Chronicling Babywise- Week 4

Well, this week just got away from me and I did not chronicle day by day (or even every couple days) like I had in the previous weeks (CLICK HERE TO SEE: Week One, Week Two, Week Three). But here's what most days this week looked like:

Pretty much every day we nursed at the 2 & 1/2 - 3 hour mark throughout the day (and honestly, I try to keep it pretty close to that 2 & 1/2 hour time... and he does too... I start feeling the milk let-down, and he wakes up & starts crying, usually within a few minutes of that 2 & 1/2 hour mark, so both of us are a bit geared towards this routine now). :) Nearly every day this week, there was one feeding where he was hungry before the 2 & 1/2 hour mark, sometimes at two hours, and one time (this evening) at the 1 & 1/2 hour mark. So he got fed at that time.

Most nights now, he's sleeping one 4 or 4 & 1/2 hour stretch, plus a 3 hour stretch, so that's going in the right direction. I'm definitely feeling the exhaustion, but thinking/hoping that maybe we're about half-way through the time when he'll be waking up at night. He's four weeks old today, and our other four kids have started sleeping 6+ hours at night between 5 & 1/2 and 10 weeks, so maybe we're about halfway through.

I do know that I need to drink plenty of water, and not do too much. Today I started back a very mild school routine with the older boys (I can't believe I have a 3rd grader and a 1st grader-- wow, time flies!). So things are plugging along here in our house. I guess we're adjusting to our new normal.

[Here are links to this whole Babywise series: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Weeks 6 & 7, Weeks 8-14]


Diane Shiffer said...

Jess, you really do a wonderful job with your little folk. I have never been in the position of having to homeschool with a newborn... the prospect seems quite daunting to me!
Many blessings to you and your gang♥

Valerie said...

You are doing WONDERFULLY, Jess! Nourishing that sweet babe with, now only your precious milk, but your love and care also! I imagine it has been difficult to balance everything (and everyone!), but, as you say in your post, you are probably on the downhill side. Keep focusing on the must-do's and keep first things first...and God will give you strength as you look into His face. You are SUCH a great mom! I love reading about your life and gleaning from your wisdom.
Our new little granddaughter is due any day..and my daughter is following your blog!

Anonymous said...

How I wish there had been blogs when I was a new mom 14 years ago (maybe there were and I didn't know!) How helpful this advice would have been! I was surrounded by people who had never breastfed and were against it completely. I was told by books I would always have the perfect supply for my baby but in reality it felt like I was always had too little or too much always playing catch up !I was able to muddle through and feed her for a year but you have answered a lot of my long ago questions.Now I may have some helpful advice if I ever run into anyone who is breastfeeding.!! Karen

Jess Connell said...

Well, the night before last, Moses slept 5 & 1/2 hours. Last night, he went 6 hours--wowzers! I was so shocked; I woke up before he did and checked my watch, did the math, and felt so rested.

I'm so thankful to have this extra rest, even if it's not consistent for a few more weeks! What a blessing! I just share this to encourage others-- it really is possible!

And today we had his one-month appointment, and he's gained over 2 pounds and grown 2 inches... so it's working well. I think part of the reason he's sleeping so well is because he's a bigger-than-average baby. Born at nearly 8 & 1/2 pounds, he has more "reserves". My most petite baby is the one who took the longest to sleep through the night, so I definitely think weight plays a role in the exact timing.

Thanks, ladies for your comments-- it's encouraging to be reminded to keep on keeping on!

Elspeth said...

Glad to read that everything is going well for you right now, Jess.

Megan said...

Our son is about the same age as yours and we're trying to do babywise. He is our first child. For about the past 4 nights he has been waking up at 2 or 2:30. We feed him last around 10 so I would expect him to wake up at this time to eat. But, he wakes up being just a little bit fussy and will feed for about 5 minutes then quit. He isn't even falling asleep during the feeding, just refusing to take anymore. We put him back down in his crib and it ends up being a 2 hour (at least) struggle to get him to fall back asleep. We're not sure why he's waking up at this time I'd he isn't hungry and why he won't go back to sleep. Amy thoughts or suggestions? Thanks so much.

Jess Connell said...

Hi Megan,
That sounds like a normal wake-up time to me too. If it were me, I would burp him well, then try to relatch on, then undress him, try to relatch on, change his diaper, try to relatch on, use a wet wipe to softly wipe the back of his neck or between his shoulder blades, try to relatch on, let my husband use the scruffy/soft part of his goatee to lightly rub his feet and slightly annoy him, try to relatch on again. Each in succession until he latched on and ate well. In other words, I'd pull out all my bag of tricks in order to get him to take a full feeding. The middle of the night is not the time to mess around with half-feedings, snacking around, waking up every so often, and such.

