Dear Diary…. Just Joking! If you haven’t already read Rosie’s First Two Weeks and My Postpartum Journey head there first.
Weeks three to five post the arrival of Rosie have been interesting. They have been up and they have been down and everywhere in between…
My mental shift –
After Rosie’s birth I felt like I was on cloud nine, and surprisingly had so much energy. Although I remember feeling the say way after Chloe was born, this beautiful surge of energy and adrenaline. Of course I knew that my body and mind couldn’t withstand this level of energy and that at some point what goes up must come down. Well, I came down somewhere between weeks three and four. It wasn’t catastrophic, I don’t think there were even tears, it was actually the most gentle come down of all three, but I definitely felt the shift. I think the fact that the post postpartum blues never hit me hard had a lot to do with the placenta encapsulation tablets I have been taking. During this time I got sick with tonsillitis, which did not help, and my body fatigued. My mental state took a little hit too, I lacked motivation and just felt hazy. I had spent the first couple of weeks completely in awe of my new baby and new life, and while I of course still felt this way it sunk in that our new busy was also our new normal. I took a moment to let all of this sink in and settle. Once I recovered from the tonsillitis and had some time to rest, I felt my mind shift lift back up and and I leveled out to my ‘normal’ self. It is so important during this shift for women to take care of themselves however is best for them. Whether its a little self care, a nice bath, long walk or taking time to do something that they love. Most of all just to take time and not put any pressure on themselves.
Introducing the dummy –
All three of my children have taken a dummy. Ari loved his until he was three and we had to give him a gentle push to ditch it. (From age one he only had it at night time.) Chloe liked hers until six months of age and then grew out of it herself. I never had a plan to give any of them a dummy infact I resisted it with Ari and he didn’t have one until he was nine weeks old. Everyone seems to have their own opinion on dummies and all I can say is, do what works for you and your baby. I gave Rosie one at four days old. I was trying to get ready to leave the house with three children, she was unsettled but didn’t need feeding, and I literally couldn’t get out the door. I popped it in her mouth and she took it straight away. I have found it a life savor for keeping her settled when my hands are full. Times like when we are about to leave for kindy and she’s going to have a morning nap in the car, but I am not quite ready to put her in their yet. The dummy keeps her happy until its time to leave and she can have her sleep.
I try my very best not to give it to her when shes asleep. The only time I will is if we are somewhere loud or very unusual and she’s likely to unsettle during her nap. If I need to use it to settle her to sleep I will try to remove it just before she drifts off.
Self Settling –
I don’t want to jinx myself but Rosie has been really fantastic at self settling. I have actively allowed her the space to teach herself to settle in her bassinet or cot on her own. I believe I have done this by consciously not cuddling her to sleep with every nap from day one. I do however love to snuggle her to sleep of course, after all she’s my baby. As much as I think that cuddling her is loving on her, I believe that giving her the confidence to sleep when she’s not on top of me is me loving on her too. For me it’s all about balance. I would cuddle her 24/7 but I also need to get things done! I draw the curtains and make it dark, put on her Glow Dreaming, change her nappy, swaddle and then tuck her into bed.
Big girl cot –
Rosie moved into her room and cot at seven days old. In fact, all three of my children did. I found that they were quite noisy in their sleep even when they were happily snoozing, and I would constantly wake in the night. I also found I would jump to feed them at every squeak even if they didn’t need feeding. We have also had issues with Chloe coming into our room and to have both in their with Rosie waking in the night would have been too disruptive for Chloe, who needs her rest as well. I have had no issue putting them in their room at a young age. I use our Oricom monitor which has breathing pads, this gives me a lot of confidence.
Night Waking –
Rosie wakes twice between 7pm and 7am to feed. I try to keep track of the times that she wakes so I know whether she is likely to need feeding or settling if she wakes in the night. If she isn’t due a feed the first thing I do to settle her is to switch on the music via her Oricom baby monitor. I find that nine times out of ten she will settle and I don’t even get out of bed. If this doesn’t work I go in and pat her without picking her up. Lastly I either pop her dummy in or pick her up for a cuddle. I chose how I settle her based on how I think she feels, but have a bit of a process to make sure that she is settling herself as much as possible.
My exercise –
Over the past three weeks I have managed to get back into most of my pre baby jeans and pants. I have hit my pre baby weight but I am still 5kg heavier then before I had Ari, so this is my goal for where I want to get to. This is where I feel my best and that is my focus… feeling good.
