“Did you think it was going to be easy?”

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in Alexis

{cute organic cupcake onesie is by My O Baby}


The first week was rough. Not normal newborn rough or “adjusting to lack of sleep” rough but “what is going on” rough.
Alexis started off as what you expect a day old baby to be- alert, crying at times, breast feeding around the clock. Once my milk came in on day 2, she spaced out her feedings to every 1.5-2 hours.
Everything was going right as I expected and have been told.
Then around day 5, something changed- she started waking up every half an hour and the only thing that would console her was my boob.
In my mind I’ve gone through every possible scenario from “I don’t have enough milk” (slippery slope) to growth spurts.
For those 2 days we literally had zero sleep. When people say “oh I’ve had no sleep because of my newborn baby” rarely do they mean literally no sleep. Generally newborns wake up every 2-4 hours to feed, that in between time IS sleep.
When I say zero sleep I mean I was able to close my eyes for 0-30 minutes each night for two nights.
It seemed like this is what it’s going to be like for weeks.

We asked around and were told that no, getting no sleep at all isn’t normal.

I love when people say “Well what did you expect? That it was going to be easy”?
Oh darling, you can’t compare a baby that gives you an hour or two at a time to sleep to a baby that wakes up every time you put her down. And no, giving her formula so that she was sleeping longer stretches at night isn’t even remotely an option.

I kept thinking something must be wrong (she’s in pain) and trust me that’s the worst feeling.

Our pedi suggested we keep her awake for longer feedings- that way she’ll go longer stretches without waking up to feed.

The next night Alexis had a huge screaming fit- like “I’m in pain” fit. I’d calm her down, put her in the cosleeper and a few minutes later she’d wake up screaming. Again only boob would console her. We had to call the doctor at 1:30 am because we simply didn’t know what was wrong.

After talking with her we agreed that it’s most likely reflux. She has been gagging and making chocking sounds every time we’d put her down regardless how many times we burped her.
The poor girl was suffering from acid burning her throat.
We broke down and gave her gripe water. It had completely sent me into a break down. I had been resolved not to have her take anything but breastmilk cuz anything else would change the flora of her intestines potentially exposing it to infections. But when it came to my baby girl hurting I just had to try any form of relief.
After another visit to our pedi, we decided that those longer bigger feedings might have made her reflux so bad she was actually in pain.

So we were trying everything and anything: 30-45 degree elevated beds, more frequent smaller feedings, prescription of Zantac in our back pocket that we gave a thought and instantly dismissed as an option at this moment, all possibly offensive foods banned from mommy’s ration.
One night after discovering that no swing or elevated bed does it, I spent the whole night holding her against my chest in a recliner- because that’s the only way she’d sleep.

 


{cute organic cupcake onesie is by My O Baby}

I was starting to get myself mentally ready for a baby that just doesn’t sleep at night. “We can do it for a few months while she matures… Whatever it takes to keep her comfortable, we thought. We’d take shifts holding her, I’d wake up to nurse whenever she wants.”

Then something happened. One night when she was screaming and fussing, we soothed her, put her to sleep and lay her down next to us in bed.
That was the first time since being home that she slept soundly for 2 hours, woke up to feed and slept another stretch and like that till the morning. No gagging, no crying, no reflux, no spit up.
Now don’t tell me babies aren’t supposed to sleep with their parents/mother, because since that day we’ve had 0 issues. She sleeps 2-3 hour stretches, she has zero reflux. As soon as her Moro reflex wakes her up, she instantly settles down by feeling me next to her.
And the amazing thing is she’s a different baby during the day- alert, quiet, happy. She won’t go down for a nap on her own- she has to be in our arms or next to us, but she’s rested. Day time is a different story, since she feeds every 30 minutes, but she’s happy, a happy little girl and that means we’re happy.

It’s funny how while considering ourselves AP parents, we still blindly followed the no bed sharing advice. We have a co sleeper set up , a full nursery but the only way our girl is happy AND healthy is if she’s in our arms.
Obviously the stress of being away from us was what caused the spit up problem to worsen, the lack of uninterrupted sleep caused her screaming fits. It was a cycle she was too immature to be able to get out of on her own. And I felt like it took us 2 days too long to figure it out. (update: lol people, I don’t think bedsharing “cured” reflux.  She had minor reflux that  was possibly made worse by stress of being away from mommy’s body which is what most newborns need in the first weeks)

My personal new mom lesson number 1:

Blindly follow what your baby needs in the very beginning. Screw the “well wishers”, the unsubstantiated cry it out methods, the second guessing yourself that comes oh-so-easily. Only your baby knows what it wants, and if it wants constant contact, then that’s what it gets, especially in its 4th trimester.

Talking to friends and reading blogs, sleeping with your baby is a pretty common occurrence early on. I’m not sure how long it lasts (maybe till they are able to sleep in a deeper state), but it’s very obvious that some (most?) babies need close contact to thrive. I’d like for her to sleep in the co-sleeper at some point and then in her crib, but we’ll see how it goes.

So I’m incredibly happy we figured it out and now our little girl is getting 150% of what she needs and we are getting what I’d call normal sleep: waking up every 2-3 hours to feed/change with occasional hour long stretches.

Coming up: Breastfeeding and its challenges post, 1 week postpartum and Alexis update, 2 weeks postpartum and Alexis update, just random thoughts on our changed lives, final nursery reveal (that we don’t even use lol), breastfeeding products that I’ve been using. I only get to write posts right now while nursing Alexis. I pull out my iphone and type away. She nurses every 30 minutes during the day so I get plenty of time to type, but the challenge is adding photos, since I can’t work on my laptop right now. So you might see a week of no posts and then a cluster of them another week.
And yes, of course the Birth Story- that’s kind of a given! :)

Also something came up workwise that only I can do, which really sucks because right now I can’t get away for longer than 30 minutes – I have to breastfeed. I really hope it can be postponed due to me just having had a baby or I am pretty much screwed. I love how everything always comes in at the same time. I can’t even get a handle on my life with a newborn when I have to deal with something urgent, important  and a bit upsetting. Bleh! :(

Oh and also, I’ll probably won’t be proof reading most of these posts due to lack of time, so ignore all typos and such, please. Thanks :)

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: “Did you think it was going to be easy?”

