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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:
- The Nursing Mother’s Companion: Revised Edition
- Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby
- On Becoming Baby Wise
- What to Expect the First Year
- The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior–Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood