My Little Picasso's

My Little Picasso's

Monday, July 18, 2011

Long nights and waling babies

Before your baby is born, decide which shift each of you will take at night.  This is not something you decide at 11pm when you are both about to lose it this is something you decide before.  Your decision to nurse or bottle feed will have some influence obviously.

The first three months are likely the toughest you will have, especially if your baby develops “witching hours” or signs of colic.  Of course Max had his hours each night that usually began around seven and went until about ten.  My husband and I said he had colic and listened to others who said he had colic, but that was us just being hasty.  I now believe it was simply gas.  The stories of colic are much more extreme than our few hours of inconsolable crying each evening.  The crying was unbearable.  I cried many times myself.  The worst feeling is seeing your child in pain and whatever you do will not help them.  Unfortunately now, Charlie begins in the afternoon and does not stop until after Max is asleep.  Needless to say, I am exhausted by the time my exhausted husband gets home from work.  I will gladly clean up the kitchen if my husband will hold Charlie.  I am trying a change in my diet and hopefully will see some improvement.
The confusing part is that you would think they would wear themselves out and fall asleep for a while, but that is not the case.  Max was up quite a bit at night and he would stay awake after being nursed.  I prepared my chair in the living room every evening with glasses of water, burp cloths, and remotes.  Since I was nursing and I could not successfully pump an extra supply for a nightly bottle, the nights were mine.  With Charlie it is almost the same ... he generally goes back to sleep after nursing.
After a few weeks with Max, I begged my husband for some relief, so after nursing in the evening, I would try to sleep while my husband held and consoled.  For a while I could not sleep through the crying, but it got better and I had a few hours before taking over at 11pm.  I remember the nights of never touching the bed.  My black chair had a permanent dent from my bum.  After what would seem forever of fussing and crying, my little one would fall asleep and I would too, because next thing I knew we were waking up and I would have to nurse him again.  Watch TV, watch bad TV, catch up on the news, rent a TV series ... but sleep first and foremost if you can while you are up at night.
Yes, it is tiring, but you quickly get over it.  I advise you put your baby down as much as you can in his or her bassinet during the day and night so he or she is used to it.  Everyone wants to hold a newborn as much as possible, but you must put them down a little each day and more and more each day so they learn to sleep on their own.
Get some kind of heartbeat bear, vibrating soother toy, white noise machine, fan, SOMETHING.  You soon learn to drain the sound out yourself, sleep through it, attach it to your hip everywhere you go!  Both of my boys have their own and it is part of the nightly routine with Max.  He asks for "Thumper."  There are many out there to choose from - make sure to register for one!
You will get through the back pain, just always have ibuprofen on hand.  
Invest in a heat pad if you did not while you were pregnant.
If your little one continues to be fussy and you are nursing, talk to your pediatrician about changing your diet perhaps ... I have found cutting out dairy has helped.  I miss yogurt and cheese and ice cream ... but to have a happier baby I will sacrifice.  It might be caffeine as well.
Always accept help ... it does not make you a bad mum.  It took me a while to realize this one with Max, but with Charlie now I know I must or I will do myself in.  You will always be their mum!
Hang in there ... it will get easier.

PS – ALWAYS go to the bathroom before nursing! 

July 18th, 2011

PSS - By the way, that nap never happened yesterday.  Charlie woke up a few minutes after I laid down.  But hey, the bills got paid!

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