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Archive for the ‘Baby Weekly Updates’ Category

I neglected to post weeks 4-6 so I am going to combine them together, which is good because I feel like nothing huge changed between these 3 weeks.

Nursing:
I still continue to nurse one side per feeding, but there are some feedings now where I find myself nursing him from both breasts. My crazy over active let down is still in full force during these weeks, but I have at least found ways to cope with it- see this post for more on that. I started to suspect some issues other than a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance because breastfeeding became extremely difficult around 6 weeks old. While part of the breastfeeding difficulty is probably related to a growth spurt, what really concerned me was how he would pull of a scream and kick while nursing. He was also terribly gassy at the time. I spoke to a few baby wise friends that I have made on line and the suggested possible silent reflux or food allergies. I spoke to my sons doctor and he suggested that I cut out all dairy (which I had already done) and a few other items. I have found that what was truly causing the problem was caffeine!!! I was drinking 1-2 cups of coffee in the morning and then having a chocolate dessert at night. I might even have another soda or coffee in the afternoon if I was really dragging. I think I was overloading my system and poor little Haydon’s system with caffeine. After being off caffeine for over 3-4 days, he was like a totally different child. Nursing became much easier. He stopped pull off and screaming and kicking his legs. I also found that cutting out citrus helped, especially with diaper rash that he was getting. It still takes me about 20-30 minutes to complete a feeding, but at least I am able to get him to take a full feeding. He was also eating every 2-2.5 hours during this time. Like I mentioned before, I think he was in a growth spurt season.

Wonder Week 5:
Haydon hit wonder week 5 during this time. He was extra needy- wanting to be held more. His naps, which were averaging 1.5-2 hours, were more like 45 minutes. Haydon would gladly sleep in someone’s arms, but boycotted his crib it seemed. Evenings were not so good, which could also be a product of his wonder week or perhaps a witching hour. He just did not want to settle at night and refused to take a catnap. He was often awake from 6-9/10pm with little snoozes here and there, but no real sleep. I was cluster feeding in the evenings about every 2 hours from 6pm until he finally went to sleep. Once I realized that he was in the mist of a wonder wee, the crazy witching hours seemed to make more sense. By the end of week 5, Haydon seemed more content and had become more alter and aware of his surroundings. He began to turn his head to see different sound or people, as well as tracking objects with his eyes. By week 6, Haydon gave his first social smile. Oh, I just love those toothless baby open mouth grins!

Schedule:
During these three weeks, I was only able to stay consistent with a starting wake-up time to our day. From that point on, I ended up feeding about every 2-2.5 hours during the day. His naps were just not extending long enough to complete a longer enough wake, eat, sleep cycle. His wake time during this time remained about 45-50 minutes. he went down very easy for all his naps so I know I achieved the right amount of waketime for him. Naps were about 45-60 minutes long. I did get an occasional 1.5 hour nap here and there. I tired to extend his naps if he woke early by giving him a paci, shush/patting him, or rubbing his head- non of these things works. I also tired letting him cry if he woke early, but that too proved to be counter-productive because he does not have the self-soothing skills in place to help himself back to sleep. Plus, since this was smack dab in the middle of a wonder week and growth spurt, crying-it-out would just be counter productive. So, I thought I should accept it and treat it like a growth spurt and then start a new wake, eat, cycle. My goals was for Haydon to be in bed for the night by 8pm, but due to his witching hour, I was not always able to achieve this. He started off only waking once in the middle of the night for a feeding, but by week 6, he was back to waking twice at night for feedings. I attributed this to his growth spurt. (by week 7, he was back to waking only once at night). He was able to go 6 hours between bedtime and his first middle of the night feeding at this time.

My Emotions:
I have to admit. I was tired. Nursing a very difficult to feed baby every 2-2.5 hours and taking care of 3 other children (two 2 year old toddlers and a 3.5 year old preschooler) was very very exhausting. I found myself getting very weepy over little things. I was easily angered. The combination of sleep deprivation and a difficult baby who was eating so frequently and take such short naps was just wearing me down. My husband reminded me that I got this way with all of my children between around this age. I knew that this phase would pass, but when you are in the thick of it all- sheesh- all you want to do is cry. Do you know what I mean? Don’t get my wrong, I just love my son Haydon and my other 3 children, but sleep deprivation is real and so are the baby blues. I am just glad I have a husband who is very supportive and loving to get me through this phase.

