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This is a summary for McKenna ages 7-8 weeks (the eighth week). Last week was a week of bliss (see Newborn Summary: Week Seven ; this week was a difficult one! Let’s move right on to the summary.
I wanted to mention something else about gripe water. Some brands of gripe water come with a dropper to dispense the gripe water while others do not. If you buy a kind that does not come with gripe water, be sure to buy a syringe to dispense the gripe water. You can get it from your pharmacy or often in the baby section of a store.
Nursing remains the same.
Waketime got shorter this week. Strange? I thought so. Remember that a few weeks ago optimal waketime for her was about 60 minutes? This week it was back to 45. After thinking it over, I am assuming she needs shorter waketime now that she is more alert for her waketimes. She is taking so much in that she is getting more stimulation, so she therefore needs shorter waketime.
Another thought on waketime, waketime can vary based on the previous nap. If your baby takes a 1.5 hour naps, she might need a shorter waketime than she would if she took a 2 hour nap. Now remember, a 1.5 hour nap is nothing to be upset about. It is a good nap length. She just might need a shorter waketime than she would after a 2 hour nap.
NAPSHer naps continued on as usual until her growth spurt started.
GROWTH SPURTYep, she started another growth spurt this week, which is right on track. Hogg says growth spurts happen every 3-4 weeks. She had her first one at 4 weeks old, so to have at 7 weeks old is right as it should have been. And boy did she grow! She grew several inches in a few days. I tried to put her in an outfit that fit just one week earlier–and it was very much too small! Those babies sure grow fast.
McKenna has an interesting rhythm to her growth spurts. She starts by eating more often for a couple of intervals one day–2.5 hours instead of 3. The next day, she does the same. The next day, she eats every 2.5 hours more often. She continues this until the final day of her growth spurt. The last day of her growth spurt, McKenna eats every 2 hours for most of the feedings in the day. Then she is done. Happily, her nighttime sleep is not really disrupted. She might eat earlier in the night, but not more often.
WITCHING HOURAbout halfway through this week, McKenna suddenly had a “witching hour” experience one night. The witching hours are between 6-10 in the evening. There is no known reason for it. Baby is fussy during this time. It typically lasts until baby is 3-4 months old.
I was really quite concerned. McKenna had never had a hard time falling asleep in the least, and here she was between 6-10 having a hard time! That evening, I ended up feeding her every two hours–doing what Hogg calls “cluster feeding” or “tanking up.” More on that below.
This was a funny experience when I look back at it. At the time, I was naturally very concerned. McKenna had never had a hard time sleeping and I worried something was wrong. I found myself asking myself what was wrong and I remembered a question I had answered from a reader only a day or two before. Basically I said, “This is a normally fussy time for many babies. If your baby is sleeping well for other naps, you can put baby in the swing, bouncy, or rock her.” I had to step back and look at my situation as though I was asking myself a question in order to gain proper perspective.
McKenna didn’t have this “witching hour” every night–just two in this week. Kaitlyn never had this witching hour, though Brayden did.
I fed her at 6, 8, and then her dreamfeed at 10. Many people swear by this practice for extending baby’s sleep at night. I had thought about trying it with McKenna from birth, but she had previously just been hard to feed sooner than three hour intervals. After feeding her like this, she slept much later into the night–by a couple of hours! That is very nice for my sleep :).
I decided to make cluster feeding part of our schedule. It makes for a hectic evening, but it also makes for better sleep for both McKenna and me.
Due to the cluster feeding, McKenna moved her nighttime waking later into the night–even during her growth spurt. She was sleeping about 6 hours. McKenna is at the age where most Babywise babies are supposed to start sleeping 7-8 hours at night. I am honestly not expecting that from her yet. She still has a week of being 8 weeks old, so it is possible, but as I have mentioned in the past, McKenna is small.
Size is not something often considered with Babywise moms and their hopes/expectations for sleeping through the night. I think it is something that needs to be considered. Size gives indication of the capacity of the baby’s tummy, and capacity has an effect on nighttime sleep. Most books I read say a baby can’t sleep through the night until baby is 12 pounds. My doctor’s office says 11 pounds, so obviously opinions differ. McKenna is growing really well, and her percentile is moving up (in other words, she started life in a low percentile and is now in a higher percentile), but she is a small girl.
My guess is she has 2-4 weeks before she hits the weight most babies are at when they sleep through the night. I will remain patient. I can tell she is waking from need. So long as she needs the feeding, I am happy to give it to her.
OUTINGS/EVENTSMy in-laws watched our kids one even while my husband and I went on a date. McKenna of course was somehow aware of my absence and not happy about it, but she eventually settled down and was fine. All was well in the end. She sure likes me 🙂
45 MINUTE INTRUDER
McKenna is in the age range for the 45 minute intruder. This is when baby wakes 45 minutes early from nap or 45 minute into nap (BW says it both ways). Did McKenna experience this? I guess the answer is yes. Babywise says it appears the 45 minute intruder is a feeding issue and to treat it as such initially. Since she had a growth spurt, I suppose that is a feeding issue and woke earlier from her naps in order to eat.
PERSPECTIVEThe witching hour experience was an interesting one. It is because of this rough evening that we tried cluster feeding, which in turn showed me how well it worked for McKenna and gave both of us longer periods of sleep in the night. It is often through our difficult times that we learn and are able to improve ourselves and our lives.
I was also able to get to know McKenna better. I got to know her personality more and get to know some methods for soothing her. She has been so good at soothing herself that I haven’t needed to sooth her. Through this difficult evening, I was able to get to know her better and improve on my abilities to help her when she needed it.
My list of helpful books for the newborn period:
- On Becoming Baby Wise
- The Nursing Mother’s Companion: Revised Edition
- Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby
- The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior–Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood
- What to Expect the First Year
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