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FTM, 2 week old DD, what do I do with her when she's awake?(26 Posts)
Hi, sorry, worried/confused FTM here...
I have a beautiful 17 day old daughter. She was in hospital for 2 weeks when born which was the most horrendous experience (think I might have post traumatic stress disorder- but that's another matter) but we are now on day 3 at home.
She, in general, sleeps ok (broken but I can usually get her back to sleep even if it's in my bed or cuddling) and wakes for feeds every 4 hours (bottle fed). My concern is... what do I do with her when she's awake.
After a feed sometimes she falls straight back to sleep but other times she would stay awake for 4-5 hours if I didn't actively make her nap (this only happened once before I realised that babies can get overtired and don't always just nap by themselves!) ... but she's usually so unhappy whenever she is awake and whining or crying. This has led me to try and get her back to sleep almost immeadiately as id rather a sleeping baby than an unhappy one!
I'm worried though that I'm making her sleep too much and she's missing out on awake time...
She should be sleepin a lot at this age. Google the fourth trimester and you'll maybe understand why.
I chatted to DD, sang to her, took her for walks but mostly what she needed was milk and cuddles.
Not much. Carry her around, sing, general chit chat when she’s Awake. Much the same as being in the womb really.
Btw she won’t sleep if she isn’t tired enough. My babies wouldn’t sleep when they needed to.
She shouldn’t be awake for long, maximum 45 minutes at that age as a rough guide. By the time she’s fed and had a nappy change, that doesn’t really leave much time, but yeah, just chat or sing to her.
I just carried her round the house pottering about. We looked at a lot of windows
Watch Gilmore girls, Stranger Things and Escape to the Country.
And congratulate yourself
Basically not much! Cuddling, a bit of singing... carrying her around the house.
45 mins awake time is expected at that age. With probably 21 out of 24 hours asleep.
Don't feel you have to really 'do' anything, cuddles are enough!
Please don't worry you're not doing enough with her. I spent the first few months of DS's life stressing about this. All they want is cuddles and warmth and affection. You're doing great! If you need or want to do anything, just sing or chat to her, give her a running commentary of what you're doing. Show her things around the house. Dangle toys. Show her books. Strap her in the sling and go for a walk.
But really? Don't worry, I don't think it's possible for babies to be bored or unstimulated at this age.
You're only on day 3 at home, and presumably still decompressing from whatever kept you in hospital for 2 weeks. When she's awake, you can just cuddle her and talk or sing. I used a stretchy sling for the first few weeks so I could move around the house whilst keeping my baby close. Most importantly try not to worry about what you "should" be doing and just do whatever feels right for you.
Put her on a sling and carry her about as you go about your business, or go for a walk, or watch telly, or go on mumsnet.
In a sling, not on. It great, it frees up your at arms and she feels all secure and loved.
Everything is new to her at this age so it all helps her develop. Including drinking milk and nappy changes. She can see close up things like your face and toys (rattle are good) and she'll explore objects with her lips and tongue. She'll listen to you singing and talking (she may understand a few key words like milk/booby by the end of the first month) so a running commentary will help her a lot. Leave the house if you can for your own sanity.
Does she smile yet? That's a huge turning point in helping her communicate with you.
Mine slept almost constantly for the first 4-6 weeks with little awake time, maybe 20 minutes here and there. It sounds like maybe she is overtired, which is why she gets so upset during the day. I don't think mine stayed awake during the day for 4-5 hour stretches until she was probably closer to a year.
At that age though, when awake there is really nothing you need to do other than hold her. I read books and magazines, checked my email, took a walk, went for coffee or lunch out, ran errands, etc. They don't need any entertaining. Touch and eye contact is important, so if she is awake, I'd generally have her in your arms. Mixed with a bit of tummy time soon. But that's about it. Enjoy it while it lasts. Eventually you rarely get to sit down again and you'll miss those days when you had long stretches of boring time doing nothing but holding her and watching tv.
Mixed with a bit of tummy time soon.
I didn't think tummy time was recommended any more.
Sit under her, get into bed and snooze together, put her in a sling or plop her in a fairly flat bouncer.
She'll be a different child in a few weeks again
Chat, sing, board books (mainly for your own amusement at this stage!) black and white books are good. But mainly just try and get her to go back to sleep ;)
New borns don’t need play time or activities to occupy them. They can only see a little way, and only strong colours and contrasts. Their world is small but new and stimulating just by being out of your body
So, cuddle, snuggle and coo is really all you need to do. And lots of feeding and winding.
You seem worried about her being awake, and want to get her back to sleep as soon as she wakes up? Is that because she’s crying or grizzling?
Please don’t take the crying personally, she only has one way to express all her needs and sometimes it’s hard to work out what’s going on. If you had an awful birth experience, and are probably still really poorly, it can be hard to cope with a little being who’s constantly unhappy and doesn’t give anything back, except burps, farts, sick and poo! Oh aren’t babies glamorous! The main thing your little one needs from you is the security and attachment that started many months ago in the womb. Babies can recognize their mummy’s voice, and very quickly their face too. You provide instant comfort, even if you’re feeling anything but comforting!
I’d try feeding as the way to combine snuggling and filing her tummy... and lots of winding if she seems uncomfortable straight after feeding?
Are you ok? I had a horrible birth experience and definitely suffered afterwards, with the trauma. It’s kind of ridiculous that you can go through major surgery and medical trauma, events that would normally floor a person for weeks, months afterwards... yet you are then expected to be the person responsible for an actual whole new human being!
It’s a hell of an ask, in my opinion. And it’s ok to, to not be ok. If you see what I mean?
We looked at a lot of windows
8 week old DD here and this is us!
I also sing along to YouTube videos, read the newspaper out loud to her. I thought tummy time was still a thing, reading that link now.
I thought tummy time was important for strengthening their muscles, nothing to do with preventing a flat head as that link describes? I did tummy time from very early on, but I did it on me until she could lift her head with a decent amount of control.
No. It's along the same lines as trying to get them to walk before they're ready. The muscles develop with time, not forced activity.
what in hell's name is a somatic experiencing practitioner? sounds like woo quackery to me....
I don’t think I’ll take Irene Lyon’s word for it. Any reputable studies?
Anyway... mine were awake lots as newborns! Usually happily awake. They never slept anything like 21 hours out of 24.
We went for walks, I lay her down in different rooms while I did jobs around her, carried her round, sang to her...
DD2 just got dragged along to any activity I was doing with DD1
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