Tuesday, April 21, 2009

McKenna Newborn Summary: Week Three

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Newborn time is really flying by for me. I know, weird. Newborn time is typically LOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGGG. It is like one newborn week is a month. But things are going fast for me this time around. Sigh. Okay, moving out of nostalgia and on to the post at hand.

Things are still good. I think that is why things are going quickly. Other than the fact that I have to wake up twice a night to feed her, things are great. And waking twice a night is just a fact of needing to get 8 feedings in her. There isn't anything that she needs to do differently; it will pass with age when I can let her sleep longer and skip a feeding. Here is an update on all the important things:

Things have been good. I haven't cut back on the gas drops at all. One reader suggested I try gripe water, so I intend to buy some of that and slowly replace the gas drops with the gripe water.

McKenna eats from both sides for the great majority of her feedings. A few days into this week, things really just clicked with nursing. I relaxed about whether to feed both sides or one side. I decided nursing both sides had always worked for my children in the past and there was no reason to change what I knew. Once I decided that, things clicked for us. Her growth really took off. I haven't had to work as hard to keep her awake, which I always enjoy. There is still work, but not as much. I do often need to change her diaper between sides, but once I do that, she easily eats from side two.

I don't time each side. I have her eat as long as she will eat from each side. She isn't one who seems to need non-nutritive sucking, so when she is done, she will often come off herself. I do pay attention to time and work to get at least 10 minutes out of her, but if she needs more than 10 (she is still swallowing after 1-6 sucks), I let her continue on.

It is funny how things change. In week one, this was our biggest struggle. Now, it is basically a non-issue. She burps easily and quickly.

Her waketime is continuing to increase slightly. She still has some feedings where all she can do is stay awake for the feeding and diaper change and she is done. I don't fight her. If she needs to sleep, I let her. I put her down awake after each feeding. After a feeding diaper change, it has been at least 30 minutes which is long enough for a baby that young.

She still doesn't show obvious nap cues. If she is still alert after 40-45 minutes, I start the nap process, and she is always ready for sleep within 5 minutes of that. With a baby this age, I think it is critical that they don't get overstimulated. It is important for all ages, but critical for these young newborns.

There has been no change other than she is getting to be a faster eater at night. The process was taking about 50 minutes to feed and diaper change, and now it is taking about 30. This is great for me because I get more sleep :)

She is still napping well and still has never cried before going down for a nap. I still wake her for all of her feedings.

We had some big events this week. One is Easter. McKenna was awake a little longer than usual (65 minutes) because we were doing Easter with the kids. Happily, she went to sleep fine and slept fine. I am pretty sure she is an Angel baby as defined by Tracy Hogg, the Baby Whisperer. Hogg says that when these baby's get overstimulated, it usually doesn't take much to settle them down.

Another big event was Kaitlyn's birthday party. We simply had family over, but you know how family likes to hold babies. I fed McKenna right as people were arriving, then let her be passed around for her waketime. Then I said I would put her down while we ate and did festivities. It worked well because people got to see her and she still was able to maintain her consistency.

McKenna had her first bath this week (instead of a sponge bath). She wasn't as mad as Brayden was, but not as calm as Kaitlyn. Of course, Kaitlyn's umbilical cord didn't fall off until she was four weeks old, so she was a lot older of a baby.

We also had photos taken this week. This completely disrupted one of her naps (between her 4:30 and 7:00 PM feedings). I chose to do it in the evening so that the entire day would not be disrupted. She went down after her 7:00 PM feeding just fine, but woke at 9:00 PM for a feeding rather than 10:00 PM.

McKenna had her first bottle this week. I pumped an ounce. She ate half an ounce without a problem, but wasn't very interested in eating from a bottle. By that I mean that she was taking it really slowly. I then nursed her. In case you are wondering why I am introducing a bottle to her, see this post: Non-BW Tips and Tricks: Breastfeeding moms, give your baby a bottle: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/non-bw-tips-and-tricks-breastfeeding.html

Growth spurts are supposed to happen every 3-4 weeks. As she approached 3 weeks old, I kept my eye out for it. Since she needs to be woken from every nap, I knew if she woke early it would mean she needed to eat. At the end of this week (just as she was turning 3 weeks) I think she had a growth spurt. She woke for 7 feedings in a row. Since she usually only wakes for 2 a day, I thought this was a good sign of a growth spurt. The next day, she was very, very sleepy and hard to get to eat all day. She also didn't poop as much for a couple of days. I am not 100% sure the growth spurt is past and over. I am still watching for it this week and read for it, but I think it possibly did happen.

