Tuesday, May 5, 2009

McKenna Newborn Summary: Week Five

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This is a summary for McKenna ages 4-5 weeks old (the fifth week). This was a rough week! There wasn't any real "problem." McKenna just had her first real growth spurt, and it was quite the growth spurt! More on that later.

Yes, gas is still here. I looked into buying gripe water. I tried to buy gripe water at a local store (any one would do). One girl in a pharmacy actually said to me, "I haven't heard of that brand. Do you know of another brand?" I replied, "No, it isn't a brand, it is a product." She gave me a look that said, "sure crazy lady" to which I thought "little girl, don't look at me like I am crazy." Then she asked the pharmacist, removed the "you are crazy" look from her face and told me they didn't carry it. See? Emotions. That is all I can say.

Moving on, the gas typically doesn't interfere with life at all and is manageable with drops. But she did wake from one nap this week with gas pain. On the final day of her fifth week, some gripe water that we ordered from a different store was in and she had her first dose, so next week we might have more interesting news about it. I find it crazy that nobody (that I have tried) carries gripe water in their store.

She was quite awake for most nursings this week due to the growth spurt. She nursed well, but more often of course. After the growth spurt was over, I determined that an optimal time for her to nurse from each side right now is 15 minutes. As you might recall, she was hard to get 10 minutes from many times as a younger baby. I guess now that she is older, I can push more out of her. I still nurse both sides each time. Sometimes she only does 10 minutes per side, but I shoot for 15.

Waketime lengths varied this week. I quickly noted that with the growth spurt, she needed shorter waketimes. She wasn't getting as long of naps between feedings, so she needed a shorter waketime. Interestingly, after the growth spurt, I found that she can handle 60 minutes of waketime sometimes. 40 minutes is now too short for her most times. It seems 50-60 minutes is her current "optimal." This honestly floors me because Kaitlyn was doing 60 minutes at 4 months...I know, she was a sleepy one. I don't mind. Longer waketimes make it easier to do things like go for walks and run errands.

Naps were good, but shorter than usual due to the growth spurt for most of the week. She did cry for a total of two minutes before one nap. I could tell it was one of those cries that just needed to blow off steam and nothing was wrong. You read that babies cry for a total of 1-5 hours per day as newborns...well, McKenna isn't like that. Since she doesn't cry before naps, during waketime, or even when waking from naps (since I wake her up to eat), she basically cries maybe a few minutes a day total. A squawk here when the wet wipe is too cold. A shout there when she is done with her playtime activity. No complaints from me!

Nighttime sleep continued on as it had with two feedings per night. I was so happy for this since she was having a growth spurt. No complaints from me, once again.

McKenna had her first smile this week! That is always an exciting day. Her first smile was offered to Kaitlyn. Once I saw that, I made more effort to get a smile from her. She obliged. But her most sincere and excited smiles go to the siblings. So far, Brayden has enjoyed the largest, most excited smile. I resist the urge to feel sorry for myself and point out to her that I am the one who feeds her, changes her diaper, washes her, etc. :) Kaitlyn was the same way with Brayden. My little sister was the same way with me. Kids just love their siblings.

McKenna also had her first book reading this week. In the past, I have started reading books earlier than this, but with McKenna I have been very cautious about overstimulation. I have come to realize that things can come in due time and that it is better to introduce it a little later and avoid overstimulation. Her eyes got very large. She enjoys the books. When you read a book to a newborn, keep a few things in mind. One is the colors of the book. Bright, bold, primary colors stimulate a baby, so keep that in mind. McKenna's first book is bright red, yellow, blue, and white, but you might not always want to read a book that is bright to your baby. Also, choose a book that rhymes since babies are listening more than looking. If the baby looks away from the book, don't move it infront of her face. Just continue reading (unless that seems to upset her). McKenna has also offered smiles to a book. Hello? I am reading the book! (I say that all in good fun). Her first book, in case you are wondering, is Circus McGurkus 1, 2, 3! (Dr. Seuss Nursery Collection).

Halfway through the week, my emotions got to me again. Not only had it been cloudy and rainy up to that point, but the growth spurt was getting to me. I had to think, "What would I tell myself on my blog?" Growth spurts can be very tiring! By the end of the week, a bit of sunshine and more rest and I was back to chipper.

