Category Archives: Life with a newborn
Contributing writer Letty Tomlinson reflects on Baby Number Two.
Did you know no two babies are the same? Even when they come from the same parents? Because I don’t think I did. Our second baby turns out to be markedly different from our first.
The day before Katie’s delicious Del was born, I delivered our second daughter. Since I’m protective about my kids’ identities on the “open web”, I’ll henceforth call her Luna. Everything about her birth was different from that of our first daughter, whom I’ll call Cliodne. (Careful readers will recognize these as names of Harry Potter characters. You’re welcome, geeks!) Continue reading
Del’s newest delight is his new mobile!
He is a pretty content guy by nature, and would usually lay calmly in his crib if left there while awake. But I started to feel bad that he would just lay there staring at the ceiling or at the contrast of his daddy’s blue bathrobe hanging on the white closet door. I don’t want him to be bored. So I looked up mobiles on the internet and found one that looked great – the Infant Stim-Mobile – with interchangeable cards covered in high-contrast pictures and designs. You can use the black and white pictures for young babies – which they love. And later you can change to the more complex color images. Plus, since you can change the picture cards out, baby can see different designs. I ordered it from Amazon, hoping he would like it.
Does he ever! He watches the pictures over his bed now with alert interest, cooing and jabbering at them, all smiles. He likes when we tap them to make them sway. I love thinking that his little brain is at work when he is laying in his little bed. I can’t recommend this mobile enough! It makes me happy to know I provided him with something that helps his mind develop, and brings him happiness. This being a parent stuff is pretty rewarding. Here are a few pictures of Del enjoying his mobile.
Last weekend Del and I went to the reunion brunch of our childbirth class, and got to see everyone all not-pregnant and with their new babies. It was great to welcome all the little people and hear how we’re all doing. I just wanted to post a few pictures from the event! Everyone’s babies were born between the end of October and early December. Del is the youngest in the bunch. Thanks to Bridgette Behling and to Andrew and Rachel Zuraw for sharing their photos as well.
It’s astonishing how fast the milestones come when you count the passage of time in weeks. This is not true in pregnancy – that takes forever… until it’s over, then you realize how quickly such a monumental event passed. But once that little bambino is installed in your arms, the calendar pages fly like in an old movie – pages blowing left and right as days pass in the blink of an eye.
Del is eight weeks old now, and he celebrated this occasion by sleeping six and a half hours straight last night. I ended up prodding him awake at 6:30 because I knew he’d be really hungry and have a really wet diaper. Both things were true, and he nursed ravenously, cuddled between me and Zach. We all fell back asleep, Del and I didn’t wake up again till after Zach was up, a cozy couple of hours later.
The lengthening sleeps are not something new, though last night’s was the record. For the last two weeks or so, Del has been sleeping 5 hour stretches most nights, which is best when we hold off true bedtime till about midnight. He takes an evening nap between his more frequent evening nursings, but spends a lot of the late evening awake. Around 11:30 he has his last feed then goes to his bed, even if he is not asleep. He will fall asleep and stay that way till sometime between 4:45 and 5:30. And after a drowsy nurse in bed, he sleeps again till around 7. After a little play and some breakfast, he’ll usually take one more nice nap in his swing, giving me a little time to start laundry or shower, or write.
Nearly all of his troublesome digestive issues have settled down. The more I talk to other moms and hear of babies with more challenging problems, the more grateful I am that Del’s issues were pretty minor. He’s only occasionally bothered by things I eat so I’m not worrying about that anymore. He still hates burping and gets pretty upset about gassiness, but usually for no more than 15 minutes at time – though that upset 15 minutes might recur over and over on a rough day. But he’s a good eater, and is getting that adorable baby fatness all over.
He’s wearing his 3-6 month sized clothes now, though part of that is because the cloth diapers we use are a little bulky and demand extra space and length in pants and sleepers. I ordered him a pair of jeans via Amazon just the other day – it’s time he had some stylin’ pants to wear over all his cute onesies when we go out.
And we go out a LOT. This has been a really mild winter, and I’ve really taken advantage of that. Many days we take long walks with either the sling carrier or the stroller (sometimes both!). We’ve been out for lunch with friends, over to the yarn shop to knit, down the street to Panera for a snack, and we’ve spent several hours hanging out in Meridian Hill Park. I can pick up groceries when we’re out (one benefit of the stroller is it’s ample storage under the seat). Del loves walks, and unlike his first few outings, he now stays awake much more, looking and listening as we move through the city. I always imagine Sesame Street montages as we walk: “Here comes the bus! Hear the bus breaks whoosh, see the bus stop, see the people get on the bus. Here comes a puppy dog! Hear the dog’s leash jingle-jingle, see the dog sniff the grass and trees, see the dog walker pat the dog’s head.”
Del likes to sit in his Dad’s lap in the evening, and has really started to like bathtime with Dad too. Zach washes him, then lets him “swim” by holding the back of his head while Del floats, all the while kicking his chubby little legs and splashing in the water. Getting out of the bath is way less fun, apparently, because when I take him, he shivers and cries until he’s warmly dressed again.
The cloth diapers are wonderful. A big thanks to my sister-in-law who initially convinced me it was totally doable. And babywearing: do it. I can’t tell you how much Del and I enjoy using the sling, even around the house. Fussy evenings are pretty much solved with the sling. Nursing in public is easier for me when I use the sling for additional support. And Del really loves being cuddled up to me. I attribute some of his overall content nature to those opportunities to get all the snuggles he wants.
One of the hardest things for me as a new parent is the complete loss of my reserve resources of energy and rest.
Last night Del was awake more than usual, and when he was sleeping, was noisy with the grunting sounds he makes when he’s gassy. I didn’t sleep much and what sleep I got was light and riddled with interrupted dreams. Around 7 he awoke again after being back in his crib for less than an hour and he was fussy with gas pains (and as it turned out, a rather huge poop on its way out). Instead of bringing him back to bed, I just got up. I was tired of trying to get any sleep. I was frustrated, cranky and to be honest, my mothering at that moment was pretty shabby. Del nursed fitfully – whether because he was barely awake or because he was picking up on my resistance I don’t know. When I got thrown up on, I lost it. Crying, I woke Zach and unceremoniously passed Del off to him so I could go wash the splatter of baby vomit off my shoulder, back, hip, butt and leg. And change underwear. And take a slow, deep breath. My unhappy little baby didn’t know why I’d deposited him on the bed, and my sleepy husband didn’t know why I was mad. I didn’t really know either, I only know I wanted to be unconscious instead of wiping myself down with a washcloth in a cold bathroom at 7:15 on a Saturday morning.
It’s like that when you’ve got no cushion to fall back on after a wakeful night. There’s no extra rest in your system to draw on when you need to be comforting to your baby or kind to your husband. And you act like a jerk. Just because you didn’t sleep good last night.
Ten days in to cloth diapering and I am sold. This is definitely a good choice for us.
Last Saturday Del and I were home alone for the day, and, in addition to declaring it “Stay in Bed Saturday” (armed with iPad, phone, Kindle, diapers and wipes handy, and baby, we camped in bed nearly all day!) I also set that day aside for Cloth Diapering Kickoff.
I had the diapers washed, so they were ready to be assembled Saturday morning.