Ok, I tried to get this posted a few months back, after I tried a few months before that, so before I celebrate in bloggin our little pirata’s 6 months aboard, I though I would set the stage, and finally share this with you all, enjoy and stay posted for the latest update on our favourite crew member, Almita.
Alma is almost 3 months old already, and so far we have only managed to spend one of those months actually living in our home, Sea Raven.
Obviously the first month was spent in Holland at Oma and Opa’s house, then that one quick month aboard. And to be honest, even that month wasn’t entirely afloat. The first week Alma and Sabi were in a hotel waiting for me to clean Sea Raven up after being left alone for 3 months, and to get her out of the marina and into the anchorage. Then we had a hurricane warning for Manuel, which again saw the girls ashore for a few days…
This last month was Alma’s third new room, this time over looking the anchorage in San Carlos, while I banged and crashed a new bathroom into existence and streamlined our floating home.
But now, fingers crossed, life is about to get back to normal, well as close to normal as we can manage anyways. Soon we will be moving back aboard, and pointing west once again towards Baja.
And while thinking all of this, I thought I would look back over some early scribblings I had from when Alma was first born. At the time, I was going to write a post about what I had learned that first week, and one of the additional things I ended up learning, was that you don’t have a lot of time to write blog posts!
To be honest, these 3 months have flown by, but it feels as if Alma has always been a part of our lives. Even over the short week I was hauled out and unable to see her, she grew and developed noticeably to me. Her smile can melt me any time of day, and her blue eyes can see right through any bad mood or tiredness that may be lingering around.
So I thought I would dust off my “lessons” from that first week, and comment on what I learned from there, as much for her to read later as anything else!
Notes from a new boat baby daddy
Not all rompers are created equal!
what can start out as a calm, happy, routine nappy change, can quickly turn into a “WTF daddy” screaming session when random rompers go bad! The easiest that I have found so far have no legs, and only fasten at the bottom over the nappy. easy right! long or short sleeve, no problemo, over the head, a quick “peek-a-boo” or words to that effect and shimmy on the sleeves and voila happy bubba!
But seeing as most of our newborn, well actually now I think about it ALL of our newborn clothes are either gifts or passed on from friends/family with baby’s, we didn’t pick out what style we could work with. But lets face it, a week ago, I would have thought the long legged, cross-body uber wrapping romper was cool, and no doubt as it was so obviously engineered by a german daddy, fed up with the over the head business necessary on the old school rompers, it must be waaaayy better and easier to use…. nope, fail, sticking with the no mess no worries “peek-a-boo” from here on out..
These rompers also got easier with practice! In the end it was the middle of the night long sleeve change overs that caused the most grief! We tried to avoid doing them, but sometimes there is just no choice! And here in Mexico, we have only just started to even need clothes at night, let alone during the day!
Yes she CAN be hungry again so soon!
As I write this Almita is solidly into round 3 feeding with mumma, after being impossible to settle for the half hour after round 2, she even got a half feed worth of “saved for a special occasion” milk from the bottle, calmed her for about a minute, then she let us know it didn’t fill her hollow legs. And oh can she let us know! Seeing as she arrived a fashionable 2 weeks late, she can lift her head up pretty well already, which means when daddy is foolishly trying to calm her down and convince her she just needs to take a deep breath and chill, as she’s obviously tired – she replies by head butting me in the chest, clawing at my face and then chewing on her hand again, duh dad, it took you a week to figure that combo out!
The books and forums call it cluster feeding, short bursts of munchies, interwoven with short rests in between… just long enough to think that maybe this time she would stay down and then BOOM! Awake again! Alma never really cried or fussed much, but when she was hungry, she let us know!
Wrap her around YOUR little finger
I hate pacifiers/dummy’s call em what you will… ok, so I get that sometimes a pacifier is needed, we’re planning to have one on hand when we fly back to Mexico to help with her ears, and a few of our friends have used them sparingly in the early days to satisfy bubs’ sucking reflex. but day to day use is not what I want to get in to.. so instead, following the lead of several books and how to guides, I let her suck on my little finger, sounds weird if your not a parent, but I’m guessing (hoping) not so weird to those of us with lil ones. It works great to calm her or soothe her when its just some more love she’s after, and who am I to deny my little girl some more love!
I still hate the dummy things, but eventually I admitted I loved Sabine more than I hated them, so I caved and bought her one to try. Now that we are back in Mexico, and working to get the boat finished up, finally, I need to sleep more and work most of the day, so Sabi takes care of Alma a lot herself. It can limit your mobility a bit when your little finger has a 3 month old attached to it… so like I said, we tried it, and Alma spat it out every time (secret yay!). So for now its a combo of cuddles from Dad and Mums pinky that gets her back to sleep at night, or to sleep in the first place….
When they warn you that new parents don’t get any sleep, they didn’t just mean a little less, they meant NO sleep!
Seeing as I’m still in between jobs (hey, its only been a year or so!) I actively take part in pretty much every feeding. I’ll wake up when Alma does, and pass her over to Sabi, then when its time for a break between the main course and dessert, I change her, burp her or just hang around with her while mum gets herself set. I also bring water, juice or snacks as required by the magic milk vending machine.
Then its another round of tummy settling and back to bed. This generally happens every hour at first, then every 2 or so, and thats where we’re up to. You always say when you crawl out of bed at 7am to eat, that you’ll sleep later, but you don’t. the process continues during the day, and seeing as she’s so shiny and new, we have a pretty steady stream of visitors through out the day, you blink and its midnight again…. lather, rinse, repeat….
It got better each week, and then like I mentioned earlier, I had to sleep more and consequently woke up less. Now its the other end of the spectrum – Alma will sleep nearly 13 hours each night, waking for feedings still, but going straight back to sleep, no burping or fussing around, but WILL NOT sleep during the day…. at all!
She just won’t take a nap, she’s super alert, and constantly looking around and checking out whats going on, when its still light outside, she doesn’t want to miss anything, so she stays awake just in case something exciting happens! When we head out and about and have her in the carrier, she will normally fall asleep and same story with the pram, but not when its a stay home day…
We’ll see how this pans out on the boat, we have some deck space, but not enough for a very long walk!