Friday, April 26, 2013

Baby AJ: Month 6 Update

My little baby is 6 months! It's taken me way too long to write this update. I've been a little lazy and haven't felt like taking the time to comb through the months photos. Better late than never, right?

I seriously cannot believe 6 months have gone by and my little baby is half a year old already. I want time to slow. I want him to be a baby forever! I'm just loving this stage so much I don't want it to end, but I'm sure I'll love his next stage even more.

6 Month Stats:
Weight: 17 lbs 13 oz 
Length: 26.75 inches
Diaper size: Size 3
Clothing size: 9 month

Nicknames: Bubs, munchkin, baby boy, grumpster, sweetie, sweetie pie, sweetums, little guy, cranky pants, Boo Boo Bear (this is a new one and now what I usually call him), Boo Boo, Ace (This is grandpa's nickname for him)

Health: Still no sickness-thank goodness!

Sleep: I feel like a lot has changed in this department and not necessarily for the better. We started transitioning him to his crib. I started nursing him for his last nursing session before bed in the glider in the nursery and then putting him down in his crib. Before when he would wake, we would move him to the pack and play in our bedroom. Then in March, when Jack was on spring break, we just decided to move him to his crib all night. He slept there for almost a week. He continued to wake up every hour after we put him down. And he would wake with full on crying. Only I could soothe him back to sleep. Then Jack was having to go in there a lot during the night and sometimes spending an hour or more trying to put him back to sleep. The kid was waking up every 2 hours! It was like we had a newborn again. Ugh.

We were both getting pretty sleep deprived and it just wasn't working for any of us. So we started bringing him to our bed when he would wake around the time that we were going to bed. It was so much easier. He can easily nurse all night long for as much as he wants, and he just seems to sleep so much more soundly cuddled up next to me. The first few nights were rough for me, because I wasn't used to sleeping on one side for so many hours. After about a week though, I adjusted and am now feeling much more rested. It's working for now. I have hopes that eventually he'll start stretching out the first stretch of sleep in his crib.

While Jack was on spring break, he basically nap trained him. He worked with him and we started getting 1+ hour naps! It was amazing. All he did was just go in there around the 30 minute mark, when he would start to stir, and hold his arms down or give him a paci and he would just drift right back to sleep. We even had a few 2 hour + naps this last month. Sometimes we still only get 40 minutes out of him, but he has much improved in the nap department. Sometimes we don't even have to go in there the help him back asleep. The longer naps have meant more of a predictable nap schedule. He usually takes three approximately 1 hour naps a day. This is so much better than the 4-5 30 min naps he was doing before.

Diet: Pretty much still exclusively breastfed. We did give him his first solid foods one week shy of turning 6 months. He was showing all the signs of readiness (sitting up with little assistance and bringing objects to his mouth and chewing on them). We decided to go with a baby led weaning (BLW) approach, which means we're skipping purees. His first food was sticks of roasted sweet potatoes. He didn't actually eat any of it, but he enjoyed exploring and munching on it. I hope to do a post soon on BLW and his first foods.

Baby Gear Love:
-Infant car seat with stroller frame: still loving this and it's proven to be useful still. Only problem is the car seat is super heavy with him in it now. We'll probably switch to a convertible car seat soon.
-Halo sleep sacks: no more swaddle for our baby. He now wears a sleep sack to bed.
-Sassy links: See pic below. He loves to chew on these links and they come in handy for securing other toys.
-Sophie: He still loves his Sophie teether.
-Bibs: Man this kid drools like crazy. He is always wearing a bib because I would otherwise be changing his shirt every five minutes. My favorites are from this Etsy shop and this one.

Loves: his bath every night, sitting up & playing with toys, standing with assistance, when we blow raspberries on his belly, grabbing objects and chewing on them (everything goes into his mouth), playing with his feet and chewing on them, being tossed in the air, when we sing and talk to him, our dog Sadie, sitting on the front lawn and people watching, sleeping on his side

Dislikes: He's such a happy little guy, but he does get pretty cranky when he's tired. He also doesn't enjoy being on his tummy for very long.

