Pee, Poop and Burp: The First 40 Days

Pee, Poop and Burp: The First 40 Days

For the first 2 days after our baby girl was born, she only needed a change of diaper every 6-8 hours. She had her typical blackish gooey poop and we could barely tell if she was peeing at all since there were no leakages. The midwives told us that the baby did not need to burp because she was having very little breast milk in the beginning. So, I thought we were doing fantastic at under 3 diaper changes a day. In fact, I enjoyed changing her diaper a lot. She never cried, except when hungry, and even then, it was a low cry and she would calm down as soon as she was fed. She was turning out to be an extremely well-mannered baby. And I proudly trumpeted this fact to friends and family.

WRONG!

Only a few days on and the little one gave us a shocking reality check. She now pooped much more often, more like 6-8 times a day and specially after each feed, sometimes more. At times, she pooped again immediately after the new diaper was put on. And then you needed to redo the whole exercise of laying her down on the changing table, remove her diaper, clean her with a wet cloth and dry her and put on a new diaper, all the while putting up with her relentless ear-shattering shrieks and howls. (Did I mention that she hated being put down on the changing table now?) Often times, having just been cleaned up and the next diaper on its way out of the bag, the little one discovers she forgot to pee in the previous diaper and does that on the changing table itself. Sometimes, directly on my hands. We scramble to prevent the pee from flowing onto the changing mattress and clean her up once again before putting on the next diaper. The shrieking and howling continues relentlessly.

Where Pee and Poop were causing such mayhem, how could the Burp stay behind? Having a really small tummy, she was always too full after a feeding session and appeared irritated, so I would lift her to my shoulder and pat on her back a bit in order to elicit a burp. But it wasn’t that easy. It still isn’t. Before we even pick her up for a burp, she throws up a mouthful of milk onto her chin, neck and clothes. It’s a race between her and us, can we pick her up in time to prevent her from vomiting? Even when we pick her up first, we need to hold her straight otherwise she simply vomits out all the milk and then wants to be fed again. Holding her straight was yet another challenge because she would start scratching my neck with her fingernails, pull at my collar and suck my shirt for milk, all the while throwing her little frail head around wildly while I struggle to hold it in place.

At other times, she would asleep while on the breast and wake up shortly afterwards to realize she has her mouth full of milk. Not knowing what to do with it she ends up coughing all of it out onto the tired mum, following the scene up with another burst of crying and maybe re-feeding.

So, the first 40 days with our little baby have been much tougher than I had ever imagined. There were times when it felt like either we were the worst parents or this was the most difficult baby ever. I often wondered why babies just don’t stop crying even though we were doing everything that they needed. I also wondered if there was something that all other parents knew, but not us, which made our parenting a bit worse.

But after the first 40-50 days, things have improved and we are now in a different phase with our baby. More on that later.

How has your experience been? Do let me know by leaving a comment below.

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Which Diapers do we use for our Newborn?

Which Diapers do we use for our Newborn?

We got quite a few diaper samples from the various babyboxes we had ordered. In addition, we also got a few discount coupons from promotions and other sources so we ended up buying quite a few different brands. These included Pampers, Libero Touch, Minstingen and Toujours (from LIDL). Here is a brief review of these diapers and how they worked for us.

  1. Libero Touch: Starts from Size 1, which is their smallest size. It is marked for weight category 2-5 kg. These were also the diapers that the hospital gave us when our baby was born. They were quite easy to put on, had an indicator which changes color to blue if the diaper was been soiled, and the fit was excellent for our baby. We found absolutely no leakages and it handled all loads equally well. At the end of 3 weeks, when I first started writing this post, our baby was still comfortable in this diaper, though now we had suspected that she might be about to grow out of this size. So, we did try Size 2 after a while and that worked absolutely fine as well. Our Review? Libero Touch was the best newborn diaper we have used. We also used Libero Newborn 2 for a while and it worked equally well. No complaints, except that it is a bit expensive compared to the other brands.
  2. Pampers New Baby: Also starts from Size 1 which is their smallest size. It is marked for weight category 2-5 kg. In our case, we tried these diapers a week or so after the baby was born but we found these to be slightly loose on the baby, as compared to Libero Touch Size 1. At around 3 weeks, we had already suspected that it leaked once slightly when our baby had filled it too much, but otherwise the diaper handled the load pretty well. Our baby is 2.5 months now and we have been using their Size 2 since over a month now. Theye are very good value for money and have done pretty well. However, it is worth noting that there have been quite a few instances when our baby pooped heavily and this diaper failed miserably to contain the load and the poop leaked from the top at the back side and spoiled all her back and clothes. I cannot say why there were such major leakages at times, but it could be because of too much poop and our baby was having a few problems with gas. But since we have not tried any other diaper during this gas problem, I cannot say if the leakage could have happened with other diapers or not.
    Verdict: I would rate the Libero Touch as having a much better and comfortable fit than Pampers, but the price per diaper is quite high for Libero. So, I would recommend you choose according to what works better for you.
  3. Toujours (only at LIDL stores): Starts from Size 2 which is their smallest size. It is marked for weight category 3-6 kg. In our case, we tried these diapers 2 weeks or so after the baby was born but we found these to be much bigger on the baby as compared to both Libero Touch Size 1 and Pampers New Baby Size 1. Now, it did leak once or twice when our baby had filled it too much, but that is understood because the diaper was obviously quite big on the baby. So, we decided to pause the use of these diapers and continue with Pampers and Libero. It wasn’t that this diaper was loose around the baby’s waste, it just seemed far longer at its lowest point when put on the baby and therefore there was a chance of leakage. We did continue using these diapers when our baby was around 4 weeks old and these started to fit quite well then. I don’t think we faced any more leakages, and even if there were, they were very minor. The good thing about Toujour is that they are lighter and much thinner than Pampers and Libero, without really losing a lot on capacity. I liked that. Toujour are also comparitively much much cheaper. It was therefore that we stuck to using Toujours a lot more than the others. Again, they do not perform as good as Libero/Pampers, but our approach was to use Toujours during normal course and put on Libero or Pampers at night when we expected a heavier load or if we were taking the baby out.
  4. Minstingen: Recently launched by Axfood AB and availale only in Sweden via Hemköp and Willys. We haven’t as yet been able to test these diapers since they start from size 3 and our little baby has still not grown into that category. However, working for Axfood myself, we recently got a lot of free samples to try and are looking forward to do that soon. One thing to note is that they appear to be good value for money since they are not as expensive as Libero. More on these later.

My recommendation: I have said this above and say it again. We liked the Libero Touch the best amongst all these diapers over the first few months. Their fit is really good. However, these are also the most expensive of all, whereas Toujour being the cheapest, was having the biggest fit and therefore slightly unsuited for newborns upto a few weeks. But after about 4 weeks, Toujour became our goto diapers for a couple of weeks until our baby became to big for them (week 6, maybe?). Pampers are priced between Libero Touch and Toujour, but their performance is also in between them both, and we found we used them the most after the baby reached 6 weeks and now we are already in week 9 and it looks like they might  fit another week.

And lastly, none of these diapers caused any diaper rash on our baby, but we did use diaper rash creams as a precaution once a day.

How has your experience been? Are there any other points worthy of noting when comparing these diapers? Do let me know by leaving a comment below.

And remember, you can always get in touch with me if you have any questions, by visiting my Contact page or emailing me at: peepoopburp@gmail.com.

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Singing to my baby

Singing to my baby

In those early days after her birth, when it was impossible for us to know how to calm a crying baby, we tried many things. Picking her up in my arms and swinging her a little used to soothe her. It worked most of the times, but not always. In most cases, we found that the only solution was to feed her. But the moment you took her off the feed, she would start crying again.

But how do you put a crying baby to calm down and sleep?

