Sunday, June 29, 2014

Teething Woes and Happy 5 Months P!

Well, the day we have all been dreading is finally here…P is teething. She is drooling everywhere, chewing and nawing like crazy, and just down right miserable to be around these days. Though I know that this is just a part of her development, but I can’t help but lose my cool every once in awhile. I have been having bouts of the baby blues lately, and I don’t think that is a coincidence that this comes along at approximately the same time as P’s teething. I am finding that dealing with a teething baby is about as stressful as dealing with a newborn. It is just not fun!

Truthfully P was an amazing newborn, and I felt rested most of the time. Now, I have gotten used to my 8 hours of sleep at night, and I am less than thrilled about her waking me up at 6:00 every morning instead of sleeping till 7. Yes, I know it is just one hour, but I need that hour so much! I feel guilty that I get angry when I hear her crying before the sun comes up. I am frustrated that she seems to be regressing with her eating--causing her to regress with sleeping. How dare she undo all of my hard work. 

We have tried hurricane gel, tylenol before bed, frozen teethers, and massaging her gums. Nothing is working yet. UGH! ok, rant over!

Nevertheless P is 5 months old, and it is a time to celebrate. It’s summertime, and she has  experienced a lot of new first this month. She has rolled over, and started say Ba-ba and Da-da! She is quite the vocal baby lately. She enjoys examining the extremes of her voice. She squeals, squeaks, and moans constantly.
This month she has experienced the pool for the first time, and she took her first ride on a boat. She loves the water. Her little legs are kicking constantly while she floats along. I cannot wait to see her reaction to the ocean in two weeks! It should be interesting to see her reaction to sand between her perfect tiny toes.
She also rolled over for the first time this month, but she hasn’t done it since. I have been trying to give her a lot of practice on her tummy, but she protests after about five minutes. Toys have become a big favorite to her lately. She has taken a liking to her Sophie the Giraffe teether and her o-ball. However most days she would be happier with an empty water bottle. She loves textures, and is constantly running her chubby fingers along any new fabric or object that interests her. She is able to sit up for several seconds at a time unassisted.

Entertaining my little one is a lot more challenging this month than in the past. She does not want to lie down on her activity mat for very long, and would much rather be sitting or standing in my lap. She loves her bouncy seat and her walker. She still loves to swing and watch Baby First TV. She still has to be swaddled to sleep, and she is growing out of most of the swaddles that I have found. I am a little bit at a loss for how to transition her to sleeping without a swaddle or wearable blanket. Her legs and arms are still very active and she will wake herself easily. It is challenging to say the least.

Feeding time is about the same as nap time—she is very active. Her arms and legs are constantly moving. She is punching, slapping and clawing me and her daddy the whole time. Ultimately, I am happy with just a few ounces at a time. This has led to a nasty snacking habit that Babywise warned me against. However, I have tried to fight it for so long, and at this point, I am just trying to get the ounces in at any time I can. I know that if she doesn’t eat a certain amount by bedtime, that she will wake at night. So I guess this is just one of those pick your battle type things. Ultimately, baby girl can still put away 30 or more ounces in 24 hours if I let her snack all day long.

I have cut my pumping schedule down to 5 pumpings a day instead of 6. This means that I am now pumping every four hours instead of every 3—allowing me a lot more time to get things done. This has led me to a greater quality of life. I can leave the house for date night without having to pump while we are out. I just pump in the car on the way to dinner and then pump when we get home. It’s because of this fact that I will probably continue my pumping after 6 months.

Speaking of the 6 month mark… we are very excited to be starting solids in just a few weeks. I am looking forward to doing a hybrid Baby Led Weaning and puree type deal with P. I want to give her some finger foods that she can naw on, but I also want to make some purees for her. I don’t know that I am quite ready to let go enough to let her feed herself entirely (as BLW traditionally recommends). I want her to be more dependent on me than that. I’m CRAZY!

Overall, I think the last five months have been some of the best of my life. Piper is a happy chunky little angel that I love oh-so-much!

