Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Newborn Summary: Week Four

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This summary is for McKenna ages from 3-4 weeks old (the fourth week). This week was once again smooth and uneventful. Here are a few highlights (highlights of uneventful? You must be sitting on the edge of your seat!).

More of the same. She still has gas; I still give gas drops. I have been looking into gripe water and have found it is hard to find in stores around here. I appreciate all of the suggestions of good gripe water brands and the tricks you have for them. If you have more, keep them coming!

During this week, she started staying awake even more for nursings. I am able to read more during the nursing sessions. I love to read while I nurse. During this week, I no longer needed to change her diaper between sides for most feedings; she would stay awake without it. She did still have sessions where she only ate on one side, but I knew I had done my best to get a full feeding from her.

During this week, she had very few intervals with no playtime. In other words, she played after almost every feeding. I keep waketime to 40-45 minutes (including feeding). Some waketimes are a little longer, especially the ones that include a bath.

During this week, I started to back off of the 4 S's routine. I still have my nap routine, but I cut down on the holding before the nap. I think I know her well enough that I don't need to hold her before the nap to time it just right. Every so often, I can tell she needs to be held before the nap.

Along those lines, she continued to sleep well for every nap and go to sleep without crying. I still had to wake her for 6 of the 8 feedings a day, with a few days waking her for only 5.

We continued on with me waking her in the night to eat so she had two feedings in the night.

This week we had our first walk and first trip to the park. I put her in my Graco stroller that lays down all the way (Quattro Graco Stroller), swaddled her up, and we set off. She went to sleep just as she would in her crib. It was a nice outing for us.

This week I introduced McKenna to her Kiddopotomus Swaddleme (see Kiddopotomus Swaddleme). She slept just as well with it as she does her flannel blanket with me swaddling her. I wanted to have her accustomed to a swaddle blanket in order to avoid her being dependent on me to swaddle her. Kaitlyn was very picky about how she was swaddled, and only I could do it right. This meant I had to be home for every nap/bed. Since I work with the youth of my church, I have one night a week that I need to leave before McKenna would be in bed. This way, I can feed her and then leave while she has some waketime and someone else can swaddle her and put her to bed.

I have to also say that I love this swaddle blanket because it can go in the carseat. Newborns startle so easily that this is a wonderful thing to have in the carseat. It keeps her a lot more calm.
At the end of this week, I introduced her to her gym. She didn't seem to react to it in any way.

The week started out rough for my emotions, but then ended well. I felt like my normal self :) I do still plan on doing a post on emotions.

Okay, so this week was not that interesting. But since I am about halfway through the next week, I can promise you it gets better.

HELPFUL BOOKSThey are the same, but still helpful:



Erin Ytterberg said...

Thanks for the update on your baby. I have a question for you...I have a 6 week old who is doing great on the 3 hour schedule. But I am having trouble with getting the first feeding of the day around the same time each day. Her last feeding is 10:30/11 p.m. and then she sleeps 4-6 hours. I let her sleep as long as she can at this point. Therefore, she wakes up for her middle of the night feeding any time between 3 and 4:30 and then she falls asleep again for 3 hours. Then it's time for the first feeding on the day and this is varying between 6:30 - 8 a.m.
How do you handle this? I would really like to start the day around the same time.
Thank you!!!

The Culbertsons said...

How long will you continue to wake McKenna for her two night feedings? At what point do you let her wake up on her own? I know you want to ensure that she has 8 feedings a day, so do you wake her until you think she could drop a feeding?

BTW, I really appreciate these newborn summaries. My second little one is due in 6 weeks and this is a nice refresher!


Tim and Liz Casey said...

I have a solids question...I am going to be starting solids soon and would like to nurse first and then feed solids at the beginning. I read through your blogs and I know that you nursed one side, fed solids, then nursed the other side. My LO only eats on one side and only for about 10 minutes or so per feeding. How would handle this situation? Should I feed for a certain amount of time and then feed and then nurse until she is done? Thanks for your help!

Janelle said...

Hi Erin,
Obviously I'm not Valerie, but I might be able to answer your question for you. If you wake your lo at the same time in the middle of the night, you will be able to get a more consistent wake time. So you could try waking her each night at 3:30. Then you would be able to wake her in the morning at 7:00. I think this is what Valerie does, based on some of her previous Newborn posts. Hopefully this helps!

Erin Ytterberg said...

