Two months already? Time is literally flying by. It's amazing how much this little man has grown and changed in the last month. I've been jotting down notes as the weeks go by which I am so thankful for because I'm not sure I would remember what happened in weeks 4-5 if I hadn't!
Eating: Elliott has continued to be a fantastic eater. We started to notice some green poops around Week 4 or 5 so I have been a lot more conscience of avoiding lactose overload by feeding him only one side at a time. Green poops occur when baby is getting to much lactose which is found mostly in the foremilk (what comes at the beginning of a feeding) and not enough hind milk (what comes near the end of a feeding) When baby is switched to the other breast too soon they tend to get too much fore milk and not enough hind milk. Feeding exclusively from one side at a time can help eliminate this problem because he has time to fully empty the breast (given it isn't too full at the time!) When we first started this Elliott was getting quite upset that I wasn't switching him the moment he got fussy- when the milk wasn't coming as easily. I guess he was mad I was making him work a little harder for it! After about a week he got used to it and stopped getting mad. He's been happy with just one side at a time ever since, and we haven't seen anymore green poops!
Just to follow up from my last post where I wrote about how the lactation consultant had determined I was dealing with Vasospasm- turns out she was right! After less than two weeks on the treatment she suggested (a series of different supplements) I stopped experiencing pain altogether. Hallelujah!
Sleeping: Elliott is a champion napper during the day. He sleeps for a 3-4 hour stretch first thing in the morning, then another 2-3 hour nap after that. In the evening (after 4-5 pm) he only sleeps for 1-2 hours at a time, and is awake a lot more. This is nice for Chris to be able to get some Daddy time in! As long as little man has napped well during the day he is generally pleasant in the evening. Not to say we don't have fussy evenings, but on average I would say those occur only 2-3 times a week. Elliott goes down for the night some time between 10-11 pm. Of he's snoozing away I will wake him up at about 10:30 by changing him (this is always Daddy's job!) and feeding him one last time- even if he only ate an hour before. The fuller the belly, the longer he sleeps! After this feed he almost always falls asleep at the breast (the only time he does this anymore) We then swaddle him up and put him in his crib. He then sleeps between 4-5 hours before waking sometime around 3-4 am. Once he wakes up and eats he will go back down for anywhere from 1 hour (ouch!) to 3 hours. Still trying to figure out how to make that stretch as long as possible. Mommy really doesn't like getting up for the day at 5 am...
Something new and exciting- sometimes when I lay him in his crib he will wake up, and about half the time he will fall back asleep on his own within a couple minutes. The other half of the time within 5-10 minutes he'll start to fuss and I have to get him back to sleep by soothing him/rocking with him before laying him back down. It's exciting to me that sometimes he'll just fall asleep on his own though! The goal is that eventually we can lay him down awake each night. Wouldn't that be a dream!
Naps: This gets it's own category this time because I have so much to say! When Elliott was first born Chris and I knew we wanted him to be able to sleep in and around any and all noise. We started laying him down for naps on our oversized ottoman in the living room to get him used to the hustle and bustle right off the bat. It worked like a charm- he is completely unfazed by people coming in and out of the front door, the dryer buzzing, the TV at normal volume, and a room full of people talking. Great! Only problem is that he really prefers the ottoman to his crib now! Ha ha, slight backfire, but I suppose we could have bigger problems. He still sleep in his crib great at night :) To get him to fall asleep for naps is either really easy or really hard depending on if he fights it. I think in the last week I have figured out the secret! Once he wakes up I have between 50-60 minutes to get him back to the "soothe to sleep" position before he gets overtired and fights it by fussing/crying/screaming (depending on how overtired he is) To soothe him to sleep I put him up on one shoulder, bounce a little with him and pat his back. If he's still generally happy he'll let me do this sitting on the couch and his eyes are closed within 2-3 minutes. If he's fussy I need to bounce and walk a little. Either way he's asleep within 5-15 minutes. I then lay him on his tummy on the ottoman. Yup, you heard me say that- on his tummy. At first this made me sooo nervous! I would sit there and watch him to make sure he was breathing. Slowly though, as I have seen how well he sleeps this way, and how well he can lift turn his head I have gotten more comfortable. He will still sleep swaddled on his back at night time, but this works really well for us for nap time! Bonus is he gets out a lot of farts while he sleeps which makes for much less fussy evenings :)
Highlights/Lowlights: Around 4.5 weeks was when he started getting fussy in the evenings. He would cry and cry and we were unable to "fix" it for the first time in his life. Soo sad. There were a lot of tears (mine) in the first couple weeks of this. We have since figured out a couple of things that help. It was the greatest realization when we discovered that sometimes when he is screaming it is because he wants to be laid down so he can move around and kick- he was just tired of being held/cuddled.
