Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sleep training by an amateur - 1

so , i read a bunch of articles, went on a bunch of forums and since i was desperate and totally sleep deprived decided it was time something was done. sure babies are smart and know what they need , but if I had let you have your way, you would be nursing every 90 min day and night and totally killing me.

i needed some sleep STAT! and you needed sleep too.. you were turning into miss cranky pants when awake and that was not fun.

we did the sleep training at around 4 months. the 3 week break i got when nana went away and before ajja-ajji came. it was good. there was definitely progress. we no longer had to hold and rock you for 20 min at a time .. you went to sleep within 5 minutes.
it wasnt hard core. it was basically pupd and 4S's and all that. i even bought the darn book and combed through all the forum posts.. i was obviously nervous. you would cry and make me tremble and boy did you cry. but dada took care of the harder nights and i did the day naps and it got shorter and easier within 3 days and you seemed to get it slowly. i was happy that you woke up happy. you still had only 45 min naps about 6 a day! but you at least woke up laughing. it was tough. we were working on transition to the crib and weaning from the swaddle at the same time. somehow it got better day by day, then it got lil worse then it got better. i cant say that there was a magic day that you suddenly decided to go 8 hrs at night without waking up. but you did 3 and 4 and i was happy.

obviously i had made lots of mistakes. i nursed you to sleep during the 4 month sleep regression and nursed you when you woke up in the middle of the night the first time assuming you were hungry. sure you might have been. and i didnt correct your awake times properly for the first week and you were stuck in a UT/OT loop for a week. but then i sat and wrote down your nap and awake times every single day for 3 weeks and figured it out.
jeez the peace was hard won.

then your grandparents came.

and then your uncle-aunt came with their family

and it all fell apart quickly enough. first you were scared and then you were over-excited with all these ppl. so many ppl you were completely over whelmed and happy and OT. oh well. i went back to rocking you to sleep.. and for the next 2 months i couldnt really get you to independently fall asleep. no worries it wasnt too bad.

then i had a plugged duct. oh boy was it painful. prob during your 6 month growth spurt. and i had to go back to nursing you all the time. shucks. took you less than a week to get used to nursing to sleep. so at 7.5 months when dada got back from china and your grandparents were gone, i had to try pupd again.. i had to! you were back to being miss cranky-pants and yawning and rubbing your eyes all day and being perpetually OT. thankfully this time it took you less than 3 days to get it. its amazing !! you are so much smarter than me.
you went back to 1.5 hr naps and (you consolidated and took longer naps at exactly 6.5 months, till then we were stuck in short nap hell) woke up happy and laughing again.. so you finally learnt to self soothe ! yaay. but now you started going to bed at 9-10pm. thats way too late coz i'm burnt out by then.. and then it was time for your 3-2 nap transition. sigh.. its never ending right?

so this week we have to work on that baby and that will be another post ok?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Rashes and their cousins

LO has been plagued by rashes.. its horrible to see perfect pink skin marred by ugly red blotches. and unfortunately my efforts to help seem to have worsened the rash sometimes before making it better. 
so here's a crash course for the future me. 

slight red spots and rough areas seen after a day out in cold wind. likely caused by the wind and dry skin. 
fix - don't apply anything, just warm compress to open the oily gland pores. applying thick greasy stuff as protective barrier just makes things worse and then you will end up using the HC 1%. if it gets really bad and thick scaly or thick rough hide like or burnt skin like then use the HC asap for 3 days 2x a day and no more. then continue using the hot compress whenever possible. the face will fix itself

scaly red purplish burnt skin like rash. skin will be peeling away. dont let her scratch it. looks like extreme extreme dry skin.  
fix - no oily glands avail on the neck, so hot compress will only dry out the skin. apply aveeno eczema cream if its an eczema patch that looks like dry skin patch. if it gets worse, then its not eczema and maybe yeast rash due to drool. apply nystatin or coconut oil or lots of sunlight. though i dont know how you make sure the bottom of the chin area gets sunlight. just keep the drool away, saves you a lot of pain. 

likely eczema and dry patches of skin. looks like round patches of dry skin, reddish. more reddish under hot water so seen clearly when bathing. 
fix - apply aveeno and thin coat of vaseline on top of it.

Diaper rash
normal diaper rash should go away overnight or in 3 days max. if it persists, then its a yeast infection. don't let it spread. stop using cloth everything immediately. 
for normal diaper rash, use diaper rash cream or triple paste. 
for yeast - apply a combined coat of nystatin and triple paste for every new diaper change. make sure the area is fully dry before applying the cream. leaving it free is not super helpful if not getting fresh air and direct sunlight. 
can apply a diluted soln of tea tree oil + grapeseed oil (to kill spores). 

triple paste apparently has corn starch which feeds yeast, but then it seems to be helping right now. AR: to ask Dr about it. barrier comes from zinc oxide , so stronger concentration of zinc oxide should help. try calmoseptine. 

been fighting this damn yeast rash for 2 months now.

New york New york

So we decided to take a trip with you. To new york! It's not so bad. .. about four hours by bus.  Guess what your dad did?  He booked three tickets for  the four of us!! Egads! 

Luckily someone didn't show up and we got in. Right in the end of the bus. But you made up for it. You were a complete champ. I was scared you would be crying and fussy throughout the way.... but you didn't miss a beat. You slept when the bus started , woke up for a bit in between. Nursed and slept rest of the way and were so happy to look at everyone. The subway did scare you a bit,  but then you got used to them all fast!  And you shocked me by smiling happily at all the African American nice ladies!  It's true , travelling wIth babies is fun :)
Everyone suddenly talks to you,  And all grannies give advice from everything ranging from early solids foods to clothes to learning to playing , etc and etc ad infinitum..
I took you out in the moby wrap,  the first time too and you loved it!  You slept when tired and only cried when hungry.  Unfortunately I still haven't mastered the art of nursing while carrying you though.  Maybe that's today :)
Thank you baby for making today a fun day.  Will post more tomorrow.

Second and third day
Today was the day when you nursed in the moby wrap. woohoo! right in rockefeller center too. This was when i totally felt like a super mom ! today as well you enjoyed the subway, central park, the ducks, the breeze , all of it. unfortunately by evening you were very tired becoz mommy made a rookie mistake and kept you up too long. then we had to deal with your meltdown. oh boy i'm not making THAT mistake again ! and again , what a difference the wrap made ! i could carry you everywhere and soothe you super easily. and maybe you got extra attatched to me after all that wearing , but hey! i'm not complaining ! :P

our way back was a bit harder. that was an afternoon-evening bus and you weren't that sleepy. more interested in talking to the nice girls sitting next to us and you kept trying to get their attention for the better part of the trip! oh and boy were you so happy that they responded to you finally after all your babbling and cooing. Did i tell you , how you enjoyed times square ? oh man, you went all wide eyed and crazy and excited about seeing all the colors and screens and ppl. though the first time the sheer number of ppl did freak you out a bit. 

hmm, the only mistake i made was not packing an extra pair of clothes for you. and you had to unfortunately sit for a while in your poopy shirt after a nasty blowout. 

In all you were awesome and dad & mom only had one fight about you. this was totally a successfull experiment and totally geared us for the next big trip ! :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The fourth month hell

I thought the 6 month growth spurt was crazy, but its a distant blurry memory now... in fact if i didnt have the post saying it was tough, i'd say.. it was ok! jeez talk about the amnesiatic properties of oxytocin.

now the fourth month regression. ha! thats the one from hell. its the day you stopped sleeping and woke up every hour. i think it was my own fault. it started so gradually and then i made it worse by picking you up everytime you woke up.. and nursing you. and then my mom rocked you to sleep so nicely everyday and then she left. and so you got used to waking up every sleep cycle and being nursed to sleep or rocked to sleep. darn suddenly one day you just woundt sleep more than 35 minutes. but you really did go through a growth spurt at 3 months and then it led to the wonder weeks and i really had no idea what was going on with you.... cut me some slack will ya ?

that's when i started sleep training. not the CIO, Dont think i have the stomach for it. but the PuPd. and it was tough. tough on my nerves, tough on poor back. tough on K. tough with sleep deprivation. sure it would have been easier to continue nursing you to sleep, but then one day you nursed and nursed and still couldnt fall asleep.. so then i thought , the heck with all this. you are learning to fall asleep on your own.