The main event this week! It started slowly. She woke from some naps to eat. Then woke at 2.5 hours instead of 3 for a couple of days. On the last day, she woke every two hours to eat. I was exhausted! Her need to eat more often lasted 5 days, which seemed like a lot. Kaitlyn also had a growth spurt at 4 weeks. With her, we just doubled the length of time she nursed and after two days she was back to her normal schedule. McKenna wouldn't do that, so we ate more often.

At the beginning of it, I took fenugreek for three days. It was my first time taking fenugreek. It gave me some digestive troubles (common in a small percentage of women) and I believe it made McKenna more gassy, so I don't know if I will be quick to return to it unless I really need it to boost milk supply.

The morning after her growth spurt, she woke again at two hours. I went in to her and could tell she wasn't hungry. This was her nap she woke with gas pains. I held her until she was calm and then put her back in her crib where she went to sleep and slept well. The next nap, she also woke early but not with pain (and not hungry). I again held her until she was calm and put her back in her crib. She slept well. After that, she went back to sleeping until her three hour interval. I am not sure if she needed to get used to sleeping through the whole nap cycle or if something else woke her.

I know this will sound strange, but I felt a certain amount of relief when the growth spurt happened. It is a bit tense to walk around knowing you have no where to go but down because things are so good. It is nice knowing we can overcome any difficulty that may arise. We can make it through the growth spurt. A growth spurt isn't a problem, but it brings problems with it because the schedule is unpredictable, which is difficult with two other children. We made it through. We also made it through poor naps after the growth spurt. We can overcome! :) It is nice to know.

HELPFUL BOOKSSeveral of the same, but I also consulted one new book this week:



LC said...

Wow! A rough week finally...but so sorry you had to go through it. It wasn't till I found your blog that I started to realize some of those bad weeks with my son 7yrs ago....and one in particular with my DD (almost 8wks) were most likely growth spurts. Since my son always ate alot...I must admit that they were hard to detect (Dr put him on cereal at 10wks b/c he was consuming a 12oz bottle of formula). Is it possible with formula fed babies that the growth spurts are not as detectable? I ask b/c even with my new LO...I didn't notice a break from the schedule due to the spurt. Just more tired and/or fussy. Also...since you probably have contact with the BW writers...you may want to mention to them to include a chapter for formula fed babies. There're some differences I noticed with this BW edition (verus what I used in 02). It is very heavy on the BF info. It has left me guessing on some things like feeding amts...b/c my formula baby can't be eating that often or that much. I felt a little abandoned by the Ezzos on this point. I guess the La Leche League Nazis have been very hard on them...just let them know to remember us that formula feed....and do so w/o any guilt of whatsoever! As always..thanks for blogging!

Cheryl said...

Walgreens carries gripe water however I have found Colic Calm to work much better. You can get it online only at coliccalm.com

obxkayaker said...

Thank goodness I found your blog; your experiences and posts are informative and extremely helpful. My LO is 6 weeks old and was born 4weeks early; she is BF and diagnosed with reflux. We have implemented BW from the beginning. I thought we were doing a pretty good job with BW until lately...I think we may be dealing with a growth spurt and/or the 45 minute intruder. We have had our LO eating every 2.5 to 3 hours with a waketime at 7-7:30. She recently began sleeping for 5 hours at night, & this is when I think we introduced chaos into her routine :( She began waking at 4 to eat and then not again until 9. If I read your posts correctly, we should keep her waketime at 7, right? Her ability to sleep longer shouldn't dictate the morning waketime, right? Just this last week, she began waking every 2 hours to eat and would suck down 4 ounces. She seems to be trying to get back to her 2.5-3 hour schedule, but this has been derailed by problems with napping. Sometimes I will feed her and she will not stay awake for anything, only to wake up crying in her crib 10 minutes after I have put her down. We've tried CIO, but after 10-15 minutes, we find her hysterical and wide awake. This morning she ate at 9 and then slept with no waketime. At 11:45 she ate and stayed awake for a while (an hour with feeding and waketime combined). She began yawning, so I put her down for her nap. About 45-50 minutes into her nap, she woke up screaming. I tried CIO and then finally brought her down and put her in her swing. She stayed in her swing until it was time to eat at the 2.5 mark, but she did not sleep at all. She ate only 2.5 ounces and would not wake up for waketime. I put her down in her crib, and an hour later, she was crying. I tried CIO, the pacifier, the bouncy seat, the swing, and feeding her. Nothing worked, which is why she's sleeping on me as I type one-handed! Could she be overstimulated/overtired? What should I do? I figure tomorrow we will immediately return to the 7 o'clock morning waketime. Could the lack of this consistent morning waketime be the cause of our LO's naptime problems? How long does Mckenna eat & how long does she remain awake for waketime after eating? Does the target time for waketime include the amount of time it takes to eat first? If so, how long should my LO be awake? Maybe I am wearing her out and then she is overtired/ overstimulated and can't sleep? Or is it the 45 minute intruder? I know this is a lengthy comment; I appreciate any insight/direction you can provide...you're my personal BW Yoda :)

