The Second Month

Baby Must-Haves (Guest Post)

Hello.

Liv here, Jasper’s Mum and Caleb’s other half.  We’ve had Jasper for two months now so are slowly figuring out what baby must-haves are actually that. I’ll leave Caleb to do a post one day about the big ticket items, but I thought I’d write a quick post about my favourite day-to-day things that have made my life easier in the first eight weeks. I figure they’ll be great reminders when we move on to baby number two, but I thought it might be handy  for blog readers for future babies or awesome baby shower gifts. I was always that person that bought tiny button-up onesies and cutesy accessories. Next time I’m going to buy really practical stuff that might seem boring at 34 weeks pregnant but are real lifesavers in those early weeks.  Most people know I’m incredibly cheap which makes it ironic that most of these things are on the expensive end of baby things. All of the things I’ve listed will easily get us through a second kid- so I guess they work out cheaper in the long run.

Clothing

We have been gifted so many clothes that I am actually dreading what it will be like in six months when we might actually have to buy him clothes. Every item we’ve been given we are so thankful for. It’s made the first couple of months so easy, and its been nice for the wallet. We do have a few standout favourites though.

Bonds Wondersuits – Caleb mentioned these before but they really are lifesavers. Save up and buy a few in each size. The beauty is that they have two zips. One from the top and one from the bottom. They also have bits that fold over at the hands and feet to become mittens and socks.  We tend to use them at night when we just want quick and easy nappy changes. Yes, they are expensive but you can get from places like The Warehouse or Tiny Turtles or Sleepstore on sale every now and again. I’ve mostly bought gender neutral stripy ones in case next time we have a girl. Be warned – the girl ones are waaaaayyy cuter than the boy ones.

wondersuit

Lamington and Bonds socks– I hate socks for babies. Just as much as I hate booties. We were gifted a few pairs of each of these and they are pretty much the only ones Jasper has worn. They stay on. Which keeps me somewhat sane.

NBN - SNOWFLAKE

Bodysuits – you can’t have enough of these. We went through sooo many of these in the early days before learning that for boys, you have to point their willy down in the nappy, otherwise their wees just leak out the top. I’ve also recently started using singlets and golly they are amazing too – especially at night when there’s one less thing to do up.

Tips-

  • If you are going to buy onesies get ones with zips. Buttons make you want to cry. Domes are all good during the day but Jasper has had a few nights of having a crotchless onesie situation because I am too tired to spend the time to line up domes.
  • If you buy someone tights  get ones with feet. Again, you don’t need to deal with socks.
  • Buy a few jumpers or cardigans as gifts. We have lots of bodysuits and tights but only a few warm things for on top. They’ll get heaps of use because everyone likes a baby that’s dressed like an adult.

 

Random bits and bobs

 A pack of old school cloth nappies- again, a few people recommended getting these but not for their actual use. We use them to line his mattress, as spill cloths, sun shades in the car and to lie him on after a bath.  We use them all day every day. Get a pack.

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Aden and Anais Swaddles/Wraps- Get these from Farmers in their 50% off nursery sale. You probably need 4. They are huge so perfect for baby burritos when you are swaddling.   Lots of people use the Love to Dream swaddles. We were lent a couple but I wasn’t a fan. J sucked his hands all the time so they were a wet smelly mess. He could still hit his head with his hands and he also learnt how to shimmy up in them so a few times he would wake up from having hit is head on the top of the Moses basket. Maybe get one of each to see what one is right for you.

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White Noise playing device- J loves it. The point is that it sounds like the womb so it is reassuring for them to sleep with. The minute its turned off Jasper will wake up. We put it on for every sleep. We have rainfall instead of the static noise so Caleb and I can sleep with it at night too. We think we are actually sleeping better too. We used my phone in the early days but I got annoyed at not being able to use it. I really didn’t want to spend $80 on a special device that only plays white noise so we got a cheap portable Bluetooth speaker and connect to the white noise app using our phone.  There’s heaps of apps out there for white noise. I have an Android and use an app called Relaxio. But again, the cheap thing is coming to bite me in the butt. Tomorrow I’m going to splash out and buy a proper, standalone white noise device. We have concrete walls which means my phone does have to pretty much be in the same room as the Bluetooth speaker for it to work, which defeats the purpose.  Its also just too hard when I’m so tired to remember to charge two devices every five hours.