As new parents, we were utterly clueless about things. But one day, out of sheer desparation, and without realizing, I started singing to my baby girl. At first, she did continue to cry but her howling reduced considerably and soon afterwards she became completely quiet and went on staring at me. At this, I realized that she probably found my singing a soothing change and this encouraged me to keep going on. I must have sung to her for at least 20 minutes non-stop. During the whole time, I obsered how she kept looking at me and slowly started to drift off to sleep. My wife looked at me with utter disbelief, because neither had believed we had any way to putting the baby off to sleep. But now, I had apparently found a way. I felt so happy and proud of myself. I know that my wife has the bigger connection with the baby because she feeds her all day, but I had just achieved something that she could not. I had contributed as a dad in the care of the baby and I felt on top of the world.

I cannot say that this works perfectly because the next time I sang to her it made her cry even more. This time, I was puzzled and, frankly, a little disheartened. Here I was thinking my baby loves my singing but now that seemed like a fluke. But I did try it many times in the days and weeks to follow and got mixed results. Then, I realized something. My baby did actually feel soothed by me singing to her, but it all depended on which tune I chose. At times, it has been the nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, while at other times, it has been some old bollywood songs. But i have also learnt that sometimes the baby really is hungry after all, and as a Dad i need to respect that and not force my singing on her.

If you are wondering how to sooth your crying baby and push it over the edge into the world of sleep, try singing to her. And if she doesn’t respond at first, don’t lose hope. Maybe it’s time for a change of tune. Maybe she isn’t ready yet. Trust me, she will be ready soon. And when she shows that she likes your singing, that moment will be priceless.

How has your experience been singing to your baby? Do comment below and share.

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What’s in our Diaper Bag?

What’s in our Diaper Bag?

In the months leading up to the birth of our baby girl, I spent a lot of time researching what should go in our diaper bag. I know, I know, what some might say. That it is the job of mums and not dads to plan diaper bags, and my wife complains just as much that I never let her do it either, but what can I say? I just love doing this stuff.

So, coming back to our diaper bag. Let me start with the bag itself. We bought a Skip Hop Chelsea (Black) even though, at around £85, it was far more expensive than I had earlier budgeted for. There were other very pretty bags, and I liked the Elodie Details diaper bags in particular but my wife did not like them too much. So finally, we decided on the Skip Hop Chelsea for these reasons:

  1. It had a lot of different pockets and compartments outside as well as inside and seemed easier to organize the stuff.
  2. It is of very good build and will last us a long time.
  3. Its looks are elegant and classy and i thought my wife can easily carry it anywhere and it will look decent.

But do not think that I am recommending this bag to you over all others. This was just something that we liked personally but your choice might well be different.

So, that was the diaper bag. Now, what do we have in it?

