Saturday 5 March 2011

Ignorant Claudia - weekly question (week 35)

Dan said that I have cold feet. I guess that when I told him that we should have adopted another dog instead of getting pregnant would do it. I just truly realized that soon I will have to take care of a newborn. Even if I did get the babysitting course from the Canadian Red Cross, in 6th grade, I would honestly have never left a baby under my supervision!

So Ignorant Claudia would like to know if these "facts" (from books and web sites) are, according to your experience, accurate or if you would call Child Protective Services and ask them to come to my home.

If you also have other tips, please, let me know since it is a little too late for another dog!!!

Babies sleep on their back
Nothing (pillow, blanket, etc.) should be in the crib
The baby's room should be at 68ºF (20ºC)
Do not swaddle a newborn in a receiving blanket (take muslin wraps)
A one-piece and baby sleeping bag are sufficient (after 4-5 weeks)
Remove a layer of clothing if the back and/or belly are sweaty
Change sleeping side in the crib to avoid flat head syndrome
Baby should sleep in the parents' room the first 6 months ***

NURSING (breastfeeding in my case)
Support your breast throughout the entire feeding
Nipple points to the baby’s upper lip ("tickling" baby's lips)
Make contact while mouth still wide open
Nipple points to the roof of the mouth
Babies are breast-feeding and not nipple-feeding!
Use one breast completely before you start with the other one
A burb in the middle and at the end of each meal
Give vitamin D supplement (winter or spring babies)
A newborn should be nursing 8-12 times per day
See specialist (breastfeeding godmother) if discomfort

Don't give a bath until the umbilical cord falls
Gently wash and dry umbilical cord with cotton swabs
Simply wash baby with a soapy facecloth
After the umbilical cord falls, give a "real" bath every 2-3 days
Don't use baby powder (respiratory problems)
Use diaper ointment every few days
Don't use wipes if there is a rash or irritated skin
Don't cut fingernails right away since they are "glued" to the skin

*** We don't feel comfortable doing co-sleeping and we wanted to have Alice in her crib right away since her bedroom is very close to our bedroom...but now we are a bit confused!!!


The Franglaise said...

Claudia, all this information looks correct, but I would say there is no right or wrong. Books tell you one thing, midwives will tell you another - it is hard to know what to do in the first few weeks.

Here in France, babies are bathed from day one. We do not wait for the umbelical cord to fall off. And almost everyone uses a gigoteuse/turbulette for sleeping as swaddling is not big here (plus, your baby may not like it. L didn't). As for the sleeping arrangements, we were told 3 months max but because I was still breastfeeding, we kept L. in the room with us until he was 7 months old. And it worked out great. No fuss whatsoever when we put him in his own room. I think what you may find the hardest is to breastfeed. It is a natural thing to do but it does not come naturally. Patience is the rule of the game!

Bon courage xx

UK lass in US said...

You might not want to walk to the next room several times a night, when you could pop the baby in something on the floor next to the bed, so you only have to roll over to grab the baby to feed...

Um, basically it all looks ok. I don't think that our babies had a room at exactly 68 degrees. Both of them rarely burped (or spat up). The breastfeeding stuff is true, but after a couple of weeks the baby will have pretty much worked out how to latch on etc.

Kaylovesvintage said...

so pretty ,I really love it

Shannah said...

Claudia! You are going to do a beautiful job- no worries here:) Your mama and papa instincts combined with your thorough research will do what is best for baby Alice! It will all be worth it when you see your little one for the first time.

We had a basinet in our bedroom for the first few months. It was easier to get baby in and out all night long. (We had a very small bed so cosleeping wasn't a good option for us.) And my husband was very sweet to go back and forth all night and bring the baby to me every time. It was my job to nurse and his job to transport:)

Unknown said...