Happy 5 months baby P! I am so lucky to call you my Piperoo, Piperdoodle, but most importantly—my daughter. Mommy loves you so much!

Friday, June 20, 2014

What's next?

This is crazy rant that I had in my head this morning. I just felt that it needed out. Love it or leave it!

Here is the thing about growing upIt’s exciting when you are younger, intimidating when you are twenty, scary when your forty. I’ve got one word for itOVERATED.

My baby cousin graduated from College this year. She is officially a grown-upon paper at least. Now she has to find a job, and figure out her path in life. I wish her the best of luck in everything that she does. I remember those days all too well. They were unsettling to say the least. Gone are the days of reckless abandon. Fast coming are job interviews, bills, student loan payments. I remember thinking, “when did I grow up and how do I make it stop?”

I would like to be able to tell her that it will get better, and that things will work out the way that they are intended to. BUTI know that these are the clich├ęs that everyone else around her are handing her on a silver platter. They are words of comfort in an uncomfortable transition. The truth is that the tough decisions are going to keep on coming, and you just have to trust that you are heading down the right path.

I have great sympathy for her because the first 5 years of my twenties were not my favorites. I made a lot of mistakes, took a lot of people for granted, and wasted a lot of money. I didn’t do it rightthings didn’t turn out the way that I wanted them to.  Quarter life crisis was in high gear in my mid-twenties. I want to shelter her from that. But I know I can’t! The truth is that I have entered into an entirely new crisis in my life. It is one that I haven’t yet defined.

Isn’t it funny how we spend the first 18 years of our life begging for time to speed up, and then the rest of our life struggling against the pace. I see it every day in my daughter’s face. When I put her down for the night I always thinkplease don’t grow up little girlI’m not ready. But grow up she will. Isn’t that the reason that we have them to raise them, mold them, love them into amazing humans? I no longer worry about growing older myself, but I worry about something much scarier. What’s next?

That’s the question folksWhat is next? It’s the one we ask ourselves through every major transition in life. When we are kids and we go from elementary to middle school we worry about what is next. When we go to collegeget marriedare pregnantare a new mom. What is next? I will admit that I have always been a pusher. When I graduated from college I wanted to get married, so I pushed and pushed and pushed my college sweetheart for a ring—A ring that I would never get from him. When I heard, “I’m not ready,” I moved on. I was readydammit. He was holding me back from what was next. He was keeping me from that plan in the back of my mind. That plan was Married by 24 and baby by 26. I didn’t want to be an older mom. I wanted to have my children young. Truth was that we were not right for each other, and he obviously knew that. It would have been a disastrous pairing for the long haul.

I was married by 24 and I had P at 26. There was a lot of pressuring my poor husband so that those things would coincide with the schedule in my head. AND FOR WHAT? Would it have made a difference if it were a year down the road? Or two? Probably notbut I was rushing towards P. I was worried that I would never have kids because of my PCOS. But I did have her, and she is perfect. I thought that after she was here that I would relax.  I figured that there would be peace in my heart. Something in my mind that would saythis is it. You are where you wanted to be, and now you can just enjoy it. And it was that wayfor about four and half months. Let me just say that I know I am CRAZY. She is five months old, and I find myself tearing up when another one of my facebook friends announces that they are pregnant.

It all stems from thisMy husband does not want another child.  He feels done. BUT I DO NOT FEEL DONE. I feel sad at each one of my daughter’s milestones. I look at them all as my first and lasts. I feel a sadness at the thought that she may grow up without a sibling. That if anything were to happen to me that she would bear that alone. Truthfully, I don’t want another for a few years. So why am I worried about it. I think it is the permanence of the statementdone. The thought of never being pregnant, delivering, or nursing another babyit makes me very sad. When I express these thoughts to my hubs he says, “no matter how many times you did it, it would never be enough for you.” Maybe he is right.