My emotions have been quite even--up until this week. I want to discuss this because I don't think it is often addressed. My emotions have been really calm and even up until this week. I am an extrovert, and by this point it was getting to me to be cut off from the world so much :). My husband also had a big emergency at work, causing him to work a lot of extra hours, including Saturdays. So, things were getting hard. I was reading in Secrets of the Baby Whisperer where she discusses the emotions new moms go through. It was a great thing to read because I had experienced almost all of them that week. I will do a separate post on that, but just know that if you are feeling emotional, it is normal. It is normal to feel inadequate. It is normal to feel like it is a piece of cake and you can handle anything, only to feel overwhelmed several hours later.

They are the same, but still helpful:


LC said...

So glad you are starting to discuss emotions. I have been a wreck. It has been 7 yrs since I've had a newborn. I also experienced the blues with my son, but since I had to go back to work 4 weeks after birth...besides being exhausted...it helped me. I go back to work next week..a little nervous about the juggling act (I've had a 6wk leave this time)...but hoping it will also help. This has been a much better week for me. Alot less crying. I hate going through this...it really does rob you of this stage..though it's my least favorite stage..since this baby is most likely my last it would have been nice NOT to have dealt with such rollercoaster emotions. Thank you so much....you have no idea how much your blog has helped!
: - )

Emily said...

I'm a new follower and am totally enjoying your blog! I'm doing Babywise with my first baby and am taking in all your advice...I do have a little to give of my own. We tried Gripe Water for my son's hiccups as I heard it worked great..it is VERY sticky and didn't do a thing!

Angela said...

Thank you so much for documenting all this! I did BW with both my boys, but I was more stringent with my first. It caused me a LOT of frustration and caused me to really dislike motherhood for the first year.
While I'm glad I did BW, I wish I hadn't been so militant.
With my second (25 months later), I wasn't able to be as stringent b/c we were constantly going from one doctor to the next b/c of many medical issues. Also, he had heart issues so I didn't feel comfortable letting him CIO.
Now that he is one (this Friday!!), I am having to do a little bit more sleep training b/c he is a little too dependent upon me to go to sleep.
I do wish I had written more down with my first, though, to see what I did and didn't do at each stage.
All that rambling to say thanks for your blog! LOL

Cheryl said...

I have really been enjoying reading your blog. I have a suggestion for you in regarding gas. Both my sons had bad gas, the second one was worse than the first. He would wake up at night because of it. What I have found that works great is Colic Calm. It is a vegetable base drop that helps with gas, colic, reflux, and hiccups. I love it!! You can noly order it online but it is well worth it! you can get it at www.coliccalm.com. It works within 10 min.

Jenna said...

With my first daughter I cried nonstop for the first 2 weeks. It was awful. With my second I felt great for the first 3 weeks then I fell. I think I was on supermommy hormones and then all the sleep deprivation and work caught up with me. And it lasted about a week. So seeing that this has been an emotional week for you just reminded me that it's normal and everyone feels it! You are an amazing mom and such a great example to everyone who comes in contact with you!

The Pittman Family said...

I'm nursing my 4 month old and she takes a bottle every week or two. My husband or someone else always feeds it to her so she won't get nipple confusion. I have a friend who is having problems with her 1 yr old taking a sippy cup when she's in the same room (she is weaning and down to just the night feeding).
When you give McKenna a bottle do you feed her or do you let someone else?
Should I try to feed Kate a bottle so we won't have problems later on or will it just cause more problems now?

Jeannie Herrmann said...

I'm glad to hear things are still going well for McKenna! I also used gripe water for my baby when he had a lot of bad gas and it worked very well. Much better than the Mylicon. It also helps him with hiccups. It's a little pricey, so if you do buy it, you will probably do well with 1/3 to 1/2 the recommended dosage. I got this advice from people on some forums and I'm so glad I did, because the small amount worked just fine. We used the Baby's Bliss brand, available at drug stores.

