Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blair {Two Months Old}

Two months! I can't believe she's been here that seems like it was just yesterday when we were terrified we were going to 'break' her when we tried to change her clothes and I was anxious every time she cried. I feel like her personality really started to shine through around 5 or 6 weeks...and now, I feel like she's changed SO much from month one. 

She was really fussy that first month, and it felt like no matter what we did, we couldn't really calm the fussiness. Things have changed a LOT since then! She's so much happier and we got our first big smile from her in her second month - and now we know just what to do to get a works just about every time! 

Blair has already become a little traveler - we went to the mountains in October for the weekend and just got back from a weekend at the beach yesterday. She's done so well with riding in the car for longer distances and she actually sleeps longer when we're on vacation, it seems like. Always a good thing ;)

Speaking of sleep, she consistently sleeps a solid 6-7 hour stretch every night, waking up at 6:30 or 7am to eat. She then goes back to sleep until 9-9:30am every morning. She likes her sleep...which makes us super happy!

Her two-month doctor visit is the week of Thanksgiving, so she'll actually be 10 weeks when that happens...and she has to get her shots, so that's no fun! Also, we weighed her at my parents' house because it seemed like she had a major growth spurt all of the sudden - and it looks like she weighs 12.6 pounds! Once she caught up to her birth weight, she started growing like crazy, apparently. So...all of the newborn clothes have been packed away and she's comfortably in 3-month clothes. :(

Two-Month Likes:
  • Sitting in her swing looking all around the room
  • Bathtime!
  • Holding up her head like a pro
  • Watching TV :( We found this out a few weeks ago...we definitely don't encourage it, but it's pretty funny when you realize she's watching TV and you turn her away...she starts whining. At least she prefers to watch How I Met Your Mother. 
  • Smiling
  • Her activity mat. She can roll from her stomach to her back, but not quite from her back to her stomach. She likes laying on her side but won't roll any farther ;)
  • Being held
  • Sleeping
Two-Month Dislikes:
  • Her pacifier...still. I think the pacifier isn't going to happen at this point. ;)
  • Being strapped into her car seat. She screams bloody murder when we're putting her in there...but once she's content, she'll sleep for a long long as we're moving (in the car, with the stroller, rocking the car seat, etc.)
  • Having her arms swaddled
  • Getting out of the bathtub and drying off. I think she hates being cold...wonder where she got that from ;)
  • Putting on onesies and shirts...she absolutely hates when we pull the outfit over her head!

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Day in the Life...with a Baby.

I've never really written one of these posts before, but now that I have a baby to take care of throughout the day, there's a lot more 'routine' in my day!

6:30am - Usually this is when Blair wakes up hungry...her last feeding was around 11pm, so she slept a pretty decent stretch. I can't complain! M changes her and hands her to me to feed her, while I'm still in bed.

7am - I burp her and she falls back asleep, so back to bed she goes. So do I!

8:30am - I wake up and go downstairs to make coffee and breakfast. I usually try to straighten up the living room, kitchen and do some laundry (there's tons of baby laundry these days...) while I have the chance. 

9:15-9:30am - I wake Blair up. We are (somewhat loosely) following Moms on Call, and one of the principle rules is to never skip the 9am feeding. For whatever reason, it works well! I take her out of her Halo Swaddle (she sleeps in this every night), change her diaper and take her downstairs to feed her. We usually watch the Today Show while she's eating. :)

10am - I get some work done for the next hour or two while she's content (usually). Sometimes she naps on my chest while I'm on the laptop, or I put her in her swing, which she loves 99% of the time.

11am-12pm - Sometimes she gets fussy around this time, so I try everything to calm her down. If nothing is working, I'll feed her again. This week, she's only been going 2-2.5 hours between feedings during the early part of the day. I think it's a growth spurt!

12pm - I usually try to grab something for lunch while I can. While I used to just eat whenever I felt like it (and that meant skipping lunch sometimes), I try to make sure I eat at least something nutritious since I'm breastfeeding. If she's not screaming, I'll take my time and eat a real lunch, but if she's fussing, sometimes I'm holding her and trying to eat something quick at the same time. 

12:30-1:30pm - She's usually pretty content around this time, and I'm either holding her or she's watching the mobile and listening to the music in her swing. It's also been a good time to get more work done most days.

1:30-2pm - It's time for Blair to eat again. She doesn't eat much at this time of day it seems like, and then she falls asleep in my arms most days. 

2-4pm - I usually get work done during this time of day. There's a lot of diaper changing, bouncing her on my legs to entertain her, and such, but I have my laptop beside me and find it pretty easy to multitask!

4-4:30pm - Even if she's napping, I usually wake her by 4:30 to feed her again, because when M gets home, we all go for a run with the BOB stroller. 

5-5:45pm - She's usually happy around this time, and we play on her activity mat while we wait for M to get home.

6:30pm - We change her diaper, strap her in the car seat, and put her in the BOB to go for a run. She screams at the beginning (hates getting in the car seat), but she falls asleep as we're running.

