Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

Entries Tagged as 'baby'

baby bear: 3 month update

July 23rd, 2014 · 2 Comments

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I’ve been waiting for the right moment to do one of these little surveys, and I figure now is as good a time as any!  I’ll update this again in a few months and it’ll be fun to see how things have changed.

Bear has had a wonderful first three months — his biggest struggle is that he’s so excited to see the world that he has trouble falling asleep, and an overtired newborn is brutal for everyone.  When he’s taken a good, solid mid-day nap, he’s just a little angel.  Starting at about 9 weeks old, his personality has really started to come out, and it’s been so fun watching him develop.  I honestly had no idea what a blast it would be!

So, here are the big categories — lots to update!

Height/Weight: Somewhere around 13 pounds, maybe more.  Already a huge increase from his 7-pound birth weight — he’s grown a ton!  He was 20.5 inches long at birth and 23.5 inches long at his 2-month checkup.  I can’t wait to see how much he’s grown by month four!

Routine: We are just starting to find our way into one!  We wake up around 8 or 9 am, he eats, and we snuggle or read books for a little bit before his morning nap.  He takes one long mid-day nap that’s often 3 hours long, which is awesome.  (For a long time, his naps were terrible and essentially nonexistant, but they got a ton better right at the two-month mark.) Then he’s up all afternoon, for the most part, and we start his bedtime ritual at 7:30 pm or so.  He goes to sleep around 8 or 8:30 pm.

Being self-employed (as you all remember, I started my own law practice last fall) has been great and also challenging during these first few months.  I work from home during his naps for 3 hours a day, and also have child care a few afternoons a week.  I’m up to working about 20-25 hours a week at this point, and I’d like to keep that pace for another few months, and eventually ease back to full time.  I’m so grateful to have the flexibility to spend so much time with our son — balancing work and motherhood is easy for exactly no one, ever, but I’m lucky that it’s been reasonably smooth so far.

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Sleeping: On a good night, he goes to bed around 8 pm, eats once during the night (around 4-5 a.m.), and then sleeps until between 8 and 9 am.  His nights are actually pretty terrific!  Most of the time he goes right back to sleep after eating, although I sometimes rock him for a few minutes anyways. 

Up until now, he split the night between his crib and our bedroom — we’d start him off in the crib for a few hours, and then move him into our bedroom once he woke up.  We have a bassinet in our bedroom for him (this one), which was crucial for those early weeks when he’d be up 3 or 4 times per night (also, the bassinet has lights/music/vibration, so he hangs out in there while I shower most days).  But he just recently did his first full night alone in his crib, so that might change soon! 

Bear-Eating

Eating: I’m breastfeeding exclusively and he eats five or six times a day, sometimes more.  I’ve had an easy time breastfeeding, for the most part, although those early weeks were very tough and painful.  It got better pretty quickly, but I feel like there’s so much pro-breastfeeding information out there that glosses over how hard it is, which doesn’t help anyone.  It really bothered me that the lactation consultants and nurses in the hospital refused to admit that breastfeeding is painful at first, even if you’re doing everything right.  I had a bit of a breakthrough finally during a visit with the pediatrician, who told me, completely honestly, that it sucks at first and gets a lot better after the first week or two, and she was totally right. 

Ultimately, though, I’m *so* happy I stuck with it.  At first, I was interested in breastfeeding because it was healthiest for him, and now I love it for many reasons — it sounds silly, but it’s incredibly empowering to know that my body is providing for our son! 

And despite the tough period at the beginning, I am a huge breastfeeding supporter and would recommend that anyone at least give it a try.  However, mothers struggle with it for many different reasons, including serious physical limitations, and my overall view on it hasn’t changed: it’s worth trying, but if it doesn’t work out (and sometimes it doesn’t, through no lack of effort on the part of the mom) — no mom should ever feel guilty over that.  There are a million ways to bond with your child and let them know that you will always provide for them, and this is a wonderful one, but it is just one of them.  There were many days that I struggled with whether to give up, and if I had, I would love this little kiddo just as much as I do now, and I think our relationship would be just as strong.  So, there’s my ultimate breastfeeding advice: Please try.  And if it doesn’t work out, you are still just as wonderful and caring a mom as anyone else out there.  So don’t beat yourself up over it!

Sizes: He just outgrew his 0-3 month clothes, so we’re moving on to mostly 3-6 month sizes.  Newborn sizes lasted a few weeks and that was it!  It’s a little painful putting away his beautiful clothes, especially the ones that he only wore a handful of times — but I guess that’s good motivation to have another one!  (Kidding, don’t worry…)

Milestones: He is incredibly alert and loves to look around at the world.  He smiles, coos, “talks” back when you ask him questions and generally just hangs out like a champ.  He’s so good natured — I feel so lucky that his temperament is so sweet.  Physically, he can roll over back to front now (yikes, scary) and easily raises his head and looks around, even on his stomach.  He likes to be sitting up for about 90% of his awake time now!

