William’s week 3 babywise schedule remained the same as it was last week. It was an eventful week, however, packed full of sleeping challenges, reflux, and even a growth spurt!
Feedings occur every 3 hours at 6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, 9 pm, 12 am, and 3 am
I should note, if you are referring to the Babywise book, the book recommends feedings every 2.5 to 3 hours. We kept the 3 hour schedule that William was put on in the NICU, because it was working very well!
The three hour schedule is also much easier when it comes to remembering times. That being said, I have alarms scheduled on my phone at each feeding time, so I remember to get to the feeding on time!
Towards the end of week 3, William had an obvious growth spurt!
He went from eating about 10-15 minutes on the first breast, and 5-7 minutes on the second, to 25-30 minutes on the first, and 10-15 on the second!
He was actively eating the entire time!
Needless to say, his feeding time took up his entire wake time during this growth spurt.
He paced himself well, and was still hungry every 3 hours.
This growth spurt seemed to also trigger silent reflux.
Silent reflux is something that Caroline had. All babies spit up. Caroline didn’t spit up in excess by any means, and neither does William.
What does happen, however, is you can hear the reflux come up, and then go back down and they gulp, gurgle, cough, etc.
It disrupts baby’s sleep.
We put Caroline on Zantac for this, and had her weaned off of it by 7 months.
William is such a trooper. He doesn’t cry about it much. But his sleep was drastically different.
Suddenly, he was incredibly fussy, not putting himself to sleep, and having VERY restless, interrupted sleep.
I could hear the gurgling, and the gulps. He was uncomfortable.
Luckily, he wasn’t too tired to eat when the next 3 hours came around.
True wake time during this week was very minimal during the growth spurt. He was “awake” a lot when he should be sleeping due to reflux issues discussed below…
The first half of the week, prior to the growth spurt, however, was pretty much in line with week 2.
He had slightly longer wake times in the morning, and they’d taper off in the evening.
Caroline joins me for pretty much every feeding. I usually sit in his room in the glider. She sits in her rocking chair, and waits patiently for some mat time with him.
He is doing amazing head lifts this week and is really getting strong!
Since William’s growth spurt seemed to spur on some pretty bad silent reflux, his sleep was impacted a lot.
He also seemed to have caught a little bug. When he was breathing, you could hear fluid and lots of gurgling. His voice was also suddenly very raspy and sick sounding.
We weren’t sure if he was sick, or if this was all caused by reflux.
We put a call in to our pediatrician’s office. Of course this was happening over the weekend.
He sounded miserable, and he was not sleeping and getting good rest.
We asked about having someone call in Zantac so we could at least address the reflux and get him through a few days. That was a definite “no”. They wanted to see him in the office first.
We scheduled an appointment for the following Monday.
Well, Sunday rolled around, and Saturday night had been so bad that I decided to take his temperature. It was low: 96.8.
I looked that up, and for premature babies like William, that is a big red flag for infection!
I called the pediatrician again. They advised that we go to the ER immediately.
Naps prior to the growth spurt and reflux issues were all lengthy (2-2.25 hours), he’d put himself to sleep, and he was in his crib 100% of the time.
Then the reflux issues happened and that all got thrown off, but we are hoping to get back to it soon.
Once the reflux started kicking in, he’d have super restless sleep. He’d fuss (not cry), just long enough for us to go in to help, and he’d be back to sleep. Then it would happen again and again and again.
Part of that might be him transitioning sleep cycles, but the noises he’s making are also pretty obviously reflux. I feel so bad that he’s so uncomfortable.
He works his way through it most days and doesn’t seem to need me, but I’d love to see his sleep improve again.
So, we made the trek to the ER. Joe was at work, so it was me with the two kids at the ER until he could join us.
I was very much hoping they would isolate us so that William wasn’t exposed to any nasty germs.
Luckily, they knew to keep our preemie away from everyone. We were quickly triaged and escorted to a private room in the pediatric department.
At the ER, they wanted to rule out RSV, flu, and pneumonia.
They, too could hear fluid when he was breathing, although he suddenly seemed much better while we were there.
I wasn’t sure if that perhaps confirmed reflux being the main cause, since I was holding him upright the entire time.
They kept us there for 6 hours of monitoring. His temperature was within range while there, and all of the tests came back negative.
We also got a weight on him while there. He was up to 7 lbs 1 oz, exactly 3 weeks after birth, when he was 6 lbs 3 oz. Great news!
When we followed up with our pediatrician the next day, he was even better.
He either had a bug and had done a great job fighting it off, or the growth spurt that had now subsided, was easing up on his reflux issues.
Either way, we were given a thumbs up and no Zantac, since things were better.
As we entered week 4, we were also given the green light to STOP middle of the night wakings. Due to his healthy weight gain, we could let him sleep as long as he wanted, if he wanted to!
New This Week
We stopped swaddling him, and put him in the Zipadee-zip at the beginning of this week.
He really does not enjoy being swaddled, and the NICU hadn’t swaddled him very much.
We’d swaddled during week 2, but noticed that he really fought it. We’d tried normal swaddle blankets, and the SwaddleMe velcro ones.
Neither was really working, and he just didn’t seem to like it.
The Zipadee-zip provides a little resistance, but not complete. We call it his “bat wings”. With Caroline we started using it around month 2, so this is early, but it’s working really well!
Another option that I’ve seen tons of mamas using is the Merlin Sleepsuit.
We haven’t tried it ourselves, but it is worth looking into, as I’ve heard countless times in the Babywise groups that this product is amazing.
Here’s a great review on the Merlin Sleepsuit to check out!
Due to his reflux issues, we started using a Rock n’ Play for sleeping. We hated the idea of this, as we know it’s not the most safe option for sleeping.
We did all of the tricks for reflux. We held him upright for several minutes, did tummy time, lots of burps, etc. No matter when we put him down in his bassinet or crib, however, he’d be a mess and super gurgly.
And so, the Rock n’ play provided some comfort to him and gained him a little more sleep.
I also finally purchased a new nursing bra. I had some really old ones that were pretty much deformed at this point and super uncomfortable. I ended up going with the Bravado bra (shown below). It’s fantastic.