December 10, 2006


Now that our baby is a very mature three months old, we feel quite experienced. (Ha!) We have some tips to share. We welcome feedback on these tips, quite heartily.

1: Monitor the dangle angle! At all times. This is advice for parents of boys. We were warned to beware of stray urine streams during diaper changes, but not told that the wily male "dangle" can spray forth urine from a sealed diaper (for example, by going straight UPWARDS). To ward against this irritating circumstance, make sure that the dangle... dangles within the diaper. It needs to point down.

2: Just get the boppy, even if your body pillow does basically the same job. The boppy is tidier, and more portable. Also, Brandon says, you can refer to the boppy in the same pseduo-french accent in which Sacha Baron Cohen refers to "Ricky Bobby" in the movie Talledega Nights. This is not an incentive for me, but whatever.

3: Keep a laundry hamper right next to the changing table, because no matter how closely you monitor the dangle angle, there will be accidents.

4: Put extra, still-folded, garbage bags in the trash can underneath the garbage bag currently in use. Because if you tie up a full garbage bag, that is quite enough of a job for one person, and who needs to go all the way to the cupboard for a new bag?

4: When warming up a bottle, don't put the bottle in a bowl of warm water. Put it in a pub glass of warm water. Brandon does most of the bottle warming around here, and he says this is much better; it keeps the bottle from falling over, which can happen especially if there's not much milk in the bottle.

5: When it comes to the much feared "nipple confusion," I say: don't believe the hype. This is a contentious claim, I know, but I really think it's a load of crap. I mean, I definitely had a HUGE fear of nipple confusion, and it would have prevented me from giving Elliot a bottle for a long time had Elliot not required one for health purposes. And giving bottles is so wonderful! It made me enjoy breast feeding so much more, to know that I could have a break from it when I needed to. And if you wait too long, sometimes they don't take a bottle, and that would be THE WORST THING I COULD IMAGINE, because then what would you do? Just never have a break for six months, I guess. And who needs it? Breastfeeding is nice, but it's not that nice. For me, I mean. Some people really love it, so that's different. But still I say: everyone deserves a break, or at least the option of a break.

6: The best middle-of-the-night-nursing-snack that I've found is the "Naked" brand super-protein drink. It is a beverage, and so easy to consume with one hand (which is all you have when you're up in the night holding a baby), but it also has a whopping 38 grams of protein. Until my mom introduced me to the protein shake, I spent a lot of nights standing next to the open fridge door, gnawing messily on whatever hunks of meat were available, and it was totally gross, and also the light always shined right in Elliot's eyes, making him fussy and thus harder to put back to sleep. So protein shake it is: it tastes a little weird, because 38 grams of protein were never meant to be delivered in liquid form, and it's over-priced, but it is worth it.

7. Okay, that's all for now. But I'm sure there will be more.



Henrie family said...

Regarding the garbage bags:

I also find it handy to keep plastic grocery bags near the garbage can for those stinky diapers. Since Elliot is only breastfed this is probably not a big problem yet, but when you start introducing solids you will want to seal away the stench....

Bottle feeding:

I also am not convinced that nipple confusion is that big of a problem. Liras started taking a bottle in her first week because he biliruben count was a little high, and the best way to get it back down is to feed. She still does well with a bottle.

I started Aidan on a bottle at about 6 weeks, and after he had the hang of it I stopped. THIS IS A VERY BIG MISTAKE! I was unable to go places for about 6 months, until he started taking a sippy cup. I had to go to work for a few weeks to train some new people, and he would take a bottle in the morning, but he would not in the afternoon. So my baby sat there and starved until I got home.

Once you introduce the bottle keep using it regularly.

As for the protein shake in the middle of the night:

I am a firm believer in co-sleeping so that I don't have to get up in the middle of the night. All night time feedings are done with us mostly asleep.

This does lead to a chicken and egg question though, as neither one of my kids slept through the night at a reasonable age.

In fact, although I am really happy that you got 7 hours of sleep two nights in a row, I also hate you. Aidan was 2 before I got that much sleep, and then Lira was born a few months later...

Brandon said...

We intended to try co-sleeping, but at the beginning it was convenient for us to have him in a bassinet next to the bed, and we ended up sticking with it. He still sleeps in the bassinet, though we have pushed it a few feet away from the bed now (partly so the dog won't be so tempted to try to get into it).

Amy E said...

My mother the pyschotherapist, who used to manage the children's department of Valley Mental Health, says one of the worst things you can do for a child and your relationship is to sleep with the baby.

I am sure there are arguments in both directions.

There is a great example of this in the movie "Little Children."

Whitney said...

So, we're really, really new at this, but Sarah has explored some issues very near to our lives right now. The touchiness around some of these choices (bottle/breast/formula and co-sleeping) astonishes me, especially since in our case, we make them out of necessity, according to Graham's needs, and often in the middle of the night.