Portia’s First Tooth!!!

Our little girl is growing up!

I can hardly believe it. After a very stressful night of Portia waking up every hour and a half and nursing a bit and then sleeping for another hour and a half, Portia’s first tooth pushed its way through her tender gums.

From stories of first teeth that I have read, it is a trying time where the baby screams, becomes feverish and does not sleep, but aside from the waking every 90 minutes, P displayed none of those things. She never had a fever, and wasn’t really that fussy. So you can imagine my surprise the following morning, when I felt a razor sharp little growth on the bottom as she tried to “yarm” my finger. For the rest of the day, she carefully managed to gnaw on every toy, until she could feel the impact her new tooth had on her “yarming” abilities.

The impact it had on me was one of fear. “She is going to want to nurse soon”, I thought, as a tiny sweat broke out on my brow. “It won’t be that bad”, I told myself. In the distance I heard the ‘squeak, squeak”, as Portia navigated her tooth stub over Sophie.

When the time came, it wasn’t that bad, in fact I didn’t feel a thing. A sigh of relief escaped from my mouth, until I realized that when she is feeding, her tongue covers the bottom tooth dagger and protects my “delicate areas” from looking like a cherry jelly bean that got caught in a SlapChop (Vince never mentioned that one)!

Stay tuned for the next chapter in this saga…”Do Top Teeth = Weaning?”

Woombie Swaddler Review!

Portia tries out her Woombie for the first time.

Portia tries out her Woombie for the first time.

After blogging about ordering a Woombie Swaddler for our Baby Houdini a couple days back, the Woombie Swaddler finally arrived from Amazon.COM, so here is my initial review of the Woombie Swaddler!

After picking it up (mid afternoon), we patiently awaited her first yawn, so we could stick her in it. The first yawn happened as we were having dinner, so we put aside our Hamburger Helper and rushed into the bedroom to wrap our little girl into her new baby straight jacket.

I thought we might have to fight to get her into it, but to my slight disappointment, she just lay there whilst I “Woombified” her. Once I zipped her in it, she looked a little confused as she flailed her arms still contained in the cocoon-like encasement. After not one peep, I set her in her crib and closed the door.

Both of us had one eye on the clock, mentally counting down the minutes until we were sure she would be asleep so we could check on her. I finally broke the silence after about 15 minutes and rushed in. Well, there she was, in her Woombie, happy and asleep. Although, judging by the shapes jutting out of the Woombie, I am pretty sure she was sleeping with her arms behind her head.

Although she is usually a good little night sleeper, we have been trying to find a way to keep her swaddled. Well, its true, she did not escape this one! In fact, she stayed nice and warm and I could even feed her when she woke without unzipping her. Judging by the positions I would find her in when I would check on her periodically, she had a great range of motion. We would sometimes even hear her legs thumping back down on the mattress after completing her “exercises”. She really seems to like her new sleeping contraption.

The one thing we did notice however, is that after her first five hour sleep, she woke about every hour and a half after that and then would fuss for twenty minutes before drifting off to sleep again. She usually is only up for a quick snack every three or four hours and then back to bed immediately. Could her new range of motions be “too freeing”? I tried her in it again on the next night, with the same result…no escape, but waking more often. Hmmm….

So I examined the Woombie. I examined my daughter. I examined my daughter IN the Woombie. And I have come to this conclusion…although we bought the “Big Baby” size Woombie (and she IS big, don’t get me wrong), I think it is still too large for her. It is giving her more motion than she has ever been able to have and she is playing now. She is even able to stretch her hands up to her mouth to suck them through the Woombie!

This is a great product, and it will work for us well, but I think we need to wait until she fills it out more to slightly limit her movement before she will benefit from the true snug fitting reassurance. Until then, it is still great for her daytime naps. %trackback%

Houdini Baby Proof Swaddler

Well, our little bundle of joy, as she has been getting older has become more and more adept at unswaddling herself from her regular receiving blanket swaddle. Then a few minutes later, she will be moving around her crib, propelled by her legs and in the process will wake herself up completely. Trouble with this is that Portia then battles to go back to sleep as with all the movement she has excited herself thoroughly.

I have been looking for a solution, and discovered the Woombie Baby Swaddler, so ordered one of these from Amazon today, as I noticed that it had free shipping, and with an added bonus because my mailing address is in Washington, and it ships from out of Washington State, there would be no state tax.

I particularly like the idea of this swaddler, when compared to other ones such as the Miracle Blanket, as it is made of a Lycra like material (similar to the material that athletes clothing is made from). Thus, when Portia is swaddled in this, she will still have freedom of movement and be able to move her hands around without them being restrained by her sides as they would be in the Miracle Blanket. To me this provides a natural resistance environment, not unlike what she would have experienced in the womb, working against this resistance as she tries to move would no doubt have a benefit on her muscle development too – I am sure?

Anyway, more about this once it arrives.

Portia gets her big baby bed…

Portia has been sleeping in a Safety 1st Play Yard (by Dorel), however at the rate she is growing she is rapidly approaching the load-limit of the bassinet that accompanies the Play Yard. Also, the copy that we bought her has a miss-stitched seam on the bassinet, and Dorel have been horrible at replacing it, first telling us it would take six weeks, and now having a different story every time we call them, we are now at the point at which we have been asked to send in the original purchase receipt, so that they can “have that on file” when they eventually get around to replacing our Play Yard. Pathetic service – however more about that in another post. [Read more…]

Peaceful baby on a flight

Portia Sleeping in Denver Airport

Portia Sleeping in Denver Airport

We have just returned from Chicago for a family wedding, and I have to confess, I was really concerned about how Portia would cope with the flight, particularly the pressure changes. She is a really good baby, however, she is still very little and placing a baby in that environment for a long time must be stressful?

