Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just Pictures

Colin playing
Colin and his Grandma Mo

Colin and his Grandma Jo
He is wearing the sweatter set that his GG (Great Grandma) made for him.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When to start solids...

As Colin approaches 4 months old we will have to make a decision about when to start solids and what type of solids to start with! Currently the American Academy of Pediatrics does not agree with itself. The section on breastfeeding supports exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months but the Committee on Nutrition supports the introduction of complementary foods between four and six months. My pediatrician seems to be more on the 4month side, although we haven't had a real conversation about it (she has just said things offhandedly that make me think she supports starting solids at 4 months.) However, I'm not one to 'take your word for it' so I've done some research.
My two favorite sources of baby information (Dr. Alan Greene and Drs William and Robert Sears) indicate that it isn't the age as much as the developmental stage that is important for beginning solids. I couldn't agree more with this approach! Gestational age and birth weight make such a big difference in these early months that all 4 or 6 month old babies won't be in the same developmental stage. Some of the signs that indicate food readiness according to these two doctors are:
  • Able to sit with support, reaches and grabs, and mouths hands and toys (Check!)
  • Parents will notice that their babies start to watch them eat with great interest. (Check!)
  • "Mooches," reaching for food on your plate (Hasn't been given the opportunity)
  • Mimicks your eating behaviors, such as opening her mouth wide when you open your mouth to eat. (No. Not yet)
  • Baby can show and tell. Around six months of age babies have the ability to say "yes" to wanting food by reaching or leaning toward the food and "no" by pushing or turning away. Expect mixed messages as your baby learns to communicate. When in doubt, offer, but don't force. (Haven't tried yet so I don't know)

If Colin seems ready at 4 months, I don't see the harm in trying provided we don't decrease his normal feedings. If things go poorly we'll stop and wait.

Next question? What do we feed him??

To be continued...

Friday, October 24, 2008

My favorite products for apartment life.

In the off chance someone else out there faces the same space limitations I do I thought I would do a quick survey of some of the space saving products I've found useful.

First: The Maclaren Easy Traveler Car Seat Carrier Stroller:


This was a product I didn't know I needed until I actually used a different stroller. Newbie mistake for sure. Here is a tip: When you pick out your child's stroller, ask a sales associate to fold it up for you so you can see how HUGE it is folded and make a decision about where it will be stored and how well it will fit in your trunk. We didn't ask questions and just registered for the travel system that went with out car seat (which was chosen based on safety). The good part about that stroller is that it not only carries the car seat but is also a stroller for a larger child as well. The problem is that when it is folded, it is really BIG and takes up A LOT of room in our fairly spacious trunk (and the closet). Which means if I try to go grocery shopping it is annoying trying to fit everything, and if we travel we can't bring both the stroller and the pack and play. Enter the Maclaren Easy Traveler Stroller. I will totally admit this has limited use because it is only useful to carry the infant car seat. However, through he magic of engineering it UMBRELLA folds and thus is very compact!! Sean and I discussed this purchase for a while and I really looked all over NY state to find a used one. Apparently people love them so much they don't give them up. I say SKIP the travel system stroller and just get this. Pick out your toddler stroller with more than the pattern in mind. Our other stroller will be used when Colin gets bigger (and hopefully we have a bigger car!).


Second: The Safety First- Fold up tub.


Some might say you could skip the infant tub, we bathe Colin every night (as per our pediatricians recommendation) so filling up the entire tub every night would be a MAJOR waste of water. We have no room to store a traditional infant tub so we got this one. It folds up and fits in our buffet cabinet! It is perfect for us, and the base fits in the sink so I don't hurt my knees or back kneeling on the floor.


Third: Bobby Rock in Comfort Travel Swing.

I will admit I have serious swing envy when I go to Erin's and see the nice big swing she has, but most swings literally have the same footprint as a lay-z-boy and our LR just doesn't have the space for that. This swing has about half the footprint and it all folds up for storage or travel. The cons: It is only good up to 25lbs sightly smaller than traditional swings and the battery life leaves something to be desired, but it was this or nothing so I can live with it.



Next: Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper:

We were going to re-use Lukas' Jumperoo but is is currently missing in action in storage so we ended up buying our own. I choose this one because 1. The company got back to me about the plastics, and it meets International standards for BPA and phthalates which I understand to be more strict than our FDA's. 2. It has extra spots to hang (and swap out) extra toys. and 3. It folds FLAT! and can fit under the bed or crib when we have company.


Last: The Fisher Price Space Saver High chair:

I got this before I started by Fisher Price boycott, but it is a good product. Again, the footprint of a high chair is bigger than you would think so we ended up not being able to fit the 'all natural' high chair (I was oh-so bummed). This one straps onto a chair you already have so it doesn't take up any additional space. I currently have it on top of the buffet table so I have somewhere to 'put' Colin while I'm in the kitchen making lunch. (I will admit this isn't the safest application since it isn't strapped down but since he isn't strong enough yet to move it I'm confident its not life threatening).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Random Colin Info.