Thanks for responding! So, if I woke her at the same time during the night, then I would just drop that feeding at some point? How would I know how long she is capable of sleeping if I wake her?
Thanks so much for your thoughts!!!

LC said...

Erin, What I would do, is let your baby go as long as she can..feed her when she wakes..put her down. When your desired wake time approaches wake her regardless of whether or not it has been 3 hrs. This will set the rhythm of the day for u. Depending on when the previous feeding was, she may not consume what she normally consumes. It is important to maintain consistancy in order to stablelize metabolism. I run into the same thing with my almost
7 wk old. Unfortunately our first feeding, due to my work schedule is 5 am!!! Really sucks during the weekends!! I hope to move it down when she is a little older.

Erin Ytterberg said...

Thanks for the tip - I will give it a try!
Thank you,

Mark and Janna said...

Erin - I agree with LC. I let my daughter sleep as long as she would at night, and then no matter what time she woke in the middle of the night, I woke her up at 8 am and fed her again. Right before she started sleeping 8-9 hours at night, she was waking at 5:30 and eating, and I still would get up at 8 and feed again. I think it really helps to establish a consistent morning wake time.

Valerie - I'm curious about you taking McKenna on a walk during her naptime. Did she take a regular length nap in the stroller or did she just catnap? My daughter would never (and still will never) sleep anywhere but her crib. If she is absolutely exhausted then she will fall asleep in her carseat, but never a stroller. I'm just curious how you did that, and if she slept the full nap in the stroller or not.

Chrysj20 said...

I used a gripe water in a deep blue glass bottle made by Wellements. It's organic and I got it in the baby section at our local grocery, Kroger. It has to be refrigerated after opening. On the bottle is has www.wellements.com or order at 1 800-255-2690. It has ginger fennel and chamomile in it. It worked wonders for my lo. I used it as needed (it says up to 6 doses in a 24 hr period). Hope this helps.

Janelle said...

Hi Valerie,
I used Baby Bliss Gripe Water. Walgreens was the only place around here (Orem, UT) that carried it for a while, but now our Wal Mart does as well. I liked it because it does not have to be refrigerated. It is a bit expensive, but I enjoyed not having to carry a crying baby into the kitchen in the middle of the night! Sadly, we found out that my lo is allergic to soy and this gripe water has soy in it, so we had to stop using it. But other than that, we loved the stuff!

Janelle said...

Oh, I forgot! Erin, I'd go with what LC said. It makes more sense than my suggestion! I didn't know about BW until my lo was 3 months old, so I was just guessing with that suggestion. Hopefully things work out for you!

lcluff said...

I LOVE the Kiddopotamus swaddler. It goes everywhere with us and I cut the instructions out and put in my diaper bag so no matter who has my son, they can figure out how to use it. He is 5 months and still sleeps in it for every nap and nighttime. It is such a good sleep cue for him wherever he is. We just used the car seat part on a long road trip this weekend and it was a lifesaver. And they are so inexpensive too!

lissybeth said...

Hi there! First time posting here and I have to say that I love, love, your blog. It's been extremely helpful. Thank you!
As far as the gassy stuff goes, thought I'd put my two cents in. I have a 9 month old who had a TERRIBLE time with painful gas until he was four months old and i finally found something that worked. We tried gripe water, massage, mylicon drops, chiropractic, and eliminating spicy foods from my diet, to name just a few. The only thing that we found to work was my eliminating ALL dairy from my diet. It was really hard to do and took a little while until it started working, but it made a TON of difference. My doctor said that he frequently hears about infants having trouble digesting the milk proteins and having painful gas, so it felt comforting to know it wasn't just me! We also gave him some infant probiotic drops, which I ordered online. They were a little expensive, but so worth it. Those two things really made an impact on his happiness (and ours too).


Plowmanators said...


First, I would decide what time you want the first feeding to be. It sounds like you are just waiting until she wakes up to have your first feeding. You need to pick a time and then wake her up at that time. So say you ultimately want your waketime to be 7:30. That is your end goal. You then pick the 30 minute window to work with (7-7:30...7:15-7:45 etc.). You then always wake baby up at 7:30 if she is sleeping.

Also, you can change morning waketimes throughout her life. Since you say that she wakes between 6:30 and 8:00, right now I would shoot for a 7 AM waketime with the window being 6:30-7. Then when she wakes at 6:30 you are starting "on time". But you will always want to wake her by 7 AM. BW says this is an important thing to establish for STTN.