A wheat bag- one of the midwives taught me this trick and it makes a huge difference to J’s sleep. Heat a wheat bag for 1min 30 and put in his bed for 30 seconds ( I usually swaddle him in this time). Take it out, lay baby down, put a blanket on top, put the wheat bag down, and then the other blankets. It goes on the bedding to emulate you and your warmth, and then on top because they like the weight and warmth on their belly as it reminds them of their womb. It’s cheap, easy and it works wonders. I stopped doing this for a week cos I got lazy. J’s day sleeps went crazy again. Plunket Nurse suggested going back to it. This afternoon he slept for two hours. Clearly this is a keeper for us.

A carrier-  We (mostly me) made the decision not to buy a capsule for the baby. A capsule is the little plastic seat thing you see tiny babies sitting in at cafes. They are also what they sit in in the car 🙂  As I said earlier, I am really cheap but I’m also really safety conscious when it comes to my boy.  I spent hours watching car seat and capsule crash tests to see what one he’d be more likely to survive in. I looked at hiring a really safe one but it would be just under $200 for six months. Instead we slammed that money into the safest convertible car seat on the market (a Diano in case you are wondering) that goes from newborn to 12-years old. The downside is you can’t just pop a car seat in the trolley, or carry them in somewhere for a quick errand, so we bought a carrier. We knew we’d want one anyway as we both liked the ease compared to the pram for everything. A carrier is essentially a harness so you can wear the baby. We used it for the first time when he was just four days old and has been used on the regular ever since Ergo is the popular brand. But, we both found them quite uncomfortable. Mountain Buggy (same brand as our pram) brought one out a couple years ago and it was way more comfortable for both of us. It’s called the Juno and it fits both Caleb and mine’s style.  I love it because it means I can hug Jasper for hours and he has no way of getting off me. The downside is people can’t see your baby when they are tiny so you don’t get as many compliments on how cute he is.

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*Ours is Navy and white striped so clearly way cooler than this one from their marketing.

**Yes, i know this is too expensive for a present.

Blankets- I knitted one for J for his bed and we were gifted two amazing quality ones from Nature Baby and Smith and Caughey. They are beautiful and we use them daily in the car, pram and bed.  We have about five blankets for Jasper and they all get used all the time.  We can’t believe how often we have to wash them, so don’t hesitate to buy a blanket for someone- just make sure it’s wool or cotton so baby can sleep with it (baby blankets have to be breathable fabrics like wool or cotton so baby doesn’t accidentally suffocate himself).

Spill Cloths- J spills a lot. We have found the best spill cloths are the cheap muslins from The Warehouse and Kmart. Get about 10. They are too small to wrap him in, but big enough to wipe up a few decent spills. Rocko also loves these, preferably in a used state.

Change Station– This has been one of our best buys. I got it at the 50% off farmers nursery sale but it doesn’t look like they sell them anymore. The brand I got is called Skip Hop. A compartment for nappies, a zipped area where I store wipes and hand sanitiser and a little tube of nappy cream. Then there is also a wipeable mat. Its great when you are out just to chuck this in the pram or a handbag and not have to take his whole nappy bag with me

change wallet in one

Nappy Bag/Doggy bag dispenser- My boss mentioned this trick to me. You know those little holders that you put doggy bags in for walks? Get one of them for dirty nappies when you are out. I got one for a few bucks from Kmart. But dog ones are the same. I have this clipped on to the change wallet so that I don’t forget them. At home we just have some cheap nappy bags from Pak N Save that are in a wet wipe style pouch.

nappy bag dispenser

Change Mat- My aunty got me this awesome one by ‘Pretty Brave’ and I love it. It was such a cool gift. I hope like hell she didn’t spend that much money on me though. I leave it set up where we play and because it is wipeable it doesn’t matter if he spills on it or wees on it during naked time.  I think this will be handy for laying him on the ground and him playing when he is a little bigger. Also, it’s great for photo backdrops

change mat

Water Wipes-  Everyone raved about these. I thought $7, no way. Even more people raved about them. So, I bought a pack for those first few days where the babies have the awful meconium poos. They were great. When we got home we went back to using the cheap $2 wipes and within days Jasper’s bum was a sore red almost blistering mess. Back to the water wipes we went. In the past few weeks Silk (one of the cheap brands) has got water ones now too. They are about $2 I think and just as good. Get them. It’s also really reassuring that babe doesn’t have too many chemicals on him yet.

