9.5 weeks

15 lbs even, fully clothed.

Look at this handsome bruiser we wake up to every morning.

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more excited than I probably should be

You know how all the baby sleep books are like, “you should put your baby in his crib when he is drowsy, but still awake”?

Well, I was like, yeah that’s all fine and good for babies who take a pacifier or who have less of a temper than our baby, but this baby gets wide awake if you put him down before he’s sleeping like a rock!

NOT TODAY, FOLKS!

The zunzun was acting tired, so I took him in his room, swaddled him up good (I used a receiving blanket to bind his arms like the Miracle Blanket [a trick I read about on the interwebs] then swaddled him in a muslin blanket on top of that) so he can’t get his arms free, then rocked and nursed him like usual. He dozed and then would wake up off and on for FOREVER.

I had decided last week after that horrible day where I spent more waking hours trying to get him to sleep than anything else that I would set a time limit for getting him down. I’d pretty well reached it. So I thought, what the heck? And I put him in his crib.

Obv, young sir’s eyes popped wide open and he promptly began kicking, cooing, wrenching his head around this way and that, etc. He played like that for about 15 minutes, not crying, just hanging out. And then he started to get kinda pissed about it. He did his kind of owly yelling/whining that he does when he’s tired — not a full-on cry, just mad sounds. Just when he’d started to escalate to the point where I got up to get him, I noticed his eyes were closed. And he chilled. Quiet. Then started again, but this time just for maybe 30 seconds. Then? Then?

THEN HE WAS ASLEEP!

What!?

So I got the hell out of his room. This was 15 minutes ago now, and not a peep.

I’m so proud of our self-soothing boy! Maybe it’ll even happen again?

Irony at 8 weeks

The zunzun is 8 weeks old today.

The irony of referring to him as the zunzun or the zunzuncito is that it’s the world’s smallest bird. And this baby? This baby is not the world’s smallest baby.

He had his first round of vaccines a week ago today. The ped’s office clocked him at 13 lbs 1.5 oz and 24″ long. This boy’s a good eater! I asked the ped if he was huge and he said, “he doesn’t look huge.” I said, “he looks huge to me!” and he said, “it’s your egg, right? …you’re not a petite person.” Gotta love that guy. He’s very chill about everything. Kind of like I thought I would be…

Since the night before we hit 7 weeks, the lil big guy has really taken a turn towards the chill-er. I guess that “6 week fussy” thing is true? He’s much less urgent about his desire to nurse every second, and is instead willing to hang out thrusting his tongue for a little while. I.e. he doesn’t need to instantly gratify his urge to suck. He still won’t take a pacifier, but is getting better at finding his hands and sucking on those. It helps, a lot.

He breaks out of the velcro swaddle every single time we wrap him. We also got a woo.mbie? It’s weird. But he can’t break out of it. Flip side, his arms are freer to move around inside the cocoon. Six of one, I guess. He still wakes up an inconsistent number of times in the night, but I’ve determined that the stretches get shorter and shorter as we near daybreak. For the last week or so, I’ve pretty consistently brought him into our bed between 5:30 and 6:30. By then, he’s usually waking up every 40-ish minutes, and I can’t bear it any longer. We sleep and nurse side-lying and he’ll usually push through til somewhere between 8 and 10:30. Also it’s very sweet and he sleeps holding onto my boob with both hands.

We are doing a consistent bedtime routine now, usually starting between 7 and 7:30. We take a bath (he doesn’t really fit in the infant tub anymore, and prefers to chill between A’s legs in the tub. He likes the water very warm. As in, if the little safety duck doesn’t say “HOT,” he cries because he’s cold. Such a Caribbean baby. Post-bath, he gets into pajamas and A reads two books, one in Spanish and one in English, while I nurse him. He is always tired, and occasionally goes instantly to sleep and stays that way. Sometimes he fakes us out until 9.

A and I have been eating dinner together once he’s down, though it’s an awfully late hour and we’re sometimes too hungry. I get grown up things done and A works a bit, and we still try to go to bed together most nights. Sometimes I can’t take it and have to go to bed before her, as I’m up much more in the night than she is. But we try to hang out a little, sometimes watch some TV or read together. We’re figuring it out.

Just to make this even longer, let me also say that this boy is getting more charming by the minute. When he’s well-rested (so, generally in the morning and only later if he takes long enough naps, which seems hard for him to do), he smiles huge grins and little sly half-smiles and big gaping open-mouth smiles, and babbles up a storm. It kills us. He loves to be on the changing mat, and does a lot of his socializing there. He also frequently gets grinny in the bathtub. He is increasingly interested in toys for looking at, and sometimes seems to reach for them. He does a lot of accidental batting, and is generally liking more time to lay by himself and kick and flail at the toys or watch the fire in the fireplace or some such.

The boy with a thousand faces has really settled into just a couple. It seems my genes have overridden a lot of the donor’s, and he looks quite like my dad. It’s the eyes, mostly, which seem to only get lighter. Who knew with this combo we’d get a giant blue-eyed baby!? (It’s hard to get a non-blurry awake picture these days — he moves so much!)

more better

Today: chilled about it, took a long morning nap side-lie nursing, let him cat nap all afternoon, took a walk outside, feeling better. Everyone is happier today.

On sleep, of course

I started to write up the birth story, but it’s hard to get pretty much anything done these days because young man has decided to become very difficult to get to sleep.

