Ep. 36: Magic Boob Juice
March 11, 2019
Laura and Shanna duke it out in a thrilling round of baby-related trivia, where we learn the birth weight of one of basketball’s biggest stars, among other facts. Also, Shanna discusses scoring some drugs for her newborn, and Laura talks about a fascinating quality of breast milk. Finally, the new moms reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is eight weeks old, and Laura’s baby is four weeks old.
- Infant reflux, symptoms and causes From the Mayo Clinic
- The Wonder Weeks App Find out if your baby is being difficult for a good reason!
- Taking Cara Babies - Newborn Class This is helping Laura's baby sleep much better!
- The Happy Sleeper* The Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night's Sleep-Newborn to School Age *affiliate link
This episode's sponsors:
Big Fat Positive: A Pregnancy and Parenting Journey is sponsored by BetterHelp. Join over 1 million people taking charge of their mental health. BetterHelp connects people with licensed, professional therapists in a safe online environment. BFP listeners get 10% off their first month.
With SewSafe™ magnetic closures, Simply Magnetic Me makes changes practically effortless. Plus, their supremely soft fabrics are cozy and sustainable! Get 20% off your order with promo code BFP.
Order insurance-covered breast pumps like Madela, Spectra, and Elvie right to your door from a certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE).
Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. This week we have our weekly check-ins, we have a Stump the New Mom segment, and we have our BFPs and BFNs for the week. Let’s get to it.
Laura Birek: Hey. Welcome to episode 36. Shanna, hello?
Shanna Micko: Hi. Hello. Hello.
Laura Birek: Let’s get going on these check-ins. What’s going on with your week? How old’s your baby now?
Shanna Micko: Oh, she’s eight weeks old. Oh my gosh, it’s gone so fast. I can’t even believe she’s almost two months.
Laura Birek: That is wow.
Shanna Micko: So this week something interesting happened. I was at breastfeeding support group and my baby just was like crying and fussing after eating. The lactation consultant, one of them there is really sweet and nice and so helpful. She was like, “Is she okay? What’s wrong?” I was like, “I don’t know. I think she has reflux maybe. She spits up a lot.” She’s like, “Oh my gosh, yeah. She doesn’t look good.” I was looking around the room and no other baby is crying after feeding. Everyone’s calm and looking around and there’s my baby almost projectile vomiting spitting up. The consultant was like, “When’s your next appointment with your doctor?” I said, “Two weeks for her two month appointment,” and she said, “Well, you might want to think about calling your doctor today and see if there’s anything maybe he could do for her” and I was like, “Interesting.” Because I had suspected she had reflux, but you keep hearing like, oh, all babies have reflux. Have I talked about this already?
Laura Birek: You know what? To be honest, it’s probably because this has been your life for how many weeks?
Shanna Micko: It is. Well, I was going to maybe talk about it on last episode and I didn’t. I specifically saved it. So I don’t think I have talked about it.
Laura Birek: Go for it. I’m sure you’re not the only person. I’m sure listeners are also struggling with this, so more is better.
Shanna Micko: Okay. So I suspected maybe she had reflux, but I wasn’t kind of trusting my intuition, because I kept reading most babies have some reflux and some have severe reflux and I’m like, I don’t know if it’s severe. But I was getting to the point where like I said, she was crying after feedings and she was spitting up a ton at least a couple times. It almost seemed like she was vomiting. Her voice was getting hoarse. When she was crying, she sounded kind of hoarse. So all these things were adding up and then the consultant said that to me and that almost gave me some legitimacy in my concern, which is crazy. I couldn’t just trust my own instinct and call my doctor, but that gave me some push to do so. So I called the doctor and the nurse was like, “Okay. Let me have the doctor call you back,” and the doctor called back and was like, “Well, we can give babies like that Zantac. So why don’t you bring her in tomorrow morning?” They got me in right away and I saw the doctor and he’s like, “Yeah, let’s get her some Zantac and see if we can help her feel better.” I was like, really? It’s that easy?