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Comments (225)

  • ally

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    Bedsharing is awesome! Don’t let the naysayers get you down about that one if it feels right for you. Many families (mine included) get their best rest sleeping together. As baby learned to nurse in the side-lying position, we got much more sleep than the typical newborn parent, skipped the “4 month wakeful period” and just have been generally happy and well-rested. You probably don’t have much time for reading these days, but Our Babies, Ourselves has a great take on these instinctual parenting practices (like the biological, ecological, and anthropological motivation behind them).

    Reply

    • Lauren

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      Side lying nursing saved my life!!!!!

      Reply

  • Anne

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    I just wanted to say something, as a reader of your blog for months and months. You really hit the nail on the head with this post. All the reading, talking, and observing about babies, with babies, etc. really is helpful, but it’s not EVERYTHING once YOUR baby has arrived. I like to consider myself a “whatever works” mom. Not AP, not Free-Range. I have no label besides whatever works. For my daughter that meant co-sleeping, breastfeeding, and using disposable diapers. For my son that meant him having a separate sleeping space, hypoallergenic formula, and cloth diapers. Each child is unique, and one of the best things a parent can do is to realize that those cases in parenting books, blogs, etc. are children… but they’re not YOUR child. There is no “Bible” for child rearing. You’re doing great. Enjoy your little beauty! Mine is now 7 and when I see photos of Alexis, I wonder where all the time went.

    Reply

  • 00502373740315635689

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    Very well written. Maia actually had a VERY similar problem. And I remember cry to Jose one night just flustered and I blurted out that the stress of her being away from us was literally making her sick. And from the point until about 2 months she slept next to us – sometimes in the co-sleeper – sometimes in the middle. And she was soothed. And to this day, if for whatever reason, she’s jut having a REALLY rough day, the only thing that seems to calm her down is being next to us or lying in between us.

    Reply

  • Meegs

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    We were also unexpected bedsharers! We had said no way at first, but that first night, she was up every 15 minutes in the cradle. So we pulled her into bed and instantly we started getting 2 – 3 hours! She stayed there with us for the first 3 months, then we slowly shifted her to her crib. First we would put her down in her crib, but pull her into bed with us at the first waking, then I started putting her back down after the first waking, etc. Now she’s there all night until about 5 – 6 am, when she comes to bed to snuggle for the last hour – 2 of sleep. It was an unexpected blessing, that we now cherish.

    Reply

    • Meegs

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      Ps. Despite what some might say, bedsharing can be perfectly safe if done correctly. In fact, it lowers the risk of SIDS. Just make sure you follow the “rules” (pillows and blankets away from baby; no drinking or drugs that can change your normal sleep [ie. nyquil, etc]). Good luck and enjoy the closeness!!

      Reply

  • Rebecca

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    I just wanted to say good for you. We bed-share with our daughter still and she is 15 months. We just recently set up her crib as a toddler bed to make it an extension of our bed and are moving her to sleeping there, but we are following her lead.

    It is 100% best to do what is right for your babe, your family, and for you. Let all the judgers out there mind their own business. We get side-eyed all the time. In fact, I get side-eyed and stupid comments about “still” nursing my 15 month old. We will wean when she is ready, not when society tells us to.

    Keep up all the good work. It does get easier. :)

    Reply

  • Deanna

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    Elena…the one thing that all 1st time moms learn is that every baby is unique. You can read and read and read, talk to people, talk to more people and every (and I mean EVERY) experience is different. You hear “she should be doing X” when your baby is doing Y. “She should be doing Y” and your baby is doing X. “You should do…..” (oh lord dont get me started with the “you should do….” stuff or “dont do….” —and while I dont agree with co-sleeping just because of the dangers…if it works for you….it works.) You have to let the baby lead you. Throw away the books….because you are on a runaway train with that baby as a conductor. (And whoever told you –or wherever you read– that CIO was appropriate for a brand new newborn……needs the stink eye. Totally innapropriate). Welcome to motherhood…..its the craziest most fun ride you will ever experience.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      CIO has never been an option for us, at any age. It’s incredibly damaging to a baby! Yikes. I was just referring to it since so many people do it.

      Reply

      • Caroline

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        I’m not sure you understand CIO. It’s not to be used on newborns, but it isn’t incredibly damaging to older babies when done properly. In fact many renowned pediatricians recommend it because it’s actually better for the child to learn to self-soothe. I agree that you should never let a newborn CIO, but I think you should be careful when saying it’s damaging to all babies. You are spreading misinformation to your followers.

        Reply

          • Caroline

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            Yes, but you said it’s incredibly damaging. You didn’t say it’s damaging when not done properly. I’m just making sure your readers realize that there are instances when CIO is actually beneficial to a child.

            Reply

          • a

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            You don’t need to backpedal so as not to offend this commenter. I agree that CIO is a poor choice and can be damaging to attachment. It is the opposite of what is instinctual for an evolutionary reason. I know this is not a popular opinion, and I don’t judge parents that choose to CIO, I judge the misinformation about baby sleep.

            Reply

          • Lucy

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            In reply to a – there is no evidence that CIO, when done properly, is harmful to a baby. Not. a. single. piece. The claims of brain, personality, and attachment damage (quoted by those in opposition to CIO) come from research conducted with grossly neglected children (some studies use data from Child Protective Services cases) not healthy children with loving parents who let them cry for an isolated timeframe. I have also read all the studies quoted by Dr Sears here (http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/fussy-baby/science-says-excessive-crying-could-be-harmful) and none of these studies shows negative consequences as a result of a structured sleep training program.

            I am neither in opposition to nor in favor of CIO (I am lucky in that my son has always been a great sleeper). If you have an instinctual opposition to CIO, cool. To each their own. But I wish people would stop quoting scientific studies in opposition to CIO when in fact these studies don’t show any problem with CIO when (once again, for emphasis) it’s done properly.

            And the most important part of this comment: to Elena – congratulations on the arrival of beautiful Alexis and I’m so glad you’ve found something that is working well for you.

            Reply

          • Stacy

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            Lucy,

            I wouldn’t say “not a single one”… This article def. talks about why CIO can be not good for children. I, myself, will never do CIO, but I know people who do and I am still friends with them. So I am not judging… but you need to do a bit more research and look to find more studies because there are studies that look at the negative effects of CIO.

            http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/07/05/no-cry-it-out/#.TzwRPZghgcJ

            Reply

          • Lucy

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            Stacy,

            Thank you for that response. I actually don’t need to do any more research because, when I read that article, and the quoted references, I found that I had already read them all (when I was pregnant, I did a huge amount of research. I’m an academic researcher by profession). Although I would of course read any new studies as and when they are published. The references referred to in that article are basically referred to in my post above. They do not look at relevant scenarios (e.g. many look at grossly neglected children as opposed to carrying out an pediatrician-approved, structured CIO plan (e.g. Ferber) with healthy children). In addition, many of the sources quoted (e.g. the No Cry Sleep Solution) are biased towards attachment parenting. The mark of good science is that it’s always carried out by an unbiased party. Frankly, my academic colleagues would laugh at me if I tried to present some of these references as any kind of credible scientific evidence.