7:30pm - We get back home and I feed her while M cooks dinner. If she's not screaming when we get home, I try to take a shower first, but that doesn't always work out. When she's hungry, she means business. ;)

8-8:30pm - We eat dinner while trying to entertain her - sometimes she's fussy during this time of night for no apparent we just do what we can to calm her down! 

8:30-9pm - We give her a bath, then I rub her down with some baby lotion, which she doesn't love! We swaddle her for bedtime afterwards.

9pm - She usually sleeps for 30 minutes to an hour. If not, one of us tries to entertain her while the other cleans the kitchen and straightens up the living room (it's necessary multiple times in a day these days).

10-10:30pm - We go upstairs and I feed her in bed. She usually drifts off to sleep after a little while.

11-11:30pm - Blair finishes eating, we change her diaper and put her to bed. She usually sleeps all night, until 6:30 or 7am!

As you can see, I don't nap at all. I think I've napped twice since we brought her home from the hospital...whoever said 'nap when the baby naps' is crazy, just FYI ;) Maybe it's just me...but I find that when she sleeps, I can actually get some things done around the house. And I do like a clean no naps, it is!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Things I Love, Baby Edition {The First 2 Months}

Before Blair was born, I was a little overwhelmed with deciding which baby items she'd like or not like. Especially when it came to registering for her - so many options! I also learned that when it comes to baby shower gifts, other mamas will give you things that worked for them (which is so appreciated, since a first-time mom has no idea what might work!). Now that it's been pretty much eight weeks (has it really?!), I have a pretty good idea of things that are working (and a few that did not work) for us.

1. Halo Swaddle. This thing is a LIFESAVER. The hospital put her in one of these, and I wanted so badly to take it with us, but we had to leave it. Sigh. I had one at home, but it wasn't a newborn size, it was a size one - 13lbs+ - so I knew that wouldn't work for quite some time. My mom ended up grabbing us a newborn one on Day 5, and we haven't looked back. She sleeps in it every single you can imagine how frequently I have to do laundry. If she's fussy, it instantly calms her down, and she's very fidgety, so it keeps her from moving her arms and waking herself up at night. 

As for what didn't work for us - the Summer Infant SwaddleMe. We tried this on her first night at home, and she fought it so badly and it basically didn't keep her arms contained. We honestly haven't tried it again since, because the Halo Swaddle is working so well for us. I think if you have a baby who doesn't move like crazy, the SwaddleMe might work, but Blair moves constantly and the Halo Swaddle is snug enough to keep her arms inside!

2. Fisher-Price Snug-a-Monkey Swing. I had this on the registry, but hadn't intended on buying one unless we happened to receive it as a gift - just because I felt it wasn't necessary and would take up space. Well, we learned our lesson around Day 6 - there was just nothing that would calm her crying, and she'd scream when we put her in the car seat, too - so we had started swinging/rocking the car seat gently to calm her down...and it worked. We realized she really liked the swinging motion, so again my mom came to the rescue and we went to Target to pick up the swing. It works miracles. She does so well that she's been sleeping in it instead of the Rock 'n Play (which she rarely will nap in anymore). 

3. Huggies Snugglers Diapers. We had a variety of diapers given to us as gifts, and some we'd picked up on sale - and we've tried them all. I'd always heard great things about Pampers Swaddlers, and we didn't hate them, but we LOVE Huggies Snugglers. We had also gotten some Luvs as a gift, and I hadn't planned to use that brand at all, but we tested them out and they weren't awful. I wouldn't buy them myself, though. We also tried Pampers Baby Dry (we had picked some up on sale), which to me, seemed just like I wouldn't buy them again. We had gotten some Huggies Snugglers newborn diapers as a gift, and we ended up loving them. We had purchased a box of size ones as well, and so far, they're by far our favorite. If I'm being honest, Blair has had a blowout in each of the four types of diapers we've tried (so I can't say any brand in particular can prevent that), but overall, the quality and fit of Huggies Snugglers has been the best. 

4. Pampers Sensitive Wipes. Ironically, though I prefer Huggies diapers, I actually like Pampers wipes better! We tried both, and the Huggies Natural Care wipes were not moist enough in my opinion. I like that the Pampers Sensitive Wipes have more moisture, so they work best for us. 

5. BOB Stroller. Before we were even pregnant, I knew I wanted a BOB Stroller when we had a baby. As a runner, I've seen them many times before in races I've run, and heard great things about them. Since running is one of my favorite things, I definitely wanted a way to bring Blair along when I work out. Being the practical, sometimes minimalistic, people we are, we decided that the BOB was the only stroller we needed - it wasn't necessary to have a second stroller that was only for walking. We ended up getting the BOB and the car seat adapter for the Britax B-Safe car seat, and it's been great so far. We've used the stroller for running, walking and browsing the aisles at Target, among other places. It's so versatile, easy to use, and easy to fold up. It does take up quite a bit of space in our Ford Edge, so I can't imagine how much space it'd take up in a car - but if you take the wheels off (super easy to do), it fits a little better. It's just been super convenient to have only one stroller, and it's nice to not have more baby equipment sitting around!

6. Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets. While we don't actually swaddle Blair in these (she's way too fidgety and strong to stay in them), we use them to keep her warm while she's in her car seat or napping in the Rock 'n Play or Swing. I'm super paranoid about letting any cloth get too close to her face, so I do like that these are light and breathable. They're also soft and seem to keep her warm, despite how lightweight they are.

7. Nuk Pacifiers. Honestly, pacifiers have been a struggle for Blair. She rarely will take them, and I originally didn't even want her to try them at all. However, after listening to her crying constantly, I kind of hoped she'd like pacifiers at least some of the time. For the longest time, my mom was the only person who could get her to take it, but now she's a little more willing to take a pacifier...but still only about 25% of the time. They're definitely not her favorite, but the only type she'll even consider has been Nuk brand. The Soothie that she had in the hospital didn't work at all, and she doesn't like the Dr. Brown's pacifiers at all (luckily, we got a TON of those as gifts...ha). We actually got a Nuk pacifier free with one of our baby registries (I think it was Babies 'R Us), and she liked that one best. We found two more of those that we'd gotten as a gift, so we've been keeping one upstairs, one downstairs and one in her diaper bag...just to cover all our bases.

There are probably a ton more things I could list that are working/not working, but these are our most used favorites so far! I'm sure that'll change frequently as she continues to grow ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why Having an Infant Is Easier Than Expected

With every day that passes, I feel more and more comfortable with taking care of an infant (no longer a tiny sad!) and it's getting easier. Not to say it's been too hard, but definitely an adjustment! The first two weeks were pretty rough, but not overly so. It just took time for all of us to adjust to the new normal. 

I barely slept the first five nights Blair was home - maybe 45 minutes to an hour at a time, in between her feedings. I felt like I needed to watch her the entire time, and I even felt uncomfortable leaving her alone for a single minute while I ran upstairs or downstairs to grab something during the day. (Side note - oh, how things have changed...I can now sleep soundly for as long as she'll let me sleep!)

That fifth night was rough. We had talked about watching a movie and snuggling on the couch, and I fed Blair at 7, confident that she'd sleep afterwards. Well, the joke is on us for making 'plans'...she cried and cried...and cried some more. When she wasn't eating, she was crying. This lasted from that 7pm feeding until 8am the next morning. At some point during the night when none of us were sleeping and all of us were crying, I seriously considered taking her back to the hospital nursery and asking them to 'fix' her, because I was sure she was broken. Luckily, my mom had already planned to come over Tuesday morning to stay with us for the rest of that week - it felt like a lifesaver after literally pulling an all-nighter! 

After that crazy night, things started to improve. Blair cried a little less, and we discovered she liked motion and liked to be swaddled, so we went out and bought a swing and a Halo Swaddle - both of which are still being used every single day. She even slept a 4-hour stretch during week 2! By the end of the 3rd week, she was sleeping 5-6 hours a night - definitely not complaining about that. 

In the first week or two, I kept focusing on how different life felt - after all, having a tiny newborn really changes your routine (what routine? ha). However, I started to realize that it didn't have to change much - we could still do most anything that we did before she arrived. After all, we could just put her in the car seat or stroller and take her wherever we wanted to go. It doesn't hurt that she falls asleep during a car or stroller ride! At week 4, we started jogging with her in the BOB stroller - it felt amazing to start working out again, even if it was really slow at first. I even tried a treadmill workout once that week, and I started to feel even more back to normal. For me, getting back into my usual routine has really helped. Plus, now that I've been a mom for six weeks, it's starting to feel 'normal' and it feels like she's been here for a long time, even though that's not really the case! 

Another thing I thought would be difficult was traveling with an infant. We had planned a weekend trip to the mountains in October before she was born, and I was admittedly a little nervous as the date got closer and closer. I'd heard disastrous stories about traveling with a baby, and we'd never taken her in the car for longer than hour at a time. However, I have to say that it was surprisingly painless and I'd do it again in a heartbeat! She did so great - we stopped once on the way there and back (3.5 hour drive each way) to feed and change her, but otherwise, she slept pretty much the entire time. It definitely added time to our trip (feeding and changing a baby can take way longer than you'd expect...), but it was really stress-free and even, dare I say, easy. 

I also tested her limits last week when we took her to Homearama to walk through the new homes, which happened to be in our neighborhood this year. I even put her in the Moby Wrap, which I was nervous about, since she hasn't really liked babywearing thus far. She ended up doing great, and slept almost the entire time (minus a few times I thought she was going to have a meltdown...but luckily didn't!). 

We're really happy she's been so laid back with traveling, since it seems like we're always on the go! After spending the first few weeks worried about how we'd ever get back to our 'normal' routine, I've learned that it's really not so difficult to adjust to the new normal because she tends to go with the flow, especially when it comes to running errands or traveling. As long as she's moving, she's happy....we've learned to never stop the stroller when we're out with her! ;)