Plowmanators said...


BW says to not let baby go more than 5 hours until 5 weeks old. So week 6 is the first week you can just let them go. That is the week I stopped setting my alarm to wake her up. She then dropped down to 7 feedings when she was ready (about 6.5 weeks old).

Plowmanators said...

Liz, that is a hard situation. Here is what I would do. I would first try doing the full nursing and then doing solids. If she doesn't eat solids well, then try giving solids before you nurse. If that doesn't go well, then try nursing for 5 minutes, solids, and then nursing for 5 minutes.

Plowmanators said...

Janelle, thanks for your thoughts. The only problem with your suggestion is you don't want to train your LO to need to eat at a certain time in the night. And as Erin questioned, you wouldn't know at what point to stop waking at that time. I am glad you made the suggestion so it could be all cleared up!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks for your tips LC. That is the same thing I was saying to do. Start your morning waketime on time even if it hasn't been 3 hours yet.

Plowmanators said...


McKenna took her normal long nap. Also, we got home before it was time to eat, so I picked her up and took her inside, upstairs, and put her in bed. She woke, but went back to sleep without problem and slept until I woke her to eat again.

Is that normal? I don't think so! My other two wouldn't have done that. They wouldn't have gone back to sleep after I moved them to their crib.

My stroller lays down all the way. So I put it down flat, swaddled McKenna, and put her in it. It wasn't really any different than a bassinet would be. I guess other than that it was moving for some of the time.

Some babies are more flexible than others, but I do make a concerted effort to make sure my children will sleep in other locations than their bed in their rooms. Not the carseat or anything, just in other beds in other places.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Chrysj20. There are so many choices out there!

Plowmanators said...

Janelle, I am also in Utah! But our Walmart doesn't carry gripe water. That is the store I was at with the unknowing girl working in the pharmacy! We have only been able to get it through Shopko, and only through special order. Strange.

Plowmanators said...

I agree lcluff! It is awesome! I take it to church with me, the park, the car...love it! And it is inexpensive enough I have several so I can keep one in the carseat and have a few so when one gets dirty it doesn't have to be washed right away. AND I have a few different materials depending on the weather. Love it.

Plowmanators said...

Melissa, how long did it take for you to see a difference being off dairy? I went off dairy for a few days but saw no difference. I wonder if I need to give it more time? I love my dairy :(

24hrMommy said...

Attention all fellow moms. I need help. Before I ask my several questions, I am a mom of a 4yr old girl and a 4 week old girl (5-14-09). I am only bottle feeding formula.
I am trying Babywise with my young one & am lost.
So here are my ?s
1.sometimes she feed every 3 hrs,sometimes it is 2.5 then 3.5. Is it ok that each feeding is different in a 1 day period, or should I get more strict?
2.She is very gassy & I think I might me contributing by over feeding due to my understanding of a "FULL FEEDING". for a 4/5 week old what is considered the avg. oz per feeding? She is eating anywhere from 3-4oz..(4oz takes up to 1 hr to feed & lots of work) am I overfeeding?
3.Do you change the diaper during the 2 middle of the night feedings or should she get used to it being wet?
4. How many naps should she be taking in the day and how long?
5.How long is wake time & how long should I let her cry if all needs have already been meet?
6. at this age, she gives me on an avg. 4 hours at night with the occasional 5-6 stretch..then she goes back to 4 or 3.5 hrs. is it ok for her to be bouncing back & forth at night? when will her nights stretch longer & be more consistent?
7.Last but not least..she is on Gentlease Enfamil formula & the playtex vent bottles. Is there another formula or bottle someone can recommend for sever gas. Her burps I swear are adult. I feel terrible.
So sorry for the long ? but finding the time to do this has taken me 1 week. I am sure many of these ? have already been answered but again my time is so limited right now & I am feeling so overwhelmed trying to meet my girls separate needs..oh & did I mention how sleep deprived I am. Sure many can relate.

Jennifer said...

24hrMommy, welcome to the blog! You'll find some great resources here. I'm sure Valerie will have some great advice for you, but I thought I'd point you to a couple of her posts that might answer some of your questions until then.

1. http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/combo-schedule-is-okay.html
I think you should aim to have consistency day to day, but recognize that things will happen and as long as you are within 30 minutes of your goal, you're doing ok.