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  1. Diapers: We have a collection on Libero Touch, Pampers and Toujours diapers at home and which ones we carry is not that important here. But we make sure that we have 3-4 diapers in the diaper bag which we do not touch at home. The reason for just so few is that we know we will never be away from home for more than 3 hours, so 3-4 diapers are enough. They also act as a buffer in case we run out of our regular supply at home. These can last us half a day.
  2. Waste bags: to dispose of those soiled diapers. We bought a pack of Libero waste bags which contain 45 pcs and we think they should suffice for a really long time.
  3. Diaper Creams: I had researched and asked a few friends about which diaper creams are good. We had also ordered some free babyboxes earlier which came with some sample creams. These, because they are small in size, take very little space in the bag and we know in the beginning that their use will also be very limited. The bigger sized creams we have are stored on our changing table and if we need to carry them with us in future, we will simply pick them up. We are using Bepanthen and Inotyol as diaper changing creams. We are also carrying samples of Burt’s Bee nourishing lotion, a small bottle of Libero baby oil, some unperfumed baby creams by Apoteksgruppen. Another body lotion that we have is one we found at the children’s clinic (Barnavårdscentralen in Sweden) as well and the nurse recommended it as safe for use on our baby’s body and face: Decubal basic, original clinic cream. Remember that all creams that we use on Babies must be without perfumes, colourants or parabens.
  4. Wet wipes: We find it practical to keep small packs of wet wipes (pack of 24 pcs) handy in the bag. At home we avoid using these packaged wipes, instead we soak dry wipes (see next point) in water and use them to clean the baby, whether it is just a sponge on her body or while cleaning her during a diaper change. But when outside, the wet wipe packs come in very handy. The only thing to look for is that the wipes should not contain any perfume or other chemicals.
  5. Wash cloths: in Sweden, they are also called Tvättlappar, and they are the recommend option. Our midwife told us not to use wet wipes, but dip these tvättlappar in water and use them for cleaning instead. One can either buy reusable (at grocery stores such as Hemköp) or disposable wash cloths.
  6. Hand towels: a couple of these, just in case.
  7. Changing pad and mats: Our diaper bag comes with its own changing pad which, though not an ideal solution, is definitely a life saver and can be easily cleaned. We also have a few single-use waterproof mats, or the Libero Changing Mats, which we got for free from the hospital. These come in handy too as they protect the changing pad from getting dirty.
  8. Pacifiers: in the beginning, we were very apprehensive of pacifiers and, though we have a few at home, we never included them in the diaper bag. However, on one of our short trips in the city, our baby girl started to cry bloody murder on the way back and at that time, we sorely missed having a pacifier at hand for such desperate moments. So keep a couple in case the baby spits out one onto the floor.
  9. Nasal Spray: we carry the salt water spray from Näsfrida. This contains no chemicals and is super useful if the baby has congestion in its nose due to cold. Just spray it into either nostril and it makes the mucus soft and allows the baby to breathe easy and can be administered as many times a day as needed.
  10. Spare change of Onesies, Caps, Mittens, Socks: you never know when the baby feels a little more cold or when the clothes she has on get soiled by a diaper malfunction.
  11. Nursing Pads: We have a box of nursing pads at home, but we have also kept 2-3 pcs of them in our diaper bag in case my wife is nursing away from home and there is leakage. You can either buy branded, such as Libero, or buy the local department store brands, such as COOP, Hemköp, and others.
  12. A small rattle toy to distract the baby.
  13. Cotton pads for wiping off dirt or oil from the baby’s face.
  14. A couple of bibs and burp cloths.
  15. A spare feeding bottle.
  16. Waterproof adhesive bandage for the baby.
  17. Lip balm for the parents, because you never know when you miss it.

You might also consider adding some spare cash for emergencies, a contact information card in case you misplace the bag, and any regular medicines that you yourself take.

So, what do you have in your diaper bag? Any recommendations? Do let me know by commenting below.

And remember, you can always get in touch with me if you have any questions, by visiting my Contact page or emailing me at: peepoopburp@gmail.com.

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The Count Down is On: 2 Weeks to Go

The last few days are upon us. Our due date is now less than 2 weeks away. And everyone says that the baby can come anytime, and without warning, during the 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the expected date. So it could be today. Or tomorrow. I don’t know.

How do I feel? I am not sure. There was a time over the last couple of months where I was completely immersed in planning and shopping for the baby, and all the fun had made me quite excited and eager. However, now that the wait has shrunk from months into weeks, and weeks into days, I am starting to get the jitters.

At times, I feel I cannot wait for the baby to come. But other times, I get really scared when I think about whether I have prepared correctly or not. What would happen when my wife’s pains start? Will it be slow pains at first which increase in an orderly fashion and give me indications of when to call the hospital? Or will something happen in a flash and I will need to act quickly? How well will I manage those tense moments when I take her to the hospital? Though we have already packed the maternity bag and the baby bag, will I still miss something on the last day? These questions give me a hard time.

