Hello friends! I seem to be doing better at keeping you updated on all things Hunter! He is such a joy to spend the day with! I am cherishing these days at home with him before I have to go back to work. I plan on writing a post about my plans for working soon!
As you can see Hunter is growing and growing!
I just can’t believe how fast they change in these first three months. Before (when he was “little”) I would see other people holding him or catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror with him and think, “Oh he is so tiny!” now I do the same thing but think, “He has gotten so big!” He is just so long! When I hold him at my shoulder is legs hang down to my belly! I have also started setting aside some clothes that don’t fit him any more! He has completely grown out of the Newborn size clothes and even some of the 0-3month clothes are getting snug. Some of the one piece outfits labeled 3 month are even starting to fit him. Just notice the difference in size between Newborn clothes and 3 month clothes!
In my last post I mentioned that I thought I found the solution to Hunter’s short naps and that weekend we experienced two night where Hunter slept 6 hours and then 5 1/2 hours straight! It was glorious! Since then he’s gone back to shorter sleep periods. I hesitated to write about the secret I discovered because I know that some people might disapprove or think it is unhealthy or unsafe but just in case there are other folks out there struggling I will write about it. Prior to last weekend sleep was a huge issue. We had moved Hunter into his crib at 6 weeks and had him sleep there. Sometimes he would do ok but other times our nights were TERRIBLE. He would be asleep for MAYBE 3 hours max then be up to eat. Then it was REALLY hard to get him back to sleep. I would walk around the house with him, bounce on the exercise ball, and rock in the rocking chair just to get him down and have him wake up anywhere from 15 minutes-1hour later. If it was longer and I knew he had to eat I would get up otherwise Brian would. During one of my marathon rocking sessions I stumbled upon the blog Troublesome Tots. This site is REALLY helpful as the author combines different baby sleep sources in one place as well as offering her own advice and experience. One article I read suggested that if your baby is having a trouble sleeping to put them in the swing. The article suggests that not only does this help them sleep but also helps them to learn to fall asleep on there own. I was intrigued and desperate! After Hunter woke up at 5:30am (after only being asleep since 4:30am!) I fed him, changed him, swaddled him, cranked up the white noise cd, rocked him, and actually put him down drowsy in the swing. To my amazement he fell asleep in 5 minutes and stayed asleep for 3 hours!!! I used the swing throughout the day. He had some 45 min naps but also a few longer ones. That night he slept 6 hours straight (in the swing)!! I definitely think there is a connection between good naps and good night sleep.
This week though, I’ve had a tough time getting him to fall asleep on his own (in the swing) and sleep more than 45 min. for naps. Night sleeps have bee about 3-4hours which is pretty good and it hasn’t been too hard to get him back to sleep. I am thinking I need to start settling him down when he first starts yawning, even though he seems wide awake and happy. It seems like he throws a switch and suddenly gets cranky and overtired, by then it’s too late! We’ll keep working on it! We are also experimenting with the Rock’N Play but that doesn’t seem to work as well because it doesn’t move. I think it will help us transition out of the swing and back to the crib…I hope!
Doesn’t he just look ticked off that I am making him take nap?
***WARNING! If you don’t want to read about breastfeeding stop reading now**
One of these reasons I wanted to try the swing and the Rock’N Play was because I thought Hunter was suffering from some reflux as these devices elevate the head and help with digestion. But now I think Hunter was being affected by my over active let-down. Often times when Hunter would eat he would start eating and then whine and cry, latching and unlatching. I also noticed a lot of milk pooling in the side of his mouth especially when he nursed on the right side. I talked to a lactation consultant about it and she confirmed that it sounded like over active let-down which means the milk comes out too fast. She said to imagine it was like someone stuck a hose in your mouth and turned it on full blast. Poor little guy! She suggested unlatching him shortly after he started nursing and catching the excess milk in a cloth. This seemed like a good idea but I had a hard time telling just exactly when I should be doing this. I read online that another way to help this is to only nurse from one side at a time. If the baby eats for awhile, unlatches and then seems hungry put him back on the same side. Then at the next feeding do the other side. Some people suggest nursing from the same side for several feedings in a row. I tried this but it was too uncomfortable (for the unused side!). By nursing on one side your body sends a signal that you do not need as much milk on one particular side. A LC had also suggested this to me early on as I mentioned Hunter seemed really gassy. She said by nursing from one side they get more of the hind milk. The fore milk (the first type of milk that comes out) is watery and sugary and can cause gas. Another thing to help with over active let-down is to nurse in different positions. I was pretty strict with myself nursing sitting up straight with pillows behind my back, with the boppy on my lap so Hunter was horizontal to me, and my feet on a stool. Since then I’ve tried reclining in our recliner couch. This causes Hunter to have to work against gravity to get the milk out rather than have gravity help it flow out. His head is also elevated in this position. I have also tried nursing while lying down in bed. We did this in the hospital but some how when I got home it just didn’t work! I tried it again last weekend and it is so relaxing! I usually just do it in the morning so I can ease into the day. I would never do it at night as I am sure I would fall asleep and I am terrified of rolling over on Hunter not to mention Brian might not know Hunter is there either! Hunter seems to like nursing in bed too, he gets all comfy and cozy. I love it!
All snuggly and happy in our bed!
All of these changes definitely seem to be helping. We have had far less spit up episodes, very little crying while eating, and no major meltdowns where Hunter seems in pain. I also notice that we haven’t had any diaper blowouts all week! I think getting more of the hind milk helped to make things not so explosive!!
Ahhh…. don’t you just love all my baby talk?! What has this blog become?! Oh well! I don’t care. I know I will look back and be happy I captured all these challenges and changes since time goes so fast!
We have our good days and our bad days! I have to learn to relax a little more and remember that we are both on a HUGE learning curve here. Him trying to still figure out how to exist outside the womb and me trying to learn how to best help him do this. Everyday I am sure I learn something new and my love for this cute little being keeps growing and growing!