Having tonsillitis set me back a little but I have now started with some gentle walks in the lead up o commencing some strength training from six weeks postpartum. After Chloe’s birth I jumped into exercise quite quickly, and this time I want to take it easy, making sure its sustainable. There really isn’t any rush but I am excited to feel fit, happy and healthy again.
What I am wearing –
I am wearing very much the same as I was during the first two weeks. Recently I have loved putting on my nursing friendly singlets with a comfy sweat top or jumper over the top. A brand I love for feeding friendly singlets and dresses is Top Secret Maternity, and if you subscribe to my blog you will receive my 20% off discount code which is huge. I also got some really pretty new pieces from Maive and Bo. They have new Mummy and Me sets which are gorgeous.
Rosie’s Routine –
As mentioned before I have used Contented Baby by Gina Ford as a routine guide for all three children. A routine is not for everyone, but for me is enables me to plan my day, whether that be looking after the older two or slipping in some work. It also means that Rosie is rarely upset as she isn’t getting overtired or over hungry when I follow the routine. I know that this routine sometimes received negative reviews for being too strict, but I think that you can take it as gently as you like. It certainly has some fantastic tips regarding wake times, increasing milk supply and settling babies. even if you don’t follow a routine there is a lot to be learned in there. I know it like the back of my hand now and manipulate it to suit my day and life.
Here is a little look at what Rosie’s routine looks like at 3 to 5 weeks old –
7am – I wake her for the day. I try to have the big children eating breakfast before now if they are awake, and if not I have it ready for them.
8.30am to 10am – She has her morning nap, often this is worked in with kindy drop off.
10am – I wake her and feed.
11.30am to 2pm – She has her biggest nap of the day. I put her down for lunch nap in her cot in her room.
2pm – I wake and feed her.
3.30pm to 5pm – She has her afternoon nap. Sometimes this partially needs to be done in the car like in the morning nap, or I take her for a walk in the pram/carrier.
5.30pm – I give Rosie a bath.
6.00pm – I make sure she is dressed for bed and I am feeding her.
6.30pm to 7pm – I make sure that Rosie is asleep during this time.
I have stopped waking Rosie for a feed before I go to bed. I did this with Ari and Chloe, and I may re introduce it with Rosie, but for now she is actually sleeping longer stretches at night then Ari and Choe did. I am finding that if I pop her to bed at 7pm she wakes at about midnight and 5am for feeds. The midnight feed is the longest as I make sure she has a really good one. I change her nappy during this feed, normally half way through, so that she wakes up a little more and feeds better. This feed takes about 45 minutes. The 5am feed is much faster and a bit more of a top up to see her through to 7am. I wich I could tell you I stay up for the day at that point but in fact I go back to sleep!
As a rule, I find she starts to get overtired if she is awake for more than one and half to two hours. Her day feeds are three to four hours apart. The longest she will go at night without a need is five to six hours. I always look for her cues as this is the best way to make sure she stays happy all day.
Being flexible –
Inevitably when you have a baby your life needs to become very flexible. You are no longer the boss and a little person is some what running the show. This doesn’t mean that you have to forego all of the pre-baby things that you loved to do. As much as I love our routine I keep it as flexible as I can. If we want to go out to dinner we do and we take Rosie with us. I remain mindful of her routine and stick to it as much as I can, including bathing her at friends houses or at home before heading out to dinner, where she sleeps in the pram. I strongly believe that Mum’s and Dad’s need to be happy and have some of their own freedoms maintained as well.
I will continue to share Rosie’s routine and the changes I make to it in my next blog post.
The products I’m using the most –
Over the past 5 weeks the products I have found that I have used the most include:
Glow Dreaming night light
Love To Dream swaddle
Medela breast pump
Baby Bee Duo pram
Piper and Bug clothing
La Sienna clothing
Ergo feeding pillow from The Stork Nest
I have discount codes for most of the above mentioned stores, to get my full list subscribe to the blog.
If you have any questions or want me to cover anything in particular in the next blog update please send me a message on Instagram. Just remember that this is what works for me, it might not work for you. Lets keep it light and not judge each other. If you have any tips that you think would work well for Rosie I would love to hear from you. I think that this is a fantastic platform where we can hopefully all pick up tips that might help each other.
Thank you for reading,