Laura Birek: Wow.
Shanna Micko: I was scoring some drugs or something. I don’t know why I just thought it would be hard to get my baby some Zantac or something. It’s crazy.
Laura Birek: You got to go to the street corner. Get that baby Zantac.
Shanna Micko: Off some guy in a French coat.
Laura Birek: Hey, man. You know where I can score some baby Zantac? I need it real bad.
Shanna Micko: Oh, man. The lengths you go-to to help your baby. So we’ve been doing that for a few days and I do see a difference. I really do. She’s not crying as much. She’s sleeping better. Remember she was having so many problems at night, screaming and grunting and crying for hours?
Laura Birek: Poor baby.
Shanna Micko: I’m excited to stick with it and see if it continues to improve even more. But I’ve got the goods, Laura, and I’m giving it to my baby and I’m excited to see if it helps her even more.
Laura Birek: How do you give Zantac to babies?
Shanna Micko: It’s a liquid and that I put in a little syringe and score it in her mouth.
Laura Birek: Okay. That makes sense. Like how you do with cats. I just relate everything to cats and I understand.
Shanna Micko: I imagine it’s just as finicky too. Her mouth just doesn’t want to stay in place for this little syringe.
Laura Birek: She has fewer teeth.
Shanna Micko: That’s true. The risk of bite injuries is much lower.
Laura Birek: Although my older cat Magnus, he only has four teeth as you know.
Shanna Micko: That’s easier. But then there’s another piece of exciting news.
Laura Birek: Yes, tell me.
Shanna Micko: Our babies met this week.
Laura Birek: That’s right. This is probably why I wasn’t sure if we talked about the reflex on the podcast or in person, because we actually got to see each other in person for the first time in two months.
Shanna Micko: Maybe four or five weeks.
Laura Birek: No. No, since right the day before my C-section.
Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Laura Birek: I got to meet your baby the day before my C-section and then we haven’t been able to see each other, because you’ve been sick nonstop.
Shanna Micko: It still hasn’t ended, but that’s okay. There was a brief break in my illness where I was able to come and meet your little baby. So cute and it was so great to meet him and our babies met and we should share some pics from their meeting with the listeners on Instagram.
Laura Birek: That’s right. We did get some really cute pics of us holding each other’s babies. So don’t get confused listeners.
Shanna Micko: But yeah, all in all, it’s been a really good week with those things and that’s pretty much it for me. What about you?
Laura Birek: Well, speaking of being sick, I got a cold.
Shanna Micko: Oh, gosh.
Laura Birek: I know. It wasn’t a bad cold. But it was one of those things where if you didn’t have a newborn, you would just try to sleep it off and you’d take a bunch of Nightingale so you could sleep all night and that wasn’t happening. It was just a tiny head cold. It probably lasted three days. I’m still a little stuffy from it. My baby’s four weeks old, so almost a month, which is exciting. So it went away pretty fast all things considered. The thing I was really worried about was my baby getting sick, because I’m just constantly in his face. You know what I mean? There’s no way to keep me from him, but then I did a bunch of reading about it and of course called my mom, panicked about it and was educated in the fact that apparently when you’re breastfeeding, you create antibodies in your breast milk to protect your babies. So basically breastfeeding was the perfect thing to be doing then and so I just breastfeed. I tried to make sure I breastfed even more and didn’t feed pumped milk. Nowadays, I’ve been pumping once a day so that Corey can have one feeding and I can get a little extra sleep, but I wanted to make sure I did all the feedings myself so that he could get all the antibodies and he didn’t get sick. So that was a win.
Shanna Micko: That’s great. I’ll say now that I think about it, my baby didn’t get sick either with all the stuff I was going through and that’s very cool.
Laura Birek: Magic boob juice.
Shanna Micko: Yeah, I guess so.
