Summary of week 6: Tips, tricks, scheduling and life

This week I had the pleasure of having family over the weekend, and for sure, like many of us that don’t live in the same zip code as our family, it’s a blessing to have them here (someone told us that Florida attracts more family… Nobody took into account our new baby to be a better tourist magnet!). Our daughter is starting to form her routine, we already know about her “crappy hour”, and we have established a nice ballet of feeding, burping (I’m becoming an expert), diaper change, activity and happy times. We have gone to the maximum time allowed at night (amazing and extravagant 5 hours between feedings), meaning that we actually get to sleep a 4 hour cycle (GO BABY GO!).

My wife has given me the opportunity to do the last feeding of the day (no, I don’t use the props from “meet the Fockers”), enjoying a couple of minutes with my baby. The entire philosophy of bonding/feeding time really makes sense, whatever feeding method you use (bottle/breast milk/formula), being there and interacting is just amazing (PLUS YOU GET AT LEAST 10 MINUTES OF SILENCE!). Completely recommended if you have not done so.

The bath routine is working, she actually, contrary to popular beliefs, she loved the water, probably a genetic trait from my family. She is joyful and having fun (maybe some memories of mommy’s tummy?), making it clear to us that she does not want to leave the bathtub.

From the water to the earth, we have started her on “tummy time” now that she has more neck control, using our “mini GYM”, she starts on the top and slowly works her way down to the bottom of it to lay her face in the cushion and we start again. A part of stimulating your baby, it has a couple of more advantages, using the wake time for a positive activity. It comes to my mind one thing that is happening a lot with the new recommendations to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, it decreases and prevents unnecessary deaths, but if we are not moving the position of the head of our babies, they start having a “flat head”, that’s way one of the reasons to do tummy time and observe the shape of your baby’s head, if you think it is flat, talk to your pediatrician about it.

My amazing wife noticed this week that our Baby started to find her hands, it was amazing to see it, how we take for granted, and we forget the little things of our body, I encourage you to take a moment and observe your hands, probably you won’t remember when you saw them for the first time (at least I don’t) J.

What I’ve learned this week for THE UNOFFICIAL MANUAL ON HOW A PEDIATRICIAN BECOMES A FATHER:

1)    Tummy time is amazing and fun for the entire family, changing the routine of poop, eat, sleep moments of the day

2)    Baths are amazing, even for babies!

3)    Feeding your baby as a father/partner at least once a day creates a special bond for a couple of minutes that will give peace to you and your baby.

 

PS This is going to be an historic week for the US, whatever decision the Court makes regarding the Affordable Healthcare Act will have an impact on all of us.

Summary of week 4: Reconnecting and taking our first bath…

When your baby is born, you have many things in your mind, and it seems that the world just stops… You forget about work, friends and family… You are trying to figure out (at least it passed trough my mind) how much money will cost in 2032  to do a Wedding and if there are any recalls on the car seat that I just got 2 weeks ago… Such random things. Suddenly, you notice certain changes in the fridge…  You wonder why the milk is “not good” and the limes look old… Would it be the temperature of the fridge? At that moment I smiled to myself… It has been 4 weeks with multiple visits to the supermarket, but none for the real things that we need it…

Yes, in the beginning life revolves completely around our amazing daughter; she is a baby and needs a new diaper, food, rest, play… And she is the center of our universe, but the real force creating the unity of her atoms are mom and dad. The unity between partners is one of the most important drivers for success for the baby and the couple. This week, was our 4th wedding anniversary, we celebrated at home with sushi, backgammon and a nice glass of wine, and you know what, we started to un-pause life and reconnect. The renewal of energy was priceless!!! And of course the next day we started calling our good friends. Probably I read it somewhere and the quote goes something like this, “the excuse of ‘I have a baby’ to stop doing/calling/living gets old very fast”… Then, take the first step… RECONNECT WITH YOUR PARTNER!

After a couple of weeks, we waited until the umbilical cord fell down and was completely healed (no oozing/yellowish/sticky stuff coming out of it), to give her a full bath; the idea is that that umbilical cord contains a central pathway to your baby’s body. If you “wash it” and it is still open, there is a possibility that bacteria can go inside of the blood stream causing a serious infection.  You will see a lot of information on the internet and among pediatricians of “how to take care” of the umbilical cord before it falls out. There are two main ideas: Alcohol vs. Water and Soap. It has be noted (you can go to the American Academy of Pediatrics Web site or HEALTHYCHILDREN.ORG) that using alcohol delays the fall and dryness of the umbilical stump. Today, the recommendation is to use water and soap (drying after the area)… If you have any questions I can point you towards nice articles and information… But going back to the bath…

The umbilical area was clear and we were happy! We took all the cameras we had, 4 live streaming events,  1 I-Pad, 2 cell phones and the webcam streaming a coordinated attempt of the first bath  (and our own camera filming some videos as well)… You will read tons of articles that will tell you “the first bath is chaotic and usually babies don’t like it”; our daughter just LOVED IT… You can imagine a televised event as important as the Super Bowl happening with 8 people giving advice at the same time… But it was just amazing; I can proudly say that my daughter has my SCUBA diving genes! Using soap and washing her was the easiest part… When you see your kid all covered in bubbles and smiling is amazing, and you are in heaven for a couple of seconds, and then, again, NOBODY TOLD ME HOW TO WASH HER AND “CLEAN THE SOAP” out of her… Then we did a couple of tricks, she smelled perfect, was dry, in her pajamas and ready for dinner, and probably mom and dad were even more tiered then her.

I will write down a couple of links to articles (read them even if you already feel that you are the fastest and best bath expert in the world), they do have nice tips…

What I’ve learned this week for THE UNOFFICIAL MANUAL ON HOW A PEDIATRICIAN BECOMES A FATHER:

1)      The “I have a baby and I’M TIRED” does not excuse the parents to stop calling dear family members and friends… I’m sorry for those friends that I did not call back during these weeks; slowly I’m calling one by one.

2)      Organize your first bath; you need the correct equipment, the correct utensils and an extra pair of hands if possible to have a successful bath! (By the way, it is not recommended to give a daily bath; the baby’s skin is gentile and delicate, then every 2 to 3 days can be a good average.

3)      It’s normal for babies to cry around 2 hours a day… It was really easy to explain that to the parents of my patients, but now, after 4 weeks of “normal crying”, I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THE FEELING OF FRUSTRATION.

Please do send me emails, comments or questions…

Ilan

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