So Jack is 3 weeks old now.
That is 3 weeks of regular feeds around the clock. Bottle fed, breast fed, it doesn’t matter, your little bundle needs regular feeds so this is the way it needs to be for the next little while.
There are a few ways you can try to help the situation.
By that, I mean help you get some more sleep. If you are bottle feeding, relinquish at least one feed a day to somebody else if possible. I find the best one to give away is the first night feed.
This way, you can go to bed early (force yourself, it’s hard to do this when Netflix is calling your name I know!). If you are lucky, you should get at least a 5hr block of sleep in (utter bliss!) before the 2nd night feed.
If you are breastfeeding, consider expressing so someone else can do this bottle feed for you – or if you are like me, do a combo breast feed and formula feed regime.
I am predominately breast feeding but I was so exhausted the other night, my husband give Jack a formula feed in the evening so I could get some more sleep. I have chosen not to express this time.
We all have our personal preferences, just go with what feels right for you.
It is worthwhile introducing your baby to bottle feeds early on. 3 weeks old is a great time to give it a go if you haven’t already.
Look to keep it a regular part of your baby’s feeding schedule. It is not uncommon for babies to refuse the bottle if you introduce it too far down the line. Making it very difficult for you to wean bub off the breast when the time comes.
Another way to try to grab an extra hour of sleep is to try to nap whilst the baby sleeps. Again, I know, there are so many other things to do. Honestly, force yourself. You will be surprised, you will sleep some of the time.
Sometimes it just isn’t possible, but if you manage it, it can really turn things around for you. It is amazing how much a cat nap in the day can give you an extra burst for the rest of the day and night.
Lastly, hang in there!
This haze will NOT last forever.
Jack is only 3 weeks old. He will start stretching out those blocks of sleep at night soon enough.
The feeds will become more efficient (quicker) and become fewer over a 24 hour period.
If you work towards good sleep skills, it is not uncommon for bubs to sleep through the night by 10-12 weeks of age. They will start moving their calorie intake completely to the day time. We simply follow bubs lead on this.
Remember, the first 6 weeks or so are all about allowing your baby to sleep and eat, and little else. The short awake time and good full feeds are your best friends right now.
I will soon post about the ‘3 Newborn Sleep Goals’.
Goals to keep in mind to help develop some good sleep skills that will allow a champion sleeper to emerge!