Monday, August 6, 2012

Cooper - Week 4

Cooper was in his fourth week from July 16 - 20.  Here's what he was up to:

Nursing: In Cooper's post from Week 3, I talked about how I had started formula and we were up to 2 bottles a day of formula and the rest of the time I was nursing.  I also talked about how I planned to add an additional bottle every 2 days, and that he would be completely on formula in about two weeks.  Well, plans have changed.

As it stands now, Cooper is still just on 2 bottles of formula a day, and I'm nursing him the rest of the day still.  I wish I had a long drawn out reason to tell you why, but I don't.  I'm happy with him getting some formula (as it gives me a little bit of a break from nursing, others can feed him, and I know he *will* take formula), but I'm just not ready to completely cut out nursing yet.  Overall, I'm just really content with where we are right now.  He typically still eats 10 times a day (with 2 of those being formula), so he's 80% breastfed and 20% formula fed.  Right now, this is working for us.  I might decide at any point to continue the transition to completely formula, but right now I'm happy with what we're doing.

Cooper is handling this wonderfully.  For his formula feedings, he drinks between 2-3 oz, and does so happily.  He's used to it now and it doesn't even seem to faze him.  He never seems to want more than 3 oz., and I'm just taking his lead on how much he needs right now.  He gets his two bottles back-to-back during the day, so my body misses two feedings in a row.  What I do for this is I pump immediately after he eats his second bottle.  This way, I only have to pump once and it gives my body a chance to make more milk before his next feeding.  When I pump at this session, I typically get between 8-10 oz (this is, obviously, from both breasts combined), and I'm freezing all of this milk.  As of right now, I've got close to 100oz of frozen breast milk in the freezer.  I can't tell you how much I love this little stock pile!

We've had some gas issues this week, and we're slowly working through them.  What it comes down to is that he is NOT a big burper (or spitter - thank God).  While I love that he doesn't spit up a lot, the burping thing creates a problem because the air has to go somewhere.  This means that he has tummy aches from the gas a good bit.  We've started to REALLY work on burping him and giving him gas drops and it seems to really be helping.  This past week I had a dinner that had broccoli in it (and I ate it two nights in a row) and we all really paid for it.  I googled it and broccoli is a big no-no for nursing moms because it can cause lots of gas for the baby.  We totally learned this the hard way.

Sleeping: Cooper is doing AMAZING with this.  Last week I talked about the sleep issues we were having and how I thought it was related to the fact that he didn't have a consistent "wake time" every day.  I decided to move his wake time this week from 7:00 to 6:00 since he wasn't quite making it to 7 every day.  I also started putting in a dream feed every night between 10:00 - 10:30. I don't know which of these things it was (or a combo of both), but I can now officially say that Cooper only gets up twice a night now (where last week it was anywhere between 2-4 times a night).  He gets up the first time between 12-1 and the second time between 3-5.  This has been GREAT because it means that Matt and I have been getting more sleep.  Eventually, I want to move his wake time to 7:00, but I think I'll probably keep it at 6 for a little while longer just to not cause any more problems until he is more consistent.

For naps, Cooper is doing mostly okay.  The issue that I'm having is that he is usually waking up 30-45 minutes before he is supposed to eat.  Here are some goals I have for him that I'm going to start working on in the order that I'm going to be concentrating on them.  I will only tackle one goal at a time and plan to give myself a week to do each:
1- get him consistently going 3 hours between feedings
2- get him to sleep in his crib for all of these naps (now - when he wakes up early, I'll do whatever I need to to keep him asleep - including holding him or putting him in the swing).

One thing that I will say that I'm SUPER proud of: he does AWESOME when going down for a nap. I wait until he yawns twice (weird - I know - but it's what works for my kid) and I set the stage, swaddle him, and hold him until he is relaxed.  Then, I put him in his crib (or pack-n-play) tired but awake.  Cooper is awesome in the fact that he will just wiggle and grunt (and occasionally squawk or maybe cry just a little) and then go straight to sleep.  He does NOT take a paci for this!  I LOVE it!  He does take a paci if he wakes up from a nap early and I'm trying to get him to hold off on eating, but he NEVER takes it when going to sleep.  I'm hoping to eventually not need the paci at all!