But if after all this, he still really refused to eat, then I'd think that maybe he's just waking up out of habit and perhaps the next night, instead of doing a couple-minute-feed, my husband would try to use the pacifier and put him back to sleep- it could be (particularly if he's gaining weight well and starting to get some chub) that he's waking up without need and doesn't yet know how to self-soothe to fall back asleep, so a little help (the pacifier, a few snuggles/pats on the back, re-swaddling, and quietly being put back to sleep) might be just the thing.

If he's not gaining weight well or not eating well throughout the day (at least 8 full feedings), then I wouldn't feel comfortable doing this, but if weight gain is on, wet and dirty diapers are plentiful, and there are at least 8 daytime feeds happening, then I'd feel comfortable letting my husband try to put him back down without nursing, since he seems so disinterested.

Hope this helps.

Patricia said...

I've been reading your blog off and on when time allows. I can relate to you as I just had my 5th baby 3 weeks ago and I too now have 5 children. My oldest is 9 and we are boy heavy as well :) 3 boys 2 girls.

Right now doing school seems a bit overwhelming, but we'll get there. We will start when the baby is 6 wks.

One question though, do you get up in the night to feed the baby or feed the baby lying down in bed? I have a co-sleeper and so I try to put her in there but most times we both end up asleep, with her in my arms. I have read the baby-wise book and have used it loosely with most of the children. I do find some babies have a harder time falling asleep on their own then others, and this last one has a harder time but has slept for about 4 hours straight a few nights. I'm feeling the fatigue and am finding myself easily impatient. The house is messy, and mommy is tired - so that doesn't help. But like you I am trying not to do too much or else my body suffers.

Better run! Love your blog :)

Catherine R. said...

Sorry if I missed it in the comments or somewhere in one of the posts but I was just wondering if you ended up switching to straight decaf instead of half-caf (I drink half-caf) and if so if it resolved the fussiness.

Thanks for doing this, Jess. I have been having my fair share of peaks at these posts in the past few days since baby girl was born : )

Cayce said...

Hi Jess! I've so enjoyed reading your blog recently as you chronicle the adjustment of you new little one. I am currently expecting #5 as well and could use a "refresher" course since my youngest two will be 4.5 when the baby is born. My others are 6 and 5(the youngest two are twins!). I do have a quick question that I'm hoping you can help me think thru. I would love to use a carrier/sling with this next baby and wondered how you see that fitting into the babywise schedule. Are you laying him down to nap in his crib only? Would the carrier/sling hinder progress? I've never used one before but love the idea of being somewhat hands-free throughout the day while still being close to the baby. Thoughts? No rush to answer, just curious what you think. Thanks!

Betsy said...

Thanks for writing this--I've long wondered what Babywise looks like in real life. The crazy part is that this is exactly what life has looked like in our house (I have an 8 week old). But, what you see as "almost to sleeping through the night", I see as just the beginning.

Despite all the same beginnings in the last 2 babies, that last one didn't sleep through the night until 21 months old, and the current one still wakes up frequently at 8 weeks old (one 5 hour stretch; then every 3 hours until morning).

This very much reassures me that it's just how my babies are, and it is nice that I don't have to continue to look for the magic bullet, but move on to just accepting that they wake. :)

Of course, waking doesn't make me nearly as tired as you describe, either, so that helps a lot. I must be meant to be sleep deprived. LOL


Jess Connell said...

I did switch, and it does seem to have helped. I'm still drinking full-caf sweet tea regularly though, so I can't say for sure. But it does seem to have helped.

I do use a sling (tried it with our first son but couldn't figure it out-- then didn't try again until our fourth child, and loved it). I use it mostly for while I'm out of the house but with my 2yo I did use it when he was younger in the house occasionally, if he was just fussy for some reason.

For me, the key is not relying on anything (aside from a pacifier... I do use that consistently throughout the first few months)-- patting, a sling, holding, rocking, etc., to get a child to sleep. To not set up any patterns you don't mean to continue. So to use the sling at various points throughout the week to (for example) do the dishes, read a book to another child, or take a walk down the street doesn't seem problematic at all. Frankly, even regular sling use doesn't bug me, but I can't personally speak to whether or not it could upset the routine that's trying to be set up through the Babywise method.

Amy said...

Dear Jess, thank you for chronicling this for me. After reading the book I was a little neurotic the first two weeks and was unnecessarily stressing myself out. Do you have a consistent wake time each day? I would like for my son to be up at 7.30am each morning, but some nights he wakes at 6.30 hungry so I feed him. Then he isn't hungry again at 7.30 when I go to wake him up. How do you handle thus?