So in Beth’s first month at home, we’ve figured out several key elements to keeping her happy:
- She likes to be warm
- She does not like to be wet or poopy
- She gets fussy when she wants to go to sleep
- She likes to be talked to
At her second well-baby exam, we found out that she had actually lost 4 ounces between her 1st two check-ups, which were 10 days apart. So her pediatrician said to nurse her for 10-15 minutes on each side and then offer her formula. We had already given her two bottles on occasions where she just didn’t seem to be satisfied with what she was getting from me. So we scheduled her for a weight check in 5 days and started the new program. Sure enough, she had gained 11 ounces at that appointment.
About this same time we figured out that because Beth was slightly stuffed up from a cold she was not sleeping well, unless upright. She spent the first week home sleeping in bed with Eric and I, which neither of us wanted but it seemed that the only way to get her to sleep was to nurse her in bed, let her fall asleep and then not move her. After a week Mom and I made a concerted effort to get her into her crib because neither Eric nor I were sleeping well with her between us. I spent several hours in the chair with her one night. Mom spent most of another night (until 2:40am) on the couch with her. Granted, part of that was because Mom fell asleep herself about the time she was planning to bring Beth up and didn’t surface for several hours.
The next day we saw the pediatrician and he said that she could sleep in a bouncy chair or even her carseat for a while. I had already been contemplating the carseat, but it was nice to get that assurance. That night we put her in the carseat, in her crib. I fed her at 10p, as was our routine. Normally she got up for her next feeding between 1a & 2a. That night she got up for her next feeding at 4:30a. I figured that mom had given her a bottle at some point so I could gets some sleep. Nope. Mom said Beth was in bed by 11:30p. Since then, she’s only woke up for an earlier feeding twice. Once was Friday night when we finally took her out of the carseat. But last night, she slept until 4:30 again. She even had one night that I went to wake her up at 7:30a for a feeding because she hadn’t gotten up yet!
So we’re starting to settle into routine. We try to time her last feeding around 9pm so that I can get to bed around 10pm. Of course, Beth has other ideas about that. Most nights it’s 10:15p or 10:30p when I give up trying to get her to sleep and bring her down to Mom, who sits and cuddles her to sleep and brings her up after she’s been asleep for about a half-hour. I sure am going to miss mom as I’m rocking the baby to sleep at 11p wishing I was sound asleep myself. I still handle the early morning feedings alone. And I never know if I’m going to be up for an hour or if it’s going to be longer. If she nurses for 15 minutes on each side, takes 15 minutes to drink her bottle, and falls asleep right away, then 15 minutes later I can be back to bed. It happened last night for the first time. Usually it’s more like 45 minutes or an hour after the bottle before she is back in her crib. She often falls asleep and then 10 minutes later wakes up again. Over, and over, and over.
But overall, she’s been a good baby. And she’s getting easier to deal with now that we’re figuring out her moods. She’s been very different from Alex who slept very little during the day after his first week, and cried very little. We could leave him in the pack-n-play or on the playmat for long periods of time and he’s be happy. She lasts 15 minutes, tops. And we have to make an effort to keep her awake during her last two feeding or we have no hope of getting her to bed around 10p.