Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Newborn Sum it up.

Yesterday (Tuesday) our Laynee turned 8 weeks old! I  can't believe she is already 8 weeks old - and just a few days away from being 2 months old already. It feels like she just got here, and like we have had her forever all at the same time. None the less, she was the final piece to our little family puzzle and we are thankful each day for her and her two big sisters.
Since there is no way I could ever do a weekly post on her progress - I thought I would just do a big sum up of the time we have had with her, as her newborn days are just about to come to a close. On to infanthood we tread!

Sleep:
Oh sleep. On a typical, normal, good day Laynee takes 4 naps, all between 2 and 2.5 hours. She is very capable of putting herself to sleep, thankfully, without much soothing needed. A swaddle is  pretty much a must have at each nap.

night time sleep: Oh I wish I had a better report. Though mommy is working overtime to get some good stretches of night time sleep in, the most she has gone was right under 5 hours. She still feeds twice each night. Almost always at 1:30 and again at 4:30. Then I usually wake her to start our day between 7:30 - 8 am (depending on where I am with the big girls by that time) We were doing "bedtime" routine with her around 10 pm - then realized thats silly. 10 pm wont be her bedtime until she is like 14 years old. So we do it shortly after the big girls (so around 7:30). Of course, no matter what time she was put to bed, she wakes at 1:30 am. Whether bedtime was at 10 or 7:30. We clearly opted for 7:30. We have tried cluster feeding in the early afternoon/evening and doing a dreamfeed - neither gave us any different results or any more sleep - so we are still working on this. sigh.

- carseat napping. Grrrr. I wish I could report that she easily sleeps/goes to sleep in her carseat. She does not. She will sleep in it - if at "nap time" she is put in her carseat and left to fall asleep before we actually go anywhere. So - if I know we are needing to go somewhere before she needs her next nap, I just put her in the carseat at least 30 minutes before we have to go anywhere. It takes her longer to fall asleep in the carseat than just at home, so I account for that in her wake time. For instance, if she usually can be up for 50 minutes - and fall to sleep at home just fine with that length of wake time, I put her in the carseat at 30 minutes of wake time (usually as soon as we are done feeding) and let her have wind down wake time in the carseat. There have been several times where she never did fall asleep before we needed to leave, and I of course was annoyed - but alas, the lives of the two big girls must NOT come to a halt. So we go with it.

- Right now, she does good with about 50 minutes of wake time including feedings. Usually at 45 minutes I do diaper change and swaddle. She sometimes will go 60 minutes.

-Cry It Out. (CIO) One day, when she was around 4-5 weeks old, she cried it out unintentionally. I had the big girls in the bath tub and could not leave them. By the time I got them out and dressed, she had cried it out - and put herself to sleep. I still dont let her CIO on a regular basis, but I don't run quickly to her side when I hear her crying. She has cried a little and put herself to sleep several times, and so when we are ready to give it a full go - I think she will be great, and I don't think it will a whole lot of time for her to learn to self soothe. She has done this already several times. 

- Pacifier: She prefers the ugliest pacifier on the market, of course. The soothie. I am so happy to report, though, that she really only takes it if she is overtired (which of course we try to avoid at all costs) or if she is extra fussy.  Any other time she does not really care for it, or need it.

Wake Time:

There is not a whole lot of awake time right now that we are not feeding. So as far as activities go - I really try to keep it at a minimum. I don't want to overstimulate her, and that is what baby toys are really good for. So, I try to keep her environment calm and low key.

-tummy time: we do a little bit of tummy time each day. She really hates it. She has gained a little more neck control over the last few weeks though, so thats good. I don't make her do it for too long, since she really does not enjoy it very much.

- bouncy chair: She does, from time to time have to sit in her little bouncy/vibrating chair. She likes it. She does not fuss while in it - but I am still limiting her time there. We have not tried the swing yet. We might make that our next big adventure.

- blanket time: We do this at least once a day. I usually take 9872394 pictures during this time of her. Since she spends a lot of time swaddled up, I do little exercises with her during this time. I did this a lot with the other two girls too, even though neither one of them enjoyed the swaddle like Laynee does. This has been especially fun over the last 2 weeks, as she has found part of her voice and is making all kinds of new sounds.

Sister time: She has two sisters who thing she is the bee's knees. They take turns holding her, enjoy spending some time each day with her. They kiss and hug her, and are both very gentle with her without having to be reminded to "play soft" that often.

Smiling: She started smiling last week! This is by far my favorite first. It makes me feel like she is now attached in a deeper way to me, Tyler, and the bigs. It was easy for us to feel that connection, but its incredible to see a social smile and know it was in response to you being there, communicating, playing, interacting with them.

I am protective of wake time. I really try to be careful that we expose her slowly to new things. There is always time to show her new toys, and soon the days will be filled with new things to stimulate her all day long. For now, I am letting her be a baby, and helping her to sleep by watching what we do during the time she is awake.

