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Saturday
Jul312010

My World Flipped Upside Down

Amazing Baby Girl

My beautiful baby girl "Tazzy" was born on Saturday, July 17. At 7 pounds 15 oz, this little person has stolen my heart. Every time I look at her my heart just melts and I think to myself, "I am so fortunate to have given life to such an amazing and healthy baby." At some point, once things have calmed down for me I will share my birth story.

 

World Flipped Upside Down

At the same time as having feelings of elated joy, I'm also dealing with the feeling that my world has been flipped upside down, like someone has pulled the rug from under me and I haven't quiet landed on my feet. I'm sleep deprived, slowly recovering from an unplanned c-section and dealing with the demands of newborn care. During pregnancy my mantra was, "the first three months will be hell...an adjustment period." I was secretly hoping that if I had this expectation things would be much easier. I romanticized having this perfect baby who didn't cry much (okay, I know that's not realistic), who I could tote around with me and go on adventures starting as soon as we arrived home from the hospital. Well, I was wrong. It's been so much more challenging to say the least.


This photo is of Tazzy smiling in her sleep.

Is it Colic?

My baby girl is not just fussy but inconsolable. It seems like the only time she is content is when she is eating or sleeping. Any other time she is screaming... not crying but screaming. About one-fifth of all babies develop colic, usually between the second and fourth weeks, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Tazzy's pediatrician thinks it's too early to diagnose as colic and thinks that it might be a simple case of her not getting enough food per serving thus making her scream... sucking in air, which causes gas. We've increased her food and are hoping to see results by the end of the weekend. It's only been 24 hours and we're anxious to see if the doc was right. As far as we can tell, Tazzy has really bad gas! Poor baby.

What We've Tried

Rockabye Baby Music - Lullabye renditions of baby's favorite rock band. Imagine Sweet Child O'Mine or Don't Stop Believ'n made into a lullaby! So much easier on the ears than say Mary Had a Little Lamb or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Maclaren Rocker - This chair vibrates and works wonders. Tazzy likes hanging out for 10 to 15 minutes at a time while awake and can sleep in there anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours.

Graco Swing - A friend let us borrow her Graco swing. I've heard kids love it or hate it. So far Tazzy is not a fan but maybe that will change.

Stroller and car rides - Tazzy loves motion and even more enjoys being in her car seat. Even when I feel too tired to move I force myself to take her on a walk as this seems to calm her down. Josh has put her in the car a few times when she went ballistic around 4 a.m.

Sleep Sheep - Sleep Sheep produces four soothing sounds from Mother’s calming heartbeat to the gentle sounds of nature. My favorite is the ocean. Tazzy doesn't seem fond of any of the sounds yet. This is more comforting to me than her right now.
 
Bouncing, walking, cuddling - She likes being held close to Mommy or Daddy's chest where she can snuggle and hear our heart beats. It's rather sweet. The worst part is putting her down for fear of waking her.

SwaddleMe Kiddopotomus - I highly recommend if you're into swaddling. These are much easier than using a receiving blanket. With the velcro, your baby can't break the swaddle! If you choose to use a receiving blanket I recommend the Aden and Anais Muslin Swaddling Wrap or SwaddleDesigns Receiving Blanket.

Mylicon and Gripe Water both help relieve gas. I feel like these are a hit or miss. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

I'd love to hear other things that people have tried to calm a fussy/gassy baby.


Friday
Jul302010

I Love Ke$ha

Or more accurately, Nic loves Ke$ha. We discovered by accident when he was about 8 weeks old, that “Tik Tok” silenced his cries. (My husband still claims that the only reason he had that song on his iPhone is because he downloaded it for my 11 year-old-niece, but I think that he just likes to wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy.)

Well, fast forward a few months and we were on our way to Tahoe for the Fourth of July. We were cruising along and Nic was napping until we hit a MAJOR traffic snarl. The stoplights on 19th Avenue in the City will interrupt Nic’s traveling naps, so I knew that the long line of stopped cars was going to be trouble for us. My husband slowed our car to a stop, and in less than 30 seconds we heard stirring in the back seat. We looked at each other searchingly and helplessly as Nic started to cry. How could we make it stop?

After several minutes of replacing the binky and singing the Wheels on the Bus, I saw Shaun grab his iPhone. I was about to yell at him for checking his fantasy team while driving (granted, we were stopped, but iPhones and driving do not mix!), and then I heard the sweet sounds of “Your Love is My Drug” starting to pump out of the phone’s tiny speakers. Almost immediately, Nic was quiet.

I couldn’t believe that it had worked again. Maybe it was just a fluke, I thought to myself. The song ended and the cries started again. It was true, our son loved Ke$ha. What could we do but embrace it? For the next hour, while we inched slowly toward Tahoe, we happily sang and danced to the grunge-y popstar in the front seat, while Nic slept peacefully in the back.

Wednesday
Jul282010

Solids!

