Let’s first share the good news: It seems like Maria’s thrush cleared up. The other day I took her to the GP again, as the nystatin drops were finished and her thrush still not gone, or so I thought. The doctor, however, thought the white layer on her tongue was residual milk and not thrush, as it looks quite smooth and not like cottage cheese – the way thrush usually looks. To be sure, she took a swab and sent it to the lab. We will get the result this afternoon, but let’s keep fingers crossed that the doctor was right and the thrush is gone.
From the day Maria was born, I have been telling people who thought I was too lenient with her not wanting to sleep in her bassinet during the day that for the first six to eight weeks it is too early to start a routine. Now that she will be eight weeks tomorrow, I feel more pressured to have her sleep and feed on certain times. It’s mostly me and “the books” that are telling me this – I often hear from people around me that it will come at some point and it shouldn’t be forced upon the baby. I know I shouldn’t feel too worried about it: I’m doing what I can, such as feeding her while singing the same song before she goes to sleep and playing the same lullaby. And I don’t want to jinx myself, but she has been sleeping better during the day this week. Tuesday morning, Maria slept in her bassinet for two hours straight! Other times she cries as soon as I put her down, and I have to take her in the sling to settle. I do notice, however, an increase in times I put her down when she is still awake and falls asleep on her own. We’ll see how it goes this coming week, and if sleeping remains an issue there are always numerous ways to get help.
One useful tip another mother gave me was to put her down as soon as she looks tired. I read this several times in all the “expert books”, but after this mother told me it worked for her son I started paying more attention to it and the experts do have a point here. It is not always easy to notice this “golden moment”, as the time between “I’m happy” and “I’m exhausted and crying” is a matter of minutes (or sometimes seconds!), but it does pay off to focus on it.
Other than sleeping, the main issue we have is cramps. I know most parents say their babies suffer from cramps rather than admitting their baby just cries a lot, but I think Maria does. She often cries after feeding, which is strange as it should relax her. She arches her body and pulls her legs – two clear signs of cramps. I have been thinking about eliminating certain foods from my diet, but haven’t taken any action yet. The Plunket nurse as well as the GP advised me to buy gripe water, a herbal supplement for colic. I have been trying to give it to Maria several times a day after feeding, but so far I haven’t really noticed a difference. I’m not sure whether she likes it or hates it, but most of the time I don’t get her to swallow much of it. Perhaps, as some say, cramps are part of the development of a baby, and I often read it gets less by the time they reach two months. Let’s hope the books (oh, those books!) are right about this.
One last thing: I have been wanting to use cloth nappies instead of disposables, but I am totally overwhelmed by the different types and brands. Does anyone have experience with cloth nappies and able to recommend me a type or brand? I bought two pocket nappies before Maria was born, but I’m not very happy with them. The gaps around her thighs are quite big and definitely not leak-proof! I’d love to hear some recommendations.