All about baby

I'm starting a section on this blog called "Baby Learning."
In it I will record what I learn about baby care, baby health, and everything baby related.
You might wonder why I'll record these teachings. Easy: I forget.
Emmalee is (I hope) the first of more children to come, and I'll need this information. Also, every child will be different and will expand my learning on baby behaviour and health.

Here's what I've learned so far:

Lump on breast:
Emmalee was  24 days old when I noticed a lump on her breast. I almost instantly cried because I worried how long it had been there and I hadn't noticed and if there was something wrong. I called the doctor who explained what it was and I also did some research that explained the same thing the doctor had explained. It's perfectly normal. Because my baby was being breastfed, the hormones that make me breastfeed were also being passed to her through my milk. This made her breast also prepare for breastfeeding and thus they lumped. What???!!! That sounds crazy! I read that some babies even expel milk if you press their breast, including baby boys! Are you kidding me??!!! Yes, who knew!

First milestones:
I had never before interacted with a baby. Seriously! I had no idea how a newborn should act. I didn't know they don't look at you in the first weeks of life or that they are unable to follow sounds. Thus, I was worried that my baby was blind and/or deaf. I would move objects infront of her to see if she followed them with her eyes, but she wouldn't even look at the object. I would clap to see if it drew her attention and nothing. Her waketime was the most puzzling time for me. Silly, naive me. Thank God for the internet and it's useful information. I learned that she would do these things at a certain age and that this things I considered easy, small things that she should instantly do were actually milestones. I'm glad to report Emmalee is right on schedule with each of her milestones.

First month milestones:
  • Lifts head for short periods of time 
  • Moves head from side to side
  • Prefers the human face to other shapes
  • Makes jerky, arm movements
  • Brings hands to face
  • Has strong reflex movements
  • Can focus on items 8 to 12 inches away
  • May turn towards familiar sounds or voices
  • Responds to loud sounds
  • Blinks at bright lights
Second month milestones:
  • Smiles
  • Tracks objects with his eyes
  • Makes noises other than crying
  • May repeat vowel noises, such as "ah" or "ooh"
She even has most of the milestones of a three month old baby. She is already sleeping 6 to 7 hours at night which is a 4 month-old milestone!
You can see her taking in her surrounding

Sleeping in her favorite place: mommy's arms

Holding her head up while in her tummy!

Oh, this has been one of my most researched topics.
Our first weeks were breezy. Emmalee was eating only from the breast and had no problem latching. We only had to work to keep her awake and mommy was learning how to hold her.
When the bottle was introduced to give her some daddy feeding time, the change from bottle to breast was also easy. But when I went back to work and she had bottled breastmilk more often this caused serious problems. She started suffering from nipple confusion. She has a hard time taking the breast and I need her to continue to feed from the breast on the mornings and night to keep the milk production high. She would push me away and cry like if I was intentionally trying not to feed her. I, again ignorantly and following the advice of some mothers I might add, tried forcing her to the breast. This would cause her crying go to on hiper speed and pitch and it would take forever, leaving her exhausted and mommy highly frustrated. I even cried a time or two. I was feeling rejected. Oh, the new mommy! Again I researched and read that this happens often and it is better not to force her for it might cause her to go into a nursing strike and she won't even take the bottle later on. I saw that this was true since, after the fight, she wouldn't take the bottle either. The internet suggested to coax her into taking the breast and NEVER to force her. I try many techniques: soothe and calm her and offer the breast; if she doesn't want to and starts crying, repeat. This takes some time but it works and she doesn't go crazy screaming and I don't feel frustrated. Another technique is to give her the bottle and switch it with the breast while she is sucking. It works like a charm most times but it sometimes also takes time and requires the help of dad to help with the swithching. The good news is that she doesn't do this with the middle of the night feed or the early morning feed which makes these feedings fast and calm. I can't imagine having to coax her when I'm half asleep or her cries waking up her dad.

Infrequent stools:
I was convinced Emmalee was constipated. She would poo 3 to 5 times a day and suddenly she started going less and less untill she didn't go at all during the day. The pediatrician said she might be reacting to a lacthose allergy and that I should quit dairy altogether. I was taking care of my dairy intake and drinking delacthose milk, but the doctor recommend none whatsoever. That made breakfast a huge question mark for me. This didn't help as Emmalee still wouldn't go. We did the recommended tummy massages and leg exercises but nothing. The doctor suggested a glycerin suppository. Again I did some research and found out Emmalee was perfectly normal and was not constipated. It only constitutes as constipation if her stools are firm or solid, she has a distended belly, or she shows pain while going or discomfort during the day. None of the above are true in Emmalee's case. Why didn't anyone tell me that for exclusively breastfed babies it's normal to poop once a week! Yes, it's perfectly normal and this doesn't mean she won't be able to learn to go number two in the future.

Every little detail can stress a new mommy. And somethings will be new with second and third babies too and mommy will still run around worried. Never stay uninformed. Read as much as you can but be careful on your reading; some things you read get you more worried than they are helpful.

Dear Lord, 
Give me wisdom and knowledge in this mommy journey. Help me rely on You before doctors and medical pages. Let me remember You have Emmalee's best interest and You love her and care for her more than I do. Give me peace and a calm head in my decision making. Help me be the mommy You want me to be for Emmalee. 
I love You. 

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