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Nursing:
During week 2, I was nursing one side per feeding, ever 3 hours. However, this week, I moved to nursing one side per feeding every 2.5 hours. He was not sleeping through to the 3 hour mark for some of naps so I thought it was best to move back to a 2.5 hour feeding schedule. Haydon was also having a cluster feeding frenzy and was fussy in the late afternoon/ early evenings and refusing to fall asleep until very late in the evening (AKA Witching Hour). I thought about ways to try of eliminating the late bedtime and the cluster feeding, and it occurred to me that he was most likely cluster feeding to get in additional feedings before bedtime. Moving from a 3 to a 2.5 hour feeding schedule allowed me to fit in an additional feeding during the day. Ever since I moved back to a 2.5 hour feeding schedule, 6 our of 7 nights resulted in no cluster feeding and earlier bedtime. Another wonderful side effect of moving back to a 2.5 hour feeding schedule was that Haydon started to sleep a longer stretch at night 4-5 hours.

I am still experiencing an over supply issued with my breastmilk. I am still blockfeeding, feeding from breast per feeding session, which seems to be cutting back on the spit up and evening fussiness, but he still continues to have tummy issues, green poops, and a diaper rash. I wrote more about my over supply in this post- Breastfeeding Issues: Foremilk Hindmilk Imbalance.

Wake Time:
Haydon’s wake time length, which includes feeding and activity, is about 40ish minutes long. The first wake time of the day is the shortest. I notice that I can put him down around 35 minutes of being awake and he returns back to sleep rather easy. The rest of the wake time lengths continue to be about 40ish minutes in length. I know it is time to get ready for a nap when he yawns, gets fidgety, or starts to blankly stair with a glazed look on his face. Sometimes, when I am holding Haydon, he will try to hide his face in my shoulder or chest when he gets tired. I guess he is trying to block out the stimulation all around him.

Nap Routine:
His nap routine is the same as when he was 2 weeks old:
The nap and sleep prep routine that I have fallen into using with Haydon is the following:
1. Turn on Sound Machine
2. Change Diaper
3. Swaddle
4. Turn off Lights
5. Hold up right over shoulder and gently pat his back or bottom
6. Lay him in his crib
*** If he has trouble settling, I shush/ pat his belly until his breathing slows down and his eyes grow heavy and begin to shut. Or I will gently rub his head. If I am lucky, he’ll take his paci to calm down every once in a while.

Naps
most of his naps are about 1.5 hours in length, but he does wake for about 50% of them at the 45 minutes mark or sometime mid nap. I started to let him fuss and cry midnap for 5-10 minutes to see if he’ll put himself back to sleep. More on cry-it-out written below.

Cry-It-Out
I have started letting Haydon cry this week. I still do my nap time routine and help sooth him to sleep, but sometimes even with holding, patting, and calming he still needs to cry. I started letting him cry for about 5-10 minutes. The first few days he would cry up to 10 minutes, then I would go in a sooth him and he would go to sleep, but by the end of the week, he was down to only 5 minutes of crying and falling asleep on his own for most naps (if he even cried at all). I also started to let him fuss and cry if he wakes early or mid nap to see if he’ll go to sleep on his own. If he cries longer than 5-10 minutes, I go in and rub his head, pat belly, or offer a paci to help calm him and help him return to sleep. He started putting himself back to sleep for some naps if he woke early, but I still find myself having to help sooth him back to sleep most most naps. That’s okay, I am just happy he’s making any progress on self-soothing at all. I figured it is better to teach him these self-soothing strategies now rather than have to break a lot of bad habits later.

Schedule:
6:30 Eat, Wake, Sleep (35-40 minutes of wake time)
9:00 EWS (40ish minutes of wake time)
11:30 EWS (40ish minutes of wake time)
2:00 EWS (40ish minutes of wake time)
4:30 Eat, Bath, Nap (45-50 minutes of wake time)
6:30 Eat, put right to bed for the night
10:00 Dreamfeed
Middle Of the Night Feeding around 2am

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Nursing:
We are strictly nursing from one side a feeding right now, otherwise known as block feeding. Haydon was not tolerating feeding from both breasts. If he did feed from both breasts, he would spit up a ton, have tummy issues, and be restless. Now feeding from just one side has helped to reduce all the issues Haydon was having. It usually takes Haydon about 15-30 minutes to nurse, but on average 20 minutes. He is not as sleepy so it is much easier to get through a feeding without having to play the stay awake Olympics to keep him awake. I do find that I might have to stop and burp, change positions, or do a diaper change to wake him up to finish a feeding. But, nursing has become much easier for Haydon and I. He nurses about every 3 hours during the day and then starts to cluster feed, every 1-2 hours, in the late afternoon/ early evening until he finally goes to sleep.

