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This is a summary for McKenna the ages 5-6 weeks old, the sixth week. This week was wonderful. There were no bumps, though also no strides.
McKenna’s gas seems to be getting better. She has gripe water twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. After every other feeding, she has gas drops. The gripe water does just fine. It doesn’t seem to be better than gas drops, but it works just as well.
Perhaps her gas is getting better because I have found a new burping trick. I burp her after feedings and all goes well. The trick is right before her nap. I swaddle her, then I hold her up in burping position with her head by my shoulder. I then very lightly pat her back. A burp often comes out. For some reason, she burps really easily while swaddled.
She is continuing to be more alert for nursings. There are a few she even keeps her eyes open the whole time. It seems what is happening now is 15-20 minutes on side one and 10-15 minutes on side two. So it is about the same length overall, but split differently.
Waketime is the same this week. I currently shoot for 50 minutes of waketime. If she shows signs of needing to go down sooner, I put her down. Sometimes she doesn’t get down until 60 and that has been just fine. But at 50, she is in a quiet alert phase and just drifts off to sleep. She doesn’t have trouble at other points, but when I watch her on the video monitor, she will turn her head back and forth instead of just falling asleep.
Naps went back on track this week. She slept her full time for naps and went back to needing to be woken to eat for most naps. The first day after her growth spurt was over, she woke early from her morning nap. I could tell she was not hungry at all. I figured she had just gotten in the habit of waking early. I found McKenna does not sleep in the swing at all, so that trick of mine does not work for her (see Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/waking-early-from-napswont-fall-asleep.html). Instead, I held her until she was almost asleep, but still put her in her crib awake. I didn’t rock her at all or anything. I just held her. I had to hold her for about 10-20 minutes. Then I put her in her bed and she went back to sleep to finish the nap. I only had to do it for that one nap and she went right back to her old self.
Here is where I wanted progression and saw none. This was the first week that I didn’t set my alarm to get two feedings out of her during the night. She continued to wake twice each night. I had mixed emotions about it. Of course I would like to go to one feeding a night. But I can also tell that she still needs them. McKenna was tiny at birth, and at 6 weeks she is still smaller than a lot of babies when they are born. She is growing just fine and as she should, but she is small. So I am not sure she can quite make it through the night on one feeding, but I do think she is getting there.
I also wonder if I have created this need for two feedings a night. Since she has always been woken twice, her metabolism has been trained to it. If this is the case, there really isn’t much I could have done to prevent it. She doesn’t eat well sooner than 3 hours in the day, so to get 8 feedings in her in a 24 hour period, I needed to wake her. Also, I really needed to be sure she didn’t wake up while I was in the middle of feeding my older two children breakfast.
So what would I recommend? If this is your only child OR you don’t need to have a predictable morning (your older child(ren) is capable of taking care of himself in the morning or you have a spouse home at that time of day to help), I would let the baby sleep longer and see what happens (but I wouldn’t go longer than the recommended 5 hours until baby is 5 weeks old).
If you have older children or a need to be sure your baby will not wake up at a certain time, you might want to wake in the night if needed at first.
I could have let her go longer and seen if then she would have taken in an extra feeding during the day. I don’t have regrets at all. This has worked fine and frankly I am getting enough sleep. I don’t want to continue like this forever, but it is fine for now. It works well for my family to have her eating in the day when she does, so it has all be fine. I am not concerned that this will never end; I know it will. When she is ready, she will either drop it or I will be able to tell she is ready and will help her to drop it (I am not sure how; I will decide if I need to).
McKenna ate really well from her bottle this week. She ate quickly and didn’t seem to mind the bottle in the least. She didn’t get the look on her face of “what on earth is this?” She just ate. That was nice.
I went on a Mommy/Daughter date with Kaitlyn on the Saturday of this week. Traffic was really bad because of graduation ceremonies at the university, so we were late in getting home. My husband called and I told him to give McKenna some formula. So, she had her first taste of formula this week also. He only fed her 1.5 ounces before I got home, then I nursed her. She ate it well and quickly. I like to have my children used to the taste of formula in case I never need to give it to them. If I have surgery, need to leave town, lose milk supply, or even die (I just want to be prepare), I don’t want to complicate the experience by them refusing nourishment.