2. Figure out how many ounces per day your LO needs, then divide by the number of feedings. That should be about what she needs for a full feeding.

3. I would continue to change her diaper in the middle of the night for now. It could cause her to wake up if it is too full. Once she's a little older, you can start to not change it. Also see: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/tips-and-tricks-diapers.html

4. Check out the sample schedules: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/03/sample-schedules.html
There should be a nap between each feeding at this age.
Also, Valerie just had a baby. She's written week by week summaries--see the "newborn summary" blog label.

5. See the blog label "CIO" for questions on letting her cry.

6. Nights will be inconsistent for a while and that is ok. I think Val says to wait until 12 weeks before doing CIO in the middle of the night. With your consistency during the day, nights should get better, but you'll have good ones and bad ones.

7. I don't have too much formula advice, except to just try lots of other ones. We used Walgreens brand successfully. We used the same bottles as you and felt they were the best for gas.

I hope that helps some. Good luck. It seems like you're doing a lot of things right. Hang in there and it will get better!

24hrMommy said...

Thank you Jennifer..great advice..do you know how I can find out how many ounces a 4/5 week old requires a day?

24hrMommy said...

Thanks Jennifer for all your great advice..any idea where I can find out how many ounces she requires a day?

Jennifer said...

24hrMommy, I nursed until 7 months, so I'm not sure about such a little one. I'm sure most baby books would have amounts. I also find the information on babycenter.com to be reliable. If you're in doubt, call your pediatrician. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

24 Hour Mommy,

1. At that age, I wouldn't worry so much about every day being slightly different. Do what you can to be consistent, but don't really worry about it until three months old. This is a stabelization period, so that naturally means things are not stable yet.

2.I don't know since I breastfeed. I thik you can go to kellymom.com and find out how many ounce per feeding based on weight and number of feedings per day.

3.At that age, I change diapers at all feedings 24 hours a day.

4. There should be a nap after every feeding. Eat, play, sleep. Eat, play, sleep. This is until around your 7ish pm feeding. Then you put to sleep. Then you feed at 10-11 ish PM with no play afterward. And no play in the middle of the night :)

5.See the blog label "optimal waketime." By now she would be about 7-8 weeks old. Waketime most likely won't be over 60 minutes including feeding time.

6.yes, that is fine and normal. Around this age, things are probably getting better and more consistent, but each baby takes things differently at night.

7.I hear the Adiri bottle is supposed to prevent gas/colic symptoms.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks for your help Jennifer, and excellent point about the pediatrition!

Laura said...

HELP!!! First of all I LOVE YOUR BLOG! It's so helpful. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer all of our questions.

Here's my situation. I'm desperate! My baby will be 4 weeks old tomorrow and is not sleeping at night, at all! I wake her up every 3 hours during the day at the same time to eat. We have wake time after she eats during the day. It doesn't last long, but we do have it. She is not sleeping at night at all! I put her down right after I feed her at 7:30 p.m. and she won't sleep. I swaddle her and she acts like she is in pain and doesn't want to be swaddled. But during the day she doesn't mind being swaddled. Last night she was up from 11:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. I just have her laying in her crib but she is miserable as she squirms in her blanket! I give her gas drops and it doesn't seem to help. She will fall asleep then wake up right after squirming and upset. I've even tried feeding her again and it doesn't make a difference. She will take a pacifier but only for a few minutes before she is awake again! She probably slept a total of 4 hours last night. HELP! I don't know what to do.

Plowmanators said...


Part of it sounds like it might be witching hour. See the blog label "witching hour" for more on that.

I would try to think of what is different between night and day and try to make them the same as much as possible right now, even down to the lighting in the room. She is still young, so hopefully this is just an issue of her needing to get used to life. Good luck!

JeanBean said...

I Love your blog and love the idea of BW, but I'm having troubles. I'm reading the comments and seeing 4-6 hours that their babies are sleeping, but my baby is no where near close to that! I have a 4 week old that I'm feeding every 3 hours (start to start, usually means 1.5 hours of sleep) during the day and letting her go as long as she wants at night. However, she won't go any longer than the 3 hours at night. How did everyone else get their babies sleeping 4-6 hours? She's taking in 4 oz. at every feeding. It takes us about 1-1.5 hours to feed plus diaper change, then she'll sleep for 1.5-2 hours at most. Would love any suggestions!! Thanks so much!


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