Initial Observations of being a New Parent and Mother
DISCLAIMER: This will be a LONG post. A SUPER LONG, EPIC post about baby poo, sleep and all the things I had to learn on my own.
It is interesting to no one but expecting or first-time parents…..OR maybe parents who have older children who want to laugh at my amusing escapades with my firstborn.
This is also partly for me to remember notes for my next baby, but all the better if you find it helpful!
THE FIRST MONTH REALLY IS THE WORST, BUT IT GETS BETTER
Adina called it.
The first month of a newborn is the worst, and it’s doubly hard as a new parent because you don’t know things like trying to figure out the basics of a baby — their poo, how long they need to sleep, how to diaper them (NOT easy!! especially using and getting used to cloth diapers, which by the way, I LOVE), getting them to sleep, etc.
The first month is also when your newborn is scared to be out of the womb, their schedule is all screwed up in their heads and everything is scary and unfamiliar to them so they (MAY) cry all the time and be inconsolable no matter what you do.
On top of that, factor in the stress of trying to breastfeed your child (getting a baby to latch on is not as easy as it looks or seems, mothers who get it right away and babies who learn quickly are fortunate!), having to feed them every three hours, and trying to snatch bits and pieces of sleep here and there.
Once the first month is over, things start getting a lot better. Instead of it being random feeding and sleeping patterns, their schedule becomes more regular.
You get the hang of holding onto your baby with one arm, he starts getting fatter and easier to handle (a newborn is SO tiny and fragile, you’re scared you’re going to break them), and you shift into becoming much more confident as a new parent.
YOU WILL LOVE IT ONCE YOU KNOW YOUR BABY’S SCHEDULE
Mine had absolutely no rhyme or reason for the first month and I was trying so many different things to get him to calm down and sleep, that nothing worked, but as he got older, he loved being on a schedule that he dictated, I’d say around 6 weeks.
The first 2 weeks were hell as I mentioned.
He was so scared of being alone at night for the first two weeks out of the womb that he screamed until 2 – 5 a.m. in the morning and wouldn’t stop.
His days were his nights, and vice versa, so his schedule was all effed up and it gave us all sleep deprivation. I was desperate.
I kept a log of everything — how long he slept, when he slept, and I soon realized what he needed.
Anyway, you will love this scheduling too because there’s no guessing as to what they’re crying about although their cries are different for each:
- Are they hungry?
- Are they tired?
- Do they need a diaper change?
- Are they bored?
These are all things you can discern pretty quickly:
- Check diaper for wetness
- When did they last eat — check when you last fed him based on schedule
- Did they miss a nap — check when and how they last slept
… and it takes the guesswork out of what your baby needs.
My schedule for the baby has turned from an actual schedule to letting him nap as much as he wants, and then when he wakes up, getting him to go back to sleep within an hour and a half to two hours of waking up.
It’s a flexible schedule.
YOU WILL LEARN WHAT EACH CRY MEANS
Not all cries are the same.
I learned as fast as I could which cry / fussing meant what.
When I hear him fuss a little while wide awake it usually means his diaper is wet, and he really feels it because I am using cloth diapers.
When I see him pant really loudly and quickly, put his fist to his mouth and start to tip over from one side or the other, I know he’s hungry.
When I see him turn away and just give a short squeal or wail, I know he’s tired or bored.
There are other squeals and screams that I’ve learned as well, but those are the main ones. Each baby will be different, and in the beginning, ALL screams will sound the same for about a month as you learn which one is which.
Also, he started at around the end of 1 month, crying for no reason at night. He’d just wail and wail. No food, no diaper change, nothing, just crying.
Lastly, if they’re whining or snuffling but not crying, don’t go in until it’s dire. They could be struggling to learn how to get back to sleep.
You may even be interrupting them in a middle of a nightmare or a dream and accidentally wake them up which means another lost 10 – 45 minutes trying to calm him down to sleep again.