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Photo Jul 17, 5 16 50 AM

Tags: baby

story time

July 16th, 2014 · 4 Comments

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In the last week or so, Bear has become so, so much more engaged with the world — and one of the most fun changes is that now he *loves* story time.  We’ve been reading to him since he was born, but for the first two months, it sort of felt like we were reading picture books into a vacuum — he didn’t really respond to them or engage in any way while we did it. 

Then, suddenly, it was different.  He loves the words, he loves the pictures, he sits there and grins at us when we read about hippos and bunnies and (of course) Baby Bear

A few weeks ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended reading out loud to kids starting at birth, as a way to encourage the development of critical language skills in infancy.  My parents were wonderful about reading to me as a kid, and I don’t think I’d have such a love for reading and writing as an adult if they hadn’t (I might not even have this blog)!  So we’re going to do our best to give Bear the same foundation — and, as a bonus, as you can see from the photo above, story time tends to be pretty wonderful. 

As a side note, when we read the AAP article, Chad’s reaction was: “Great, we’ve already been reading to him.”  Mine was: “But, wait, I think there was a day when we didn’t read to him once.  I didn’t read to him in the hospital.  WE HAVE MISSED AN OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE OUR BABY CRITICAL LANGUAGE SKILLS AND OMG THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED EVER.” 

Gah.  Still working on coping with my perfectionist tendencies!

Tags: baby

breastfeeding style tips

July 14th, 2014 · 8 Comments

Breastfeeding-Style

Remember how I wrote about my pregnancy style tips, and I was all, “gosh, you guys, it’s so hard to dress cute while you’re pregnant?”

Silly, silly girl.  Dressing cute while pregnant was a piece of cake.  Just throw on a tight shirt and some maternity jeans and you’re good to go — cute, big round belly and all!  Also, people have zero expectations for pregnant women to dress cute: I once showed up at a doctor’s appointment wearing (I kid you not) a tank top, jean shorts and a necklace, and she was like, “WHOA, what are you up to today, you are looking GOOD!”

But then the baby pops out, and you can suddenly, more or less, wear whatever you want again.

Only you can’t.

Because you’re breastfeeding.  And you have a screaming newborn who mandates that your boobs be accessible at all times, no matter what, LADY.

So you can wear exactly four things, which, in my wardrobe, consisted of the following:

A flannel shirt.

A robe.

A zip-up hoodie.

And wrap dresses.  Thank GOD for wrap dresses.

That being said, I do have a few pieces of advice that I learned by trial and error, so I figured this would be a good subject for a post!  So, if you’re breastfeeding (hopefully you are!) and stuck in a style rut, here are my ideas:

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Muscle Shirts: This is my personal favorite.  You know those shirts with arms that are cut super low?  I wear those tank tops with a bandeau bra underneath, and they are literally the easiest thing to breastfeed in EVER.  Even in public.  No lifting up your shirt, no fiddling with clasps.  Just slide the arm-hole to the side, pull down the bandeau, attach the baby and you’re done.  When Bear was about three weeks old, I went to Forever 21 and bought five random muscle shirts for specifically this purpose.

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Deep V Necklines: You don’t need to shell out extra money for “nursing wear” in most cases, but take a long look through your closet before the baby arrives and pull out every single top you own that has a deep-V neckline.  See those?  Those are your wardrobe for the next two months.

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Classic Wraps: Wrap dresses are legitimately a lifesaver while breastfeeding, especially if you have to look reasonably professional at any point in the first month or two.  They’re always stylish and chic, and no one will ever know that you put it on out of necessity!  Check out some of my favorites here, here and here.

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One Official “Nursing” Piece: You don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe while breastfeeding, but it’s nice to pick up at least one piece that’s specifically designed to be convenient for this particular function.  I had three: two nursing tanks from H&M that I didn’t like at all and a terrific striped “nursing tee” from Boob Design that I absolutely loved.  When I went out for lunch in those early weeks, this was what I wore, every time.

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Go Strapless: I never would have guessed this, but strapless dresses are about ten-zillion times easier to wear while breastfeeding than dresses with straps! (And sleeves?  Forget about it.) But that turned out to be a terrific realization, because I have tons of strapless dresses in my closet!  So when I wanted to look cute for something social (I snapped the pic above on my way to a friend’s house for a playdate), I just picked one and threw it on — and actually managed to look cute in the process!

Those are my favorite tips!  After three months of breastfeeding, Bear now eats at more regular intervals and my options have expanded a lot — but for his first two months, I basically lived in these pieces!  What were your breastfeeding favorites?

Tags: baby