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Sunday
Aug012010

It's Bird, It's a Plane, It's Super Dad!

...Together we make this extraordinary and powerful team and we can do anything together. Being part of a team means competing, working, living, winning and losing together. It means greater friendship and understanding success and failure together. As a member of our team, I rely on the team, defer to it and sacrifice for it... - Josh and Alex, wedding vows, November 15, 2008

I can honestly say I couldn't have gotten past this first two weeks of motherhood without the support of my husband Josh. Our wedding vows say it all. We hold the perspective that we are a team and thus work together as a team.

Super Daddy To the Rescue

Because of my c-section and minor complications that followed I was unable to do basic things like pick up Tazzy or change her diaper for the few days and Josh immediately stepped up to the plate doing most of her diaper changes, many bottle feedings and keeping watch over her while I recovered in the hospital. He commented that every father should have to go through this (minus the wife having to recover of course) because it because it gave him time to bond with his daughter and immersed him into daddy hood and responsibility from the get go.   

Since we've been home Daddy Josh has been amazing! I look at the way he holds her and stares when she's sleeping. He has this look of a very proud father who just had his heart stolen by his baby girl. Every time I see this I fall more in love with him (something I didn't think was possible).                                                                                                                                                                                              
Roles and Responsibilities

It's important for Dads to feel like they have a role in helping take care of their newborn. Josh and I don't really have assigned roles and responsibilities but what has worked for us is being in tune with Tazzy's needs while being in tune with each other and our needs. For example, I don't have trouble getting up at night and going back to sleep so I've been trying to take on a majority of the night duties. This morning I was absolutely exhausted and Josh got up and took Tazzy while I got a good two hours of sleep. It's amazing what two hours will do for a sleep deprived gal!

I've heard of couples where the mother does everything! Takes care of baby (changing, feeding, bathing, etc) plus all of the regular household chores (cleaning, laundry, etc) and cooking. I know one couple where the Dad was very hands-off, so much so he didn't even change diapers and complained when he had to do anything for the baby. This is ridiculous and makes me realize that I'm so lucky to have a husband who enjoys being so hands-on. He is definitely my partner in crime!    

Make Sure to Ask
                                                                                                                                     
Men are not mind readers. If you'd like your husband or partner to be more hands-on I suggest first thinking about what you need help with or what you would like to see more of. What do you envision? Once you've collected these thoughts and have a good idea of what you want, plan to have a conversation with him. I suggest that this conversation does not take place after you've had a long day with the baby or are frustrated with your husband's lack of support. Your husband could take this as being attacked, when all you're really wanting to do is request his support. Instead set aside a specific time to talk to him (maybe when the baby is taking a nap and/or after you've had time to decompress).

Good luck!




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! :)