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  • The Difference Between a Poo and a Fart

    If you sleep with your baby, or near your baby, chances are you are going to hear ever gurgle, sigh, and breath that comes out of their body. I think this hyper awareness has to do with the mother instinct, and you just have to accept it. From this point forward, you are going to sleep with one eye open, and with the ears of a wolf.

    As such, I think one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to distinguish the difference between the sound of a poo, and a fart.

    When I am sleeping, and I hear what I think to be a giant poo, I immediately feel the pressure. No matter how tired I am, or how little I want to get up, I really don’t want my baby sleeping in poo. It just doesn’t seem right.

    So, I get up, bring her to her changing table, un-swaddle her, and take off her diaper, and low and behold nothing. Sure, there is some pee, but no poo. False alarm. It was just a fart.

    Now she is awake, and I am awake, all because of a fart. An ethereal fart… that could have just been an accent to our dreams. The punctuation to our slumber. But no. Now we are both up, and I have to rock her to seduce her to sleep so she doesn’t feel like it is time to party with Vince Vaughn.

    After a few too many times of this happening, I decided the best thing I had to become a vigilant listener to what he poos and farts sounded like. This is my research.

    1) A fart has a more pronounced sound. It is louder.
    2) A poo has a more gurgling sound. You can sometimes here the moisture.
    3) A fart comes with noises of discomfort, but they vocal grunts.
    4) A poo comes also with noises of discomfort, but they are more guttural.
    5) A poo is accompanied with pushing noises that exceed the original noise. The pushing at times leads to more farting/pooing sounds.

    January 14, 2011 • 2nd Month, Baby Body, Sleeping • Views: 2346

  • Baby Talk

    This is my theory on newborn babies so far. They have 5 basic needs. I am tired, I am hungry, I have gas, I have shit in my pants, I want a cuddle. I feel like my baby has signals for each of these, and so far, as long as read them right, I have yet to experience a total emotional meltdown. (Like I have said before, all babies are different, but maybe these cues I have noticed will be helpful to you!)

    1) Tired: I find the indication of being tired, beyond the classic rubbing eyes or yawning, is a whiny sounding cry. (If I mistake tired for hungry, and try to feed her, I find she is just really chaotic and messy at my boob. Like she bobs her head around a lot, and just can’t seem to get it together to eat. I then just put her over my shoulder and rock/jiggle her so she is not distracted by the boob and can just go to sleep)
    2) Hungry: I find there is a warning sign before she gets really pissed. It is like a short, direct, “meh” noise. She will repeat it over and over, and with gusto. this cry to be super intense. Very passionate sounding. Like it is coming from the pit of her soul. Like there is nothing patient about it. But like a wild beast fighting for its life. It is almost emotionally jarring for me and I feel panicked trying to whip my boob out fast enough. (Also look for lip smacking, or mouth movement as an early warning sign for hunger).
    3) I have shit in my pants: A little bit like the hungry in its intensity, but more angry. There is an annoyed sound like “get it together mom and get this shit out of my pants before it seeps into my vagina.” I can often mistake the shit in my pants cry for hungry, so before I feed her, I always to a quick check of the diaper.
    4) I have gas: This cry is also a whiny sound… but there is something about it that says “I am uncomfortable.” It is usually accompanied by some sort of body thrashing. Like she is trying to work something out. It could be a burp, which is great because you can help them with that, but it could also be a fart… or an upcoming shit. Not much you can do, besides rub their bellies clockwise, or pump their legs into their abdomen to help get farts out. Sometimes a little verbal encouragement will help too!
    5) I need a cuddle: Usually the cuddle leads to sleeping, so it also has that whiny sound, but it is more endearing. I don’t know how to describe it better than that, but there is something in the tone that is like, I am tired, but I want to be hugged by you too.

