for your Newborn… You’ve been around kids your whole life, huh? You’re the oldest of four you say? You’ve been a nanny for 7 seven years? Impressive. AHhaaaahhhaaaahhaaa *cue hysterical laughing…oh wait, I did. 🙂
That was me in a nutshell. Bring on the babies I’d say! But boy, I didn’t know anything.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard this from moms. Oh okay, sure. But I’m not tired at 8pm, I’m a night owl. So, I would stay up to 11 or 12. Guess what? Baby has been asleep since 7pm, by 12am he is ready for his bottle. He might doze off until 2am. For the first 3 weeks my baby didn’t sleep from 2am to 7:30am, then Elijah was up at 8am and the baby was ready to sleep then. I can honestly say there were 3 or so days that I was borderline insane….from lack of sleep. I mean I didn’t sleep but 30 minutes or an hour. Guess what? I finally learned to go to sleep at 8 or 9. 🙂 Lack of Sleep = Crazy Lady…so just sleep when your baby sleeps for Pete’s sake!
I’m not sure if it’s a “normal” baby thing, but my baby would grunt and moan for hours every night. He wasn’t making a bowel moment and he seemed in pain, though not actually crying. I was so upset for him. Luckily by 5 weeks he stopped that for the most part. I think his little digestive system hadn’t fully developed yet.
There is an end to the lack of sleep, well at least for some moms and babies. As your little one gets older he will start eating more, thus sleeping for longer stretches of time. Everett finally starting getting more sleep when he was around 4 or 5 weeks, but he also would eat 3 or 4 oz of formula at a time instead of one or two. He now sleeps for longer stretches, like 4 or 5 hours at a time. So, I would say there is a speck of light at the end of the tunnel by 2 months, but all babies are different.
As far as feeding goes, I’ve never been one to actually wake a child up to feed. Maybe if my kid slept for 12 hours at a time, I would get worried and do that. Everett is awake most of the day, so that’s never been an issue. I just feed him when he is hungry. You want to look for hunger cues and feed them before they actually start screaming! When they are itty bitty, you might not have a chance to look for “cues”. Everett would scream as soon as he woke up with a small pang of hunger. Now he has started moving his mouth and lips and nuzzling a little before he starts to cry. I usually have plenty of time to make a bottle before the screaming starts. But the first month was a different story.
Let’s talk spit-up since we are talking digestive issues. Projectile vomiting is also normal. My baby did this probably once a day until he was about 5 weeks. Then he would immediately want to eat, which I thought was kinda gross. If you think about it though, he just threw up his whole bottle, so he was hungry again! White, chunky, spit-up…yup I found out that was normal too. You might have to switch your baby’s formula. We went from Gerber goodstart to Similac Sensitive. I could immediately tell his stomach felt better, but the spit up still continued. Now at 6 weeks, he barely spits up. Again, I think his little system needed to develop more. As long as your baby is steadily gaining weight, the doctors don’t seem to care…at least ours didn’t. I pray you are blessed enough to be able to breast-feed, the perfect food for your little newborn.
On to poo. Oh wow. Everett passed meconium for probably 3 or 4 days. Me being a girl, had no idea how to get that stuff off his “parts.” I was so scared I would injure him. That stuff is thick and sticky and almost impossible to get off. It would take so long to change him. If you’ve ever had a boy, you know how important it is to get the diaper changing thing over with quickly. Everett would pee on me about 2 times per diaper change for the first 2 weeks. Almost EVERY time. Ain’t not joke. He hasn’t done it since then. Just make sure the air is off in the room and there is no fan or breeze on when you change him. Haha
After we got pass the meconium days, poo’ing got pretty crazy. I mean 5 bowel movements a day, sometimes 3 in a row. Our baby had a rough start so I don’t know if this is normal. He would also scream when he went poo or if he had to pass gas. The 5-a-days lasted a few weeks, now at 6 weeks old he goes once or twice and it’s much more pleasant for all of us. Since I mentioned gas, lets cover that one real quick. Gas is a beast. I used the Little Remedies gripe water….I couldn’t really tell you if it worked though. I ‘m not sure if it’s suppose to make them more gassy, so it gets it out of their tummy or make them less gassy. Regardless, (sorry future, teenager, Everett) our boy has some gas. At both ends. And it is NOT fun for him. It’s all day, everyday. My friend told me an exercise you can do when they are cranky to get out the gas. You just bend their knees into their chests for about 10 seconds and then straighten them, then repeat. Thanks Kellie! It usually rids him of some gas. Don’t be surprised if you baby turns beat red and is like, “What on earth is going on here?”
I hope I’ve covered everything. These are all things I had no idea about, going into being a mom of a newborn. The first month is hard, real hard. I’m not saying this to complain…not at all. I would never intentionally complain about this precious gift God has given us. I just thought maybe it would be helpful to someone else out there preggo with their first newborn or even a foster mom who might have or be getting a newborn. It’s so scary being a parent. The unknown is scary. When your baby is hurting, it is scary. Some days/nights I would just cry and cry with him, because I didn’t know how to help him. I kept saying, he is fed, he is changed, he is warm…what is wrong??? Then he would burp and throw up and be all better. You just never know, but as long as you are doing the best you can, you will be alright. I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer questions on this topic, because I’m so new to this, but seriously, feel free to message me if you have any questions. I promise it will get better. The first month is very hard, but hey, it’s only a few short weeks. Then your baby will be rolling around, smiling, and holding his head up.
Oh, one last thing. I read that during the first month the only way a baby can communicate is cry. By the second month he starts to coo and laugh, so hang in there, once you see that smile and hear that coo, you will forget about everything else!