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3 week old advice(9 Posts)
Am hoping for some help/advice. I have a 3 week old DS, he is entirely breastfed which is going well. Sleep is sporadic - some days he naps well and sleeps for 3 hours at night taking about an hour or two to settle between waking and sleeping again. Other days he doesn't nap at all and is restless and crying with constant feeding. As a new mum I am wondering what exactly I should be doing with him - at present he is in a crib in our living room with us during the day and also in the evening - we turn the TV etc down and dim lights at night. We then take him up stairs just before we are to sleep ourselves - this usually means a few hours of feeding and settling before he sleeps. Should I be putting him upstairs on his own sooner than this - I am thinking 3 weeks is too young to start this and that there will be time in a few weeks to begin a routine! Am I right or is it wrong to have him with us all the time? Also what sort of daily routine should we be having, without sounding stupid what exactly do u do all day with a new baby - I had thought when pregnant that this would be a breeze but the lack of sleep and dare I say it boredom I am finding it all a bit hard going - with the snow we have been housebound but my husband goes back to work tomorrow and I want to get things off to a good start.
First of all congratulations and well done to you. Three weeks is quite early to try and establish and routine, just keep him with you and feed him when he wants, easy to say hard to. Can you put him up in your room and use a baby monitor when you are downstairs? Might make you feel like you are having a bit of a break.
The first few weeks are a slog, so just keep your head down and get on with it, feed/sleep/poo is the basic gist for a while.
It sounds like things are off to a good start already, just try and relax as much as possible about it, just take it easy and not overthink stuff.
Even a walk round the block is worth it just to get out, have you post natal classess started yet? Have you joined a local National Childbirth Trust? Please do these things and meet others, get on the phone and invite them over for a coffee, it's like dating you will find people you click with and can share all the things about babies. It does not help with the weather being so cold. I listened to the radio a lot, Radio 4 (good plays and stuff, sounds odd but I was bizzarly really captivated about a documentary about corn farming in the USA) and Radio 5 to keep in touch with what was going on in the outside and Heart etc for music which helps lift spirits and CLassic FM for something relaxing.
So keep going, relax and have a chat with your health visitor, give them a call and they will come round, they are there to help.
Congratulations first off! Secondly i'd say run through a mental checklist when DS wont settle:
wind (some like a good few burps some none and at 3 weeks he is a little young to read)
clothes iritation (like labels/)
i'd say 3 weeks is very early to establish any routine or identify his ways just yet. And all babies are different - so whereas you may work towards two naps a day, but he may be a "one long siesta after lunch" kind of kid!! Mine very different so Plan A which I had perfected for my first went out of the window for my second.
eg my first, like yours was happy to spend the evening with us in the caryr cot and fell asleep easily. Second was not keen and was much more receptive to sleep if we put him in his cot in the dark and quiet after his feed at about 7pm. The first would dream feed at 11pm, second was not bothered either way, first settled with a dummy and second never really wanted anything other than skin to skin contact to settle so a few mins cheek stroke or nuzzle onto my chest did it.
As for the boredom thing - I could only offer up one bit of advice which I took from someone on here and it worked really well for me. Get out of the house for at least half an hour every day. Even if you are tired and cant be bothered. It will establish a routine (and a reason to do something with a "purpose")for you rather than for DS. Go to library/post office/coffee shop/walk/meet baby friends/take dog out/visit family/whatever.
Sure, you are brand new to this (and so is he of course), but you will find your instinct with him and learn about what he responds to in time. Good luck (and go to bed!)
The first few weeks with your first DC are just a time for muddling through.
Can you walk anywhere, or is the snow too deep / icy? If your DC is really well wrapped up you should still be able to get out and about for a walk (if you are feeling up to it). TBH there's not much you need to do with a small baby, just go for walks and the supermarket when you want to. When I had DC2 I was much braver and ended up going for meals on my own as I could hold her with one arm or she would sleep in the pushchair.
There's always MN too .
Just don't over do it, the weather is crap and the Spring will be here before you know it and your DS will be more interesting . You are perfectly within your rights to hibernate with chocolate biscuits until March.
Don't begin to think of any routine! This time next week it'll be Christmas, and there isn't a routine in that.
AGree with Little Pushka's mental checklist. It really helps if you're thinkign 'what now?'
If you have a sling, wrap yourselves up and get out of the house every morning. Quick trip to supermarket/ coffee shop/ post box is enough just to prevent cabin fever!
Most of all, you could concentrate on you! Fitting in a shower etc might be all that you manage, and frankly that's about all you should be aiming for in these first few weeks.
Thanks all for the replies - I suppose being snowed in hasn't helped in anyway as I long to be able to get out and about but its just too deep to be safe (did get out last week during temporary thaw) - I will take on all your suggestions, esp. checklist, and take things as they come and worry not about routines for a wee while yet.
I remember when mine was 3 weeks old, and worrying that I didn't have a bedtime routine for her yet, etc., etc.
And it seemed so ridiculous, looking back. They change SO fast at this age, and really all they want to do is eat, sleep, and look at things.
It's so hard right now, you're doing wonderfully. But really, as long as he's warm, snuggled, loved and fed, he's grand; so do what you need to do to keep yourself sane and happy. Keep him with you as much as you like, but do feel free to put him down now and then if you need a break. A good sling/carried is a lifesaver for keeping your arms free and settling a tiny baby. If you can persuade friends to come and hav a cup of tea with you, that will make you feel better as well.
It really does sound like you're taking terrific care of your baby, though.
Sounds like you're doing exactly the right things! Keep him with you, and use a sling if possible because the more physical contact they get the more easily they settle. Also - feed, feed, feed! In this weather they need all the fuel they can get to keep warm. My DS is the same age and seems to be feeding about every hour at the moment. And I totally agree that getting out of the house, even if just to the corner shop, will help a lot. It gives the day shape. I've been wary about taking DS out in the sling because it's so cold and there's so much snow, but have just bought a windproof and warm sling cover so we're not housebound - which will please DD as she's bored!
Thanks again for the responses and comments, its good to hear and I really don't know how those of you with more than one child cope as I just about got a sandwich made earlier!! - I have a Baby Bjorn and gave it a t
rial run round the house - he screamed Murder and then fell asleep - its pretty frozen out there but will venture out tomorrow again (would a sleepsuit with snowsuit over be warm enough in the carrier?) . Its good to hear that I don't seem to be getting it too wrong - I had been thinking that him being with me all the time was me not having my act together (not to mention not having any Christmas shopping done - am blaming the ice )
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