Everything I did wrong with my newborn.
The first two weeks &
how to avoid the mistakes I made.
Hello my new mama friend,
Looking back on the first two weeks with my daughter, I am so annoyed with how much harder I made things. I want to tell everyone not to do what I did, because I was making everything harder than it needed to be. I am mystified by my own stupidity during those first two weeks. I do believe that part of it was because I was just not functioning mentally or physically from sheer exhaustion, but, I can’t help but to feel stupid. I was awake for almost 48 hours prior to having her so, I went into motherhood at a complete deficit. Thank God I was able to make up for it. When I read emails from moms out there who are doing the same things I did I start sweating remembering how bad it was. So please don’t be me!
My biggest offense, in my opinion, was feeding my daughter for too long. I fed my daughter for more than 45 minutes. I did 20 minutes on each side and then burped her for 5 minutes. This caused my daughter to become overtired and impossible to get to sleep for naps. I think my kid screaming at me hurt more than my boobs did, which felt like they were being stabbed with hot knives every time she ate. I was determined to have a chubby baby and I thought the best way to get there was to make sure she was getting as much milk as possible. I thought, well, everyone says breastfeeding is hard. This is just what it is. It will be better in time. WRONG! I could not understand why she was so hard to get to sleep. She was a newborn! She would be awake sometimes for two hours. Then after screaming at me for an hour she would only sleep for 30 minutes. Her crying absolutely crushed me. We did this for two full weeks, then I read Ann’s Breastfeeding PDF. I began to limit each feed to 30 minutes including burping and almost instantly the crying stopped. I swear Ann is the only person to ever tell me that feeds should only be 30 minutes. It made all the difference.
My next offense: expecting her to fall asleep on her own. It was literally her first week on Earth and I expected her to do something a lot of adults have trouble with. I just expected her to fall asleep on me after I fed her. I had been told newborns sleep a lot, but in short intervals. I thought my child might have been a little advanced and needed less sleep. WRONG AGAIN! She was born full term, so she went from nine months of warmth, peace, and darkness to being held by an anxiety ridden stranger who kept every light on in the house and chose maternity leave to start watching Grey’s Anatomy. I had seen others suggest EAT PLAY SLEEP so I was trying to follow with no luck. Sometimes we would skip PLAY AND SLEEP entirely and just do another feeding, which would then make her even more tired. It was a disaster. Thankfully, I started The Full Feedings Method week three. I wouldn't have been able to keep going that way.
I was very stuck on having a specific bedtime and I thought she should immediately start following a schedule. I love structure and wanted to have it as soon as possible for my child. We needed to stay on my first floor until 7pm and then go up for a bedtime routine. I have no idea why I was so stuck on specific times or why I thought she would be confused about taking a nap in her crib. I just thought anything before 7pm was too early. I wasn’t paying attention to when her last nap ended. I was just trying to get on a schedule. It was completely unnecessary and caused more stress than it did help. She had a “witching hour” from 6pm-7pm that, thankfully, started to dissipate when I started The Full Feedings Method. I think the unexplainable phenomenon called the “witching hour” might have a little something to do with being overtired. I should have brought her up 60 minutes after her last nap ended no matter if that was before or after 7pm. Despite wanting a schedule, I paid no attention to what time our day started. I went to sleep every night with no alarm just hoping for the best. Ha!
When she woke up at night I would feed her for a full 40 minutes! Why, I will never understand. It was then impossible to get to go back to sleep because I had just exhausted her to the point where she became overtired. I also never took burp breaks. I would just burp her at the end. I was so lucky she had no issues latching and was always willing to eat. I also thought I didn’t need to burp her more because she almost never spit up. I ended up having to use a nipple shield for months because it hurt so bad for her to eat. Please don’t do this!
The worst part of all of this is, I was already following Ann and I had signed up for The Full Feedings Method so I had all of this information at my fingertips and didn’t follow any of it. You would think that after doing the same thing that wasn’t working for three days, I would try something different. I didn’t, I just kept doing the same stupid things and expecting different results. Literal insanity. I am so happy I started using The Full Feedings Method at week three, but, I can’t help regretting not starting sooner. My entire family’s life would have been better! So, again, please don’t be me!