Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby Updates

1. Sly's forehead has been looking terrible recently. It started out as "cradle cap," which is a common skin condition for babies. It's basically just a rash/dry skin on their head. For him, it was all concentrated on the forehead, rather than elsewhere on the scalp. For a few weeks, he just had little red bumps and some flaky skin. No big deal. But then, somewhere along the way, his instinct to scratch himself kicked in, and the whole thing got out of control.

We didn't understand at first what was causing it. His forehead wouldn't be too bad when I put him to bed, but in the morning when I went to get him, his forehead would be all cut up and bleeding. I thought maybe the cold/dry weather was making it crack, and I started putting lotion on it. Then one time, I caught him scratching in his sleep. And I mean, he was really going to town. So we started making sure his hands were covered every night by the hand flaps on his (adorable little) bunting suit, in addition to moisturizing it each day. His forehead started looking much better. The speed at which babies heal is truly astounding....

But now he's begun to scratch when he's awake. And we can't always catch him time. I keep his nails trimmed as short as I'm able, but they're so tiny and hard to cut! We bought some mittens for him, but I really hate to put them on him while he's awake. I waited so long for him to get old enough to start "using" his hands. He loves to grab things with them, or stick them in his mouth. I don't want to prevent his exploration. So I guess for now, I just have to try to be vigilant of where those little hands go, and try not to feel bothered when other people see his beat-up face and wonder what on earth I've been doing to my child.

2. Sly is becoming so much more "talkative" now. It's pretty cute usually - I love that he is learning to make sounds now that aren't just angry screams. But I've noticed a trend to the times he chooses to practice his voice. The two situations wherein he likes to make noise are when there's already another loud sound going on (he's trying to compete with it, maybe?), or when there's utter silence. For example, when I take a shower, I usually lay him on the bathroom rug to wait for me. Amazingly, he's perfectly content the whole time. As soon as the noise of the shower starts, so does his little baby "singing." He immediately starts up his happy chorus of "ahh ahh ahh aaAAAaa," and doesn't stop until the moment I turn off the water. I put him in the same place while I'm running the hair dryer, with the same result. These two situations are the only times Sly will just lie happily on his back. He also tends to get very talkative at parties or other places with lots of loud conversation going on.

So I've concluded that he quite enjoys loud and incoherent noise, and feels the need to add his own voice into the mix. And on the flip side of that, though, he does not like silence. He feels it necessary to fill any voids with his exploratory shrieks. This isn't a problem usually, but this weekend did present a few embarassing situations. Mass on Sunday, for one. As long as there's singing, reading, preaching, etc., he tends to be pretty quiet. We attend the Traditional Latin Mass, where much of the Mass of the Faithful ("Liturgy of the Eucharist") is silent. It seems a bit paradoxical to put it this way, but essentially, the silence "builds" up to the Consecration, which is the most important moment. So of course, this is exactly the time Sly thinks to himself, "hmm, this place is too quiet. I should liven things up a bit" and starts his happy shrieking.

He did the same thing to me later in the day when I met a student at the library for tutoring. The library is filled with quiet people on a quiet Sunday afternoon, looking for a quiet place to study. So, of course, it's the perfect place in his mind for making some noise. I really think Sly gets bored with the peace and the quiet. Maybe it's because he's a boy? I'm not sure. But I do know that I got more mean looks than I cared for, and next time I have to bring him tutoring with me, I think we'll set up at a table in the children's section.

3. On Saturday, I dragged Tom to a free "babywearing" class hosted at the cloth diaper store. Babywearing is just what it sounds like - carrying your baby on your body with some sort of device. There are various types, and as I'm not well-educated in carriers, I'm not going to go into them now. There is also a whole philosophy of Attachment Parenting that some people ascribe to, and those folks tend to wear their babies quite a bit. Also not going into that here.

I mostly signed up for the class because I had gotten a sling for Christmas, and was having a lot of trouble wearing it in a way that made me and Sly both comfortable. The women showed me several ways I could wear him in there. I think the main problem I'd been having before was that I wasn't making it tight enough at all. They said the general rule of thumb is to tighten it past the point you think it's too tight. As long as it's not painful on you, it won't be painful on the baby.

Tom was very pleased to manage to take a picture that included his wife, his son, his cat, the books, the ship, and the globe: six of his favorite things ;-)

It would definitely have been nice to have this right when Sly was born. He's always been a baby who needs to be held all the time. There have been so many times when I wanted to fold laundry, do dishes, or any other little household chore, but had to put it off until Tom got home, because I didn't want to face the wrath and displeasure of an unattended baby. Now, if he really needs to be in my arms, I can still "hold him," but do certain things around the house.


  1. Interesting- I didn't know the cloth diaper company had classes. I've been to some Pittsburgh Baby Wearers meetings. They usually meet the fourth Tues. of each month at Panera bread in Oakland- and Monday evenings too. Their inventory is huge, and you can check out whatever kind of sling/carrier you're interested in that they have on hand and try it for a while- for a month at a time, I believe. Here is their site, if you're interested-- http://www.pittsburghbabywearers.com/.

  2. Hi.What did you do to stop baby from scratching his face? I have the same problem now.