My baby sleeps better than me

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Bash will be 4 months old this week. For the most part he takes regular naps and spends most of the night asleep. He still wakes frequently to feed, but after eating he goes back to sleep very quickly. I’m slowly trying to get him to sleep for longer and to eat less at night.

I wish I could fall asleep that easily. Tonight is especially rough because Tommy is away for the next few days. I know that I’m 100% capable of watching Bash, and frankly I care for him during the night anyway while Tommy sleeps like a bump on a log. That being said, I miss that slobby bump.

I’ve personally shared a bed for as long as I can remember. Before moving out of my parents’ apartment my sister and I would share a bed. Now Tommy and I sleep together, and Bash is right next to me in his own little space. I’m so tempted to bring Bash into bed with me all night. I know I won’t sleep good at all so I’m not worried about hurting him. However, it isn’t Bash that needs the physical closeness, it’s his mother. Sad I know. I turn on his white noise toy more for myself than for him. Although I often complain that my life is dull, I crave routine. When something is thrown off, like Tommy being away, I don’t know what to do with myself. No wonder Bash was a wreck when Tommy and I left him with my family for 10+ hours to attend a friend’s wedding.

Hair everywhere

Bash was born with a perfect head of hair. It was just beautiful. The color, the style…everything.

20160219_083445Well now that he is 3 months old, most of that lovely hair has fallen out. He essentially has a bald ring around his head where it rubs against the mattress. Not only that, but the little hairs that have come out are everywhere! It’s like having a pet dog. Sometimes these hairs end up in his diapers. During tummy time I’m sure he eats a few of them. I’m hoping he doesn’t get a hairball stuck in his body somewhere. I believe that actually happened. Sort of. A few years ago there was a news story about a girl who was addicted to eating her hair and had a hair ball accumulate in her stomach.

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My standard hair loss after a shower

I’ve also started to lose hair as well. It’s still not at the normal level it was before I was pregnant, and I’m not worried about balding. What is a pain is the mess. Before pregnancy, I used to be embarrassed at work because we had light colored floors. People would know it was my hair on the floor because it was so long and dark. I miss not having to vacuum everyday because pregnancy slows your hair loss.

Tommy has wild hair which he never combs. It’s all over the place. Both in the apartment and on top of his head. There’s also a bunch of it stuck to the car ceiling. I almost wish he would go bald.

We are all very lucky to have ample heads of hair. It’s just a pain when you want to keep the place clean. I got very happy this morning when I mopped and put out a fresh, hairless blanket for the baby. During my pre-pregnancy days, going to Six Flags would have had a similar effect. It’s pretty sad.

Infant/Toddler Rocker

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I love this thing. We visited one of my cousins a few weeks ago. He has a 20 month old and a brand new baby. They have a small bouncer seat and let Bash sit in it while we ate dinner.

Bash quickly fell asleep and looked so comfortable. I was jealous because I wanted an adult sized one! I’m not really for restricting children’s movement or propping them up until they can on their own etc. At the same time, If I have to eat or do certain chores where I can’t hold Bash, I don’t want to leave him alone in the other room. So Tommy and I researched some bouncers/rockers and we decided to purchase the Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker.

I’d say Bash maybe spends 30-45 minutes or so a day in his rocker. Most of the time it is when Tommy and I are sitting down to have breakfast or dinner together. I feel like the baby being in his own sort of chair helps him to feel more a part of things. It also makes it easier for me to read to Bash. I have trouble holding both him and a book, and I don’t want him always laying on his back.

Maybe my favorite thing about the rocker is that Bash can watch me cook! I used to wear him as I did simple cooking (a.k.a. assembling a sandwich) but it’s kind of difficult to make a variety of things without using a knife or method of heating. With the rocker, I sit Bash in the dining room so he has a clear view of the kitchen without getting in the way. I enjoy giving him “cooking lessons” and I can’t wait for him to get more involved when he is a toddler. Tommy has come home a couple of times during my lessons. It’s somewhat embarrassing, but whatever. I find it entertaining and I think Bash feels included in what I’m doing rather than ignored.