I have no idea about babies... my brother spent his first few nights in a dresser drawer next to my parents bed as he was 2 months early and my parents were a little unprepared. He turned out fine, haha. I feel like when the time comes I will be feeling a lot of these same things and questions. So glad I found your blog and can live through you for the time being!! And I really want to say, I LOVE that photo more than anything. Your cat is gorgeous! Best of luck ;) Sorry I'm no help!

courtney said...

man, you've done your homework! i'm a mother or two and pretty sure i didn't know half of the things on that list. you're going to be great, lady. just relax and enjoy. :)

sara said...

I learned some tips too, especially in the cleaning and feeding departments.
I would also advise you to buy a little bassinette, moses or craddle (you can find some cheap ones on craigslist for 30-40 $) to put next to your bed for the first few weeks, until the baby doesn't need to be fed many times at night. But I understand you don't feel comfortable co-sleeping!

I plan on keeping the baby in our room for the first 3 months, then, we shall see...

I am a light sleeper and I am scarred I won't get much sleep as long as the baby is in the bedroom.

Lil said...

Hi Claudia,

We put our boy in his own room from the first night home from the hospital - I am a light sleeper and couldn't sleep with him in the room - all his snuffles kept me awake and when he was silent I would worry he had died!! He is a happy wee man, and doesn't seem to care about being on his own at night at all. He smiles when I put him down and sleeps well. I think this is purely a personal choice, based on what you think will work for you and the rest of your family.

I also found he slept way better when swaddled so did this until he was about 6 months old. Because he didn't read the books I couldn't get him to change his head position from side to side (he'd just turn it right back), but his head shape is fine.

You will find that some advice will contradict just about everything you have listed, so just do what makes sense to you, and feels right. The only exception is the sleeping on their back - this is so important as side-sleeping or tummy-sleeping is scientifically directly linked to higher infant mortality (we call it "SIDS" or "cot-death" in New Zealand).

Good luck!

French Knots said...

When they are tiny babies like to go to sleep in your arms after a feed which is the most perfect thing on earth and leaves them in just the right place for sniffing their lovely baby scented head. Mine all slept on their back in a cradle next to my bed so I could just pick them up when they woke for the seventh time in three hours so I didn't need to try and coordinate my feet to walk when my brain cells were in meltdown!
Breastfeeding is hugely enjoyable but quite hard I found for both baby and mother to learn. Nipple to nose and tummy to mummy! Couldn't tell you how many feeds a day when they were newborn, in some ways it's better not to think about days and nights for the first few weeks, sleep whenever they do and get someone else to take over cooking, washing etc. If you have a posseter ( two of mine brough back so much milk I worried all the time about their weight, but of course they were fine) there will be a lot of washing.
Try to relax and go with your instinct, Alice will be much loved and that is the most important thing.x

mjb said...

That stuff is all true, but it's not the only way either. You'll have to wait until Alice arrives to see what she prefers on some things. It's hard to believe your instinct will kick in and you'll know what you're doing, but with help you will. Sleeping on the back and no honey in the first year are two of almost the only hard and fast rules.

Lola said...

Hmmm... I'm not sure if I should be giving advice. I don't always follow the rules but here's what we've kinda done.

My three girls were all different in their sleeping arrangements. We coslept with our oldest after she was a month old, our second was in her crib in another room as she was IMPOSSIBLE to sleep with or next too (she still is) and Gretta sleeps in her own bed in her own room until about five am and then sleeps with us the rest of the morning. I have read a few studies that suggest babies are safer when they are in their parents room though.

Gretta loves to be swaddled in receiving blankets as long as it's not too hot.

all of my girls have started rolling over at around 3 months and after that, they were stomach sleepers. We wrapped our mattresses after researching SIDS and mattresses.

In Canada, vitamin D is important.

We always nursed on demand but didn't wake our newborns up if they slept for five hours at night.

Burt's bees makes a wonderful baby powder without talc.

and lastly, be confident nursing your baby... know that you can do it. There can be problems that need to be solved and protocols to follow but it's not always difficult. Sometimes it works wonderfully right away.

Oh, and I bathed with my babies right away. Alberta's belly button was a little stinky for a while but it's normal now :)

You'll do great. I've made so many mistakes but my children are so resilient and forgiving.