LACTATION CONSULTANTS CAN BE JUDGMENTAL COWS
I am not saying they’re bad people, but they are pretty fierce / adamant that “Breast is Best” and while I agree, they should also cut new mothers a bit of slack because we’re overwhelmed with everything.
They are so strong in their opinion that you can end up giving your baby jaundice in your determination to feed only breast milk (true story of a friend), or you can break down like I did because you had to supplement with formula and they made you feel like a failure as a mother and a BAD, BAD human being for doing so.
So while this “breast is best” works for most women, women like me who have had trouble breastfeeding, it can reduce you to a puddle of tears more than once.
It’s not that I didn’t want to feed him breast milk out of any kind of vanity (e.g. the myth that your breasts will be ruined if you breastfeed), it was that I couldn’t.
Side note: In France, women don’t breast feed past 1 month, 3 max as not to ruin their breasts (this is a myth). They think their breasts should be reserved for their spouses and are THEIR breasts (part of their sexuality).
See, I had dreamed while being pregnant, of breastfeeding Baby Bun for at least a year.
He’d be happily suckling and I’d gaze lovingly down on him while squirrels would frolic outside and occasionally peek in to smile at this idyllic picture of Mother and Child bonding, and bluebirds would swoop around and chirp encouraging noises at us.
Seriously. I had dreamed that.
What ended up happening was the total opposite:
It started as him screaming in impatience, hunger and stress that he couldn’t eat off the breast, and me crying in pain and stressed out that I couldn’t feed him what he wanted and needed, while trying to recover from being sliced open during my C-Section delivery.
Even the nurse who tried to help me at night to get him to latch on was surprised at how aggressive and angry he was at our attempts to feed him with my breast. That’s sayin’ something!!!
To make everything worse, then I had a lactation consultant in the hospital who basically made me feel like crap for wanting to supplement with formula until my milk started flowing a little better and I could produce enough to feed him.
She gave me such Evil Eyes when I fed him formula, and made me feel so bad… I couldn’t let it go for 2 weeks, and felt awful about the whole situation, while berating myself and my breasts for not providing Baby Bun with the best food and antibodies he needed to thrive.
One nurse felt SO BAD for me during this period that she told me not to worry, that the first thing was to make sure he would eat SOMETHING and be fed, and that things would get better as long as I had a plan — that I would pump milk as much as possible and feed him as much as I could via pumping and supplement with formula if I had to.
She was so sweet, it made things better… a bit. Until I got home and was alone.
I spent many nights and afternoons crying over being a failure as a mother because I had to supplement with formula, and wondering why breastfeeding Baby Bun was so hard when it came so easily to everyone else.
My mother tried to calm me down during that very stressful period, and said:
It’s okay! We’ll just formula feed him! It could be worse.
You could have no milk at all to feed him with, let alone formula or other alternatives.
At least you’re producing something!!! Something is better than nothing.
My mother was so poor, she fed her babies water mixed with flour because she had nothing to eat and couldn’t produce anything for the child.
She ended up raising 16 children! ALIVE! We’re all alive!!!
BF tried to console me by saying:
Well in the past women who didn’t have formula fed their babies with whatever they could find, even cow’s milk which is now taboo to feed a child under a year of age… and those kids survived!!
It’s not so bad.
At the end of it all, I am able to pump out and give him the majority of his meals as breast milk, and what I cannot give, I supplement with alternatives and am feeling less inadequate about having to do so.
My point is to not beat yourself up over this.
Just feed what you can and wait until you are able to produce more milk (if possible), and if you can’t produce enough, supplement and be happy that you don’t have to feed them water mixed with flour like my grandmother did.
YOU WORRY ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN EVEN PRODUCE MILK
As per my story above, I was worried I would not produce any milk (truth be told, my breasts didn’t even go up more than half a cup size during my pregnancy, so this was a great stressful concern of mine).
On top of that, Baby Bun basically gums on the most sensitive part of my body with his very strong, toothless mouth in an attempt to force milk out.. milk that was non-existent in any kind of flow for the first few weeks.
He gummed me so hard once, he drew blood. BLOOD.
