Phew! That sure flew by. My baby girl turns 2 weeks old today! Crazy!
I can’t tell you how crazy amazing the past 2 weeks have been. Making the transition from a married couple to a family has been tough. Tough, but rewarding.
I’m learning her different cries. I’m learning her faces. At first, I just figured she thought I was the cutest, funniest person she has ever met. Now I realize her smiles usually follow a passing of gas, pee or poop and she is smiling in relief. Which is okay, I have plenty of years ahead to make her realize I’m funny. I won Christine over, I’m sure I can win Evelyn over.
I’ve learned that babies are amazing. At first, I thought she was trying to play me in the world’s longest staring contest. And I got concerned. “Ummm, Christine, Evelyn is just staring at me. She isn’t making any faces. Her head isn’t moving. This is weird…”
Now I realize that she is trying to learn my face, learn my smell, and take everything around her in and learn what it is to feel safe in a strange person’s arms. And now I love our staring contests. I look into her huge blue eyes and try to be as reassuring as I can. I tell her that I love her, that I will always be here for her, and that she doesn’t have to worry about not feeling safe ever again, because I’m her Dad and I will always take care of her. And her facial expressions change with every sentence – from concern, to contemplation, to understanding – at least I think they do.
I’ve learned that Christine is an amazing Mom. She is so strong and calm around Evelyn. She doesn’t really get rattled. She takes her fussiness with a grain of salt. We laugh about her crazy poopy and smelly diapers. I’ve seen how much she has struggled through the pain of breastfeeding, but still pushes through. And we work together to figure everything out. I love her more and more every day – if that is even possible.
But now is the time that we need to start planning our schedules moving forward. Christine still has 6 weeks left before she goes back to school. I have 5 days until I go back to work. And, I’ve really come to love my mornings with Evelyn. Every morning around 5am, she wakes up and because Christine has been waking up to feed her in the middle of the night, I take her downstairs at 5am and hold her and watch some TV until about 8am, when Christine wakes up and comes downstairs.
Pre-baby, I woke up at 5:45am, showered and left for work by 6:45am to start work at 7:30am. So when is my morning baby time? And when will Christine get her break for a few hours of sleep? I know we’ll figure it out, but, I like our schedule now. It’s going to suck when it changes.
Photo Courtesy of: Susan Weeks Children’s Portraiture
I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of being a Dad these first two weeks and am looking forward to learning more about Evelyn and watch and interact with her as she grows. What an amazing thing parenthood is!
Question: Parents – what are some of your “tricks of the trade” to calm a fussy baby? Any secret things we need to try? Post them in the comments!
She is beautiful and you and Christine are amazing parents. It will be an adjustment when you go back to work, but Evelyn and Christine will slide into a new routine! Is she fussy at the same time every day?
The “shh shh shh” noise and lots of bouncing and walking. Or hold her like a football, on her belly. That helps move gas around too.
Susan – Thank you! But no, she isn’t fussy at the same time. It’s usually about an hour after she feeds and after she’s slept for a bit. We do this bouncy, walky, sway thing that seems to help, and she really likes it when I walk the stairs with her, but that is exhausting (even though I could use the workout). Jaime – I’ll have to try the football hold. I’ve attempted it, but it feels awkward, so I think I just need to get used to the different hold. Thanks for the comments!
I will see if I can track down my book called Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvy Karp. It has 5 strategies for calming a fussy baby. The book goes into great detail, but the short of it is 1. swaddle, 2. shhh, 3. swing, 4. suck, 5. lay then on your arm in football hold on their stomach facing toward the floor (the pressure on the belly helps them or feels good or something).