Mearaid said...

Also don't forget to start the next feeding with the breast that you ended with at the last feeding, an easy way to remember is to use a ribbon or pin on that side of your bra/shirt. I never touched the umbilical cord, the hospital gave mine their first baths and I just spot washed them until it fell off. Don't worry about alternating the head I tried but I was never consistant and both of their heads are shaped normal. Baby powder is OK as long as it's not talc. My last piece of advice is don't start anything you can't see yourself doing two years down the road. With my first we had him in our bed and he was still there two years later when my second was born. We were smater the second time around and had her in her crib at the end of our bed. It may be easier having them close at hand but can you do it indefintely. Just follow your instincts and you will be fine. And don't forget you can call Info-Sante at any time and speak to a nurse. A great help at 2am.

M said...

I would say the only MUST we were told form your list was the baby-sleeps-on-its-back bit. Here in Norway we give baths right away after birth and don't wait for the cord to drop. Lie someone else said, I found the breastfeeding the hardest to get the hang of and suffered very sore nipples (so bad I cried) my tip here is that even if it takes a bit of patience in the beginning, make sure you get the baby latched on properly (i.e that the baby has not just latched on to the tip of the nipple)before you let it nurse. I got a bit confused with what baby should wear and what temperature the room should be so I used Grobag sleep-sacks for my daughter which came with a handy guide for what baby should wear under at different temperatures and they also sell a temperature-egg which shows green when ok range of temperature and red when too hot and blue when too cold:

Anna - Three Sneaky Bugs said...

You're cute. I just couldn't resist stopping by after seeing your latest flickr pic. And now I can't resist commenting - other mommies love to give suggestions. My biggest piece of advice is that every baby is different. So is every parents tolerance level. We kept out babies in our room in a smaller crib until they were sleeping through the night. We had the crib on papa's side of the bed so that he could reach over and comfort without getting out of bed. Steve was always the 1st to respond because papa doesn't equal food, mama does and baby's cries aren't always about food. We found tight swaddling to be the most important factor in length of sleep time. Both kids were sleeping through the night by 11 weeks at most so either it worked or we were just lucky.

190.arch said...

Theorically, all that information is right : )
I just have to say that breastfeeding is not as "natural" and "easy" as it could seem. Take your time -yours and baby Alice-, be patient, babies eat slowly and frequently. In the very beginnings you and baby Alice have to learn a lot together about breastfeeding. When you read "Nipple points to the roof of the mouth", you don't have idea what it exactly means until you feel it in your own nipples : )
About co-sleeping. When I was like you, I used to think like you. Just relax. Babies like to sleep in company, it's obvious, 40 weeks in a warm and comfy womb and then, do you think she really will love her crib instantly? : P
As other comments says, it's comfortable and easier to keep baby next to you, at least the first months. If you don't want her in your own bed, keep a basinet near to you, really, it helps a lot. Then, when Alice will become older, co-sleeping will be necessary sometimes, when she'll get a cold, when teeth will arrive, when Alice doesn't want to sleep but when you "sleep" beside her, she will sleep.
Your baby will love to stay very near to you, it's hard the first weeks because ever in your life you have been needed this way, claimed this way... but this is what a mom is. Good luck!

cara said...

I've had two babies for 17 weeks now and I still don't have a clue what I'm doing. But they seem to be surviving.

I had a similar list of things that I thought were just 'what babies did/needed' and our two showed us that they pretty much tell you what they need and it's not always what you're expecting. Also, everything passes so quickly. People say that to remind you to appreciate the good bits but personally I find it a much bigger comfort during the crappy bits.

Also, great picture. I love.

cara said...

(oh, also. Our babies once went 4 weeks without a bath. Don't tell anyone.)

(babies just don't get *that* dirty. honest.)

Anonymous said...

I think you should get a baby sleep positioner. Such as the one from First Year. It's cheap and very useful! You'll sleep better yourself knowing she is in it. Ours lives with friends now.


Ali said...

