Suddenly we were 3 weeks into life as parents and the whirlwind continued. Our hungry boy hit a growth spurt, but as is a baby’s way, this came without warning!
Suddenly my husband and I found that our two hour sleep sessions had turned into a fussy, squirming blur of feeds, nappy changes and thinking of as many inventive ways as possible to soothe our little one back to sleep – mostly unsuccessfully I might add!
Four nights of this and we were both close to breaking point. What was going on? He had been so calm before and now here he was almost unrecognisable. On top of this there were a few little things our baby was doing which made us question all our decisions.
Firstly, green poo! After research thankfully it was nothing to be too concerned about, but when you’re still very much in that first time parent ‘what’s happening??’ mode, you do stop and query it. Was it that the feeds were too short and that he wasn’t getting hindmilk? Could it be an allergy?
Next, vomit began – was this another underlying issue?
All day our boy was in a bit of discomfort but at night he wasn’t sleeping at all, he writhed around, turning red in the face and making lots of noise – constipation maybe? Gas perhaps?
We called the GP, who hadn’t yet processed our application. It might be useful to note at this point that the Health Visitor later advised us that all GP surgeries have a duty of care to newborns, due to their young age, so despite not being full registered, we would still receive a call. As long as you have put in the application, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to fit you in. Thankfully, this advice lead to a phonecall. It was suggested that given all these symptoms, maybe he was intolerant to cow’s milk.
Wait. What? My diet? Yep, they suggested me cutting out all dairy. No chocolate, milk, cheese – ok I could do this. For the sake of our son. So, off my husband popped to the shops to buy oatmilk and mozzarella and the prescription for infant gaviscon for his regular sickness.
The next day the health visitor was due round. We ran through his symptoms with her just to double check. He was constantly feeding and she was here to weigh him – hurrah! The weighing sessions are by far the most fun part of any visit. Not only for reassurance that all this feeding is doing something but also because you get to track the baby on the percentile range.
Wow! He’d managed to put on a whopping 1lb3oz – ok that was definitely a growth spurt! And no doubt there was a bit of discomfort there! Our baby had clearly just stretched!
On the scale he was progressing well – maybe we were jumping to conclusions.
That’s when a fab piece of advice was given by the Health Visitor, that really helped me and reminded me of what I knew but had perhaps forgotten.
THE THREE COURSE BREASTFEEDING MEAL:
- Soup – the watery consistency that is perfect for quenching thirst – gulping action
- Main course – this hits the spot, is full of fats and nutrients to begin filling up babies small stomach – rhythmic sucking
- Chocolate pudding – the finishing touches, the part of the meal that polishes you off ready for that afternoon snooze, slumped in your PJs – flickering of the tongue to get that thick, tasty goodness.
The trick is to recognise when baby is drifting to sleep, he probably isnt completely full, so needs waking slightly to finish off his meal. That could be a nappy change, burp or even a cuddle.
Then putting him back onto the same breast, he will get the best part of your milk, and wont need feeding as regularly but also SHOULD (fingers and toes crossed) sleep longer.
Immediately after two sets of this feeding, where previously I’d definitely been switching too often, our son no longer had green poo! And that night he slept slightly better. But of course, another challenge was just around the corner……
COPING WITH A BABY IN A HEATWAVE!
So you think you’re getting somewhere. Healing is on the way. Managed to visit and see family members and friends, and go on walks. But then, in our two bedroom flat, with only our Dyson fan to cool us, peak summer hit!
Remember when heatwave meant doing anything possible to find a sunny spot, wearing minimal clothing and praying your pale skin didn’t reflect the sunlight. Yeah. Those days are LONG GONE.
Curtains closed, dark room, anything to avoid sunlight. That was us. A 5 week old does not like burning heat and neither does a post natal mother who is still struggling to regulate her own temperature!
Happily the days are a little cooler now and with the three course feeding process now in full swing, between us my husband and I are starting to build up those all important little wins that make you remember why you wanted to be a parent in the first place!