Month: May 2011

The best appliance that you’ll never think of.

I’m here to tell you about an appliance that you can get and will make your life so much easier as a new parent.  It will help you get more sleep and help you stay awake when you need to.  It won’t be anything that you think of!  Let me paint a picture for you.

Premies, and probably new borns, need to be fed every couple of hours. Baby boy (BB) is eating every 2.5 hours.  So up the stairs I trudge and grab a bottle out of the fridge.  But it’s got to be warm.  Can’t microwave it because it will make it to hot in spots.  The bottle we are currently using will not fit into the bottle warmer we have.  Enter the Keurig One Cup Coffee machine!

Despite my dislike for this machine at times, it can be temperamental (needs either stern talking to or lots of encouragement…I got for the stern!), it has saved me some sleep time.  It is ready to brew water in between 30 and 45 seconds.  The bottle warms up in about 2 minutes and I’m stumbling my way back downstairs to pass it off to M or to feed BB myself.  If we didn’t have this thing I’d be up there trying to boil water to get the bottle warm.  Who knows how long that would take.

And did I mention it makes a pretty good cup of coffee?  It’s usually when I’m pretty tired that the machine needs a good lesson in who is boss!  After that it’s good for awhile!

They are a bit pricey, I originally didn’t want to get one of these 2+ years ago, but it’s trucking right along and saving me some sleep time!

Any other appliances that I should check out for other uses?

Tired or Lazy

I haven’t posted in a few days and I really have no excuse.  I’m going to lean on the fact that I’m tired but more than anything it’s probably the fact that I’m lazy.

Baby boy is doing well.  He’s not sleeping much at night so that makes it a bit rough, but with the three day weekend we are making sure to get some extra sleep in when we can.

I thought I had more to say, but right now my mind is flowing with other information.  So this will have to do for now.

SwaddleMe Baby to the rescue

I originally wanted to title this post “Baby Straight Jacket to the Rescue” but figured that some people might not share my sense of humor and as a worse case scenario I might have the local police knocking on my door!

My mother told me that a few of my cousins who have recently had children recommended SwaddleMe Baby.  We didn’t think much of it.  We would swaddle baby boy (BB) in a receiving blanket and be on with it.  He really liked it.

However the other night he was just throwing a fit with his arms flailing about and a receiving blanket wasn’t doing it.  Apparently the arm flailing scares them.  So M went and busted out one of the packages of SwaddleMe’s we had and we put him in one.  Literally when it’s done it looks like he’s in a straight jacket.

To date it has been one of the better nights of sleep I’ve got.  However last night was a bit challenging.  BB was still in his SwaddleMe, but he managed to get his arms out.  I think this is because the SwaddleMe stuff we are using is for larger babies and he’s still less than 5 lbs.  If we had the premie version I think he’d be fine.

Any how I give these things 5 out of 5 stars!  But if money is an issue I’m sure swaddling in a receiving blanket can do just as good.

There is hope!

I was sent out yesterday to get somethings that we needed for BB and M.  At the store I grabbed a cart and headed in the general direction of where I thought the items might be (I don’t usually go to this store) and I found what I needed.

As I was getting to the aisle I saw a mom and a dad and a baby.  At the baby section I saw a couple that was expecting and looking at strollers. I really wanted to stop and say something to them, but I wasn’t sure what I would say other than “good luck and sleep as you know it will be a distant memory”. Probably not the best terms to tell someone who is expecting! As I made my way to the pharmacy section, for a humidifier, I saw a dad alone, with his two children.  I stopped for a half a second to see if mom was around holding some kind of control button because the children were being really well behaved.

And with that I knew there was hope.  It’s been a few rough nights here in the house and although I wasn’t really concerned, it was nice to see that there are better times ahead.  M and I have joked that this first year is probably going to be one of the toughest and after that it should be more entertaining.  Not that BB is for our entertainment purpose, but we will be able to interact a bit more with him.

So when did your baby make the turn for you?

The feeding schedule of premies

When our baby boy (BB) was in the neonatal ICU the nurses asked us what type of feeding schedule we’d like him on.  Apparently they didn’t know that BB was our first and we had no clue. So we settled on feeding him every three hours.  It was an 8, 11, 2 and 5 schedule that repeated two times in a day.

So we brought BB home on Monday and continued on with that schedule.  The first night was brutal, especially for someone like me who likes their sleep.  I can get up early with the best of them, but I need my sleep.  Not with BB in the house.  I knew it was going to be a change, but ugh was the sentiment that morning.

