Summary of week 8: Vaccines and vaccines…

For all parents: when it gets time to start the vaccines of your baby, it’s always harder for the parents for than the baby… Nobody can disagree that vaccines has been one of medicines top 3 inventions that has saved and prevented horrible diseases for human kind.

Our daughter for the first time (actually, the second time, the first was the hepatitis b vaccine at birth) got her 2 month old vaccines, and of course, we were happy to get to the milestone. I have said a couple of hundred times (at least) the short list of common side effects that the baby can have, it is my version of the “Miranda rights” that cops know by heart, but this time was a little bit different, knowing that my flesh and blood was going to be immunized (and my wife is not a fan of any needles!). She did perfectly great on her weight, height, meeting all her developmental millstones; waiting for the big moment finally, we were prepared. It’s amazing how important it is to have calm parents at the moment of vaccination, even a small infant can tell if mammy and daddy are nervous. Everything was done in seconds, and with a smile at the exit of the pediatrician’s office.

There is always a small probability that the patient (aka: daughter), can have fever, crying spells, sleeping more than usual, redness on the site and even a bump, everything controllable with general comfort measures. But, my daughter read with me all the side effects, choosing to have on that evening fever and sleepiness. You can imagine the 7 missed calls that I had in my cell phone before I left the office. If you have in your mind the question “you knew the side effects”, the quick answer is: YES, YES and YES! You needed to see this infant, bundled up, having her first fever smiling at her parents: I’m fine; it’s just a little fever. I tried 3 different thermometers, having the same answer: your daughter DOES have a fever. She continued to eat, laugh and play, having extended periods of sleep during the day, but by morning, thank G-d she was back to her old self: laughing, moving and doing her own tummy time. Every day, I learn something new, to be humble and reaffirming that when a parent tells me the fears and myths  that have heard about vaccines, I will share my personal story and the peer review information regarding why it’s important, side effects and the probability of having a severe bad reaction the vaccines, my conclusion always is: I’M HERE TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THE INFORMATION, I can’t guarantee 100% that everything will be perfect, but for sure this is a great choice (PLEASE PLEASE go to http://www.vaccines.com/why-vaccinate-fact-01.cfm).

Now to other matters… I can spend a lot of time watching my daughter, amazed on how they  start exploring the world, finding their hands, grabbing things, smiling… No she is moving her legs, trialing objects and cooing, our “sleep, eat, move and poop machine” is actually converting into a “little person”, communicating her needs and fears.  I can’t extend how important it is for any parent to be on top of this, you are the one that knows your baby best.

 

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

1)    Vaccines are more painful to watch when you are a parent

2)    Having a great time learning from my best teacher… MY DAUGHTER!

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.

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