I have learnt quite a few tricks to calm baby and to get her to sleep in the 10 weeks she has been with us.
These are just my tips and things that works for me and my baby.
1: Breast feeding: Just stick it out – it gets better! In the beginning I hated it, I almost gave up. I had the bottles sterilised and the formula ready! It was too painful, I was too tired, but I pushed through. Honestly it gets BETTER!! I bet you are thinking WHEN?? What got me through the pain was thinking of my daughter and how good breast milk is for her (and hubby’s encouraging words) – Shame the poor guy had to had hair on his teeth with me in the beginning – I think I shouted at him a few times for telling me its going to be ok – dude you have no idea how painful it is, so just shut it, I remember thinking lol.
Showering was no fun anymore – just a split second of the water from the shower going on my nipples and I wanted to scream, and drying off with a towel aaaaargh!!! I had to unlatch her sometimes as I just couldn’t bare the pain anymore and for some reason she “hated” my left one – it took the most beating!
My miracle cream was Medela Purelan 100 nipple cream – It would literally heal them from one feed to another. I even went as far as ordering nipple shields online exactly one month after her birth – couldnt wait for it to arrive! Exactly one day, yes ONE day after the order, there was no more pain! Can you believe it, no more pain!! The nipple shields are laying here never been used!!
So for all the moms who are struggling with breast feeding – I promise it gets better, just hold on 😉
2: Swaddling: swaddling did not work for my baby. She is an extremely hot baby in the sense that she gets hot really quick. When she gets hot, she wakes up and becomes extremely fussy. She would wear a onesie and be so hot, that she didn’t want to feed. As soon as I took her clothes off, she would immediately calm down and feed.
3. Sleeping: She did not sleep on her back ever! She just wouldn’t go to sleep. She sleeps on her sides (I would rotate after every feed). Sometimes I will put her down on lets say the right side and she would not settle, I will turn her on the left and off to dream land she goes. Babies are fussy!! Who would of thought that turning her on the other side would settle her!
4. Pacifier: I fought really hard against using a pacifier. REALLY HARD, but it WORKS!!! If I put her down to sleep, she will sometimes wake up a little. I just pop in the pacifier and in seconds she is fast asleep.
5. Burping: I will admit, that in the beginning I did not burp her, as she looked so peaceful after a feed and also because I just wanted to get back to bed. Burping is really important! Now I will burp her whilst feeding as soon as I hear that she has swallowed wind as I feel by the time she is finished feeding that wind will be so far down it won’t come out and she will be grunting all night long and eventually pass gas instead.
6: Feeding: In the beginning I was so worried that she is sleeping too much and going hungry, so I would wake her up every 3 hours to feed. I called my midwife, Sally, and she said, let her sleep, she will wake up when she is hungry. With my new info, I let her sleep for 5 hours straight before feeding her – sometimes she would be waking up and sometimes I will dream feed her. Now I let her sleep until she is awake (not crying) and I get a good 6 hours stretch at night (apart from the days she is cluster feeding).
7: Logging feeds: I will say it is important to log feeds in the first 3 weeks of life to ensure you are on track with feeds etc. But I will tell you this. Breast feeding is hard enough and logging feeds for longer then this, will make it feel like a chore and you will not enjoy this special moment between you and your baba! I stopped logging feeds at 4 weeks and I tell you, I haven’t looked back since! I enjoy feeding her and once you stop logging, you will realise that your baby gives you her hungry cues and you will pick up on them.
8. Nursing chair: This piece of furniture will also change your life and will make you enjoy feeding your baby. I used sit in bed propped up by pillows. My back was killing me and I dreaded feeding times. I couldn’t go on like this any longer and invested in a proper feeding chair with a foot stool. Such a big change!!
9: Stroller: Not only to be used to push in the Mall but to put your baby to sleep in. I will push her back and forth and the motion will put her to sleep.
10. Bouncing: Your baby was use to being rocked from side to side in your stomach while you walk. This motion will definitely calm them and put them to sleep once born. Éva loves being bounced to sleep on my or her daddy’s chest – this is also good to loose that baby weight.
11. White noise: OMG, LIFESAVER!! I can not go without my white noise app. This app I have has several different sounds. The ones that seems to work magic is the brown noise, and the heartbeat sound that she sleeps with. This app also allows you to record your own white noise. When I bounce her to sleep, I shhhh the lyrics of baba black sheep. I recorded my shhh’ing and it works like magic!
12. Gripe Water: Man oh man when month 1 hits, so does the stomach cramps!! I can’t stand them as I feel so helpless watching her grunting in pain. Gripe water works magic ( I use the alcohol free one)
This is all the tips I can think of now… Im sure I will be posting a new blog soon with more tips as she gets older.
(Image by Natelee Cocks)