I wrote you an essay Claudia, and then blogger ate it and I was so cross I couldn't write it all again!

So, reality is setting in huh? I think terror at the thought of being in charge of a newborn is an appropriate emotion, actually. The adrenaline ought to keep you going through the first month of sleeplessness at least!

But seriously, Alice is going to be just fine. Babies are resilient little beings and given that they don't speak, you can rest assured the secrets of exactly how you bathe, feed and put them to sleep remain between you! So do whatever you find suits you and you won't go far wrong with just a little common sense.

The only things on your list I don't agree with are:

'support your breast through the entire feeding'. Personally, given how much time I spent with a babe attached to my boob, I needed the free hand for using the remote, making phone calls and drinking enough fluids to keep up with him! You'll both soon get the hang of feeding - ask for help if it's making you or Alice cry.

And I bathed mine from the beginning (though you don't have to, of course). We were big on baths (sometimes 3 a day in order to stop the wailing!!). See if she's a water baby or not.

And don't feel guilty about having her in her own room - you can feel smug when all the co-sleepers are still awake half the night and she's sleeping through! Though the temptation to stay in your own warm bed for night feeds is a great one.

Anonymous said...

You will be fine! Babies just want to feel safe and loved. I'm 5 weeks in to staying at home on my 'baby moon' with my 3rd baby. (Hence time to surf blogs while breasdfeeding...) I love the newborn phase, and I'm slightly jealous that yours is still to happen! It's going too fast.
As for your list; try not to over-think things. Babies are BORN with a lot of their personality already, hence the vast variety in baby advice! I've had two that slept on their own from day one, and yet this one sleeps with me. It SO works. In responce to the poster before me - This one sleeps 9pm to 8am since day three! Granted I feed him about 4x in the night, but he does't open his eyes and we both sleep well. I am not sleep deprived! Very nice.
Best advice- if ypu're not going to co-sleep, then prepare a breastfeeding 'station' before you go to bed, with a drink and a healthy snack next to your rocking chair. Bfing is thirsty work, treat yourself well if you are going to be working hard! I'm bare-bones, second hand, home made, no extra baby frills either- but I always buy a little portable nightlight, you know the kind that you touch on and off? That way I turn it on and it's just enough to see baby latch on properly, then turn it right off. Nightime darkness=sleep training from day one!

Enjoy. x

Cheryl. Alldonecreations(at)telus(dot)net said...

Just found your blog and am loving it. I love your list of baby do's and don'ts. I am from the Vancouver area so I'm thinking the public health recommendations are the same. We are just home with our third. We bathe daily, as water is recommended for cleaning and speeding up the drying out of the cord stump. We have our little guy in a cradle in our room, which I don't define as co- sleeping. Public health here recommends baby sleep in your room next to, not in, your bed for the first 6 months. We easily transitioned our other two to their cribs when it was time. They were already having naps there during the day. Breastfeeding is a bit of work at first, and a two handed affair until you get the hang of it. Take all the professional help you can get- health nurses, clinics. Once you've got the hang of it you'll be hands-free.
And really overall, just do what feels right. Trust your instincts- and don't be afraid to do something different than what you've been told or what you had planned. You are a mother!

Cal's mum said...

So much already said so not much left to say. Sounds like you really have done your research and it will all come together for you. If you are anything like me once the baby is in your arms though half of what you knew will go straight out of your head and you may doubt everything you think you remember but you wil find your way naturally and for the important things you'll find your way back to these lists and comments and know what the right thing to do is.
My specialist subject was how to really mess up breast feeding. As was said before it is so natural but yet doesn't necessarily come naturally but it is well worth it. The point you had about asking for help if your having trouble, that's the most important. Any redness, any temperature, anything that seems tougher than it should be, get help or call a doctor. I ended up down a very nasty road with mastitis as I just kept going because I thought t was supposed to be difficult / sore, it's not supposed to be that sore. Oh and I never thought I'd want a 14 month old baby still sleeping in our room but sometimes, once there's a little person in front of you, you surprise yourself :)