Little vampire. O_o
I then imposed a schedule on myself by pumping every 1.5 – 2 hours, even if it only gave me 5 mL – 10 mL out of the 30mL that he needed. Even the nurse on the hotline told me that I deserved a huge hug for trying so hard to feed my baby on breast milk 100%.
I have since improved milk production by eating oats, pumping every 3 hours (even at night), resting, drinking lots of water and trying not to stress out, and now I’m giving him about 90% of his feeds as breast milk.
YOU WILL WONDER WHETHER OR NOT YOUR BABY’S POO IS NORMAL
Thank goodness for the Internet. Where else can a worrywart new parent google what your baby’s poo should look like?
Of all the things to worry about, this was my first one.
I had no idea if he had diarrhea or was constipated (he was neither, newborn poo is SUPPOSED to look runny and gross, and it ranges in colour from yellow to brown once their body clears out that black and green crud from when they were in utero).
Just in case you were wondering, there is literally a photo gallery of what is “normal” for a newborn to poo out.
YOU WORRY ABOUT WHETHER YOU ARE STARVING OR OVERFEEDING THEM
You waffle between: Am I starving him!? Why isn’t he pooing and peeing the average amounts as noted on my information sheet?
Am I overfeeding him!? How did he gain 2 pounds in a month on breast milk (pumped breast milk, mind you) alone!
The Doctor gave me the eye and told me not to overdo it because he should be drinking on average 60mL per feeding but he’s grunting so aggressively like a little hungry piglet and screaming…!!??
ARRRRRRRRGHGGHHGHGHG!!! *tears hair out*
This is Baby Bun’s face at feeding time
(Funnily enough, I actually almost hold him just like that, supporting his neck..)
YOU AGONIZE THAT YOU ARE NOT SPENDING ENOUGH TIME BUILDING THEIR BRAIN EVERY SECOND OF THE DAY
.. among other things!
Most notably whether or not you’re ruining them by giving them a pacifier when they cry. (I totally got judged for this!!)
(I will note that he doesn’t seem to like pacifiers anyway. He hasn’t been very attached to one and kind of gets angry if I try to give him one sometimes because he KNOWS there’s no milk, it’s just sucking on an empty pacifier.)
Between being sleep deprived and anxious about being a new parent of a little human being, you get a lot of flack from your parents (*cough*mom*cough*) and society in general because every where you turn, you encounter articles like:
Are you damaging your little loved one beyond all comprehension by not singing opera to them, playing Mozart, running math and language flash cards in front of their unfocused newborn eyes and trying to stimulate them every minute of their day!?
Apparently I am a horrible mother based on these articles, because I am prioritizing sleep and washing my hair (I don’t even wash it daily!!!) over trying to stimulate my newborn to make him into some baby genius.
I’ll bet you Einstein’s mother never bothered to do any of that crap and he turned out to be one of the most amazing minds in human history.
Anyway, my point is that you shouldn’t beat yourself up over this. Talk to your baby, play with him, but don’t start him on some genius track. He’s just a baby for goodness sake.
(Also I stick him in the swing chair when I need a break or my back is hurting, so I guess I get another Bad Mommy demerit point for this.)
I mean, women gave birth, then went out to finish the harvest a few hours after popping out a new human. O_o
Nowadays, we’re whining if we don’t get epidurals and stressing out about developing our little child’s brain the minute he is introduced into the world.
In the past, they didn’t even have time to worry about all of that. They just wanted to try and keep the kid alive, never mind develop his brain.
Even today, my mom watched a documentary of a woman in Africa who went into labour and had to walk 3 DAYS to get to a hospital to give birth. The baby died, but even so.. can you imagine? Walking 3 days WHILE IN LABOUR?
I couldn’t even stand it, lying on a soft cushy bed in a hospital.
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT REALLY FEELS LIKE TO BE SLEEP DEPRIVED
Unless you have tested it out beforehand, waking up every hour to three hours, having to sleepily rock a fake baby that is screaming at the top of his lungs or something, you have NO IDEA what being sleep deprived means.
