Monday, November 30, 2009

Stomach Sleeper

Nate is now five months old. A few days ago Nate figured out how to flip from his back to his stomach we've figured out over the last few days that he likes sleeping on his stomach. At first there were worries that we could be causing Nate harm by letting him sleep on his stomach. The back to sleep movement has really strong message that babies should always sleep on their back.

We tried to figure out if we should flip Nate back over or not. I found a lot of conflicting answers. We felt that Nate was actually sleeping better on his stomach, which he is not always sleeping great so why change a good thing. My best piece of information that was clear and concise I found when reading through information on the First Candle site ( There was the answer of what to do when baby starts rolling over. They made it clear that every baby is going to determine their favorite sleep position. By flipping them back over you end up disturbing everyone's sleep. Just make sure that sleep area is free of anything (blankets, toys, etc) that could get their face next to.

So Nate has been sleeping pretty well recently and I think being on his stomach may be a factor. If Nate ends up taking after me he'll sleep on his stomach a lot. We will still put Nate on his back to go to sleep, but if he flips over we won't do anything, except let him sleep.

In doing the research I came up with some other good news. Nate isn't in any high risk categories for SIDS. The major risk factors are below.

* Infants born to mothers who are less than 20 years old at the time of their first pregnancy
* Babies born to mothers who had no or late prenatal care
* Infants born to mothers with too short an interval between pregnancies
* Premature or low birth weight babies and multiples
* Babies born to mothers who smoke during or after pregnancy
* Infants who are placed to sleep on their stomach or side (we place him on his back)

In addition, breastfeeding and using a pacifier are thought to further lower risk of SIDS. So hopefully, with this question answered Nate will just sleep (and sleep some more).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Nate's First Thanksgiving

Yesterday was Nate's first Thanksgiving. For Nate there wasn't much different from any other day except more people around the house. I must say we do have a lot to be thankful for. We've been blessed in many ways including wonderful family and friends and now we've got a happy and healthy little guy as part of our family.

Nate didn't make it to Thanksgiving dinner. He was asleep before we had the great spread that Sherri put together. I had way too much to eat and still felt full this morning.

Nate in his Thanksgiving Outfit

Today Sherri and I got out and went to our first movie together since Nate was born. We had grandmother around to watch Nate so we took advantage and went a saw a movie we were both looking forward to seeing. I'm a fan of Michael Lewis's books. I think Moneyball was actually even better than The Blind Side as a book. They are different stories. Moneyball is really about sports (baseball). The Blind Side is really more about the socialogy of society with football as a backdrop. The Blind Slide is really a wonderful story that continues to evolve and should make a better movie. Though there are rumors that Moneyball will be made into a movie as well. The Blind Side (movie) was well done and we certainly enjoyed seeing the story on the big screen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nate flips over

I've been waiting a couple days as I knew this would happen very soon. This evening Nate finally flipped from his back to his stomach on his own. He has been flipping from stomach to back for a couple weeks. He has been so very close (I think his arm getting in his way was really frustrating him), but he just couldn't get all the way over. Soon after he was on his stomach he flipped back to being on his back. Before long he'll be rolling, then who knows what.

He is also getting very close to being able to sit up on his own. He can sit up on his own for a few seconds - then he tends to fall over. Nate will still be having milk for his first Thanksgiving, but he is getting real close to being able to sit up and possibly have some solid food.

Nate trying to roll over. When picture was taken he couldn't quite make it.

Here is Nate sitting up. He only stays up a few seconds.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cloth Diaper Update

I've been thinking about making some additional comments on our experience with cloth diapers for a while now. I finally decided that now would be the time to provide an update. Nate is about 4.5 months old and we've been using cloth diapers for about four months now.

From previous post, we had decided to try a mix of cloth diapers from Bum Genius and FuzziBunz. Overall, I would say we are very happy with the cloth diapers and would do it all over again if we had to make the decision again today.