This particular rocker has the following features:

  • The angle can be adjusted, accommodating babies and toddlers from 0 to 40 lbs. Additionally it has a little bar at the bottom to stop it from rocking so the baby can nap or a toddler can sit up without the chair moving.
  • It has a removable toy bar-I personally rarely use the bar, mainly because I put Bash in the rocker for story time or when I’m cooking/eating.
  • A vibration option-this requires A BATTERY and we have not tried it out yet. Bash is a pretty calm little dude so we haven’t needed to deploy this feature yet.
  • It’s a rocker so you can easily soothe the baby by applying slight, rhythmic pressure. If you have an active baby they can often rock themselves by wiggling in the chair!
  • There is a safety belt that goes around the waist and between the legs. I don’t feel like Bash really needs this but I always buckle him in…just in case!
  • Easy assembly with a screwdriver.

Unfortunately this rocker can’t fold up, but it is very lightweight and decently small. It fits in the front seat of our car so I bring it with me when I take the baby to visit my family. It’s nice because it gives Bash a safe place to hang out when he isn’t being held by someone. My parents’ place is definitely not baby proof. It probably wasn’t even “safe” when my sister and I were little, but at least I turned out normal 🙂

Thank you thumb!

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I know some people are against thumb sucking, but I really don’t care. Bash has suddenly learned how to suck his thumb, and it’s been amazing for his sleep (and mine)! He does really well with a pacifier, but as he dozes off it often falls out of his mouth, causing him to jolt awake and fuss. He is getting better about trying to hold it in with his hand, but when he loses his grip on the paci he is unable to pick it up and put it back in. I’m trying to work on this with him, but in the meantime I am all for the thumb sucking.

I want Bash to be able to self-soothe. Adults do all sorts of things to calm themselves down, some of which are destructive (like drugs, excessive alcohol, etc.). I’d rather the baby learn how to calm himself down on his own instead of relying on other people or things to do it for him. He is so young that I’m not worried about it ruining his teeth or anything like that. Most children self-wean anyway by preschool. I do make an extra effort to wash/wipe his hands after each diaper change and when we are out so that he isn’t getting extra germ exposure.

We are so lucky that Bash has been an easy baby. Once he is tired he fusses a little, sticks his thumb in his mouth, and drifts off to sleep, assuming he isn’t hungry or has a dirty diaper. My mom keeps trying to swat his hand away from his mouth. I try to tell her to let Bash suck his thumb if he wants, though she ignores me for the most part, calling it “gross”. She had her turn when I was young so now it’s my turn to make the decisions for Bash.

My typical night

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I love sleeping. Before having Bash, I would sometimes dread bedtime because it meant work was coming the following morning. Sad, I know. Well, now I just dread bedtime period. This is mainly because everyone else seems to have a bedtime except for me.

I also have a hard time relaxing enough to fall asleep. Although the baby may sleep for a 2 hour chunk, I might only get 30 minutes in. The other night, instead of browsing the web or cleaning as I usually do when I’m awake, I decided to document everyone’s sleep schedule by texting Tommy.

Here is the transcript:

[2/6/16, 10:06 PM] You slept at 945. Bash slept at 955. I’m still awake. At 10:05 you turned in your sleep. I thought you were waking up but you just started snoring instead.

[2/6/16, 10:16 PM] At 10:15 you go “huh”/moan all confused and then you turn off the lamp. The snoring starts back up again.

[2/6/16, 10:29 PM] Btw this is a reminder to call your family. It’s the weekend and Chinese New Year.

[2/7/16, 1:02 AM] I finally slept at some point.

[2/7/16, 1:03 AM] Bash interrupts my sleep at 12:58 am.

[2/7/16, 1:08 AM] You and Bash are asleep. I’m still  awake.

[2/7/16, 1:09 AM] You hogged all of the blankets to make yourself into a burrito.

[2/7/16, 1:19 AM] …you fart in your sleep

[2/7/16, 2:27 AM] I fall asleep at some point

[2/7/16, 2:28 AM] Bash wakes up at 2:25. You get up to go to the bathroom and then come back to bed and snore. I feed Bash

[2/7/16, 2:31 AM] Bash is asleep. I’m still awake.

[2/7/16, 2:42 AM] You come over to snuggle me in your sleep. Or rather you attempt to stick your hand down my pants…

[2/7/16, 3:31 AM] Bash wakes up at 3:25 for a diaper change. Now he is in our bed cuz he is wide awake

[2/7/16, 6:48 AM] Bash fell asleep at 3:38 and woke up 10 min later. I fed him some more and he fell back asleep.