Two quick things:
1.) Things aren't really getting any better with the whole sleeping thing... It seems like we get one good night followed by two bad nights...I'll let you know if and when this improves but for now.. no news is bad news! =/ I'm thinking I might have to get his napping schedule at little more solidified, but is he too young for this yet??

2) Why can't baby clothing be sized a little more consistently?!? Colin is now three months old and 15+lbs but is in three different sizes?!? (o-3, 3-6, and a few 6-9) What is the deal? I have to keep going through all the different sizes to check and see if some of the bigger labeled clothes are small enough to wear now so I don't accidentally 'miss' them. How annoying!

Lastly, for those who have seen us in the first three months, we have finally stopped using 'the book' as of Saturday (sort of because he is three months old and its time, sort of because there were only two pages left).. Not sure how I feel about it yet, a little freer but I little 'blind' at the same time... (The book refers to the notebook I used to document all feedings, sleeping and diaper changes...)

I guess that was three things.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Colin Laughing

Our first video capture of the little guy laughing. Enjoy

Colin is Three months old!



Age: 3months
Weight: 15lbs 12oz (82nd %ile)
Height: 25.64 inchs (89th %ile)
Head Circ: 42cm (59th%ile)
Sleeps: Erratically, sometimes 5 hours, sometimes 2 hours. Averages about 12hrs a day total (on the low side for his age group, but the doctor isn't concerned)
Likes:
  • Chewing on his fingers or burp cloths,any fabric that's handy really, but he hasn't mastered holding solid objects yet.
  • The TV, scary, I know! I guess I don't get to watch daytime TV anymore as soon as I turn it on he's mesmerized.
  • Eating
  • Swinging, at least one nap a day occurs in the swing, for some reason he is not a fan of napping in the crib.
  • Traveling, we went for a little drive yesterday and he chatted with me most of the way. So precious.
  • Kicking! The boy is going to be a soccer player, he loves kicking and moving his legs

Dislikes:

  • Sleeping for extended periods of time.
  • Having his nails trimmed or filed.
  • Having his eye (just the left one is still getting gookie) cleaned

One more silly picture for good measure.. I wouldn't want you to get the impression that they are all good ones!!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Update on Sleep

So while I'm letting Matlab chug some data I thought I would update you on last nights sleeping... Sean and I pulled out all the stops and Colin pulled through with 4 hours and 45 mins. Not 6, but way better than 2! So what are 'all the stops' you ask?

1) Don't put the baby to bed until after 10pm. Bedtime had started to creep toward 8 or 9pm but clearly that is a mistake for now.
2)Don't let the baby sleep at all between 4pm and 10pm (he did nearly fall asleep while eating so he got little cat naps.) Previously we have allowed up to 1 hr of sleep during this period of time.
3)Play lots of baby games and get him talking to tire him out.
4)Cluster feed! We have removed the 10min time limit for feedings after 12pm in honor of his growth spurt.
5) Turn on the white noise machine. We thought that with the a/c off he might be hearing more traffic noise and that might be waking him up.

(He was swaddled too but we always do that so its not new.)

After all that one would think this kid would sleep through the night... Maybe when he starts on solids, only another month to go before that happens. (More on that later, you can be sure I researched rice cereals!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sleep Relapse

Prior to Friday night Colin had been approaching a consistent 6 hours of sleep, but at the very least was sleeping 4 hours straight every night. I have absolutely no idea what changed but Friday, Saturday and Monday nights he wouldn't sleep longer than 2/3 hours at a time. Just when I was starting to think we had turned a corner he has relapsed. I'm really hoping it is just a growth spurt that has him extra hungry and it won't last long but man...I'm tired! Sean seems to remember reading that it is normal for babies to get worse before they get better but we can't find where he read that and I'm starting to think it is just wishful thinking... What ever happened to baby's start sleeping though the night at 10lbs?!? My little guy is pushing 15lbs and shows no signs of sleeping through the night. I would even be okay with one wake up a night but 4 is going to be the death of me.
When did your baby/ies sleep through the night?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My cutie pie!

Here are some cute pictures from today. Sean and Colin the Cool!
Isn't he cute?
Sleepin on the couch. (He isn't as arched as he looks)

Isn't he the cutest in his hat (made by my friend Patrisha) and shades (a gift from Dottie)?


Friday, October 10, 2008

Seventh Generation Diaper Review

Aside from gDiapers, we have tried a couple of other more environmentally conscious (and kid friendly) diapers. One of our favorites are Seventh Generation diapers. They are made without the use of chlorine and latex and therefore are better for babies skin as well as the environment. While they aren't making claims that these diapers don't sit in a landfill for 100 yrs, the lack of chemicals both in the final product and in the production process make for a more eco-friendly product. They are also fragrance free.. I still don't understand why other brands (eg. Pampers) feel the need to scent their diapers! Seriously? It certainly doesn't cause the poop to smell less!

So how do they work? Not bad!! While they aren't 100% leak free, in fact we had some freaking crazy blow out leaks during our trip to mass., I think I've discovered the secret to them. The internal 'walls' sometimes sometimes get stuck to the diaper and don't pop up. I have yet to get a leak since I've learned this secret. Some packages have more stuck sides than others. If you have tried Seventh Gen diapers and found them leaky, try again and pay attention to the 'walls'.