I have that personality flaw. Nothing is ever enough. The grass is always greener. Guilty as charged. Maybe my feelings come from the fact hat everything up until now was expected—and now I am unsure of what the rest of my life would hold. I have always had the end to journey towards. Now, I am just on the journey searching for my end.

So the question is what is next for me? 

Monday, June 9, 2014

4 Month Sleep Regression

While at my mommy class I have heard a lot of parents complaining about 4 month sleep issues. Many moms complain that they see a regression in the sleep habits of their children when they reach 4 months old. This regression can come during night sleep, naps, or even both (GRR!). It can be extremely frustrating for you—especially if you are trying to get something done in a timely manner. While I am certainly no expert on the subject, I have observed my own child over her fourth month and come to this conclusion about her. It is not really a sleep regression—it is an eating regression.

My girl, P, has become far more aware of her surroundings in the last month. This awareness has made her more easily distracted while eating. I cannot tell you how many times a slight movement or noise has rendered her no longer interested in her bottle. It has become WWIII at times trying to get her to eat. I know that some of you may think, “if she’s not hungry, then don’t feed her.” But that is not the issue here. She is hungry, just not starving enough to woof down that whole bottle in one sitting. This has been really hard for me because I am a Babywise mom. One of the basic principles is to ensure that your child takes full feedings every feeding. I have noticed that if P does not get her 25 -30 ounces a day in, then she will wake at night. Therefore, these distracted meal times are worrisome for me. So, if you find yourself with a baby that used to sleep like a champ, and then all of a sudden doesn’t, here are some suggestions I have for you.

1.       Keep a running list of the number of ounces (minutes at the breast) taken at each feeding in a 24 hour period. Do this for three or four days. If you notice a pattern between the number of ounces and night time sleep, then you may need to try a few of these other suggestions.

2.       Try to keep the feeding environment as quiet and as soothing as possible. There are times when I have to take P into her room and turn off the lights to get her to eat consistently for more than a few seconds at a time.

3.       Turn off the TV—I am still working on this one in my house. My Hubs prefers to watch Step By Step while giving P her 10:00 bottle. I have suggested that he not do this on more than one occasion, but seeing as how she has been eating fine at this dream feed—he is less than interested in changing his plans.

4.       Offer the bottle or breast more frequently—this was also a hard one for me. Babywise preaches that you should cut out snacking. It states that children learn very quickly to snack and will stop taking bottles in large volumes because they will realize that it is available whenever they want it. I understand that this can be a problem if you are taking baby out and want them to be predictable. However, I choose sleep in almost every situation now-a-days. Therefore, if P does not take at least 4 ounces in a feeding, then I will offer her than bottle over the next hour as many times as it takes until it is either gone or it is naptime. This is because I do not want to be up at night with a screaming baby.

5.       Find something to do with those arms and legs—if you child is like P, then those things are flying everywhere during meals. I mean, girlfriend is scratching and slapping me and herself. I have found that holding her where one of her arms is wrapped around my back while I hold the other arm with my free hand to be helpful during feeding times. I have even put her in her Halo Sleeper during a meal to keep her from kicking and slapping herself!

6.       If you are feeding around others, then leave the room. If you are in public, then go to a quieter location—or turn baby away from people. I know everyone means well, but they can be distracting to your child if they are talking to them while they are trying to eat.

I hope these things help. Like I said, there are just some things that I have found to help with P. So far, we have not had a real sleep regression at nighttime. We HAVE had some naptime issues though, but I feel that those are more tied to allowing her to go too long between naps. I find that P needs to sleep every 90 minutes in order to have a good nap. We aren’t perfect though. Anytime we leave the house, then we know she will skip at least one nap and it will mean a meltdown at some point. She becomes a ticking time bomb!
If you have any suggestions for helping with naps on the go for 4 month olds and up, then please send them my way!

I am also sure that sleep regression is partly because of teething in some little ones. Since I am not really there yet, I do not know how this will affect P. I’m sure there is a blog post in my future on that one.

Have you had to deal with sleep regression in your four or five month old? What tips or tricks do you have?