 i was literally driving myself nuts calculating your awake times and sleep durations and no matter how i changed your routine/schedule you still would not sleep. and then one day it hit me.. you needed almost 8-9 hours awake time and that meant you actually sleep very little dring the day. unlike other babies, you only sleep 3-4 hours not 4-5! it was like a light bulb went off in my head and i had my aha moment. yaay i finally figured something out and atleast got you on the right schedule which then helped the pupd work better.

so the pupd wasnt super easy like the books make it seem.. there were days of regression on both our parts. my fault mostly. on the 5th day i'd be so exhausted i'd let you sleep with me nursing through the night. and bam! the next day you resisted pupd all over again. thankfully i never had to do more than 15 min of it. since that would have just broken my back like a dry twig snapped between our fingers. you caught on pretty quick i have to give you all the credit. what with my muddling on missing your sleep cues and me feeding you too often so that you got used to snacking. dear baby, the fault is all mine while you were perfect. you followed where i led. and once i realized the path back to sanity, you dutifully followed me there too. albeit a little reluctantly coz it involved more work on your part and less on mine.. but you did not resist too much. not like a kicking horse would.
2 weeks. thats what it took to see a major improvement and only because we took it in stages. with a little more crying we could have done it in one week, but we took it a bit slowly. hopefully that was the right choice and it made things easier for both of us.

some day i'll write all about it. so that i remember what to do correctly the next time , if you have another regression due to those awful amazing wonder week. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

The dreaded six week growth spurt from hell

Dear Bunny

i have to tell you. this growth spurt is a doozy and taking a major toll on my sanity. it looks like you want to be permanently attached to my boob ! and i have to carry you ALL the FRICKIN time. man, its tough and i sometimes wonder what i have signed up for. but then you smile when you see me and while i cannot forget that i'm completely sleep deprived , i still feel i could do a couple more hours of this.
when you refuse to go to anyone else and i'm clearly exhausted, i also feel a slight smug sense of satisfaction. yes your my daughter and i will be number one (ha take that world)... well atleast till your weaned i'm number one.

i do hope though you get out of this growth spurt quickly and all the milk i'm pumping into you helps you grow. i want you to grow big and strong and smart so that when ppl discourage you or try to make you doubt yourself , you'll know enough to trust your instincts and be courageous and brave and try things anyway.
some day you might have a baby of your own who will also go through a six week growth spurt. hopefully i will be a good grangran and encourage the heck out of you.

dearest turtle, you took a full 2 weeks to complete this growth spurt.  i love you, but can we not do this again ?


Eight Week wonder

Dear Turtle

today you completed eight whole weeks ! woohoo... we made it ! let me be the first to congratulate you... know that your grangran will be making some sort of weird sweet tomorrow and force all of us to eat it. you are doing much better at night (knock on wood!) and today you slept for 2 consecutive hours during the day !! i could almost weep with joy :)

i have to admit the 45 min naps were kind of wearing me down , along with the fact that you had to be held for all your naps. but not all of it was difficult to endure.. you were kind of cute when fast asleep in my arms. now i'm not the overly sentimental kind (no really) and yet sometimes i'd spend a good 15 minutes (or maybe 30) staring at your sleeping face. come on i made you, cell by cell, muscle by muscle, atom by atom. i was the petri dish in which you cooked and came out all perfect ! aaah brings another tear to my eye...

today your great grangran said your not as cute as me (when i was a baby). i was surprised how quickly and how much i was offended. how dare anyone say that about you. after all i made you, and your perfect. dear turtle don't worry. your much cuter than anyone and perfect in every single way. your just bald as a cueball right now and once you grow hair even ur great grangran will admit your the best cutiepie there is.


Day Zero

Dear FuzzyBuns

do you like your cutezy name? thats not what i really call you, and it took me all of 3 seconds to dream it up, so its not that bad really. could be worse.

the day you arrived was a perfect day, but you hardly gave me any notice. 7:00 AM i was like ow that hurts and 9:48 you were in my arms. why were you in such a hurry? really there was nothing interesting happening in the world right that moment.
do you really want to hear how you arrived?

you were supposed to arrive calmly and peacefully in a water tub. i had done all this research suggesting that was the best way for you to make your grand entrance. but actually you barely avoided arriving in the back of an ambulance in the hospital parking lot. and not the hospital i was registered at. i was screaming like a banshee from 8:15 till the moment you arrived and yes i lost all sense of dignity as the fire brigade, paramedics and police force examined your entrance along with everyone who happened to be around as i was being wheeled to the labor room in the hospital.

but you finally did come out, safe and sound and i was sooo exhausted and sooo glad it was over. little did i know i'd still hurt like hell for atleast 2 months after.

by the way i was 100% sure you were a boy.