Tony and Ally Hawkins said...

I've always had to go to an organic food store to find gripe water... anxious to hear how it works for you. Glad you survived the growth spurt : ) Thanks for keeping us updated - the newborn info in invaluable!

Maureen said...

Congrats on making it through the growth spurt. And congrats on the 2 minutes of crying per day! That's awesome! You make it all sound so easy. But we all know you're not just lucky. You are a great mom!

Rachel Stella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Stella said...

I loved the story from the pharmacy. I'd totally be thinking that too, and I don't have an excuse to be emotional! Maybe I'm just a cranky old lady.

I'm always telling myself "what would I do if this was my patient" whenever something medical happens to me or someone in my family. It's like I can't think clearly about it unless I look at it from the outside in.

obxkayaker said...

I found gripe water today at Buy Buy Baby!

Emily said...

what baby whisperer books do you recommend reading? I'm doing Babywise, started it later (wish i had had it while pregnant!) but have a 8 week old son and feel too much guilt to throw CIO at him now! Thought baby whisperer may be the way to go for help to get him to nap better?

Rachel Stella said...

The most comprehensive Baby Whisperer book would be The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. Here's a link to it: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2009/04/sleep-training-four-ss.html

obxkayaker said...

Thanks Rachel. I also was wondering what Baby Whisperer book to pick up and read.

Elyssa's mom said...

Out of curiosity, I see nothing mentioned of you taking a nap anywhere. So when do you find the time to take a nap during this schedule?

mommyofthree said...

Ahhh, what a lovely blog! Also mom of three beautiful children and all BW babies! I could not function my household without the wisdom and guidance of BabyWise! What a blessing!

Our newborn (born March 29/09) is a running-history of the newborn blog updates! So much fun to read as I can relate to it all!

I wanted to give a couple of points that have helped me along, being a mom to baby#3!

First of all, I recently received a DVD, titled "Dunstan Baby Language". Ladies, if you want to know what your baby is crying about, order the DVD and get to know the baby language! Invaluable! Works like a charm when my little guy wakes early from a nap or is a little fussy, I know he is telling me that he is either hungry, tired, has gas (upper or lower), needs to burp or is too hot/cold or has discomfort! It's truly amazing! (works for newborn until 3 months)

My newborn also 'had' gas and gas drops where a must, especially in the p.m and after the 11pm feed...Well my lactation consultant said to cut out dairy and my newborn is a new baby! No more gas and bye-bye gas drops! ;) Sleeping beautiful 6 hours stretches at night!

Good luck to all mom and keep up the great work! ;)

FirstYallPlay said...

so glad to here things are plugging along! you are doing a great job! ((HUGS))!

Plowmanators said...


It is possible to not notice growth spurts with formula fed, especially in the earlier months. With the formula fed baby, you can increase the ounces in the bottle, which is all a breastfed baby is trying to do (increase ounces) and does by nuring more often.

You might want to check out the book Super Baby food to get info on formula feeding. I think it has info in there (though I am not positive).

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Cheryl, we actually do not have a Walgreens here--but one is being built :) I did find some at a store a few days ago. Defintely not at a store I would have thought.

