Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ethan @ 4 Weeks Old

How time flies. I have been MIA for almost a month, trying to get into the schedule of having to be responsible for another little person in our lives. Whenever we have the chance to have a break, it's always then either grocery time or social commitments, especially at this busy time of the year.

Ethan had had his first Christmas, first New Year, a lot of firsts in this one month. I am still really amazed how much he had grown and how his face changes almost every day.
I would like to use this blog to track his growth and milestones, so I can remember the many details of this journey.


Height / Weight

Ethan has been steadily increasing in weight since he was out from hospital.
His birth weight was 3.815kg, and had his newborn weight loss to 3.414 when discharged.
At his one week measurement, his weight stands at 3.770kg, and steadily increased to 4.01kg at week two.
He is now 4.74kg at four weeks old. That's a whole 730g in two weeks. The nurses said they would already be happy if it was anything more than 300g in two weeks, and he just doubled that!

Ethan is now 55.5cm long, a whole 5cm longer from birth.



Jaundice
On his discharge day on the 9th, he had a bit of jaundice at 220 but fortunately it wasn't too high to need to be under the UV light. I made sure to breastfeed him more to flush the jaundice out and also exposed him to more indirect sunlight. We tok him for a blood test again on the 11th just to make sure, and his jaundice went down to 180. Nurses there told us that jaundice usually will go down steadily once the numbers decline and we only need to keep an eye on it. They were right, Ethan was completely back to normal within the week.

Ethan after bath time - 27 Dec 2013


Breastfeeding

As I mentioned in Ethan's birth story, he latched on immediately after birth. He was then suckling very often in the hospital when I still had my colostrum.

I love the fact that Panorama Mediclinic allows Ethan to be in the room with me 24/7. I always had Ethan on the bed with me, even at night. I kangaroo-ed him or let him sleep in my arms. This special bonding time was priceless and I believe helped a lot in breastfeeding as I let him suckle whenever he wants to. ( Contrary to the old ways of babies being kept in the hospital nursery, at which I assumed nurses would only bring babies to the mummies every 4 hours to breastfeed ).

On my first 3 days in hospital I did have a nipple cut on both of my breasts from breastfeeding but received laser sessions from the hospital physiotherapist to help with healing before I leave the hospital. After that, breastfeeding has been smooth sailing.

I am still feeding him on demand or every 3-4 hours.
He even knows how to spit out the nipple once he is full, clever baby :)

I started expressing milk on the 4th week, but only twice or three times a day. Started off with only 50ml per session, but now I can see it slowly increasing to around 100ml :)  I do still get my off days at 50ml though! I am starting to pump so that I can introduce baby to the bottle as well as stocking them for when I get back to work. Ian tried feeding him twice now using Medela Calma and has been good but not perfect. We will still need to practice that but was told by lactation nurse to only do that once or twice a week.



Sleep

Since returning from hospital, Ethan has been regularly sleeping from 8-9pm until 8-9am in the morning. For the first 4 weeks I have been waking him up every 4 hours to feed, but since he is gaining weight well above his birth weight, nurses gave the green light to feed only on demand at night. He still wakes up by himself to feed, but will still immediately after his feeds and diaper changes at night.

He is swaddled every night with Love to Dream's Love to Swaddle Up Lite , lent to me by my sister Shu-Yin. I love it so so much, I will definitely get it for my next baby. I love that I do not need to worry about blankets suffocating, etc.

Ethan in swaddle - 15 Dec 2013


Umbilical Cord

I must admit I do not feel 100% comfortable sterilizing his umbilical cord (I know it is not painful for him, but still! ) that I leave Ian to do that. We mainly just make sure it's dry instead of fiddling with it. We only managed to sterilize it twice before it fell off neatly by itself on the fourth day after birth (10 Dec).

Ethan's umbilical cord falling out on 10 Dec 2013


Milestones

  • Ethan from Day 1 already shows signs of recognizing and following voices. He especially loves his grandma Pho-Pho voice and follows it every time he hears it. 
  • Also from Day 1 he has very strong neck muscle. It must be from the hours of trying to get out from the birth canal during delivery.
  • I know that book says babies start to smile from Week 6, but Ethan is already smiling from responding to us on the fourth week. He loves us speaking to him and touching his chin! 
  • Ethan is starting to coo and making noises as his form of communicating eg when his musical toy stops, etc.
  • He is interested in watching lights, toys, movements, very busy learning.

Ethan on his play gym

Misc
  • Ethan was showing signs of looking for ways to soothe himself to sleep at week 3. He started sucking the back of his hands and gets frustrated when he could not hold it to his mouth. I was reluctant to introduce the dummy yet as most articles I read cautioned not to give a dummy on early days. At week 4, I realised that since his breastfeeding has already been established and I would rather want a calm and soothed baby than a angry frustrated one, I decided to take out the Natursutten pacifier for him. He took it amazingly well and spits it out when he is contented. (Review on the pacifier coming soon!)
  • Ethan knows how to use his back of his hand when they are close to his face to avoid his fingernails scratching himself. Clever boy! He had his first manicure session on 30 Dec 2013. I used a mini emery board instead of a nail clipper.
  • Ethan shows a love for music. He loves the musical toy above his cot.
Ethan enjoying his musical toy

Overall, Ethan has been such a blessing to us. He really changed our lives. A lot to learn, but it has been a wonderful journey thus far.



Happy Full Moon Ethan!

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