Laura Birek: So the rest of this week has been pretty much just dealing with that. Oh, the other big thing. It’s so funny. I feel like the last time we talked, you had to prompt me for a check-in. You were like, “Remember we talked about how you weren’t sleeping and are you sleeping better?”
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: I was like, “Oh, yeah.” Same thing is I’m like, nothing big happened this week, because I think my brain is in such a fog after four straight weeks of basically sleep deprivation. He’s sleeping okay. But I’m still only sleeping at best three hours at a stretch and that’s not good for the brain clearly, because I don’t remember nothing big happened this week except for it was my very first week alone with the baby all day.
Shanna Micko: Oh, right. How was it?
Laura Birek: It actually is okay. So my mom had been staying with me for a month. We interviewed her on previous episode and actually the last episode. See, this is how my brain is working. When did we interview her? Just last week. Seems like a million years ago. She left on Sunday and then Corey went back to work, so I had my first stretch of full-time solo momming during the day and it’s been a challenge. I feel like the logistics are the challenge, because when you put the baby down, you have to put the baby down somewhere safe and you obviously can’t have the baby in your arms at all times, because sometimes you just have to like go to the bathroom or empty the dishwasher and you don’t have to empty the dishwasher, but sometimes it’s necessary because there’s piles of dishes anyway.
Shanna Micko: Or you just want to.
Laura Birek: Sometimes you just really want to. I feel like it’s the logistics of that has been the hardest thing. Order of operations, I’m going to put the baby down in the bassinet. Hopefully, he doesn’t freak out, because he is on his back. He doesn’t like being on his back, but I don’t want to put him in the swing, because the cats are out there and I still don’t trust the cats to not jump in the damn swing with him. All these things. Then I have to run and do this and when can I get my contacts in? I feel like trying to figure out when to get my contacts in has been one of the harder tasks.
Shanna Micko: Interesting.
Laura Birek: Because a lot of things you can do with one arm, you know what I mean?
Shanna Micko: No, you got to hold open your eye with one hand.
Laura Birek: You need both hands, but yeah, it’s been working out. I’ve discovered that first thing in the morning, he’s actually kind of chill once he wakes up and feeds then afterwards he’s just sort of like queuing and looking around and so I’ve been able to put him in the bassinet for like a good five minutes while I go to the bathroom and put in my contacts. So learning things, but I’ve discovered I think I can get one thing done every day.
Shanna Micko: Like one substantial thing or are you counting contacts as a thing?
Laura Birek: No. No, contacts don’t count. I’m sorry. Contacts are baseline. I have to be able to see. I could wear glasses, but they’re just such a pain in the ass. I feel like they’re always falling off my face and I just don’t like them, but I can get one other thing done and for some insane reason, I decided that other thing I wanted to do on Tuesday was bake cookies.
Shanna Micko: Important.
Laura Birek: Well, I baked oatmeal cookies.
Shanna Micko: Okay. Galactagogue.
Laura Birek: Thank you. It was important, because it turns out all I ate for the rest of the week were oatmeal cookies, oatmeal raisin. So there’s like fruit in there, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, exactly. All the food groups.
Laura Birek: I was able to do oatmeal cookies one day and then basically every other day it’s like the laundry is the one thing I like and man, my little guy goes through a lot of laundry, because he’s also a spitter-upper, but he is like a happy spitter-upper.
Shanna Micko: Good.
Laura Birek: Which is what my pediatrician was like, if he’s not upset about it, I wouldn’t worry about it. So I’m like, okay. Well, he just kind of goes blah. Every once in a while, he kind of looks like he’s uncomfortable, but only for a few seconds. It’s not like you describe crying after the feed and everything. Usually, it’s a struggle to keep him awake to burp him.
Shanna Micko: He’s happy.
Laura Birek: So he’s fine. It’s just that he doesn’t like keeping all the contents of his stomach in his stomach. I have to change the clothes. I have to change the crib sheet. Oh my God, like the bassinet sheet.
