Friday, October 9, 2009

Wearing Baby

In the course of trying to have both baby Hudson and us, his parents, enjoy him and grow, I've spent time doing some research into what people say make their babies happy. One thing that gets recommended time and time again is wearing a baby. What's that? It means strapping the baby on in some kind of sling or harness thing-a-ma-jig.

The benefits of baby wearing are said to include:

Babies who are carried cry less - up to 51% according to studies - & have decreased levels of stress hormone in their blood streams.

Carried babies have more regular respiratory rate, heart rate & a more stable body temperature.

Being carried improves sleep patterns, with babies falling asleep more quickly, more soundly & for longer periods.

Babywearing improves infants’ digestion & has been shown to reduce the symptoms of colic and reflux.

Carried babies have advanced motor skills because their vestibular system in their brain is stimulating by the person carrying them. This means carried babies will already have begun to acquire balance & muscular development before they start to crawl & walk.

Babies who are held gain weight better, & nurse better.

Babywearing improves parent-baby bonding, allowing parents to be more aware and responsive to their baby’s needs. Babywearing can reduce the risk of depression.

Carried babies are up where they can hear & see adult interaction & activity which promotes cognitive and language development. Babies that are in carriers speak earlier and have more advanced speech.

Baby wearing helps mothers to strengthen muscles and ligaments which have been stretched or weakened by pregnancy.

From Hug of Joy website

I ordered a Moby Wrap from Amazon - got it for $4 off of the SRP and free shipping. I figure both Craig and I can use it and Hudson will hopefully be an even happier baby.

Speaking of happy, he's started to cry so that's the end of this post.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Please Don't. Rules for friends and family of new parents

I know you want to help. I understand you want to see the baby. But we are new parents, getting used to all the adventures of having a baby. And the baby is new to the world and has little tolerance for many things, including you.

So, please don't...

1. visit without asking. Stopping by is NOT allowed. Most of the time mommy is in her pajamas, unshowered, and very possibly has at least one breast exposed. Mommy may be sleeping or trying to quiet the baby. Your visit, while well intentioned, is annoying. We may not even answer the door, either because mommy's hands are full, she's sleeping, or we just don't have the patience to deal with you.

2. visit without verifying first. Yes, even if you DO have an appointment to visit, call before you leave to make sure we're still OK for your visit. There's a chance the little baby is ill, or mommy has been up all night and simply cannot tolerate a visitor.

3. visit right after you've been somewhere known to be a "bio hazard." These include the doctor's office, public transit or airplane, children's school or day care, or any other place where you know you have come into contact with people who are likely to have the flu.

4. invite us over or visit expecting it to last longer than an hour. Again, mommy is tired, baby is tired and possibly hungry. We're trying to figure each other out and while we enjoy seeing family and friends we just don't have the tolerance for long visits. An hour, two at the most, is more than enough for right now.

5. tell us that you never get the flu so you are not getting a flu shot, and then expect to see the baby. You get the flu shot to protect the baby - he's the one who might not survive it, not you. Get over yourself or don't expect to see him until summer.

6. complain that the whole time you were babysitting he slept. That's WONDERFUL news to mommy and daddy, and to you though you may not yet realize it. You stay up for 20 hours straight with a baby who refuses to sleep in bed for longer than 5 minutes and then tell me how you feel when the baby sleeps for a couple of hours straight.

7. ask to bring your friends over to see the baby. First, we don't know this friend and if he or she is sick or works with sick people and we don't want to make the baby ill. Second, our house is probably not clean and we may not feel comfortable having strangers look at the dirty dishes in our sink and mommy unwashed in her pajamas. This will cause mommy and daddy stress because they will have to try to clean the house or have the guest see the house messy and feel guilty about it. After the baby is 6 months old and has a bit of an immune system working and is more interesting besides, feel free to invite us over to meet your friend. Then you can worry about cleaning your own house. But again, don't expect us to stay more than a couple of hours.

8. assume we don't know what we're doing. We will ask for advice when we need it. Every baby is different and every family too. While we might seem lost at times we WILL figure it out, if we haven't already.

9. decide you are not going to follow our rules if you are watching the baby. If we're using cloth diapers don't decide to buy boxes of disposables. If we have bed time, feeding amount, or other routine established PLEASE don't decide to do it your way. You can have your own kids if you want that (or you have already). We do what works for us - not you.

10. forget that the first couple years of a child's life are hard for parents - especially new ones. There is so much to learn and experience, both good and bad. Please don't assume you know what we are going through. Don't demand too much from us. Don't get angry when we ask you to leave or help or get a flu shot or tell you that you can't or must. If we look tired or stressed we probably are. If we ask for help we need it, if we don't we probably don't want you to bother us.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Better Today

I'm happy to report that Hudson slept better last night, going to bed around 10:30 pm and only waking up twice for feedings, once around 2 am and again around 5:30 am, and the feedings were about half an hour and then he fell asleep and slept soundly.

What did we do?

During the day I kept lights on and windows open and woke him up every 3 hours. In the afternoon he stayed away for over 2 hours, which was GREAT because I figured the more he is up during the day the more tired he would be at night.

At night, starting at 6 pm, I woke him every 2 hours and fed him, hoping that he wouldn't act like he was starving when 10 pm rolled around. I was right - he did his half hour feeding at 10 and was asleep at 10:30.

We also gave him a bath around 9 pm. He objected to it this time, but it did seem to help tire him out.

Daddy and I were much happier not having to stay awake until 4 am.

I did order the Harvy Karp Happiest Baby DVD yesterday. We'll see what advice we can pick up from that, since I'm sure we won't get this lucky with Hudson every night.