Yes, you are told you are going to be sleep deprived but until you’re actually sleep deprived, you have no clue how it feels.
YOU WONDER WHERE THE TIME GOES IN AN ENTIRE DAY
The advice EVERYONE gives me is for me to take care of myself first, but honestly because I’ve taken on the extra burden of trying to feed him my breast milk exclusively by pumping every 2 hours, I had shortened my “Me” time down to snatches of half and hour here and there.
Then if he wakes up from a wet diaper or a bad dream, it screws your “Me” time because it takes another 15 minutes to get him to go back to sleep assuming you didn’t miss his sleep window because you were eating downstairs and only managed to hear him crying at full, inconsolable screaming peak while you were trying to shove a piece of cheese and bread into your mouth to fuel up.
Also, because he had HORRIBLE sleep habits that were learned in the beginning, THIS DID NOT HELP.
So.. when does a new parent take care of herself especially if she’s all alone in this?
I wonder how mothers in the past did this.
I’ll bet they weren’t worrying about whether or not their baby’s poo was normal-looking, and worried more about whether or not they could finish the harvest in time to feed the rest of the family.
As my baby got older, and he finally got on a schedule WITH good sleep habits, I am now relaxed and have 1.5 – 2 hours during the day in sporadic spurts to myself, AND I get time to myself at night around 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. !!!!
Plus I get to sleep through the night now because he doesn’t wake up past 11 p.m. any longer, although I wake myself up to go pump milk and release the painful heaviness in my chest.
YOU LIVE IN CONSTANT FEAR OF ANY LITTLE CRY, WHIMPER OR SNORT THAT COMES OUT OF YOUR SLEEPING
It took on average about half an hour before Baby Bun was lulled to sleep in the beginning, before scheduling and good sleep habits.
Now I don’t even wait until he’s completely conked out with glued-shut eyes either, and I try my best not to rock him to sleep so he doesn’t get used to it!
In the beginning this is how it worked:
I try my best and lay him down right when he is on the cusp of sleeping and has unfocused blinky eyes that roll back into his head, uneven breathing and I can see he’s about to sleep if I gave him 2 more minutes in my arms.
Once he’s down, I hold my breath and wait to see if he will wake up with a start and have HUGE OPEN, AWAKE eyes that make me go: OH NO… SERIOUSLY?
Then you think: Well, there goes another 15 minutes of my precious “Me” time that I could be eating/sleeping/using the washroom/laundry/etc.
..and you have to try and stay calm and not freak out at 3 a.m. in the morning while in a sleep-deprived state, as not to damage his delicate emotional psyche and to make the situation worse than it is.
Now, with better sleep habits and a schedule, this happens less often and I am trying my best to stay consistent so that he doesn’t regress back.
AT THE START YOU WORRY IF YOU ARE BEING A BAD PARENT BY TRYING TO IMPOSE A SCHEDULE IN AN ATTEMPT TO REGAIN SANITY
..or as I mentioned, even if you give them a pacifier!
For the first few weeks, he slept 3-4 hours in a stretch… DURING THE DAY and this is how it went:
Anyway, in the hospital they say to not let them go more than 3-4 hours in between feeds, and I tried to do the same thing at home.
Then it started becoming a problem because he stopped sleeping at night since he was happily sleeping during the day in 3-4 hour stretches.
See, their days are our nights and our nights are their days. When we’re sleeping at night, they’re active inside the uterus, and when we’re awake and walking around, we’re basically rocking and soothing them to sleep while we’re awake.
They come out TOTALLY screwed up for a schedule, and trying to get them on track with a normal day/night schedule can be a horrible experience.
He was a growing Bun who needs to eat every 3 hours like clockwork, even in the middle of the night and loves to sleep all day long if I would let him.
This resulted in him waking up at 11 p.m., midnight, 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m., 4 a.m. … all the way until 8 a.m. in the morning when in an exhausted stupor I fell asleep beside him on the floor and he happily slept, finally satiated from having made me run like a house elf up and down the stairs collecting breast milk I had pumped for him to eat in the fridge.