Knowing how, when, and where to sleep is a discipline that I feel is my responsibility to teach my kids. Its so vital to there development, and I want to know that I am doing what I can to successfully teach them how to sleep, but also, to enjoy it! They will miss all these naps someday. I do!

Feeding:

Nursing: oh this has been a struggle. I feared it would be from the 2nd trimester on with her. I knew she was going most likely be born a tad early, so I knew it was a strong possibility that this could be a challenge. I was on. Call it the self-fulfilling prophecy, or what have you, but we are struggling. I nurse her on each side for each feeding probably for a combined total of 15 minutes. She really is at her fussiest when nursing. She does not like it very much, and never has. I keep telling myself that this will get easier, and we have our good days, but overall its still a constant struggle.

Supplementing: I was instructed by our pediatrician when she was 3 weeks old that it would be wise to supplement. She was gaining weight very slowly, though she was gaining, had some jaundice issues, and having a difficult time making diapers - her wet ones were very dark in color, and she just was not having any dirty ones. So, we give her some soy based formula (similac isomil) in a bottle with each feeding. This is not ideal, but, we felt it was the best thing to do, so we are accepting it. Since we started supplementing weight was put on, her urine is no longer dark, and now dirty diapers happen 1 time each day - sometimes every other day.

She spends probably 25-30 minutes eating (nursing and bottle) and has 7 feedings every 24 hours. She of course, loves a bottle. Who wouldn't, there is no work to it.

I am doing my very best to continue nursing, I know its best for her. Even if I stop nursing totally, I will pump for as long as I can so that she still gets my milk. It is just unrealistic for me to nurse for 15 minutes, give a bottle for an additional 10 minutes or so, then immediately pump for 20 minutes each time we feed. I have two other kids that need attention, and I would literally only 1.5 hours before I had to do the whole thing over again.

Colic:

So I kind of use the rule of 3 to determine if colic is real or just in my head. Onset of 3 weeks old, at least 3 days a week of 3 hours a day of unknown crying/fussiness.

I would say we have a very mild version of this. Laynee will do this every couple of days or so. She will resfuse a nap, and nothing will console her. Though - sometimes a pacifier will help, or simply being held will help. It happens probably every several days. We will have 3 or 4 really good days, where naps are right on cue, she feeds well, and does not spend much time fussing or crying. Then we have days like today, for instance, where she has literally been awake since 3:15 pm and its almost 7. I know. Its crazy to me - as we did our usual routine of swaddling and diapering after her feeding/waketime period at 45 minutes. No - we were not out and about, overstimulating, doing anything fun. Nope, we just were at home doing things as normal, but she just refused and has been crying off and an the entire time.

I am not complaining, in fact I am thanking my lucky stars that its not a worse case. Our good days are super. She is very predictable, and easy to read. Our rough days are rough, but not so tough that I am super stressed about it. Most days, we can console her, and get in all the naps. Just not today.

Sisters Adjustment:

The big sisters are loving every minute of having sweet Laynee. They love when they get to hold her and kiss on her. While she sleeps, they talk about her and ask about her. They each hold her at least once per day. Sometimes more.

Cold:

Of course, she has already, in short little life, already caught a cold from Kensington. It caused a rough night of sleep, and some really pitiful sounding sniffles. I think she is past it though.

Gowth Spurts/Wonder week:

Laynee has for sure had the first two of many, many, many growth spurts that are coming during this first year. I am excited to go to the doctor to see how much she has "officially" grown. Her growth spurts come with the classic signs - a few days of eating a ton, sleeping like a little champ, followed by days of fussiness, no appetite, and interrupted sleep.

She has also made it through Wonder Week 5 (Changing Sensations). She did this right around week 5 actually. It was soon after days of being extra clingy, and crying a lot that I noticed real tears streaming down her face. This is a sign that the first WW has passed on, then a couple of weeks later she smiled. That is another sign.

I think we might be in the middle of WW8 (Patterns). We will soon know for sure.

Its always something the first year. If its not a Wonder Week or Growth Spurt, Its teething, or time to adjust the nap schedule. Its the hardest time, in my opinion...and in my experience (which happens to be a whole 3.75 years. Quite the expert here.)

She has not lost any hair yet - but I am anticipating that by month 4 She will have lost some. Kensington and Anslee both lost quite a bit of hair - though Kensington was born with more and so her hair loss was not nearly as noticeable.


We are still getting to know our girl, and having fun while doing so. Even on the hard days, I am a bit calmer than I ever was with the other two. I think I really understand this time around that I am not ever going to "break" her if we have an off day - and that she will bounce back. This year is just a year of tweaking and surviving each phase. It is just a phase - even the good blocks of time - they will back right up against a rough patch. Its ok, and no one will die because of it!


1 comment:

Amber Ruth said...

you seriously are such an awesome mom. i could help but just grin and smile the whole time reading. i've gained so much insight from you!