A few nights back, while sitting in the living room watching TV, my wife let out a slight moan of discomfort – like she often does – but this time it gave me a jolt to imagine that that moment could just as easily have been the onset of labor. I started wishing ‘not today, not today’ in my mind and it took my some time to calm down. Since then, I have gone to bed every night hoping for an uneventful sleep. I feel utterly unprepared, even though I have done everything to prepare us and our home to welcome the baby. All our shopping is done, work is taken care of, in fact both our moms are here to help us through the coming weeks. The maternity ward’s number as well as those of the taxi companies are in all our mobile phones as well as pasted on the fridge in the kitchen. I keep reminding myself that when it is time, I have to think about my wife and baby’s safety and comfort above everything else. Yet, despite all this, I am nervous that I might be missing something.

I know that my being nervous sounds so unfair, considering what my wife might be going through in her mind. The baby is growing inside her and not me. It is going to come out of her causing her the worst imaginable pains and for an unknowable span of time. I imagine how scared she feels on the inside. She asks me everyday if the baby is going to be alright. ‘Of course!’ I tell her. We are two healthy parents going through a normal uncomplicated pregnancy, so we have no reason to feel worried. But I guess you do feel worried nevertheless.

All I do every morning is look at the fact that my wife has woken up feeling good and I hope to keep seeing her like that for just a few more days. I want her to be able to go to work and to the markets a little bit more before the baby comes. Maybe she is still preparing herself on the inside just as much as I am every day.

Even this morning while I was on my way to work, and right now while I am writing this post, I found myself asking mother nature to let the baby come as close to the expected date of 8th January as possible, believing that the next few days will end up preparing us better. Whereas the truth is, no amount of time can prepare you for it completely. So, we take each day as it comes.

What it really means to be a Father

What it really means to be a Father

superdadOver the last few weeks, I have been thinking deeply about what it means to be a father and what the main role of a father is. While I wait anxiously for the day when our baby finally arrives, a few things have shaped my feelings not only about what being a father would mean for me personally, but also how it does and will affect my wife and baby in the short as well as long-term.

The first was that, being in her eighth month now, my wife has been slowing down drastically in what she used to be able to do, from going to office to taking care of the home, cooking, etc. I found myself empathizing more with her, constantly trying to make her more at ease. I started taking us out for dinner frequently, so that she didn’t have to put effort in cooking dinner everyday. Whenever she seemed out of energy, I did everything I could to make her feel comfortable. Over time, I realized that it was making her happy and feel loved, and what else could I value more than having our baby born to a happy mother? And it wasn’t just for the baby, it owed it to my wife to do everything I could for her because she was going through so much at a personal level also.

The other thing that caused the biggest change in me was a bit more complicated. Many weeks back, my wife suddenly felt a bit scared by something and I was surprised by how her body started responding. She felt weird in her tummy and even the baby felt weird and kicked a bit more. I immediately stepped in to calm her down and insisted that she had nothing to worry about as long as I was here. She started to feel relaxed and slowly her physical discomfort drained away. This was the first time I realized how important I – the father – was to them. Even the unborn needed me to be there. They were my responsibility.

Over the next few weeks, there were some things that started to worry me deeply. I can’t share what it was, but suffice to say that it was not related to the pregnancy, but some factor outside of our control. As I thought more and more about the situation, the more worried I became. I was so stressed that I worried about it every minute for over a month. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t enjoy time with my wife or my friends. But as much as I wanted to, I never mentioned anything to her. And the reason was that I didn’t want her to worry. I didn’t want anything to affect her. Even though it later turned out that I was imagining too much and there was no need for me to worry about those things, I realized how important a father’s role is in the family: to keep them away from worries.

Also, while I was so worried, I could not say anything to anyone. But in all that worry, I suddenly saw some light. I decided to tell my dad about it, and immediately after sharing a bit of it with him I realized that I felt so much better and safer myself because I knew he was there. I knew that in the worst of situations, he would bail me out. So, even though I am now a grown man of 33 years, there are still times when the world scares me but I have a dad who I know will always be by my side to protect me and make me feel safe. And one day, I have to be that man for my children.

So, today I think I know what being a father – a Dad – really means. It is far more than love. It means making your family feel safe and secure and protected. It means becoming a wall between the world and your family.

Fatherhood is so underrated. What do you think? Do leave your comments below.

