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Tue, 2006-Apr-25

Genevive Alice, Day 37

Five weeks

Do you love Mummy?

Genevieve is now five weeks old. We have put in our claim for the baby bonus, and filled out all of the necessary documentation. We have our family medicare card. Everything seems to be pretty much in order.

Computer literate

Michelle is still on holidays, however I am back at work. I have worked the better part of a week, and mother and child are still coping well. Sometimes it seems that they need to let off a bit of steam by visiting the grandparents' places, but that is to be expected.

Look what came in the mail!

Talking through baby

The new mum is getting used to being called Mummy, and I'm getting used to being called Daddy. This seems to be a natural phenomenon between a couple. It starts out sounding awkward. You say it a few times to each other just to try it on: How are you doing, Mum? What's the story, Dad? Pretty soon it becomes something you do while talking to Baby: Do you want to go to Mummy, now? Is your Daddy a good daddy?

Big Brother

For grandparents it takes a little longer. They have Baby in the room for less of the time, so ours are still getting the hang of each other. It's especially tentative when both sets of grandparents get into the same room. Does Grandpa want a cuddle, now? Is it Grandpa? Granddad Does Granddad want a cuddle? :)

Sexy Daddy

The roles have pretty much sorted themselves out, now. My mother and father are Gran, and Grandad. Michelle's mother and step-father are Nana (sometimes Nan) and Pop. Michelle's maternal grandmother is Great Grandma. I guess I don't know exactly what my maternal grandmother and paternal grandparents will be called. They live further afield and don't get to be called much at all for the moment.

Hrmmph!

Feeding and Sleeping

She is feeding well. We are demand feeding, and she has settled into something of a three hour rythm. She wakes up at a pretty consistent time of a morning. Her first feed is usually 6am, pretty well on the dot. Her last feed of the evening varies from about 21:30 to 23:30.

Daddy, can I -please- go to bed?

I had my own chance to give her a feed the other night. Michelle went out with the girls for a night on the town. She expressed, and I bottle-fed for the night. Two bottles of about 100ml each lasted from 9:30 in the evening until a lateish midnigh bedtime. Bottle one lead to a small spit-up, but we took more breaks during the second feed and were both happy with the results.

Baby zombie

Nappies

We are using cloth nappies for the most part, and they are working out well. Genevieve is yet to have any problems with nappy rash or microbial invasion. We started out with Eenee Designs snibs. This is a nappy cover that passes between the legs, and has ribbons on each side to bind it to Baby. These worked very well initially. With her increasing size and volume of output they seem to be working a little less effectively now. Leakage is the number one issue for nappies, and we're having a little lack of luck all around at the moment. We have moved on to Baby BeeHinds hemp nappies and covers. Leakage is not a huge problem with these nappies, but we probably still get one minor leak per day the way we are currently fitting them. The Huggies disposables are tallying up about about the same leakage rate, so maybe it is just us. We are using some pocket nappies during the daytime as well. These are less bulky than the hemp Baby BeeHinds nappies, but also less absorbant. The disposables are the least bulky and are probably equivalently absorbant to even the hemp.

Eenee Designs Snib

While disposables handle urine just as well as the hemps, hemp is king for handling defication. We have had a number of "blow-outs" with the disposables where high-pressure processed food has forced its way out pretty much every side. The hemp nappies are continuing to hold up well in this regard.

Huggies Disposable

Stuffing and lining are important for all of the cloth nappies. The pocket nappies have their own wool lining, and so far we have found wool to work really well in snibs and hemp nappies also. Hemp is has great absorbancy, so we are using it exclusively for the stuffing. The hemp nappies act naturally as additional stuffing, so that is the reason for their absorbancy. Unfortunately, the whole nappy being absorbant means that baby does have some skin sitting directly against the wet waste. That isn't ideal, but doesn't seem to have caused any problems so far.

Baby BeeHinds Hemp

The other stuffing we have used is the flushable tree-pulp pad from Eenee Designs. These seem to work well enough when our hemp is in the wash. We use their flushable liners when the wool is in the wash, and they also seem to hold up well.

Smiles and Tantrums

Genevieve has been getting visably more aware of her surroundings since around the end of week three. Every day she is looking around more, and seems to be more deliberate in her actions. She is capable of following her mother around the room with her eyes, especially near meal-times. Unfortunately, just as I am returning to work we are seeing some of the big advances come on us incrementally.

More upset than I know how to be

Smiling is one. She has had wind from day one, but we believe her first real smile was on April 21st. She smiled again a few days later. Luckily, I was home for both. She started smiling for real today when we walked her over to Gran and Granddads' place. Nana and Great Grandma came around to look at her, and she smiled over and over. We even caught a few on Gran's camera. A co-worker of mine with four children said that you aren't sure for the first few times, but within a week they are really going for it. The next thing he says is that they'll be laughing and giggling. I'm looking forward to it.

Why can't you just do what I want?

She is also now old enough to start with discipline. Her increasing awareness of her surroundings is leading to an increasing awareness of her actions. The main point of discipline at this stage of life is to control crying and screaming. Crying is like terrorism. It comes about because of real needs, genetic predisposition, and darwanistic anthropology: Whomever gets the attention of the powers that be is the most likely to be one that survives, or the one with the fullest belly.

Oooh, what's that?

Once the crying or the terrorism has raised public awareness and put your issues onto the radar, it is the objective of the authority to bring you back to a social norm. They may try to police the cry. That doesn't work. Why should a child stop crying when their needs have not been met? Eventually the authorities will engage the little terrorist, but just caving into demands leads to more crying. The final phase is to work on positive and negative reinforcement.

Bouncers are for babies!

We don't pick Genevieve up now until she has stopped crying. Once she starts to cry we make sure we are in the room with her and she knows we are here. We make soothing sounds and say things like settle down, stop crying. If she continues to cry we continue with the soothing, but do no pick her up. The moment she settles down she is in our arms, and can cry out any more that she absolutely needs to get out.

Curious George

When she is having "tummy time" and is not yet ready to be picked up we take this down a knotch. We are there and soothing the moment she is quiet, but the moment she starts to scream (there is a difference between vocalise and scream for this discussion) we go back to washing dishes or doing other housework. So far she has seemed to be figuring out quickly that if she wants us to come to her service she has to constrain her tears to a level that alerts us of her need. We'll see how this all goes, but so far so good. She is spending a lot of time looking calm and happy, and she is settling quickly when we come into the room to pick her up from her cot.

Fascinating!

Benjamin