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: So in the middle of the night I’ve been like rotating it 180 degrees and then I’ll have to take it off, because I only have two that fit right now. So I do my best to try to get through the night without him sleeping in his own filth, but also with the limited resources. Anyway, then I have to do laundry in the morning. I ordered more burp brags.
Shanna Micko: So many burp cloths. Oh my gosh.
Laura Birek: Oh my God.
Shanna Micko: Now, I feel better about giving you some burp cloths for a baby shower gift.
Laura Birek: Did you know that that was like the best gift you could have given me? This was the number one thing I need more of every single day. I’m like, why do we not have enough of these? You done good. Anyway, I feel like that’s my very hazy check-in for the week.
Shanna Micko: Okay.
Laura Birek: So we should move on.
Shanna Micko: Let’s do it.
Laura Birek: Let’s do it after we hear from our fine sponsors this week.
Shanna Micko: All right. We are back with our segment, Stump the New Mom, which used to be Stump the Preggo, but we’re not pregnant anymore.
Laura Birek: We’re not pregnant anymore.
Shanna Micko: We’re not.
Laura Birek: Thank God.
Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo! So we’re just doing a little 180 here with our trivia segment and let’s see. What’s the score? We’re even now, right? We’ve each won around.
Laura Birek: You were correct last time.
Shanna Micko: Okay.
Laura Birek: Let’s see. Yes, on episode 24, I tied it up, because you won the first round. I won the second round. So we’re tied one, one.
Shanna Micko: Ooh, pressure’s on. I’m getting nervous.
Laura Birek: I know.
Shanna Micko: Who’s going to go first? I think you should go first.
Laura Birek: Okay. Yeah, I’ll go first. You know who Shaquille O’Neal is, right?
Shanna Micko: The famous actor? Just kidding. I know he is a baseball player. I mean, no, I do know he’s a basketball player.
Laura Birek: That was really good. That was a good thing. Maybe we should just award this one to you, because that was a solid joke.
Shanna Micko: I’m real curious what this trivia question about Shaquille O’Neal is.
Laura Birek: We all know Shaquille O’Neal. He is a former Los Angeles Laker, a well-known, very gigantic basketball player. But do you know what he weighed at birth, Shanna?
Shanna Micko: Oh, okay. This is interesting.
Laura Birek: I’m going to give you three options. Ready?
Shanna Micko: All right.
Laura Birek: We’ll see. Six pounds, 11 ounces, seven pounds, 13 ounces or nine pounds, 2 ounces.
Shanna Micko: Oh, damn. Well, the obvious choice is nine pounds, 2 ounces, because he’s big and that’s the biggest number given to me. But I wonder if you’re trying to trick me and maybe he was a tiny baby and we’ll all be like what? Or maybe he was seven pounds, six ounces?
Laura Birek: Six pounds, 11 ounces, seven pounds, 13 ounces or nine pounds, 2 ounces.
Shanna Micko: Okay. Totally wild guess. Because I think it would be interesting, I’m going to go A.
Laura Birek: No, he was seven pounds, 13 ounces.
Shanna Micko: I almost did that one. That still is interesting though, because that seems like a really average size baby and he’s not average size man.
Laura Birek: He is not. I tried to find out how tall he was at birth, I could not find that out. I did find out that I think his son was 23 inches long at birth, which is long. That’s long.
Shanna Micko: That is.
Laura Birek: So well that’s a zero for you.
Shanna Micko: Thank you for rubbing it in.
Laura Birek: I’m not competitive at all.
Shanna Micko: Oh my gosh, okay. All right. Here’s my first question. When they’re born, a newborn stomach is the size of which popular nut? A) Walnut, B) Almond, C) Hazelnut.
