For some unknown reason, we stopped swaddling baby boy weeks ago. I’m not sure why, but it probably had to do with him screaming at first in the swaddle. Something had to give around here as the days were a blur of feeding every hour to three hours, and not much napping, and me dreading the overnights.
I checked Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby on the Block book out from our local library and began reading in earnest last night. We used his techniques with our first son, so I was aware of the 5 Ss and the 4th trimester (which is a VERY helpful concept for a new parent and even an old timer who needs a refresher). What was missing was how to use all 5 Ss succcesfully together.
After another rough day yesterday with near constant feeding and not a lot of sleeping, I was bound and determined to have a better day today. Rereading the book reminded me that there is an order to the 5 Ss and I started using them this morning. After baby boy ate and was showing signs of sleepiness, I swaddled him, shushed him, rocked him a bit in my arms, and put him in the swing. He did not squawk and instead slept 2 hours. When he awoke, I rinsed and repeated and he is sleeping again.
I feel like such an idiot. I could have helped myself (and him) immensely by just doing some parenting homework. It is way too early to say that we’ve turned a corner (and I am still worried with how much he is eating daily (4 oz of combined breast milk and formula, 7-8 times per 24 hours)), but he is not spitting it back up violently and he has a specific cry that says, “hey, I’m still hungry over here” if we try to shortchange him an ounce. I have heard that formula stretches their stomachs in a way that breast milk does not, so now that we are on this ride, we will stay on it and see how we do.
I weighed him this morning and he was 10#10 oz, so he has gained a pound in 8 days. It is on the high side of newborn weight gain ranges but since he was a big baby to start, I am trying not to worry.
I am hopeful that these techniques will work more often than not as I have shed a lot of tears over not being better able to soothe this baby. I feel like such a neophyte. I have as many questions of other mothers as I did the first time. Like, where is your newborn sleeping? How is his/her day organized? If you are supplementing, what formula has worked for you (our attempts at switching from the exorbitantly expensive Enfamil Newborn 2 oz ready to eat nursettes have failed. Too much gas, explosive poop)? If you are using a powder, how do you mix it up (our experience with powder has not been great but it is the most economical way to go).