I'm sorry to hear you are going through the yucky emotional thing. That is soooo hard. Those hormones get so out of whack!

The Cleary Family said...

Valerie, it is great to get someone else's perspective on the newborn stage. I will love to refer back to this when I have my next baby. I wanted to post a question for you to answer at your convenience - but I am at my wit's end! My nine month old has been STTN for twelve hours (8 to 8) for about two and a half months. Then we all got the flu. It didn't seem to upset her sleep until she started to get better. Now she has been waking up around 6 AM every morning. If she ever woke up early before (which RARELY happened) I would go in and pat her and make sure she had her pacifier and she would go back to sleep. Now that she is pulling herself up, she is standing so when I go in, I lay her back down and she gets so mad and throws a fit. I let her CIO until 8 AM after laying her back down but it only works about half the time. I don't want to feed her at 6 because I don't want to set a new waketime, 6 is WAY too early for me. Any ideas what is happening? Why is she waking so early? We just dropped the third catnap and the two naps are a little longer now but not much. Does she just not need the 12 hours anymore? HELP!

Rachel Stella said...

The Pittman Family

From what I've heard/read, it sounds like it is usually a good idea to start off having baby take the bottle from someone else, and then later (I did so after about a month of my husband giving my son a bottle about twice a week) give your baby a bottle yourself. My son didn't care if I gave him a bottle or someone else did, but some babies will have a harder time with this. I think waiting too long to have mom give baby a bottle could make it a harder transition. My son did have a bit of a hard time taking a sippy cup with milk for some reason, even though he'd take a bottle with milk. He got over the phase, but it took a lot of consitency on my part and frustration/crying on his part but eventually he took a sippy with milk with no problems. Actually, he took a straw sippy a lot better than a normal sippy cup. Maybe you could suggest that to your friend.

Plowmanators said...

LC, you are welcome! That 6 week mark is like magic. I am a different person litterally overnight! I agree; it does rob you of the newborn time!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Emily :) We are trying the gripe water to see what happens. We are currently doing it twice a day. I don't necessarily see a difference from the gas drops, but she isn't worse with it either...

Plowmanators said...

Angela, you are welcome! It is a fine line to balance being as "strict" as you need to for success while being sure you don't allow the schedule to rule your life.

Plowmanators said...

Cheryl, thanks for your tip! I have heard lots of good things about Colic Calm.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Jenna! You are sweet :) I agree, it is normal. Everyone gets emotional to some extent.

Plowmanators said...

Pittman Family,

When I am first starting to give bottles, it is always me giving it. McKenna has had a bottle once a week since starting and has consistently gotten better. The last bottle she had was from my husband. She took this bottle the best of any of them. BUT she was hungry and she was older and more experienced, so we will see how she does.

I like my kids to take the bottle from anyone; I want them to be flexible. The biggest reason I do bottles for my kids once a week is so they are used to eating from it in case something happens to me. You never know what the future will hold. Even just a sickness might cause a need for the bottle. So, I want them to take it from me, my husband, my parents...everyone.

I think I would mix it up. You don't want it to be just you giving the bottle, but you don't want it to never be you either.

Rachel also has some good points. I have also read to have someone else give the bottle; however, as I said, I always initially give the bottle and it has turned out just fine.

Plowmanators said...

Jeannie, thanks for your tip! I have been using the smaller dosage since you recommended it. 1 tsp. just seems like a lot for a tiny baby! It is working great with the smaller dosage.

Plowmanators said...

Cleary Family,

It sounds like there are several factors. One thing I would consider for sure is the sun. I know the sun is waking my older children up earlier. We are all sun risers around here. Even I wake up with the sun, which is pretty annoying since I am up in the night :)

So the sun might be waking her. You also mentioned the new skill of standing in the crib. She is probably waking and then excited to practice her new skill. Is she crying before you go in? If not, I just wouldn't go in.

You also need to evaluate the dropping of the catnap. When you drop that, you often need to move bedtime up 30 minutes or so for a while as they adjust. If you didn't do that, she might be overly tired and therefore waking early in the morning.

Plus you have the sickness to consider. Don't you love it when there are so many factors? ;) Focus on one at a time to figure it all out.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Rachel! I appreciate you giving your thoughts on things :)

Lana said...

