Monday, January 3, 2011

All About Elyse: 16 Weeks

This is the actual letter we are leaving for Evelyn and Fred & Francie (the Grandmas and Grandpa) who will be watching Elyse starting this week. I decided to share it here for two reasons. One, it is a nice keepsake for Elyse to read one day about what was going on with her as a baby. Two, as a new Mama, I know I enjoy reading about other babies and their schedules and routines. It is oddly interesting to me so I'm guessing it might be to another Mama (or Daddy) out there. This is something I'd recommend to any new parent returning to work. It really does help even if you feel goofy doing it!

Elyse has LOVED her baths since day one. I had to have Mr. Snowman in the tub with her so we could discreetly share a picture with you!

Dear Grandmas and Grandpa:

I know you are already pros and don’t need an instruction manual. But, I thought it would help everyone with a little info about how my routine has worked so far and what works best for my family.

Mommy plans to drop me off between 7 and 7:30 a.m. Daddy will pick me up between 4:30 and 5 p.m. We’ll let you know if any of those times change or if someone different will be doing the dropping off/picking up. Mom’s office is on the other side of town and she’s hoping to work a shorter schedule to get off a bit earlier, so she won’t be able to come see me at lunch. But, it means she’ll get more time with me in the evening! Her new office is by the XXXXX so if you are ever out and about, please do feel free to call to visit!

I’m currently drinking five, sometimes six ounces at a time. Daddy plans to feed me about 4:30 a.m., so I’m sure I’ll be ready for a bottle when I come see you. Don’t be surprised if I’m ready for another bottle about an hour or two after that. That old saying, “There’s no way I can be hungry again” just doesn’t work with me. Sometimes, I really am hungry again! I get particularly hungry in the mornings (that first feeding is when you can often get me to drink six ounces instead of five)! Mom and Dad’s routine after I wake up from a nap is to change my diaper and feed me. This puts me eating every two to three hours (other than naptimes). Some days I don’t eat real well and it affects my night-time sleep (I wake up hungry!) so please always offer me the bottle even if I act like I don’t want it at first.

You will only be feeding formula; pumped milk and nursing will just be at home. OK to use tap water to mix the formula if your water is good. Mom and Dad use lukewarm to warm water from our tap. If your water is good enough for you to drink, it is OK to give me.

You can keep my formula out for about an hour after it is mixed. If I don’t drink it all, and if it is more than an ounce Mom and Dad do put it back in the fridge to re-use. (Yes, we know this is not what the formula companies suggest!!) We just heat in a bowl with hot water. I’m not too picky about the temp, so it doesn’t have to be warm. Mostly, I just don’t like it when the nipple is cold sometimes it just works to warm that.

I’m about to outgrow my current disposables so feel free to use them a little more now. We have a big box at home of the bigger ones, so when you are out let us know. Otherwise, I’d love it if you’d keep me in my cloth ones most of the time (when you aren’t running around). It will help Mom and Dad a lot if you could pull the insert out (by the tag) and the Velcro tabs onto the laundry tabs (it helps so they don’t string together in the wash). The organic cotton ones (the ones without the pocket insert) are the ones that I feel right away when I’m wet, so please put down the fleece liner first. It helps keep me nice and dry.

Please put my poopy ones in a separate garbage sack inside the wet bag so Mama or Daddy can spray off at the end of the day. We might try flushable liners once I start on solids to make this a little easier for everyone. I do need to be changed more often in cloth diapers, so Mom and Dad try to keep me changed every two to three hours, when I wake up from a nap, but of course if I’m sleeping, no worries! So far, so good, not one diaper rash! (PS: please don’t put diaper cream on my bum. It can ruin my diapers).

We plan to send clean diapers every day plus a wet bag to put the used ones in. We hope you don’t mind using the cloth diapers, but I think you’ll find they are pretty easy.

On average, I take about three naps a day, but this really varies. Sometimes I’m a great napper, sometimes not so much. I sleep great in the car and if you quietly bring me inside in my car seat, I’ll often take a great nap for you if you just put me in quiet room. It is often on these days that I can sleep so much you might have to wake me up. Please don’t let me sleep more than two and a half to three hours. So far, I take my best naps in the afternoon. Mornings are most often catnaps. However, that might change because Mama is going to be getting me up earlier! As much as not getting good naps throughout the day can affect my night-time sleep, so does sleeping too long. Mom and Dad thank you for that!

To keep me safe, please make sure to put me to sleep on my back with no blankets. Or, you can use a very light blanket (ideally a loose-weave afghan and just tuck from my waist down). Yes, Mom and Dad are very nervous about SIDS and I’m still at high-risk so they are very careful. I think they are kind of silly, but I know they’d do anything to keep me safe. However, because I sleep on my back please limit time on my back at other times during the day. You can keep me upright in my swing, hold me for a nap if you want, and help me with tummy time so we can work on rounding out that little flat spot on my head.

I do love it when you sing and read to me. I don’t care if you can’t carry a tune, I just love to look at you and hear you sing to me. I love grabbing things right now so anything you can put in my hands, I’m going to love!

Mom and Dad will pack two extra outfits a day in case I have issues. Please let us know if you need more! Mom and Dad left a little notebook in the diaper bag. Every once in a while if you wouldn’t mind keeping notes of my schedule (how much I ate, diapers changed, if I poo’d, naps), it would mean a lot to my parents. Nothing necessary for everyday, but just a request for once in a while to keep them connected to my routine.
I’m very thankful to get to spend time with you. My Mom is so sad to not see me as much. But, we will get through it and I’m a lucky baby girl to get to spend extra time getting love from two Grandmas and my Grandpa.

Thanks for loving me and let’s have FUN!



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