Overall Thoughts on Cloth Diapering

Cost - We really are seeing a nice cost savings. Except for the first couple weeks where Nate would not fit into the cloth diapers we had bought (Nate was early and weighed 6lb when we brought him home) we've used almost all cloth diapers. We have some disposables for when we are out or traveling. So after going through the large stash we brought home from the hospital we've spent a grand total of $45 on disposable diapers (the cloth diapers were a significant investment) and most of that was spent in the first few weeks where he was too small for our cloth diapers or while we were using disposables at night. There an extra time investment to clean and prepare cloth diapers as well as an extra wash load or two every week.

Ease of use - These are not our parents cloth diapers. I was raised in cloth diapers and my parents are impressed on how easy the cloth diapers we purchased are to use. The are certainly as easy as disposables to use. There are no pins or complicated fasteners.

Cleaning/Washing - We have not started giving Nate solid foods and he currently 100% breastfed so we don't have to deal with solids we need to dump in toilet or even the strong odors that we know are coming as his diet changes. It certainly does take more time to save each diaper and wash them, but the amount of trash we have to take out is certainly far reduced. Certainly there is a cost to washing all the diapers, but I certainly haven't seen a significant increase in water or electricity bill.

Other thoughts - Nate has yet to have any diaper rash. We'll see if that continues. We believe that the cloth diapers are better than disposables at keeping solids in, but may be a little more susceptible to leaking.

Thoughts on the different cloth diapers

BumGenius 3.0 (one size) - These have been our favorite diapers. They are very easy to use with the flexible tabs and velcro closures. I do have some worries that they may not hold up as well over time as we can see some places where they seem rather worn. Also, you must be very diligent with the velcro. If you don't clean the velcro out regularly they will get more difficult to use and velcro tabs curl up. The velcro seems seems to be a magnet for any threads or hair even when attached to appropriate pads.

FuzziBunz One Size - Would be a close second. They adjust more than the BumGenius which is nice as Nate grows. The snaps are easy to close and they have worked out very well.

FuzziBunz Perfect Size Small - We've been slightly disappointed here. They are still great diapers, but they are more susceptible to leaking and with only two snaps and less adjustments they don't seem to fit Nate as well as the others. Finally, pretty soon Nate will grow out of these as they are supposed to be for approximately 8 - 22 pounds.

At some point I'll make some additional comments around our cloth diaper experience.

Monday, November 16, 2009

We've got a happy spitter

Nate is now four and a half months old. We were hoping that he would start spitting up less as he gets older. So far we have not seen a decrease in him spitting up. On the positive side the is a happy spitter. He often laughs after spitting up, as if it is something funny. So he doesn't seem to have any issue with stomach acid coming up and causing problems. Nate is also not having any issues with gaining weight and growing. He is growing very well.

So my take is the little valve at the top of the stomach is still immature and not working exactly as it should. This seems normal and may take until his first birthday to fully clear up. Nate also may just be taking a little too much food. Except for milk all over (his clothes, our clothes, floor, furniture, and I'm sure other places), it is much more of a problem in Nate's parents mind vs. a real physical issue for Nate.

Between Nate's pediatrician and some research there a few things that we may try in the near term. Put Nate on his stomach at an incline after eating, hold him upright after eating, or add some solids to the breast milk to weigh down the food a little.

Spitting up does seem to resolve itself over time, especially after baby can sit up on his own. Nate is getting very close to being able to sit up on his own so maybe we are close to being able to not carry around a spit up cloth everywhere we go.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nate's becoming mobile

So Nate is not really mobile yet, but we can see him getting there soon.

Nate is flipping over from his stomach to back rather easily (and then complaining about being on his back). Pretty soon he will be able to flip the other way and could use that to move. Right now he is almost halfway to flipping over from back to front.

Then yesterday we saw Nate doing something that was really pushing himself along the ground. I don't want to say it was crawling, at least not yet. However, with some coordination it will become a crawl. Nate has not quite figured out how to get his chest off the ground at the same time as pushing with his legs. So he is moving at a rate of about 2 inches a minute.

Before we know it he will really be mobile and we'll have to figure out how to keep up with him. This also means that baby-proofing the house will need to be done...another task for dad. Pretty soon I'm going to go crawling around the house to make a list of everything we need to baby-proof.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

When are infants ready for solid food?