I nurse my 8 week old but a few times a week he gets a bottle of breast milk for his 7-7:30pm feeding. Would you recommend I pump during this missed feeding or since it's only once a day (sometimes every other day) am I okay not to pump? I just don't want to affect my milk supply. Thanks!

Plowmanators said...

Lana, I would definitely pump for this feeding, personally. You can read conflicting advice. I have read to absolutely pump or you will risk your supply. I have also read that if you are consistenly giving a bottle for a certain feeding, you don't need to pump because your body doesn't need to be making it. I can see the point of both sides. I am a type to be "better safe than sorry." I just don't think you would have cause to regret pumping. It might not be convenient and might be a pain, but it isn't something to regret. If you don't pump and it does affect milk supply negatively, that is something you could regret.

Friends of Jesus said...

Hi! I have a question. my son just turned two weeks old, so I guess this is techinically his 3 week of life, so I thought I would post this here. Up until yesterday, he was an amazing sleeper! When I did the 4 s he responded so well, he would just drift off to sleep on his own, no trouble, no crying. BUT the last couple days he has been having a horrible time sleeping. He is difficult to get to sleep and then he only sleeps for about 20-40 mins and wakes up crying. I wait a while to respond to him to be sure that he is really crying and not going through an active sleep state. He gets pretty hysterical. I can't figure out whats wrong. What changed? He does have gas issues, so I thought it was that at first, but he had gas issues the first 2 weeks and it didn't effect him like this. I really am at a loss as what to do. I really am not comfortable with CIO, plus I have a 3 year old that I don't want to wake up during nap and night time. But I also don't want to start bad habits that I am just going to have to break later. Please help! Any ideas/advice/wisdom that you have and would share would be great! Has anyone else experienced this same thing?

Plowmanators said...

Friends of Jesus,

Something that changed is that he turned two weeks old. That is when the fussiness starts if they are going to be fussy.

Something to keep in mind is that both Healthy Sleep Habits and the Happiest Baby On The Block say to not sleep train until three months old and prior to that, you can put baby to sleep however you need to. They claim you can't create bad habits.

Now, I think you can create bad habits and I think you can make your sleep-training harder if you create bad habits. But, these two books have hundreds of thousands of people who swear by them. So parents have had success. Keep that in mind as you worry about habits.

Your first goal is to have baby sleep when he should. Your second goal is to have him sleep in his bed. Your third is to have him fall asleep in his bed. Keep those in mind. See the post "waking early from naps, won't fall asleep for naps" for ideas on what to do.

Friends of Jesus said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! Turns out, my baby boy has reflux. :( I have read some of your posts on reflux, and they have been a huge help, thanks! Then he caught a cold from my older son, so things have been rough for him so far. He is now 4 weeks and at the tail end of the cold. Still have some problems falling asleep, but most of the trouble is staying asleep at night. He wakes up around 1:00/1:30am and fusses and cries (pain type cries) til about 3:00 or 4:00am. I'm not sure if this is gas or the reflux, but it does seem like he is uncomfortable. I've tried the mylicon and gripe water and neither seem to help. As of now I am just trying to keep his day consistent (2.5-3 hr schedule) and hope the night comes along eventually. Do you have any suggestions for that time in the middle of the night?

Thank you again for all the time, energy and love you put into this blog. It has been a huge blessing to me, and from what I read from others, it blesses many!

Allison said...

Your blog is a God-send! Thank you so much for the time, effort and patience that you put into it!!!

Can you explain what the "nap process" should be for a 3 week old?
Also, I've been trying to keep my 3week old son awake for 30-45 min after feeding...I guess this is too long?!
He's also going getting hungry sooner this week...so keeping him awake sometimes keeps him up until the next feeding (sometimes he's knawing at his fists at 2 hours these days)..which ends up making him over tired! :(

H said...

I don't know if this is the correct place to post this question, but I thought it might be fitting. First, thank you for doing this blog. I am a first-time mom and very excited about BabyWise...

