Friday, August 24, 2012

7 weeks

This is a baby-related post. Please feel free to skip if you are not comfortable reading.

K turned 7 weeks old on Monday, and Joey headed back to work on Tuesday. So far, the solo parenting gig during the day has been difficult at times, but not impossible. I honestly have a new-found respect for single parents who do this day in and day out. You all must have the patience of saints. The good news is, though, that everyone is still alive and kicking, the house is one piece, and I even managed to make dinner one night when Joey was on his way home from work. We also had our first post-placement visit on Monday, which was (coincidentally) the same day the court terminated the parental rights of the birth parents. We have two more post-placement visits, and then K's adoption should be finalized at some point later this year - likely in November or December.

The formula issue seems to be resolved. She still gets fussy at times during feeds, but I think it mostly has to do with gas. I'm going to mention it to our pediatrician anyway at her eight week appointment on Wednesday.

A few of you asked why the doctor was so concerned about K gaining weight. We honestly have no idea. The doctors in the NICU were the same way - obsessed over her catching up to her peers. For us, we were always in agreement that we didn't feel weight was an issue. She was gaining weight on the standard calorie formula, just not as much as they wanted. We didn't think it was realistic to expect her to "catch up." She's a premie! That's what happens when you're early. You are, more often that not, going to stay smaller than the rest of your peers. The good news is that our pediatrician isn't pushing it now that we have other stomach issues to battle with. I'll be curious to see what her weight is next week. We know she's put on some ounces because she feels heavier!

Personality wise, K is growing up every single day. She has started to smile on a regular basis - not related to gas - and she coos and blows bubbles. She's put herself on a schedule in some ways, but getting her to sleep is still a problem. Once we have her down at night, she'll only wake up once for a feeding, but convincing her to shut her eyes is a huge ordeal, both for naps and for bedtime. She turns into the Energizer Bunny and refuses to fall sleep. We've tried establishing a routine at night (bath, story, bottle, then soft music/rocking while swaddled), I've tried to repeat the same steps during the day (minus the bath and story). We've also tried putting her to bed earlier. Nothing seems to work. Any tips from moms out there?

I think that's all on the mom updates for now. I'm sure I'll have more after her visit with the doctor next week.


M said...

Are you familiar with The Happiest Baby on the Block? I am still learning too but I got some great tips from the DVD. There is a book too. So glad K is doing well!

aryanhwy said...

Given all the things you've already tried, you've probably already tried this, but if you haven't -- do you put her to bed still awake? That's what we tried to do from the beginning with Gwen, and it's always stood us in good stead.

AnotherDreamer said...

I'm glad she's doing well and you're adjusting. Staying home with V while my husband went back to work was a huge adjustment, but it does get easier as you adjust.

Hope the visit goes well. I'm sure it will though :)

Anonymous said...

You should be worried about weight gain since babies need food to grow brain cells.

Glad to hear that she is doing well. So thrilled that you two are now parents.


It Is What It Is said...

The only thing that I found to true with my newborn son (who was a light/difficult sleeper) was that 'sleep begets sleep'. The more he slept during the day, the better he slept during the night. It took is about 6 weeks to get his days/nights straightened out and we were committed to setting the tone for sleep, especially over night. His last of the day feeding was @ 10 PM or so and he'd wake @ 1ish and 4ish AM for feedings but would go right back down.

We had a lot of tricks to get him to nap during the day, jiggling him in the bassinet, swinging him in his car seat, letting him sleep on me or his dad, walking him in the stroller, etc.

It sounds like you are coming along beautifully and I am so, so happy.

S.I.F. said...

So glad that she is home with you guys now. All the rest will fall into place with time... including the sleep!

Arlyne said...

We had problems with gas, reflux, & colic & ended up going on meds for awhile & special formula & got better. Sorry K still has tummy issues :( I can't believe it's been 7 weeks already! I wish I had some words of wisdom on the sleeping, but I just kind of let Ariana decide when she naps as long as she sleeps thru the night. She was never a good napper except in the car, & is still that way at 18 months. Sounds like you're doing great, mama!! xo

Anonymous said...

As the mom of a 27 weeker or will be 5 on Sunday, your weight gain discussion really resonates with me. It was a constant battle, mostly me fighting to not let the medicals make me paranoid. My daughter is still very light, but she is completely fine otherwise. (She was 5% on the weight chart last year and is 25% now!) We always figured if she gained weight (even super slowly) was growing and meeting her milestones, she was fine, even if she was small and a slow grower. The general rule of thumb is the baby should follow his or her own curve. In terms of sleep, we loved Enjoy every minute with your daughter!

KC said...

Wow, you guys are doing amazingly well. At 7 weeks my boys were still waking up every 3 hours to eat. They would basically fall back to sleep from exhaustion from the effort it took to eat(they were premies too). Once in a while we got a 4 or 5 hour stretch but that wasn't the norm.
I am surprised by the weight thing because I feel like my doctor gives the boys lots of breaks when it comes to the premie thing. I think they seem small but he is worried at all. I was told that as long as they were gaining we were moving in the right direction.
Anyways, glad you are doing so well and that you are adjusting to being home alone. I am not telling my husband you made dinner because I still barely do it and my boys are 6 months

Elizabeth said...