    January 14, 2011 • 2nd Month, Baby Brain, Parenting • Views: 929

  • Parenting Differently Than My Parents

    I have parents. And these parents raised me. I am still alive. I basically like myself. I don’t feel as if I am a total loser. Are there things about me that I find less than desirable? Sure! But at then end of the day, I think my parents were good parents… but that doesn’t mean that I am going to parent like them.

    Instance 1
    I asked my mom to watch the baby while I made breakfast. I had a friend who was visiting, so I was making us eggs. As we are eating our breakfast, my mom comes into the kitchen to sit with us.

    “Where is the baby?”

    “Your Father is watching her.” Okay. Fine. We continue to have a nice conversation and I think all is well. My Dad is watching her right? So after about 20 minutes, the phone rings… it is my Dad.

    “The baby wants you.” I go to the porch where my dad and the baby are, and she is crying like I have never heard her cry before. I go over to her, and there are little tears running down her cheeks. TEARS! I had NEVER seen tears on her little baby face!

    “Dad! How long has she been crying like this?”

    “About 10 minutes. You are supposed to wait 10 minutes before you do anything.”

    “What kind of fucked up logic is that?!” I pick up my baby, who had a GIANT POO STAIN ON HER SHIRT! Her poo had leaked through her clothes onto the blanket, and through the blanket onto the pram she was sleeping in.


    “Ohhhhh. I’m sorry. When you were little the rule was wait 10 minutes. I just wanted to show you that I wasn’t intimidated by a baby crying.”

    At this point my mom came in as I was stripping the baby from her soiled outfit and said to my father.

    “The 10 minute rule is AFTER you make sure they are not hungry and don’t poo in their pants.”

    “Oh.” I knew my Dad felt bad, and once my baby was naked and poo free she seemed totally happy… but still.

    “Look guys… no 10 minute rule with this baby okay?! If she is crying, I want to figure out why she is crying and try and help her out. Okay?”

    They both agreed that no 10-minute crying rule. They were very gracious about it.

    Instance 2
    I mentioned to my mom I was tired from waking up every 2 hours with the baby.

    “Oh. Yeah, we just put you in a crib down stairs so you had to really make noise to get our attention. You were sleeping through the night at 6 weeks.”

    Ummmmm sleeping through the night or you just didn’t hear me! No wonder I have been an insomniac my whole life!

    “Uhhhhh yeah. I don’t think I am going do it like that. I think I am just gonna deal with the waking up.”

    Now, my mom could have gotten insulted. But she didn’t.

    “I think your way is probably better.”

    So yes, it is hard to confront your parents about your different parenting techniques. And yes, my parents have been very understanding that I see things differently then they did. But I totally think it is worth it to have the conversations with your parents about how you want to raise your child. If they are sensitive, just remind them that they did a good job with you and you love them, you just want to have your own style.

    January 13, 2011 • 2nd Month, Parenting • Views: 1321

  • Swaddling

    So if I was tired, and wanted to go to sleep, and you grabbed a giant blanket and tried to wrap me up so my arms and legs were completely disabled… I would not be psyched. I would not sleep better. I would not feel calm and cozy. I would probably think I was in a Turkish Prison.

    But even though the idea of being restricted for you as an adult feels like torture, I am a HUGE believer of the swaddle for babies.

    I notice it all the time, when I put my baby down, her arms and legs will shoot out like she is falling through the earth. This reflex supposedly dates back to when we were monkey’s and had to hang on to our mom’s fur for dear life. So it is cute, but totally unnecessary, because I am pretty sure I don’t expect her to hang on to my sweatshirt as I swing down my stair case. I got you kid… with my opposable thumbs and all.

    So when you swaddle them, you may notice they thump and wiggle around in there, but these movement do not seem to disturb them in the same way as when they are totally exposed. In a way, it makes total sense. Besides the whole feeling like she is back in the womb thing, I think people need some restrictions in life to feel safe. When life is too limitless, it feels almost manic. I think we all can get over-stimulated if there is zero regulation. Bounderies are healthy. Think of how important they are in relationships.

