Month Two.

Things are starting to get exciting. The first month, to me, was a month of getting used the the extreme change that comes with a newborn baby. You have to get used to brand new sleeping schedules and time management. You realize you’re never going to be able to shower, eat lunch, or even use the bathroom without at least a little bit of planning ahead.

Believe me, if I start to breastfeed before using the bathroom then I am screwed once I really need to pee.

Now that we’ve finished our second month I’ve learned to juggle all those little details that come with being a new mom. My husband keeps giving me pep talks about how amazing I’m doing and how proud he is of how I’ve taken on my new role. It’s nice to have a cheerleader and be reminded that you’re going to be okay, especially when you haven’t taken a shower that’s longer than a few minutes for over two months. The last time I had a long, hot shower I was in labor!

The one who is really doing a good job of adjusting is baby! He went from his cozy spot in mama’s womb to a much louder, crazier environment without much of a say. His sight is just starting to fully develop and it’s amazing to watch how it affects him mentally! I can distract him for much longer spurts of time now that he can really see what’s going on. He focuses on mama’s face and tracks me when I move around. He even likes to watch tv!

Baby mostly plays with high contrast toys, and we bought a used play gym for $10 which can keep him occupied for up to 30 minutes at a time! That chunk of time is enough for me to do a load of laundry or cook dinner, so I appreciate that colorful little play gym more than you know. Hearing him laugh and learn to control his arms and legs enough to punch at the toys on the gym are also reasons why I am so glad we got one. I’m working on teaching him to grasps toys, but punching is a precursor to grasping so I’m happy with his progress so far. I didn’t know that baby’s have clenched fists because it is a reflex they’re born with, so until he grows out of that he won’t be grasping yet.

His fine motor skills are what I’ll be focused on in month 3 since his gross motor skills are above average. The other day during tummy time not only did he hold his head up super high for a few minutes, he decided to roll onto his back as well. I can’t believe how strong he is. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but I had burst into tears. Tummy time has been so helpful and I’ve been trying to teach him to push up or to follow the noise from his toys in order to get him to roll, but the day he finally did it he pushed over all by himself and caught me by surprise! Of course, now leaving him on the bed is terrifying because I imagine him rolling until he falls off, but that’s something we can tackle once he masters completely rolling in general.

I told my husband, “Today he learns to kick, tomorrow he learns to crawl, and before we know it he’s on the playground at school or graduating.”

As far as social milestones go, baby is babbling like crazy and smiling from ear to ear. He will carry on a conversation as long as you’ll let him and he laughs and smiles with me all day long. It’s amazing the small developmental milestones he can hit and how they mean the world to me as a mother.

Baby’s eating schedule and habits have changed quite a bit. He is a more effective nurser now and eats less often, but eats quite a bit when he does. He sleeps for five hours at a time sometimes, and now I’m mostly just waking up once a night for a quick diaper change and feeding.

There were a couple learning curves after baby started to sleep through most of the night. I think the fact that he is sitting in one diaper for so long now contributed to his very first diaper rash, which stressed me out so much. I hate thinking of how uncomfortable he must be with a rash, but I gave him a breastmilk bath and squirted fees breastmilk onto the rash during each diaper change. Within 12 hours the rash had gone from bright red to nonexistent. Being full of milky liquid gold is totally worth it!

Speaking of milky gold, I have been very engorged when I wake up because of how much less he is nursing in the night. I’ve been lucky to have a great supply initially, but lately I have been in oversupply and have either been leaking or having clogged ducts. Baby isn’t even able to empty my breasts anymore and I am having to pump after feedings, which I hate. I am never going to complain about it though because I am so lucky to have been able to successfully breastfeed him. After meeting so many mama’s who struggled, I never realized all the effort that goes into a healthy breastfeeding relationship.

Now that I’ve made sure to apply coconut oil before he goes down for the night the rash hasn’t returned, and I usually pump before bed to avoid leaking in the night. It is a relief to have such an easy nighttime schedule now and to have learned how to adjust for it. I credit my mom for how easily baby created a sleep schedule – she taught me tricks to train him into learning that darkness and quiet meant sleeping. I never turn on the lights throughout the night, I speak in a low tone, and I try to create an environment that baby will associate with nap time.

On a more difficult note, baby is starting to refuse bottles. I’m hoping it’s a phase, but we never gave him bottles too often to begin with. He used Avent bottles each time that he’s away from me, but he never needs more than maybe two feedings before I’m back and he can nurse again. Suddenly he’s screaming and spitting the bottle out when I’m away, and it’s been giving me anxiety when I have to leave him. I’m hoping it’s a habit he drops in month 3. I know he was expected to be “fussier” toward the end of month 2 because of all the developmental leaps he was making.

Speaking of development – my mommy recommendation for this month is the app “The Wonder Weeks.” I check this app daily, and use all its amazing features. It’s not free and I hate spending money on the App Store but this was so highly recommended and it has not disappointed so far.

Not only does the app give you projected dates where baby may be fussy, it explains each mental leap that baby will be making AND how long he will take to develop the new skill. For example, I know that baby took two weeks to learn to recognize patterns in his environment. It gives me tips on how to stimulate him, and anyone taking care of a baby full time knows that a bored baby is a fussy baby so all advice is welcomed.

I am so happy that baby has grown and is more active because he has gotten to spend so much time with family this month. He got to meet his great grandmother and great aunt who flew in from Costa Rica. They spent their week here spoiling him and making sure he felt loved, and it is a reminder to me of all the love and positivity people send my baby boy from all the corners of the world. My mom and sister (also his godmother) babysat him for a few hours as well and got to spend quality time with their baby boy too. I introduced them to the magic of baby wearing! I am so blessed to have the family that I do, and so happy to have added my little apple to the tree.

To end our second month, we visited our pediatrician and got all his stats. He’s a whopping 13 lbs 5 oz, 2 feet long, and above average on a lot of his developmental milestones. I’ve spent most of my maternity leave working on playtime routines that foster brain development, so it is so nice to hear it is paying off. We work on tummy time, tracking objects and people, playing with high contrast toys, exploring temperature and texture, and developing his social skills by encouraging him to repeat sounds I make or smile and laugh.

Month two is done, and we have a whole lifetime left to go.

L

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