Everything is new to me!

Dianne - posted on 05/05/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I have an 8 week old son who is my first child. I absolutely love every second of being a mom, but I feel clueless about a lot of things. I try hard to understand what he want's and needs and don't feel like I'm doing a horrible job, but I do find myself questioning a lot of things.

First, I feel like he's either sleeping way too much or not enough. Some days he will pretty much sleep all day except to wake up to eat..other days he will not sleep at all (which is a more common occurance). He will doze off sometimes but only sleep for maybe 30 minutes at a time. He does sleep pretty well at night, finally going down around 11 and waking up about 4 or 5 to eat and then going back down until 8 or 9. Is this normal? What are some other babies sleeping habits? I love to have his stay awake lots during the day..but when he's awake it seems like he's unhappy a majority of the time and I don't know what to do.

I also feel like he is always hungry. I try to keep him down to eating 4-6 oz every 3-4 hours, but he is usually acting like he's starving an hour or so after eating. Is there a trick at knowing how much or when they really need to eat? Most days he's eating 28-32 oz.

I'm also curious about how to engage him in play. I try to get him to lie on a blanket on the floor or in his little seat and play for a little while each day and this usually only lasts a very short period of time until he is screaming at the top of his lungs. I stay with him and talk to him and tell him stories and give him a few things to look at and "play" with, but he doesn't seem interested in anything but being held and bounced constantly..most of the time he will only calm down when I am standing up with him (which kills my back) and then if I sit down with him while he's calm he starts screaming again within a few minutes.

Maybe these things are normal and I'm just a nervous nelly, I don't know. Does anyone have any advice or reassurance? Maybe I'm just still learning...?

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Steph - posted on 05/06/2009

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Hi Dianne,



My baby is 9 weeks old and the first thing I would say to you is not to worry too much, because all babies are different and set their own erratic, sporadic schedules in the beginning. He is my first baby but I truly believe each baby has their own way of doing things! You're extremely lucky that he tends to sleep so well at night. My boy wakes up every 1-3 hours at night still to eat, and sometimes still eats every hour. It's so exhausting! I'm breastfeeding so it's hard for me to answer any questions if your baby is bottlefed in terms of amounts, but I know that with breastfeeding it is okay to feed my baby on demand. If your baby suddenly seems hungry all the time, he might just be having a growth spurt and really need to eat more often. And that can lead to them then sleeping a lot for a subsequent period as well.



I wouldn't stress out too much about his change in patterns - my baby has a wierd pattern that makes his days and nights into something like A,A,A, B, B, A, B etc. if you know what I mean. :) But that erratic pattern only started recently. I think what you need to remember is that it's pretty normal for a baby to switch patterns really quickly in the early days, and that it's common for a baby to switch right when you start to get used to one way of doing things (they like to be tricky like that, keep you on your toes, make you worry some days!). I have found you just have to go with the flow sometimes.



If he's unhappy when he's awake he could be a little bored - I really think that my baby at 9 weeks is starting to get bored if I don't keep him engaged in something while he's awake. Sometimes he's fine to be on his own in his bouncy chair but I also let him have time on his playmat alone which sometimes he enjoys or sometimes I play with him on it. It's good to let them have some time to 'play' alone even at this age - for my son, if he's in the RIGHT mood mind you, when he's alone on his playmat he will often start to 'talk', as in coo, to the toys hanging above him... Now he might only be happy doing this alone for 5-15mins but it's still good for him. But as will all things about a baby, they have to be in the right state of mind, like I said. :)



Babies at this age have short attention spans I think for obvious reasons so don't worry if your baby gets upset or bored after a few minutes of one type of play. I also use his toys to direct his eye movement for practice, make them 'talk' to him (which he likes), put Baby Einstein dvds on (of which he does pay attention to, the Van Gogh one is esp. enjoyed), and spend time reading and talking to him. Eye contact is a great thing when talking, and for my baby it encourages him to coo back (though it's somewhat accidental still at this point). But just remember it won't ever be long til your baby probably is ready to move on to the next thing. Oh, another thing my guy likes is to look in the mirror, be it any mirror, bathroom, toy etc. And to sit outside on my lap.



There are some nights where my baby is only calm while you stand up with him and fusses once you sit back down, but if your baby does it quite often I could see how that would ware on your nerves. Ear splitting screams are hard to listen to for any period of time! I suspect sometimes that my baby does this because his tummy is bothering him, so we lie him on his stomach or hold him lying on his stomach across one arm and try to elicit another burp, or that he is just really tired, and you just do what you can to put them to sleep. They will fight it sometimes, even though they're really tired and cranky, they just DON'T want to sleep. :P



If he just likes to be held and bounced, well, he is just a teeny baby still, hardly 2 months old. :) Still feels he's in the womb, you know, so he may just want to be close and have contact. It's okay, don't worry about it, I know it's waring on you when your baby doesn't ever want to be put down, mine went through a period like that, but buy a snuggly/sling/carrier and that might help you out. And if he still doesn't like that, just remember, he'll grow out of it eventually and he's only little once - they grow so fast soon he won't be that tiny baby in your arms anymore! At least, that's what I try to remember when I'm getting tired of constantly holding a baby that doesn't want to be put down.

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