    I digress… point is, I was already swaddling my baby at night, but I was not during the day. As I have mentioned before, I didn’t have a set schedule for her, so I wasn’t anticipating her need for a nap. I would just notice she was tired, and then pick her up and rock her, and before I knew it she was sleeping in my arms. If I tried to put her down, she would wake up.

    But then, I got this brilliant idea!

    If I know my baby is tired, I swaddle her before I rock/nurse her. That way, she is already all contained, and when I try to put her down, she actually stays asleep! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS? IT MEANS THAT I CAN DO SOMETHING ELSE WITH MY TIME WHILE SHE SLEEPS! This was a huge revelation for me!

    My favorite swaddling blanket is “the miracle blanket” http://www.miracleblanket.com/index.htm

    January 13, 2011 • 2nd Month, Baby Gear, Baby Products, Sleeping • Views: 997

  • I Can’t Put My Baby Down!

    I love my baby. I love holding her. I adore cuddling with her. But this bitch won’t let me put her down and it is driving me a little nuts!

    It used to be, that if she fell asleep on me, I could slip her off my chest and lay her on her side on the bed. Now, if she is asleep, and I try to transition her off me, she will wake up and immediately let me know she does not approve of my decision-making capabilities. Now because I am her Mom, and I love her and want her to get her rest so her brain can develop, I pick her right back up. She then nestles into me, and goes back to sleep. How can I resist that?

    However, considering she is sleeping almost 18 hours a day, it is super hard for me to do anything. Okay, yes, I am getting some serious reading done, but maybe I want to go to the bathroom, or eat something, or do anything besides hold a sleeping baby. And when she is awake, I just end up playing with her because it is still so rare that her eyes are open, and I love her so much it pains my soul. I want to spend time with her when she is alert, but I am fucking hungry and I probably have weeks of impacted shit in my colon.

    Not to mention she doesn’t have an exact schedule yet, so I cannot anticipate how long I will be in any one position holding her. It could be an hour, it could be three… so sometimes I get trapped and feel like only a contortionist could withstand what I am doing just to avoid waking my peaceful sleeping baby.

    This is how I am keeping myself from completely losing my mind. I am telling myself that if I can stick this out, and just be her human sleeping mat, she will eventually feel secure enough that I can put her down to nap. She is only 5 weeks old, and this is only transitory. I must cherish this time of just holding her. It is not going to last forever, and I am building the intimacy of our relationship because as she rests she knows her mommy is forever there for her.

    January 12, 2011 • 2nd Month, Parenting, Sleeping • Views: 1101

  • Are You Trying to Manipulate Me?

    So I decided that I was going to try to give the baby a pacifier. Considering how much sucking is part of her daily life, I figured it would be nice to suck on something other than me. So I put the thing in her mouth… she spits it out. I do it again… she spits it out. I do it about 10 more times, and get the same reaction.

    So then I put in her mouth, and hold it in with the tip of my finger. She sucked on it for a minute, then sort of heaved in a gagging motion until my moved my finger and she spit the damn thing out again.

    My friend Grace came over, and asks how she was liking the pacifier.

    “Well she keeps acting like it’s gagging her…”

    “Acting like it’s gagging her, or it is gagging her?” Holy crap Grace… You have one hell of a point there! She is not pretending to gag to mess with my mind… She is actually gagging!

    I know maybe that sounds dumb, but it was a total revelation for me. She is not trying to manipulate me by gagging, or crying, or fussyness. She is just feeling what she feels and reacting. She may not even get that I am spending my entire life and energy just trying to understand her needs. She is just living her life and reacting to what I put in front of her.

    They are crying out of need, not emotion. There is no need to take anything personally.

    So as potentially obvious as this may be, your baby is not fucking with you, they are just trying their best to communicate to you!

