Insider tips on surviving your newborn

Friday, March 28, 2014


Whether this is your first newborn or your seventh, newborns are hard. You're sleep deprived and your recovering from the most trauma your body will ever naturally go through, and you're supposed to have a good solution as to how to calm your baby as he communicates his specific need through ear piercing crying? Sometimes they're like complicated puzzles that you're trying to solve while blindfolded.

Well, in a way, it does get easier as a mother as you learn some tricks along the way. This is my third newborn and I'd like to share with you what I've learned through experience and wonderful advice in case it helps you.
(Mind you, I'm no doctor, and this is all trial and error and every baby is different -- this is just what has worked for me.)

1. Rest. Rest when you can. They say when the baby sleeps, you sleep. And don't feel guilty about it. This way, you're not SO BEYOND TIRED in the middle of the night when the baby needs you, and you'll have a bit of brain and emotional power left to deal with whatever your baby throws you in the middle of the night.

2. Wherever the baby sleeps, create an incline. See, the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach is still weak -- only baby strength! And when they lie completely flat on their back, sometimes with their full tummy, their food can run back up their esophagus causing discomfort. So, try putting some books under their mattress at the head only (don't need to go nuts) and watch them sleep better.

3. This last bit of information was a golden nugget for me: If you are breastfeeding and you have a fussy baby, watch what you're eating. With my first, Sofia, she was pretty immune to anything I'd eat, except for broccoli. I had a pile of broccoli with dinner one night, and it made her so gassy that she didn't really nurse AT ALL until well into the next day, late in the afternoon. Totally freaked me out.

However, with my second, Joaquin, he was pretty much fussy all day. I'd have to carry him all the time and if I got him to sleep, he wouldn't stay sleeping. He also had a horrible rash all over his body which was particularly irritated when he was hot. And each night was pretty bad, he'd cry for several hours, on and off. When I'd finally get him to sleep, I'd transfer him to the crib only for him to wake 10 to 20 minutes later. Also, he'd only poo once a day, but when he did, he'd poo and poo and poo and poo. It was insane. All of this was exhausting!

A month or so like this, I had accepted that maybe he was mildly colic -- I dare not call him colic because he wasn't screaming for hours every night or anything -- but, it was still hard. Every website said there was nothing you can do if your child is colicky. Nothing?? But before I gave up and accepted my plight with this baby, I continued to search and search the internet, I found a little line on kellymom.com that said if a mother suspects that her child has colic that she can try removing dairy from her diet. This is because the child maybe intolerant of the milk protein that passes through the breastmilk. They said it can take a few weeks to clear the breastmilk and then the child will start to show improvement. For Joaquin, it was the very next day after I stopped dairy that he was better. Night and day! He was a dream baby! Also, a friend had suggested giving him probiotic powder added to expressed breastmilk to aid digestion, and that really turned everything around.

With my third, she started showing all-day-fussy signs and I thought that I should try removing milk from my diet again, and sure enough, I started seeing improvement again. So, with Maya, to keep her a wonderful baby, I cannot have eggs, onions, cabbage, black pepper and milk. These are the things that I had figured out, and worth giving up temporarily to have a baby that isn't a total source of exhaustion and that you can enjoy.

You can search for a list of things that generally irritates young, nursing babies (search: "foods to avoid while breastfeeding").

Hope these tips help you! Leave YOUR tips in the comments. My baby is only two months, so there's still room for improvement in my days with this one!

2 comments:

  1. Hey kathy! Congrats on ur newest btw! She is so precious! While i am sure u have way more experience than me in the rearing kids area... Lol i do have lots of experience with colic. B had colic for 7 months.... At time i felt like i wanted to throw the baby out with the bath water... I would nurse for half hour.. Then he would cry for 3 hours straight and we had to bounce him sitting on a yoga ball for that 3 hours... Then rock him to sleep. Then he wakes up 2 hours later and start again with that cycle... 24 hours a day... For 7 months... We took him to see an osteopath at about 6 weeks... And it helped him some... The guy basically bent his little body into a c shaoe... Gasp! But what resulted was he let out the biggest fart that would rival a 40 year old and then he had the worst diarreah ever... Colic really is just under developed digestive system... I did a gazillion hours too online researching. Google fussybaby.com or .ca... But that was a great resource...

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  2. To go along with tip 2, we found that a sound machine was very helpful for getting our kids to sleep. Something about the sound brings them back to their time in the womb (think of when you had an ultrasound & that noise you would hear when they let you listen to the baby's heartbeat). That's what they like.

    I find that as I would turn it on & put them down for a nap or for bed it would signal to them rest time & they would fall asleep faster & give us longer stretches as they continue to grow (well for us this was the case)

    Love you're tips Kathy!

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