Everly is excited to be 7 weeks old! This girl MELTS ME!!!! We love this tiny babe so much. And look at those little leg rolls. My goodness. I want to bite them.
We’re still on a 3-hour feeding schedule, except for in the MOTN she can go 4 hours between feedings now. Her nursing time has shortened significantly. She has either become a really efficient nurser or she’s not eating enough. I think it’s the former, but I’m just not sure yet. She’s not gaining weight as rapidly as she was, but she doesn’t look like she’s losing weight either so I’m assuming everything is ok for now. She typically nurses for like 10 minutes total. Although in the past two days or so she’s gotten back to nursing a little longer. She also typically nurses longer at the beginning of the day and the nursing time decreases until it’s at like 5 minutes by the last feeding. I’ve heard that babies will sometimes eat big meals and sometimes smaller meals, but it just doesn’t seem like enough for such a little baby. I offer each side several times, and she absolutely refuses to nurse longer. She complains A LOT if I try to force her. So as long as she’s gaining weight I’m not going to worry about it (too much).
One weird thing that happened was a couple of days ago I pumped around 11pm and got the usual 3 ounces from each side, but then when I pumped around 3am I only got 4 ounces even though I pumped for like 20 minutes. Usually I can pump for 10 minutes or less and get 6 ounces, so I’m not sure what happened. It’s been like that for the last couples days. I have no idea why my supply dropped all of the sudden. If she’s getting 3-4 ounces at each feeding that’s perfect for her right now, but I just can’t figure out why my supply dropped, which is concerning. There are several things it could be – I cut dairy so I thought maybe that could contribute to it. And I got super stressed about her acid reflux. Also, I wasn’t replacing the calories I lost when I cut out dairy because I was busy holding Everly because the reflux made it so uncomfortable for her to lie down, so I wasn’t able to make time to eat. And along with that I probably wasn’t drinking enough water. I remedied those things by meal prepping and making sure to drink lots of water, and my supply has increased since then so I’m not worried about it. Although it’s not what it was before, I’m assuming that’s just my supply leveling out.
As for the reflux, I think it’s getting a tiny bit better. I’m still giving her Prevacid twice a day, plus Mylicon before every feeding and Colic Ease Gripe Water before naps. I also added a probiotic, which has helped so much I think. In addition to the meds, I elevated every single surface she gets laid down on – I put a folded towel under the head of her changing pad, I’ve got the boppy on the couch, and I bought a bassinet wedge for her bassinet. I’ve also started changing her diaper before feedings rather than after to minimize how much she gets jostled around while her belly is full. I can still hear her reflux occasionally, which causes her to cough, but it’s happening a little less often than before. And the gas has SIGNIFICANTLY reduced since I cut dairy and started the probiotic. Not sure which one caused that, but I’m going to keep doing both for awhile.
For a newborn, and especially a newborn with reflux, I think Everly is sleeping pretty good. Naps typically last 1.5-2.5 hours. She’s starting waking up in the middle of naps wanting her pacifier, which is why I was trying to avoid the paci in the first place, but it helps with her reflux so we’re sticking with it. The good thing, however, is that I just put it back in her mouth whenever she wakes up wanting it and she usually falls right back to sleep.
She sleeps even better during the night and hardly ever wakes up wanting her pacifier. Except for after her last MOTN feeding. After I feed her around 4-5 am, she doesn’t sleep that great. She frequently grunts and squirms, and she wants her pacifier in her mouth or she wakes up. So neither of us sleep well from 5-8am. Around 6:30-7am, if she’s not sleeping well, I’m not above pulling her into bed with me and snuggling her. That usually settles her down, and then she passes out until 8am when I wake her up to eat.
We’ve pretty much stuck to the same schedule as the past couple weeks, waking at 8:00 a.m. and nursing every 3 hours. I’ve shortened her awake times for the first two naps to 30 minutes max. The rest of the naps I try to get her to stay awake a little longer so that she sleeps well at night. I’ve also completely dropped the dream feed because it wasn’t helping her sleep any longer. And she’s dropped one MOTN feed so we’re down to two MOTN feeds. The first one Gary feeds her a bottle while I pump, the second time I nurse her and put her back down.
8:00 am (desired wake time) – nurse
8:15 am – awake time (diaper change, talking to her, swing, bath, etc.)
8:30 am – nap
11:00 am – nurse
11:15 am – awake time
11:30 pm – nap
2:00 pm – nurse
2:45 pm -awake time
3:15 pm – nap
5:00 pm – nurse
5:45 pm – awake time
6:15 pm – nap
8:00 pm – nurse and then straight back to bed
12:00 am-ish – 1st MOTN feeding
4:00 am-ish – 2nd MOTN feeding
Everly is 21 inches long and weighs around 10 pounds. I think she may have lost a few ounces since last week because she wasn’t eating well 🙁 But hopefully we’re back on track now! We bought a baby scale to make sure she keeps gaining weight because I was stressing about it.