Plowmanators said...


yes, you should wake her at the same time each morning within 30 minutes.

She could definitely be overstimulated. I don't know if you do an adjusted age at all; but at 6 weeks waketime should be usually about 45 minutes, which might mean sometimes there is basically a feeding and a diaper change and then a nap.

See the blog label "optimal waketime" for more on figuring that out. Even now she would be about 8 weeks...45-60 minutes including feeding should be what she can do. But some can do less and some more...most will fall in 45-60 minutes.

Starting at 7 every day will definitely help regulate her day and sleeping patterns.

Plowmanators said...

Ally, thanks for that tip. I have thought of checking there, but haven't yet :)

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Maureen :)

Plowmanators said...

Rachel, I know, you really have to step back and try to look at the picture as a whole rather than focusing on one single aspect.

Plowmanators said...


I agree with Rachel; that would be the most comprehensive. If you can get both that and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, I would. But if you had to choose one, I would choose the "solves..."

Plowmanators said...

oh, yeah, and thanks Rachel as always :)

Plowmanators said...

Elyssa's mom,

Nap? Me? Never! lol

I am not a napper. BUT I know that I need it sometimes--especially after giving birth. I made a rule for myself to nap if I didn't get at least 7 hours of sleep in the night. That has only happened a few times with McKenna. When I napped, it was between 2-3.

Plowmanators said...


That DVD sounds really interesting! That would be helpful, especially around growth spurt age. Do you still find it useful?

Plowmanators said...

Thank you FirstYallPlay!

Emily said...

thanks for the help! I got the baby whisper book (the solves one) and I love it! It fits great with babywise...the 4 s's are wonderful but how do I break him of his pacifier habit???? we tried cutting a hole and he still wants it! Also do you let your babies chew on their hands? He seems to be sucking on his a lot and I don't know if it'd be better for him to have a paci??? thanks!!!

Plowmanators said...


That is a debate. I personally prefer hands over pacifier because the child controls the hands. Not only is this beneficial in the middle of the night for self-soothing, but also in the middle of the day when the child starts to fuss. I think parents often give the pacifier too much, creating a dependence that doesn't need to be there.

If you go with pacifier, I would limit it to the bed so you don't over-use it.

Parents like pacifiers because they can take it away when it is time to wean. But you have to be willing to do so :) If you are diligent, you can keep fingers out of the mouth at a certain age.

So, my preference is fingers, but there are compelling resons for both. It is up to you to decide what you want to use.

shawna said...

I really need some help with my 1 month old son. We were just having nap problems, but now it has carried over to nights. He has reflux, so I can't really do CIO.We tried CIO 1 time and he threw up everywhere and became so worked up that he was awake for 4 hours. I can only get him to nap for 10-20 min in his crib by himself. I use a paci and as soon as it falls out he wakes back up. I am thinking I should get rid of it. I have been trying hogg's 4s's and my son got so dependant on my patting him that he would only sleep for 30-45 min before I would have to start the whole process over again. We have been resorting to the bouncy seat and the swing if he doesn't fall asleep on his own within 30 min of being put down, so he oesnt get too overstimulated. I really need some recommendations. I want him to be able to sleep in his crib on his own. I don't know where to start. His feedings are the only thing that are consistant. we do 7am,10am, 1pm 4pm, 7pm, 10:30pm, 3am. I did BW with my 17 month old son, but I didn't have near the problems that I am having now. Thank you in advance!


Plowmanators said...

Shawna, it sounds like he really gets hooked to props. But it also sounds like there isn't anything you can do differently since he won't sleep and you can't do sleep training.

I would try putting him in his crib for every nap. If he wakes early, move him to the swing then. Also, be sure he isn't awake too long before you put him down (no more than 60 minutes). As he gets older, his reflux won't be as bad and you can move on to sleep training. Until then, do what you need to while still trying to establish good habits.

LEM said...

My little girl turned 4 weeks today. This is my second BW baby but I feel like I have forgotten everything! Plus I have revovered back to my old self emotionally so much quicker that I feel she should be further along than she is. She eats every 3 hours starting at 630 and then gets a dreamfeed at 10. She wakes once in the MOTN around 2 or 3am and then we start over. I noticed you woke up your daughter in the MOTN. My daughter is formula fed, should I be waking her up more? Some nights she wakes early after her 2am feeding before 630 but other nights she does fine. Het sleep is good for the most part but she does wake often with gas pains.

