Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in our office means a ton of college students home for the holiday.  I think everyone I saw today was between the ages of 19-21!

So... ten things off the top of my head that I'm thankful for this year:

10)  Baby E is sleeping longer than 3 hrs at a time!  Waking up twice now at night.. hoping it will continue to improve

9)  Toddler A continues to  be a great sleeper at night!  She is also starting to use the potty more and more... maybe no more diapers soon...

8)  Preschooler S has become quite the helpful big sister and there are fewer and fewer tantrums/emotional meltdowns overall.  Hoping that trend continues...

7)  Daddy is around for the entire Thanksgiving break!  Really feel his absence when he is on a trip.. thankful he can help with a nighttime feed here and there...

6)  Grandma is healthy enough to continue coming over to help with the kids... cooking... cleaning... taking care of me!  Sometimes.... I just need my "mommy"...

5)  Grandpa is healthy enough to occasional come over to "play" with the kids... though they probably stress him out...

4)  Our au pair has really worked out so far and been a tremendous help!

3)  Friends from far away that I can still count on to talk to and lean on...

2)  Friends close by to have adult conversations with...

1)  God who is always constant... always present... never failing...

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, November 21, 2011

Should We Circumcise Our Son?

When we found out that baby #3 was a boy, we had to ask ourselves this question.  

Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin that covers the tip of the penis.  Studies do show some benefits to doing this, however, not enough for a formal recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  So at the end of the day, it is up to the parents.

In a nutshell, here are some reasons to circ or not to circ:

Reasons to circumcise:

  • A slightly lower risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). A circumcised infant boy has about a 1 in 1,000 chance of developing a UTI in the first year of life; an uncircumcised infant boy has about a 1 in 100 chance of developing a UTI in the first year of life.
  • A lower risk of getting cancer of the penis. However, this type of cancer is very rare in all males.
  • A slightly lower risk of getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
  • Prevention of foreskin infections.
  • Prevention of phimosis, a condition in uncircumcised males that makes foreskin retraction impossible.
  • Easier genital hygiene.
  • May be tradition because all the other men in the family are circumcised or may have religious or cultural reasons

Reasons to not circumcise:
  • Fear of the risks. Complications are rare and usually minor but may include bleeding, infection, cutting the foreskin too short or too long, and improper healing.
  • Belief that the foreskin is needed. Some people feel the foreskin is needed to protect the tip of the penis. Without it, the tip of the penis may become irritated and cause the opening of the penis to become too small. This can cause urination problems that may need to be surgically corrected.
  • Belief it can affect sex. Some feel that circumcision makes the tip of the penis less sensitive, causing a decrease in sexual pleasure later in life.
  • Belief that proper hygiene can lower health risks. Boys can be taught proper hygiene that can lower their chances of getting infections, cancer of the penis, and STIs.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When will my newborn sleep through the night?

It is 1AM and I just put E back down after a quick feed.  This is a milestone!  Recently he has been sleeping from around 7p to 1a... usually with a short 10 second cry around 10p.  If only the 6 hr stretch is during the second half of the night when I'm not on the computer!  So I should be sleeping but sometimes I just can't fall back asleep...

So when will baby sleep through the night?  That is a question a lot of parents ask.  Well, it is different for every kid... and it also depends on the definition of "sleeping through the night".  For a new baby 5-6 hours is considered sleeping through the night.  I'm more interested in knowing when my baby will sleep until the morning!

Although every child has different temperaments and may require different amounts of sleep, there is a general pattern that most children follow.  For example, most newborns sleep 2-3 hours at a time, waking up to feed.  Eventually they skip a feed.  Some do this as early as 2-3 months.  It looks like it is taking E about 4 months to reach this.  Will adding supplementation to breast milk help?  As in my previous post, I think it is debatable.  I chose not to supplement and just wait it out.  E is sleeping longer now without supplementation so personally, I think this supports the theory that there is no need to add rice cereal or switch to formula to help baby sleep longer.  It just takes time.  We did however, start giving a bottle of pumped breast milk in the start of the night so we knew exactly how many oz he was getting.  We tried doing it in the middle of the night as well but that did not necessarily lengthen his sleep.  He still woke up 3 hours later to feed.  So I'm concluding that the general sleep pattern for babies is such:
  • Newborns:  sleep / feed cycle every 2-3 hours
  • By 2-3 months to about 6 months or so:  drop 1 feed so there is a 5-6 hr longest stretch then back to 2-3 hrs rest of day
  • Between 6 months to 12 months:  drop the other feed to get the 12 hours sleep at night
With that said, not every child will follow this.  I've had parents report their 2 or 3 year old still does not sleep through the night.  I recall a couple of parents telling me their eleven year old still crawls in bed with them in the middle of the night!  So of course temperament plays a role.  Some children are naturally great sleepers while others are not.  For the bad sleepers, parents will have a harder job of sleep training if they choose to or will have to just adjust and go with it if they don't mind it or don't believe in sleep training.  My personal opinion is that sleep training works... not necessarily the hard core "cry it out" Ferber method... but I'm just referring to gently training the child to self soothe and develop a healthy habit of sleep.

Even adults who want good sleep should follow good sleep hygiene skills (which I'm breaking right now blogging in the wee hours while sitting in my bed).  If more adults have good sleep hygiene, I'd be prescribing less ambien!

So I plan to record how we end up training E if we get there.  Since I've gone through this twice before and both kids now sleep through the night, I have more confidence that there is an end in sight and this kid will soon be sleeping through as well.  Let's see when!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween

So who else trick or treated with snow all over the ground?  My boss actually shifted my hours yesterday so I could get home to go trick or treating with my girls.  It was fun but a bit chilly.  We didn't take the baby out.  I just wore my doctor scrubs since I didn't have time to get a costume this year... let alone make a costume!  Kudos to all you moms out there who make cute costumes for your kids!  I wish I had the time and the talent.   It sure saves some money.  I heard on the news that stores did really well this year for Halloween despite the economy.  It is supposed to be the second biggest holiday shopping of the year.  That just sounds crazy to me.

Alright.. with Halloween out of the way I guess we're on to Thanksgiving... then Christmas!