Milestones: No rolling from back to belly yet. But he can sit all on his own. He doesn't topple over very much and he's learned to better use his arms for support. He can even sit and play with toys.

Other things of note about month 6: 

-He is a really happy baby and laughs and smiles all the time. I never tire of his smile.

-He had his first St. Patrick's Day. We invited Grandma, Grandpa, Great Grandma & Great Uncle Jess over for some corn beef and cabbage. He loved all the attention!

-We took a small little road trip to Wind Wolves. It's really beautiful there this time of year and there's a nice walking trail and picnic area.

-We had an early Easter at my Parent's house.

-We spent his first Easter just the three of us. We managed to go to the park for a little bit.

I love this little man with all my heart. Both Jack and I are just so obsessed with him. Ha! He is just the center of our universe and we love him so much.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What's In My Diaper Bag 0-6 Month Edition

Here's a look at what diaper bags I have and what I put in them. Keep in mind we all have different wants and needs in a diaper bag. This is just what is working for me! If you can, wait to purchase a diaper bag until after your baby arrives. You'll have a much better sense as to what kind of bag is going to work best for you.

My Diaper Bags

So I have two diaper bags and a changing pad thingy. Each of these serves a purpose and I use all three regularly.

  • Coach Baby Bag: I was gifted a Coach Baby Bag by a good friend. I really do love this bag. However, I found out quickly, that it was just too large to take on quick trips around town. I like to use this for longer outings. Like trips to the Lake to visit Jack's family or for going over to my parent's house. I basically use this bag when I want to carry more stuff. And you can never be too prepared, right? 
  • Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F.: I purchased this bag after AJ was born. I wanted something smaller and I also wanted a backpack diaper bag. I did a lot of baby wearing, so it was nice to have the baby in the carrier and this on my back and still have 2 free hands. It's great having 2 free hands even when I'm not baby wearing! 
  • Brica Elite goPad: This thing is great when I want to be a real minimalist when taking the baby out. I use this for super quick trips like a quick run to the grocery store. I also put this in my Coach diaper bag when I'm using it. 

Diaper bag 0-6 months

Besides the obvious diapers and wipes, here is what I carry in my diaper bag.

1. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blanket: I usually pack one of these in the diaper bag. They're great as a light blanket and for draping over the car seat to block the sun. I've also used it as a nursing cover.

2. Burp Cloths: My baby spits up a ton. Always has, so I do not leave the house with out burp cloths. If I feel like looking a little more stylish, I'll pack an Aden + Anais burpy bib. Otherwise, I just pack a couple of these flat cloth diapers.

3. Nursing Cover: I like this Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover. It's a nice generous size & it has a structured neckline so I can see my baby.

4 & 5. Reusable snack bag & pacifier: I have these Itzy Ritzy Mini Reusable snack bags and I keep pacifiers in one. I got these because I could see them be versatile. Right now I stick a paci in it, but I could see storing snacks in them in the future when little man is eating more.

6. Travel hand sanitizer: I carry this BabyGanics Alcohol free foaming hand sanitizer in my diaper bag. It smells kind of weird, but I like that I don't have to worry about it being completely dry before touching my baby again.

7. Travel size diaper cream: Triple Paste is the fav in our household. We've always fought diaper rash, so we prevent it by putting triple paste on at most diaper changes. I like to have it on hand in case a rash starts to appear when we're out and about.

8. Teething ring: I really like these Lifefactory teething rings. I didn't carry this when he was a newborn. But around 4.5/5 months, I started carrying one in the diaper bag for him to gnaw on.

9. Sophie: We love Sophie. I think she's just the cutest teether out there. Again, not necessary until your baby starts grabbing objects and bringing them to their mouth.

10. Extra outfit: I never leave the house with out a backup change of clothes. Many occasions, he has had an explosive poo while we're out. For cooler weather, a zip up sleeper is easy to change into. Now that's it's warmer, I usually just pack an extra onsie.

11. Bibs: My baby drools and spits up a lot, so he's always wearing a bib. It's much easier to just change his bib than his clothes. I don't leave the house with out extra bibs.

