|the smile in his eyes|
Miles is now six weeks old. My teeny newborn is growing up so very quickly!!
Part of me is like -
'Yes, Kate, humans age. This is not a surprise. Get over it.'
'WAHHHHHH!!!! MY BABY IS GROWING UP!!!!!!!
STOP THE TIME CONTINUUM NOW!!!!!'
STOP THE TIME CONTINUUM NOW!!!!!'
But seriously. It's no shock and I know every mother says and feels it... yet somehow it feels like these days are slipping through my fingers like sand, and if I let myself get overly sentimental it is hard not to dwell on all those 'last baby' thoughts... panicking about savouring these fleeting newborn moments, relishing the last times he falls asleep dreamily in my arms, sniffing the sufficient amount of newborn smell from his little head, nuzzling that squishy neck, and photographing every inch of him whilst it's teeny and scrunchy and new. It just suddenly hits me sometimes... 'This is the last day I will have an 'X' week old, the last day he will be this small'. Cue watery eyes. I mean, truly, the sentimentality easily spirals out of control!! I'm blaming the post-partum hormones, ok!
|The maneuvers of my little monkey!|
(Including #4 - the classic accidental baby cross eye)
Daytime sleep has been fine - he naps well and rarely for less than two hours at a time until I wake him. I think he is just now hitting his 6 week growth spurt however as he has been waking early a couple times today and yesterday, throwing his head around, his little mouth foraging for food! So of course I just feed him and adjust the rhythm of the day accordingly.
The 7-11pm period seems to be his restless time some evenings, where he will wake a bit, get fussy and need extra cuddles and soothing. I usually cluster feed him about 3 times (eg 7pm, 9pm, 11pm) which seems to help him stock up for the night ahead as well.
The little dude has been blessing me greatly by stretching out his night sleeps. From the one night feed he was on a couple weeks ago, he started pushing back from his 11pm (ish) dreamfeed to waking at around 4am for a feed, then it was 5.30am, then last Thursday he went all the way till 6.30am!! 7.5 hours. Oh yes, I felt like a new woman that morning, I must tell you! I was pretty surprised to see him sleeping through at 5.5wks... yes, Lily slept through at 4.5 weeks but I thought that was an anomaly not to be so nearly repeated!! But I guess our day rhythm of regular feed and wake times helps him differentiate night and day pretty quickly.
Since he first slept through, he has a couple nights done the same stretch, and a couple nights woken at 5ish for a feed. We are just going with it and seeing what happens - and of course enjoying every extra minute of shut-eye I can get! Hoping he will get consistent with the overnight stretch soon but of course with babies one can never predict, right!?
If you are wondering what the cost is for having a baby sleep through the night so early, I can tell you.... it's mastitis!!!
Yes, after he slept through last Thursday night, I had a very busy day on Friday. Rushing around hauling three kids through school drop off and pick up (in rainy, miserable windy weather), plus preparing food and gifts for a dear friend's baby shower the next day and two birthday parties of Lily's friends, etc etc. I was so preoccupied with all of that it didn't even click that I had skipped the night feed due to his extra sleep.
Early that evening as I was in the midst of baking I started to feel really off. I was completely botching up the food I was making - my brain was feeling so foggy, I felt tired and my skin just felt strange and hot and tingly. By the time the kids went to bed I was lying on the couch, feverish, freezing, covered in blankets, half asleep and teeth chattering. I couldn't work out why I felt so weird but then it clicked.... oh yeah - mastitis!!!
I had it twice with Lily and once with Eli so I was pretty familiar with it (once my foggy brain remembered!). Unlike most other people's mastitis experience (it seems) it's not really painful for me to feed, but the blocked duct/s brings on all the mastitis symptoms which is why I don't realise there is a blockage right away. So, in my feverish state I went through my usual routine to unblock the duct (hot showers, massage, hot wheatbag, wide tooth comb, more feeds, expressing, drinking heaps of water etc) and went to bed in quite a state. Later that night, lying there shivering and sweating, I suddenly felt the fever break. The heat just rapidly dissipated from my body... very strange feeling but quite a relief. The next day I was quite a bit better (fever coming and going a little) but still not great... then the next day I was pretty much fine. Phew - and also thankfully avoided antibiotics. But note to self to be a bit more aware about dropping feeds and gaps between feeds in future!!
Apart from that little hiccup, feeding is fine and generally still three-hourly. As I said, I think he is hitting his six week growth spurt so am expecting a few extra feeds coming up. Wow, he is really getting chubby and heavy though, I look forward to weighing him at his upcoming visit with the Maternal Child Health Nurse!
Still on a basic three hour flexible routine starting at 7.30am. He generally sleeps for two hours then feed and wake time for 40-60 minutes - one hour at max but I watch for his tired signs (yawning, fussing, agitated) and he is usually ready to go down earlier, around 45 minutes. Wake time usually consists of cuddling with me, kicking around on a blanket or getting the boisterous affections, songs, books and entertainments of the two older siblings.
I have seen a few possible smiles (and even possible laughs?) in the early weeks but nothing that I can say was a definite engaged smile just yet. Now Miles is six weeks I am itching to see that beautiful little smile I know is just about to burst forth. I can already see in his eyes (see first photo) the happy little boy he is and I am dying to get to know the sweet smile hiding inside him! He is getting so engaging now and loves to spend time staring soulfully at faces! He is very wriggly - I give him lots of time just kicking around on his back on a blanket and he loves to roll onto his side, wriggle and punch those teeny fists. He is a long suffering baby who does not seem at all phased by the affections of his siblings! He rarely cries, except for sometimes fussing a bit going to sleep. The only time he REALLY screeches is when he grabs his own hair (sadly this has happened quite a few time). Poor tot does not realise it is his very own hand causing such agony and screams and screams while clutching all the tighter!!!! And it is very difficult for me to unclench that fist without ripping his hair out, so it's very distressing for all involved, really!
He is getting very strong neck control, enabling him to look around all the more as he loves to do. Just last night I was sitting back on the couch, burping him over my shoulder while watching the TV after a feed. All of a sudden (obviously deciding I wasn't paying him enough attention) he launched himself up on his little elbows and popped his face RIGHT in front of mine, almost nose to nose, looking like a wide-eyed little possum. He totally locked me into a stare-down, without looking away for (no kidding) around three minutes... just gazing deeply into my eyes so intently. It was the funniest and cutest thing ever and I couldn't believe this teeny little six week old was initiating contact like that and holding himself up so strongly too! Makes me smile whenever I think about it. And yes, he totally won the stare-down too!!
Oh sweet baby boy.... although I am so tempted to cling to these newborn days as tightly as I can, I am so excited to see more of beautiful you emerging.... I can't wait to watch you grow. In only six weeks you have brought so much joy and happiness to our little family... we love you!
Catch up on the previous Baby Daze update here.