And here we go with the baby videos.
I’ve been putting a ton of them on my YouTube channel so I’ll warn you now … I was fascinated with my children. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that Kevin and I produced these little PEOPLE out of nothing. Well, not nothing, but you know what I mean. And I spent HOURS taping them doing NOTHING.
But don’t worry, I won’t subject you to HOURS of mindless viewing … it’ll only feel that way. HA!
If you don’t know, Dude was eight weeks premature. He was in the NICU for six weeks while we waited for his lungs to fully develop, but his nervous system was still a little premature and as a result of that, he had to wear a heart monitor for the first four months of his life (I have a video of that belt to show you later), so handling him was a little nerve wracking. I mean, it was bad enough handling a newborn to begin with, especially when I hadn’t even held a baby prior to giving birth to my children, so I really didn’t know what I was doing. But I learned to adapt and after a while, I developed routines that worked for me – for US.
I can tell you what I did and worked for me, and if some of the tips help you, then awesome sauce. If not, well, thanks for watching anyway.
We had a hard time keeping Dude awake. We would spend HOURS trying to stimulate him enough to eat – it was a real chore to get him to eat 4 ounces at the beginning and even then, it would take so long to get him to eat that much that by the time he finished, it was nearly time to feed him again.
I also worked hard to make sure both boys stayed awake as long as possible during daylight hours so we could try and get on some sort of sleep schedule at night. And when I went in to feed him in the wee hours, I wouldn’t talk to him or stimulate him in any way (well, I cuddled with him and gave him soft kisses, but I didn’t have a conversation with him). I had read (and I read A LOT of baby books before my kids were born) that that was a good way to help the baby distinguish day from night. It wasn’t terribly hard, I was too brain dead to do much more than feed him anyway, but after I fed him, I would put him back in the crib and step out of the room. If he refused to go back to sleep, I’d go back in, tuck him back in, give him his binky and walk back out again. I usually had to do this several times before he would go back to sleep. It took some patience, but it paid off in the long run. Both my kids learned to sleep through the night fairly quickly.
After the sponge bath, I started giving the boys a bath in their baby bathtub. I put the baby bathtub on their changing table, put a heater in their rooms and made sure the temperature was nice and toasty before we got started. I also tried to keep my hand on their stomach at all times because I had read that it helped “ground” them and they were less likely to get fussy if they had that human contact. I talked to them constantly. I kept my voice soft and I just said nonsense things, just so they could hear my voice. That also helped.
I’m using cotton balls to wash his eyes, nose and ears. I can’t remember if I read that, or if my pediatrician told me that, but I was also to use fresh cotton balls for each eye, nose and ear so I wouldn’t inadvertently spread bacteria from orifice to orifice. I didn’t put any soap in the water at this stage, it was just warm water.
Also, I washed their bodies, dressed them and then washed their hair last. Just having clothes on seemed to calm and relax them enough that washing their hair was never really a big deal.
I didn’t push my boys into the whole bath tub thing for quite a while. I didn’t want to freak them out too soon. I think this gradual introduction helped because neither one of my boys really fussed too much when it came to baths.
It’s still really hard for me to believe that Dude (now 18!) was EVER that little.