Laura Birek: Ooh, walnuts are big. I think if we’re talking about a walnut in its shell, that’s a big nut and I know that baby stomachs are like teeny tiny. I’m thinking an almond is too small though. Those are small. Hazelnuts are more spherical than almond. So I don’t know volume-wise. I’m feeling hazelnut mostly, because I want to eat a hazelnut right now. So I’m going to go with hazelnut final answer.
Shanna Micko: Man, that logic put you in the right direction, which puts you ahead of me. Congratulations. You got that right? But that is tiny. Is that not tiny?
Laura Birek: I partially know that, because I’ve been obsessively reading about how much babies should be eating and stuff, because I find it fascinating and also, no one tells you really how much a baby should be consuming. There’s all these different information and when you’re breastfeeding, you have no idea really how much they’re getting. I didn’t know hazelnut was the size, but I encountered that it’s like just a few milliliters, right? It’s tiny, tiny.
Shanna Micko: That’s so small. Although it does grow quickly. Within the first week, it grows to the size of an apricot. But when they’re born, it is that small, which makes you realize why you need to feed them so often in the beginning.
Laura Birek: No kidding.
Shanna Micko: All right. Zero to one.
Laura Birek: Ready for your next one? You might get this one. I believe in you.
Shanna Micko: Okay.
Laura Birek: How many calories are burned for every ounce of breast milk you create?
Shanna Micko: Hopefully, a lot.
Laura Birek: That’s what I’m baking on, but how much is a lot? You’re ready? Is it 20 calories, 25 calories or 30 calories?
Shanna Micko: Oh my gosh, I feel like 30 is too much wishful thinking, even though it’s not that much higher than 20. I’m going to go 20.
Laura Birek: You are correct.
Shanna Micko: Yay!
Laura Birek: The average one to six month old takes in between 19 to 30 ounces of breast milk every day. So that’s 380 to 600 calories a day that you are burning.
Shanna Micko: Is that why they tell you to eat 500 extra calories a day when you’re breastfeeding?
Laura Birek: Yeah, because that falls right in the middle. So that follows.
Shanna Micko: Fascinating. Things you learn.
Laura Birek: Cool.
Shanna Micko: All right. Are you ready for your next one?
Laura Birek: Yes, we’re tied now. Okay.
Shanna Micko: On average, how many miles does a new parent spend pacing to calm their baby in its first year of life?
Laura Birek: Oh my God.
Shanna Micko: A) 84, B) 215, C) 730.
Laura Birek: We’re going to break this down. This is the calculator again. We’ve established calculators are allowed, right?
Shanna Micko: Did we?
Laura Birek: We don’t have to. We can use the rules.
Shanna Micko: I feel like use your mind’s estimated calculator.
Laura Birek: So wait. Give me the numbers again, because I just need to remember.
Shanna Micko: 84, 215 or 730.
Laura Birek: 365 days in a year double that it’s in the 700 grand. I don’t think we’re walking two miles a day to shush our babies. I’m just going to go with 84, because you’re pacing, but you’re not going that far. People’s houses aren’t that big.
Shanna Micko: Buzz.
Laura Birek: Shit, what was it?
Shanna Micko: 730.
Laura Birek: What? No way. We walk two miles a day on average shushing our baby. No fucking way.
Shanna Micko: Yes, it’s equal to 28 marathons in over 365 days.
Laura Birek: Damn! By the way with breastfeeding, no wonder you can just lose that baby weight.
Shanna Micko: Just slides right off. It’s just so easy. I will say I don’t pace a lot with my baby. I’m not a big pacer, so I probably bring that average down.
Laura Birek: Same with me. I’m not a big pacer either. I’m a swayer. I like to stick them in the Moby Wrap and sway.
Shanna Micko: Or bounce. But Steve is a pacer. He’ll walk around.
Laura Birek: Wow.
Shanna Micko: He’s been wearing a fitness watch and then he’s like, gosh, I met my steps for the day. I’m like, you haven’t even left the house. What are you doing? So I guess it is possible.
