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Chasing Three: The First Week

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Chasing Three: The First Week

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chasing Three: The First Week

A week ago, our little man joined our family... on the outside. Since I mentioned a little nervousness about adding a newborn to my schedule, I thought I'd share a bit about what life is like this side of the delivery room.


Chasing "Babies"

My Beloved brought Tornado and Sweet Pea to the hospital Friday night (along with my mom once they picked her up from the airport) to meet the baby. I was holding him when they came into the room. They came around the curtain and stopped at the foot of the bed... then Sweet Pea took several steps backward. Both of them just stared at me... or rather, at the baby. Daddy had tried to explain how the baby was out of Mommy's belly, but some things you just have to see to understand. They warmed up to him quickly, though, once we asked if they wanted to hold him.

The next day Daddy (and a group of grandparents) brought them back for a visit. Keeping 2 and 3 year olds quiet and still in a hospital room is near impossible. Add into that the excitement of visiting grandparents and seeing Mommy and it's plain ridiculous. They didn't stay long... and they didn't hold him again. I could see signs of sickness just emerging in both of them. By that evening, Sweet Pea had a fever of 102+ and both kids were coughing and runny nosed.

Sunday, Little Man and I were home, the house was full, and the kids were still sick. It broke my heart to tell them that, not only weren't they allowed near the baby, but they couldn't touch Mommy right now either because of their germy hands. Between feedings and diaper changes, I tried to give my other babies the attention I knew they wanted. I was very grateful for the distraction and help of grandparents! I can't even tell you how many times I changed my shirt and washed my hands as I went back and forth between the new baby and my sick "babies"! This went on for 2-3 days.

They are still not completely well (noses are still a little runny and coughs persist), but germs aren't flowing and flying as they were in those first days! We're managing much better. I am better able to give hugs on demand and to multitask... at least as it pertains to the attention I give my littles!


Little Man
A sweet change from my previous two, this Little Man took to nursing quickly and with confidence. As you can (hopefully) see in the picture, my feeding record worked wonderfully for us (and the nurse thought it was cute). He fed well, but the part I loved best was that he was also going through diapers at record speeds! He certainly didn't need to exceed the minimums for healthy growth (and please don't compare your baby to mine... each one grows and eliminates at his own pace), but after two babies that struggled to grow and get enough milk, it was encouraging for this mama to see!

We follow the Parent Directed Feeding (PDF) philosophy as explained in the book On Becoming Babywise.

It's not "Attachment Parenting" and it's not "Scheduled Feeding". It's somewhere in the middle. According to the book, helping baby get on a basic schedule aids in establishing his metabolism... and his sleep habits. Doing this (helping establish good sleep habits) makes for a happier, better rested baby (and mommy). Good sleep is also important for all the growth and developing baby is doing!

So what does this look like? In this first week my main responsibility has been to make sure Little Man gets a full feeding each time. This is often easier said than done with a sleepy newborn, and I can't say I was successful 100% of the time. By doing this, though, the theory is that he will fall into a nice 2 1/2 - 3 hour routine... making it possible to know a general time for the next feeding.

Step two is to work on doing the routine in the proper order... eat, wake, sleep. This means that when he wakes up, I feed him. Then, after some "awake" time (I think we officially had some of this yesterday), I put him down for his nap. I lay him down while he is still awake so that he can learn to fall asleep on his own... not dependent on mommy to rock or nurse him before he can fall asleep. This sounds brutal to some of you... and it's not always easy (read: ever) when your precious new baby is crying and you know that he'll stop if you just pick him up. But I've been through this twice before, and I can tell you that I wouldn't take anything in the place of a baby who has learned to fall asleep on his/her own! It's better than chocolate once you get there.

Lest you think I'm letting my little one scream and cry for hours through the night and day, I do lots of regular checking on him while he's crying... and a good amount of calming and cuddling. Now that we are at the end of this first week, things are starting to settle into a nice routine.

Oh, and one more reason this is so important to me... more important than it was when Tornado and Sweet Pea were this age? Having Little Man on this schedule (even a loose schedule) and being able to put him down for his nap gives me 45 minutes to an hour and a half (more or less) to give to my other babies... very necessary time!


The EC'ing Department

I mentioned my intention to use cloth diapers this time around and my plans to try something new in the diapering department. I've begun EC in a very laid back way... observation. In fact, this is the first step anyway... learning baby's patterns and cues.

I caught a poop (in a prefold while sitting on my bed) in the first couple days at home... and a potty in the toilet at the end of the week. Other than that, I haven't been trying very hard. Though he had a certain pattern I was catching onto in the first days, everything changed when my milk came in... and now he's often wet before I know it. I love having him in cloth (prefolds without a cover for now) because he gets changed so much more often and it's really no more expensive! I find that my body is taking it's time in recovering strength and moving around too much causes an ache in my back/side and sore tummy muscles. It's starting to get a little better, but still has me doing as little as possible. I am looking forward to stepping up the EC attempts more when my body feels better!

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3 Comments:

At August 14, 2010 at 4:27 PM , Blogger Amanda said...

Congrats on your new LO!

I just saw that little chart and loved it, did you make that on your computer or something? I'm due with my second Babywise baby and would love something compact like that to track feedings and wet/dirty diapers. It's so cute :)

 
At August 15, 2010 at 9:14 AM , Blogger ~Babychaser~ said...

Glad you like it Amanda! It made things so much easier for me. I've added a link in the body of this post to a post I did on the feeding records a week or so ago. You can click through to download any of them you want... a girl version too if that's what you need!

Blessings,
Babychaser

 
At August 19, 2010 at 4:28 PM , Blogger Kendra at New Life On A Homestead said...

Oh, Wow! That stinks that the other two got sick right when baby was born. Figures, huh? Glad they are getting better. That must have been very frustrating and exhausting for you! What a good Mommy you are though! Oh, and I loved the Baby Wise books too. I'm so glad to hear that breastfeeding is working out for you. That is the BEST thing ever! Blessings to you and your family!

 

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