Parenting

Tips and Tricks

Every so often, parents ask other parents, "How did you...?" or "What do you do when...?" This section of the website is a compilation of FAQs, journalistic endeavors, and "hey, this is what worked for us." Note that each family, child, and situation is unique... so what worked for us may not work for you. But we're happy to share some things that helped us along the way.

Table of Contents

Parenting Practices

NOTE: These are my rough notes from various journal entries, so expect more thoughts than polish! [This part of the website is currently under construction.]

When I bring baby home... what do I do?

Sleeping: Parents

After Mommy recovered from her C-section, each parent alternated -- one would stay downstairs in the living room with baby in her bassinet, and one would get The Night of Rest in our master bedroom upstairs.


Sleeping: Baby

For the right-before-bed feeding, we gave our babies formula. This took longer for them to digest, and they usually slept 2-3 hours. The rule of thumb is #months + 2oz, so a newborn would at most drink 2oz of formula. Around 2.5mos, our baby was gaining weight, healthy, etc. So when she woke up at night, we started giving her a pacifier instead of a bottle. And she slept for 6-8 hours. It was lovely.

Babies tend to have a "happy side," where they lay down on one side of their head. If you turn the baby every so often, you can avoid her getting a flat head. No need to use a helmet, though -- I hear that those things can hurt if the baby bonks Mama on the head.

We put baby#2 in a crib in our room when she was about four months old.


Feeding

For baby #1, I had a pretty intense delivery, and wasn't really able to produce much milk afterwards. (My pump also wasn't particularly great -- the Ameda came with our Insurance at the time, and the parts quickly lost their suction.) So baby #1 had mostly formula.

For baby #2, the nurse put her on the breast within an hour after the C-section. We let her suck, then I'd pump. We gave her formula in the hospital to make sure she was hydrated and gaining weight, and I worked on the pumping at home. I opted to not get up during the night to pump, so there would be twice as much in the morning. I pumped for 11 months and nursed baby for about 13 months. We still gave baby formula right before bed and sometimes when we were out, since it's so much easier to open a bottle of instant / ready-made formula (or pour a set amount of formula into a bottle that had a pre-poured volume of water). I breastfed in public a few times when I didn't have time to pump (e.g., a play house at Dutch Wonderland), but I always found it to be somewhat awkward.

TROUBLESHOOTING the Pumping

  • Getting enough water / staying hydrated also made a huge difference.

  • Make sure your flanges actually fit. (See your pump instructions on how to fit them.)

  • Frequency is more important than duration.


Schedule

For our own sanity, we adopted a schedule as soon as possible. More details (i.e., rough notes) in the Schedule section.


Tummy Time

I started tummy time a little before baby was 1 month old. I found it really helped to prop her up with a Breast Friends breastfeeding pillow, so that her arms were resting on the pillow, and she only had to raise her head a little bit to look around. (This is safest when baby is on the floor, preferably on a blanket.)


Crying

When baby cries, it's usually for the following reasons:

  • Is she hungry?

  • Is she wet?

  • Does she want to be carried and walked around or danced?

  • Does she want her pacifier?

  • Is she cold?

  • Is she tired?

  • Does she just want company?


Songs to Sing to Your Baby

At two months, ours loved:

  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

  • ABC (in English and Spanish)

  • I have two hands (the left and the right...)

  • Baa Baa Black Sheep

  • Any nursery rhymes

  • Dancing