Monday, August 29, 2011

Sweet Potato....he likes it!

On the move

After about a month of trying, Noah is FINALLY rolling over!  You'll see in the videos that he swings his torso and legs to flip himself.  At first he could only roll to the right, but now he's rolling both ways.  The only challenge is that he doesn't realize he can flip from his tummy to his back (he was doing that before he could roll the other way, but I think he's forgotten), so I'm eternally running to flip him when he's screaming because he's stuck.  What a funny boy!

I'm a little worried because I know this is only the beginning and soon he'll be crawling and then running around the house. Soon it will be time for baby gates and moving to our basement where he can't get into as much trouble as our living room!  How time flies!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our solid food adventure

Once Noah was successful at sleeping through the night (he still wakes once or twice but is able to settle himself), we decided it was time to start solid foods.  The doctor said he could try them at 5 months (which is technically tomorrow), but he's been eating so much lately that we figured a week or two early wouldn't hurt.

Our first solid food was rice cereal.  At first it was pretty watered down, to get him used to the taste.  But now I'm making it a bit thicker because it's easier to feed him.  And he LOVES it!!

A week after starting rice cereal (you're supposed to wait at least 4 days between food introductions to monitor for allergic reactions), we decided it was time for vegetables.  We received a Baby Bullet as a shower gift and I couldn't wait to try it!  I decided to try peas as our first vegetable.  Little did I know that it's not always a baby pleaser.  I pureed fresh peas with a bit of water and portioned them into the cute Baby Bullet cups.  Watch the video below to see how our first pea experience went:

Needless to say, he wasn't a fan.  We decided to wait a couple days before trying them again (I read you should try everything 3 times before giving up).  So last night we tried them again.

You'll see by his expression that he's not completely won over, but his reaction this time was much less dramatic.  We shall try again tonight before moving on to sweet potato!

What foods did you start with?  Any suggestions for making peas a little more tolerable?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Drifting thoughts

Yesterday I was holding Noah as he was falling asleep and he was staring up at me from his big blue eyes and cooing at me.  At that moment I began to wonder what Olivia's eyes would have looked like.  Would her face have looked like his?  Tears began to flow and he continued to stare quizzically at me, like he was trying to understand what was wrong.

I will never know the answers to those questions, and that makes my heart ache.  But at the same time, we are blessed with a beautiful child who brightens each and every day and warms our hearts.  We will never forget our little girl, but we also can't live in the past.  Life must go on, and we need to celebrate life rather than wallow in death.

Robert Munsch wrote "Love You Forever" as a song after his wife delivered two stillborn babies.  You can read his post about it here:

I can't think of any better words to sum up how we feel about our angel and rainbow babies:

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”

Today, August 19, is a day of hope.  A day of "honouring and remembering the lives of babies and children that could not stay with us. By doing this we are speaking out about the death of babies whether it is through pregnancy, infant or even child loss."  For me, this is every day.  But it's nice to have special days where angel baby parents can come together and gain strength from each other's sorrows.

Click here for more information and resources.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Someone is proud and well rested!

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Sleep Training - Days 4 to 6

And he's sleeping through the night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Sunday night he woke briefly at 1:30am, but settled himself fast.  Then he slept till 6:55am without stirring.  I was so shocked, I woke up every hour just to listen for him!

On Monday he woke at 1:40am and 5:20am, but settled himself.  He tried to wake up for the day at 6:20am but I gave him his soother and he slept till 7:45am.

Last night he woke briefly at 2:30am, settled himself and then slept till 7:20am.

A few sleepless nights was DEFINITELY worth it.  Now if only I could sleep through the night without waking up!  I suspect it will take me a few days to break out of my automatic waking.  But for now, we shall celebrate!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sleep Training - Day 3

As I mentioned in my previous post, my sister in law had Noah for the day while we went to a wedding.  He napped for 90 mins for us in the morning, so we knew we'd set him on the right path for the day.  We dropped him off at noon, and headed to Toronto.  We were so excited to stay in a hotel and get a full night of interrupted sleep.  So much so that we snuck in a nap between the wedding and reception!

She said he had some good naps in the afternoon and went to sleep easily for her.  He slept through until 2am but was up on and off till 4am.  After that, he slept till 7:30.  We were SO thankful that she was committed to upholding our training.  She once did it with her kids (now 5 and 7) so we knew she'd be good at it (I remember her calling me crying when she did it with her first and you could hear him wailing in the background.  Poor girl!).  The nice thing is that when Noah cries, he sounds more ticked off than anything, so it's fairly easy to leave him there to work it out himself.

So that's three days.....let's see what night 4 brings!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sleep Training - Day 2

Night two was pretty much the same as night one.  We continued the approach during the day for naps, and were able to stretch his afternoon nap to 90 minutes.  He went to bed easily (as always) and had a brief wakeup at 9:30pm.  We let him go and he settled himself in less than 10 minutes.  Once we went to bed, we were hopeful, yet realistic, about what the night ahead held in store for us.  He woke briefly at 1:30 and settled himself in less than 10 minutes, without us going in.  He then slept till 3:20...and was up on and off until 5am!  We went in a couple times after waiting at least 10 minutes, and found he actually got angrier when he saw us.  I suspect it confused him and ticked him off that we were standing over him and not picking him up.  By 5am he was exhausted and finally crashed, and he slept till 8am.

