14 October 2008

Getting to Know You

My aunt has a theory that it takes three weeks for first-time parents to sorta get the hang of caring for a newborn.

Global Baby is three weeks old today and I was just thinking about all we have learned about him since his birth.

1. Global Baby hates sleeping on his back. HATES IT! Since that is the recommended position to avoid SIDS, sleeping on his back is a must. Through trial and error we have figured out how to make this happen. It involves a vibrating bouncy chair, a very tight swaddling blanket, a soothing sounds teddy bear and lullabies as needed. But we have now managed to consistently reach four consecutive hours of sleep without him jerking himself awake and crying because he has once again discovered himself to be lying on his back.

2. The only thing Global Baby hates more than lying on his back is having his diaper changed. Fortunately he's getting a little bit better about it and doesn't scream quite so much. Plus we have gotten better, and faster, at diaper changes. Especially once the umbilical cord was no longer in our way. (Although his circumcision earlier today has reactivated his extreme aversion to diaper changes!)

3. I may be delusional, but I think that he smiles quite a lot for a newborn and already has favorite songs and activities. Yes, I know I am likely projecting. But humor me.

4. It took a bit of fussing and surprisingly nasty farts, but we have experimented with formulas and determined that Global Baby is most likely lactose intolerant. Fortunately that is easily handled and reduces the fussing/farting after eating to virtually nothing.

5. And along that same topic, it is almost time for us to be able to say that we do indeed have a very laid-back, easy-going baby. He virtually never cries and fusses only when he needs something. The source of his fussing is usually easily determined and quickly resolved, leaving him an easy-going baby once again. Thank God!

6. The Old Wives Tale about a vacuum cleaner calming a crying baby does seems to be accurate, at least with him. On the two occasions that Global Baby did start the uncontrollable & inconsolable crying, a couple of minutes of running the vacuum calmed him back into his sunny disposition. (Wonder if our neighbors will mind the occasional middle of the night brief period of vacuuming? Probably better than a long jag of crying...)

7. It looks as if Global Baby may blend neatly into Swiss Society in one way. Even though I am a believer in "Feed on Demand," Global Baby seems to prefer living life on a schedule. He wants to eat 3 ounces of formula every 4 hours and has even started to poop at about the same time each day. Makes it very easy to plan the day and decide when is the best time to schedule an outing.

Yes, I realize that the only consistency with a baby is that change will happen. But it does make me feel as if perhaps I will be a competent mother. I like that feeling, even if it is mostly due to the fact that we lucked out and got a Type-B personality baby.

But I also like to think we may have had some influence on it due to our calm and effective parenting skills.

Again, humor me.


Marcy said...

As you said, the only constant is change. I often felt like I figured out a great soothing strategy, and in another couple weeks it didn't work anymore. On the plus side, it means his aversion to things like diaper changes or sleeping on his back might change soon. I don't know if this is the case, but D hated diaper changes I think partially b/c he got cold when we took the diaper off, and if I ran a small plug-in heater towards him while changing that seemed to help.

Do you have a white-noise machine? That would save you from having to vacuum always. ; ) I used to frequent one board that talked about a specific one sold at Target I think that had different sounds it played and had a little light show, and they called it the Baby Crack machine b/c apparently it made all their babies fall asleep magically. There's also many babies that would sleep with the white noise on all night for the first couple months ,and it helped them sleep much longer. I found "shhhh"-ing in D's ear often helped when he was really upset.

I hope GB continues being so regular. It certainly would be nice for you guys. D's still so unpredictable (just last week he was going 3 hrs between feedings, then today and yesterday has been demanding to eat every 2 hours again). I could "force" a schedule on him and maybe I should at this point, but I have a feeling that would involve lots of crying on both our parts.

Now that I've written a novel in your comments section, I think I'll say goodnight....

Zurich Mama Geek said...

The first three weeks (or six weeks, or three months) can be so hard, so I'm glad to hear that you guys are feeling somewhat in control.

But the first law of baby perversity is that as soon as you think you've figured something out, they change.

Pictures, pictures, we want more pictures ;)

All the best, ZMG

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is the calming effect of Baba and Grampy - but probably the frequent visits from Auntie that are really making him a happy baby.

Carol said...

He's beautiful and I'm so happy for you! (Sorry, been so busy that I only now had a chance to read my fave blogs...)