They will tell you that the first two weeks with your baby are the honeymoon period. Your baby will sleep all the time (sure, get up in 2-3 hour increments, but otherwise will sleep all the time), not make much noise, and generally be pretty easy. This is exactly what happened with Henry. Best baby in the world. Hecks yes! We win the baby jackpot! Victory dance! Brag!
2 weeks 1 day. JUST KIDDING, GUYS! Henry began to cry more, he became really gassy and uncomfortable and cried because he was gassy and uncomfortable, he was grunting in his sleep which made it hard for us (really, Allen, I have become pretty darn skilled at sleeping through Henry’s sounds unless he is full out crying) to sleep, getting up more frequently, spitting up after every feeding, sometimes vomiting (a LOT) after feedings, and generally being unhappy after every feeding for 30-60 minutes.
A week and a half of this passes and it hits us… maybe this is not normal? Hmm, it seems to really coincide with feedings.
OH. MY. GOSH. IT IS ME!! It is the feeding! Something is wrong with me, something is wrong with the breast milk, he is allergic, something I ate is making him this way, and on and on and on.
3 weeks 3 days. I call the pediatrician and explain my concerns really hoping they would say “oh, this is normal, it will pass in another week.” because that seemed like a way better outcome than the inevitable “You have to stop breastfeeding.”
Turns out, there was an EVEN BETTER outcome. We took Henry in because they wanted to see him based on the signs we’d been seeing. We planned the visit so that we could feed him at the doctor’s office and they could see how he acted afterward.
First thing’s first… you get to the pediatrician’s office and you strip your baby down and get him in a clean diaper. Small victory: for the first time, Henry did not pee all over the exam table when we changed his diaper! Henry was up to 9 pounds 5 ounces! Woooo! We are definitely not having a problem with weight gain. Dr. Evan’s said “We call this thriving.” Woot! High fives!
Then we fed him (and Dr. Evan’s hung out with us for a few minutes at the start because Henry is a super loud eater and I wanted to make sure that wasn’t part of the problem. It’s not. She confirmed he is definitely noisy – duh, we have ears – but that it is a good noise. She called it “singing through eating.” We call it “squeaky wheel syndrome.”) and weighed him again to see what the milk transfer is in one feeding (one thing that breastfeeding mom’s worry about – that’s right, I’ll take the liberty of speaking for all breastfeeding mom’s when I only have my own experiences to speak from – is how much the baby is getting because you just don’t know and not knowing things can be scary). So, after our regular 15 minute feeding session he was weighed again and it turns out… he ate 4.5 ounces.
Now, that doesn’t seem like that much to me. If I was restricted to 4.5 ounces of food every time I ate I’d probably cry. And lose a lot of weight. And generally be pretty unhappy. But it turns out for a 3.5 week 9 pound 4 ounce baby, that’s a LOT of food to be eating. When Dr. Evan’s came in to talk to us she was laughing as she said “I think we found out the problem. Henry is what we call an aggressive eater.”
In the past 3 days we’ve restricted feedings to 12 minutes and try to keep him upright (to help with reflux) for 15 minutes after eating. It is working brilliantly. Guess who’s back?!?! Quiet, happy, smiley, delightful baby. Does he cry? Of course! But he is easily comforted.
Now, I know this won’t last, because no one gets THAT lucky. But we do plan to enjoy this stage while it is here.
To happy, healthy, aggressively eating babies!
Sleepy baby boy:
Happy in the sunshine: