I’m sure we’ll look back at this past month years from now and remember it as a complete blur, but I will have to admit, no one EVER warned us how difficult it would be.
There are countless things that we learned with our son this first month, so hopefully I can add some insight for other fathers so they won’t be as surprised as me the first time around:
- The first few weeks of your child sleeping doesn’t mean they’ll always be like that – turns out babies are as dynamic as adults, and every week is a different hallmark with their development (duh), which then impacts their sleep, eating, and diaper-creation patterns. how?
- We went from waking our son up every few hours to remind him to eat, to him doing the duty himself – we were thrilled to know he could start expressing his needs, not so thrilled at the inconsistency of his reminders.
- Bowel movements went from literally every few hours to…once a day. THRILLED that it’s not as often, but it surprised us, and obviously concerned us.
- He’s truly my son now – he farts all the time, and needs to be burped more frequently. Thrilled that he belches as loudly as me! However, the fussiness and gas led us to do what most parents that are supplementing with formula to do – the dreaded formula dance. We landed on Similac Sensitive, but the process was truly trial and error, nothing scientific about it. We also realized quickly that the powder form, which is a bigger pain in the ass to prepare, was easier for him to digest with even less spit up than the bottled form that is pre made (he spit up much more with Similac Advance). I’ll have a whole separate post on Formula later.
- Acid reflux reared it’s ugly head around week 4 – we initially thought it was gas or something else, but some tell tale signs that Mayo clinic and WebMd don’t share with you:
- he will arch his back
- cry when there’s a bottle or nipple in his mouth
- reach for his ears/eyes indicating pain after eating
- The Zantac that is given at pharmacies is horrible tasting, try it – it’s literally worse than most things adults have to stomach. I still need to see if it can be flavored, but the .75 ml’s he takes twice a day are a struggle, because on top of him suffering from some acid kick back, he has this vile tasting stuff coming back up.
- How will he sleep with minor acid reflux? This will save you hours of sleep, the Fisher Price rock n’ play has a nice 45 degree incline that will let the contents of his stomach stay down there, and it is slightly “fitted” so that he will feel comfortable and coddled without having to do a tight swaddle (more on swaddling drama later).
- Breast pump rental: do this before you go to the hospital. A separate post later will detail intricacies of this – the pump matters, because regardless of whether you’re exclusively breast feeding or not (if you are, get a scale for home so you don’t have to go to the pediatricians office for weigh-ins every week), you’ll ultimately need a strong pump to get things flowing so that as your baby’s jaw gets stronger over time, your wife has adequate flow.
- Car seats range in prices and safety – get the one that fits your car correctly and fits your budget best; a separate post will detail the car seat we decided on, and why it’s part of your hospital bag the day you rush to the hospital.
- Bottles – you can either buy a dozen of one, or experiment with 2 at a time and see how your baby reacts. I’ll post more about that later (this was an adventure for sure!)
- Diapers – you can either double down and commit to one brand and stock up (like we did), then realize he’s not chubby enough and you have to return all of them one evening at Baby’s R’Us and buy a whole new set of another brand. I’ll post more about this adventure as a separate blog too (I’m starting to realize a trend that each one of these numbers requires their own entry!
This post ended up being an introductory post to a number of other entries I’ll make, so check back for new links that I’ll add over time.