Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Frirst Month

The first month was pretty much a blur.  I mean that is actually what I wrote in Farrah's baby book under "Memories and Milestones of the First Month".  It was a blur.  Not only was it Farrah's first month, but we also had Christmas and New Year's thrown into the mix.  Thomas had planned on staying home with us for one week, going back to work for a couple of weeks, and then taking off a second week.  He ended up staying home with us for two weeks.  I never realized how much recovery I would have to go through on top of being at home with a new baby.  So, both Farrah and I were very happy that Daddy stayed home for two weeks.  We also had some special visitors all the way from Sevierville, TN that came to meet sweet Farrah.


With Cousin Dane

With Cousin Brandi

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

BW - Feeding Summary

The authors of the book recommend not even looking at a clock for the first week to ten days.  Simply feed your baby when she is hungry.  In the book there are scenarios given that demonstrate two types of feeding philosophies; feeding strictly by the clock and feeding strictly when the baby shows signs of wanting to be feed.  The Baby Wise plan suggests combining both philosophies and adding the parent's assessment or judgment.  They call this plan Parent-Directed Feeding.

The Baby Wise plan focuses on three main activities that are repeated throughout your babies day; Eat, Wake, Sleep.   Here's my take on the Baby Wise plan - Feeding.  Basically you feed your baby every 2.5 to 3 hours to begin with.  They do suggest establishing a time for your first feeding and sticking to it.  This becomes your babies wake-time every morning.  Wake your baby during the day if needed to feed every 2.5 to 3 hours.  Waking Farrah from a nap is very hard for me.  But, I feel like Farrah has learned to trust me and that I am going to make sure she has what she needs by doing this.  It seems to me that your baby never really has to let you know that she is hungry (with the exception of the middle of the night feeding and during growth spurts).  You make sure your baby is fed before they get so hungry that they let you know.  The Baby Wise plan suggests NOT waking her after your late night feeding.  Our late night feeding was at 10:00 p.m.  After this feeding, let your baby tell you when she is ready to eat again.  It is okay to have a combination of 2.5 and 3 hours between feedings throughout your day.  So far, all of our schedules have been combination schedules.  I work around times that are bad for us to need to feed Farrah.  The Baby Wise plan just suggests not feeding your baby any sooner than every 2.5 hours and no later than every 3 hours during the newborn stage.  I did cluster feed Farrah for her last few feedings which resulted in her eating sooner than every 2.5 hours.  I fed her at 5:00 p.m, 8:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.  Check out this blog post for more information on cluster feeding.  There are also several different reasons listed in the book for feeding your baby sooner than 2.5 hours. 
  • If your baby seems hungry sooner
  • Low milk supply if you are nursing
  • The 45 minute intruder
  • Medical reasons
  • The dreamfeed
  • To get your schedule back on track.
This is why they suggest not using only the clock as a resource for when to feed your baby.  You also have to consider your babies hunger cues and use your own judgement.  Here is the link to the homepage of the blog I sent you to for more information on cluster feeding.  It is a MUST HAVE RESOURCE for anyone implementing the Baby Wise plan!   Chronicles of a Babywise Mom

Being Baby Wise

After being home with Farrah for a few weeks and adjusting to life with very little sleep, I decided it was time to do some reading to help me figure out how to help Farrah get in a good routine and get the sleep she needed. For those of you that do not know me, I am completely clueless when it comes to babies. I have never really been around many babies. I am also a planner/scheduler who is a little OCD. So, I needed a plan! I was given the book On Becoming Baby Wise as a Christmas gift, so I decided to start with that.  Everyone kept telling me that Farrah had her days and nights mixed up.  I really feel that the book, On Becoming Baby Wise, helped me help Farrah figure this out.  On Becoming Baby Wise gives you a plan to follow to help your baby learn the difference between day and night.  The main goal of the book is to have a healthy, growing baby who sleeps through the night by 8 to 12 weeks.  Throughout this blog you will find posts that are my interpretation of the plan presented in the book and how I decided to implement it in our lives.  The title of those posts will begin with BW followed by the specific topic.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The First Few Weeks

My husband and I were expecting our first child to arrive sometime around December 27th, 2011. We ended up with an appointment on the 19th to schedule an induction for the 20th, because our doctor felt Farrah was getting too big for me. Well, Farrah had other plans. My water broke around 2:30 a.m. on December 19th. About twelve hours later, we had our precious little girl. 7 pounds 6 ounces and 21 inches. Of course we were very excited to take this sleepy little baby home. The nursery nurse went over everything with us; cord care, what temperature was too high or too low, feeding, etc. and sent us on our way. We followed our "directions" or we thought we did. When it came to feeding, we were told to feed her every 3 hours during the day and 3-4 hours at night. She was taking about 2 ounces when we left the hospital. The nurse told us if she took it all, to slowly increase the amount. Here are some mistakes we made.
  • Mistake #1 We feed her every 3 hours on the dot. We woke her every 3 hours, even during the night. We did not know the nurse did not literally mean every 3 hours until friends and family found out what we were doing. Thankfully they told us to feed her when she woke up during the night not to wake her every 3 hours on the dot (no wonder she was so unhappy during those night time feedings!).
  • Mistake #2 Farrah continued to take all of her formula, so we continued to increase the amount. We did not realize we should not increase it past a certain amount.
  • Mistake # 3 We did not know about GAS DROPS!
The first few weeks were a blur. We had a baby that slept all day and cried all night. When we stopped waking her to eat during the middle of the night and let her wake on her own, things got a little better. But, the crying at night was still horrible. So, to the Internet I went. I decided she might be crying because of gas. Her poor belly would be so tight at night (when she cried nonstop). We called the doctor's office and spoke with a nurse. The nurse did believe gas could be the problem and recommended gas drops with each bottle. She also told us the gas was probably being caused by us feeding her too much. I can not remember exactly how much we were feeding her, but I think it was around 3 ounces. (Boy does that sound like way too much 3 months later!) She explained that Farrah's stomach was only the size of a half dollar, and we were over filling it causing her gas and pain. You can not imagine how horrible we felt. We were the reason our sweet girl was so uncomfortable. We thought we were doing what we were supposed to do. With scaling back the amount she was eating, giving gas drops with every bottle, and eventually changing to sensitive formula, our sweet baby stopped crying so much and slept a little better.

We should have asked the nurse more questions instead of just listening to what she said. I guess we were just excited to take our new addition home! I had read What to Expect When You're Expecting, but I never thought about reading anything about actually being at home with a baby. I was just trying to get through a pregnancy. What lessons did we learn? Ask questions and read, read, read!


Being a first time mom is full of experiences, decisions, and questions. I find myself turning to Google time and time again to help with all of the "newness" in my life. How often should she eat? How much should she sleep? What bottle should I use? How long should I swaddle? You get the idea! Since I had Farrah, I have been toying with the idea of sharing all of my experiences as well as resources I have found along the way. Being a new mom that recently returned to work, I have not found the time to do this until now. So, I will back track with my first few posts to catch up to were we are now (3 months). I hope you enjoy reading our stories as well as find some useful information and resources!