Saturday, July 25, 2015

Newborn Favorites 0-3 months...

A bit late on this one but these were my favorite baby items from the first three months of mama-hood:

Here's a surprise, very young babies don't give squat about toys, this rattle was the first toy she took interest in at about 5 weeks and at 4 months she still loves it.  We've nicknamed her Owelette.  These swaddle sacks are a lifesaver, we put her in them for naps too...I think we own at least four of them so we can keep a clean one at daycare at all times.  Noodle and Boo shampoo is baby smell heaven and worth every penny.  Our nugget was petite, especially the first few weeks and Little Me sleepers were the only ones that really fit her, we liked the ones with the mittens that folded over her hands.  I've been so sad to pack them away.

We don't have to use gas drops now, she's all good in that area.  But early on she needed assistance and it was Little Tummys to the rescue.  This oball was the first toy she could grab all by herself, she's been playing for it for weeks and weeks so it's still a top toy.  I love love love my JJ Cole agility wrap, so easy to use, easy to clean, lightweight, and not too hot to wear.  I'm not sure how it will perform with a heavier baby though.  I hate clipping baby nails but someone has to do it - the Safety First clippers have a light on the end to help you see super tiny, super thin nails.

There are a lot of nasal aspirators on the market but really only three categories - the straw-like "suckers", the bulbs, and the electric version.  We chose the latter and have been happy with it.  It is necessary to spray a little saline in her nose for it to be effective, oh, and it's easy to clean.  I also purchased a pack of tips that contain infant and children sizes so we can use it for a good long while. Zutanos!  My favorite baby purchase so far, she wore these everytime she left home and daily in daycare; we love them so much we bought more in a larger size.  They actually stay on her feet and no need for an additional sock.  A humidifer is a total necessity because it reduces the need to use the nasal aspirator AND reduces baby's SIDS risk.  Self explanatory - Pampers brand diapers.  We have been completely happy using these and feel no need to switch.

Most of my picks are practical, because we are not a couple that likes excess junk. I poured over so many "favorites" lists when I was pregnant and tried to use them to make registry and purchase decisions.   I feel positive that anything on my list would make a great shower gift for any new mom.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Surviving infancy, Part 1

Cradle Cap.

Two words that scared the crap out of me when I read those baby books preparing for Ava's arrival. Why?  Because every picture of cradle cap looks horrific.  Apparently it's totally normal for babies to have problems with problems with their oil glands after birth.  My daughter developed infant acne at 2 weeks which was severe for about 10 days and now she has a few minor breakouts a month.  She developed cradle cap...just some light flaking in her third week covering her whole head in "scales" at 1 month.  We had cleared the condition until about two weeks ago when we noticed her head was starting to get a rash and flake again.  So this is going to be ongoing for us.  Our pediatrician has helped us manage using a few tricks...

Selenium Sulfide 1% - the active ingredient in Selsun Blue and Head and Shoulders Max Strength.

We use this once a week applied gently with an extra soft toothbrush on her scalp.  We stopped using it for almost a month and that's why her condition came back so we will be using this ongoing as a preventative.  We have to be extra careful when we rinse her head so this doesn't get in her eyes.

Ah, my favorite smell.  We use this once a week (on an opposite night as the medicated shampoo).  I put a small amount on her head before her bath and use her baby hair brush at an angle to softly lift the flakes.  I keep it on her head for at least 15 minutes before I shampoo as normal.  Coconut oil mixed with Noodle and Boo shampoo smells just like a pina colada.  And I inhale my baby the entire time we nurse.

She also has cradle cap in her eyebrows which is more difficult to treat.  I like Aquafor healing baby balm - apply a tiny amount once a day to the dry areas which makes it look a lot better.

I don't really use anything for her mini acne breakouts now...but when it was really bad, with angry red patches of skin all over her face, I used Mustela Physiobebe no rinse cleansing fluid on a cotton pad once per day and a light application of Aveeno Baby Eczema lotion just on the inflamed areas.  Now I just wash her face twice a day with warm water but I haven't had any issues full face redness in several weeks.  The Mustela Physiobebe is awesome to keep at the changing table for freshening up baby after a particularly smelly diaper, it's not an absolute necessity but certainly nice to have.

If we choose to have more children I won't be so surprised to see cradle cap and acne, I think it's really alarming to new parents though and it's nice to know it's completely normal and temporary.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Belle's "Gotcha Day"

I'm crazy behind on my blogging.  I wanted to post a little Ode to Dogge.  With all the baby madness Lady Belle has been left a bit behind, she still gets attention (mostly from R and mostly in the evenings) and we still try to include her in family outings but the truth is - when you have a baby the dog becomes...a dog.  Which is a big transition because we have always treated our pets as kids.  We adopted her last year in June and she was a great fit for us so we celebrated her "Gotcha Day" in lieu of a birthday - we don't have an exact age so we're saying she's five based on the vet's best guess.

