Seven weeks old today and we’re really hitting our stride now. Little Woman is still feeding well and getting chubbier by the day.
I’m so much more relaxed about taking a baby-led approach to timing feeds and naps this time around, so if someone asks how often is she feeding, that’s a difficult question to answer. I can tell you, thanks to the Total Baby app that I use to track her feeds, that her average feed lasts 7 minutes and that there is approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes between each feed. But that doesn’t really give you the full story because I am certainly not feeding her every two hours day and night. She tends to cluster feed for hours each evening and during this time , she feeds every 30-45 minutes. Once she’s done, she then falls into a deep sleep, usually between 11pm and midnight, and she sleeps for 4-5 hours before waking for the next feed. That next feed is a very sleepy feed for the most part, and usually lasts about 20 minutes. Once it’s done, she usually falls asleep again for about 2-3 hours.
This isn’t every night, but it happens often enough that I recognise the pattern. Sometimes she’ll have a cluster feeding period for a few hours in the morning too and then have a big 3-4 hour nap in the afternoon. The first time that happened, I must admit that that temptation to wake her and feed her to try to ensure she slept that night instead was strong. But I forced myself to leave her be and what do you know? She slept a five hour stretch that night. That taught me to leave well enough alone and enjoy the lengthy afternoon naps when they happen instead.
We’ve been out and about quite a bit this week, visiting friends, going to the breastfeeding support group, taking Little Man to a birthday party, and meeting friends in a playcentre. Because of this, I’ve had a lot more practice at feeding in public and I’m definitely growing in confidence with it. I make sure I’m wearing clothes that allow me to feed discretely (because I’m more comfortable with that – not because I think it’s required) and at the start of a feed, I use a muslin cloth to give me a little bit of coverage while I get her latched on. It helps that she latches quickly and easily most of the time.
Now that we’re past the six week mark and feeding is established, we decided to introduce a soother. In particular, I wanted it for car journeys because she seems to hate the car seat and I’ve lost count of how many car journeys she has been upset for. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to be a fan of the soother however. She spits it back at me and then looks at me as if to say “Gross! What was that?!” We’ve tried it over a few days and have discovered that although she won’t take the soother when she’s calm, if she’s already upset than she will often take it and suck it for as long as it takes to calm herself before spitting it out. This is perfect as far as I’m concerned because I just want some way to calm her when I put her in the car seat, and I’m happy for her not to have it at any other stage during the day. So we’ll persist with it for now.
Earlier in the week, I noticed something that was concerning me. Little Woman was showing a definite preference for turning her head to her left. She doesn’t seem to have the same range of motion when turning to her right and she doesn’t do it as often. When she sleeps, she generally turns her head to face left, and I can see a definite flattening on one side at the back of her head. Thankfully her skull is still soft right now so from what I’ve read this isn’t a major cause for concern at this stage. I’ve started doing a lot more tummy time with her, and positioning her to encourage her to turn to her left. After a few days, I can already see an improvement in her range of motion when turning to her right.
Developmentally, the biggest change this week seems to be the increase in the number of smiles. They’re coming more regularly and quite a few times I’ve felt they were directed at us. They’re hard to capture though, so I don’t have a good photograph of her smiling yet. I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks though and watching that smile get stronger.