The last 10 days have been difficult. It seems Daphne is going through something. Whether it’s her immune system responding to the vaccinations or her little brain taking in more of the world around her, she has been considerably more sensitive. So much so that I actually took her to the doctor last week. I had set her in her swing for 5-minutes while I hopped in and out of the shower, then when I picked her up she began the pain cry, that scary alarming one that clearly indicates that your child is hurting. Said pain cry lasted a good 30 minutes (bless you parents of colicky babies, bless you!). Daphne was literally inconsolable which is unusual for her. Because she had already been crying more every day since her vaccinations I decided “screw it” I don’t pay good money for health insurance for nothing. Of course she was a smiling happy baby when we got to the doc. OF COURSE. So with the exception of identifying some rashiness on her arms and giving us the “ok” to put hydro-cortisone on her face, the doc was useless, she could offer no explanation for the overall increase in crying or the episode that brought us there.ย  Sigh.

And there’s more, isn’t there always?

Acne Attacks

After the vaccinations a few things happened. I ate a Chiptole Burrito Bowl. With sour cream and cheese. And it was really really good. You see, I’ve been avoiding dairy as it is a common allergen in babies and I have a history with it, old news if you regularly read my blog. Well, the next morning Daphne’s acne returned with a vengeance, which also happened to be the day after her vacs. Any progress we had made was gone. Her entire face was covered in tiny red dots. My Mustela no longer seemed to be working. Was it the dairy? The vaccinations? My hormones? I had and have about had it with baby acne at this point!

So I decided to try something without my doctor’s approval – cortisone cream at bed time. The next day? A 75% decrease in acne and redness. Like night and day. I still use the Mustela to clean her face after nursing and that prevents new patches from cropping up, but adding this to our regime has really really helped (the two together are a dynamic duo). My doctor advised to use it for no more than a week (it can thin the skin) and made some observation about how maybe D’s acne is part “irritation.”ย  If hydrocortisone was all it takes for regular acne wouldn’t the companies that make Clear-a-sil and Accutane be out of business? According to Wikipedia, cortisones are “used to relieve the symptoms of eczema and atopic dermatitis.” Which are essentially allergic reactions. Notice that baby acne isn’t mentioned? Clearly something else is going on here. In writing this, I’ve decided to make two appointments (thank you PPO health insurance), the dermatologist and the allergy doctor. We’ll see when I finally get around to doing this, but it better be soon as I start work in 30 days. I feel like I’m in a race against time to fit in everything and anything before my free time ends and work begins. I’ve got babies to raise and books to write, doctors to visit and closets to clean out. Ready? Set. Go!

Binkie Bonanza

In the early weeks, we offered Daphne a pacifier, but she refused. Leave it to my Mom to not take no for an answer. During her last visit down she continuously offered the bink to my baby until she finally latched on with a vengeance. This came in handy for our road trip, but I was determined to use the pacifier sparingly. Although I’m fully aware of the sucking reflex and its calming effect, I can’t help but feel like it’s cheating. I literally feel like I’m living the phrase “put a sock in it” every time I offer the binkie to my distressed child. The phrase “shut your pie hole” also comes to mind. (A pie adorned binkie would be kind of cute in a sick twisted way actually). Especially this last week, when getting D down for naps and bedtime seemed an impossible feat. Nap time would take a good 30-minutes of crying, and bed time at least 2 hours! Until, of course, I swaddled her up, rocked her, and popped a pacifier in her mouth. Worked every single time. It’s not quite as effective these last few days as it was, but as I write this she’s sound asleep in her bassinet, the binkie having plopped out beside her. She sucked on the thing for a few seconds and was out like the little light she is. Thank God she doesn’t wake up when she loses it, but that’s a very real fear in this household. Couple that with feeling like I’m partially a failure for not being able to console her by tit alone, the darn pacifier has already sprouted a crop of emotional issues (for me at least!). Speaking of which, Dr. Karp recommends breaking the binkie habit by 5-months old for that very reason. Should be a rip roaring good time when 5-months rolls around.

And then I read this. A study that links pacifier use to autism in boys. Daphne is clearly not a boy, and the study did not find the same effect in girls, but still. Maybe my gut is right that the bink shouldn’t be used too often. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Infancy is considered a “critical period” for many human skills and capacities, including emotional and interpersonal development. That means that if we don’t have the right exposure or the right experiences when we’re little, we may never have them at all. And if infants have pacifiers in their mouths all the time, they are unable to mimic faces and have social interactions that rely on facial expressions — both believed to be essential building blocks of social and emotional development.

Interestingly, the effect was only found in boys, and the researchers will have to conduct further studies to determine why. One theory is that girls’ parents better compensate for the pacifier by engaging with their kids more emotionally than they do with boys, though it is also possible that girls are inherently better able to cope, the researchers argue.”

My money is on the girls better being able to cope thing (guys just have it rough emotionally these days). And I can’t imagine myself “engaging” more or less emotionally with a girl over a boy or vice versa.