            To repeat – I’m not pro or anti CIO. I have never been put in the position where I have to consider whether or not to use it. But I am anti bad science. There are many instances where science backs up the position of attachment parents. The most obvious example is breastfeeding. But, at risk of repeating myself, there is not a single piece of evidence to prove that a properly done CIO program carried out by loving parents on a healthy child is harmful.

            Reply

      • katherine

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        Hi Elena,

        Science is on the side of CIO (“cry it out”) for infants older than 4 months. Your instincts are right to respond to your newborn’s every need but as the child gets older, you and your readers should know that CIO is not a harmful sleep technique. No reputable, peer-reviewed article has ever demonstrated that a week’s worth of ignored crying (after that point the infant learns to sleep) is in any way damaging to the child, his/her development, his/her emotions, and his/her attachment to you. Meanwhile, there are numerous articles demonstrating the detrimental effects of not getting enough sleep or getting fragmented sleep.

        CIO is not for everyone — it is a choice — but it is not a harmful one. Some families find that co-sleeping works better for them, or that other solutions work out. But know that CIO is a safe method for older infants.

        Reply

  • Britt

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    My daughter had BAD reflex for her 1st 6 months. She would only sleep on my chest. Get used to it your a mom now

    Reply

  • 09215383309119895521

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    I love this post because it seems so similar to my first couple weeks before I “discovered” co-sleeping and was hooked after getting a couple hours of sleep. It felt like a miracle and just felt right for us. Now my 15 month old (Sullivan) starts each night in his crib and eventually makes his way into our bed. We are getting sleep and are happy and its what works for us. There is no crying involved because that method besides breaking my heart, just didn’t work.

    Reply

  • Lily McDowall

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    I’m so glad you wrote this post! I’m still in the preparation stage, but I’ve been reading up on life with a newborn already. I have some of Gina Ford’s books, and she makes it sound so easy, getting you newborn to sleep 7 hours a night as long as you stick to a regime from pretty much day one. It makes one think that it’s all a piece of cake, and everything will be fine as long as you don’t deviate from the strict time schedules.
    To be honest, it put my mind at rest as to how I’ll be able to handle having a newborn. Now though, that I’ve read your post it’s really given me a better perspective of what’s in store! Each and every baby is unique, and I really won’t have any idea until baby is finally here!
    Your blog has been such a help for me, and I’ve been reading since well before you conceived Alexis!

    I’m really looking forward to reading how you cope with things from now on, and the progress on getting her into her own bed eventually. Are you going to try her with a routine later on?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      She’s too young for a routine. Right now it’s all about “on cue”- breastfeeding, sleeping, etc.
      Eventually we’ll have a baby led routine, but based on her normal activities.
      I would caution you against implementing any kind of routine or schedule this early on. Not responding to baby’s needs WHEN it needs it from birth can be really damaging.
      Good luck!

      Reply

      • Deanna

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        schedules dont come until they are probably 3-4 months old. Anyone that tellls you (not you Elena….I mean “you” in general) that babies need and can be on a schedule from day one…..obviously never has had a child. Any and all information they have should be immediatly disregarded with an eyeroll. I also didnt mean to infer that you would ever try CIO on a newborn….I just meant that IF you read it somewhere that its not an option at this age more for your readers than you. We had to do a form of it (my 2nd one cries to soothe herself sometimes so going in there to comfort her wasnt working because she wanted to soothe herself….she was 6 mos old at the time and if we went in there she just cried harder –while we were holding her)

        Reply

        • Anonymous

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          Schedules and routines are very different things. Schedules require you to follow a clock and stick to specific times in which you would do things. Routines mean that you do things in an order, such as bathe, feed, go to sleep. Routines are very good for babies, so that they know what to expect next. Part of the problem comes when babies are unsure of what could happen. A routine this young could be as simple as going to the same spot to nurse.

          Reply

      • Joann

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        I totally agree with this.

        If you don’t even have a baby yet, don’t read up on how you “should” treat them. Follow your gut, do what feels right and works. Trying to force a schedule on a newborn is a terrible plan and has nothing to do with the baby’s needs, just the parents’ needs. And you know what? Having a baby is a pain in the ass and it changes your life. It’s awesome and wonderful, but you can’t just make a baby do what you want. You have to change your own expectations and get on board with the baby’s plans for a while.

        Reply

        • Deanna

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          yes its called the “wing it” parenting approach. Its how I’ve surivived 6 years and 2 kids. The 2nd child is vastly different than the 1st so what worked with him doesnt work for her. Fun times at my house….fun times.

          Reply

          • Holly

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            We’ve been doing a child-led “routine” (and I hate that word and use it very loosely) for my daughters entire 17-month life. It never felt right to schedule her. I think this works very well for us.

            And, I second the poster who said that side-lying nursing saved her life! Same here!!!! Our daughter wasn’t too bad of a sleeper till she hit the 4-month wakeful. Woah, that was hard. Thank goodness for side-lying nursing. She had a buffet all night long.

            At 6 months, our daughter was keeping us up at night because she wanted to play with us. She wasn’t sleeping in our bed anymore, so she went into the crib. It all worked out very organically. Although we missed her when she was in her own room, we were doing what was best for her. I selfishly hope that our next child will want to stay in our bed for a few more months!

            Elena, you’re doing such a wonderful job!

            Reply

  • Verna Stephenson

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    I don’t care what anyone says, you shouldn’t be doing cry it out on a newborn. My personal philosphy is do whatever you have to for at least the first 3 months. We did bed sharing with both kids. Garrett liked the snugglenest, which made the transition to crib easier, but Avery hates it.

    Are you going to start her on bottles anytime soon?

    Reply

  • Heather @CritterChronicles

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    I was a very reluctant co-sleeper until I realized that both of my children slept much better at night when they were with us, which led to my husband and me being better, more relaxed, and competent humans during the day. My son was of the opinion that nowhere was good enough to sleep other than directly next to me, and preferably attached to my breast, so for the first year of his life we went with it. He’s four now, and goes to be bed before 8pm without fuss and stays there all night long, so all those who talk about how you’ll never get them out of your bed are wrong: co-sleeping is a wonderful thing if it means everyone is the better off for it. That being said, it’s not right for every family or every child, and that’s when it’s great to move away from what you think you *should* do and go with what works best for you and your baby.