Mum n Baby’s Secret Language

The mommy often tells me that she can feel the baby moving and kicking around quite a bit in the belly.

‘It’s quite active today.’ she says often.

‘It’s moving so much today that it’s crazy.’

I put my hand on the bump and for a short while try to feel the movements. But I get no response.

My hand still on it, she looks right at me and asks me, ‘Did you feel that?’

‘No, I don’t feel anything.’ I complain. It’s as if the baby knows it’s someone else interfering with baby-mommy interaction and so it goes quiet. There seems to be this secret language between them using which the baby keeps telling its moods to the mother, while I – the father – have no idea what’s going on.

I wait a bit more, hoping to feel my baby’s movement at least once. But, there’s nothing. And then I finally give up once again and pull my hand away. It is a bit frustrating. The mother is in constant touch with the baby all the time and is on her way to forging a strong bond with it so early in the relationship, whereas I can only scratch my head and wait for the birth to happen so that my baby can get to see me and know that it has two parents.

On the other hand, I sometimes marvel at how magical the whole experience is. We are making a human being almost out of nothing. We are creating life. And my wife is playing a role that is so much more special than mine that I now find it natural why mothers enjoy that special bond with their kids which fathers seldom seem to be able to share in.

So, I often tease her and say, ‘Remember that this is my baby and that you only have it for safekeeping.’

At other times, I speak directly to the baby in its bump and remind it that it’s actually daddy’s baby in mommy’s belly. This gives me some solace. Makes me feel like part of the process. I am not irrelevant.

How has your own experience been? Please comment below and let me know.

Watching our baby in the womb

The first ultrasound doesn’t really show you much. The only thing it does is that it confirms that there is something inside and gives you something to start dreaming about. It is too small to look like a baby. Just a foetus. No arms, no legs, just something resembling a head and a small body maybe. No movement.

The second ultrasound was what really shocked us. Being our first pregnancy, we had never seen anything like this before. We could easily tell it was a small baby now and was so much different from the first scan. We could see its hands and legs, and body, and the head and a tip for the nose, the curve for the butts. It was incredible. We were now looking at a living being that we created. I got goosebumps and felt something indescribable in my heart when I saw it flapping about its arms and legs randomly, and twisted and turned its body away from us when the scanner moved over my wife’s bump. It was as if the baby was telling us it did not wish to be disturbed. It was doing something really important, in that it was slowly creating itself and growing up, getting ready for the outside world. Being created from a cell and growing into a fully formed human being is a tough job and our baby is so busy with it that it does not care for being disturbed.

Or? Or, was it calling out to its mamma and papa, trying to touch and feel us, asking us to pick it up and bring it out into the world and take care of it and decorate it with cute clothes and accessories and shower it with love? Maybe, it already knows it has first-time grand-parents, a great-grandmother, and first-time aunts & uncles all waiting for it. But wait we must and so must the baby.

And we wait. 8th January 2017.

Love for the Unborn

It is a slightly different sort of feeling today. My wife is over 4 months pregnant now and while I have been looking at baby products like toys, gyms, neck slings, etc., I  am positively overwhelmed. There is so much I need to and want to do, whereas the baby is still over 5 months away. I want to buy the most colorful bibs and toys, and my heart is set on the most expensive baby gym and stroller I have seen yet. I have basically forgotten about everything else that, until a few months back, I wanted to buy for myself. No longer am I wishing for the MacBook, or the Hoverboards so popular these days. Neither am I thinking of a gift for myself on my 33rd birthday, which is only about a week away.

But more importantly, I felt something even more incredible. While I was looking at some baby carriers, I felt this strong urge to pick up and hug my baby. I felt as if we already have a baby and someone has taken it away from me and I just felt unable to bear the separation. I just wanted to hold it close to my chest and not let it go, and protect it from the world. Gosh! It feels like I am the mother, not the father. Never expected I would have started to feel this much love and attachment for the unborn little one this early. Do dads really feel the way I am feeling?