Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Filbertine at 5 1/2 Weeks

A long overdue update on the new baby in our lives:

I've avoided saying this because I don't want to speak to soon, but Filbertine hardly ever cries. She makes little talky noises, little grunts and "oh!"s and "wau"s. The only thing that makes her cry is putting her in the car seat, but she eventually will fall asleep on car trips. Makes for some long 15-30-minute stretches, though, especially when Nutmeg can't take it anymore and starts yelling "Stop crying, Filbertine!" Yeah, sucks to be me, the mom who drove them about 4 hours this week on my own and another 3 with Epu.

Oh, and she has an episode or two per day when she cries and grimaces and gets hiccups and spits up after eating. I have cut back dairy products to the bare minimum and have been trying to avoid coffee, chocolate and citrus as well, but with continual relapses. It seems to have helped, and starting tomorrow I will clean up my act and have no relapses, and we'll see if she's cured then.

Despite the spitting up, she is gaining weight like crazy. She weighed in at 10 pounds, 2 ounces at her last appointment.

She has the worst case of infant acne I have ever seen, but the pediatrician assures me this is the normal acne caused by hormones, and nothing to do with food allergies. He asked if anyone in the family had severe teenage acne -- Epu and some of his siblings did. This may be a sign of things to come, he warned. Poor Filbertine.

She is lifting her head and craning it around to look at things and people. She will turn her neck in my direction if she hears my voice. She has tried the tummy time a little bit and thinks it is ok. Mostly she likes to be in the crook of my arm, or in the Baby Bjorn. She's in the sling right now, but like Nutmeg, she doesn't prefer it. Neither of my babies liked to recline. With the great sling I have now, I can support her in a semi-sitting position, which she likes a bit better.

The hardest thing has been getting her back to sleep after eating. She still needs a lot of burping and seems to need to be at least partially upright for a half hour or so after eating, or she grunts, moans, stirs and eventually spits up. Since she tends to take her last evening feeding after 11, then wakes up once or twice in the night, the half-hour post-feeding hanging out period makes for some long nights. The only way she will fall asleep sooner is if I let her sleep on top of me. As I get tireder each night, I end up letting her sleep on me more often.

Is this safe? Who knows? The statistics I've seen arguing that babies sleeping in adult beds are shaky at best, and promoted by the association of companies that sell cribs. The statistics supporting back sleeping seem much more clear cut, but when Fil sleeps on me she is not sleeping on her back. We will be chest to chest or she is propped up with her chest and head on my abdomen and her legs dangling off my side. Dr. Sears suggests that being close to a mother actually encourages babies to breathe better in the night and therefore would prevent SIDS. Dr. Sears also has a bunch of tips for safe co-sleeping, but none of them address whether the baby sleeps on the mother's body or on the mattress.

I might just try popping her in the baby bjorn at 2 a.m. and doing some housework, to see if that gets her into a deep enough sleep to lay her back down. Of course, this idea always sounds better in the daytime than it does at 2 a.m.*

But all in all, an easy, sweet baby. We're keeping her.

* Since I wrote this, we tried something else: Positioning her on her side. She -- and Epu and I -- slept great. Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that side-sleeping is not as safe as back sleeping; in its analysis of the research, side sleeping could be just as dangerous as tummy sleeping if not more. Good lord, what to do? Filbertine is coming into the 2-to-3 month age when the risk of SIDS is highest, too.


ioio said...

she's still beautiful.

i can only imagine how difficult it is--knowing your baby and reading and trying what the "experts" say. YOU the filbertine expert. i say, go with your gut. but, it still must be so hard.

no coffee, chocolate, or citrus! ugh.

Bert said...

She's so lovely! She has your hair. :)

Notta Wallflower said...

She looks so cozy there. You lucked out having such a mellow little one. K had baby acne too, but it seemed to clear up by 6 weeks or so. I can't remember if baby acne is a predictor of teen acne, but it certainly was the case for K. Luckily, there are some good products out there, and there are a lot worse problems. :-) Glad everyone is doing well!!