    Continue listening to your instincts; it’s the best thing we’ve got going for us as new parents!

    Reply

  • Katie

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    I went into parenting my first born with the idea of never co-sleeping a night. But, I soon realized he needed to be close to me, and it was the only way he slept. So I can very much relate! Second time around, I brought our baby girl right to our bed and she was a wonderful sleeper from the get go, and before long she was in the bassinet next to our bed, then eventually in her own crib when she outgrew the bassinet. Your new mom lesson #1 is a very good one! And, Alexis is such a little beauty!

    Reply

  • Me

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    Man, you have no idea girl, this kind of lack of sleep is very very common. My son fed every hour, I had a cesection and not enough milk…I functioned on zero sleep, and I mean ZERO for weeks. I know many people who’s babies had colic and reflux and they also functioned on ZERO sleep. I was unable to bedshare for a while because of my csection and my inabaility to roll or shift quick enough for my son. So it wasn’t like feed and close my eyes. It was prepare food, feed, rock to sleep, get back in bed and up again in a half hour. It is very normal to function on 30 mins at a time for weeks/months for many mothers. I’m glad it only lasted a few days for Alexis, you’re lucky.
    Also, gripe water isn’t the devil and you can make your own to ease your mind if you need it again (and you will , esp through teething), really it’s just dill and fennel. Babies can be given probiotics to help mainatin a healthy flora balance. I would suggest considering looking into Naturopaths for Alexis, it will help you maintain the natural/holistic approach you prefer for her.
    I’m sure your mom is also a weath of information too, listen to some of what she has to say.
    Good luck.

    Reply

    • Megan

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      c-section mom, coslept from night 1 in the hospital….

      Reply

      • Jessi

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        Yep same as megan

        Reply

    • Jen F.

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      “I functioned on zero sleep, and I mean ZERO for weeks”

      I’m sorry but this is a lie. That is just not physically or biologically possible. Sleep is just as necessary to your body as food and water.

      Reply

  • Melissa

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    With Riley, I was the same way… no plans to bed share, but the ONLY way she would sleep was snuggled right next to me… it made all the difference in the world for her sleep and for mine (and my sanity!) We all ended up loving it, and we currently bed share for at least part of the night with Jackson as well, even though he’s a much better independent sleeper already than Riley ever was. As long as you do it safely (which I’m sure you do) it’s seriously the best thing!! And keep in mind, some people have never had a baby that will ONLY sleep being held, and will judge you for your decision to bed share… just ignore!

    Hope everything else is going well for you and your sweet baby girl! :)

    Reply

  • 06564849057783483467

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    I am so happy that you found something that works for you and your little one!!!!! We had our little ones in our beds with us as well and it is amazing how things changed once we did.

    Reply

  • Ruth

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    Don’t worry!! Our first was a dream sleeper, the second one we had to hold or rock, it took us even longer than two days to figure out what was going on. Before that we were fully convinced co-sleeping was NOT what we should be doing. Co-sleeping, rocking to sleep etc, became a life saver for us all!!

    Plenty have critized us for this but we held firm and she started self soothing and sleeping on her own about 5 months old just fine with no “crying-it-out” craziness. :)

    Reply

  • pam

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    for your sake, i’m glad you didn’t have multiples.

    Reply

    • 13132533885818616232

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      Yep. You would not want to even think about twins or more if just one is this hard so far. I have two 3 year olds and newborn twins…now that’s no joke! ;). But you will get into your routine and this mothering thing will be a piece of cake in no time. The reality is….you are human and you can’t do it all. No matter what you do as a mother you will fail at some point, you will let her down at some point but she will most likely grow up to be a normal functional adult all the same, just like the rest of our kids. I pray you get the reflux figured out and she continues to do well sleeping in your arms. Hang in there and welcome to motherhood – it isn’t always pretty ;).

      Reply

    • Lauren

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      Oh my gosh is that triplets I see in your icon? You are my hero for getting through that!

      Reply

      • pam

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        yes indeed! i sleep now, just fine. :)

        Reply

        • Sarah

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          Well, unlike Pam, I still don’t sleep and my triplets are almost 5 years old. My girls had reflux issues and didn’t like to sleep from the get-go. It would take an hour just to feed one – and there were 3 to feed – so thank god I had help.

          Elena – I ended up co-sleeping with my most fussy baby and she still seeks me out in the middle of the night. You do what you need to do. Follow your instincts and it will work out.

          Reply

    • Shannon

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      This exactly. You have no clue about Zero sleep until two (or more!) infants live in your house. Not to belittle your problems, but just to say, you’ve still got it pretty good.

      Reply

      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        I wouldn’t argue with that.
        At one point I thought I wanted twins. I guess if you lucked out and had good sleepers… But otherwise yikes.

        Reply

        • macchiatto

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          Yeah, we have twins and we definitely had to do things a bit differently from what we might have ideally liked to do if we’d had one baby! I tried nursing in the side-lying position a couple times and it was SO much easier than trying to tandem-feed … but with our boys’ needs it just wasn’t possible to feed them individually on a regular basis like that.

          Reply

    • Ali

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      I was thinking the same thing about being glad she didn’t have a child with medical issues! My second son had a feeding tube and was hooked up to an apnea monitor and a pulse oximeter. A monitor or having to pump and tube-feed him consumed our entire nights.

      No matter how you slice it, parenting is hard. You don’t have it harder than anyone else, but it’s just having to change your expectations that can be the hardest part.

      Reply

  • Elise

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    Bedsharing is an amazing thing to do with your child. My 7 month old has slept with us since the beginning and will until she says she wants her own bed. I’m glad you figured it out. When you hear the comments back it up with the positive research supporting bedsharing. Some people only follow the norm in this country and not what is good for individual babies.

    Reply

  • Dani

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    I co-slept with my six children, but I would never do it again.

    There is a lot of high quality research that shows it isn’t a safe practise. At the end of the day, a live baby is the best sort of baby.

    Reply

    • Megan

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      There is alot of biased research on BOTH sides of the bedsharing fence.

      It’s actually better for baby if done safely, on a firm mattress, without heavy blankets and with healthy non-overweight parents who abstain from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. It’s actually proven to reduce the risk of SIDS in breastfed babies because they do not sleep quite as deeply, as well as their parents are more attune to their breathing and believe me- wake up at the slightest change in anything.

