This week saw a major backslide. Okay, it might not actually be that major but I was feeling SOOOO excited after ending last week with 7.5 hour stretches. At the end of this week we’re seeing 2-4 hours at a time at night. What. The. Heck?!
This is precisely the reason I’m doing a blog week-to-week. Sometimes, for no good reason, things fall apart. It’s hard not to lose hope when you have 2 or 3 bad nights, but I know this is just a temporary phase.
6-week Sleep Regression
A 6-week sleep regression is VERY common. My guess is that we’re hitting it a week early. Two major things happened this week that were worth noting.
Eating became way more of a battle. At first, I thought her new reflux medicine wasn’t working, but she didn’t have all the classic signs of reflux like she did initially. The biggest thing I noticed was fussing during feeding and pulling off the breast several times or only eating quick meals. At the beginning of the week I thought she was just eating faster, but I’m not sure she could be getting all the milk she needs in 5-10 minutes per breast. As a result, she going to bed at night after a day of skim milk rather than a day of cream. So, she needed to eat more often through the night. Sob. Her poor eating was a combination of gas and…
At around 6 weeks, it’s common for babies to be more awake and alert and have a little tougher time drifting into sleep as effortlessly as they did before. As a result, it’s REALLY easy to over-stimulate them. My life is pretty active, my days are jam-packed, and I’ve got 3 and 5 year olds at home so it’s no surprise to me that she’s getting over-stimulated. Plus, as I’m writing this, I’m realizing that I wasn’t using her car-seat cover when we were out and about this week. I’ll put that back on next week so at least when we’re out she can be in her own quiet little bubble. I always forget that over-stimulating babies is soooo easy to do. (I tend to project my own feelings on to my baby and think, “I don’t want her to get bored in there or feel neglected if she can’t see everything that’s going on! She’s going to want to be a part of the action!” It sounds silly as I write it, but as parents we’re ALWAYS projecting our own thoughts and feelings onto our kids. In this case, I’m wrong. What I would want is different than what she needs, and her over-stimulation this week has made that clear.
Remember, you can’t spoil a newborn. I’ve needed to use sleeping aids like pacifiers, swings and rocking her to sleep WAY more this week. One part of me is afraid of starting a bad habit, but the better part of me knows she can’t self-soothe yet and she won’t get into bad habits this early in life. Objective #1 for good sleep throughout LIFE is preventing over-tiredness. So do what you have to do to keep that baby calm and getting all the sleep she needs.
Have you heard of Dr. Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s for soothing a fussy baby? If not, check them out here. You’ll need all the tricks you can find to soothe madame fussy-pants when you hit this week too.