Waketime:
I have discovered Haydon’s wake time to be very short. Most newborns can only handle about 30-45 minutes of wake time. Well, Haydon is no different. He can handle about 40-50 minutes of wake time. It is best if I start the nap routine at about 35-40 minutes so that he is in his crib soundly before he gets overstimulated. Haydon only has bout 5-10 minutes of activity in between feedings and sleep. He has mostly spent that time in a bouncer seat, laying on a blanket, or in someone’s arms. I plan on adding in some tummy time to one of his waketimes next week.

Nap/ Sleep Routine:
The nap and sleep prep routine that I have fallen into using with Haydon is the following:
1. Turn on Sound Machine
2. Change Diaper
3. Swaddle
4. Turn off Lights
5. Hold up right over shoulder and gently pat his back or bottom
6. Lay him in his crib
*** If he has trouble settling, I shush/ pat his belly until his breathing slows down and his eyes grow heavy and begin to shut.

Witching Hour
Starting in the late afternoon/ early evening, Haydon has a very restless time of day. He fights sleep and if he does sleep it is usually for 30-45 minutes at most. He also wants to cluster feed, eating every 1-2 hours until he finally goes to sleep at night. My desired bedtime for Haydon is 8pm, but many of the nights during this week, Haydon did not go to bed until 9 or 10pm. I am not really sure why he is resisting sleep during this time, as he takes very solid naps during the day and feeds every 2.5-3 hours during the day too. I have read that it is very normal for young infants and newborns to have a “fussy” time of day that usually comes at the end of the day. It is strange to me that Haydon is experiencing this because my other 3 children never fought sleep this hard when they were newborns. The way I have been coping with this time of day is to feed Haydon as often as he wants because it seems to calm him. To put him in the bouncer or swing swaddled because that also seems to calm him.

Night Time Feedings:
Haydon does fairly well in the middle of the night for feedings. He nurses, I diaper change him, then nurse him again, and then lay him back down. I do not turn the lights on and do not talk to him in the middle of the night. He did two 5 hour stretches, but most of his stretches of sleep are about 3-4 hours in length in between feedings. I feel like his length between feedings are pretty good given he is only two weeks old.

Personal Notes:
I am just head over heals in love with Haydon. It is so different caring for a newborn when you are not a first time mom and you sort of know what you are doing. It just makes it so much easier, even on hard days and nights. Caring for Haydon just seems so much more simple too because, well it’s not twins. My last newborn phase was with my twin daughters. Caring for twin newborns presents a whole other host of issues to trouble shoot. So caring for just Haydon seems like a walk in the park. He is so snuggly and I just love being his mom. I am excited to watch him grow and explore the world. Thanks for reading along with me as Haydon grows up.

Schedule:
7:30 Nurse, Wake Time 40ish minutes, then nap

10:30 Nurse, Wake Time 40ish minutes, then nap

1:30 Nurse, Wake Time 40ish minutes, then nap

4:30 Nurse, Wake Time 40ish minutes, then nap

6:30-8:30/9:30 Witching Hour.  He refuses to sleep during this time and also cluster feeds until he finally crashed and goes to sleep between 8:30-9:30, and sometime as late as 10pm.

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Baby #4 Is Here!

Finally, after being 5 days overdue, baby #4 joined our family! His name is Haydon and he was 8lbs 13oz and born via VBAC! I was so excited that I was able to give birth to him vaginally rather than have a repeat c-section! I did not tear and the recover from a natural child birth was so easy. So now I have two boys and two girls. Cooper is 3.5, Anna & Molly are 22 months, and Haydon is our newborn- not even two weeks old yet.

So I thought I would use Haydon as my muse, so to speak. I am going to try (yes, try, no promises on how faithful I will be about updating with 4 children) to post a weekly update about how Haydon is growing, his eating and sleeping habits, and anything else blog worth to write about. I got this idea from Valerie’s blog- Chronicles of a Babywise mom. She wrote a weekly baby update on her 3rd child and I found it very helpful to read along and see how her daughter was developing at different stages.

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