This is my site where I will be sharing my thoughts, feelings and happenings. In the words of Austin Powers, "It's my happening, baby, and it freaks me out...yeah!" Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Alisa is 4 Months Old Today

Alisa is 4 months old today and is doing well. She's healthy (13 lbs--just under the average in weight and 23 inches long--just over the average in height) and learning and growing quickly. She has rapidly developed during the past month and it has been so fun to watch. She uses her hands to explore things (our faces, her toys, the crib bumper, her feet, and so on). She has conquered the act of rolling over from her back to her belly and back over again without her arm getting in the way (but so far she only rolls to the left to get from her back to her belly and to the right to get onto her back again). She still spits up a lot so we try not to let her get on her tummy within at least 30 minutes of eating. The past few days that has been harder to do because she now loves being on her tummy (if she's on the floor or the changing table--which has a railing--she will roll over...we have to hold her or put her in her carseat or swing to keep her from rolling over...she can no longer be left on the ottoman for a second because she could roll off). She had a blast at the pediatrician's office today while we were waiting in the exam room. She rolled over on the table and pulled at the paper underneath her on the table. Then she spit up so we wiped her up, pulled out some more paper from the roll and tore off the messy part (it was a lot of spitup). When we were cleaning her she was on her back but as soon as we let go, she'd roll over on her tummy and start moving her arms around on the paper again (she loved that paper!). That was the most active we've seen her arms during tummy time. Then after a few minutes she'd spit up again and we'd repeat the cleanup process (good thing she was just in a diaper).

She still has a little bit of cradle cap on the top of her head, but not on her brows anymore. The little red marks on the back of her neck (called "stork bites") are still there, as well as the red mark between her eyes on her forehead (both are supposed to disappear eventually). She talks a lot and it's pretty easy to get her to laugh. Many mornings she will wake up and be happily talking in her crib until we get her up. Sometimes later in the day she will be happily talking up a storm and then her voice changes (she suddenly sounds upset) and we know that she is hungry then. It's so fun to hear the different sounds she makes.

She sleeps 12-13 hours each night (and she's been doing that for weeks now)--glorious! We put her on her back to sleep but she rolls to her side soon after (if she's still awake) and then sometimes later rolls onto her stomach. The problem with sleeping on her stomach is that she pees so much during the night that it leaks out the top of her diaper and gets her pajamas and sometimes the sheet wet. Sleeping on her stomach is a new thing and I think the diaper has only leaked twice because then I started putting her in a size 2 diaper for the night (size 1 is for 8-14 lbs and size 2 is for 12-18 lbs so she's in the overlap zone).

Alisa had her 2nd round of shots today and I wasn't worried this time because last time things went well (she only cried while they were sticking the needle in her and she didn't get a fever or swelling or anything). Well, this time turned out to be more difficult. She screamed longer and louder when they were sticking her (I was about to cry) and she cried hard for a bit here and there after we were home. We gave her more Tylenol after the 4 hour mark and eventually she went to sleep.

We have been using the E-A-S-Y (Eat-Activity-Sleep-Yourself) method outlined in the book "On Becoming Babywise" by Gary Ezzo, MA and Robert Bucknam, MD. First thing in the morning, Alisa drinks a bottle [Eat]. Then she plays (plays with toys in her bouncy seat or while lying in the Boppy or on her new activity mat on the floor, has tummy time to strengthen her neck and back muscles, goes for a walk with mommy or daddy, watches the fish in the fishtank, etc) [Activity]. When she starts to get cranky or sleepy (or at least an hour before the next projected feeding time) we put her in her crib for her to take a nap [Sleep]. While she's sleeping we can do the things we want to do [Yourself]. The cycle has made our life so much easier and it's best for Alisa. Before, she always had problems falling asleep while eating and this has resolved that issue because she eats AFTER she has slept so she's rested. It wasn't hard to get the cycle started like I thought it might be (trying to keep her awake after those first few feedings was easy). The cycle brings the familiarity and comfort of a routine (it occurs 4 times a day since she eats only 4 times a day now) yet it's flexible (sometimes she eats in 10 minutes, sometimes it takes her 40 minutes...sometimes she plays for an hour before napping, sometimes she plays for 2 hours before napping...sometimes she naps for 40 minutes, sometimes she naps for 3 hours...sometimes she eats again after 3 hours, sometimes she eats again after 4 hours). I wish we would have tried it sooner (I had heard about it and bought the book and read part of it but then got busy and forgot about it until my sister mentioned it).

Alisa is solely bottle-fed now (as of yesterday). I didn't plan on weaning her this soon, but I became weary of the feeding battle. Nursing Alisa took up so much of my time (about an hour every other hour during the day) and she didn't do it well consistently. She wasn't getting enough milk from breastfeeding alone because she didn't always do the proper nutritive sucking. We had to give her a couple supplementary bottles a day so that she'd gain weight. I was constantly having to poke and prod her to get her to wake up during nursing so she could take a full feeding (usually didn't work so she'd cry to eat an hour or so later). I wasn't getting much joy or satisfaction from breastfeeding (it was only satisfying the few times here and there that she did nurse well and let go on her own because she was satisfied). I became tired of pumping milk to keep my milk supply up and to prevent engorgement once she started sleeping over 8 hours at night. I didn't realize all the work that went into breastfeeding. People say it's easy and convenient because you don't have to wash bottles, measure and heat water, buy formula, etc but I say it's only easy if your baby nurses effectively. If she doesn't, then it's a lot of work. I tried many things to make it work. I went to a breastfeeding support group twice a week so I could get advice and weigh Alisa before and after nursing her to see how many ounces she was getting from me. I tried a supplemental nursing system to see if it would improve Alisa's sucking method. I bought an expensive breastpump to make sure my milk supply was adequate. Even after all of this trouble and disappointment, I will breastfeed my 2nd child to see how it goes. Every baby is different so maybe the next time it will be easier. I know the benefits of breastfeeding (for baby and mom), even if it's only for a few months. I easily lost so much weight just from nursing--I now weigh LESS than I did when I became pregnant! Since I'm stopping though I will have to start working out to maintain. I need to workout anyway.

The pediatrician said they no longer recommend waiting until your baby is 6 months old to introduce semi-solids. She said we can start now with rice cereal. Just 1 tablespoon a day mixed with formula or breastmilk. Once she eats that well, we can offer her pureed vegetables...and then pureed fruit (the veggies must come first or Alisa might reject them after having tasted the sweet fruit). The rice cereal may make Alisa constipated so we can give her 3 oz of water a day to prevent that. She's already had a couple teaspoons of rice cereal mixed with a bottle of breastmilk once a day and her stools have become thicker (the pediatrician recommended this last time to try to help minimize frequent spitting up). Anyway, I bought baby spoons today and found that very exciting. They are so cute! Almost all baby things are cute.

I'll post new pictures soon. This post is long enough as is.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I know you didn't want to wean so early, but I think your life will be much easier now! I love the new pics! She's such a big girl, and YOU look AMAZING! : )

8/13/2007 3:13 PM


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