[2/7/16, 6:49 AM]  I fell asleep at some point

[2/7/16, 6:50 AM] Bash woke up at 6:39. I fed him and now he is sleeping on me. You moved to the middle of the bed once it became available, though you are still asleep

Yes, I know being on a phone is supposed to keep you awake, but I’m now immune to the white noise we play for the baby. I am also sick of listening to the same music over and over. Additionally, seeing Tommy’s face as he read these text messages was rather amusing. I’ve always wanted to set up a camera in the bedroom to prove that he hogs the blankets and likes to sleep in the middle of the bed while I cling onto the sheets for dear life. Maybe that will be my next nighttime project.

My love/hate relationship with pumping

I always prefer to have the bad news first, so here is why I hate pumping:

For the first month we needed to feed Bash via bottle most of the time (due to his weight, tongue tie, and nipple size). If everything had gone as planned all I would need to do is pick him up, position us both, and let him have at it. Pumping and bottle feeding on the other hand requires the following steps:

  1. Attach myself to a machine and wait about 15-20 minutes as milk is expressed.
  2. Store the milk.
  3. Pour a certain amount of milk into a bottle.
  4. Warm the bottle and test the temperature.
  5. Feed the baby…If he finishes it and wants more, I have to repeat steps 3-5. (If there are leftovers and he doesn’t want them within a certain amount of time, I have to dump the milk.)
  6. Clean the bottles (I hate doing dishes by the way.)

Often I would be holding Bash in my left arm as I scrambled to set up a bottle with my right hand because it takes me longer to get milk to his mouth and I don’t want our neighbors to complain about his pterodactyl cry. I also got a pumping bra that allows me to pump without needing to hold the collection bottles in place. I admit it was almost amusing at how I would sometimes have to pump and bottle feed at the same time.

Tommy also got me a battery pack for my breast pump. I rarely use it, but I wanted the option of being able to get up if necessary as oppose to being plugged into the wall. Well, it came in handy when I suddenly had to use the bathroom during my pumping session. It may sound gross to some people, but 1. the bottles are sealed and 2. even if you aren’t pumping, at some point you will use the bathroom while holding your baby. Trust me.

On a more positive note, I love pumping for the following reasons:

  • It allowed me to feed Bash breastmilk.
  • It’s kind of cool to see how much milk your body can produce, and how it varies based on the time of day, which boob you are pumping, how you are feeling, etc.
  • It provides relief when you’re breasts are engorged.

He’s sleeping in the pack ‘n play!

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The day we brought Bash home
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Bash at 9.5 Weeks

After Bash’s 2 month checkup, I decided that I was going to try to transition him back into the pack ‘n play to sleep, rather than attempt bed-sharing full time. I will take a nap with him maybe once every other day in bed, but I don’t feel comfortable doing so at night when it’s dark and I’m overly tired (I’m always tired, but at night I’m a bit more tired than I am during the day). People should sleep when it’s dark out. It’s very depressing to be awake in the middle of the night in my opinion. I think that’s part of the reason why I ended up getting an epidural.

At first I thought he would need lots of cuddles (and so would I!) after his first round of shots. But actually, he took his vaccines like a trooper. He did cry when he got poked, and I don’t blame him. I didn’t look at the needles, but Tommy said he thought the needle was so long that it would go all the way through Bash’s leg. Of course that’s an exaggeration, but as a parent, things get distorted when it comes to your child. Bash was easily soothed after and seemed extra tired when we took him home, probably because of the extra commotion at the doctor. I took this opportunity to put him in the pack ‘n play to sleep. He was so exhausted that he didn’t seem to mind!

I basically cut out the bassinet in our bed, and at night I only get up when Bash first starts to cry. Before, I would jump up at every fidget and snort. Unfortunately I still hear every fidget and snort, but I don’t get up until I know Bash is awake and needs something. I’m slowly getting more and more sleep at night. I never thought I would be so excited about getting a four hour chunk of sleep, but babies will do that to you I guess.