Laura Birek: I have been hitting my move goal on my apple watch.
Shanna Micko: That’s good.
Laura Birek: Cool. All right. It’s really tied still, so going into the final round. So how far can newborns see? As in, how far can they see in distance from their face? 6 to 8 inches, 8 to 12 inches or 12 to 16 inches.
Shanna Micko: I feel like this is something I know generally. But breaking it down to get specific, I’m at a loss. Read those one more time.
Laura Birek: 6 to 8 inches, 8 to 12 inches or 12 to 16 inches.
Shanna Micko: My sleep deprived mind is literally just swirling those numbers in my head. I can’t even remember what you just said. So I’m going to go ahead and just say the shortest distance.
Laura Birek: The 6 to 8?
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: Oh, sorry. It’s 8 to 12 inches. I guess approximately the distance between your arms and your face it’s about 11 inches. I haven’t actually measured, but that sounds about right. That’s as far as they can focus in those early weeks.
Shanna Micko: Wow. Then everything else is just a blur.
Laura Birek: Just all they can see is your face.
Shanna Micko: Aww.
Laura Birek: You’re gazing lovingly and sleepily at them. All right. Let’s see. If I don’t get this question right, we’re tied still, right?
Shanna Micko: Yes, that’s true.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: I feel like this is going to be an easy one. No, you know what? Let me give you a different one.
Laura Birek: I see how it is.
Shanna Micko: See, I stocked up my questions. I stocked up. That’s my strategy. The average new parent gets how many hours of sleep per night in the first year of their baby’s life: A) 3.5, B) 4.4, C) 5.8?
Laura Birek: The first year of life is what the question is?
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: I feel like at about six months and I know this is very much in theory, they should be sleeping for much longer stretches, which allows you to sleep for longer stretches. So I’m actually going to go for the highest one. What was it, 5.8?
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: That’s what I’m going for.
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: Damn it!
Shanna Micko: You’re wrong. Sorry.
Laura Birek: It’s also depressing. So what is it?
Shanna Micko: It’s B) 4.4.
Laura Birek: Ooh.
Shanna Micko: I was shocked by how low that is.
Laura Birek: Really? That doesn’t seem sustainable at all.
Shanna Micko: No, it really doesn’t. I think maybe does it average out, because you’re getting so little in the beginning and when you get more later, it all just kind of averages to this really sad middle number.
Laura Birek: Not getting zero at the beginning seems very grim. It means that what you’re getting later is still not that high.
Shanna Micko: I know.
Laura Birek: Because I’m definitely getting 4.4 hours of sleep a night right now. Are you?
Shanna Micko: Yes, I am. That’s why I also found this hard to believe. But I don’t know. The random internet article I read doesn’t lie.
Laura Birek: The internet never lies.
Shanna Micko: No, it doesn’t.
Laura Birek: The conclusion is that we are still tied. So I guess that’s good.
Shanna Micko: I guess so, or we can do a tiebreaker question. You didn’t stock up your questions.
Laura Birek: I have a tiebreaker question.
Shanna Micko: Okay. It’s all right. We can continue this game next time we play it.
Laura Birek: Because you’ve won once I won once and this time we tied. It only seems fair.
Shanna Micko: Sounds good.
Laura Birek: We’ll be back after this short break.
Laura Birek: So we close every episode with our big fat positives or big fat negatives of the week. Shanna, what do you have for us?
Shanna Micko: I have a BFP.
Laura Birek: I like it.
Shanna Micko: That’s the Wonder Weeks app.
Laura Birek: Oh, yeah.
Shanna Micko: Are you familiar with that?
Laura Birek: I am and I’m just like staring at it, waiting for elite. Tell me more about the Wonder Weeks app.
Shanna Micko: So the Wonder Weeks app follows a book called the Wonder Weeks that tracks different leaps in your baby’s development and it’s pretty accurate based on your baby’s due date. So even if your baby’s born like a week before or week after due date, you go by the day they were due.
