Life with Arthur: One Month Update

Arthur is already 6 weeks old, but I figured I would backtrack a bit and write a one month update. The first month with Arthur was so much fun, but also equally exhausting and definitely overwhelming at times.

Thankfully my postpartum recovery was relatively easy. I was sore and felt like I had sea legs for the first few days, but I wasn't in too much pain. We went outside for walks only a handful of times during the first few weeks, but that was mainly due to the bitterly cold temperatures. I had heard all sorts of horror stories about postpartum hormones, including crazy mood swings and night sweats, but luckily haven't experienced any of those things. 

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Everyone told us to get sleep while we could in the hospital, and now I know why. The first week that we were at home went by in a blur. We tag-teamed at night, taking turns staying up with Arthur when he became fussy. During the first 2 weeks I was waking up every 2 hours to feed Arthur. I think that I got at least 6 hours of sleep each night in total, which isn't bad, but broken sleep definitely took some time to get used to. I was in constant need of naps for the first week or so.

Thankfully Brian was at home the first week back from the hospital, so we managed pretty well. At first it took both of us to do everything, from outfit changes to diaper changes, but we quickly adapted and are now pros at changing diapers, with the exception of the occasional open air accident on the changing table. You definitely have to be quick when it comes to changing boy diapers! Arthur has without fail peed on one of us during every bath.

In terms of breastfeeding, we had some latching issues at the hospital, but by the time we left Arthur was doing much better and latching on more consistently. The doctors were impressed by his strong sucking reflex, so that was never an issue. My biggest challenge was simply controlling his arms, legs and head, which he would flail about when he got upset and hungry. In fact, he would make the funniest oinking noise (just like a baby pig) when he got hungry. When we went to the doctor for our first appointment 2 days after being released from the hospital Arthur had lost quite a bit of weight and was down to 4 pounds, 11.5 ounces (see below picture).

We were told to bring him back in two days for another weight check, and thankfully he had gained a whopping 5.5 ounces in two days and was back to 5 pounds, 1 ounce at our next appointment. By his 2 week appointment, he weighed 6 pounds, 1 ounce.

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In between feedings Arthur slept a lot, either on us or in his bassinet swaddled in a receiving blanket. Speaking of swaddling, we tried every brand of swaddle in the first few weeks, including the Miracle Blanket, the Peanut Swaddle, and Summer Infant Swaddles (most were way too big on him). The only swaddle that worked was a plain receiving blanket, but after the first week he was fighting to get his arms out and wouldn't relax unless we left him unswaddled while sleeping. Of course that meant that he was also startling himself awake, but it seemed to be the best option at the time.

Since then, we have discovered that he sleeps really well with the Halo Fleece Sleepsack Swaddle, with his arms free of course. And we have also started putting him to bed in his Rock n Play instead of the bassinet because he startles less often and sleeps very well (he's consistently gone slept for 4-5 hour stretches at night since the switch up).

Personality wise, he was quite the cool cucumber during his first two weeks. As a colicky baby myself, I was shocked that I had given birth to such a relaxed guy. He slept, ate, and observed the world quietly, with wide open eyes when he was awake. He also made the funniest facial expressions. My favorite is when he stretched his long neck, which we called his "E.T. look".

His burping face is also priceless. And of course the smiles that he makes while he is sleeping could melt anyone's heart. 

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One of the first things that everyone has noticed about Arthur is his remarkable strength. He has astounding head control for such a tiny guy and he has been comfortable with tummy time since the first week. He was also able to roll from his back to his side within the first week. And I can't even describe how difficult it is to pull his legs down when he wants them curled up. Baby strength is no joke.

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In terms of dislikes, Arthur hates being undressed and having his diaper changed (he doesn't like the cold) and cried the first few times that we gave him a bath (his umbilical cord actually fell off when he was only 6 days old). He is also very reluctant to sit in either the vibrating chair that we have or the Rock n Play during the day, and he has never fallen asleep in one of the chairs. I typically try to get him to nap next to me in my Boppy nursing pillow, which I have never used for nursing. The lactation consultant that we met with told me to buy this one, and it has been a life savor for my back and arms. 

Arthur celebrated many firsts before he turned one month old, including Valentine's Day and Colgate Day.

One of Arthur's favorite ways to be held is over our shoulders while we are burping him. That usually quiets him down if he is fussy and he loves looking out over our shoulders. 

Speaking of fussiness, he definitely "woke up" when he was three weeks old and had long bouts of crying that neither of us could figure out at first. I initially thought that he was hungry because he wanted to suck on everything, including Brian's fingers. One night, after a long bout of crying and breastfeeding exhaustion, I caved and gave him a pacifier (I had been told to wait at least 3 weeks before introducing a pacifier). I tried the WubbaNub and he loved it, but it kept falling out of his mouth and he would panic and start crying, so I ordered these Mam pacifiers and they have done the trick, they stay put and are the perfect size for a newborn. Arthur's preferred method of self-soothing is definitely the pacifier, and after talking to his pediatrician about it, I don't have any qualms about using it.

We had our first panic attack as parents when he was three weeks old and called the pediatrician in the middle of the night when we found that one of his eyes was covered in yellow gunk. It turns out that he just had a blocked tear duct, which is very common in newborns.

But overall, I would have to say that Arthur is a pretty easy-going baby. He usually cries when he needs something and we're starting to understand what his cries mean. It doesn't hurt that his mom and dad think he is the most adorable baby in the world. We could stare at him all day long. We love you Arthur!