Everyone says it takes three days for something to stick...we shall see if that theory is accurate.  We're headed to a wedding tonight so my sister in law is babysitting.  Bless her commitment to upholding our efforts!  She doesn't want to derail everything so she's bringing him back to our house to sleep.  We wish her luck!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sleep Training - Day 1

A few weeks ago we tried letting Noah cry at the times of the night where we knew he was waking out of habit instead of hunger.  We knew it was habit because he was waking at the EXACT same time every night for multiple days and would go right back to sleep with his soother.  After one night, he dropped 1 of his 2 night feeds and slept till 4:30am.  He would then sleep till 7-8am.  We were ecstatic!  Unfortunately it was short lived and within a few days his sleep actually got worse!  He started waking at 145 and 245 EVERY night, and fed around 4am.  After 2 weeks of battling him without success, I threw in the towel and went back to 2 feeds.  But it didn't stop those first 2 wakeups!

2 nights ago was the worst, he was WIDE awake for those first 2 wakeups and refused to settle.  The feeds weren't helping and I was exhausted!  I had tried moving him to a 4 hour eating schedule during the day but I think it made him worse at night.  4 hours was too long between bottles and he was absolutely famished by feed time.  Plus it was a long time to keep him awake.

So yesterday morning I woke up and decided I was taking back the control.  We would go back to 3 hour feeds, and try bigger bottles at each feed.  For the last month we'd been alternating 4 and 6oz bottles during the day, so yesterday I offered 6oz at EVERY feed and he finished EVERY last drop!  He ate 38oz yesterday, and he's been trending at 32-34 for the past month, which tells me he needs bigger bottles more frequently.

So now we had the feeding part tackled, it was time to attack the unnecessary wakeups.  We decided to give Controlled Crying a go, because we've heard of its success from a number of friends.  I tried the Baby Whisperer Pick Up/Put Down approach, but all it did was tick him off more.

Noah is generally a good napper, and always sleeps 90 mins in the morning.  He USED to sleep 90 mins in the afternoon but the last few weeks that nap has been getting shorter, with him waking at 45-60 mins for his soother or just to get up.  So yesterday when he woke up at 45 minutes, I didn't go in.  Instead I waited 10 mins and THEN went in.  I stroked his head and cheek for 2 mins and when he didn't settle I left.  I waited another 10, and then went back in again.  He still didn't settle so I left.  And then miraculously he stopped crying on his own after a few minutes.  He let out one last whimper and then went back to sleep for another half hour.  Success!

We've been dream feeding him since week 3 and lately he's started waking early for that too.  Usually it's around 1045/1100, depending on when his last feed was.  Last night he was due at 11 but woke at 1015.  I used the same technique as nap time and after 2x10min sessions he settled and fell asleep.  I've noticed he can't settle with me in the room, I think because he can't understand why I'm not picking him up.  But as soon as I leave, he lets out one final shout, and then settles down.  So his dream feed was at the proper time, but he only at 3 of the 6oz I offered, which told me I had "loaded him up" adequately during the day.

I was optimistic but realistic about the night ahead.  Here's how it went:

120am - wakeup, let cry for 10 mins
130am - attempt to console for 2 mins
132am - let cry for another 10 mins
142am - attempt to console for 2 mins, leave and he let out a final "shout" and settled down
2:05 - wakeup, let cry for 10 mins
2:15 - attempt to console for 2 mins
2:17 - let cry...he settles after less than 10 on his own!

This went on until 2:40, and he continued to squeak and settle himself in shorter increments of time.  At 2:40 he fell asleep and stayed asleep till 430.

When he woke at 4:30 we decided to let him cry rather than feed, just to see what would happen.  He cried for 10 and hubby went in.  After 2 mins he left, Noah let out a final shout, and passed out till.....wait for it....8am!!

So he made it through the night without a feed.  He ate 8oz for breakfast but he woke up happy and squealing, so he wasn't damaged by the night's events.  My goal today is to get close to 38oz into him during the waking hours and dream feed, and continue what we started yesterday.  I will also leave him for 15 minutes today to see if he can self soothe.

While I'm utterly exhausted, I'm also excited about the prospect that my little guy COULD be sleeping through the night soon.  Fingers crossed!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Favourite toys

Recently I've been chatting with other new moms about age-appropriate toys for our infants.  Noah has a lot of toys but there's a number of favourites among the bunch.  I thought I'd share them here in case you're looking for ideas.  All of these are easy for him to hold (he's just learned to use his fingers) and put in his mouth (everything goes in there these days because of teething) and he plays with them multiple times a day.

Baby Neptune Ocean Adventure Play Mat (Baby Einstein):  Noah spends HOURS a day on this mat.  Our favourite feature is the sound and light machine that keeps him entertained.  It's very easy to fold into the carrying bag so you can take it with you.  We usually toss a bunch of toys on it so he has lots to choose from.