The beginning of something new

I was very sure, when pregnant that i would have a son. somehow thats the one thing i was sure of. So sure that when my Dr delivered my baby and told me it was a girl, i was in shock and asked her, "Are you sure?"


a few months later and i'm glad i have a girl. sure I probably would have been glad if it was a boy too... but i'm glad my first is a girl.

K& I always thought our kid would be brash, bold, curious and reckless... my daughter could be all of those or none of those. she is curious... at her six week appt she kept scowling all around her like she was pissed that she was at the Drs and not in her cosy home bassinet. (she was just sleep deprived). everyone commented on how alert she was, how strong her neck muscles were and the way she kept looking around like as if she was trying to absorb everything. Some of her personality is starting to shine through and she is a bit timid i think. new experiences frighten her unless she's safely in my arms. does it make me feel important, needed and loved. YES! do i wish she was a bit more brave, maybe yes. perhaps time will change that. perhaps its just her 4 month stranger anxiety. but i feel something... something that i did not expect to feel. i feel that if anyone commented negatively on her, i'd give them a swift kick or probably hit them with a saucepan or probably scowl and walk away from them. No one is allowed to say anything about her, not even K. its strange this feeling where you think they must be protected at all costs even yourself if need be. Even protected from well meaning grandparents and husbands ... i mean husband :D and friends.

having a baby makes you realize how much you deplore the stupidity of other ppl who just dont have enough common sense to know whats best for your and all babies. everyone loves to give advice... start solids, start formula, sleep train, dont sleep train, let her play by herself, try a pacifier,... ALL RIGHT ppl. CALM the eff DOWN. sometimes i just want to vent on how hard it is without all the advice . and it IS hard. but i dont need BS advice that makes it easy for me and hard for her. Me and her, we'll figure it out. she'll learn on how to deal with an imperfect mum and i'll learn on how to deal with a brand new baby.

whatever you say, i get to make the choice on whats best for her. and if that means i dont teach her how to take bottle until she's six months old or how to use a pacifier , well then great. its MY problem that i dont get enough sleep or its hard. i should know its hard, but that doesnt mean i want to take shortcuts. i knew it was bloody hard when i signed up for this. she's being perfect when she wants to feed every 3 hours or be held or doing anything even if its simply staring at the wall and pooping all day. so i dont want to introduce any random imperfections that i need to correct for later on.. but nuf said.

having a daughter makes you look at the world a bit differently. maybe its the same for a son... i dont know. i'm more sensitive to sexist BS. don't get me wrong... i was a born feminist. when i got my know monthtly stuff i was majorly pissed that my brother would not have to deal with it. and insisted that he do too.. i was a feminist when i was in primary school and insisted that the world was majorly skewed and unfair against girls and women. why the heck should i learn dancing while he got piano lessons. darn it i was more interested in piano than him anyways... but now some of the things i've made peace with or accepted are no longer good enough. who the heck is Dora and why should i buy Dora crib bumpers. why only pink even if its my favorite shade. why.. why... so many why's and i'm sure it gets worse as she gets older.
you would think we are in the 21st century , but i was doubtful when my mom asked me why my daughter was not fairer and to apply something or eat something to make her fair. what the... she is fair enough thank you very much. she is chubby enough thank you very much and she does not need external intervention to make her ....anything else than what she is. i would respectfully ( or not ), ask you to change yourself and your entire belief system before you come in front of her.

I dont care that you asked me to follow arcane and silly customs. i would do it, since it does not inconvenience me too much. But if you expect that i will wait for an entire year to pass before i give her rice, just because her naming ceremony is not completed and that naming ceremony can only be done by one person in one place in one country of the world.... then i'll call you out and say you are nuts. Do i care if you are my elder, my in law, my parent, my husband? i don't think so. she gets her food when she needs it period. she gets her nutrition when she needs it period.

SO , having a daughter.... a baby changes us. hopefully for the better. hopefully makes us re-look at everything we do and say and think about our lives. and i wonder where this road is leading and where i'll find myself in a couple of years from now.

until the next nap ....