Laura Birek: Gestational age, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, gestational age. Generally, most babies go through leaps in their development around the same time. So this app will track it so you can read about what your baby’s going through at a certain time and I think the first one is around five weeks.
So your baby should be getting there soon.
Laura Birek: That’s right. But five weeks, that’s five weeks gestational age and my baby was born a week early.
Shanna Micko: Okay. So maybe it’s really close, but I could also be wrong. I haven’t reviewed it in depth lately.
Laura Birek: No, I think you’re right.
Shanna Micko: It tells you kind of what their brain is doing and what new skills they’re learning and to me, what’s really helpful is it tells you how the baby’s handling this change in development, because a lot of times the baby will be more fussy, will want more close contact, will want to breastfeed more. So things that might be like, gosh, why is my baby so upset this week? I can check my app and be like, I wonder if she’s having a leap and oftentimes sure enough, she’s either very close to a leap or is in the middle of one. So I know that she’s going through a big developmental change and going through a lot with her brain and her body and she kind of handles those things by being fussy, crying a lot more. Things that seem confusing to me, I’m like, why is this out of nowhere? It helps me understand why and what she’s going through and what she’ll be able to do afterwards. So it’s pretty cool. I used it for my first daughter till the end of wonder weeks, which is like maybe 18 months or two years or something and I kind of still wish they had it for her, because I’m always like, what’s she going through now? Because baby’s development is really fascinating and really cool I think.
Laura Birek: One of the things about it is it tells you your leap isn’t coming up for X number of days and I’ll like, keep checking back on it being like, when’s my leap? Oh, it’s still not happening. When’s my leap? It’s still happening. But it’s closing in fast, so we’ll see. It was recommended to me by a friend who has about I think a seven-month-old now and he had told me about it, because he was like, you’re going to love it because otherwise you’ll be staring at your baby wondering why the hell he’s fussing? You had this perfect baby that you thought you knew so well and then suddenly they’re a different baby for a week and you can’t figure out why. This is telling you why and it’s not that they’re just turning into a little shit. It’s because they’re actually learning and growing and their brain is changing.
Shanna Micko: Definitely.
Laura Birek: Isn’t there a book that goes with it?
Shanna Micko: Yes, there is. But I find the app pretty cool. It’s more comprehensive than it was when I used it for my first daughter. It has like videos now and a lot more information about what they’re going through and I think it’s free too. Maybe I did pay for it.
Laura Birek: No. No, I think I paid for it. I’m pretty sure I did so.
Shanna Micko: Oh, okay.
Laura Birek: But I think it was $199. It’s an app price, which is well worth it if it gives you that peace of mind.
Shanna Micko: Some people say it doesn’t work for them. It doesn’t line up with their babies and some are very anti-Wonder Weeks. They’re like it’s astrology for babies and I’m like, well, I kind of feel like it’s based on science.
Laura Birek: Astrology is a stretch. It’s based on changes in their cognitive development. It’s not like if your baby was born in January, he’s going to be doing this. If your baby was born in May…
Shanna Micko: He’s going to have great talkative skills. Anyways, that’s my BFP. What about you?
Laura Birek: I also have a BFP. It’s something that was actually gifted to me by some friends of ours. It’s the Taking Cara Babies First Five Months Course. Have you ever heard of Taking Cara Babies? It’s a really bad name for a really good course.
Shanna Micko: Are you saying Taking Cara, the popular name of a girl in the nineties Cara?
Laura Birek: Indeed. I am Shanna. Yes.
Shanna Micko: Why is it Taking Cara?
Laura Birek: Because her name is Cara. Cara is teaching you how to Take Cara, the Babies. You see.
Shanna Micko: Clever. Is it an online course?
