Caleb Manuel is one month old today! I don’t even know how that is possible already. It simultaneously feels like yesterday that he was born and forever ago. I’m both sad and happy… sad because I’m realizing how true it is that they grow WAY too fast, and happy that we made it through the first month when at times, I really doubted whether or not I could do it.
Our little man (often called “Pup” or “Puppy,” not sure why) is quite a big boy these days. Though we haven’t had his one month check up yet, we believe he now weighs between 11 and 12 pounds. He is in size one diapers and 0-3 month clothing. He wore newborn sizes for about two weeks then grew to be too long for them. He’s also had really long, skinny fingers since birth.
He eats A LOT! He’s had quite an appetite since we first brought him home and we even took him to the doctor a couple of weeks ago because we thought he was eating too much. He eats 4 ounces during his daytime feedings every 2-4 hours, and 5 ounces for overnight feedings which range anywhere from every 3-5 hours. We JUST bumped him up to 5 ounces at night because he is continually hungry and that seems to fill him up. The doctor said that while he does indeed have a large appetite, he isn’t overeating as long as he isn’t throwing up, so to feed him when he’s hungry… okay! He is a little picky about bottle nipples. Before he was born, I bought him all these expensive bottles, none of which he liked the nipples on. Instead, he likes the cheapy, disposable Similac nipples! So we returned the expensive ones and use those nipples on Dollar Tree bottles… hey, whatever works!
We did attempt nursing for the first two weeks, but it was too painful and never seemed to satisfy his huge appetite, so now I exclusively pump and also supplement with formula. I’d say he gets about half and half. I did struggle a lot with this decision and felt incredibly guilty, but his doctor assured us that it was fine as he is very clearly growing! I’m glad I can still provide him with some milk at least. We’ve also learned that he is NOT a big burper. We burp him after every feeding, but it’s rare that we’ll get a burp out of him. He’ll do it once in awhile, but usually LONG after he’s eaten. Pretty sure he makes up for this with his farting though, although that has been decreasing a lot too… typical boy!
Caleb’s sleep schedule is okay but a little wonky. He currently sleeps in his rock and play next to our bed. During the day, he usually sleeps on his hand in some way or another! He got swaddled for about two weeks, then decided he hated it and would bust his arms out. He also makes a lot of noises in his sleep and sounds like a little pterodactyl. Ha! He usually sleeps in three hour stretches. Thursday and Friday night, he did a five hour stretch followed by a four hour stretch and I seriously felt like a new woman the following mornings! I was so happy! Last night he went back to three hour stretches though, so we’ll see how he does tonight. Fingers crossed for me please!
His current favorite things are: looking at lights, his MAM binky (when he isn’t mad and spitting it out), being held and rocked (especially on our shoulder or chest), being sung to by Mommy (country music and “Falling Slowly” from Once), and eating!
He isn’t a fan of: wearing hats, tummy time (though he does have a very strong head and neck that he’s been holding up for quite some time now… he just typically refuses to do it during tummy time), the bath (though he doesn’t mind when you’re putting the warm water on him; it’s when he starts to get cold that he hates it), and diaper changes and getting dressed (particularly the part where the onesie goes over the head). His bouncy seat and Boppy lounger are both hit or miss. He really prefers to be held, but sometimes he will cooperate in these seats for a bit. I’m thinking of getting him a swing too.
Our little man is quite serious and inquisitive. When he’s awake, he is constantly looking around and is mostly all business. He smiles in his sleep, but not yet when he’s awake, though we do think we might have gotten ONE smile yesterday when he was up. He also does this funny little Elvis face in his sleep too, with his lip half up. We also think he looks like a little man instead of a baby, and we hear from everyone that he is his daddy’s twin.
Because of flu season and the below zero temps, Caleb hasn’t been out much in his first month. He’s gone to the doctor’s, to get blood drawn several times (when he was first born and had jaundice), to his grandma’s house, and to a friend’s house to hang out with her and her three month old. He also went to Babies R Us once, but had his first real outing in public yesterday because the temperatures were finally double digits! We went to Target, my work to drop something off, and Aldis, although he and I stayed in the car at Aldis since Jerry just ran in for a few things. He behaved really well for his first big adventure and basically slept the whole time!
My first couple weeks of motherhood were quite trying, if I’m being honest, but things have been much easier the last couple of weeks. When we first got home, I was so overwhelmed and stressed out. I definitely experienced the “baby blues” which really surprised me but which I’m learning is very common. Because my hormones were out of whack, I was completely exhausted/overwhelmed, and recovering from labor, you could catch me crying on a daily basis. I went to see my Ob-gyn just a few days after he was born because I was really upset about how I felt. They actually commended me for recognizing it and for doing something about it. Luckily, once my hormones started to get back to normal and I started to get into more of a routine with the baby, I began to feel better and am basically back to normal now.
Luckily, I had some great support from friends and family who helped me get through it. We had a lot of visitors, messages, and meals from friends and family. Honestly though, Jerry and I could NOT have made it through the first month without the help and support of my parents. My mother stayed over countless nights to help us learn, cope, and get some sleep and she and my dad keep me and Cal company a lot of evenings while Jerry is at work. Things are definitely settling down now though, and I am really learning what it takes to be a mom to my little boy. I never knew how hard, tiring, trying, and time consuming it would be (seriously, I’ve probably only read about 100 pages since he was born!), but I am getting the hang of it now. I really and truly learn more about him every hour, and love him more and more each day. He is SO worth it and we are all madly in love with our little guy!