Then there’s Daphne’s “issues” with eating and my fear that she’s not eating enough. We’re down to an average of 7-minutes on ONE side per feeding. I typically offer her the other side too just in case, but because of my over-supply issues I sometimes avoid this tactic because when she gets too much fore milk green poo results (or is it an allergy! Ahh!). I am so that freak who blames every adverse emotional and physical reaction on something I do or consume. Was it the coffee? The soy additives in my “oil & vinegar dressing”? The phylalates (sp?) in my shampoo?

But only 7-minutes guys! And I can see ribs! My doctor wasn’t concerned about Daphne’s weight gain, but I am. Especially since it seems her appetite has tanked since her vaccinations last week and hasn’t quite recovered. I don’t think the binkie helps either. So of course I’m now offering boob twice during each awake period. Just in case. I get about 3-minutes of good suckling, until I have a milky faced baby cooing, smiling, and looking for her friend the ceiling fan.

Miss Independent Part 2

Now Daphne is awake. She has been laying in her bassinet chewing on her fingers and making little noises for approximately 5-minutes. When will she asked to be picked up? She typically sort of does by fussing after about 10-15 minutes or so in her crib after naps, but we always get her before she escalates to a full out cry. Sounds great, right? Independent baby who doesn’t demand mommy come running any minute she’s left to her own devices. But somehow I’m a tad bothered by this. Are we too attentive to her needs so that we’re stunting her emotional growth and ability to communicate? Does she even like us? Is it normal that she’s so content just hanging in her crib alone, looking around at the world? I’ve actually had to remove the colorful tapestry hanging by her crib because it keeps her from falling asleep before naps.

Honestly, if she weren’t so smiley, and didn’t make such amazing eye contact and coo back when spoken too I’d be far more concerned. As it stands now, I’m a 7 on the worry scale of 1 to 10. But let’s be real here. I want her to want me. I think that’s the real issue. I think I almost need her as much as she needs me. I also think I have a case of wanting what I don’t have. It wouldn’t be so bad to have a baby that doesn’t want to be put down. Would it? As long as Daphne’s facing me, the fan, or something interesting to look at, she’s pretty fine not being in my arms :/.

Adventures in Baby wearing

To date, I have six baby carriers.

The worthless seven sling (complete garbage).

Baby shower gift, the Ergo and insert – entirely too hot for Southern California in Spring , Summer, and probably even Fall.

Gift from my brother, the Onya, an organic version of the Ergo made in Santa Cruz, California – lovely, but also waaay too hot.

Another baby shower gift, The Baby K’Tan – made out of t-shirt material and pretty freaking amazing as it’s lightweight and easy to pop in the diaper bag, but I’m pretty sure my size small is too small (still holding on to about 12 lbs of extra weight).

A recent Babies-r-us purchase because it was only $21, The Infantino Breeze – not the best quality, not ergonomic according to Baby Center’s Babywearing group, and Daphne HATES it.

And last, but definitely not least, The Lillebaby airflow purchased yesterday with a 20% off coupon from Buy Buy Baby – a mesh Ergoesque carrier, I’m actually wearing this one now with Daphne asleep on my chest. It’s light and it might be love. This will be joining us on our pending trip to Hawaii (more on that later, as if this isn’t already long enough!).

I was convinced that Daphne hates carriers, something that came to pass at around 4-weeks old when she began to voice her preference for how she’d like to be held (she may not be overly expressive about being picked up immediately after naps, but she makes very clear how she likes to be handled). Unless she’s being rocked to sleep, she seems to hate being held against anyone’s chest. Daphne wants to see you or the entire room. So most of the time I hold her with one hand, facing out, in a seated position. At almost 3-months old her neck control isn’t perfect yet so obviously the out facing position via carrier is a no no (and not recommended by the babywearing elite anyway).

Long story longer, I am determined to baby wear. So I’m going to have to let her fuss a bit until she gets used to it. This time it took approximately 2-minutes of fussing and the binkie and she’s been out since (I have gone through one nap cycle, a diaper blow out, a feed, and now a nap since writing the second half of this post). I just removed the bink and she’s still out, for a record 67 minutes.

Now to get her excited about being worn she’s awake…

Oahu Bound

With work fast approaching, I convinced Merp that we needed a trip to my favorite place in the whole wide world. We leave next week for 5-days. How will we fare on the 5-hour transpacific flight? I am terrified of flying and get a tummy pit just thinking about it. I also remember, back in my single days, praying to God that the young couple awkwardly lugging disgruntled baby and bulky gear down the cramped airplane aisle didn’t sit anywhere near me. Now I’m 1/2 of the same type of couple. I so hope I don’t have THAT baby come July 5.

Any tips for flying with infants? For getting my baby to love baby wearing as much as I do? For getting Daphne to adequately drain each breast (such a weird question)? Any one else out there with an independent bambino?

As of today we’re on week 11, and I can honestly say this whole mommy thing gets harder (and more beautiful) every single day.

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