Feeding

Lanolin Cream– For your nips. you can get this from the pharmacy. Just get the tiniest tube, you don’t need much and you will only need to use it for a few days. This is made of lanolin which is natural so you don’t have to wipe off before baby feeds.

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Hydrogel Discs- You can get these from the baby shops for about $20. They are like ice packs for your nips. If you are cheap like me you will use them for a couple of days each so you only need one box of them. You only need them for the first few days

Even though I had feeding issues so had to use the breast pump heaps my nips were still in agony from being pulled so frequently and these were lifesavers.

hydrogel disc pads

Unimom Forte Breast Pump- Even before having Jasper, I knew I’d want to express so Caleb could help with a bottle every now and then. Everyone around us seemed to recommend this one because it is so good and way cheaper than the Medela ones. Despite feeling like a cow while doing it, it has worked great for me. I even just bought a switch converter so that I can make it manual when travelling. If you want one, wait until you sign up to Antenatal classes through The Parent Centre. Every two months they have a 20% off discount at Baby Factory. This brings the pump down to just $200.

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Milton Tablets- you have to sterilise your bottles and pump stuff for the first three months of a baby’s life. You just chuck a few tablets in a couple of litres of water and ta da, everything is sterilised. This is what our parents did and it’s way easier than boiling or having to buy a gadget to microwave etc. The supermarkets sell them for about $8. They do smell like bleach, though. That’s the only downside.

milton

Mam anti-colic bottles- I don’t know if they stop colic, but they have a steriliser built into them. This means when you are out and about you can just put a bit of water in the bottom and microwave for a few mins and they are good to go. Farmers sell them, so I just got them in the 50% off nursery sale.

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Nursing singlets- everyone told me to get them and I agree. Don’t be cheap though. You will be living in these and nursing bras so don’t get the Kmart or Warehouse ones. Also. don’t get ones where you’ve got to whip the whole boob thing down to feed. The best one I found was at Farmers by Lyric brand. It has selectively cut triangle bits of fabric. This is great for privacy when out and about as no one can see a thing. They are comfy as can be too. I only have one so save it for when I know I’ll be out lots. Buy a few in a sale and they work out the same price as the cheap nasty ones.

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*This isn’t the one I have. Clearly showing this much skin on the Farmers site isn’t allowed, but this is the kind of one you want.

Breastfeeding pillow- my boss gave me hers as she hadn’t used it much. A lot of people say you don’t need them, and you don’t, but they are handy. Try and get one that fits around your hips, so you can sit with your knees crossed. They are comfy and most importantly to me, when J spills on them I can whip the cover off and chuck in wash. Much better than getting milk voms on your nice lounge pillows.

Things you don’t really need-

A baby bath- I was dead set against one just for storage reasons. We were gifted one. We used it a few times, but by far his favourite thing to do is bath or shower with us. It is a lovely way to end the day and already I’m sad at the thought that in a short time we won’t be doing it anymore.

A change table- Again, didn’t want one. We were gifted one. It’s been handy, but I’m so keen to get rid of it. A mat on the drawers was our original plan and it is great. Don’t think you can just lean over on the carpet/bed- it kills your back.

Nursing Pads- Don’t buy nursing pads for people, or too many for yourself. I was gifted heaps of disposable and reusable ones. I don’t really use them. I thought this was just because I don’t have too much milk, but actually a lot of people I’ve talked to say they only use them at night.

Nappy Bag- I’m not stylish at all, but these things are seriously ugly. I use a country road tote when we are going to Caleb’s folks or for a day out, otherwise I use a small bag and chuck a spare change, a bottle, and the change wallet in.

Bath thermometer- lols. We bought one and were gifted one. It stopped working after a week. Your elbow or just common sense really is just as good at figuring out the temperature.