(Did I mention that during all these feedings, I also had to pump every 2 hours to get enough milk?)
I waffled back and forth for about a month of whether I should impose an eating/sleeping schedule on him.
Some people say I will ruin his precious psyche and not meet his emotional needs if I try and force and eating and sleeping schedule on him.
These folks are usually North American psychologists and fancy-titled people who write articles about how babies for the first three months should create their own schedule and eat, poo, sleep, pee and cry on demand and you are to serve as their servant and slave for the next 20 years!!!
Others (notably in France), put babies on a sleeping and eating schedule the minute they come home. For instance, they dictate WHEN the baby eats, and if they are 2 hours away from their feeding time, they let them cry it out for 2 hours until the time arrives, ignoring his little wails of impatient hunger.
This one makes me too sad. I can’t NOT feed him when he’s crying with little tears coming out, so I just feed him early. *guilty*
In the end, I ended up being a little more French than I thought.
TEACH GOOD SLEEP HABITS EARLY ON, LIKE FROM DAY ONE
I wish I had started this from Day One.
Otherwise, you are in for at least 10 -45 minutes of patting, rocking, swaying and hurting your back … for the next 5+ years, and they will have bad sleep habits.
My mom started him on a VERY bad habit of holding and rocking him to sleep WHILE HE SLEPT. So for 1.5 – 2 hours she would hold him!!!!!
Very. VERY bad.
Babies need to sleep based on your schedule. Either very early or a little later, but really, no later than 9 p.m.
Do not try and force them to stay up past 9 p.m. thinking they will sleep longer / better at night.
THIS DOES NOT WORK.
You need to get them to sleep around a decent time from when they last woke up because otherwise they will just scream and be overtired until 2 a.m. in the morning and you will just tear your hair out and cry.
All babies have a different schedule but generally, babies need to sleep early. This will also give you time to rest and it will make them realize that their nights and days need to be fixed.
Also, if you plan on going back to work, schedule their sleeping around YOUR schedule of when you wake up to get ready for work and so on.
These are things I do / things I learned:
- Swaddle him comfortably to get him ready to sleep once you see a few big yawns
- Start 15 minutes early before his scheduled nap time
- Rock / sway / pat their butt to lull him to sleep and get them calm before you lay them down to sleep (do this before they start squealing / fussing because they’re tired)
- The minute he is calm and I see his eyelids drooping a few times and he gives me sleepy eyes, I lay him down onto the bed even though he squeals as I lay him down (he is doing this a lot less now)
- Do not rock and pat him to a full sleep, and leave IMMEDIATELY once you lay him down, put the cover on him and pat his butt one last time
The first few times to teach him good habits were really rough, I’m not going to lie but it only took me 4 sleeps to get him trained at about 2 months.
They say you should do this well before 6 months of age or else the kid starts cottoning on that when he squeals, you’ll show up and feed him / rock him / whatever.
Babies are smart. REALLY smart. And sneaky.
Also, this will hurt you psychologically more than him — not me, I didn’t feel any pangs of guilt or heartache hearing him scream because I’m apparently not a very soft-hearted mother based on my parenting style… plus I really REALLY want to be able to sleep again.
As I see it he doesn’t know what’s happening and is frustrated which results in crying, but he’s now learning what should happen.
This is a very bad habit and you will regret not doing this sooner.
I used a bit of Baby Ferberizing (coined by Dr. Ferber) in the the mix, which is also known as the “cry it out” method.
There’s also another method called the “no cry method” by The Baby Whisperer, which means you just keep picking the baby up each time he cries until he stops crying and gives up that you are not going to hold him while he sleeps.
I tried that method after Baby Ferberizing — it didn’t seem to stick past a night or two, when I’d have to redo the cycle all over again but maybe it was because he’s under 3 months, but I will say that I’ve noticed a BIG change in his behaviour now.
He doesn’t whine or cry for no reason at all.
When he does fuss or make little urgent noises, it’s 99.99% of the time either that his diaper is wet, he’s a bit bored, or he’s getting sleepy.