Turns out she is the best flier ever, falling asleep shortly after we buckled in and waking up only as we started to walk up the Jetway after the flight after landing in Chicago. As a precaution we did breastfeed her during the takeoff, to make sure that she could equalize the pressure, but during landing she was not even interested in a finger in her mouth, she was in such a deep sleep.

My only concern during a long flight with her would be de-hydration. Aircraft seems to have fairly dry air, and I think she may become dehydrated during the flight if she does not feed every few hours. Fortunately a flight to Chicago is still not too long at around 4 hours, however a trans-Atlantic flight may be a different story.

A night in Vancouver International

Last night we were due to fly to Chicago out of Vancouver on a red-eye leaving at 11:30. Of course, fate and a new baby conspired against us, and we arrived after the flight had closed. Fortunately we ran into a super helpful United employee, and he arranged for us to be on the next flight leaving at 6:30am this morning. We decided to spend the night in the airport, as we live more than an hour from the airport, and yesterday was the HSBC Festival Of Lights in Vancouver, so that would have made traffic incredibly congested, and with check in opening at 4:00am, there was hardly any point to driving back.

Portia Spending the night on mommy in Vancouver Airport

Portia Spending the night on mommy in Vancouver Airport

Sleeping in an airport with our new baby was challenging to us though, however after finding a nice long padded couch in the international arrivals hall where they had dimmed the lights, it was great, and Portia fell right asleep on her mommy’s tummy. Not such an easy sleep for her parents though, as you feel horribly exposed with a baby sleeping in a public place and are constantly aware – perhaps a bit of paranoia thrown in as well – that you may drift off and someone may take the baby.

Around 2am, a security guard at the airport woke us, and suggested that we move to the airport’s nursery. Now I never knew that Vancouver International had a nursery. It is a small room with a couple of cribs and most importantly you can lock the door and withe the cribs, you can get some sleep yourself, knowing that no-one can come in and that baby is safely contained in a crib.

I would strongly recommend that anyone with an infant having to spend time in YVR ask a security guard for access to the nursery.

Record Temperature in Vancouver Today

Today was hot! Several areas in the lower mainland have set new record temperatures according to the Candian Weather Office. Portia does not do hot, I have come to realize, which makes me wonder how babies from other climates where it is routinely hot, and there is little air-conditioning do? We have just moved from our small one bedroom 700 square foot apartment into a much larger 1200 square foot basement suite, and have been spending the last couple of days cleaning the place up and doing some final painting and minor renovations for the new tennant in our place.

According to the thermostat on the wall in our apartment, it has been consistently around 30C indoors. Every time I bring Portia in there, it takes all of 20 minutes and she is screaming at the top of her lungs, and I can tell she is super hot, she is just dripping wet, and really uncomfortable. As soon as I put her in her car seat and start my car, and the air-conditioner kicks in (my car has the worlds most powerful air-conditioner, a real plus in this weather), she falls asleep almost instantly. I was very concerned the first time I noticed just how hot and sweaty she became in such a short time, I was concerned that she could be getting de-hydrated, then I noticed that she was feeding every 20 minutes or less, and her diapers were just as wet as always. This made me realize that she had naturally adjusted her milk intake to cope with the fluid she was losing in the hot weather.

That said, I do think monitoring a babies temperature when she has to be in a hot weather environment is a very good thing, as dehydration can be very dangerous, just as it can for adults. Signs to watch for include very few wet diapers, dry mouth, a loss of appetite for milk and of course irritability. You know your baby, so lookout for changes that could signify that she is not coping well, systemically with the hot weather.

Right now, the little one is fast asleep in our air conditioned suite, and I think very releived to be out of the summer heat.


Meet the Portiasaurus...

Meet the Portiasaurus...

So good to wake up to a rainy morning in Vancouver, not something I thought I would easily say.  Portia was fast asleep, and slept in quite late today after having suffered a lot in the heat of the past weekend.

Today she was just a happy content little one, who spent most of the day sleeping on her mommy.   She is growing so fast, I am so sad to have to go to work in the morning and to miss out on her day…

A walk on the beach – on the 4th of July

It was a hot day in Vancouver yesterday.  Temperature according to my car was around 28C (82F) around 5pm in the afternoon.  Our south-facing apartment was really warm inside by then, even though we had kept the blinds and drapes closed all day.  Portia was grumpy and hot, and was not sleeping at all and just crying all the time, we felt really bad for her, as there was nothing we could do to help her cool down and be more comfortable.  As it started to cool down, we decided to take the little monster in the car, and drive down to the beach in White Rock – about 45 mins away – so she could get some relief in the air-conditioning and maybe some sleep on the way and then we would take her for a walk along the beach, so mommy and daddy could get outside as well.

It worked a charm, and Portia lapsed immediately into a deep sleep once in the car.  It was stunning in White Rock, with 100’s of people gathered on the lawn alongside the ocean to watch the July 4th, fireworks in the USA. For those of you not familiar with White Rock, it looks out over the ocean (Semiamoo Bay)  to the USA, so affords a stunning view of the fireworks as our neighbors to the South Celebrate their independence day.  Portia was as good as gold, and we walked for a couple of kilometers along the beach.

Was a really nice end to a hot day for the little miss…

Another gassy day!

Finally out of gas

Finally out of gas

Portia started out the day peacefully, sleeping in and then after her morning feed, went right back to bed.  We are currently looking for a larger apartment as our huge Vancouver one-bed-roomed condo is really not big enough for 2 people, an obese large boned orange cat and Portia, so much so that we had to wake her to put her into her car seat. I hate waking her, as she looks so serene when she is sleeping, but we had to meet with a prospective landlord, so no changing that. [Read more…]