William has done so well this week! His weight gain is spot on. He’s up over 7 pounds now.
As a result of his excellent eating and growth, he has graduated from the preemie schedule of waking him through the night, and is now on a day only schedule! YAY!
Babywise- 4 Week Old Baby Sleep Schedule and Feeding Schedule
Feedings occur every 3 hours at 6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, 9 pm
Bedtime is right after the 9 pm feeding, so around 9:40 pm. He does not get “wake” time after this feeding, and we no longer wake him in the middle of the night.
He is, of course, still waking up on his own at night, but that is to be expected at this age!
All feedings lead into eat, wake, sleep cycles. He eats at 6 am, has awake time, then naps until I wake him at 9 am, etc.
His wake time is still minimal- no more than 1 hour, and usually between 35-50 minutes. It’s quite the range, but he tends to need more awake time in the morning hours.
William is doing great eating! Breastfeeding is going well and his weight gain shows it!
At his ER visit last week (read about that here), he weighed in at 7 lbs 1 oz. His birth weight was 6 lbs 3 oz, and when we left the NICU one week later, he was at 6 lbs 1 oz.
Due to this weight gain showing that he is eating well and thriving, we got the go ahead to let him sleep as long as he’d like at nighttime!
I offer both boobs for every feeding during the day, and I alternate my starting side each feeding.
He usually eats for 10-15 minutes on the first side, and then about 5 minutes on the second side. Occasionally, he does more or less, but I think that represents the average well.
He is getting super tired lately from his sleeping issues (see below). Toward the end of this week, however, he was much improved.
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As a result of the sleeping issues at the beginning of the week, I could hardly wake him up to offer the second side.
It was a huge struggle. To try and wake him up I would blow on his face, burp him, undress him, tickle his belly, and even put cold cloths on him, and still nothing.
I have to change his diaper to get anywhere with him sometimes!
Speaking of diaper changes, he is finally slowing down on poops! He had a full diaper with poop every single diaper change, every 3 hours, and sometimes a second poopy diaper after feeding on the first side!
OMG it was crazy.
He still poops a lot. But it’s not every single feeding, and seems to be slowing down ever so slightly.
Burps– this is getting hard.
He used to burp easily and do big ones. Now it’s more of a struggle.
I place his face in my hand, lean him over and pat his back.
I put him up on my shoulder, his arms straight out over the top of my shoulder, and pat and rub his back.
I lean him backwards, then forwards.
I straighten his legs and hold him upright while patting.
We rub upwards on his back, pat, and do circular motions (those were Caroline’s favorite).
All of these methods work at times. But then all of them fail as well!
Usually, if I fail to get a burp, I lay him down, and after a few minutes (he’s usually fussy), I pick him up and one just comes out naturally!
We don’t get much wake time with him after his feedings right now.
He’s randomly very awake. This usually happens after his first morning feed at 6 am, or after his 6 pm feed (although I think this is just him going through a witching hour in the evenings).
Usually his maximum wake time is 1 hour.
His minimum wake time right now is 30/35 minutes- just long enough to feed.
This short wake time is most likely being impacted by his restless sleep (see below). It definitely improved during the second half of the week when he was sleeping better for naps.
Bath time seems to be something that wakes him up nicely, and he’s starting to enjoy. He LOVES having the water run over his head, and his hair washed!
His head lifts are getting amazing, and he really loves tummy time most times.
Every once in awhile he gets some good standing legs going as well.
He is starting to grab at my face and hair during feedings and really look around. He’s even getting distracted at times.
Well, as I type this, he’s had a great day of naps (and he continued this for the rest of the week). He’s slept for 2-2.5 hours each cycle.
He goes down independently, and does not require any rocking or holding.
All of his naps are in his crib in his room now. I simply put his Zipadee-Zip on, close the curtains, turn the lights out and his sound machine on.
I then hold him for a couple of seconds, give him a kiss and lay him down awake.
He easily puts himself to sleep without assistance most times.
During the beginning of the week, he struggled to stay sleeping. He would fuss, then cry, then even scream.
By the time I got up to him (no more than a couple of minutes- probably just 1 minute), he’d put himself back to sleep (if he ever was truly awake).
He then sleeps for a few minutes, and repeats the fussiness.
This can go on for an hour or more and is usually the hour before it’s wake time.
Since he is sleeping when I come to help, however, I let him be.
He’s doing a great job settling himself, but unfortunately, his sleep is interrupted and restless.
Many times he smells of spit up, has white flakes around his mouth, and wet spots on the sheets.
If I am in the room, I can hear the reflux come up, and then him gulp it back down and cough.
I think it’s all a combination of reflux/gas, and working through sleep cycles.
The second part of the week has been phenomenal with naps, however. He is getting good solid naps, without any fussing. All have been in his crib.
The exception to this is the 6 pm cycle, and 9 pm cycle. He seems to have a very long witching hour and is pretty much not getting any sleep during these cycles.
Even if we give him a pacifier, or hold him, or even feed him… he is wide awake, then screaming after a few minutes if we set him down and not doing much settling.
