The number one question that most people seem to ask us about having a newborn is “How is he sleeping?”
Kale is a good sleeper – once he gets there. During the day he is a rather wakeful baby, preferring to hang out and watch stuff rather than sleep a lot. And throughout the night, he sleeps for a good few blocks, generally waking only once in the wee hours of the morning and then up again at 6:30 or so for a snack and backoff to dreamland. Its in this no-man’s land of 6:30 to 9 ish that I tend to get things like laundry done. Sometimes I sleep with Kale because I am feeling like I need a nap, but for the most part, that’s when I check my emails, make a cup of tea, and throw in some laundry. Its amazing how much you can get done early in the morning. its amazing how quiet it is outside.
His favourite sleeping pose is the “surrender pose” – with his arms throw up above his head and if he had his way, I suspect he would sleep on his stomach because whatever chance he gets he likes to be there. But alas, we are a little way away from allowing that so surrender pose it is. He was getting swaddled to sleep the first few weeks. One of the more helpful books I have read is “The Happiest Baby on the Block” (thanks for the tip, Gillian) by Harvey Karp, and the number one recommendation is to swaddle an unhappy baby. But due to the past few weeks of heat and what I think is simply a general distaste for having his arms swaddled, we stopped and the most he gets swaddled now (unless its a meltdown) is waist down, which he generally has kicked off in about 20 minutes. So now we get these hilarious “out like a light” moments with his arms throw up with reckless abandon as he gives himself to sleeping wholeheartedly. Man, I could use a night like that these days, let me tell you.
As we approach that holy grail of the 6 week mark where I am told everything tends to fall into place, there are two issues we are dealing with that can frustrate the beejesus out of me:
One is that I appear to have a rather forceful let down reflex, so at feedings Kale is coughing, sputtering, dripping, and generally struggling to keep up witn the milk flow. I’ve been trying feeding him semi-reclined and that is helping to a degree, but he still needs lots of burping because of all the air he is taking in while trying to keep up.
The other issue is gas. Seriously, if Kale had the ability to speak, he would be saying “I am DYING over here!” every time his little body started the process of moving gas around. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the Internet (I know, I know, world’s worst source for help but in this case its helping) and have been pleasantly surprised at how well bicycling his legs seems to relieve him, as well as massage, rubbing his back, and of course, the obvious back pats.
We also succumbed and bought him a pacifier (which I call a sucky). Because with that all that fast milk, he gets what he needs food wise rather quickly but still wants to suck and I think one of the issues why we have spitting up and lots of gas and fussing at the breast is that he is getting the food he needs but not the comfort sucking he wants, and so he is sucking longer than he comfortably should and paying for it in the end.
So right now, I spend a great deal of time trying to read his signs of being full and then if he is still desperate to suck, offering him his sucky instead of falling for his “I am desperately hungry, please let me suck some more, oh wait, I was wrong, here’s a present – BLARGH!” as the puke hits the floor/bed/my hair/etc.
The sucky, the bicycling of legs, the back pats, the massage, the everything… well, they are working. Thank the stars.
The other question I get asked frequently is “How are those diapers working out?”
Before Kale was born, I made 36 cloth diapers which we used – for two weeks before he grew out of them! Yes, our long torso-ed son (he didn’t get that from me, that’s for sure) is already too long for the diapers that took Ross and I weeks to complete. So, we’re trying out different kinds of other cloth diapers until we find the ones that fit him the best. In the meantime, we are using the dreaded disposable and the G diaper whenever we can. There are flaws with the G diaper, however, the number one being that if they leak (and they do -especially overnight) the little cloth plants get wet or dirty and you only get the cloth pants from the starter set, so you have to buy multiple starter sets (at $40) to get more than two pairs of the little cloth pants. Crap! So right now we are trying Fuzzi Buns and Bum Genius to see how they fit and perform.
I am still committed to cloth diapers – they weren’t hard to use – but now its a matter of finding a commercially available diaper that doesn’t break the bank that is easy to use that fits. And that is no tall order on a squirmy newborn with a long torso.