We have been out for two date nights in the past month. Once at 6 weeks- just for 2 hours while we went for dinner. The second time we went to a concert and were gone for 5 hours! He did well both times. Took some milk (not as much as I would have expected) and while he cried, he (and I) survived. I am so thankful that both times when we arrived home he was not screaming, but instead we walked in to a quiet, generally happy baby. Good for mama's heart!
Speaking of crying, he cries harder these days. He gets really mad and his face gets beet red. So far, still no tears while crying, but his eyes get watery, and sometimes after a good cry, after he has calmed down, a tear will roll down his cheek.
Smiles and "talking"! He started "social smiling" (smiling in reaction to someone/something) at 6 weeks. It is just the sweetest thing to say hello to my little boy and have him smile at me. He has also started "talking" a LOT in the past 2 weeks. During his awake times his favourite thing is for him to lay on the ottoman and kick and move around and talk to mommy and daddy. The more we respond to him, the more he talks back. What a cool thing! He's really trying to communicate! So fun to watch him learn new sounds with his voice (and sometimes be surprised by the sounds that come out of himself!)
We went on our first trip to the lake this past weekend. I was a little nervous that he wouldn't nap well, or would have trouble sleeping at night. Turns out nap times were no issue at all, but I was right about the nighttime sleeping. I ended up sleeping in bed with him (in the trailer) while Chris slept on a different bed. Every time I tried to lay him down on a bed of his own he simply wouldn't have it. The first night he slept fairly well beside me, but the second wasn't quite as good. Overall, it could have been much worse though, and it certainly wasn't bad enough for me to not want to try again! Elliott has inherited his parents' love for campfires, and was generally happy to be bundled up and sitting by the fire with everyone. It really just made my heart so full!
- Being swaddled (still) We just got him a larger swaddle blanket because he was outgrowing the SwaddleMe we had!
- Laying on his back, talking to mom and dad
- Daddy raising him up above his head
- Using his leg muscles to stand on our laps. He does this really well when he's crying and mad ;)
- Daddy's banjo playing
- Silly faces and noises
- Sitting on your lap facing out
- His soother! He only wants it in certain situations. Full meltdown mode is too late, but if he's fussy and trying to fall asleep he will take it happily. Keeping it in his mouth is still a challenge though!
- Sucking on his fist- it looks like he's trying to find his thumb, but he's doing a poor job by keeping his fist clenched (thumb inside) He does this only as he is waking up from nap time. Sometimes if I pop the soother in his mouth he'll go right back to sleep.
- Bath time. Loves the warm water!
- Being overtired
- Being ignored. He needs to be sitting in the kitchen with us while we eat dinner now, where before if he was awake he would be fine in the swing in the living room. We just set up his highchair for this reason! He fits in with the newborn insert really well!
- Being cold after a bath. Brrr!
It's amazing how much joy this little man brings us. Chris and I feel so blessed that God chose us to be his parents. It's a humbling thing to be entrusted with caring for him, but we couldn't be happier to do it. We're looking forward to this next month to see how much more he grows and changes. We also have his first camping (in a tent!) trip in a couple of weeks. I can't wait to share something that we love so much with him.
Now, some pictures :)
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