Let’s Talk About Newborn Sleep, Feedings, and Fussiness
The first two weeks with Margot were so easy. Ok, so waking up 2-3 times each night left us feeling a little tired, but she slept all day and barely cried. We were on that new parent high – completely obsessed with this tiny, perfect person. We’re still obsessed but the sleepy stage ended, she became really fussy, and there were about a dozen times (total) that she spit up what looked like a solid cup of formula. Everywhere. It seemed that if she was awake she was crying and potentially uncomfortable and as a new mom, I was worried that something might be wrong with her.
So I did what a new mom would do in 2018. I talked to my friends with babies and asked all of you for help on instagram. I’ve gotten a lot of follow-up questions and requests to share the advice that was given to me and it was just too much to share on instagram, so I wanted to write a blog post since I’m already seeing such a big difference in Margot.
But before I get to that, I just want to thank everyone who offered their support and advice. There was not one negative comment – just lots of tips, suggestions, and so much “you’ve got this” and “you’re a great mom” – and I was so touched by how sweet everyone was. So thank you!
Now let’s talk about what I learned.
Tummy issues / spitting up
Margot was on Holle which is supposed to be a great formula, but I was convinced it just wasn’t working for her. She only excessively spit up about a dozen times in the first 4 weeks, but that last week it came out of her nose as well (which according to our doctor isn’t abnormal) but she seemed noticeably upset and uncomfortable afterward. I felt like the doctor downplayed the whole thing by suggesting we come in for a weight check which we just did and she’s gaining lots of weight, so that felt pointless to me.
I was also advised not to change her formula but just knew I needed to, so I switched to this one by Happy Baby and she has only been spitting up a small, much more “normal” looking amount since. I also bought this hypoallergenic formula which came highly recommended but haven’t tried it since Happy Baby is working so well for us.
I did hear from a lot of moms whose babies were diagnosed with reflux and put on medication and others with babies who just spit up a lot. Most either turned to medication or hypoallergenic formulas. In Margot’s case, I really do believe that Holle wasn’t working for her.
One mom suggested power pumping which replicates cluster feeding. You pump 20 min, rest 10 minutes, pump 10 minutes, rest 10 minutes, and pump 10 min. I did this once a day for 3 days and my supply still sucks but Margot has been breastfeeding for about 30 minutes when she wakes up at night (which she does just once now) and every morning this week which is huge for us. I don’t want to mislead you and have you think breastfeeding is going well because she isn’t getting much from me, but I don’t feel stressed or anxious about where we are at all so for now, I’ll keep doing what we’re doing. You have to do what feels right for you and your baby. Fed. Is. Best.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but as a first time mom I had no idea how often Margot needed to sleep or how long she should be awake for during the day. I just assumed she would fall asleep when she was tired up until 3 months when started getting her on a schedule. It turns out that she shouldn’t really be awake longer than an hour, so she was very overtired. I have since been following this sleep/wake chart that my friend sent to me (yes, I made a nicer looking version to share with you guys).
So Margot will eat and either do a little tummy time, look at her black and white cards from her play mat, take a walk, or bath (she loves baths!), and then go back to sleep.
Something else I didn’t know is that babies this young (she is almost 6 weeks) need to be rocked to sleep. Margot fights sleep a little bit so the best way to get her to nap is to rock her in a dark room with her sound machine and pacifier. Now that I’ve been getting her to nap, she’s a much happier baby. She’ll wake up once or twice after dozing off but eventually falls asleep.
Once she’s asleep, I transfer her to her SNOO. So many of you have asked if the SNOO is worth it. Yes x 100000. Margot sleeps in the SNOO every night and I started putting here in there for naps a week or so ago. It is amazing here and I attribute it to buying us hours and hours of additional sleep. The one book I read was Bringing up Bebe and the biggest takeaway was to not pick a baby up the second they start to stir. They are still learning to link sleep cycles at this point so if you go to them and feed them immediately, that will become habit. The SNOO knows when she’s starting to stir and goes up to level 2 (read more about that ) and she often goes right back to sleep. I always wait until she is actually crying and then get her immediately.
Margot has been doing 6 hour stretches of sleep overnight as of week 5 which has been so nice for us. She will wake up, we’ll feed her, and once I get her mostly asleep, I’ll put her back in the SNOO.
Wonder Weeks and Dunstan Baby Language
Lots of you recommended the Wonder Weeks app which I do have, and Margot was still fussy after her first leap. I will continue to use that app to learn more about her development since I’ve heard it’s very helpful. Since we were going through a lot with spitting up and an overtired baby, I’m not sure how much it helped with her first leap.
Only one mom brought up Dunstan Baby Language and you guys – it’s amazing. I bought the app and it’s been so, so helpful. How is everyone not talking about this?! A huge thank you to the mom who shared it with me!
So there you have it. If you have any other questions / tips please leave them in the comments below.