Reasons to get out of bed…

Archive for July, 2014

Baby Feeding – Nursing

This is another ones of those I wrote months ago and never published…

This post is for any pregnant woman looking for odd tips on breastfeeding or anyone who is struggling with a newborn and feeding. If anyone else wants to read about my odd trials and tribulations, feel free!

When I was pregnant, I was certain I wanted to give the nursing thing a real shot. I knew it would be hard (thanks to friends and BabyCenter.com) and I think that really helped going into it. However, I thought it would be hard because everything was painful (and it was) but I didn’t realize that the hardest part would be that the baby wouldn’t know what she was doing. I thought at least one of us would have a clue on what was going on. Nope! Not the case. She was just as lost as I was.

My wonderful boyfriend came up with some clever ideas to convince the baby to latch and I want to share them with anyone else who might be struggling. First though, I feel that I should mention a few things:

  • The baby was perfectly healthy without any issues (she wasn’t tongue-tied, she wasn’t preemie, etc.)
  • I had no physical issues (i.e. my nipples were big enough and I didn’t need a shield or anything like that)
  • We have a doula in the family and she HATED our technique. She would tell you not to listen to me. She feared our technique would lead to the dreaded “nipple confusion!” (Note, it never did… but maybe we were just lucky. Or maybe you’re like us and right now you’re so desperate you don’t care and you’re willing to try anything.)
  • Also, I’m not a doctor or a lactation consultant, so this is just anecdotal advice from some an amateur. 🙂

The baby came home with us from the hospital on a Thursday. In the hospital, with the lactation consultants around, feeding her seemed possible. Being at home was another story. By Friday night, with no substantial luck in feeding her, the baby was losing her mind. She was frantic and inconsolable. She was sobbing from hunger and frustration and I was also crying from frustration. It all seemed so hard for something that is supposedly natural! Meanwhile, my wonderful boyfriend, T, was constantly by our sides, trying to remain patient and put us together like puzzle pieces.

Eventually he talked me into trying to pump (luckily my health insurance had covered a Medela breast pump and it had come home with us from the hospital as well). I pumped maybe an ounce (which now seems paltry but it felt like a gallon back then). We fed the baby with the bottle – problem solved! She was a happy baby!

On Saturday: I would pump and then we would feed her a little bit with the bottle until she was calm (really just a few sips). Once she was calm, we’d get her to nurse. (swapping the bottle out for me)

On Sunday: We’d offer her both the bottle and me, at the same time, side by side. She’d get the idea and we’d slip the bottle out of her mouth before she’d start eating.

On Monday (she was one week old): We would drop some of the pumped milk on my nipple, and she would take to nursing right away.

On Tuesday: We were no longer pumping and using that milk to convince her. We were just nursing and getting better at it day by day.

This makes it all sound so easy, but it still wasn’t perfect. I would say it took us until she was about 10 days old to really get into the swing of things and even then her latches weren’t perfect. But it really helped me to stick with it when I knew she was eating and wasn’t maniacal from hunger pains. Now she’s almost 8 months old and nursing is a breeze! (She’s over a year now and I’m trying to wean her! She won’t give it up! Funny how things have changed.)

10 days old and passed out with a full tummy!!! Also, I LOVED "My Brest Friend" - the green pillow in the picture.

10 days old and passed out with a full tummy!!! Also, I LOVED “My Brest Friend” – the green pillow in the picture.

Good luck!!!!

If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer anything I can.

 

The Cat, the Baby, and the Gate

I am the worst when it comes to writing drafts and never publishing them! This was originally written in March!

The baby has been crawling for about 2 months now. This is both exciting and frightening (ah! we need to baby-proof the house!). We put up a baby gate in our living room to create a barrier from the front door and the stair case. Oddly enough, the activities around the gate are hilarious.

First bit of silly behavior is with the cat, well… one of the cats mainly. We have 2 cats: Chewie and Prissy Pants. My wonderful boyfriend likes to equate them to Pinky and the Brain:

Cats pinky and brain

If you’ve never seen the show before, Pinky is an idiot and the Brain is always plotting to take over the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chewie. He’s the sweetest cat… but he’s not planning on taking over the world. In his defense, I wouldn’t go so far as to call him an idiot really. But he’s happily coasting through life, unphased by most things. Heck, he wore that Halloween costume for HOURS! Prissy Pants on the other hand is always working some angle, she is trying to take over the world. She even figured out how to wiggle out of her costume in about 10 minutes.

We put up the gate and Prissy Pants immediately understood that she had to jump over it to get into the room. Meanwhile, Chewie is the better jumper. He literally catches birds in flight! But he couldn’t figure out how to jump over the gate. Instead he spent a solid 5 minutes trying to figure out how to crawl under it! It’s only a few inches off the ground! He eventually managed to squeeze under it while dislodging the side not screwed into the wall. I wish I had a video for you – it was so ridiculous. I couldn’t stop watching him.

Prissy Pants, sitting on a chair in the living room, watched the entire thing. 20 minutes later, she went to the hallway side of the gate and tried to burrow under as well. It took her about 4 seconds to realize it was ridiculous and quit.

 

The second piece of silliness around the gate involves the fact that Chewie is afraid of the baby. Normally, he is the most mellow cat. I could wear him like a scarf and walk around the house if I felt like it. But if Baby Girl LOOKS at him, he’ll run away.

He loves the gate because it’s clear plastic so he can sit in the hallway and see into the living room, but still avoid Baby Girl. So of course, she’s obsessed with sitting on the other side. She bangs on the gate and squeals at him, begging him to come sit with her.

Her constant banging on the gate is basically saying: "Please come play with me, kitty!" Please!"

Her constant banging on the gate is basically saying: “Please come play with me, kitty!” Please!”

His refusal to even look at her should be sending a clear message of "NO!"

His refusal to even look at her should be sending a clear message of “NO!”

 

So that’s the constant entertainment we have with the gate.

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