I am currently on week 1 of having a newborn and it is absolute bliss. Apart from this terrible recovery from my caesarean, all is great having a newborn again in the house and he is a little darling.
He has been sleeping and feeding well, which is a wonderful thing but before I brag on about how much of a good baby he is, let me point out that my first newborn was not so easy. When I had my first son, looking back now, he must have had silent reflux but I didn’t know at the time. He never slept, never fed, was so unsettled and it was a very hard first year for us, especially being first time parents.
My second baby was really good, not sure if it was because he was my second boy or because I had the advice of Midwife Cath, OK, definitely because of Cath and also because he didn’t have reflux.
Now, this little baby, Freddie, my third, doesn’t have reflux or any other issues, therefore I am able to feed and put him to sleep easily. I know that things can change quickly, from past experience, but for now, we are getting decent stints of sleep at night and I for sure won’t be holing me breath but I kind of really hope this lasts a few more weeks, especially having two other boys to care for at home.
I lost count of how many direct Instagram messages I have received asking me to share my newborn ‘routine’ although the word routine is not accurate, apart from the repetition we do at night. Also, I have only been home for three days and I am not expecting that what I do will necessarily work forever but it works now (nor do I think it will work for everyone!) I will explain below.
LET ME FIRST START WITH A DISCLAIMER:
Let’s stress that I am not a health nurse, midwife or paediatrician, this is what I personally do and I incorporate Midwife Cath’s BBB routine from night. I do my very best to not get negative comments or trolls on my blog or social media, nor would I be able to deal with it right now with a new born, so please, if you disagree with this blog post talking about my personal routine or you have issues with bottle feeding or anything else, please leave now and keep your opinions to yourself. Just like I would do when I am talking to my friends, I am talking to my readers and this may or may not help them, but they asked so I am delivering!
WHAT I DO:
From the moment, it is considered time for us to embrace the morning, it might be 5am-7am whatever time the baby wakes for a feed, I always consider it a fresh start, a new day. No matter what went on during the night or day before, whether it was a good or bad day, this is a new day and we get to start all over again.
We start by establishing that it is in fact day time, therefore this first morning feed, I let the baby start to work out day from night by ensuring that each day feed is done with noise and light.
I feed from one breast for as long as he sucks for, usually between 18-22 minutes, then I burp him and then change his nappy, do some tummy time (awake time) for around 15 or so minutes or sometimes longer and then I wrap him and feed him from the other breast for around the same amount of feeding time as first breast (or when he stops or sleeps) and then he usually falls asleep and I put him back in his bassinette. If he doesn’t fall asleep on the breast and he is finished feeding, I put him down to self-settle in the bassinet and hopefully he goes to sleep. I might offer a dummy and he might take it to drift off to sleep.
Freddie would sleep usually around 2-3 hours and then when he is hungry, he will wake up. When he wakes, I first feed from the last breast I fed on (as he will get the hind milk from this breast) and change nappy, tummy time/awake time, wrap, feed, bed.
This continues every time he wakes for a feed.
If he just won’t go back to sleep after a feed and just cries or looks around in the bassinet for a long time, I will always offer more milk, as I know he must be hungry, as a full tummy would usually sleep. Or maybe he needs another nappy change or a good old poo and is just waiting for it to come out.
Basically, if Freddie wakes I feed, I just feed, feed, feed if he takes the breast and he is awake, unsettled etc.
Usually by the next time he wakes the next time, he gets back on track.
When it comes to night time, I start to feed in the dark (with just my phone light or dim light), I don’t talk, no noise, so he can start to work out day from night.
I then start a small routine that midewife Cath taught me, the BBB or the bath, bottle, bed. No matter how your day goes, if you hold the baby all day long, feed non-stop, if you just stick to this night routine, ideally you shouldn’t (fingers crossed) be up all night.
At around 9pm or just after, I offer him a breast feed (both boobs) then, I hand him over to my husband and he gives him a bath at 10pm. Cath’s reason for this is to let the mum go to be just before 10pm and sleep until the next feed. After the bath, Josh will give him a bottle, wrap him and put him in his bassinette to sleep.
Freddie would then wake up around 2:30, I will get up and breastfeed him one breast, nappy change, wrap, other breast and occasionally offer him a top up of formula if he wants or needs. No tummy time or awake time at night and I am feeding in my bed as I prefer this.
After this feed, Freddie will wake up for morning time so between 5:30-7am if all goes well.
-Through the night, I have a little caddy that sits next to my bed that is stocked with nappies, wipes, hand sanitiser, spare change of clothes, creams and a towel to change him on. I have this one (HERE ) and its on sale for under $40 at the time of this being published.
Annnnnd we start all over again.
The 10pm feed then gets pushed earlier and earlier as the baby sleeps longer through the morning, Cath explains this further in her book “The First Six Weeks”.(BUY HERE )
Another key is to be consistent with what you do with your bub, the best as you can of course! I also do the ‘Cath’s wrap’ which is a genius way to wrap your baby without its hands escaping. I have never had a hand escape from a Cath’s wrap (she has an app you can download that demonstrates how to do it).
Oh and I also have him sleep only in his bassinette for each sleep (unless it’s in his pram when we eventually get out for walks) I just don’t want him to get used to loving another comfy spot and then not sleep in the bassinette at night time.
Midwife Cath’s website is HERE