Once he’s down, the trend until today was that he’s pretty good. Daytime sleep is erratic, which has led to some fussy days, but once we get him down at night he at least doesn’t think it’s playtime til a morning-ish hour. The trouble is that he’s become very difficult to *get* down.

We started a bedtime routine, which is kind of tricky to time because sometimes what we think is a nap is actually the beginning of night sleep for him. But most nights we’re giving him a bath (he loves being in the warm water, gets very relaxed and prefers bathing in the big tub with one or both moms), then A reads to him while he nurses (he can’t wait it out). Then, typically, the battle begins. Because he still won’t suck on anything that isn’t my boob, and because he loves to comfort suck (i’m nursing one million hours each day), he’ll keep sucking and get mad that milk is still coming out (no question as to why he’s over 13 lbs!). Then A takes him and rocks or jiggles or whatever, which often puts him to sleep. But he doesn’t stay asleep. And then i nurse him again and usually he does. But from nurse #1 to end nurse is like an hour or two.

Today I tried to catch him drowsy and get him to nap, a la weissbluth. He was not “easily soothed to sleep” and instead, easily five of my daytime hours today were spent trying to get him to nap (ie not doing that tomorrow!).

Today he won’t stay asleep without a boob in or on his face. We did take a three hour nap like that together (thank god). I’m doing attempt #2 to sleep right now, as my first attempt lasted 10 min despite his having been deeply asleep when i laid him down.

We are hoping this is a short lived phase. Tomorrow i am going to get out of the house and try to be chill about it all. Hoping he develops some self-soothing soon, as my sanity is faltering a little. Also will help when A finishes the project she’s past deadline on and more day duty gets shared. Tho the artificial nipple resistance…didn’t plan on that one.

Maybe this is coherent? Am writing it on my ipod, my bff in these trying times.

And despite all this, i love him so much and find his roly poly self so squeezable right now.

Oh, and any advice is officially welcome.

Last appointment

with the midwives today. Our 6 week follow up. I’m all healed, and the boy is giant. Gonna miss those ladies, with whom we spent so much time in 2011.

In giant boy news, he’s in 6 month sized sleepers starting today. His long torso was making it borderline impossible to close up the 3 month size in the crotch. Lord help us if this exponential rate continues. My back is killing me.

P.S. I told him don’t feel bad, everyone gains weight over the holidays, especially at my parents’ house. I, personally, packed on 7 pounds. 3-4 of those are just cookies!

‘Tis the season…

These apocalyptically unseasonable warm days have afforded young sir his first actual trip outside, i.e. not in the carseat inside a fleece bag. He bundled into a fuzzy body suit thing, 3 months size and a smidge too short in the torso for longbones over here, and was thusly stuffed into the Ergo. We then walked with my parents and their moose of a dog to the park and around for probably 20 minutes or so. He slept heavily before we were at the end of the driveway and throughout his whole first outdoor experience.

He’s also been enduring his first head cold. So young, I know, and so breastfed. But I came down with something (we thing our darling niece was patient zero), and then the boy caught it, and then grandpa caught it (they’re best friends), and now A has it. My mom is holding strong. It was scary the first night — he was congested, screamed like bloody hell when we suctioned his nose. We slept terribly, both because we couldn’t stop checking to make sure he was breathing and because he kept waking up because of the post-nasal drip. No fevers, and no getting too congested to eat, and we’re already well on the other side of it. He’s still got a little booger action, but is back to voracious eating today.

***WHERE WERE WE***

I don’t even remember what day I started this. Anyway, the sir is feeling lots better, but now A has it in full force.

IN OTHER NEWS, he’s giant. Partly, I’m guessing, because he DETESTS pacifiers and only comfort sucks on my body, he’s — I’m guessing — at least 12 pounds now. Maybe closer to 13. He’s wearing some 3-6 month onesies, mostly because the 0-3 are pushed to capacity lenghwise when he’s wearing cloth diapers. We’re proud to say he’ll now take a bottle (under certain conditions, including my being out of the room, a level 3 nipple, anticipating his hunger so he’s not worked up, and sometimes having to put him down in the bouncer or lying on the bed so he doesn’t think he’s about to get nursed.

This meant that A and I got to have our first post-baby date Friday night. My parents babysat and we went for dinner and a drink. Nothing fancy, as we’re in my hometown, but it was a triumph. I worried a little (I think A was the rock here), but it was irrational.

He continues to sleep pretty well at night so far, generally starting with a 4-ish hour stretch around 10-ish and then having shorter stretches after that. The new and unfortunate trend is that he fights sleep for about an hour and a half leading up to that 10pm mark. Right now, in fact, my dad is singing and walking in endless circles around the dining room table. He’s the only one of us with the upper body strength to actually do that for long. My back is killing me. It should be interesting to see how we fare when we return home on Wednesday, and no longer have grandpa for sleeptime.

Part of the sleep fighting, I think, comes from the fact that he’s staying awake too long in the evening leading up to then. Tonight for example, after sleeping solidly from noon to 4pm, he’s been awake for 5 hours straight. Too long for a 5 week old. So he’s super overtired, crabby, keeps signalling hunger but not wanting to eat, etc. But we can’t for the life of us figure out how to prevent this long awake stretch.

Hopefully this is short-lived. It’s been going on for about a week now. Once he gets to sleep, like I said, it’s usually for a good solid chunk. But he’s making us work for it. Suggestions on this welcome.

If you’ve read this far, you deserve better than this crappy photo, but alas…