Really awesome present ideas

If these haven’t inspired you then get some things for mum. I got a bottle of fancy champers from one friend. Another got me some lovely lavender candles. When I finished up at work I got my eyebrows done and bought some nice lip scrub and bath bombs from lush. Sometimes they make me feel semi normal when I feel like death. Vouchers or those things would be nice.  One of the best gifts we have received though is food in those early days. Coming home to cooked meals has been amazing. My sister in law and a work friend also made me lactation cookies. They were a really thoughtful and yummy idea.  Here’s the recipe. Remember to add lots of chocolate: https://nadialim.com/recipe/lactation-cookies/

Lastly, make an effort to go and visit mum and baby. Everyone warns of all the people wanting to visit baby in the first week and I think it may have become the norm to do the complete opposite.  We’ve been a bit surprised by the lack of enthusiasm by the people we love most to meet Jasper. While Caleb gets to go to school and have adult company its just me and Jasper all day and it gets pretty lonely. Sure, give new parents a few weeks but after that they are begging for adult company. Send a text to see if you are welcome for a cuddle.

 

 

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The Second Month

The Six-week Transformation

I last wrote that I’d been having a rough time adjusting to life with Jasper, that I was tired and frustrated. Well, I’m glad to report that those feelings all but disappeared pretty much bang on the six-week mark.

People had told us that the first six weeks were the hardest, and I didn’t really appreciate that until we’d been through it. At six weeks, Jasper started smiling more regularly, would lie awake calmly for longer periods of time, and just start to give back to us a little more.

But a change happened in me, too: I fell in love with the little guy. Clearly, love isn’t a black-and-white thing that is there one minute and not the next, but one day I just noticed that I felt that overwhelming love I’d expected to feel right at the start. It just took a while to kick in. I’d look down at him and think, wow, he is the best thing that ever lived!

Not only did my feelings for J get stronger, but I was just happier. Things seemed easier. I was still tired as hell, but it was manageable now. I enjoyed going to work more, and getting out and seeing people.

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Jasper getting kisses from his Gran Nan

Now he’s eight weeks old and these are the things I love about him right now:

  • He talks to me. When he’s awake and calm, I’ll lie him down on my lap and hold his head in my hands. I make exaggerated facial expressions to try to get him to mimic me. Once I’ve got his attention I’ll just talk to him about anything, and he’ll start making noises. They’re short, sharp sounds but I know it’s him responding to me. It’s great fun, our little chats.
  • The smiles he gives me when he’s meant to be sleeping. I just think this is the best. Usually when I put him down for his first long sleep, about 9pm, he looks up and me with this big grin on his face. I have to tell him, “Jasper put that smile away! It’s bed time, you have to sleep now”. And he just grins even more, those huge eyes lighting up. It’s just too adorable.
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    Sitting and Chilling

    He’s happy just sitting and chilling. I often prop him up in some pillows on the couch and he’ll just sit there, watching what’s going on, happy as anything. It’s a nice change from the baby who pretty much was either sleeping, eating or crying.

  • He’s not as floppy. He seems to have great neck strength and holds his head up no problem now. It just makes him easier to carry and pass and that sort of thing.
  • Bath time. This is the best! We actually don’t bath him much on his own – either he comes in with one of us, or I’ll bring him into the shower for a few minutes if we’re short on time. But it’s the baths that I love. He just looks so happy as I hold him back and splash water over his belly, his little legs kicking with joy.
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Bath time with mum

During the first few weeks, I wondered why no one told us that it was so hard. Everything was just so difficult and kind of awful – feeding, sleeping, pretty much everything. I realise now why no one tells you that. Those frustrations melt away once the baby starts giving back. Already those horrible first six weeks seem like a distant memory. If someone told me they were having a baby, I wouldn’t rush to tell them those things, partly because they just don’t seem important now, but also because I think it’s just something you have to go through.

So, things are good. We’ve still got our challenges, like sleeping, but that’s another post. Right now, we’re super happy and loving seeing J change every day.

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Listening to: Add Violence by Nine Inch Nails

Reading: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

 

The Second Month

The Hardest Decision

Choosing a name for your baby is a huge responsibility. There are so many ways you could go with it. You could go traditional, like William or Peter. You could go weird, like Jaylon, Legend or Franco. Or trendy, like Hunter or Lucas.

They all have their benefits and drawbacks. Traditional names are usually strong, solid and familiar, and so you know your kid will have an easy ride. Weird names are cool and interesting, and kids always grow into their names so they don’t stay weird for long, but then they’ll always be spelling their names over the phone (even I have to do this – I’m Sam now when I order takeaways). And trendy names are, well, trendy, but they’ll probably have three other kids in the class with the same name.

