Friday, June 8, 2012

Oops

I woke up the other day looking at Max who was napping beside me ever so peacefully! The first thing that popped in my head was seriously, "sorry baby." and by that, i meant the old cliche 'hindsight is 20/20'- if i knew what i know now, Max's last few months wouldn't have been so stressful! this is what my dad always says, "charge it to experience." It's so true that you make the most mistakes with your first born, and after that, the next few kids you at least have some idea of what to do and try not to make the same mistakes twice.

Some things i WISH i paid attention to when I was told, or wish I knew, and would tell myself if I went back in time:

1) baby needs to eat A LOT (or put baby to breast)

There were so many crying moments in the first few months (for baby and some for me). I remember saying multiple times to everyone, "i just fed him!" whether it'd be in frustration as a response to his cries, when someone would take him so i can get a break...then immediately give back to me when he became fussy, or just in the middle of the night and i'm saying WTF out loud (no, not at the baby). If i were to go back in time, I'd seriously say to myself, "hey stupid (in a nice tone), he needs to eat" or "he needs the boob" as babies want to be at the breast not only because of hunger, but perhaps just for comfort, warmth, and security. ALWAYS try the boob! Whether it'd be 30 minutes from when he last unlatched, or 1 hour, always go to the boob! Right now, whenever Max gets fussy, i just put him to the breast. he might snack, he might eat, he might just want to be there...but it always comforts him. i feel guilty for all those times i let him cry and me feel frustrated at his cries, he was hungry! he's growing! There was this one incident that he cried for 3 hours essentially straight. and then he stopped. why? because i cluster fed him in the latter part of those 3 hours, and he slept. why i didnt clue in, i dont know.

2) baby needs to sleep

deja vu moment...there were so many crying moments in the first few months (for baby and some for me). I thought he was in a PURPLE stage at some point in his early months, but looking back, i think it's because the baby frickin needed sleep! I honestly can't recall some sort of nap-plan i had for Max. What's even more stupid is that i
constantly read about sleeps and naps for babies, but it just never clued in. or i was frustrated at how it wasn't coming naturally for my baby. I kind of just let the wind lead us into a sleep state. um NO! If i were to go back in time, i would tell myself to watch for the sleep cues, watch how long until he became fussy again, watch how long he slept for etc etc. I remember trying to keep him up as late as possible (around 11pm) so that he would wake up later in the morning. I would even wake him up early from naps (like a 9pm nap) so he doesn't get too well rested so that it didn't ruin his night sleep as i was expecting him to sleep through the night. When in reality, he needs to eat and sleep, he was too young to STTN. He needed a routine that would signal his body that it's almost bedtime. He needed an earlier bedtime. The boy needed SLEEP to grow. I bet he was crying from being over tired or overstimulated, and i was denying him rest. UGH! how frustrating i must've been to him. Right now, i watch for Max's cues, i know how long he can stand being awake for, i know when he needs sleep and how to get him in that
state. he is a much more well rested and happier baby.

3) Max needs to be swaddled

I can't believe i went 6 weeks of sleepless nights without swaddling Max! Ive posted about this before, but i was
given a halo sleep swaddler handme down and i used it once and gave up because he cried the second night i used it. i dont know why i didn't clue in to the concept of a swaddle and why babies have been swaddled for centuries. actually maybe i do, someone told me prior to max being born that they didn't believe in swaddling...so since that concept was totally new to me, i was feeling all high at the idea that maybe MY baby didn't need to be swaddled either...WRONG. i was so frustrated when i would just get max down in his bassinet and then he would thrash, or rather, his arms would thrash and startle him awake. Moro-reflex! i was reading some posts in a january mommy group about swaddling and recommendations to do so to help with sleep, so i retried it and BAM, sleep. the little man needed to be swaddled up until a week ago so he could go to sleep soundly. and i only stopped because this time around, fighting to get out of the swaddle was what would wake him up!

4) use Lanolin on those nipps
i remember a time early in my breastfeedig days when i kept looking at my right nipple and seeing a thin scab line. every time max latched on, i would feel this pinch of pain...then count down from 10 until it went away. i was even thinking that i had to tell myself that i should just bare the pain as maxiboy needed the breastmilk and we needed to breastfeed and bond. it Hurt like a s.o.b.! i also remember posting about this on twitter and i was told countless of times to use lanolin but again, i felt all high and thought i didn't need it because my nips should
heal themselves in time or form a callus of some sort in time so i no longer would feel this pain. i know, crazy woman! once i used lanolin, it just provided that extra moisture my nipps needed. i dont even remember when the pain went away, but it was within a few feeds and my breastfeeding experience has been positive since then. what was i thinking?! i wonder what my poor nipps would be like today if i hadnt used the lanolin...the way that boy eats...OW!

5) Cradle position isn't the only BF position

the cradle position came in nice, easy, and naturally for my right breast. it was my go-to in time of urgency, and if it was going to pump out a breast for the rare bottle, it would be my right as i know that that side would engorge fast, but also the easiest to put back into equilibrium through feeds. my left breast was another issue. don't know why, but it's so awkward to use a cradle position on that side. im left handed, i carry max on that side the easiest, but with positioning, it was just crappy. alternating breasts for feeds, my left side was always leaking, often more engorged than the other, and to say it lightly just generally a PITA (pain in the ass) to deal with. even though i took a breast feeding class and learned about multiple positions, for some reason i only used the traditional cradle style and thought it was the only one for me (probably the path of least resistance really). I called the newborn hotline one day because i was worried about Max choking all the time. i was told about my fast let down etc etc, and she suggested that i use the football style cradle hold to BF so he's actually drinking sitting up like normal people. so i tried it, and lo and behold, his choking was not cured instantly, but there was a 180degree difference in not only comfort, but functionality while BF'ing on my left side! ding ding ding! to quote Oprah, it was an "ah hah" moment. to this day, im only using the football hold for my left breast and cradle position for my right. my breasts are feeling normal but full of milk. baby is satiated. life is good.

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