We gave Lady a whole weekend, Saturday we went to a local street festival.  This was her second year attending and of course she loved the sights and smells.  Toward the end she was really hot and really tired though so I snapped this pic of R carrying her majesty to the vehicle.

On Sunday we went to Woof Gang to buy some special snacks for our girl.  We came away with treats galore and a particular yummy for the occasion.

 And she loved it!

Rescue dogs make the best friends!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Ava Rose at 3 months

Woo Hoo!  3 months!  Nugster made it out of the "fourth trimester"!

Fun new facts:
  • Prefers her thumb, or any finger really, to a pacifier.  She will still take an Advent Soothies on rare occasion.  Home girl knows where her hands are.  And she loves to look at her feet too.
  • Likes her daycare assistant, I haven't seen her much with the teacher but she seems very happy with the afternoon assistants.
  • Smiles a lot, happiest in the morning and we are so close to full out giggles.  She has been experimenting with her "voice" with lots of new sounds.
  • Loves to "converse" with mommy and daddy.
  • Her 3 month photo is her "super baby" pose, she throws her arms up a lot.
  • Can "grab" items a little better, she has a Carters teddy bear, a Bunnies by the Bay lovey and an Oball that she can grab and hold onto easily.
  • She still prefers to be held and is really particular about how she is positioned.  She enjoys sitting on my knee at meal time and upright on the couch so she shares my viewpoint.
  • Can hold her head up really well, she doesn't fight tummy time like she did a few weeks ago now that she can lift herself up.  We are so close to our first roll!  She can prop up on one side but she hasn't let herself tumble over yet.
Weight: At the beginning of the month we had our 2 month appt and she weighed 8 pounds 9 ounces and now she weighs 9 pounds 14 ounces.  

Length:  She was 22.5 inches at our last appointment the first week of June.  We won't have another appointment until 4 months.

Eyes:  I think they're hazel, lots of green. 

Clothes:  0-3 months are fitting great.  She can wear some of her newborn onesies as well.  We still wear newborn Zutanos but I have another pair lined up in a bigger size that are still a tad loose around the ankle.  I think we are going to be in this size for several more weeks.

Diapers - Size 1 fits great.  We prefer pampers at home but we bought luvs for daycare and both brands fit and perform well.

Sleeping:  We had 3-4 hour increments and then she got a cold toward the end of the month so she woke up a lot more congested.  We had to stop laying her flat and she's been sleeping in the Rock n Play at an incline or propped up with me on the couch or recliner - anything to help her breathe.  She wears a Levana monitor to bed and it's given me some peace of mind.

Likes:  Faces and voices.  She loves to make faces and "converse", she loves to hear us talk and sing, and she loves to dance around the house to music.  R plays her lullaby music at night and we read a story before bed to help her sleep.  She still likes to be carried in the sling and to sit up on someone's lap.  She is very interested in the cat and gets into staring contests with her.  We have a few toys that she likes, mostly rattles, she loves to hear different rattles.

Dislikes: Baths some nights (other nights she is happy as a lark), being cold, being ignored, wardrobe changes and sometimes she fusses to fuss - we say if the wind is blowing in Idaho it makes our nugget unhappy. She is super demanding at mealtime, the daycare teacher told us she refuses to wait if she thinks it's time to eat.

Feeding:  Breast milk only so far with Tri-Vi-Sol in the morning bottle.  She gets 10.5 ounces at daycare during the work day and we nurse the rest of the time.  We have nursed a lot more since she's been sick - she's wanted more comfort and also to keep her hydrated.

Ava's favorites:  Morning talks, Carters 1st teddy, Lullaby Themes on Pandora

Milestones:  First vacation, first street fair, first fathers day, first cold, and her first time in the ocean.

Postpartum: I'm still upset that I have to spend so much time away from her during the day and pumping is difficult.  I'll do it as long as I can and I'm blessed that I have had such a positive breast feeding experience. The OB warned me that as long as I'm breast feeding that my hormones will not be "normal".  Oh and I'm starving...all the time.  All the time.  I don't care what I eat as long as there are copious amounts of it.  I'm losing weight slowly but certainly not because of a diet, I think going back to work and getting on a schedule has been good in that aspect.  I eat meals on time, I am diligent about drinking lots of water, and we have the baby on more of a sleep/wake cycle.  I'm still very tired though, most nights I get up at least 3x to feed her and it can be quick or it might be a hour...when she was sick we were up quite a bit and that makes the workday really long.  Oh, and my hair is falling out.  I knew it was going to happen and my hair is thick to begin with but goodness it is frustrating to have clumps come out every time I brush or shampoo. It gets all over my clothes and all over the house.  I'm going to get my hair cut soon so I hope that will help with styling...between the NC humidity and the added length it just won't hold my usual curl.  I haven't had much "free" time to blog, free time with an infant is next to impossible.  I purchased a book and picked up a magazine to read during my long weekend, we'll see how far I will get into them.