      Reply

      • Lauren

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        +1

        A crib can be just as dangerous as a bed.

        Reply

    • ally

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      Actually, there’s lots of high quality research that shows that *safe* bedsharing reduces the risk of SIDS in breastfed babies. http://cosleeping.nd.edu

      Reply

  • The Good Wife

    |

    Did you ever hear the phrase “I was an awesome parent before I had kids”? I think every parent has an idea of what they would do when they have kids that gets wonderfully complicated once the baby arrives. Just do what you gotta do. We didn’t bedshare that young, but we also didn’t have a baby that wouldn’t sleep. We did have a baby with bad reflux, though. Gripe water never worked for the reflux. It did work for the hiccups she got all the time. Her reflux seemed to come and go to and when she was overly tired, she was more likely to spit up. She could spit up as much as an entire bottle of breast milk if she was really tired. Even now at 2.5, if she is really tired she will spit up. Good thing you have the script for the Zantac if you ever need it. We also found that swaddling worked wonders for sleeping. She was such a better sleeper when she was tightly swaddled that we swaddled her until 7 months or so. It will get easier and you will soon forget about the lack of sleep in the beginning.

    Reply

  • 08370918660894877829

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    That is so cool you were able to help her out without having to resort to the big guns of medicine! Each child is so, so different, and we learned that the slow way with ours. Afton slept in my bed right between Rudy and I for eight months and then in a crib at the foot of our bed until she was one. Delaney slept with us for only three months, then after that she preferred to sleep in the crib in a room shared with Afton. Vivienne didn’t want to share the bed at all with us, but also didn’t want to share a room with the girls, so she slept in the playard next to my side of the bed for almost 7.5 months! I hope things continue to improve!

    Reply

  • Bee

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    I’m so glad you were able to figure out what she needed! I agree with you 100% and plan to have a family bed when our little one is born. Best wishes!
    ~Bee

    Reply

  • Rachel K.

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    We have had similar nights, not quite as bad, but especially when he has a cold and isn’t feeling the greatest he did not want to be in his co-sleeper. Some nights he would just sleep with us all night, other nights he slept in his co-sleeper part of the night and our bed after his nighttime feeding. Now he has grown out of the co-sleeper so he can’t sleep in it because we think it’s just not comfortable anymore. Last night we put him in his pack-n-play and he actually slept there all night. I think it was harder on me than him because it is further away from the bed. lol. We plan on eventually moving him to his crib in his room but I still plan to share our bed with him on the nights he just won’t sleep in his own bed. It comforts him and we all sleep just fine, so I see no problem with it as long as you are smart and safe about it.

    Reply

  • Jessica

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    My babies were pretty much ALWAYS help by someone….LOL….do what makes you and your baby happy!!!

    Reply

  • Megan

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    1st off- Alexis is gorgeous! 2nd- Only you & your hubby know what is best for your daughter, everyone can tell you what they think, and that is fine, but ultimately, you know best. From reading your blog, you seem like you are very educated, so trust your instincts, and you will be just fine! Congrats again.

    Reply

  • Abby

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    I feel like you’ve completely glossed over on the birth story, even a quick summary. When are you going to share that? It’s almost feeling like you don’t want to share it.

    Reply

    • 09602357368410365419

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      Yes, I know a lot of us are waiting for your birth story, and you didn’t mention it as an upcoming post (though you did last week). Even if it didn’t go as planned, don’t feel afraid to post it.

      Reply

  • Nicole

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    After struggling for 9 months trying to get my son’s reflux under control, I am very happy you have found something that works for you. But with that said, I really hope you keep an open mind to medication. Nothing worked for my son, not reclining, not marathon nursing, not co-sleeping. And you may find that over time the same thing happens for you. Yes, these things helped, but he was not truly comfortable until he was on the appropriate medication. And I found he was so much happier, so much more alert, and just a very different baby when the reflux was under control.

    Also, if you dont already have one, go get a fisher price Rock ‘n Play. Those things are a lifesaver for babies with reflux.

    Reply

  • Hfjsjsv

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    I am so happy you found something that works for you, but please please please, when you have time, just research the safety precautions of bed sharing. There have been many times when we travel and my LO wouldn’t sleep because it wasn’t his bed, he would only sleep with us and I would wake up every 5 minutes thinking the worst case. It’s the worst feeling in the world, even after you determin the snoring is coming from your baby and not your husband, your heart is pumping a million miles a minute, I don’t wish that on anyone

    Reply

    • Amanda

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      Bedsharing is completely safe if done properly. Do some research.

      Reply

  • Jessi

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    I’m glad you figured it out! We had the same issue, but figured it out in the hospital. Since I had a c-section, the first night I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed or anything and I was super exhausted. So, I had Alexis put in the nursery so I could get some sleep. The nurse brought her to me the next morning and said, “She is a cuddler.” Meaning she had to be held all the time. From that night on, she slept in the hospital bed with me and at home my husband and I took turns sleeping with her at night. I would go to sleep for 4 hours, while he slept on the couch with her on his chest and then it was my turn. You have to go by your gut. It’s ok to get others perspectives, but only you know what works for you. She slept like that for quite a few months on us. Glad everything is worked out tho, it takes time adjusting to life with a newborn and child, especially at first. They can’t tell you what’s wrong. Alexis is 18 months and still can’t really tell us what’s wrong, but it’s easier to figure out. This stage flies by, enjoy every moment with your little precious girl.

    I’d love to read your birth story- hint hint lol

    Reply

  • Anna

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    Thank you so much for this post, another honest one. It’s so good to know what one might expect… And, I guess, listening to your own baby is the best and wise advise, despite all that you read and hear about baby development. So glad you found your own way!
    And please please share your birth experience!
    Best regards,

    Reply

  • Diana

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    Great post!! Can you please add your birth story to you list of ‘next posts’. I am 24 weeks and practicing hypnobirthing and would love to hear how it worked for you. Thanks so much!

    Reply

  • Heather @Cookies For Breakfast

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    I very much enjoyed this update – nice to know I’m not alone – my son wouldn’t sleep in his cosleeper in the beginning either! I was terrified to let him sleep in our bed because of all the scary things I read about that, but when I pulled him into our bed to feed him, I was so exhausted that I would fall asleep with him in my arms more often than not. When I woke up, I’d put him in the co-sleeper, and he usually woke up and started crying until I brought him back in bed with us.