I think he’s realized he can’t just cry wolf without good reason, or else I’ll learn to ignore him until he melts down.
This has made my life a lot easier, and I don’t regret Ferberizing him a little.
I’m fairly sure parents in France who want their babies to faire ses nuits (‘do their nights’) do the same thing and just let them cry it out until they realize Mommy is not coming to them each time they squeal.
As written in the book Bringing up Bebe, a lot of French parents have their babies sleep through the night by 2 – 3 months, and 4 months is considered very old / too long for a baby to sleep through the night which is not the norm here in North America as far as I understand it.
She doesn’t exactly say what the method is, but I suspect a little Ferberizing was used. I’d be surprised if their babies didn’t cry and just slept through the night like magic little angels.
Here’s how it went..
THE FIRST NAP I TRIED THIS: SLEEP #1
His eyes would pop right open and he’d start fighting the blanket, then he’d start squealing and screaming to be picked up and rocked again.
I picked him up each time, rocked him 5 seconds then stopped and just held him.
Once I started rocking, he’d stop crying, but once I stopped, he’d start fussing and sobbing again.
Of course throughout all of this I am desperately talking (softly) to him, telling him that this is for his own good to learn how to sleep on his own without being rocked and carried all the time.
Once he calmed down from my rock-stop routine, I’d pat him and quickly lay him back down to sleep with the covers, pat him again, and then leave the room immediately, and wait outside. He’d start squealing as I put him down but I left anyway.
When he started crying again, I’d go back in, pick up him, pat his butt and calm him down.
The second time of this, I’d wait 5 minutes. The third, 10 minutes.
I didn’t have to even go past 10 minutes. He pretty much stopped crying and fussing the second go-round, about 5 minutes in.
THE SECOND NAP I TRIED THIS: SLEEP #2
Same deal. He’d cry and cry unless I was actively rocking him after I lulled him into sleepy land with his droopy eyelids.
I repeated the same cycle — for the first sobbing I’d pat and rock him for 5 seconds, wash, rinse, repeat, then once calm, I laid him back down.
By the second sobbing, he stopped fussing after 2 minutes then fell asleep.
THE FULL-TIME SLEEP I TRIED THIS: SLEEP #3
By the time I got to night-time, I was sure he would be much better this time around.
Sure enough, I had to get to the stage of waiting 5 minutes before going in to pat and calm him down, but the second squealing lasted only 30 seconds.
THE NEXT MORNING: SLEEP #4
By the next morning for his next nap, once I saw a few yawns and light fussing, I swaddled him, cuddled him, and lulled him to sleep with a little pacing up and down the hallway.
I laid him right into his bed by the time I saw his eyelids droop, and he didn’t cry at all.
Went right to sleep.
UPDATE: THE NO CRY METHOD
Then he regressed the next week after we went to the doctor and he got his shots. I decided to try another method — the “no cry” method where you basically keep picking up and putting down the baby each time he cries until he gives up and realizes he needs to sleep and no amount of crying will stop you from putting him back down onto his bed each time.
This worked really well for a while, and I even got down to the point where I could just lay him on the bed and he’d fall asleep.
UPDATE #2: THE MOMMY’S BACK HURTS METHOD
STOP THE PRESSES!
Once my son turned 4 months old, he suddenly de-Ferberized himself.
NOTHING I DID WORKED.
He totally changed overnight and he refused to sleep, with OR without crying method.
He started screaming for 15 minutes to half an hour before every single nap or time to sleep.
I also tried the ‘no cry method’ and that didn’t work either because he would just scream and scream and scream.
One day, just by accident, I hurt my back quite badly.
I pinched a nerve and couldn’t carry anything, move quickly or do any of the things that parents do with babies.
I was at my wit’s end because I didn’t know what to do because how can I rock him to sleep if I can’t even really carry him or move?
Enter: The Mommy’s Back Hurts method.
Essentially, I walk very slowly with him in my arms, patting his butt while singing a lullaby. I lull him to sleep and once I see him turn his head into my chest (a sign of sleepiness), I gently lay him down on his bed, and basically pat him until he sleeps.