I LOVE how babies have such short arms.  :)

Saying the pledge in his sleep??

In bed for the night.  I love how he sleeps with one arm out.  

Can you see how bad his head is peeling??

Schedule: He still has a "loose" schedule as we're still trying to work out the kinks (the whole reason my next goal is to get him to go 3 hours between every feeding), but there was definitely a pattern to his schedule this week.  Here is basically what his feeding schedule looked like this week (with a few exceptions here and there).
12:00 am - eat
4:00 am -eat
6:00 am - up for the day (first "awake" time) and eat
8:30 am -eat
10:30 - 11:00 - eat
1:00 - eat
4:00 - eat
6:00 - eat (cluster feed)
8:00 - bath/massage, eat (cluster feed), straight to bed
10:00 - dream feed

While there are definitely things that I have as a goal to work on, I think that it's good that we at least have a flexible schedule.  I'm doing better with him at this point than I was with LL!

Development: Cooper is really starting to change some now, and he's starting to lose some of that "itty bitty baby" stuff.  Here are some things he's been developing in this week:
-He has started to "coo".  He doesn't do it a ton, but it's SUPER adorable and I love hearing him vocalize in ways other than crying, grunting, or squawking.
-He has started to track things with his eyes and has started to focus on faces.  He typically will focus only on the outside of our faces (chins, hair, ears, etc), but this is totally normal for his age.  He has also started to follow moving objects with his eyes (if they're right in front of him).
-His awake times are starting to get longer.  Since he eats so quickly (done within 20 minutes!), he is typically awake for about 30 minutes to an hour after eating.  He is so alert during these times and I love that we're finally getting to spend some time with him and getting to know him!

-He has started to mimic faces.  He doesn't do this a ton, but he will (occasionally) mimic us.  For example, if I stick my tongue out at him, he'll do it back to me.
-This is the week that I left him for the first time.  I went to my mom's house and left him for about 2 hours while I went on a date with LL.  It did NOT go well and I won't be leaving him again for awhile (or at least until we really get the hang of a schedule).  BUT, it was a good learning experience for both me and Cooper.  :)
-We went to church as a family of 4 for the first time this week!  Our church is from 9:15  - 10:30, but since we live about 30 minutes away, this presents a little bit of a problem for us.  Matt and I talked and we decided that for this first little bit, we're going to be going late and leaving early since there's SO MANY PEOPLE and we don't want him getting sick.  We typically leave our house by 8:40 to make it on time.  This week, I fed him early at 8:30 and we left as soon as he was done.  We got to church about 9:20.  I tried to get him to nap in his car seat during the service, but he never really went to sleep (just dozed in and out).  But he never made any noise so it was fine!  Then, we got packed and left during the invitation and were home by his next feeding at 11:00.  It really worked out great!

Here are some random pics of Cooper from this week:

LL is still doing GREAT with him.  She is an amazing big sister.

Here's a cute video of them together that shows you just how sweet  LL is to him.  :)

I'll give you one guess as to what he was doing when I took this picture.  ;)

After his first morning at church!  He rocked it out.  :)


He was SO sleepy and mad at me for wanting to take a picture of him in his onesie - haha.  Welcome to life, kid!

Me: I don't want to jinx it or anything, but I'm really doing well at this point.  I still have my overwhelming moments, but overall this whole life is really starting to feel normal.  I have only had just a few cry moments this week, but I really think that they were mostly due to non-baby things.  Our water heater was having tons of issues this week, Matt had some work junk going on this week, and I was feeling REALLY stir-crazy from being in the house so much (hence my date with LL).  Other than a few moments, I've really done great.  

My weight loss seems to be holding steady at about 2-3 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight.  While my stomach is still pretty flabby, it is definitely shrinking.  Honestly, I think it's to the point where it almost looks like it did before I got pregnant.  

This was my first week with both kids solo, and mentally I think I handled it pretty well!  I'm so very hopeful that each week will just feel more and more natural!


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