )

Whether it has been three weeks or 30 years, I think a celebration is in order. After all, from here on out I will always be a mother, the most important role I will ever have (no pressure).

Happy Mothers Day to all you wonderful moms and soon-to-be moms!



Friday, May 10, 2013

The 27th Year Has Begun

My 26th year was a really good one. It was the year we decided to start a family, the year we got pregnant and the year Emerson entered our lives.

Today I get to smile as I start a new journey as a 27 year old! Here are 10 good reasons for me to smile today:
  1. It's my birthday, of course this makes the top of the list
  2. I got to spend the whole day with my little man
  3. I held my baby to sleep as I started typing this post and he smiled
  4. We went out to eat as a family of three for the first time tonight
  5. I forgot to get the mail the past few days so when I went this morning to check, I had tons of birthday cards waiting for me
  6. I got more sleep last night, which meant a better start to my day
  7. Emerson is three weeks old step closer to consistent better sleep (hopefully)
  8. I got to take a shower and feel pretty (a huge accomplishment right now)
  9. Jesse and I are going to watch a movie tonight after Emerson goes to sleep
  10. It's Friday! Which means Jesse is home all weekend and I can get some extra sleep
Wow, I just realized that five of my above talk about sleep. You can tell it is obviously really important to me right now, haha.

I look forward to seeing what this year of surprises lies ahead for me. I look forward to watching Emerson grow and our family bond.

Us at dinner.
I love this little man!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Over Read = Overwhelmed

My head has been spinning with too much baby information.

I first thought that reading books before Emerson arrived would help better equip me in parenthood. Knowledge equals power, right?  Well, not so much in this case, especially when you read too many different theories.

The following (including a brief synopsis) is a list of books that I have read front to cover and certain sections twice:
  • What to Expect When you are Expecting - a general overview of questions you may have when pregnant including some postpartum and baby stuff.
  • Baby Wise- a book that focuses on how to get your baby on a scheduling system so your baby learns to be a part of your family and not the only family member. It follows a strict eat, active, sleep routine about every 3 hours. It encourages waking the baby if you reach that 3 hour mark to eat if necessary. The pay off is a baby that work with your controlled schedule (parent directed), ultimately working towards sleeping through the night at an earlier age (8 weeks instead of 12).
  • Secrets of the Baby Whisperer- written by a British nanny, this book focuses on learning to read your baby and understanding what they need and respecting them as a person. This book also agrees with the eat, active, sleep routine, but doesn't focus on the clock like Baby Wise. It is more about establishing a consistent routine so your baby learns what is/should happen next.
  • The Nursing Mothers Companion- this book covers all things about breast feeding and of course promotes the importance and benefits of breast feeding. The most important information I took from is book was the importance of establishing a good latch and not creating nipple confusion, meaning no sugar water, pacifier or bottle/formula while in the hospital or for the first two weeks until a good feeding has been established...haha, all of that went out the window when he was born. In the hosiptal, the nurses gave him all of that, sugar water, pacifer and bottle...but I did finally consent to it due to certain circumstances (i.e. Emerson had jaundice).
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block - this focuses on calming a fussy baby and follows a simple formula, the 5 S's: swaddle, side, swing, shhh and suck (pacifier or feeding). 
All were great books and made good points that made perfect sense, unfortunately, besides their general statements, their main points contradicted each other. So who is right? 

Can you spoil or not spoil a newborn by holding them to much? Does a pacifier really create bad habits and nipple confusion? Is letting them "cry it out" a bad thing? 

Every book takes one side or the other and the conclusion I finally came to was no one really knows, so do whatever works best for you and your baby!

Obviously there are good practices to be learned and for that, I am glad I read all those books, but now that he is here, I am learning there is no simple formula or plan to follow, which is frustrating for someone like me. I like plans, check lists and seeing things in black and white, but obviously babies don't come with a manual.

It has been tough, but I am working hard on just going with the flow the best I can and enjoy this time with my newborn. It won't be long before I look down and see a little boy instead of my baby. 

To sum it all up, a friend shared this article that is pretty funny and makes me realize I am not alone in all of this confusion. If you don't want to read the whole thing, you will get the point within the first few statements, so please read, you will get a good laugh :)
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