Thursday, February 12, 2009

Trying To Create A Happy Baby

The other night, or morning, around 3 a.m. I dusted off my copies of The Happiest Baby On the Block and the Baby Whisperer. I am glad the books survived Katrina and that I saved them (considering that the tips/tricks/techniques were useless in the grand efforts to make La Luz a happy baby). I read them both front to back in preparation for La Luz and it did no good. Maybe it was useless information because I was naive and inexperienced and confused and all the other stuff. Or maybe, as I suspected back then, the bug simply wouldn't conform. Things are different this time around, I hope. Maybe this time it is because I have watched too many episodes of the Dog Whisperer while on maternity leave or maybe it is because I know I have to instill healthy habits and a good routine at an early age, but whatever the reason, I am determined to make things different for the little guy (and the rest of the family).

So, swaddling, it helps, it really helps. I don't have a miracle blanket yet (thanks Calvert) but the hospital grade receiving blankets and the kiddopatamus that mom picked up work very well when used together. In fact, last night I woke up after 1.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep worried that I had swaddled James so tightly that he couldn't breathe and I had to check on him to make sure air was coming out of his mouth and nose. Rocking, this works too but it is exhausting, especially in the middle of the night. White noise, this is also a huge help - the downside - it puts me to sleep too and I wake up 2 hours later asleep in the rocking chair. The best advice and the technique that I really want to embrace is the use of a solid routine - something predictable - a basic one that I am trying to follow is - eat, play, diaper change, nap/bed. In the evening I add a bath and a bit of rocking whenever necessary. It sort of works and I hope that as James gets bigger it will be a reliable routine. The tough part for now is making sure that he doesn't eat more than every 2 or 3 hours. If he eats more frequently, the feedings are insufficient to allow him to sleep undisturbed for more than 3 hours. I am weak and usually cave-in, especially in the evenings which are rough times for most babies. Tonight I was terrible, I fed him in 1.5 hour increments and he was particularly unhappy - it doesn't bode well for what is in store. I guess every day (and night) with a newborn is going to be different so the best thing I can do is remember that the most important tip is to remember to have an endless supply of patience and, fortunately, when I am face to face with this guy at the crack of dawn, somehow the patience is right there:

James, with his Daddy:

The gang. Christian introduced La Luz to Lik-A-Maid today, what a treat:

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