Community Magazine

Month 4 of Parenthood: Overfeeding, Routines and Learning Curves

By Eemusings @eemusings

Parenting. What a gig!

Spud is getting so interesting and interactive, it's such fun and he lights up the whole room.

He's drooling like mad and eating his hands nonstop, and hitting himself in the face a lot 😝

But man, we hit a wall. Hourly wakeups after midnight, more nights than not. It sucks to watch your baby thrashing around, kicking and pulling up their legs, struggling to get out farts. If they come out quickly and easily, sweet, but generally we aren't that lucky and he wakes distressed and screaming. It's then a mission to calm him down and wait until he can eventually pass the gas, often with some help from Colic Calm or Weleda colic powder. Bike legs and tummy massage used to work a treat but now don't seem as effective.

I started to think about trying to put him on more of a routine, and stressed myself out way too much about it. I started eat-play-sleep trying to break the nursing to sleep habit. But given his catnaps this didn't work too well, so sometimes he'd have to skip the eat part.

While up till now it was all about feeding on demand and feeding smaller feeds more often to help with the reflux (plus also feeding more during the day to reduce night feeds) starting to space out feeds further is what worked for us. This seemed to help with the excess gassiness. I think I'd been offering him food too often, always assuming it was hunger as the default. It didn't help that during those terrible nights of hourly wakings, I definitely fed him too often just to try and comfort/quiet him, plus it seemed to help move the farts through his system. He often wasn't keen initially but would eventually latch on anyway. It also made sense to me that the constant snacking wasn't great as he probably wasn't ever getting properly hungry or getting a full feed.

Towards the end of the month I started taking the dairy-free thing seriously and embarked on cutting out all dairy, even hidden dairy. Milk is everything - muesli bars, noodle seasoning, it's crazy! I'd noticed Spud's spilling and spewing had improved markedly since I stopped eating obvious dairy, and figured it was worth doing things properly. His eczema also kicked up a notch this month and has been waxing and waning, and I'm wondering if it's all linked.

Plunket were meant to send a sleep specialist over to help me (naps have become impossible) but she never turned up. I wound up going into the St Luke's family centre for a session there. The lactation consultant reckons the pains I've been getting sometimes are from tensing up (sounds about right) and the nurse gave me tips on settling and winding Spud that I started using right away. He actually took an epic nap of nearly two hours there after being rocked in one of their little bassinets, so I got to lie down and have a rest too!

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