What We’ve Been Working On
Falling asleep on her own – We were doing really well with this aspect of sleep training using the 4 S’s before Everly’s acid reflux hit with a vengeance. When it did, I just started rocking her to sleep because the reflux had messed up eating and sleeping so much, and I’m not ready to let her cry it out at all. This week I’ve been trying to put her down drowsy and letting her fall asleep in her own bed on her own. If she wakes up during her nap I usually shush-pat her to get her back to sleep. Sometimes I put her paci in or pick her up and hold her until she’s drowsy again. And sometimes I just rock her until she’s completely asleep. There’s no strict method to it quite yet while we’re still getting the reflux under control, but we’re working on it.
- Dockatot – I borrowed a friend’s dockatot this week, and Everly is a big fan! It keeps her snuggled up while she’s sleeping so she doesn’t roll around in her bassinet. It wasn’t life-changing, she didn’t all of the sudden start sleeping through the night or anything, but we like it!
- Chiropractor – Everly loves her some Autumn (chiropractor) at Cafe of Life. Me too, girlfriend. Me too. I think getting adjusted helps with her acid reflux, and I’ve heard many other mamas say it’s helped their babies too, so we’re going to go every week until it gets better. Last time she got adjusted she nursed for 15 minutes total, which is the longest she’s nursed in awhile! And every feeding after that lasted longer than just a couple minutes like it has been recently, so I’m gonna call that a chiropractor win.
- Being hot – I think she’s warm-natured and gets hot easily like her mama. And I’ve noticed that she gets pretty upset when she gets too hot. Every time she cries she immediately heats up and starts sweating. If she’s in her swaddle or has a blanket on I have to immediately uncover her to cool her off. I’ve started using kickee pants swaddling blankets because they’re thin and breathable, and she seems to sleep really well in those. I also got a couple aden + anais easy swaddles that are made of the muslin material because they’re more breathable than the SwaddleMe swaddles we’ve been using. I’ll probably stash the SwaddleMe swaddles away for colder nights.
Social smiles – I’m pretty sure we’re getting real smiles these days! They’re not super frequent, but she makes eye contact and smiles, instead of just smiling during her sleep. And y’all, I SWEAR when she smiles, the clouds part and the sun shines brighter. In my world anyways 😉
Neck strength/head control – Everly has always had pretty good neck strength, but it’s just getting better and better. I don’t do a ton of tummy time quite yet because it makes her spit up, but it doesn’t seem to be hurting her growth in the neck strength area.
Dropped one MOTN feeding – Everly dropped one MOTN feeding already. I’m so tired I didn’t even notice it until I wrote down her schedule in this post, but yay! One down, two to go.
Eating 4 ounces – Everly has started drinking 4 ounces in the bottle that Gary gives her at her first MOTN feeding. I’m not sure how much she gets at other feedings because I’m nursing her for those feedings, but probably right around that amount.
Swallowing medicine – Everly has finally gotten the hang of drinking medicine without choking on it every time I give it to her. Praise the Lord, because that always really stressed me out.
Nurses without the pillow – Everly has gotten big enough that I don’t have to use the brestfriend pillow or boppy to nurse her. I can sit her on my leg and hold her head in the crook of my arm. Before she was too little for that and I needed both hands available to help her latch, but now she can pretty much latch herself.
I think best thing I did for myself (read: that my sister did for me) was meal prep. I’ve been able to just heat up my meal and shovel it in really quick while Everly spends a few minutes rocking in the rock n play or mamaroo. In between meals I snack on things that can be eaten with one hand and require no prep work. I think this has helped my energy level a lot and also helped my milk supply increase back to normal.
I also kind of meal prepped lunch for the kids. I made 15 peanut butter sandwiches and put them in the fridge so I can just put them on a plate with some fruits, veggies, cheese, etc. and have lunch made for the big kids really quickly. Not having to make the main lunch item everyday has been great and has reduced my lunchtime stress a lot. And thankfully peanut butter sandwiches are their favorite so I don’t have to feel bad about feeding them the same thing every single day.
I’m starting to see the (very faint) light at the end of the newborn days tunnel. She’s getting bigger and changing every day. I know in just a few weeks we’ll be in a completely different stage of her life as we go from the newborn stage to infant stage. And as much as I’m looking forward to the infant days, I know I’ll miss these newborn days, even though they’re hard. I’m soaking her tiny little baby self up while I can!!
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