My baby is 10 days old now and I was wondering about a few things:

He has 2 times during the day, pretty consistently, where he'll be awake and very alert for 2-3 hours (one is in the morning after his second daytime feeding, the other is in the mid-afternoon, 2 feedings later, so he's getting a solid nap in-between). He is having pretty consistent wake times after each feeding during the day, but they are more like the typical 45 min. total wake-times including feeding.

Is it okay for him to have such a long wake-time at this point? He does really well getting back to sleep after the feeding that bookends his wake time, and his demeanor is quite pleasant. The only day he's been fussy was the day after his circumcision. I'm going to ask his doctor about this, too, but was hoping to get some advice from the BabyWise perspective.


Plowmanators said...

Freinds of Jesus, I am glad the blog has helped out :)

Honestly, if it were me, I would go to him at 1 when he cries and comfort him. I would try to rock him back to sleep. I wouldn't leave him if he were in pain.

Plowmanators said...


Yes, 30-45 minutes after a feeding is too long. Even now at 4-5 weeks old. Shoot for 30-60 minutes total, based on him. Most will be around 45 minutes--total, including feeding.

Sounds like he was having a growth spurt. Eating every 2 hours during a growth spurt is normal. They often need shorter waketimes during growth spurts since naptimes are shorter.

I am not sure what you mean by "nap process"

Plowmanators said...

H, that is too long for a baby that age. You want to follow eat. wake. sleep. at that age. And you want to eat every 2.5-3 hours. So if he is awake for 2-3 hours, he can't take a nap that allows for the next feeding to be on time.

brightstar143 said...

I am having a similar problem to H. My 2.5 week old son has very long wake times usually once or twice a day. I feed and change him in the morning and he usually goes right back to sleep (he usually wakes up right around 2.5-3 hours after the beginning of his first feeding). But after the second feeding, he stays awake for 3-4 hours. I put him in his crib or bassinet after 45 minutes, but he simply will not go to sleep. He isn't fussy, but he stays awake so long that it's time for me to feed him again and he hasn't napped. Once I feed him, he usually goes to sleep, but not always. Any suggestions on how to get him to sleep? Thank you so much!

Plowmanators said...

Since he is in there and not crying, one option is to just let him be and let him learn.

But I would also look into waketime length. Perhaps for the second waketime, he needs it to be 50 minutes. Each waketime length is not the same throughout the day (part of the joy of figuring it all out :) ).

k a r i s a said...

hello -
i just found your blog and my newborn is just 1 week old so i'm trying to understand all the concepts. i'm also interested in the nap process you mention in your this post: "If she is still alert after 40-45 minutes, I start the nap process, and she is always ready for sleep within 5 minutes of that."

Allison said...

karisa - I asked a similar question about the nap process when my son was 3 weeks - he's now 16 weeks! I THINK what Val is talking about is a nap routine. For instance, swaddle, close the curtains, sing a song, etc. A process that you repeat each and every time you put your baby down to sleep....basically "setting the tone" for sleep. At 1 week old, they usually just fall asleep without having to do much but it doesnt hurt to start a process now...but around 3-4 weeks, they arent usually quite as easy to put down to sleep as the first 2-3 weeks so that's when the nap process becomes more important.

Best of luck! And congrats on your new bundle of joy! :)

Plowmanators said...

Karisa, Alison is right (thanks!), the nap process was the 4 S's (see blog label), darkening of rooms, and lullaby. A nap routine. I think there is a post titled "sleep routine" or "nap routine" that will also have info for you.

kritiostodd said...

My daughter is going on 3 weeks of age, and for the most part is pretty content (She HATES to be wet). Although, every night for the past week she is fussy after the 7pm feeding. All other naps, she'll go down without much of a fight. At 8ish, we'll complete the same "nap routine" though end up with different results. We've tried CIO (though not successfully :-)) as she seems to fall asleep the best in a swing. (only at that time) Part of the problem is that she is notorious for being put down in her crib awake, with little crying only to scream approximately 20-30 mins later because she is wet. Do we start the "nap process" all over after changing a diaper, and is there anything I can do differently so her sleep cycle isn't disturbed so often? Is the fussiness normal during this time of the day/night?

Plowmanators said...

kristiostodd, yes, totally normal. See the blog label "witching hour" for my thoughts on that.

If she is waking wet, you might want to try 1-a larger diaper 2-butt paste or other diaper cream to keep the moisture off her her.


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