Night sleep has been pretty good. Now that we are able to let him sleep as long as he wants, he’s typically going 4 hours instead of 3.
Again, he fusses for the last hour of sleep as he transitions into a lighter sleep, but is never truly awake.
I wait to get him until he’s actually waking up and upset.
His bedtime feed is at 9 pm, and he’s in bed by 9:40 most days. We don’t give any awake time after the last feed of the day.
He slept in our room for the first half of the week, and slept in the rock n’ play instead of the bassinet.
He is just having a really hard time in the bassinet, but I hate to create bad habits.
We tried having him in his room the last few nights and he’s done great. I think we’ll be sticking with it!
He did the rock n’ play in his room from 9-2:30, then his crib from 3-6 on the first night.
Now we just have him in his crib all night.
He’s been waking around 1 am, and then 4:30 am.
He did his first longer stretches, though: 9 pm to 2 am to 6 am!
I think that was a direct result of a good day of sleep for his naps during the second half of this week.
He then did his second long stretch at night: 9 pm – 2:30 am to 6:30 am! He’s doing great. He struggled a bit going down to bed though and was fussy until about 11:30 pm, however.
At night, I am doing full feeds if he’s awake, and half feeds if he falls asleep.
Most feedings, he’s wide awake, so I go ahead and change his diaper, and feed him on both sides.
He pretty much always has a full, poopy diaper, so I change him and just wake him up so that he eats well and sleeps longer.
Eventually, when I know he doesn’t need the food, I’ll stop doing that and feeding/waking him up fully will be the last resort.
For now, I know he’s hungry and needs his food, so I’m just going ahead and changing him and feeding him.
When he is super sleepy after one side, I just call it done and put him back to bed. If he’s awake, I offer the other side.
Usually, however, he gets upset if I do that. He really likes his routine to be done… no skipping the diaper change or second feeding side! He notices and calls me out! LOL
New This Week
We hate pacifiers in this house. LOL
Yes they settle, but then they fall out and upset and cause us to have to go in over and over to give the pacifier again.
It’s not a sleep prop we want to promote.
That being said, pacifiers can soothe and settle quite nicely at times…
I love this post on how to use a pacifier as a sleep tool instead of a sleep prop. We are doing very similar things!
We used one VERY briefly with Caroline to settle her at night.
We’ve been using it very briefly with William as well. During his witching hour, however, he ends up dropping it and getting super upset.
He’s only 4 weeks, but I can see him holding it in with his hand, and even using his hand to search for it when it falls out.
Impressive, but I still don’t like the pacifier.
We use it as little as possible.
When the timing is right, however, it settles him to sleep and he doesn’t notice when it falls out.
He sleeps in his crib for every nap now.
With Caroline, at this age, we were putting her anywhere she’d sleep. We hadn’t yet fallen into a good rhythm for naps.
We are doing very well with our schedule and naps for William, however. I’ve been very impressed with our progress quite honestly.
I always write that the schedule is simply a goal at this age. Well, William is nailing his schedule. It’s more than just a goal… we hit it and stick to it very nicely.
William seems to have a very looooong witching hour!
He is not doing much sleeping at all during the 6 pm cycle or the 9 pm cycle. He is often up and very upset until about 11:30 pm/midnight.
We try the pacifier- no go.
We try holding- he’s usually settled, but not sleeping- so that’s not good.
Eventually we try feeding early- still doesn’t put him to sleep.
The best thing seems to just be holding for a bit, setting him down, and letting him rest a tiny bit. Then repeating.
I think we need to try putting him down sooner for the 6 pm cycle, if possible, but I’m not convinced that will work either. We’ll just keep trying different things.
One thing I might try soon is cluster feeding. That helped Caroline during this time, and also helped her sleep longer. We did cluster feeding at set times, which is how I’d do it again (not on demand).
Life With Two Kids On the Go
Life with two, one of which has preschool and other activities, means that the newborn doesn’t always get to stick to schedule perfectly.
He has to be flexible. Luckily, he’s going with the flow and it’s working just fine.
Tuesday and Thursday Caroline has school. Her drop off time is 9 am. This is right when William eats.
I am making him wait until a bit later for this feed, on these days. I’m home and feeding him by 9:30 easily.
One school day a week, I pick Caroline up at 11:30 am, and the other at 1 pm. William’s schedule has him eating at noon.
So, one day he eats late after I pick Caroline up, and the other he eats early so I can leave on time.
It’s not perfect, but it’s working, and it’s not worth changing his whole schedule every day right now.
Since Caroline is 4, she’s pretty self sufficient and helpful. It’s great.
I don’t have to worry about her running off in a parking lot while I get William out, or all of those little things that would be an issue with a young toddler.
I have felt very confident when going out with the two of them on my own.
I do make sure to have my carrier with me, because there is no way I am lugging the car seat around!
I used the Beco Gemini carrier with Caroline as well. It’s a phenomenal tool to have so I can be hands free in a store. I love it and am using it again.
I actually purchased a second one this week to have in my husband’s truck in case we are out and about in his car.
I much prefer having my hands free when grocery shopping, etc. and would highly recommend this carrier!