Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sleep - The First Three Months.

A friend of mine asked what to get for her baby, and I thought that I would share my knowledge with everyone.  And since I love baby gear, let's do it with Blogger because the format is so much fun.  Keep in mind that this is all just my opinion, based on my own experience of only one child (and some input from friends).  But, it's very fresh in my mind, considering my little one is only 3 1/2 months old!

DaVinci Emily 4 in 1 Crib with Toddler Rail, EbonyThe first three months, especially the first 6-12 weeks, can be the hardest when it comes to sleep derivation and baby fussiness. I have read in several places that it is recommend that you should sleep next to your baby for the first three months of her life.  This is probably instinctual for many moms, so the search is on for a pregnant lady: What to buy?

If you are on a budget and you have the space in your bedroom, just use the full-size crib for your newborn. Or set up an adult bed in the nursery. 

Delta Play Time Jungle Rocking BassinetLet's say you want to sleep with your partner in your own bedroom, and don't have space for the full-sized crib.  Or you just can't stand to put your tiny bundle of joy in a giant crib.  You can buy a pretty bassinet, which does not take up much floor space.  This bassinet has a rocker base.

Maybe you feel you need to keep your baby really close, but don't want her in your bed (something I don't recommend), you can get an Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper that fits up against your bed.  It's basically a pack-n-play with a drop side.  The mini version goes up to 23 pounds, which will get you through the first three months.  And then if you change your mind because the baby is too close and keeps you up all night, you can move the Co-Sleeper away from your bed and put the side up.

I was lucky enough to borrow this cradle from my in-laws, the same cradle that my husband was rocked in as a baby. At first I did not know if I should accept it because I was scared by a Consumer Reports article that said you should turn down all heirloom baby items for safety reasons.  But, with my husband's help, I got past my pregnancy-induced hormonal derangement, applied my common sense, and happily used the cradle for our baby.

Fisher Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper - Split RingsAnd WOW what a God-send this cradle was.  For those late-night fussy spells, Tom or I could lay in bed and move the cradle with one hand in a semi-conscience state. If you are not as lucky as us to inherit an heirloom cradle, you can still find one at yard sales, consignment shops, or even on-line.  Another low-cost alternative is the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper that also has the advantage of inclining the baby, especially helpful if your baby is colicky.  (Any of these sleepers can be fitted with a foam wedge under the sheet for a similar effect.)

Hushamok Organic Hammock, NaturalOne last option worth mentioning, recommended by my doula, is the baby hammock.  If you have a really fussy baby, are desperate for sleep, and have money to burn, give it a try.  It is widely used in Europe and suspends your baby from the ceiling with a nice natural sway motion (provided by you).  It is probably not safe to let your baby sleep in all night, so you will still need a regular bassinet/cradle/sleeper.  I have not tried it though.

I say, whatever newborn sleeper you choose, put it on your partner's side of the bed.  Then, at night when you hear your baby stir, before she starts to cry, elbow your partner.  Tell him to change the baby's diaper and then bring her to you so you can side-lay feed.   Then when the baby is finished, elbow your partner again to put the baby back her sleeper.  That way you don't fully wake, and it's the least your partner can do to make up for the fact that your body is on loan to this little creature for two years, counting pregnancy.

In conclusion, choose a sleeper that moves.  Even if you are blessed with a textbook baby, you will have periods of fussiness.  And God help you, if you have a fussy or colicky baby, you will buy anything to get some much needed sleep.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tyler's Baptism

 A whirlwind weekend.  Many family members converged on Charlottesville to share in this special event, the most since our wedding. 

The prep work started last Monday when I scoped out food at Sam's Club and picked up supplies at Wal-mart (a special outing for me because Tom watched Tyler during the day).  Then Tuesday we started cleaning the house.  I spent all day Friday picking up with the help of my friend Rachel.  The first guests arrived Friday evening: Bobby (Tom's brother), Megan (Bobby's girlfriend), and their dog Ginger.  They drove over 8 hours from Ohio.

Tom shopped for the reception on Friday, and prepped all day Saturday.  More cleaning and picking up by me on Saturday.  Then my family arrived Saturday afternoon: My mom, dad, brother Eric, and his wife Elizabeth.  They stayed in a hotel.  Megan and I ran to Kohl's to shop for clothes for the service. 

Tom's family arrive Saturday evening: Tom's mom, dad, sister Christiana, Aunt Ria, and Grandmother.  They stayed at the same hotel as my family. They drove over 6 hours and hit a lot of traffic.

We all met around 6pm for dinner at Bonefish Grill in Hollymead.  Tyler got fussy and tired halfway through and slept in his car seat, thank goodness.  Then we hung out at our house and the weather was nice so some of us sat out on the back deck.