Owl & Friends Ball Trio (Skip Hop):  We have these hanging on hooks beside his change pad.  Two of them have bells inside and he loves to swat at and kick them while we're changing his diaper and clothes.

Skwish Classic (Manhattan Toys):  This is the newest addition and was an immediate hit.  It's held together with bungee cords so it's flexible and very easy to hold.  He loves to put the corner balls in his mouth.

Snuggle & Teethe Elephant (Bright Starts):  This guy goes with Noah in his car seat.  He loves the crinkly belly and loves to stroke his fur while we're on the go.  There's teething bits on the feet as well (he hasn't discovered those yet).

Soft Activity Book (Skip Hop):  He's still learning to use the book but when we're out shopping and he gets bored, I give this to him and it occupies him for a bit.  There's crinkly pages, soft textures and moving pieces inside.

Sophie The Giraffe:  What child doesn't love Sophie?  Even though she's a bit expensive, she's a great toy.  Easy to hold, and her rubber is super soft so he LOVES to gnaw on her head and legs.

Start Your Senses Rattle A Round (Bright Starts):  We got this one in a birthday party loot bag and he LOVES it!  The ring is the perfect size to hold and he loves to shake it and gnaw on it.  I think he also likes the noise of the shaker ball.

Whoozit (Manhattan Toys):  We have this guy hanging on one of his bouncy chairs (one with no activities so otherwise he'd be bored and fed up fast).  There's lots to look at and grab, he's a big fan of the Whoozit.

Neptune Soother (Baby Einstein):  We have this hanging on the side of the crib and we turn it on in the morning when he's waking up.  He loves to lie and watch the fish go by.  I only use the aquarium sounds feature, I don't love the music playlist.  I like that it has a remote so we can turn it back on from his doorway.  The only downside is that it doesn't stay on for very long.

Whoozit Grabbitz Ball (Manhattan Toys):  I found this on a clearance table at Babies R Us and he loved it immediately.  It looks strange but the plastic rings are easy for him to hold and the "balls" are soft and crinkly.  This is another playmat regular toy.

Any suggestions for other must-have toys for a 4.5 month old?  I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

4.5 months and growing fast!

Noah had his four month appointment last week (a couple weeks late because his doctor was away - he was 19 weeks on Friday).  He's now 15.5lbs and 62cm long (he gained 3lbs and 4cm in two months).  He's developing beautifully!  He can roll from his tummy to his back and he's working on rolling both ways from his back.  He's laughing a lot and vocalizing constantly.  He LOVES to be sung to, and to watch other kids play.  It's hard to believe he's nearly five months, I can't imagine life without him!  Here's a few new pictures of our little man:
Relaxing at his first pool party

Beach baby

Swimming with daddy, his new favourite activity (check out his footprint tattoo on daddy's shoulder!)

Hamming it up for the camera

Who could resist those eyes?

Very focused playing - he loves his highchair!

And the adventure continues

I know I say this every time I post, but I can't believe a whole month has passed and I haven't posted!  You would think with all the nap time that happens these days that I'd have time, but usually that "free" time is spent cleaning, doing laundry, washing bottles or napping myself!

The last month has been a sleeping roller coaster.  Noah has two upper eye teeth coming in and he's been pretty moody.  On top of that, he's been waking up screaming on a regular basis (and not just a "I need my soother" scream, a blood-curdling "I'm in pain" scream).  Needless to say, nighttime has been an adventure.

Last weekend we decided to start sleep training him, because he was eating less and less each night (he was waking at 2 and 5 and sleeping till 7), which made me think the wake ups were more out of habit.  Hubby and I agreed we'd let him cry for 5 minutes before going in, and we wouldn't pick him up - instead we'd try to soothe him by talking to him and stroking his cheek/head.  If he didn't settle within a minute, we'd leave for another 5.  If that didn't work, THEN we'd pick him up.  We wanted to ease him into it so it wasn't too traumatic.

Well it worked...for a few nights.  After two nights he dropped the first feed and slept till 3 and then till 7.  We were thrilled!  Until the teething cough appeared.  He has so much saliva right now that it's choking him up.  He sounds like he has a chest cold but the Dr. said his chest was clear and it was drool-driven.  Great....there's nothing we can do.  Well this cough has worsened and now it wakes him up.  I've tried using a steam vaporizer and while there's been an improvement, he's now waking at 145, 245 and 400 each night.  The first two wake ups are habit/comfort, I'm convinced of it, because he doesn't need to eat till 4.  The last two nights we let him cry for 5 mins for both of those wake ups and when we went in, he settled right away.  The problem is that those wake ups aren't going away, and it's been almost a week.  I think it started with the cough but now he's fallen into old habits.

So tonight we'll leave him for ten minutes and see how it goes.  Last night he slept till 5:30 after those wake ups.  In fact, WE woke up and he was still sleeping.  I suppose we should have left him but we were so confused and tired, we decided to dream feed him.  Then he slept till 8:20.  I'm not complaining about the sleep-in but I would LOVE if he dropped the wake ups and only slept till 7.

I know we'll get there, he's shown me he CAN do it, we just need to show him HOW to.  Wish us luck!