    I’ve done some reading recently about co-sleeping and it’s not even close to as dangerous as “the authorities” would make you believe – as long as you follow the safety guidelines, it’s okay. He sleeps in his co-sleeper probably 80% of the time now – occasionally, he just wants to be held, so that’s what I do (though it’s hard for me to get sleep like this!). But, there is nothing in the world better than looking over and seeing your adorable baby, asleep right next to you. You should be proud that you recognized how to listen to your baby so early, and not doubt your instincts!

    Reply

  • Melissa

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    With Riley, I was the same way… no plans to bed share, but the ONLY way she would sleep was snuggled right next to me… it made all the difference in the world for her sleep and for mine (and my sanity!) We all ended up loving it, and we currently bed share for at least part of the night with Jackson as well, even though he’s a much better independent sleeper already than Riley ever was. As long as you do it safely (which I’m sure you do) it’s seriously the best thing!! And keep in mind, some people have never had a baby that will ONLY sleep being held, and will judge you for your decision to bed share… just ignore!

    Hope everything else is going well for you and your sweet baby girl! :)

    Reply

  • AC

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    I nursed my daughter for 5 hours straight the third night she was at home. I too, had LITERALLY no sleep for a few nights. And taking to other parents of newborns, it really isn’t all that uncommon. I only bedshard for a couple of weeks, but my LO loves sleeping in her crib. Plus, I like watching TV at night, reading, and I get up many times to use the restroom. I don’t know how people can do this with older babies, maybe they just have heavier sleepers than I do.

    Reply

  • Cee

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    Hi Elena–first of all, congratulations on the birth of your daughter! I just had my own baby girl 3 weeks ago, and it truly is an amazing experience. I wanted to write and post a comment because my daughter, Alice, will also scream and cry if I put her down anywhere on a flat surface. She’ll snooze/nap for a bit in her swing, but refuses to sleep at night anywhere but my arms. I researched what people did with their reflux babies who were like this, and my research led me to the Fischer Price Rock n’ Play. It is a DREAM. I have it right next to my bed, and it’s elevated and allows me to rock her to sleep. Now, I’ll feed her until she’s sleepy, swaddle her up, feed her again until she drifts off, and place her in the Rock n’ Play with some white noise going…at 3 weeks, she is now giving us 4+ hour stretches of sleep. Take my advice with a grain of salt and of course do whatever you are comfortable with, but it was the best 50 dollars I ever spent. Good luck, mama!

    Reply

  • peeper

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    This is pretty much what happened when our daughter was born. We didn’t have plans to co-sleep but that was just what ended up working best for us – for her. Those first months waking up to her tiny breath and warmth beside me are some of the most cherished memories of my whole life. Even when she was swaddled, which she preferred, she would somehow wiggle back to press up against me if I tried to move a couple of inches away.

    One of my first big lessons of motherhood was that no matter how much I prepared there would still be some elements that I couldn’t anticipate or control. Giving up control was a huge change for me but some times you have to just roll with the punches. We’re all doing the best we can. Plenty of people will tell you that co-sleeping is dangerous or wrong. Don’t sweat it – you’ll find your own way. We all do.

    Reply

  • Rachel

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    Something to remember with co-sleeping – most of the world’s population still uses a family bed. It gets demonized in the West as being unsafe, but after working for many years in the global south, I’ve seen first hand how safe, natural and beneficial it is for a child to sleep with his/her parents. I love co-sleeping with my daughter (five months) – can’t imagine putting her in a crib, let alone in another room. I deem my parenting style real world AP, and I think that every baby, every scenario and honestly, every moment can call for different approaches. Sounds like you are being flexible!
    My baby has had problems with acid reflux and digestion too. Don’t fear gripe water, but I’m an herbalist, and would like to put out there that you can feel free to email me with any questions about other holistic approaches, including teas you can take (and foods, like fennel, which help).

    Reply

  • Becca

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    I think that moms share what it will be like all the time, it’s just that when you are pregnant you don’t listen. They think of it as unsolicited advice. Both my babies had reflux. My first had reflux and colic. It sucked. You do get zero sleep sometimes. It lasts for a three days, a week, 2 weeks, and you feel like it has lasted a life time.

    I bed shared with both my kids because of this. My first until he was almost 6 months old. My second weaned herself at 2 months.

    Reply

  • Sarah

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    i really enjoyed reading this post! mostly because i can relate to you so much. I had HUGE sleep issues with my first, but rather than just listening to instinct and trust myself i took too much advice from others. I tried unsuccessfully to put her on a “routine”, watched the clock for feedings instead if her cues and never let her share our bed….that is until about 4months when we both where going crazy! With my 2nd i’ve been much more trusting of my own intuition and feed on demand, let her co-sleep if necessary, etc, etc…and its been SO MUCH BETTER! So glad you “screwed the well-wishers” early on…its best for you and your baby!! I wish i would have too ;) And isn’t it empowering as a mother to realize that you truly do know whats best for your baby and not someone else?! Good luck and i hope your work thing gets taken care of without too much extra stress on your part…ps Alexis even looks adorable when screaming… :)

    Reply

  • Jamie

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    My son was the same way. It wasn’t reflux, he just didn’t want to be put down (since reflux is physiological, it can’t really be “cured” by bedsharing – she is most likely just being a newborn!). I held him for all naps until he was about 4-5 months. At night he’d sleep a stretch in the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play, then we’d end up on the couch together. I could never sleep comfortably in bed with him at that age. When he got a little older I was more comfortable having him in bed for a period overnight. Now at 14 months he’d been sleeping in his crib all night since about 7 months old. He doesn’t STTN consistently still, but usually just wakes once and goes back down relatively easily. It will pass even though at this point I’m sure it seems the stage is dragging on forever.

    If it truly is reflux, though, I wouldn’t dismiss the Zantac prescription. Babies can be in a lot of pain from reflux and it’s not right to not give her something to help. But from the sounds of it, most likely she just wants to be held.

    Reply

    • Jamie

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      Also, this is definitely normal newborn behavior. People just don’t talk about it as much! Go check out some baby message board newborn discussion, you will see you are far from alone in this.

      Reply

  • Rachel M.

