Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Things We Learn Along The Way

Baby and Daddy are asleep and I am wide awake so I find myself with some ME TIME!

Our Nugget is doing well even though her GERD is such a royal pain. We feel so bad for her. Honestly there is not much we can do but try and keep her as comfortable as possible and hope she outgrows it soon. She cries a lot because of it and it makes things very complicated - as if having a baby isn't already complicated enough as it is. Almost every feeding is an ordeal and taking her out is usually risky business - though she usually does well out because she tends to sleep the entire time, thus she eats less. At the end of the day, our lives are forever changed and despite the difficulties, I wouldn't have it any other way.

That being said, here are some things I would like to share with you about GERD babies (and I suppose all babies in general), things they don't teach you in your prenatal classes. Trust me, you will thank me later:

1. When preparing formula, warm the water first, THEN add the powder - and for the love of God, anticipate your baby's need to feed. I never realized how loud a 2 month old could shriek

2. Drop Mylicon directly into your baby's bottle to eliminate all foam and bubbles

3. DO NOT burp your GERD baby in between ounces - unless you are wearing a poncho while you feed your little one. Speaking of which, invest in at least 20 really great quality bibs and burp cloths

4. Possibly even more important than keeping your baby upright for 30 minutes after she eats is not moving her much at all after she has started to feed. This means a commitment on your part to not trade her off to your partner, grandma and so on

5. Whoever is feeding the baby rules the universe (Can you get me: the remote, water, make it cooler, turn on the light, turn off the fan...?)

6. Be prepared to do a full load of baby laundry every 4 days

7. Be prepared to explain to people why you put the bib on your baby AFTER she finishes eating

8. Always change your baby before her feedings - even non-GERD babies always spit up during and after being changed, this I find at least minimizes the amount expelled

9. Before you change your baby have her new diaper ready to go - NEVER LEAVE HER PRIVATES EXPOSED!! Otherwise you will have pee/poop all over your hands, face, changing table, changing pad, your pretty changing pad cover, etc.

10. Save your money, as well as time and aggravation - do not buy button-up footsie sleepers. What a nightmare! Middle of the night feedings are difficult to say the least. I can hardly button the 3 buttons of a regular onesie after a 4AM diaper change, let alone the 6-8 buttons of a footsie sleeper. Zipper sleepers are the way to go

11. Carry a few extra onesies and an extra shirt for yourself in your diaper bag

12. As for the diaper bag itself - buy it for function, not looks. Believe me on this one! You want to be able to access your things in a pinch

13. Start your babe on a bedtime routine ASAP. Ours is a warm bath at 9PM followed by a warm bottle while being rocked to sleep by lullabies. Works like a charm

14. Wearable blankets rock

15. So do swaddle blankets


16. Accept help! This is the hardest part for me - I know how hard it can be to handle my Nugget because of her GERD. But the truth is, grandma and grandpa are extremely capable to handle her if we need a break

Now take a look at how lucky I am :)