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Ocean View Verandah
Saturday, 27 April 2002
Today's first: The first laugh! Liam had a little chuckle and grin just has he was drifting off to sleep. I don't know that it was a real laugh - one that says hey, that's funny - but it sounded really cute. I can't wait till he laughs for real.
Liam was five weeks old on Thursday. Amazing wot?
So we are now officially into week 6. From 6 weeks things are supposed to be easier. Not as much easier as from 3 months, but easier all the same. My milk and his digestive system are supposed to be settled, so that he gets less gas; it's supposed to take about 6 weeks to really master breastfeeding, which is why it's recommended that you avoid bottles or dummies (pacifiers) until 6 weeks; crying is meant to peak at about 6 weeks and then decrease; sleep patterns are supposedly going to settle down.
Well, I hope some of that happens. He hasn't been inclined to cry all that much except with the gas, but the last few days he seems to be crying more, so maybe we're coming up to that peak. The wind did seem to be settling down, but he's had it bad again the past couple of days. Although I did get him to sleep for a while yesterday morning after the first feed of the day (and the same today - he's sleeping now), which I hadn't been able to for a few days. I'm not sure that we're all that close to mastering breastfeeding. I'm planning to call the Australian Breastfeeding Association (previously the Nursing Mothers Association) any day now for help. I joined the other day, not because you need to join to contact their helpline (you don't) but because it seemed like something I should support.
Of course the other thing that happens for us in week 6 is that Chris goes back to work. He has two days left. We have two days left I should say. I am not looking forward to it at all. Although, one of the changes in Liam this past week is that he is OK with being put down more. When he's in his quiet alert phase after a feed he doesn't mind being propped up in a sitting position for a little while, so he can look around. Also, he LOVES the mobile I made him out of black and white cardboard. He can lie on the change table and just look at it for ages. This makes it easier for me to do things like wash my hands after changing him, or go to the loo - although I haven't tried leaving him alone for long, I doubt that he'd like that much.
We have until now not worried about using the straps on the change table, but we agreed from 6 weeks we would do so, or keep a hand on him the while time. He isn't even close to being able to roll over and fall off, but I figure we don't want to wait until he is close to it before we start taking precautions. That way we'll be in the habit of it when suddenly, unexpectedly, he can roll over.
The other thing I have discovered this week is putting him down to sleep on his belly. I know this is a no no SIDS-wise, so I don't do it at night or in bed. But on the couch during the day time for a nap? yep. He loves it. I hadn't been able to get him to sleep alone (as opposed to on mummy or daddy) during the day more than about 3 times, until I had this brain wave that that is what he wanted. Then he has the same pressure against his body as sleeping on our chest, but without the bony bits. And he can't startle himself awake by throwing out his arms. Today we are going to get the bassinet cleaned so we can start using it. Then during the day I can put him down in their if he's asleep and I can be (say) sitting here in the study working on the computer (playing is more like it), and have him right next to me. At the moment he's in the living room, but I wouldn't leave him alone in there if the cats were around, which they generally are once I let them out of the laundry in the morning. Sometimes I just open their catflap from the laundry and let them outside for a while and not into the rest of house, but I don't like to do that for long - they're neglected enough at the moment as it is!
There's always the sling, but he hasn't taken to that especially yet. He tolerates it if he's sleepy, but not if he's grumpy, and he doesn't sleep in it for all that long if I am at the computer - it's OK if I'm walking around though. I'm hoping he'll grow into liking it a bit more when he has better neck control, and can look around more. He definitely likes to look around at what's going on.
Whatever else may be true about the 6 week mark, I can say that things are getting easier. Even though by the time I detect a pattern in behaviour it's changed already, I do feel like I'm getting to know my little boy - to understand what his little noises and expressions and cries mean. And when he smiles... I tell ya, no-one could resist smiling back.