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    I think the whole “what else did you expect” is insensitive since you were obviously blindsided. I will say this IS NORMAL and she isn’t an odd ball. It is classic high needs behavior and lots of little ones are like this. Not all are lucky enough to have such caring selfless parents. My son is 20 months and still sleeps with us. Around 15 months, we began starting him in a toddler bed. Every kid is different, but prepare yourself for a lot longer than the first few months :) unless you decide to sleep train.. Which I would never do. My son was also literally on my breast 24/7, but it never worried me. I think I was a little more relaxed than you and didn’t have everything so planned out. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, but this will be the first less of many that you can prepare all you want and still not be able to know what will happen. I promise it gets easier. Not because she will be easier but because you’ll get used to it :) I still hold my son for his naps. It is our time to reconnect and slow down. I just realized that he is a year away from starting preschool. I’m so glad I cherished these moments with him. Totally worth it

    Reply

  • Joann

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    I just want to let you know that you are not alone and that getting LITERALLY no sleep at first is not uncommon. I know you think you’re the only one, and every mom thinks that way at first, but I think the real truth is that lots of moms don’t want to “complain” out loud because they feel like bad parents or that people will think they don’t love their babies. But it is so much harder than you would ever imagine and going in with all the best intentions for doing xyz is all well and good but mostly it all goes out the door when you find out what ACTUAL parenting is. The best gift you can give your friends is to actually tell the truth about how hard it is so that when it happens to them they don’t think they’re the only ones who ever had a hard time or a “bad sleeper” or whatever. Moms need to stop judging other moms for the way they help their kids sleep or eat or feel better etc. Every baby is different and no amount of research or book reading will tell you the magic answers. Co-sleeping may be your answer for three weeks or three months or three years. You might need to give your baby Zantac to help her reflux. You might need to thicken her milk or – gasp – formula if she’s aspirating or something. Don’t pre-decide that something is out of the question because you never know what hurdles you will actually face and what medical needs your baby might have. Nothing lasts forever and you aren’t creating bad habits or ruining their lives by making decisions even if they are decisions you never thought you’d make. Welcome to parenthood.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I think it sucks that people aren’t more open about things- about co-sleeping, about breastfeeding, about their babies not sleeping through the night, having issues. The world needs to stop worrying about what other people think and say it how it is.

      I have my ideas and my hopes, but I will always do what needs to be done to make Alexis comfortable.

      Reply

      • Rachel M.

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        I think a lot of moms don’t say anything because good mom = good sleeper. Completely wrong, but it seems like the first question people ask is “how is s/he sleeping?” I wanted to slap people who aske that! I quit talking about it bc I was sick of the advice that conflicted with my philosophy. No I will not watch my baby scream to stretch out a the time between feelings! That is impossible and not an option!

        Now that you’re a mom, you’ll see new moms complain about sleep more often. All you can do is encourage them and tell them they are not alone and their baby is normal :)

        Reply

      • 02754447004654848897

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        I felt the same frustrations regarding breastfeeding like “why didn’t anyone tell me this?!”
        Hence my blog emphasis on it. :)
        You’re doing awesome. Keep it up. Every kiddo is different.

        Reply

        • Abby

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          Agree. Our first son didn’t sleep at night for the first 4 months of his life. My husband and I literally took 2-3 hr shifts of sleeping while the other held him. He cried and cried those first few months and it felt like eternity while we were in it but by 9 months he was sleeping through the night in his own crib. I would agree that getting NO sleep is normal and that good sleeper vs poor sleeper has more to do with the baby’s personality then your parenting. My second son slept through the night at 6 weeks and we didn’t do anything different.

          Reply

  • KRisty

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    My baby is 9 weeks old and we had a very similar experience as you in the beginning. He would be fine being held but the minute you put him down, watch out! We bed share as well. It started slowly, with me bringing him into bed once my boyfriend left for work. After countless 4 am screams and fears of falling asleep holding him in the rocking chair, we laid him down right between us and he slept for 4 hours! So glad you found a way to comfort your Alexis and to get some rest! I’ve found bed sharing to be an awesome experience for all three of us and I love looking over and seeing my two boys right there with me. To make it work for us we swaddle baby tightly and place him in the middle of the bed high up near the headboard and mommy and daddy scoot down so our heads are at his belly level. Just gives us a little extra reassurance. And of course your mommy instinct kicks in and you are so aware of your little one that any movement they make you will be alert and right there to check on them. So happy for you and really looking forward to your birth story (no rush though, I understand newborn life!!!).

    Reply

  • Mandy

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    My twin girls are 4 months old and still sleep in our room. They’ve been inside their nursery maybe 3 times each and have laid in their cribs once each. Babies need their parents. One of my daughters sleeps fine in the cosleeper. The other needs to be in bed with me after she sleeps for a few hours. There is no right or wrong way to do this – you learn as you go. And now that you know what your daughter needs, you’re prepared for the next challenge, whatever that may be. Oh, and good for you for not giving in to the Zantac prescription – I think it’s overprescribed in some cases. Sometimes babies just need something else (and obviously you figured out what that something else was).

    Reply

  • Stacy

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    I also read you blog and have never felt the need to respond until now. I consider myself mostly an Attachment Parent. We bed share, we baby wear, we cloth diaper, I make most of his food and the ones that I don’t make I buy organic. I also breastfed for 3 months before the doctors were convinced that he had a milk protein allergy and tried him on hypo-allergenic formula and all of a sudden it was a different baby. So I dried up and continued on the formula. However, it got progressively worse and worse until the spitting up started. He would spit at every meal. He would arch his back and scream every bottle. One month later, he spit up, choked and turned blue. My hub and I had to bulb syringe his mouth and nose until he could breathe. He went to the ER and was sent to the PICU for a feeding study. Turns out that he had such severe reflux that within a second of him swallowing it was up and down at least 6 more times. He was put on thickened formula with rice and oat cereal (too early to be on it), zantac and prilosec. He was to sleep at a 30-45 degree angle and not in bed with us because he shouldn’t be flat or he could choke and aspirate. Now he is 1 years old. He is still on the medication because he is small for his age and the GI doctors are afraid if we take him off and he starts with the reflux then he won’t be getting enough calories. We 100% bedshare now and have no issues with him spitting up. But even at 1, he is still up every 2 hours. Which means for almost a year, hubs and I have been going on very little sleep. Yes, there are days and weeks and a month or two where he did sleep through the night. But he was always up at 5 or 5:30, so if we go to bed around 11, 6-6.5 hours of sleep is not very much. They go through stages whether they bed share, whether they are held all the time (which he is), whether he is on BM or formula, or anything else. Sometimes they sleep, sometimes they don’t. I will never CIO and I know you won’t either, so you may have to suffer like us and be ready for not much sleep for a while. It is hard, but it isn’t uncommon or not normal.

