Month 4 of parenthood: Overfeeding, routines and learning curves

Parenting. What a gig!

Spud is getting so interesting and interactive, it’s such fun and he lights up the whole room.

He’s drooling like mad and eating his hands nonstop, and hitting himself in the face a lot 😝

But man, we hit a wall. Hourly wakeups after midnight, more nights than not. It sucks to watch your baby thrashing around, kicking and pulling up their legs, struggling to get out farts. If they come out quickly and easily, sweet, but generally we aren’t that lucky and he wakes distressed and screaming. It’s then a mission to calm him down and wait until he can eventually pass the gas, often with some help from Colic Calm or Weleda colic powder. Bike legs and tummy massage used to work a treat but now don’t seem as effective.

I started to think about trying to put him on more of a routine, and stressed myself out way too much about it. I started eat-play-sleep trying to break the nursing to sleep habit. But given his catnaps this didn’t work too well, so sometimes he’d have to skip the eat part.

While up till now it was all about feeding on demand and feeding smaller feeds more often to help with the reflux (plus also feeding more during the day to reduce night feeds) starting to space out feeds further is what worked for us. This seemed to help with the excess gassiness. I think I’d been offering him food too often, always assuming it was hunger as the default. It didn’t help that during those terrible nights of hourly wakings, I definitely fed him too often just to try and comfort/quiet him, plus it seemed to help move the farts through his system. He often wasn’t keen initially but would eventually latch on anyway. It also made sense to me that the constant snacking wasn’t great as he probably wasn’t ever getting properly hungry or getting a full feed.

Towards the end of the month I started taking the dairy-free thing seriously and embarked on cutting out all dairy, even hidden dairy. Milk is everything – muesli bars, noodle seasoning, it’s crazy! I’d noticed Spud’s spilling and spewing had improved markedly since I stopped eating obvious dairy, and figured it was worth doing things properly. His eczema also kicked up a notch this month and has been waxing and waning, and I’m wondering if it’s all linked.

Plunket were meant to send a sleep specialist over to help me (naps have become impossible) but she never turned up. I wound up going into the St Luke’s family centre for a session there. The lactation consultant reckons the pains I’ve been getting sometimes are from tensing up (sounds about right) and the nurse gave me tips on settling and winding Spud that I started using right away. He actually took an epic nap of nearly two hours there after being rocked in one of their little bassinets, so I got to lie down and have a rest too!

4 thoughts on “Month 4 of parenthood: Overfeeding, routines and learning curves

  • Reply Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life March 9, 2019 at 16:17

    2 hour naps are like manna from heaven! It took us ages to get there but every time they happened I wanted to (silently) leap for joy.

    Thankfully, there’s so much change in the first year that lots of the challenges we face is often different from month to month which I found helpful as I would have lost my ever-loving mind if we were battling the same things at Month 6 as we were at Month 2. Also because our Months 1-5 were RUFF.

    May yours straighten out right quick and start being mostly fun and less hourly wake-ups.

  • Reply SP March 12, 2019 at 11:16

    We did / do eat-play sleep, and it is working a little better now that her awake time is much longer (~2 hrs), even with her piddly little short naps. But, I still nurse to sleep.

    I’m back at work now, and my girl is supposedly taking 1.5+ hr naps at childcare, but I’ve yet to see those at home. I’m a little mystified. But, we’ve been blessed with a good night sleeper, so I can’t complain much, since that is the most important to me.

    We also have the drooling and hand eating over here!

    • Reply eemusings March 13, 2019 at 17:52

      Haha, we had to do eat – play – sleep – play – sleep (then repeat) for a while. But more recently naps are going better and E – P – S is actually working! Sometimes timings go haywire and occasionally nurse to sleep but generally – given his reflux/digestive issues – separating food and sleep and giving him awake upright time in between has been really good. I am hoping daycare works magic on naps tbh! Apparently that’s quite common?

      Yep night sleep is definitely king. Awesome that she’s nailed it. It’s taken us a lot of trial and error and detective work identifying problem foods (intolerance and poss allergy) but nights are finally starting to get back to something reasonable. (I was thinking about trying to mix feed once back at work, but now I’m def totally weaning. It’s just too hard already and I won’t be able to keep up my diet) But now he’s teething so 🤷‍♀️ who knows if that will last…

  • Reply Abigail @ipickuppennies March 27, 2019 at 06:49

    Ouch, cutting out dairy! I had to do that for a while, and yeah it’s in so very many things. It’s almost as prevalent as gluten.

    Some people do believe that eczema is tied to food allergies, at least exacerbating them. I believe Kristin Bell (from Veronica Mars and The Good Place) claims that going dairy free helped her eczema markedly. So maybe you’ll see some good results there from going dairy free!

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