Reading Wars

Lilly LOVES books – as long as she can put them in her mouth or play with them.  She used to sit still in my lap while I read to her and now she is too interested in crawling and exploring to just sit.  She likes cloth, touch n’ feel, and peekaboo books but looses patience with anything else, so a lot of times I just read aloud.  I was reading ‘Goodnight Moon’ to her before naps and bedtime – now I just recite it from memory!

Veggies Galore

Last week Bill informed me that he had made the decision to become a vegetarian.  We have been cutting meat out of our diets for awhile now but he made the final decision mostly based on health & fitness reasons.  We have been experimenting with vegetarian meals at home and have really enjoyed the Veganomicon cookbook.  Let us know if you have any recipe suggestions!

Evening Routine

Goodnight Moon

For the past two weeks Bill and I have read ‘Goodnight Moon’ to the baby every night.  We heard that if you read the same book  repeatedly during the last trimester she will recognize it later and this will have a calming effect.  We chose ‘Goodnight Moon’ because it is a classic that we enjoy and is the right length.

We have also played classical music almost nightly since the start of the second trimester.  Most nights we listen to ‘Bach for the Brain’.  My favorite part of the each day is when Cannon in D comes on (the 11th song) because this is the song that played as I was walking down the aisle.  Lately we have been mixing it up and listening to other classical music.  While I could listen to the same music each night indefinitely, Bill prefers variety.  He doesn’t thrive on routine like I do.  🙂

Getting Ready for Baby

Getting Ready for Baby

Getting Ready for Baby

With the due date in just accouple of weeks we have been brushing up on ‘what to expect’ during labor & delivery, breastfeeding, and the initial weeks with a newborn.  Here I am in the middle of a study session – surrounded by our Martha Jefferson class materials and books that I read recently.  We finished the last of the classes – child and infant CPR (30 compressions to 2 breaths!) – last week.  Now that the house and the nursery are done it has been nice to spend time relaxing together and preparing for the baby.  Bill has also been really involved in this process and is currently reading ‘Heading Home With Your Newborn’.

Most of the couples in our labor & delivery class, as well as our friends Dean & Melissa and Todd’s friend Erin,  have had their babies recently.  We have enjoyed hearing their stories – one woman delivered in 4 hours and, most recently, a friend who planned for a natural birth at home had a 47 hour labor with two surgeries that ended in a C-section.  We are prepared (well, sort of…) for anything!

La Criatura

In many Spanish-speaking countries moms refer to their newborns as ‘criatura’ (creature).  This is actually common in other areas throughout the world as well.  I am currently reading the book “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Harvey Karp.  Dr. Karp, a pediatrician, writes that in many ways babies are born three months too soon.  He argues that during the first three months, our babies are so immature that they would benefit from being able to hop back into the womb whenever they feel overwhelmed, which is understandably often.  Our job as parents is to spend these first three months re-creating the environment of the womb that was home to the baby for so long.

The author gives the following suggestions, the” 5 S’s”, to turn on your babies calming reflexes and mimic the environment of the womb:

  • Swaddling – wrapping the baby tightly for 16-20 hours a day
  • Side/Stomach – laying a baby on her side or stomach
  • Shushing – white noise as loud as a vacuum cleaner
  • Swinging – consistent rhythmic, jiggly motion
  • Sucking – sucking on anything from a nipple or finger to a pacifier

Dr. Karp’s research is consistent with what I have read from other pediatrician’s and parents.  Bill and I look forward to continuing this conversation with our pediarician and setting up the nursery so that it is ready for the happiest baby on our block!