YES. He screams.
YES. He cries.
YES. He flails his arms and legs, eyes pop open, and gets REALLY REALLY angry at me.
YES. He fusses and he wants me to pick him up, hold him and rock him to sleep.
NO. I don’t do any of that.
I just lie down beside him, pat his butt, rub his back, and basically ignore his cries for being picked up, while going: “Shhh shhh shhh shh” like a white noise machine.
Of course before doing all of this, I have changed his diaper, fed him a full bottle and I know he isn’t hungry or dirty. He’s just tired and cranky, but wants me to carry him the entire him, rocking and dancing like a maniac, which I couldn’t do because I pinched a nerve in my back.
And you know what? Within about 15 minutes to half an hour, he falls asleep. I don’t know if he just is so tired of crying that he falls asleep, or if he is learning to soothe himself to sleep, but I am no longer picking him up to rock him to sleep.
This is like.. the Ferberizing method meets The Baby Whisperer method. Ferberizing is letting him cry, and The Baby Whisperer is being right there with him, patting his butt until he stops crying and falls asleep.
I hope this method sticks, because my back is feeling a lot better not to mention my legs and arms. No more jelly arms!
HOW / WHEN I REALIZED THE BABY COULD SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT
Coming onto the second month, he started sleeping a longer stretch of time. Instead of waking up and crying every 3 hours for milk, he’d cry every 4 hours, almost bordering on 5.
In the beginning, I didn’t even set my alarm in the beginning because I KNEW he’d wake me up every 3 hours, that was how consistent he was.
That’s when I knew he was ready to sleep through the night. SWEET!
(Experts call “sleeping through the night” the equivalent of 5 hours. So.. yeah. Don’t imagine it’ll be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. unless you are a lucky mother.)
Baby Bun is now sleeping about 5-7 hours at a time depending on how much sleep he gets during the day, but now he’s started sleeping a lot longer at around 3 months.
He sleeps 5-6 hours at a stretch after he goes down for the night, wakes up for milk, then sleeps another 5 hours.
So I started him on a schedule E.A.S.Y. popularized by Tracy Hogg a.k.a. The Baby Whisperer and it worked like a charm for a bit because I know he needs to nap within about 2 hours and I memorized all the baby cues of eating, sleeping and so on.
Note: Before this point where he was sleeping longer stretches of time, there was NO WAY he was adhering to the schedule. I tried my damnedest to stick to the schedule and get him to sleep the way he was supposed to and it didn’t work AT ALL. Very frustrating. He just wasn’t ready.
Just keep a log and try to keep him on a consistent schedule of eating and sleeping.
He sleeps within an hour and a half to two hours, and eats almost exactly every 3 hours.
Otherwise you can do like my friends do, and pay $300 – $500 for a “Sleep Consultant” to teach you how to put your baby on a schedule and get them to sleep.
I am too cheap for this, so I did it as a DIY.
She also has another method to the Ferber method which I mentioned and has worked very well.
UPDATE: HE IS SLEEPING EVEN LONGER NOW
He now sleeps at least 8 hours, sometimes 10 – 12 hours after turning 4 months old. I didn’t change his diet, didn’t add anything to his milk and he has just decided to sleep longer, although it’s partly related to how much he sleeps during the day.
Turns out, his horrible napping of an hour here and there during the day MAY be helping him sleep longer at night because he’s so exhausted, he just tuckers out.
OR… he just tanks up and drinks a lot of milk before sleeping, which keeps his belly full during the night.
I am thinking it is more the milk thing than the napping thing but WTF do I know.. I am just happy I get to sleep longer now.
YOU REALIZE THAT YOUR BREASTS LOOK LIKE THEY SHOULD BE IN A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO SHOOT
HUGE nipples.That’s all I have to say. Nothing prepares you for this body change.
That’s all I’ve observed and gone through so far. I hope it prepares new mothers for what’s to come. I hope it’s better for other women!!