12. Wet Bag: I have this Itzy Ritzy Travel Happens wet bag. I don't cloth diaper which is what people usually carry these for, but it's great to throw soiled clothes in or dirty diapers when a trash can isn't readily available. When I get home, I just empty out the soiled clothes in the washer and throw the bag in too.

13. Disposable pad: I have these Munchkin ones. Here's a tip to keep it cheaper--just buy chuxs. I like to have one of these in the diaper bag. I like to use it if he's had a blow out or if we're in a public restroom and I don't want to use my regular pad.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Postpartum Tips

I've been thinking lately what kind of advice I would give to a new mom about what to expect postpartum and what things I would do differently the second time around.

1. My #1 tip would be to take it EASY! Especially if you tear and have stitches. If you are one of the lucky ones that don't tear, then your recovery will probably be a bit easier. The biggest mistake I made postpartum was trying to do too much too soon. I had a second degree tear that required stitches and a few little scratches that didn't require any stitches. I remember just days after giving birth, I was trying to go out for walks. You get a bit of cabin fever taking care of a newborn! We would have to turn around and come home because it would start to hurt. Hello! That should have been a sign to me to take it easy, but no, I kept trying to go on walks because I wanted to get out of the house. Learn from my mistake, take it easy! I was sore for about 6 weeks and it probably would have been less had I not tried to go out on walks. An alternative to getting out of the house is to lay out a blanket in your backyard or front yard and enjoy the outdoors with out having to go anywhere! Plop your newborn out there next to you.

2. Start taking sitz baths immediately. If you can manage 3 a day, do it! Who has time for that with a newborn though? I took one a day. Jack would watch the baby every evening and I would go soak in the tub for 20 minutes and then take my shower. It really helped with the soreness.

3. Take stool softener. That first bowel movement is going to be scary. Take the stool softener to help it along. Also, make sure to drink lots of water and eat foods with fiber like apples and pears. I'm not a doctor so check with your doc before taking stool softener. They'll probably prescribe you some before you leave the hospital.

4. Tucks and the peri bottle are your friend. Fill the peri bottle up with warm water and squirt while you pee and afterwards. It feels so good. Then dab yourself dry and then dab yourself with tucks pads working the pad from front to back. Use multiple tucks pads. I would use a bunch each time I went to the bathroom, because they feel so refreshing. Here's another thing that surprised me, sitting on the toilet hurt like a mo fo. I remember I didn't want to go #2 because that meant I had to sit on the can longer. I would grip the doorknob and just cringe. It was worse than childbirth.

5. I never did this, but I should have. Wet a diaper or pad and then freeze it. Apply to your lady bits to ease soreness.

6. Don't stress about chores. Remember take it easy and let others clean the house.

7. Be prepared - your hormones will be out of whack the first week or two. I remember just crying at the drop of a pin for every little thing. Especially right before Jack went back to work. I had some full on sob fest, panic attacks about it. Just know that it will pass and you'll soon be feeling more like your normal self. Of course if the crying continues past a few weeks, talk to your doctor about postpartum depression.

8. Night sweats - they're normal. Seriously, no one tells you about this stuff beforehand. But I would wake up drenched in sweat for weeks. I think it's the body's way of getting rid of all that extra fluid from pregnancy plus the hormone thing.

9. Do something for yourself. For me, I liked to put on a bit of makeup to feel a little like my normal self.

10. It's ok to mourn your previous life a little. Having a baby is a huge life adjustment and it's a very difficult to deal with at first. I know some deal with it just fine and the transition is smooth. For me, not so much, and for Jack too. I remember we both had moments like, "what did we get ourselves into?!" Taking care of a newborn is hard!!! Of course you love your baby and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world, but it's OK to be a little sad about this life adjustment.

11. Final tip, enjoy all those sleepy newborn baby snuggles! Before you know it, they won't want to snuggle with you anymore so enjoy it while it lasts! I can still get my 5 month old to snuggle with me, especially before a nap or bedtime, but it's not the same as when he was a newborn. Already gone are the days where he would nap on my chest for hours. I already miss that.

One of the last times I remember him sleeping on me like this when he was 3 months