Our sleep schedule has worked pretty well for baby N, but I imagine since baby K spent so much time in the NICU, it will be harder to get a routine!
We're sure he has a cycle every 3 hours (or so) of eating, then wake/play time, then a nap. And even at almost 15 weeks his total combined eat/wake time each cycle is 1-1.5 hours each time. So, if he wakes up at 7:30 and eats, he goes back down for a nap (swaddled tight, patted and given a paci) at 8:30. The next cycle he stays up about 1 hour and 15 minutes and then at the end of the day stays up for a total of an hour and a half. But, we started his routine when he was 2 days old (obviously with much less awake time) and we've still had issues getting it to work "right." But, it DOES work and he started sleeping 11 hours straight through the night at 12 weeks and has done it ever since! Sorry I probably just gave WAY too much information on a blogger comment. :/

someday-soon said...

Happy 7 weeks Miss K!!! Honestly the whole sleeping thing just takes time and while the routine is important I don't think they really are soothed by it until they are a little older. We use to put our DD in a Bjorn and dance around with her to mellow music...put her out like a light. I'd just say try some new things until you find something that works for her. Don't worry about trying to get her to fall asleep in a crib at this age. Our ped told us it was impossible to spoil or start bad habits with a child younger than 6 months. We held our DD on our chest a lot to nap when she was a wee one. It was awesome and I miss it =)

Dawn said...

I swore by the fisher price seahorse. The would watch it and eventually fall asleep. Sometimes I had to turn it ion 3 or 4 times but it usually worked. I also used true womb swadlers. My boys loved them.

Our pedi would tell us what percentile they were in based on their age and would show us the percentile if they adjusted for prematurity. Now the are usually right in the middle.

Brooke said...

I'm so glad things are going well!

As for the sleep thing, I always rocked my little one to sleep up until he was about 10 months. I'd do the shh/pat method and it worked. I know people say you should rock that long but hey - it worked for us.

As for naps - the first 3 months of his life he napped in a swing. If I'd put him in his crib, it was maybe a 30 min nap. In his swing 2 hrs.

Basically - you just keep trying different things until you stumble upon what works for you and then you stick with it until it no longer works :)

Jessica said...

When our daughter was young we used the Sleep Sheep (Babies R Us) and set it on the rain sound and it helped get her to sleep.

ebg said...

Sounds like K is doing perfectly! And how wonderful to get a couple of milestones like TPR etc... behind you. Congratulations!

RE the sleeping thing - ugh, I remember those days. (Mine are 11 mths now and so much seems like it's fading so quickly into distant memory - really amazing how the time flies and the mind forgets the tough stuff.) I do remember that w/ one of our babies we just gave up on waiting for (or trying to induce) eye-shutting before putting her down. There was a mobile that fascinated her so we'd swaddle her, prop her in a bobby so she could see it well, and just set it and walk away. She was content and usually ended up being lulled to sleep. I couldn't really believe it when it worked but it often did and gave us a much-needed break. So - I don't know that K would be the same, but you could try something like that.

I would have been bitterly jealous of the single overnight wake-up at 2 mths old though - so K is being kind to you on that front. HOpefully she'll continue that and be a great sleeper for you.


Stephanie said...

Aww Katie, I love reading updates on K!! :) For sleeping, I wish I had something, but C didn't give us troubles. Make sure the swaddle is super tight, like a straightjacket. He lived in his until at 4 months our ped told us to start weaning him. And he still loves his white noise machine. Good luck! Enjoy these moments, they go oh so quickly!

Anonymous said...

First baby could only get to sleep in the swing. Second baby often needed to walked in the bjorn. A bit of a hassle but great bonding and exercise. Good luck and congratulations!

Alex said...

7 weeks!!! So glad to hear she's doing well.

Fit to Parent said...

You are probably already doing a lot of this stuff, but here's what has worked well for us with Ladybug so far.

We started with the soothing habits from Happiest Baby on the Block. Mr. Fit is the champion soother in our family, and he can almost always calm Ladybug down with the moves from the book.

When Ladybug was around two months, we started structuring her days with an eat-activity-sleep routine so that she always had some awake time after eating and didn't depend on a bottle to go to sleep. There are a couple of books that deal with this routine, but I liked Baby Whisperer, because she has a flexible approach (as opposed to BabyWise, which is more of a by-the-clock schedule). We are not strict about crib naps in our house (because we LOVE cuddling and having Ladybug in the room with us!), but she usually takes one nap in her crib, which helps, too.

Finally, we are incorporating some ideas from the No Cry Sleep Solution. Specifically, we put her down in her crib drowsy but awake, and then sit in a chair in her room. Every time she fusses, we walk over to the crib and sooth her, There's a step-down approach to soothing, which we follow sort of loosely.

But the biggest thing for us was to develop some patience. When Ladybug was 7-8 weeks, we were really ready to see her sleep longer periods at night, but she just wasn't ready yet. Now, though, at almost 5 months, she sleeps 7 hours at a time or longer most nights. We just had to let go a bit and accept that this was going to happen on her pace, not ours.

Good luck to you, mama!!!!

Tammy said...

In the beginning, they are pretty much on their own schedule. I always feed our daughter right before bed. Then we read her a story if she is awake enough for it. When she was itty bitty, we swaddled her (now we tuck her in her sleep sack), and we always put on a white noise CD that we got from itunes . . . it plays through the night. It has worked very well for us. She also loved a pacifier in the beginning -- now she sucks her thumb. Good luck -- you're doing a great job!