From the outset, we didn’t want to be in the trendy camp. This is mainly because Liv knows what its like to have one of the most popular names and to have to share it with heaps of other kids at school. We also aren’t really into weird names, although early in her pregnancy Liv dreamt that we named our baby Rocket, and so that’s what we called him as a fetus. Also, Pharrell Williams has a son called Rocket, so it was within the realm of possibility! But really, we’re into traditional-but-not-very-common names.

The options

The first name we loved for a boy was Henry. It’s a strong, familiar name, but it also sounds nice and it runs nicely with the last name Allison. However, it’s also relatively popular. It was number 26 on the top 100 boys names in New Zealand in 2016, next to Jackson, Jacob and Elijah.

So Henry was a top pick but maybe a bit too popular for us. Jasper was our only other option. We actually had the name Jasper on our list months before he was even conceived! This was January 2016 – we knew we were going to start trying soon so names were in discussion. Liv was really into really old names, like popular names from the 18th century. She sent me an email one day with a list of names she liked (she tells me she doesn’t like most of them now). Jasper was one of them. Looking back at that exchange, thankfully I had said Jasper was the one I liked!

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So we had two names to choose from. How hard can that be?! Liv liked Jasper slightly more, while I tended towards Henry. About two or three months into the pregnancy, we’d pretty much settled on Jasper. But then towards the end of the pregnancy, about the last eight weeks, we gravitated more towards Henry.

We hadn’t mentioned our name options to anybody. Not a soul. That’s what made it super weird when one day, I get a text from mum saying she had a dream that we named our baby Henry. I couldn’t believe it. I rushed to tell Liv, who was in equal disbelief. How could she possibly know?!

After that, I really wanted to call him Henry because I thought it was a neat coincidence that mum had had that dream. Like, it was meant to be, or something. By 36 weeks we’d pretty much decided on Henry, and Liv kept saying things to me like, “In my head he’s Henry”.

It was hard because Henry was really the name I liked more, while Liv tended towards Jasper, and I worried that she was giving in to my preference. I was glad that she liked Henry, but the closer we got to the birth, the greater my reservations became about Henry. I worried about its popularity, and thought maybe it was too traditional.

By the end we were openly discussing the name options with people. There was a clear trend: people older than 50-ish liked Henry, while younger people liked Jasper. Still, we couldn’t quite decide.

Making the final decision

As soon as Jasper was born, I looked at him and said, “Henry”. Liv was still unsure. I said maybe I just see Henry because that’s what we’d been thinking for a while now. We decided to leave it for a bit and decide after a good night’s sleep.

All throughout that first day we went back and forth between Henry and Jasper. Eventually, obviously, Jasper won out. We loved how it sounded, its meaning, and especially how it went with his middle name.

One day after he was born we decided. He was Jasper Jay.

The significance

So why is the name Jasper Jay significant? For many reasons, it turns out. What started out as a name we just liked, has actually grown to have a lot of things attached to it.

First, there’s the Toronto Blue Jays. My baseball team. My winter obsession. How I connect with my Canadian heritage.

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One of the greatest home runs you’ll ever see

Everyone always asks me if we deliberately named him after the Blue Jays, and the answer is yes and no. I like that Jasper has the Jay in his name because I really love this team. But we also just liked the way Jasper and Jay run together. And we like that he can be JJ, or just J, if he wants.

Jasper is also the name of a national park in Alberta, Canada, so there’s another Canadian link there.

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There’s a Simpsons link, too (another one of my favourite things). There’s an episode where Homer realises he has no idea what the J in his middle initial stands for, so he goes on this quest to his childhood home to find that his middle name is Jay. Great episode.

 

 

 

One of the Three Wise Men was also called Jasper (well, that’s the anglicised version). He brought the myrrh, which unfortunately is the most useless of all the gifts. What even is it?!

Also, I quite like whiskey and Jack Daniels’ actual first name was Jasper.

So there you go. The story behind Jasper’s name.


Watching: Ozark

Reading: A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly

Listening to: Hug of Thunder by Broken Social Scene

The Second Month

Five Things I Love About Jasper

I’ve been a bit down lately, as you may have guessed from some of my previous posts. I haven’t enjoyed having a baby as much as I thought I would, and I’ve been feeling extremely tired and pretty frustrated at times. Liv wonders if I’m depressed, but I think it’s too early for that. I’m probably just tired. That’s the most logical cause of my troubles. However, I have made a doctors appointment for a couple of weeks from now, just in case things don’t improve.