    January 7, 2011 • 1st Month, Baby Gear, Parenting • Views: 1026

  • The Happiest Baby on the Block

    Even if you have been around babies before, newborns are an entirely different species. They have these floppy heads, they make faces that have absolutely no correlation to any emotion, they have no control of their arms and legs that just flail about… in short… they are not really humans yet. It is like they are little exposed embryos.

    I decided maybe I would try to read up on these mysterious beings, and came across a book called “The Happiest Baby on the Block.” What an enticing title right? Who doesn’t want the happiest baby on the block? Because that is not just a happy baby… but the happiest. Like no other baby will have more joy in their hearts than your baby. If you read this book, your baby’s happiness will crush all the other babies and you will win! Sounds awesome… I am sold!

    The book talks about how the first three months of life for a baby are really like the 4th trimester. Meaning, in order for the baby to feel at peace, you have to re-create the womb as much as possible. The author suggests 5 strategies to make your little snuggle bunny feel like they are still stuffed up your vagina.

    1) Shhhhh(ing): The sound of shhhhhh is not just something you say just to get someone to shut the hell up. It is also a noise that soothes babies like you wouldn’t believe. Supposedly… it mimics the noise the baby heard in the womb of blood rushing around all the veins and arteries and the like. And not just a soft shhhhh noise either…. But a pretty hearty SHHHHHHHH. I am telling you, this works like a charm.
    2) Swaddling: Basically this means that you take a blanket, and wrap your baby up like a baby burrito. Newborns have a reflex called the “moroe reflex” that shoots their arms out
    3) Swinging: Really… it is more of a jiggling… but I think the author was sticking to the whole S theme. Babies were jiggled around in your belly the whole time they were in there, and that movement totally soothes them. Crazy town right? You don’t want to be still for them to at peace… you want to jiggle them! Sometimes I would put her on my lap facing me, and just bounce my legs like I was super nervous, and she would go right to sleep.
    4) Side-laying: This one wasn’t that important for me, but a lot of babies like to lay on their side when in your arms. The book talks about facing the babies out, but I always faced my baby in towards me and it was more of a side tilt.
    5) Sucking: I know there are all sorts of conversations regarding the pacifier… my baby never took one. I tried, and she just spat that shit right out like she thought I was trying to fuck with her. So she is all about sucking on my nip. But the sucking, whether they are hungry or not, will soothe them. They somehow can figure out how to suck to get food, or just suck to suck… you can actually feel the difference.

    This advice has helped me so much I cannot even tell you. I have yet to have more than a few minutes with my baby crying because of these great tools. Now, I totally know that every baby is different, and some are more sensitive, then others… but I am just saying that this really helped me and it is totally worth trying!

    January 4, 2011 • 1st Month, Books, Parenting • Views: 1263

  • Parenting 101

    In order to be good at anything in life, you need at least 1 of two things; experience or education. Sure, innate talent factors into the intensity of potential excellence, but I am talking about even being decent at something.

    Think about it… would you see a dentist who just woke up one day and said “Hey I am a dentist now. Open up and lemme see those teeth of yours.” Hell no you wouldn’t! You would want that guy to have gone to dentist school, and to have dentist-ed on a bunch of other motherfuckers before they are even think of drilling into your mouth.

    Or a cab driver? Would you just get into the back of the car with someone who has never driven before? They were just like “Hey, I am a new driver…. First time behind the wheel. But I figure I will just do the best I can.”

    Would you even let someone cut your hair that has never cut hair before? Probably not… and your hair grows back!

    I got thinking about this last night, because it suddenly felt so crazy that you could be a parent without any experience or any education… and you are raising a human being!!! It is probably the most profound thing you could ever do… with so many potential ways to fuck up, and there is no certificate you need to earn to do it. This person’s life is totally in your hands, and there is absolutely no prerequisite besides knowing how to fuck.

    Even if you were to adopt a child… it took Sandra Bullock 4 years to adopt her son and she is a gagillionaire! And she seems wicked nice! There is way more scrutiny for a person that wants to help an already living being than for those who intentionally, or haphazardly create one.

    I am not saying I have a solution for this. It is not like you could or should require people to have at least 2,000 hours in the field, plus a Masters, in order to procreate. But I will say, for those that are lucky enough to have had a baby, it is your responsibility to do the best you can to educate yourself while you can the experience.

    Sure we all have our instincts and intuition, and those should be paid attention to and honored… I am a huge fan of intuition. I totally believe in it, and feel it all the time! I am like an intuition-phile. I loves it so and will probably write about how relevant it is too. I am in no way am advocating that everything you need to know about parenting can be learnt in book, or taught in a class, but I still think there is a lot of information and help out there to guide us through the process.

    December 19, 2010 • 1st Month, Books, Parenting • Views: 1457

  • Bebe’s 1st Bath

    Baby’s first bath

    Although this may not be something you want to think about too deeply, birth cheese is really good for your baby’s skin. You know, the white shit that covers the baby when its born? Yes, that stuff. So you actually don’t want to rush to wash it off, but rather rub it in and let it seep into your babies pours. Yum! Point is, when I took bebe home, she had yet to have her first bath.

    I was sitting on the bed with bebe, my mother, and my friend Grace, and we were all sweating in the excessive summer heat. My mom was holding bebe when she started to fuss. It was her first real declaration of protest, so I felt like something was definitely disturbing her.

    “Ummm Mom, something is going on, maybe give her to me.”
    “Oh she is fine Toni. She is just happy to be with her grandma.” I thought, “well, okay, she was a mom too, she probably knows what she is talking about,” but the fussiness only intensified.

    “Okay mom… maybe give her to me. I think she is uncomfortable.” My mom rolled her eyes and handed her to me, and at that moment, the problem became painfully obvious for all involved. She had pooed. But not just any poo. A poo as black and sticky as tar… a poo that seemed as if it had been summoned from the depths of hell… a poo with a mass so impressive, it could have competed with a frat boy after a night of drinking and McDonald’s… a poo that seemed to be comprised of a substance from another dimension that had oozed all the way down her back, and into her hair.

    “Holy shit! Literally! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! We need to get her in the bath!!!!” Not sure if my new precious bebe was leaking toxic sludge, I knew that I had to get this shit of her pronto. Now I had never given a little newborn a bath before, and their bodies are so scrawny, and now my little lizard was covered in poo that rationally I did not want to touch, but practically, my hands where now immersed in.

    We rushed the baby into the bathroom, and my mom ran the bath as I held the baby dripping poo onto my toes, and now very agitated. My mom, in her best intentions, had purchased a bath that was too big for bebe’s tiny body, and I, in my usual Toni way, never even examined the bath she had bought.

    “This bath is too big! I can’t put her down in that! She is going to drown!”
    “Oh Toni, don’t be ridiculous. Just hold her up in the bath and support her.”

    I bent over and placed the baby in the water, while Grace searched for a washcloth. My mom had added soap to the water, which only made her slippery, and I thought she was going to shoot out my hands and get sucked down the drain.

    “Fuck mom… I hate this bath. It’s too big. Why did you put soap in the water?? She is too wiggly and slippery! Ahhhhhhhh.”

    “Oh for God’s sake Toni, just hold on to her and Grace can wipe off the poo!”
    “Ahhhh Mom!! I can’t support her head at this angle! It’s gonna fall off!!”

    With the help of my mom and Grace, we did get the poo that would have made Satan proud off her. We then got her dressed, and while I was still panting from the whole ordeal she was asleep again.

    “Man… I am lucky you guys were here! What would I have done with out you?”

    So what I learned about
    1) Bebe’s first poo is pretty gnarly so watch out. That is a lot of impacted shit up in there.
    2) Know about the basic equipment you are going to be using, and do a dry run. Make sure you are comfortable with the things that you have bought to take care your bebe!

    November 30, 2010 • 1st Month, 1st time for everything, Baby Gear • Views: 978