Friday, December 26, 2008

Questions at 3 weeks

Baby turned 3 weeks old yesterday and each day is proving to be a new kind of challenge. Feeding schedules are turning out to be different each day - the sleeping schedule even more awry. Only thing that's been consistent is the 3 hour odd deep slumber after the massage lady does her thing at 12 noon and that is the one thing my pediatrician wants me to stop right away and take in my hands. He doesn't know what he is asking for as it means changing the only constant factor in my life these days - a two hour uninterrupted post-lunch nap for me in the afternoon.

First I thought demand feeding would be good as my baby's demand was coming in once every 2-3 hours. Then when he would sleep for 3 hours in the afternoon, there would be a gap of almost over 4 hours between two feeds, which would make me wonder if I should wake him up in the middle for a quick feed. Last night was such that he was waking me up every 90 minutes for a 30 minute plus feed, which meant I was up for over an hour feeding, burping and nappy changing every one and a half hours - and this continued upto 10 in the morning when he has finally gone to sleep. I did read about growth spurts that happen at certain weeks in babies when their demand goes up suddenly for a few days. I hope it is just that and it is a matter of a few days only - as I don't know if I can really handle the nightly sleep stretches being cut short by half from 3-4 hours to barely over an hour.

In the beginning when we brought baby home, I thought it was only feeding that was the big deal, so promptly kept a feed diary to make sure I was clocking in the said 8-12 feed sessions in 24 hours, which I was and baby would go off to sleep soon after every feed, without me having to fuss over him. Since the last 3 days I have added the sleep column to the diary to make sure he is not turning into a sleep deprived infant. In fact I worry so much about his sleep getting disturbed that I am scared to change his wet nappy in the middle of a snooze, waiting for him to wake up before I do it. The doc again has advised that i change him as soon as I notice and do it unobtrusively if he is sleeping! Yeah right.

As regards the massage and bath, after much dilly dallying I finally said yes to the massage lady who is charging me quite a sum for just massaging and bathing baby once a day, which takes her exactly 20 minutes. As it put baby to a peaceful sleep, I found her totally worth it, especially after I took the necessary precautions of asking her to wash her hands and feet with soap before starting on her mission and placing a clean washed sheet on her legs before she puts baby on it - especially as my baby is a lick-happy one. She comes in at 12 noon and so far I managed to finish feeding baby by 11.30 am, so that he can sleep undisturbed post the massage for as long as her wants to. The last 3 nights or so have been so hairy that both S and me are wondering if it will do good for us to give a warm water bath around 6 pm to put baby in restful mode. Given that we are in Bombay and even December is not really cold, should a repeat bath at 6 pm be alright? Even if we wanted to shift the massage and bath to around 9 am, the massage lady has too tight a schedule to adjust. I would really like to know the experience of the other moms on this. Is my baby having very short sleep stretches at night because of the 3 plus hour nap in afternoon, as I have read on some sites that baby shouldn't be sleeping more than 1 - 2 hours. So does that mean I might as well wake him up in the middle of his long nap for feed and nappy change, let him be awake for a while so that he manages to clock in more sleep at night than in the daytime.

Any answers from moms reading my blog will be highly appreciated :)

Apart from these issues, I am able to recognise 4-5 of baby's stock expressions, which always bring a smile to my face. More about this in my next post.


  1. Hi Bumble's mom, dont worry too much about the sleeping patterns. These babies will decide if they want to sleep longer or if they are done. Ideally for the first couple of months they sleep for about 18 -20 hours a day.(they dont much otherwise, do they?)
    About the feeds... you are already doing the demand feeding, so I guess you stick to it. I remember my son would do the same. Wake up every 90 mins and I'd hate the pattern so much....aaarrgghhh..
    Not very sure about the second bath. I suggest you wait till he's atleast 2.5 -3 months old. Even if the weather is not very cold, he's a little too young. And lastly, take each day as it comes... Mommy, the party has just begun... you are going to notice so many changes each day, each week. Easier said than done, try to catch some sleep when your son sleeps...
    I found that sometimes, though the massage ladies can be rough, it kinda helps the baby relax its muscles. If you are apprehensive about handling the baby yourself, maybe the massage lady could come alternate days.. Hope this helps

  2. Hi
    The demand feeds are good, sometimes ur going to have a sleepless night but its okay... its the growth spurt. which will be there for a 15 day pattern and then pattern changes.
    Second bath - i personally don't recommend second bath but u can give your baby a nice hot water sponge bath at night before sleeping, swaddle him well and see him sleep peacefully for a good stretch. I did that with my son, sponge bath would leave him feeling as fresh as after a bath would, i'd slather on a good amount of baby moisturizer and massage him with that. swaddle him and peaceful night for both of us. hope this helps


  3. Hey mom,

    I wouldn't worry about the sleep pattern (broken or continuous, the baby knows how much he needs to sleep - and eat, for that matter.

    Some tips to make your life easier:
    1) Think about doing away with the massage lady and doing the bath yourself, sometime in the evening (we found evening baths a big plus, still do, and don't have the option of anyone else coming in to do it for us :)). Plus I found it a lovely bonding exercise to sing to, massage and bathe the baby myself.
    2) Definitely consider a disposable diaper for the night, especially when his sleep is so erratic, you will be a much happier person in the morning :)
    3) 2 baths a day may be ok, but I think it tends to dry out the baby's skin too much so see point 1 above.
    4) Swaddling definitely helps, so try that if you haven't already.