And I think it’s also the shock of caring for a newborn baby has thrown everything out of whack and I’m struggling to deal with it. That, coupled with sleep deprivation, isn’t a recipe for happiness. Some of it is my personality: I just do what I want to do, and I don’t do things that annoy me. But now I don’t have a choice – I have a kid now, and he deserves to have the best dad possible.

I had a great sleep last night and feel better today, so I think getting sleep may help. I also need to exercise more, and make time to do things I enjoy. So I’m going to focus on these things and see if my mood improves. Some of it is also an attitude shift: I need to put everything into Jasper because these early weeks are when we’re forming our bond which we’ll have for the rest of our lives. His little brain is just starting to respond to us, and I want him to know that I’m his Dad and I love him. I know I’ve complained a lot about him and our life but I do love him to bits, and I am so proud that I get to call myself his dad, and tell everyone he is my son. Here are my favourite five things I love about Jasper so far.

When he falls asleep on me

This is the best! He doesn’t do it often, but if you catch him in the right mood, usually after a feed, and you rock him just right with his head on your shoulder, he’ll fall asleep. And then he’ll fall into this really deep baby sleep where his face goes all red and you just know he’s completely out to it. And then he curls up onto you and his arms sit on you like he is giving you a cuddle. He also makes cute little baby noises and it’s the greatest feeling.  DSCF8734

That he’s so alert

I love watching him look around. He’s been a pretty alert baby from the start but now he’s really noticing what’s going on. Above his change table in his room is some small pom poms on the wall. He is mesmerised by them. Even if he’s crying, put him on the table and when he notices them he calms right down. It’s weird!

He notices other patterns too. His favourite things are the set of six picture frames we have hanging above our couch in the lounge. And he actually loves looking at my records, which are quite low down on a shelf next to his play mat. So when he’s lying there he’ll turn his head and look at the records. I guess it’s the range of colours he’s interested in (hopefully some day I can get him interested in the music, too!).

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That he looks a bit like me

Some people say he looks a lot like me, but I’m not sure. I do know he has my weird ears, though – they don’t fold over at the top. So I know he’s mine! But I thought it was just so cool that even when he was a few days old, I recognised myself in him. I know this is an evolutionary thing – dads are supposed to see themselves in their kids so they know they’re theirs and they don’t run off. But sometimes I really do feel like I’m looking back at a mini version of me. So is it like, really narcissistic to say I also think he’s ridiculously good looking?

How much he enjoys bath time

I’m so glad he’s gotten to like his baths. He hated his first few. But with each one he’s grown to like them. Now, he just lies there, looking back at me. It’s so sweet. No crying or anything, just a few kicks. I love holding him in my arm and gently splashing the warm water over his belly. He can’t tell me much right now, but I know from the way he looks up at me – and the lack of crying – that he loves it.

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Our feedings times

While Liv has had her battles with feeding, such as not having as much milk as she’d like, it has given Jasper and I an opportunity to bond over the bottle. It’s quite nice that we can have these little moments where I feed him. If he’s cranky because he’s hungry, I love watching his face change immediately as I give him the bottle. He just starts sucking and then looks straight into my eyes with those beautiful blues. His little hands move a little bit, fingers flexing, as he enjoys his meal. I know it’s the baby equivalent of me digging into a huge plate of Buffalo wings (i.e. heaven). It’s such a lovely little time for us.

I know as he changes so rapidly I will find new things I enjoy about him every day. And Jasper, if you ever read this, just in case there was any doubt, Dad loves you so much. I promise I always will.


Listening to: A Ghost is Born by Wilco

The Second Month

Four Thoughts After One Month With Jasper

It’s been four weeks now – nearly a month – since Jasper arrived in our world. In that time we’ve got to know each other pretty well. Or as well as you can know a tiny human who really just feeds and sleeps. He doesn’t even poo that much! That’s one thing that’s surprised me. I’m changing many more wet nappies than dirty ones. Anyway, here’s four things that I’ve taken away from this crazy month.

(I originally titled this post ‘Five Thoughts…’, but I got to four and realised I was actually out of thoughts. So take what you can get, I guess).

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Cuddles with both my boys

You can’t die from tiredness, right?