 

Our baby is now a little boy :(

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Bash with Auntie Liz

I don’t know how Bash became a little boy so fast. Although he is only 10 weeks old, he is starting to bust out of some of his 0-3 mos sized clothing. I admit that the cloth diapers add more bulk so that is a part of the problem. However, he just doesn’t look like a baby to me unless I see someone else holding him. His face has gotten round and his fingers have even gotten fatter. His arms are starting to look like sausage links. My uncle said he likes it when a baby’s arms look like longganissa, this awesome sweet-tasting Filipino sausage. I really want to eat some now, too bad it’s raining out and I have a baby, otherwise I’d go out and get some. Anyway, when I was a baby it looked like I had three longganissa links on each arm.

Filipino longganisa! Yum!

I can’t even remember what Bash looked like when he was a week old. Sure I have pictures, but it’s just not the same. Bash has such a personality and I love his facial expressions and the sounds he makes! He smiles, cooes, gets impatient, gives his Aunt the “Concernicus” face – a concerned look basically. She calls it “Concernicus” like the scientist Copernicus. I’d call it weird except that Tommy and I met in the Physics and Astronomy department at  UCLA, so really it does make sense.

Our sleeping situation

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So we bought a pack ‘n play and put it right next to the bed for Bash to sleep in. Well the stinker won’t sleep very long in it. And I can’t comfortably reach my arm in to soothe him. Since it’s now winter, we moved Bash into a small bassinet and put him in our bed. We moved the bed against the wall and put the bassinet between me and the wall. Tommy’s family brought us a twin mattress, and Tommy amuses himself by sleeping on that mattress, which is directly on the floor. I had a cute little baby play area all set up there too. But honestly, if I can’t sleep, I’m not going to play with Bash anywhere. Tommy used to sleep in the living room with the baby. I felt like I rarely saw him and I dreaded the time when he would come in and tell me that my shift was starting. So for the past two weeks we have tried all sleeping in the bedroom.

Bash seems to sleep better when his bassinet is in our bed. He is probably warmer and I know he enjoys being closer to people. I also sleep better because I don’t have to sit up to check on him. The problem now is that he is about to outgrow the bassinet. I’m not sure how that happened since Tommy and I aren’t that tall, but maybe all of the other children will surpass him in height when puberty hits.

I don’t know if it will be better to try the pack ‘n play again when he gets a pinch taller, or to try bed sharing. If Tommy continues to want to use the twin mattress, then I think I can safely co-sleep with Bash on the bed, though I’m not sure if I will. I’m really nervous about SIDS. I do bed share with Bash sometimes in the afternoon for a nap. I notice both he and I fall asleep and wake up in the exact same positions. I also remove the comforter from the bed and wear enough clothes so that only a thin blanket is needed.

Treasure your sleep

If you’re still waiting for your bundle of joy to arrive, then sleep as much as you can and enjoy it. Don’t bother to clean. The place will become a war zone as soon as you arrive home. Trust me. I left the place spick and span and as soon as we arrived home there was junk everywhere. Supplies and gifts from the hospital and our families. Plus we were too tired to put everything away. I’m almost one month postpartum and I still haven’t unpacked our hospital bag yet.

If your baby has already arrived, sleep when he or she does. Just do it. Again, don’t worry about cleaning, except for maybe the laundry. Your laundry basket will fill up so fast with a new baby. Anyway, even when I do manage to sleep for a couple of hours, I don’t feel refreshed. I think I’m so sleep deprived that even a nap reminds me of how much sleep I’m missing.

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Also, it sucks when your partner can sleep through anything but you can’t. Every time the baby fidgets or his breathing changes, my eyes shoot open. Tommy, on the other hand, could probably sleep through a rock concert. At one point while I was recovering in the hospital, I had to call Tommy’s name 20 times (no joke) before he woke up. I was holding the baby and needed help getting out of bed so I could put the baby back down and use the bathroom. I should have just called the nurse. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I guess a new baby will do that to you. Anyway, Tommy finally heard me, got extremely startled, went “ahh!” and literally fell off of the cot and onto the floor. I wish I was able to record it. I thought stuff like that only happened on TV. Apparently those moments are based on true events.

I guess the best thing for your quiet baby is to have at least one easily alert-able parent. Or if your baby is loud then a slow to wake parent is good as well. Your neighbors won’t be very happy though.