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Thoughts, experiences, and helpful tips on raising a baby.
Top Teeth Coming In
8/19/2010

At about 10 months old, she started getting her upper teeth. You could see them forming under the gums for a little while. And she started to become a drool monster again (I thought that ended after she cut her bottom teeth). When the left top tooth started poking through the gums, it was just a small corner of it. But it was enough for baby to start grinding her teeth together, a horrible sound that didn't seem to bother her.

Her nursing latch may have been compromised a little, but seems to have gone back to normal. The only thing I noticed lately, and I don't know if it has anything to do with the upper teeth coming in, is that she has become dependent on extended comfort nursing to help her fall asleep. Up until about a month ago, she used to put herself to sleep by sucking on her index and middle fingers. Now, she needs to nurse to sleep or she fusses and cries and just gets her adrenaline going, which is not conducive to sleep.

It's probably my fault for using the side-lying position for nursing. I started doing that a lot because I was very tired and that way I could fall asleep with her. But now, that's become a habit of both of ours. She won't sleep without it, and I can't sleep if she doesn't sleep.

Bath Time
8/17/2010

From the day her umbilical cord fell off until now, I have struggled with baby bath time. When she was a newborn, I wondered how best to bathe her without breaking my back. We went through a couple of different baby bath tubs. A simple standard one and a fancy one with a jet and a spray nozzle. The standard infant to toddler bathtub has a reclined infant side and a sitting toddler side. It also comes with a sling, which I never really used. I guess maybe the sling is good for a sponge bath before the umbilical cord comes off. But I just did a sponge bath on her changing table (I didn't even think about using the sling).

Summer Infant Soothing Tub Spa and ShowerIt was a pain in my back to bathe baby with this bathtub, bending over into the main bathtub. So I switched to the fancy bathtub, the Summer Infant Soothing Tub Spa & Shower. The spray nozzle worked very well. I supposed I could have used a cup, too, to rinse baby's head and shoulders, etc. I used this bathtub on the kitchen counter until baby became to heavy to lift at that angle.

Then I went back to putting the baby tub in the regular the bath tub. And this again was hard on my back. So I switched to bathing with her, just holding her in my lap in the regular bath tub. That worked really well. She really enjoyed it, and it was a lot more comfortable for me. I did a few swimming techniques with her that way, too. In fact, I heard from a baby swim instructor that it is really good to bathe with your baby this way. The skin to skin contact is really great for them. Plus you can introduce them to floating, etc. that way, too.

Well, eventually I quit taking a bath with her, too. It started when we went on vacation. We washed her off quickly while we were in the shower. Then when we got back from vacation, we had company, so we couldn't use the big bath tub and had to default to showers at home, too. When I noticed how much more convenient it was not to have a separate bath time for her, I guess I got a little spoiled. Plus I started taking her to the pool to get some swim time there.

Summer Infant Super SeatSo how do I take showers with her? I had heard other people do it, too, usually with the help of another person. I started off that way, too. But eventually I learned to do it on my own. I put her in her bumbo seat in the bathroom while I took my shower. Then brought her in to the shower to wash her when I was done. After a month or so, the bumbo got too boring for her. So, I got a similar type of infant chair but with toys around it. I was able to use that chair for a few months.

But now at almost 10 months, she has lost interest in that stationary chair. So I moved on to something I thought about doing long time ago. That was to put the baby bath into the bath tub and let her soak and play while I took my shower in the same bath tub. I had mentioned this to a friend of mine a while back. She told me she didn't think it would be a good idea because I would get my soap all over her. Well, today, out of desperation, I did it, and I used her baby shampoo and baby soap. That way, if it got on her, it was okay.

And that worked really well. Once I was done with my shower, I washed her. Then I refreshed her bath water and let her play in there for a little while as I dried off, brushed my teeth, put my lotion on, etc. By the time I was ready to get her out, she was still playing!

I think I might try the whirlpool feature of the fancy bath tub one of these days, though. Now that I think she's old enough.

Baby Sign Language
8/11/2010

I was told that it is a good thing to teach Baby sign language at an early age, say 4 months. I made a half-hearted attempt at it then but didn't stick with it. Partially because baby started to create her own sign language. When she wanted something or more of something, she would wave her fingers toward her, as in "come here".

Now, she has become adept at communicating "no" by shaking her head. When I'm giving her food and she's had enough, she shakes her head and no longer opens her mouth to take the food. When I try to let her play with something and she doesn't want to she shakes her head no, or just cries, if she's in a really bad mood...

On a side note, we went to Story Time at a local library this week for the first time. It was a mixture of singing, movement, props, book-reading, and even bubbles. It was all very cute and exciting, but Baby seemed more interested in the other kids there and other people's purses.

Standing on her own
8/5/2010

Today, Baby stood on her own for just a second or two. But she actually initiated it. We were sitting on the bed playing. She was doing weird things, like sitting up and falling backwards, and then laughing when her head bounced on the bed (yeah, I'm hoping she doesn't do this stunt on the floor).

Then she started pulling herself to standing using my legs and shoulder. She let go of me with one hand and then the other and stood there for a couple of seconds before she fell back onto the bed and laughed. She did this a few times until she got thirsty after all those stunts and wanted to nurse (but just for about 1 minute and then went back to playing).

Hmmm, makes me think "regression in the face of progression". Maybe her strong persistence in fighting sleep means she's trying to learn to walk? Or it could be cutting the top teeth, which look like they're about ready to come through any day now.

Fighting Sleep
8/5/2010

Baby has been fighting sleep since she was about 3 months old. I was "promised" that by 6 months, she would return to normal napping patterns. Then that "promise" turned into 9 months. And now, at 9-1/2 months, she is still fighting sleep.

Throughout the day, she definitely shows signs of sleepiness, rubbing her eyes, fussiness, not wanting to play with her toys, not calmed by any amount of attention, and now, not even wanting to nurse (because she equates nursing with sleeping...). But when I try to put her down for a nap, she jumps up and refuses to sleep.

I have tried many different techniques. Bouncing on the ball, lullabies, rocking, even letting her "cry it out". A couple of months ago, I used to be able to just put her in her play yard and she would fall asleep after about 30 seconds of crying. When that stopped working, I laid down on the bed with her and nursed her to sleep. Bear in mind that all this time, she is still rejecting her crib. But now, she doesn't even want to be nursed to sleep, because, as I mentioned above, she has associated nursing with sleeping.

In the past, I have been sporadically successful with using the Pikkolo back carrier to get her to sleep. That mostly only works if I am moving around, usually doing housework. So I tried it again today. I swept and mopped the kitchen and dining room floors. By the time I was done, she was asleep. Finally!

So then I attempted the impossible, or improbable. I took her out of the carrier and put her down to sleep in the bed. (BTW, I always use a monitor on her, and watch it like a hawk whenever she is on the bed alone.) And now I am able to write this blog entry because she is still asleep.

I've got to go now and tackle all those other things I need to do before she wakes up! Maybe tomorrow, I'll sweep and mop the bathroom floors...

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