We also use their chlorine free wipes, although I use a huggies container with the Seventh Gen. refill packs because the seventh gen container is really rough on your fingers if the wipes don't 'pop up'. We ended up with a pack of Huggies wipes while traveling, who knew we used more than one pack of wipes in 10 days!!

Final verdict: I recommend these diapers if you need to use disposable diapers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My good little traveler

This past weekend the family made a trip to Massachusetts for Crystal and Nick's wedding. Colin came along and stayed in the hotel with our good friend Elaine (who was nice enough to make the hour drive to babysit for us) during the wedding and reception. While Colin wasn't necessarily on his best behavior for Elaine he did okay, neither one came out of the event traumatized. The wedding was a lot of fun, but I found that I was a bit distracted (not worried so much, just distracted) wondering how my baby was much of the night. It didn't help that there was a little baby boy at the wedding so every time I saw that baby I thought about Colin. I imagine I'll get better at leaving him and it wasn't a bad experience for his first non-family babysitter.
The next day we went to Salem for the day. We were a little worried about how Colin would do in the stroller (which is the car seat) all day when he had been in the car seat traveling the day before, but he was perfect. We did some shopping and went to the Witch Museum, and then we went back to Elaine and Brandon's house for the night.
To round out the weekend we even stopped in to see Erin and her twins (remember Erin from the belly to belly bumps picture) I was hoping to get a picture of the three boys together but there wasn't an opportunity because one of the three was sleeping or eating the entire time. Ben and Sam were certainly showing interest in Colin but Colin didn't seem to notice the other baby's quite yet. Soon, we'll be getting the boys together and they will be running around and playing but for now the play dates are more for Erin and I to get together than the boys. =)
Sean and I couldn't believe how well Colin did. We fully expected a baby would make us slow down our lifestyle but so far he is so good, that we are still able to travel to see friends and family. I couldn't be happier!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!


Today is my parents 32th wedding anniversary! For some reason their anniversary sneaks up on me every year and I never get a card in the mail on time. Something about it being on the second of the month, I don't actually think of it until its actually October and then it is just too late. So this year I'm sending a 'green' paperless card, here it is:

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad/Grandma and Grandpa!!

Thanks for being a great example of a successful marriage. For showing me what it means to love unconditionally, even when dad walks through the house with snowy boots on or mom overcooks the chicken. =)

LOVE YOU!!

Sean Becky and Colin.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Colin Cooing Video

I figured it out folks! Here is Colin's Cooing Video

How's Colin Doing?

Since I'm with my little man everyday I keep thinking there isn't much new and exciting going on to talk about... but I guess maybe there are some new things, (I'll let you be the judge of exciting).
The top two questions people ask about Colin are 1. Is he eating well? and 2. Is he sleeping well? The answer to both of these questions is 'Yes, sort of'. He eats well when he nurses, too well in fact. I have to stop him at ten minuets per side now or else he gets too full and throws up. (I have spoken to his doctor about this and I'm aware of the larger problems that could also lead to frequent throwing up but we are pretty sure he is in the clear for those). He has only throw up a total of 6 times so it isn't that frequent but its enough to be distressing. It hasn't been a problem since I started timing him obsessively. No fear in him going hungry, hes still putting on weight like a champ. The other feeding issue we are having is that he doesn't like eating from a bottle... We can usually get him to take an ounce but anything more than that is a bit of a struggle. I've tried four different nipples and the adiri bottle but nothing has been an easy fix... any ideas here would be greatly appreciated!!
As for sleeping, he is a bit of a tease. While I was visiting my mom, one night he slept 5 hours and 50 mins, but he has yet to repeat this performance (this was the night after I spent most of the day at the MacAlpines, I think all the kids must have worn him out! Thanks Jen!)...most nights he will sleep 4 hours followed by 2 then 1. If I'm really lucky he will do 4 then 3 but that too is illusive. I feel like I can't complain because 95% of the time after he wakes up he eats and goes right back to sleep. So far he hasn't switched his days and nights so I feel pretty lucky, although I hear it can happen at any time. He naps pretty well, but he doesn't like to go into the crib during his nap. For example right now he is asleep on my chest. He will sleep the longest in this position, but also does well in his swing (although if I walk away and let it stop the nap is over!)

He has really found his voice over the last month or so and loves talking to us and his friends. I'm going to work on getting the video uploaded, but I can't get up to go get the camera right now (see above). We often have cute 'coverstations' with him as he coos at us and loves to hear us mimic the sounds he makes. He also has improved his control over his hands and now is able to bring them to his mouth and chew on his fist or fingers...I'm a little worried this will lead to thumb sucking but so far he keeps his thumb buried in his fist. While I would rather not start that habit if I can help it, he is not all that into the pacifier for the most part, so he may take to his thumb when he can find it.

Here is a picture for Nate and Amy (and the rest of our Buffalo friends) n.b. this outfit makes him look bigger than he is.