Friday, February 7, 2014

Maddux : Newborn Summary - 3 Months

Maddux was 3 months old on January 8th. This is a summary of his second month (from 2-3 months old.) It's his last newborn summary! :(

3 Months Old

This month of Maddux’s eating was the most challenging one yet. He can’t eat more than 4 ounces at a time (although it’s usually closer to 3 ounces,) which makes it impossible to move him to a 3.5 hour schedule. He would sleep long enough to wait 3.5 hours for most feedings, but he would end up cutting a feeding out of his day and since he can’t compensate for the dropped feeding by eating more at each feeding, I've been waking him up and feeding him every 3 hours. In case you’re wondering if I tried moving him to a 3.5 hour schedule, yes, I did. He still only ate 4 ounces, dropped a feeding, and then wasn't having the appropriate number of wet diapers (meaning he wasn't drinking enough.) I only did one day of that before I went back to waking him after 3 hours.

Acid Reflux:
He began arching his back during feedings as well. He had his 2 month check-up and I asked his pediatrician about acid reflux. He had a cough as well, which I suspected was a result of reflux because I could smell acid on his breath. He also had a very pronounced stridor (basically, a really loud, honking noise every time he inhales.) The pediatrician agreed with me about the acid reflux (he actually has GERD, although he isn't emaciated like a lot of GERD babies are. The cough and stridor place him in the GERD category.) The pediatrician prescribed Ranitidine (Zantac.) After a few days on it, his cough was gone, and the arching during feedings was diminished as well. The stridor was better after a few weeks. It still wasn't gone by the end of the month. Maddux hasn't been a great eater since right before we figured out that he had a milk protein allergy. I think it’s probably compounded by the fact that the current formula that he’s on (Elecare) is absolutely disgusting. I've had to tell myself when it’s been particularly difficult to get him to eat that it would be like eating my least favorite meal every day, for every meal. It helps put the situation in perspective for me. It still takes him close to 45 minutes to eat. I am encouraged that he is gaining weight, though, because a lot of babies who have the digestive problems that he has are totally emaciated and don’t gain weight. The pediatrician said that most moms aren't as persistent as I am about getting their babies to eat. I’m nothing if not persistent. The pediatrician also said that this second month of the milk protein allergy and the acid reflux is the worst around the 2 month mark, so we should expect some improvement in him in the next few months.

Maddux naps well most days. There are a few naps here and there that he doesn't sleep well for, but for the most part, he goes to sleep on his own and stays asleep.  He is still swaddled for naps and nighttime. For the naps that he doesn't sleep well for, I put him in the bouncy seat and turn the vibration on. He eventually falls asleep.

Sleeping through the Night: 
Maddux started sleeping through the night some nights. Other nights he didn't. On the nights he woke up, I waited a few minutes to see if he would go back to sleep. When he didn't, I got up and fed him. Because he is a bigger baby, but still can’t eat a lot during the day because he can’t handle a large amount at each feeding, if he wakes up in the night, I feed him. He finally began consistently sleeping through the night around 12 weeks. This is on the later end of the spectrum for Babywise babies, but with all of his health issues, there’s no way I could force my desire for him to sleep through the night on him. I’m not saying Babywise advocates that (because it doesn't, which is a common misconception.) But I know a lot of moms who do a modified version of Babywise who let their children cry during the night until they fall back asleep, because they think it’s what Babywise says to do. It’s not. Babywise gives me the freedom to make the decisions I need to make for my child – while still working towards certain goals.

Christmas was this month – Maddux did well. He stayed up a lot later at night and missed naps and he either slept in his carseat, someone’s arms, or not at all. This is another disturbing thing I notice about Babywise moms. They are sometimes ridiculous about taking their children places. They won’t do anything to disrupt their child’s sleep schedule. They skip family Christmas (!?!), don’t go to church every week because it will fall during their child’s nap, don’t go on vacation as a family because it could mess up their child’s sleep schedule. Ugh. Let me be clear – If families decide that doing that is best for their family then that is their prerogative. That isn't, however, what Babywise advocates. I have had a child who will not sleep in my arms (Maggie.) It was pretty unpleasant to take her anywhere when she was really small because she would not sleep in anyone’s arms. She wasn't always happily awake either. She screamed and screamed and screamed until she finally exhausted herself (hours later) and fell asleep for a half hour before she would wake up and start all over again. Sometimes, it’s not worth the inconvenience of going somewhere. I get that. But other things are non-negotiable. Everyone’s non-negotiable, must-dos are different, but everyone should have some non-negotiable, must-dos. We have gone on many road trips with Maggie to Kansas City where she has not slept and has cried much of the way there. Still, if I hadn't taken her, we probably would've only been to Kansas City 4 or 5 times. That is just not an option. All that to say – if you do Babywise and you choose to be crazed about your child’s sleep schedule, please know that you’re not doing it because you’re following what Babywise says. You’re not. You’re choosing legalism over using common sense. 

This was a rough month for emotions. Not in a feeling depressed way, but in a, “I’m so tired of having a baby who screams instead of eats” way. Having the pediatrician tell me that this was the worst of it was encouraging.

Reflection on Newborn Period:
I really can't believe that I made it! The newborn age isn't all that enjoyable to me, but this went by so fast. I've loved getting to know Maddux better as the days go on and I'm excited to see the person he is becoming! It has been a fairly smooth transition from one child to two, which helps. 

Schedule (more of a routine, really. I’m not rigid about this):
7:45 am – wake to eat, play
8:35 am – nap
10:45 am – wake to eat, play
11:35 am – nap
1:45 pm – wake to eat, play
2:35 pm – nap
4:45 pm – wake to eat, play
5:35 pm – nap
7:30 pm – wake, bath, and eat
8:15 pm – bed
10:45 pm – dream feed

5:00 am (on nights that he didn't sleep through the night) – eat and then right back to sleep. 

So happy that his arms are flapping :)

First time in the Bumbo seat. Maddux has an interesting problem with sitting in this seat - he is too tall! His back goes quite a bit above the back of the seat, which causes the whole concept of the seat not to really work with him. I will be trying again next month.

He discovered his hands this month, too!

They provided him with quite a bit of entertainment. I'm also so glad I got a picture of his cute baby feet in this picture. 

He is a pretty serious baby.

The end. :)

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