On Wednesday we had our first appointment with the doctor to see how he was doing.  He actually put on some weight, so we are feeding him correctly.  I was kind of wondering there for a bit because he was pooping like there was no tomorrow (this seems to have faded a bit as of today).  And the doctor asked us how often we were feeding him.  We told her that we were on the same schedule as the NICU, but were wondering if we could change it up as he was getting hungrier earlier and the night time was brutal. She said yes we could change it up and the schedule at the NICU is not all that realistic for home.  Especially at night, if BB would go 4 hours we could hold off on feeding him that long, but he still needed to get in 8 meals a day.

We are on the 2nd day of this schedule and things are going well.  Still a lot of getting up and running upstairs like a zombie and heating up a bottle for him, but I seem to be doing okay.  M on the other hand, nature instinct or not, is spending a lot of time up with BB when he makes a groan or a grunt. I think eventually she’ll learn what is what and be able to sleep through it, but for now she’s awake quite a bit and has made the comment that coffee in the morning feels like a jump start to the system!

So in the end, we basically feed when we see BB rooting around or he starts fusing a lot.  Never going more than 4 hours for a feeding.  Most of the time it’s 2.5 hours for him, but he has done a couple longer and shorter than that.  He’s really starting to chug the milk down.

The real test of all of this will be next week when I head back to work.

Every newborn should have a police escort on their way home!

On Monday we took our baby boy home.  As I’ve mentioned before it’s a 45 mile trip, one way, to where he was at.  At normal speeds it takes about 30 minutes to get there (or back!).

So on Monday we drove down with our car seat, just in-case he’d fit, he didn’t, and met with the car seat guy for instruction on the one we’d be borrowing.  We spent about an hour learning all of the ins and outs of a car seat and proper installation. Finally the car seat was installed and we had to go and get baby boy.  He’d been moved due to staffing issues, but we found him and we gave him a meal before our venture home.

I’d read in baby books, leading up to this, that as a guy our driving habits would change as we’d now be responsible for another human being.  We’d be less aggresive as a driver and just more careful as we motored about. I saw none of that leading up to this.  When someone would turn down the wrong way in the parking lot I just parked the car right in the middle hoping that they’d realize that “oh I’m going the wrong way”.  But no…we are stupid humans sometimes.

However when we put baby boy in the car it was different.  It was as if a switch was flipped.  Well maybe not that bad, but turning on a red light now required more thought.  The interstate wasn’t quite as bad, but we were surrounded by 18 wheelers who at times are not the best of drivers.  Add the wind, that a couple of weeks ago tipped over a manufactured home in transit, and I was a changed driver.  And I get to do it all over again today!  Possibly even in rush hour traffic.  I know it’s something I’ve got to get used to but I think a police escort for the first year would best for everyone involved!

Anyone else have any stories of bringing your baby home?

And then he came home!

This weekend we received some great news.  Our baby boy is coming home with us today!  We hadn’t really expected this for at least another week.  However on Saturday when we visited him the nurse kind of hinted that he might be ready to go home on Monday or Tuesday.  As we were driving down yesterday M received a call from the doctor and he said that he’d be good to go home on Monday.  So today I work half a day and then I’m off for the rest of the week as we begin to get into a routine with our new family member.

There’s been a ton of information thrown at us over the last few days preparing for this.  I hope that I’m able to remember everything.  We’ve done a quick infant CPR class, we’ve got a infant/premie car seat thing today and more information to go over!  Luckily the hospital we are at is great and they will be sending us home with a few trees worth of papers that we can refer to.

I’m sure I’ll have some more posts coming as we make this adjustment but here are a few things we are dealing with.

  • Unless our boy gained 2 ounces last night, we are bringing home a baby that is less than 4 lbs (and only 37 weeks old).
  • He’s still got his umbilical “stump” (not sure what they call that!) attached (We’ve been advised DO NOT pull it off even if it’s loose)!
  • Two cats and a dog that are going to feel put out of place and probably further down on the totem pole (no biggie for the cats, but for the dog it will be an issue)
  • Lastly a mom and dad who have become very used to their sleep schedule. We are now going to be getting up on a feeding schedule of 8, 11, 2 and 5 and repeat for a total of 8 feedings.
  • Oh and did I mention that M has a few doctors appointments this week which means daddy will be left alone with baby boy for a few hours.  I know I can handle it, but the thought right now is a bit overwhelming!

So ready or not here we go!