Nic got his first taste of solid food this morning!  Well, I think the term "solid" is a bit of a misnomer, because rice cereal prepared to package specifications is quite runny.  Here’s what we used to make our first “solid” food feeding a success:

Sunday
Jul252010

Pregnancy: There's An App For That

Here is my most recent CBS News Eye On Parenting post about some choice pregnancy apps. I will most likely follow up with infant care apps when the time comes to test those out, which should be very soon! 

Meanwhile, what are your favorites? Post in the comment section if you are so inclined and one of the four of us will give them a try. Doesn't have to be mobile! It can be desktop or Web software. But no Excel please. Nathalee already has that area covered! :)

Thursday
Jul222010

Cloth Diapering

Jennifer was asking me some questions the other day about cloth diapers (that’s what we use for Nic), so I decided to do a post about their pros and cons.

Let me start by saying that I never thought I’d use cloth diapers.  I’ve always been more “farm girl” than “tree hugger” and the idea didn’t even cross my mind until I saw a friend’s baby in his adorable diaper cover.  At that moment, I started asking questions, and I’m glad I did.

 Why I Chose Cloth Diapers (The Pros)

  • Supporting a local, family business.  Instead of giving my money to Costco and Pampers, I’m spending locally with a small family business by using their pre-fold diapers and service.  As the daughter and son of small businessmen, this was probably the biggest selling point to me and Shaun.
  • Doesn’t cost more.  While cloth diapers aren’t less expensive, most calculations put them at about the same cost as standard disposables. (UPDATE: Costs are about even for disposables vs. cloth diapering with a service.  If you choose to launder your own cloth diapers, the savings are quite significant compared to disposables.)
  • Possible Early Potty Training.  Some people say that babies potty train faster when using cloth diapers.  This is because a cloth diaper doesn’t wick away the moisture like a disposable.  This means babies feel when they are wet and will have a greater desire to potty train.
  • Just soft cotton on my baby’s skin. 
  • Environment.  There’s some debate over whether or not a diaper service is better than disposables (because of the trucking and cleaning), but the way I see it, Huggies are trucked all over the country and must use a ton of water to make, so cloth must be better since it doesn’t end up in a landfill (except maybe after hundreds of uses).
  • No risk.  Our service only makes you commit to one month of diapers.  Therefore, if we decided we hated it, we could just stop and switch to disposables.
  • Convenience.  We never have to go out and buy diapers and we’re never worried about running out.  We set our dirty diapers on the porch one night a week, and clean ones magically appear before morning.
  • Cute!  Have you ever seen a baby in a diaper cover? SO CUTE.

 

Nic lounging on the beach in his red hot diaper cover.

Why Cloth Diapers Aren’t for Everyone (The Cons)

  • Daycare.  If your baby will be going to daycare, most won’t take cloth diapers.  However, a nanny or in-home childcare will often be open to the idea.
  • Some up-front costs.  You will need to buy those adorable diaper covers every few months.  I think we’ve spent about $150 for covers that will last us until he’s about 7 months old.  You’ll also need some Snappi clips (that’s right, you don’t have to fasten them with pins!).
  • Tight space.  If you’re like Natali and live in an apartment without at least some extra closet space, you might have a hard time finding a place to keep the dirty diapers until pick up day.
  • Dirty hands.  Since cloth diapers don't suck away the moisture to their core, your hands will get a tiny bit wet during a diaper change.  Nothing some handsoap won't fix!

 Cloth Diaper Myths

  • It’s hard.  To be 100% honest, we practiced putting diapers on my childhood teddy bear a lot before Nic was born.  I was especially nervous about my husband getting it because he still can’t figure out how to fold dress pants to put them on a hanger. However, we are both now diaper folding, clipping and covering pros!  I estimate it takes us maybe 20-30 seconds more to change a cloth diaper than it would a disposable.   
  • You have to rinse them.  Not with a service!  This is a huge myth.  We take Nic’s diaper off (whether poop or pee) and put it right into a Diaper Dekor.  Then we stash the full bags I the garage until our weekly pickup.  IN FACT, most people don’t know this, but you’re supposed to rinse disposable diapers!  I didn’t even know this until someone posted this to my Mothers’ Club Forum:  The American Public Health Association advises (as of 1989) that solid human excrement, even while deposited in a disposable diaper, should be flushed down the toilet prior to disposing of the diaper.  Viruses such as polio and hepatitis can be passed through solid waste, and when disposed into the trash can get into water supply. When diaper waste is properly disposed of in the sewage, it is treated accordingly.
  • They stink.  We handle our poopy diapers exactly the same way we would with disposables.  We’ve never had any issues with odor.

 I can’t even imagine not using cloth now.  It’s just so easy and to makes so much sense.  It’s not for everyone, but I think if more people tried it, it would be much more common.  If you’re at all intrigued by the idea, I strongly encourage you to check out this website.  It has a ton of great info on diapering, including a how-to video!  And if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I highly recommend the Tiny Tots diaper service!