Laura Birek: It is. I don’t know how much it costs, because it was a gift to us, but it’s like an online video course. But it’s supposed to teach you how to build good sleep skills for your baby and I’d been reading a book called The Happy Sleeper and it seemed really seems fairly similar. But I just couldn’t get through the book, because I have no time to read a book and it was a physical book and if I’m in bed trying to read, I should just be sleeping right now. So he sent us this course. It really only starts to apply once you’re sort of four weeks and above, which is why he sent it this week, which was very thoughtful of him.
Shanna Micko: Nice.
Laura Birek: I sort of binge watched all the different episodes and so it’s very much in the vein of like Dr. Harvey Karp and the swaddling and the five S’s and all that stuff. But it gives you some really good tips, like stuff I didn’t realize that I’ve already been able to implement. So like one example is this idea that newborns have a 60 to 90 minute awake window. Do you know about this?
Shanna Micko: I do, because I’m also reading the Happy Sleeper.
Laura Birek: The Happy Sleeper tells you about this, but there’s something way more accessible about the way Cara teaches you about it. It just like stuck with me better. She also has babies. She shows you babies so she can show you exactly what they look like when they do things and when they’re tired and they’re tired cues, but for the last couple days I’ve started using it. Normally, what would happen is my baby would wake up from a nap, I’d feed him, change him and then we’d have a little bit of wake time and then he’d start getting fussy and he’d be like, oh my gosh, he needs to feed again. I’d be like, well, it’s probably cluster feed. He’s a newborn. I’ll feed him on demand and of course, I give him the boob and he takes it, because he is a baby. But then I realized watching this course, I’ll look at the clock and be like, oh, it’s been about an hour. This is not I’m hungry fussiness. This is I want a nap fussiness and they recommend you swaddle for every nap. I haven’t been able to do that, but I’m trying to swaddle for as many naps as possible and actually put them in their bassinet, which is not his favorite place. But you’re getting them used to it and I have to say that he goes down like a rock. What’s a simile? He just goes down super easy when I catch him in that window.
Shanna Micko: Oh, nice.
Laura Birek: Like shockingly easy. So I’m really, really enjoying it and we’re working on the night stuff. Some of the stuff about the night trying to like keep the lights low, which we’ve been trying to do. One of the things is try not to make too much eye contact with your baby at night, because faces are stimulating for them. So for Corey and I, it feels really weird you’re trying not to look at them.
Shanna Micko: That’s so good.
Laura Birek: But I have noticed it helps, because my instinct is gaze into his face and try to sing to him and sing him back to sleep and that’s been keeping him up and the biggest stress for me hasn’t been the short durations he’s been sleeping at night, but how long he stays up in between when he wakes up to feed. He was staying up like hour and a half, two hours between feeds and that was killing me. So we’re trying this and it’s starting to work and I’ll report back and see how well it’s working, but I’m really into it. Taking Cara Babies, I’ll put the link on our website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com, where you can find it in the show notes. But that’s T-A-K-I-N-G-C-A-R-A-B-A-B-I-E-S, takingcarababies.com. You can get the course yourself.
Shanna Micko: Awesome. Thanks for sharing.
Laura Birek: Thank you to Emma Clinton Carole for gifting that to us. You’ve gifted us the gift of sleep.
Shanna Micko: Aww, that’s so great.
Laura Birek: I know. Anyway, I think I have a baby that’s about to wake up from one of his successful naps.
Shanna Micko: Excellent. I guess we should wrap it up then.
Laura Birek: We probably should. Thanks everyone for listening. If you’re listening on apple podcast, we’d love if you left us a rating and review. That really helps us find new listeners, but also if you’re on Spotify or any other platform, we love you just as much.
Shanna Micko: That’s right. Speaking of loving you guys, we love hearing from you. If you have any comments or questions, definitely feel free to reach out to us. Laura, where can they find us?
Shanna Micko: Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.
Laura Birek: Thanks for listening.
Shanna Micko: Bye.