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One Month with a Newborn

December 1, 2018

I’m going to attempt monthly baby updates, since this is a place for me to capture my life.  She is just over six weeks at the time of writing this.  A November financial wrap-up post will be coming this week, unless it doesn’t!

Random Baby Updates:

She’s gaining weight well, which is so exciting! I could feel every bone in her spine when we brought her home at a hair over 4 pounds.  Now, she looks like an average newborn! She is barely on the growth charts for her age (just made it into the 1%), but she’s doing great.  It is really weird to think that every once of her was built from me.

Is this much sleep normal?  I googled variations of this question so many times in the first few weeks.  Yes, it is normal, especially before her due date.  She’s still sleeping a lot, but has started to have days where she fights daytime naps, at least ones in her bassinet/crib.  Luckily, there have only been a handful of nights where she fights sleep after I feed her. Those are hard.  I don’t mind waking up to feed her, but a wide awake baby at 3 am AFTER feeding for 45 minutes is not fun.

She’s outgrown her preemie clothes!  Zip up sleepers were the winners, but we also did use some of the cute outfits we had. We’re onto newborn sizes!

We had a lot of visitors staying with us in the first 5 weeks. (People who tell you not to have house guests are not realistic. My family literally could not have visited if they had to pay for hotel costs on top of flights and time off work. I wanted them to visit.) My mom was exceedingly helpful, cooking, tidying, and always thrilled to hold the baby while I got some rest. My dad was well-intentioned, as was my sister, but less helpful. If I ever do it again, I’ll attempt to limit visitors who aren’t my mom (or possibly my MIL) to shorter durations. (My dad being here so much was a fluke – he is working in the greater area for a few months and stayed with us temporarily as part of that transition.)

After some initial flailing with a finicky supplemental nursing system to help her get milk in her first days, breastfeeding came relatively easily. I’m so grateful for this, because I was acutely aware that many struggle. The lactation support at the hospital was great. They balanced her need to be fed with getting us breastfeeding successfully. They were ready to supplement with formula if it was needed, but also spent two long sessions with me giving tips on feeding and showed us how to supplement with tubing and syringes. Since she was small, they hooked me up with a prescription for a hospital grade breast pump.  I get to use it free for 6 months, and may rent it after that if the cost is reasonable.  At this point, I’m just using it once a day, and T gives her one bottle each day.  This is both to get her used to bottles and to have T participate in feeding and bonding.


Early on, waking her to feed her every two hours around the clock was extremely tiring. We also had to continually poke and bug her to keep her awake long enough to eat. She still sometimes eats that frequently (or more frequently), but I don’t wake her or force her to eat if she doesn’t show signs of hunger. At night, I’d allow 4-5 hours between eating, or whenever she requests it. We are coming out of the newborn sleepy days, and the longer stretches may not last…. But I’ll take them while they are here!

She has started fussing more. Most often, it seems to be related to difficulty figuring out how to poop effectively. She grunts, kicks, and cries – so distressing to witness!  Her doctor said it is normal, and she should grow out of it. Why is learning to poop so hard?  You can do it baby!  

Naps are getting more difficult for me to execute, now that she is starting to be interested in the world. These baby sleep/schedule books say things like “then put baby down for a nap!” as if it is just this simple thing. Maybe someday…

Having a newborn means setting aside my desire for predicability and schedules. It is sometimes hard for me to just go with the flow and stay in the moment (especially at 2 am!). I’m trying! T is very good at this, and helps remind me.

Baby things we’ve used a lot lately:

  • Halo sleep swaddle. This was the only swaddle I found in a preemie size.  I didn’t master how to use swaddle blankets. Now that she’s grown, other swaddles sacks that we were gifted (SwaddleMe) work fine too.
  • Halo bassinet. It is nice to have her at eye level and very close to me, and to be able to quickly get to her when she is fussing. We usually leave the bedroom to nurse, but if I feel awake enough to know I won’t fall asleep, I sometimes nurse her in bed.
  • Boppy newborn lounger for somewhere to hang on the couch. (This is a poor man’s Dock-a-Tot,  which is essentially a $200 pillow. I don’t get it.)
  • Nursery glider.  This is already worth owning, even if it doesn’t ever transition out of the nursery! I use this all of the time.
  • The changing table / dresser.  So many diapers!  (We are using disposables.)
  • The crib, although mostly as a safe spot to set her down, and a place to lay her when we change her clothes.  She’s taken some naps in it, but she won’t sleep in it at night for awhile.
  • Her baby gym and a mat for tummy time, and a few high contrast picture cards/books.  I also used some printable high contrast items to modify her baby gym and make a simple mobile.
  • Blankets, keeping her warm and cozy!
  • Burp cloths. My MIL made us some really cute ones with cute fabric, so we mostly use those. We also use cloth diapers as burp clothes.

Milestones and Fun:

Her personality is not showing much since she is so little.  I lovingly call her a barnacle (when eating) or an angry potato (when fussing).  Sometimes she is also just a happy angel baby. 🙂

She doesn’t hate tummy time, but she kind of just chills instead of practicing her neck/head control.

T insists she gave a social smile yesterday.  I’m not so sure.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2018 1:43 pm

    Yay I hope you’re able to do monthly updates!

    “then put baby down for a nap!” – ROFL. Yeah. Right. I know that works for unicorn people but for months that was not the case for us. We have a friend with a miracle baby who can do that, actually, we babysat for them and marveled over the superpower 😀

    I definitely felt that need to limit people who weren’t very helpful too and was about half successful. It makes a big difference to have people who are actually actively helpful rather than just kind of being there or worse even, sucking up your partner’s time and energy when you need their help or they need sleep.

    When it comes to other people’s kids, though, the first six months is my favorite. Cuddly potatoes!


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