So our pediatrician gave us the go ahead to start giving Nate solid foods. I wanted to understand what was behind that recommendation. The main things that doctor was looking for was the following:
  • Loss of tongue-thrust reflex
  • Able to turn away (saying he is full)
  • Hold head up unassisted (and sit up)

I trust our pediatrician, but when major organizations (AAP/CDC/WHO) keep recommending nothing but breast milk (or formula) until 6 months I have wonder at least a little.

Doing some research it seems as if it is difficult to really tell if a four month old has enough gastrointestinal maturity to handle solid food or not. At four months many infants still have what is considered an open gut. With an open gut an infants intestines could allow things into bloodstream that would stay in intestine with mature gut.

So while I don't believe we could do much harm by experimenting with some simple foods we'll certainly make breast milk his primary source of nutrition. We are in no hurry and we'll probably wait til fifth month to try some solid foods. At some point we'll probably experiment with some foods like rice, oats, bananas, or avocado. Those are some of the common first foods for infants.

Kellymom had a good list on introducing foods at six months and 12 months.

There are many reasons that 6 months of age is the "magical" age for introducing solids, here are a few

* Baby's intestines should be fully "closed"
* Babies are less likely to aspirate foods
* Baby is better able to recognize that she is full and regulate how much she needs to eat
* Baby is able to indicate she is full by turning away from food
* Baby should be have fully developed head control and be able to sit up with minimal assistance
* Baby has had breast milk or formula during the crucial first 6 months of life; giving him the healthiest start with optimal nutrients

There are many reasons that 12 months of age is the "magical" age for introducing "forbidden" solids; here are a few:

* Baby's system is less likely to think that foreign proteins, like the egg protein, need to be considered invaders and fought off. Creating an allergy is considerably reduced in older infants
* Baby has been sensitized to a variety of foods and allergies are less likely to be induced
* Baby's development is such that some forbidden foods, cow's milk for example, will not adversely affect health
* Baby's gastrointestinal system is better able to process pathogens, such as botulism spores in honey.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sick child isn't much fun

Poor Nate. He seems rather miserable. Just doesn't have the spunk he normally does. Nate came down with his first illness, a cold over the weekend. In many ways we are lucky that it is just a cold. There are certainly worse things running around these days that he could have caught.

On Sunday, Nate was extremely fussy and was starting to see a runny nose. The good thing was he had no fever on Sunday. He was also eating well. Sunday night Nate did not sleep well at all. Reminded me of when we first brought him home, waking every two hours. Mid-day on Monday Nate had a slight fever, so Sherri called the pediatrician. They were able to see them that afternoon. While we didn't think it was serious, we were not sure if it was a cold, the flu, or something else. The pediatrician confirmed a cold. While that doesn't help Nate feel any better, it does mean that in a couple days he should be back to normal. And knowing made us feel better.

So what are we doing to help Nate, saline nasal spray to keep nasal cavity moist (even though he does not like it), baby Tylenol only if fever, having him sleep at small incline (in car seat or pillow under crib mattress to help him drain), plenty of breastmilk, and trying to get him to sleep as much as possible. I'm also going to pick up a humidifier as this will probably not be the only time he has a cold.

I know colds are pretty easy to catch and I still wonder if visiting the pediatrician on Friday and being around a number of sick kids was where Nate picked this up. There are probably plenty of other cold viruses floating around our house and with Nate putting his hands in his mouth a lot lately I can see where it would be really easy to pick up a cold.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Vaccination Notes & Halloween

Nate handled vaccinations much better than at two months. After the initial cries and possible a little fussiness in the afternoon he seemed to be fine. No fever, no ongoing fussiness, and thigh was not sensitive to touch 24 hours later like last time. Don't know if it was a side effect, but Nate slept for 10 hours last night, another record.

While Nate is not going trick or treating, in fact he'll probably be asleep for much of the trick or treaters tonight. We did dress him up as a monkey. I thought about finding a yellow hat and clothing and we could be Curious George and the man with the yellow hat. However, that didn't happen and we just had a monkey.