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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Amélie 3 Days
So off we went to the pub yesterday, and a good time was had by all.

Twas an awful night though. Lu went to bed at 10pm, but Amélie was awake and crying (if I'd let her) from 11pm - 1am. At 1am I gave up, due to being completely frazzled, and took her to Lu where she got a feed.

Courtesy of a nod from annika_j I watched The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD. (Edit: turns out we already have the DVD, in Portuguese!) To distil it down, the author was essentially saying that parents are not taught how to look after the mental welfare of the baby, which I completely agree with. And that in turn really boils down to how to stop your baby crying. He had 5 techniques, known as the 5 S's:

1. Swaddle - wrapping the baby up pretty tightly in a swaddling blanket, critically ensuring the arms are "snared", as they can in turn wake the baby up. Also ensuring the blanket is "locked" in place, which I can't do with either of our blankets due to being too small.
2. Side/Stomach - to put the baby on its side stomach, a position it prefers to be in.
3. Shushing - to give a loud shush in the baby's ear, to simulate the womb environment.
4. Swaying - or jiggling. To bounce the baby quite firmly, again to simulate the movement inside the womb environment.
5. Sucking - to give a dummy, or let the baby suck on your finger.

Something else he said, which I completely agree with, is that the 3 months after the baby's birth are almost like a fourth trimester of pregnancy. The baby is totally helpless and needs care 24/7, albeit this goes on for a fair while after as well.

I tried 1, 2 and 3, while Amélie was crying and she stopped within seconds. Unfortunately 20 seconds later she started crying again, and all I could do to keep her quiet was to let her suck my finger (for 2 hours on and off). She was like a frickin' machine. Ordinarily I would put her on my chest and give her some comforting massage, but NOTHING was working.

On the topic of maternity care though I have nothing but good things to say about the NHS. The regular visits from the midwife and health visitor are clearly a great idea, and the advice and care they give is A+. Very impressed.

No real plans for today. Terry and Sarah are coming over mid-afternoon for a quick visit. We're also due a health visitor visit.

I might head off to Basingstoke to get the baby monitor, as they have a big Argos there. I just need to double check the monitor covers breathing movement.

Tomorrow we're going to mum and dad's, and my sister is going to see her niece for the first time (along with the rest of her family).

And some photos from yesterday.

Lu, Evani and Jose

^Lu and her parents, smiling! Lu's family have French, Italian and Amazon Indian ancestry (and probably more). Mixed in with my Scottish and English ancestry I'm curious to see how she turns out :-)


^Amélie does her "STOP, in the name of love!" look.

Lu, Evani & Jose

^And another of Lu with her parents; Lu just finishing her dessert.

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I'm sure part of it is hunger, I wonder if it's partly comfort though. I guess it will depend on her weight gain.

We do have some SMA on standby if necessary...

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Yep, she loves "carihno" as they say in Portuguese, which is understandable I guess if you were wrapped up in a womb for 9 months. Heck, I still love it now ;-)

My only worry with formula is that breast milk is so much more nutricious. Lu is expressing loads, and I reckon it would be even better if we had an electric pump. She doesn't want that yet though.

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My concern is feeding her too much, although I'm sure the health visitor said she will only drink what she wants, which makes sense. Although you do see some big boned babies! :-)

bellyrubs help too sometimes.

She used to like when she laid on me, and I rubbed her back gently. That didn't work yesterday though! :-(

A warm bath helps sometimes too. You'll learn what her cries mean soon enough. It comes with time. Your baby is beautiful. When I recover from my fall, I'll be snailing you a package. =)

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