Also, is it normal for her at this age to take about 45 min to eat, burp, and change diaper? I need her to be quicker because my 2 year old and her schedule combined only work when this process takes 30 min. When she goes over this time, my sons schedule gets pushed back. For example I have her last feeding at 630pm, then bath then bed by 730. Then I start my sons nightime routine to have him in bed by 8. Well when she takes longer to eat, I don't get her down till 745 and therefore my son goes to bed late too! How can I get het to eat quicker?

Plowmanators said...

LEM, by this age and with formula feeding, you don't need to be waking her in the night unless she has been asleep for ten hours.

The time eating is just dependent on the child and if she is actually actively eating, you can't make that faster. If she is falling asleep, you can make that faster by keeping her awake and eating.

Also, before too long she will be awake for one hour increments in stead of 45, so be planning and mentally preparing for that :)

Sarah said...

Hi Valerie,

I am way back here in the newborn summaries...have had another little one who is now nearly 5 weeks old. My son is McKenna's age and I followed these then! You might remember me- I made the piggies in a blanket stroller blankets.

My question is this- Nora, our daughter, had been doing great taking 1.5-2 hour naps after every feeding and we've just started letting her CIO before naps this past week. She is eating every 3 hours and her waketime is around 45 minutes. The problem is that her nap after the 1pm feeding is horrible. It's also when our son, 2.5 is down and my only chance to rest up a little. I put Nora down, let her cry, and in 30 minutes she is crying again. I read that this might be from overstimulation or needing to burp. She did not need to burp and today I made sure not to overstimulate her and put her down RIGHT when she got tired...this was at 35 miinutes. I assumed that since we'd been out this AM to the doctor and she had napped in her carseat, it was not the best sleep and she was more tired. Today the same pattern repeated itself. She went down, woke 30 minutes later, cried for 12, and got quiet but never went back to sleep. After another 40 minutes she cried again and I got her...what in the world do you think is going on? SURELY she needs to sleep at this nap. What suggestions do you have? I have read all about waking at 45 mins but never at 30!!!

Sarah said...

Okay, I am back Valerie...I think I have figured out some of the issues we have going on. Today (Saturday) I decided to stay home all day till evening and not go out until after the 3rd nap. I looked back over our week and Tuesday was perfect (we were home all day and Nora napped in her crib). Wed-Fri were horrible. Simply put, we were out all morning every day. Nora had to nap in her carseat, on the go, for 3 days. Last night was the worst...she only napped for her last 3 naps for 30 minutes each. When bedtime came, she cried and cried despite soothing. Finally my husband swaddled her so tight she could not break out and we put her down. She slept from 10:40-4:30am. The only reason I did not go to her to feed her earlier was because she is 2 days shy of 5 weeks and after all we had been through, there was no way I was waking her up! She also weighs 10.5 lbs now too, so I am not worried about that. Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that you can overstimulate a baby by having them nap in their carseat, but obviously with my daughter, this is true. Today has been great with no craying before naps (I shortened her waketime as well and started putting her down 10 minutes BEFORE I wanted her to sleep)...and no waking 30 minutes into the nap. Praise the Lord! I am so thrilled. Now I just have to think about my day and how we will get errands done, etc. Maybe we need to wait till later in the day or just limit carseat naps to 1 per day and only minimal times a week. Any thoughts on that? Just wanted to let you know how it went.

Plowmanators said...

Hey Sarah!

It is very common for babies to get disrupted from being out in carseats. All of my kids were this way. I would cut down on the number of times you have to go out for errands.

I always limited how many days of disruptions we had in a week, and never did two days in a row if I could help it. I never let the first nap of the day be anywhere but home if I could help it.

I always ran my errands in the evening. So the first two naps were definitely at home, hopefully the third. I would disrupt the fourth and then be home in time for bed.

It can seem confining, but remember it is short-lived in the grand scheme of things. It gets better quickly :)


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