Tom woke early Sunday morning for more prep work and to pack the car.  The family attended Mass together, except for me, Tyler, my mom, and Elizabeth, who helped me get out the door.  Tyler does not get up until 10 or 11 every day, and I was not about to wake him!

The baptism was beautiful.  Bobby and Christianna are his Godparents.  Tyler was a little fussy during the service, and I used his pacifier to keep him quiet, something I don't normally do.

The reception was at the church and went great, thanks to Tom's prep work and our Cville friends for setting up things.  We had deli meat sandwiches, fruit, corn-tomato-avocado salad and chocolate cake. 

Tyler had a lot of trouble getting to sleep Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.  He was overtired and I got him to bed a little too late every night.  He took a lot of naps Monday, as if to make up for lost sleep.  But overall he did great all weekend being social with minimal fussiness during the day.

"Easist Bedtime Ever"

I got to go to Birth Circle last night and Tom watched Tyler and put him to bed.  Tom said it was his easiest bedtime ever.  Tom gave him a bath starting around 7pm, gave him a bottle and he was off to sleep by 8:15pm.  Lately Tyler has not been doing well at night - taking a long time to rock to sleep, and then waking again 10 minutes after putting him down.  Usually because Tyler missed naps and/or got to bed too late.  This causes fussiness in the evening and trouble falling asleep.  This good bedtime last night was a breakthrough for all of us, and made me feel better about getting out and leaving Tyler with Tom.  Tom does great, but if there is a chance of fussiness, it is hard to handle on your own! 

And then Tyler did not wake until 6am!  After a full feeding he went back to sleep until 11am!  Wow.  What a great sleeper.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wow, if we had weather every day like today, it would be much easier to be in a good mood every day.  Sunny, warm but not too hot, and low humidity.  I took Tyler for a nice long walk in the stroller and he just loved it. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

3 Months Old

Happy birthday to my wonderful baby boy Tyler who is three months old today.  Yesterday at the doctor's we weighed 12 pounds 10 ounces (45%) and measured 25 1/4 inches long (90%).  I am not too worried about growth curves, and thankfully neither is my doctor.  Tyler is long and lean like his dad and is growing quickly and will soon fill out. 

From Tyler William

Yesterday Tyler had is first round of vaccines. We got them all--DTaP, Polio, HIB, Pn.  My normally mellow baby has been fussy and crying a lot and not sleeping well.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Sleep.  Sleep.  Sleep.  Amount and quality.  Day or night.  Babies and adults.  This is my new reading topic of interest.  I am currently reading "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth, and have cued up other sleep books.  I am fascinated by this subject not only because I don't get much of it, but it has always been an issue for me, and I want the best for Tyler as a baby, child, and adult. 

I am only a few chapters into Weisbluth, but he says that a lot of childhood behavior problems stem from parents bad sleep habits on their children.  "My research has shown that when infants who are easy at five months of age develop into crabbier, more difficult three-year-old children...I think that parents' helping or hindering regular sleep patterns caused these shifts to occur."  Tyler has definitely been a mellow baby so far, but lately has needed regular naps to prevent fussiness. 

My new goal with my baby care has been to be more aware of Tyler's sleep cues and make sure he gets his naps.  No rigid schedule, but protect his sleep time, especially during the day when it is tempting to run errands and socialize.  This means shorter outings and making sure he is back in his crib before he gets crabby and hard to fall asleep.  A big sacrifice but well worth it so far.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My return to blogging.

My Blog Fernweh started out as a way to tell friends and family my ski injury story and recovery and grew into my travel blog.  Some ordinary life stuff too, but mostly travel was my interesting thing to talk about.  Now that we have Tyler, I was thinking of starting a new blog, but what the heck, lets just continue with this blog, and call it the Schultz Life Blog.  Nothing amazing or profound here, just a way to keep up with our life, if you are interested.

April 9, 2011 my life changed forever.  Tyler was born at 8:06 pm, 8 pounds, 12 ounces.  I have most of my birth story type up, thanks to my mom, but I have not decided if I am going to publish it.

For now I will just update with Tyler's progress and work backwards as I think of things.  On July 1st at 12 weeks old, he weighed 12 lbs, 2 oz.  This is about the 50-percentile, and our doctor is happy with our progress (this is significant, a story I will share later).  He seems long and slim to me (like his dad) with some nice rolls around his thighs.

We spend our day in a constant eat-play-nap cycle, with each stage of various lengths depending on the time of day and where we are (home or on the go).  I am still breastfeeding which has it's advantages and challenges.

Tyler's personality is very easy-going for the most part.  As long as I read his cues and get him to take a nap before he gets cranky, there is minimal crying.  He plays in his crib looking at the mobile, on the play mat, in his swing, bouncy seat, or his favorite, looking at mom and dad.  I lay him on his tummy for a few minutes every day but he does not seem to like it much.