Two months ago, I wrote about experiencing Magic Valley with a newborn in tow; my son, Felix, was about 3 weeks old, and my conclusion at the time: It’s easy!
What a fool I was.
At a doctor’s appointment around that same time, Felix’s pediatrician told Ana and I that babies start to get fussier at about 2 to 3 weeks old, and it continues about three months.
“Felix will be the exception,” we assured ourselves.
We were wrong, of course. And as the weeks wore on, we felt like we couldn’t get out of our apartment because Felix cried at almost every waking hour. Even his car seat — where he would sleep soundly the first few weeks, allowing us to eat out and grocery shop — became a glass-case of emotion for him as he got older.
All of this made it extremely difficult to experience much of anything around the Magic Valley over the past few months, but not for lack of trying.
A big part of the problem in trying to get out with Felix was the weather: We didn’t want to needlessly expose him to the snow, wind and harsh winter elements.
When the weather finally improved, we took several walks using the only trick that worked: One of us wore him strapped to our chest in a carrier, where he would sleep soundly. This allowed us to walk the canyon rim even when he was at the peak of his fussiness.
As Felix has grown, the crying and fussiness has improved — partly because he’s learning to adapt and adjust to the world, but mostly because we’re figuring out how to parent an infant. As first-time parents without family in the area, we’ve had a steep learning curve but finally have a better grasp on how and when to feed him, burp him, change him and put him down for naps.
His fussiness improved so much, in fact, that the beautiful, sunny Saturday before Easter, we walked for several hours around Rock Creek Park with Felix content in his stroller. On Easter Sunday, we walked the canyon rim for another two hours.
Felix loves movement, which I’ve been told isn’t unique. He wants to be rocked, bounced or held as we walk. When he’s in his stroller, he likes when I push it back and forth or swerve as we walk. If he gets too fussy, I pull his car seat out and swing him until he calms down.
Movement is great when we’re out trying to exercise and be active. But when we want to eat out or do anything else, it can prove quite tricky. Because of that — and because the doctor has ordered Ana to cut out dairy, soy and eggs from her diet to help Felix’s sensitive digestive system — we’ve rarely dined out.
We did eat out twice when Ana’s mother was in town again in March. At Slice, I wore him strapped and sleeping in a carrier, and at Jaker’s, Ana wore him sleeping in a wrap. We did brave one restaurant with him in his car seat — Blue Island Grill, when I was writing another Experience story — that went well for the most part.
Here’s to hoping that as the weather continues warming up, our growing baby will get to see even more of what the Magic Valley has to offer.