Seriously, I’m struggling to get through the day sometimes. And I don’t know if I’m being dramatic, or if this is totally normal and everyone goes through it, but all I know is that if I was dead I’d get some decent sleep at least. Ok that’s pretty dark, and I’m very much happy to be alive, but dear Lord I’m tired.

The plan was for Liv to do the nighttime feeds and let me sleep, seeing as I’m the one who has to go to work all day. But actually, Liv has to work, too. Taking care of a newborn is full on, and Liv’s working just as hard as I am. So that idea went out the window pretty quickly.

I’m doing one or two feeds a night with the bottle. I hate doing them and I can’t believe what a shitty husband I’ve become. Like, when we first brought him home I was all superdad, leaping out of bed at all hours to rescue my tired wife and take care of our hungry boy. Now it’s like, when he cries, I stay put for a while and Liv and I lie there wondering to ourselves who’ll do this one. I still do at least one a night, but it’s taking its toll. It’s taking its toll on Liv as well, though, so I shouldn’t complain too much. Jasper still wakes every two hours at least, but hopefully that passes soon.

Going out isn’t the ordeal I had imagined

We’re trying really hard to get out and about and live our lives. I totally understand why you’d just stay home – because it’s easier. Or maybe because you’re nervous. I don’t know. But from the time he was a week old we’ve been getting out of the house with him.

It’s not so bad. All we need is his pram, which is in the boot of the car anyway, and his changing bag, which is full of all sorts of goodies like clean nappies, changes of clothes and these little plastic bags to put the dirty nappies in which are really doggie bags but they’re an actual thing for babies now. Mum said, “when you were little we just put the nappies in the bin!” Well, yeah mum, but we have bags now, so…

Once he’s in the car seat, which actually is the worst part because he’s still all weird to move and stuff (kind of like a doll whose limbs just won’t quite do what you want them to), we’re off and he’s happy. Loves the car. Sleeps for ages. Even if he’s not sleeping he’s enjoying looking at stuff, so I hope he’s just a good car baby.

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Trying to settle him while we wait for our burgers. 

When we get to wherever we’re going, we just plonk him into the pram, strap him in and away we go. Haven’t had a screaming fit or anything yet. So far we’ve mainly taken him to a cafe, or mum and dads, or the supermarket. We spent the morning at Sylvia Park shopping mall the other day and he was a bit unsettled, but not unmanageable. I think it was probably a bit overstimulating for him.

Liv is getting great at feeding him wherever we are. She’s not very self conscious and seems to feel comfortable breastfeeding in public. I haven’t had to do a public nappy change yet but I’m sure that day is coming.

I’m slowly adjusting

Maybe it’s the exhaustion, but I’m not feeling that overwhelming feeling of love yet. I’m actually wondering if maybe I’m just not that kind of person. I’m certainly not overly emotional with other people, but I expected I would be with my son. He’s kind of annoying sometimes, to be honest. I think I’m still adjusting to a life where I can’t just do whatever I want whenever I want to. But I definitely am enjoying him more as time goes on and as he starts to respond to us more.

He’s far more interesting now than he was just two weeks ago. He’s alert and aware, always looking around when he’s awake, noticing things. I love laying him down on his playmat with a mobile above it and watching him stare at the objects with rapt attention. These changes are happening quickly and I’m loving watching his little brain develop.

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Reading a black and white book to J. He loves the contrasts. 

Booties: whyyyyyyy?

Honestly. Who invented these confounded devil shoes? Surely satan himself wouldn’t even inflict these on new parents. They’re hard to get on; they have annoying little laces that just don’t tie quite right; they fall off with the slightest bit of movement; they’re just generally impractical! And on that, why do they make shoes for newborns? Where are they walking to?!

Clothing I do love: Bonds Wondersuits. These things are incredible. Our next child will be exclusively clothed in Wondersuits until it’s one. They’re onesies with feet (ALWAYS get onesies with feet to avoid the booties problem. You can use socks, but they’re one small step away from booties, and harder to find when they do inevitably fall off). Wondersuits also have zips at the top and the bottom to make for easy nappy changing, especially at night. Onesies with domes or buttons are OK for outings, or when you want to show off your baby and his cute outfit, but not really for general purposes.


Listening to: Epoch by Tycho.

Watching: The West Wing (for the third time).

Reading: The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes (I know, I know, but I always give Liv a hard time for all the chick lit she reads that I decided I should actually read one myself. It’s actually quite good, you know).