We went to a dinner party with friends this week, also. McKenna slept the whole time and showed no sign of disturbance to routine when we returned home.
We also took McKenna to church for the first time. I adjusted her schedule a bit for church. She normally eats at 10:30 AM. Our church starts at 11:00 AM. I let her sleep, got her up at 10:45, we drove to church (about a minute or two away), then I fed her at church in the Mother’s Lounge. I didn’t want to feed her at home at 10:30 since she takes 30 minutes to eat; I didn’t want us to be late. After I fed her, she had some waketime. Then when it was time for a nap, I wrapped her up in her swaddle blanket. I then held her. She wasn’t so pleased with this. She didn’t cry, but she was squirming around looking quite uncomfortable. I finally just put her on the bench next to me and she went to sleep. When it was time to go to Sunday School, I put her in my new sling to carry her around. That was really nice. One reason is that she was supported and I didn’t have my arm go dead. I was able to use my arm to hold scriptures and raise my hand for comments. Another reason is that she was protect from other people :). It is harder for people to touch your baby when she is in a sling. Not to be crazy or anything, but I don’t want her getting sick. McKenna usually eats at 1:30, but our church ends at two. I let her continue sleeping until the end of church. Then I put her in her carseat, where she woke up as I was putting her in, and fed her when we got home. No problem.
Another event was dinner at my parent’s house to celebrate my sister’s birthday. This wasn’t particularly disruptive for her. My Mom has a crib, so I put her in the crib to sleep. She slept great. So the nice thing about that even was seeing that she slept just as well in a new bed in a new house.
I also had my 6 week postpartum visit. I wondered how she would do for this because she hates her carseat. I fed her and we left for the doctor. She fell asleep on the way and stayed asleep the entire time we were at the doctor and driving home. Once we got home, I put her carseat in her room but left her in it. I don’t find babies transfer well. I then woke her when it was time to eat.
Emotions were better this week. Nothing huge to report, but I did want to say that I have written the emotions post and it is in line to be published this coming Friday.
I got a yeast infection in my nipples this week. I wanted to mention it because when I first got one with Kaitlyn, I had no idea what it was. It got worse and worse until I was bleeding and split open. It was really painful. I finally did some reading and realized I had a yeast infection. Once I started treatment, the pain subsided and I eventually healed. And yes, I continued nursing through it! I am so stubborn.
So this time I knew immediately. I was able to get some medication for it. McKenna doesn’t have any signs of thrush, so I am hoping this is short-lived. Kaitlyn and I passed it back and forth until she was about 7 months old (but I wasn’t bleeding the whole time, just until I started treatment). If anyone has any wonderful yeast infection remedies, I am all ears (or eyes I guess).
I also forgot to mention back in week two I think that I had mastitis. This was not big news for me; I got mastitis with both Brayden and Kaitlyn. I know the signs well enough to get it taken care of immediately, so it was only an issue for an evening and night (before antibiotics took care of things).
Just be mindful of things while breastfeeding and on the lookout for infections. While there is discomfort when you are initially breastfeeding, it shouldn’t be painful long-term. You might need to build up some callouses, but it shouldn’t take forever. Plugged ducts happen, but if you start to feel like you have the flu, see your doctor. Also, with both Kaitlyn and McKenna I had minimal pain when I first started breastfeeding them. The yeast infection with both started around 5 weeks old. That is when the pain started. If you have been breastfeeding successfully for some time and suddenly have tender nipples, consider the possibility of a yeast infection.
Here is the list of helpful books for newborn phase:
- 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
RELATED POSTS/BLOG LABELS
- newborns (blog label)
- newborn summary (blog label)
- gas (blog label)
- Adding Waketime to Your Newborn’s Day
- Optimal Waketime Lengths
- Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/waking-early-from-napswont-fall-asleep.html
- Growth spurt (blog label)
- bottlefeeding (blog label)
- nursing (blog label)
- Church Nursery/Daycare/Playcenter
- Church: Weekly Disruption
- Going Out
- Dealing With Disruptions To Your Routine: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/dealing-with-disruptions-in-your.html
- church (blog label)