2nd Month

  • 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: 5642

  • 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: 2246

  • Kicky Kicky Punch Time

    As my baby is starting to be awake more, I have to start thinking about what to do with her. When she was just sleeping all the time, it was pretty easy to entertain her, and now that she is awake, I am starting to wonder what she wants to do with her time.

    She isn’t really that coordinated yet, so I don’t think giving her toys makes a lot of sense. For one, she can’t hold them. For two, she can’t hold them. I just dangle it in front of her face. But is doesn’t matter what I hang over her head, it all excites her just the same. A mobile, a carrot stem, a piece of trash. Same reaction of total glee.

    I find the thing that she likes to do most with her day is kicky-kicky punch time. She just kicks her little legs, and punches her stomach. I sometimes wonder if she is going to have issues with her sleep, but she seriously seems like she is having the best time, so I am just going to have to trust she is okay.

    What kicky-kicky punch time has taught me is that when babies are super young, their bodies are like a wonderland (thanks John Mayer). Seriously. You don’t need to distract them with toys or mobiles or any of that stuff yet, because their hands and feet are excitement enough. I swear on everything holy she spent an hour the other day tripping out over her hands like she was at a Grateful Dead show.

    I think it is worth it to let your baby enjoy this time of being stimulated just by being alive and in their body. Unless my baby is upset, or making seriously frustrated sounds, I try and just let her do her thing. That way, they can stay entertained longer with minimal interference from you, and you have more time to do things for yourself. I think the more you feel pressure to entertain your baby, the more your baby will demand it. So far, what I have experienced is the best way to interact with her is make faces. After I make a couple of faces showing different emotions, she is so pumped she goes back to kicky-kicky punch time and staring at the ceiling.

    January 13, 2011 • 2nd Month, baby body, baby brain • Views: 2153

  • The Dreaded 6 Weeks

    So maybe your Doctor, or maybe some book you read, or maybe some friend or family member has mentioned to you about the 6 week mark right? If not, the theory is, that around 6 weeks, your baby is going through so much mental development, that they are kinda pissy for a bit.

    I had no idea what to anticipate for this benchmark. It seemed really intimidating. As the day approached I kept envisioning she would suddenly morph into Reagan from “The Exorcist.” She would be plagued by flies, or become supremely violent, and I would have to bury someone’s body in my back yard and burn all the evidence. I was prepared for Armageddon.

    But you know what? I hardly noticed a change at all. In fact, I felt like she started to become more at peace with the world around her. She also had become more awake and interested in the world around her. She would seriously just stare at her hands for an hour like she was tripping out on acid. (Not that I would know).

    She also started to make faces at me with intention. Like she was trying on different ways to express herself. It was like she began to engage with me.

    My point is, there really is no way to anticipate how your particular baby is going to be during any of these so called “bench marks.” It is probably good to be aware of them, but not obsess like they are god’s truth. Who knows, maybe you will give birth and your baby will look you in the eye and say “Man… it was HOT in there.”

    January 13, 2011 • 2nd Month, baby brain • Views: 1920

  • 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: 2700

  • 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: 2400

  • Baby Rashes and Breast Milk

    As I was staring at my beautiful little baby’s face, I noticed something. A rash. Gasp!

    “Mom! What is this? What is on her face?”

    “Oh Toni, that is just a little rash… all babies get rashes.” Not my baby!

    Not that I have unrealistic expectations of perfection… I just didn’t want my little love button to have a rash. I personally hate rashes… and even though this one was pretty mild, I had nothing else to think about.

    Later that day, as she was slobbering on my boob having her 30th meal of the day, I noticed that she was kinda drooling breast milk out of the corner of her mouth. Not sure what possessed me to do this, but I dipped my finger in the milk that was seeping down her cheek, and put it on her eye-lid where the rash was.

    Low and behold, a few hours later the rash was totally gone! I don’t mean improved, I mean disappeared. Since then I have tried it a few other times, and EVERY TIME THE RASH GOES AWAY!

    So if you baby has a rash, try breast milk before you try any product. I swear it totally works! If you are not breast feeding, I also found that “Burts Bee’s Diaper Rash” cream works really well too!

    January 13, 2011 • 2nd Month, baby body, baby products, Breast Feeding • Views: 27780

  • 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: 2524