    Anyway, I have a few points:

    1. As a mom, you have to learn that the baby is the boss now. You aren’t going to get everything you wanted from child birth, breastfeeding, child rearing etc. They are going to determine what happens and you are going to have to do things like gripe water, medications etc. that maybe initially you didn’t want, but baby needs it.

    2. Bed-sharing is not bad. It is very good for babies. I particularly love this article: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/07/05/no-cry-it-out/#.TzrJv5ghgcI

    3. What you experienced with Alexis was/is not reflux. I hate to be so blunt. Reflux is not caused by stress. Reflux is caused medically by the sphincter in the esophagus not closing properly and allowing food to travel from the stomach back up the esophagus. If that were the issue with Alexis, it certainly would not be helped by gripe water and bed-sharing. It also would have been worse by going to the breast and she would have refused the breast not have it calm her down. Many pediatricians are diagnosing reflux and handing out medications when reflux isn’t the case. If you want to know if your child has reflux then they need to have an Upper GI serious done, like my son. Stress could have definitely caused her some discomfort but it wasn’t reflux.

    4. I agree with some of the other posters about what works for one baby doesn’t always work for another. You need to do what works for you, your hub, and Alexis. You can’t listen to everyone else, but at the same time, you have to be flexible and up for changing things because it isn’t a perfect science!

    Keep up the hard work… being a mom can be really tough. You do the best you can and as long as you are doing everything in the best interest of the kid, you are ok in my book! :)

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I’m sorry you had such trouble. :(
      I no longer think she has reflux. She had normal newborn spit up/burp issue every baby has, but I agree not the actual reflux. I disagree that certain things can’t be exacerbated by stress. Stress didn’t “give” her reflux, but caused her to spit up more (I think i even read that somewhere too).
      I’m just glad we didn’t put her on meds, she was only 1 week old. It’s a shame docs give out prescription like candy whether a child needs it or not.

      Reply

  • Alicia

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    Hang in there. Everything you described is UTTERLY typical and it will get easier with time as you figure out what to do. I assume you are swaddling? Get a Miracle Blanket! Having a newborn is hard!

    Reply

  • 09746109382354995847

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    she is beautiful and you two seem to be doing a wonderful job!
    how is the cloth diapering going?
    good luck!

    Reply

  • Megan

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    Good for you for doing what your baby needs, not what society may say! Coslept/sleep with both my kids. My 20 month old still spends the 2nd half of the night with us and every naptime. :)

    Reply

  • Betsy

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    Bed-sharing is amazing, especially if you are an exclusively breastfeeding mama! Everyone gets the rest they desperately need, baby is close by mama (as she has been used to being for 9 months!), and it does wonders for your supply, also. We bed-shared for at least 3 months, and we do it occasionally still at 15 months if my son has a bad night (teething, sick, etc.)

    You are mama. You know what is right for your family and baby. The end. :)

    Reply

  • Guest

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    We were totally against bedsharing as well…. Until that first night we were home from the hospital and he just wouldn’t sleep anywhere but next to me. So that’s where he slept for the first 3 months. Then he moved to his crib with no troubles at all (other than mommy having a hard time having him in the crib instead of next to me). Don’t worry about a thing, honey. She’ll move when she’s ready :)

    Reply

  • Sanji

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    Oh Elena. They did tell you. EVERYONE tells you it is hard – no sleep, crying, stress., holding them all the time, tears and hormones You’re just a new mom and you didn’t believe. But honey, trust me, your baby sounds normal and not unhealthy and you will get through it and someday you will look back on this and laugh at how utterly naive you were.

    Reply

  • Amanda

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    What you’re describing as “not normal” is completely normal. I literally did not sleep more than an hour at a time for the first 4 weeks. Bedsharing is not a cure for reflux. It’s a cure for the need to be close to her momma. That is normal. That is why a lot of people resign themselves to bedsharing, because it’s the only way baby and mom get sleep.

    You really don’t have it so much harder than 90% of all new mothers out there. You really don’t.

    Reply

    • KJ

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      HUGE ditto Amanda.
      And while it’s great Alexis doesn’t seem to need the meds, some babies do and it’s off-putting to suggest that those parents who go that route…or try gripe water…or Mylicon drops…or God-forbid supplement with/use formula are somehow inferior.
      FYI: not everyone has “super boobs” that produce properly. I was one and my baby girl didn’t gain any weight for almost a month until we started supplementing with formula. (She is now almost 4…healthy and happy.) Lots of babies are gassy/spitty/refluxy/fussy and parents do the best they can to help their little ones.

      Reply

      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        Where did I suggest that taking gripe water, formula feeding or giving Zantac makes parents inferior. Man, people just read way too much into things….

        Reply

        • KJ

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          Eh, you come off a bit judgy in your tone sometimes. You may not mean to, but that’s how it reads.

          Regardless, Alexis is beautiful…and I suspect a completely normal newborn. And as far as I’m concerned, it wouldn’t matter if every single person in the world told a mom-to-be how hard having a newborn can be. You’ll never truly understand it until you live it. I’ve been through it once (an experience that was I know easier than many and perhaps harder than some) and as I prepare for the second time around I suspect that I’ll feel at least some of the same shock I did the first time, as I’m pretty sure I’ve somehow put the hardest parts out of my mind.

          Reply

  • Lori

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    My son didn’t sleep for 8 weeks, despite co-sleeping. I’m glad that Alexis is letting you get some shut-eye now, but she really wasn’t manhandling you that badly. Enjoy the “getting back to normal.”

    Reply

    • Becca

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      My son was the same. He also didn’t STTN until he was 18 months old.

      Reply

      • Joann

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        Neither of my kids STTN til then either.

        Reply

  • Lauren

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    I’m so glad things are going well (and better) for you! My daughter has the most miserable colic after she was born, and for the first three months of her life she only ate, slept, and screamed (not cried- I’ve heard some very cute newborn cries- she would scream so loud our ears would ring.) She didn’t have reflux or anything else wrong with her, she was just a screamer. I didn’t see her awake and not screaming until she was 3 months old- literally. It was horrible, horrible, horrible (and I had PPD as well) and my husband and I went into survival mode. We also had the Arms Reach co-sleeper set up next to the bed, and we never used it- our daughter slept next to us from day 1 (save the times we could only get her to sleep by swinging her car seat- which were many.)

    I also hated it when people asked me if I thought it was going to be easy. The problems we dealt with were not typical by any means, but a good majority of parents don’t have easy newborns. Both our situations, no matter how difficult, are even better than some others out there (can you imagine mothers with their babies in the NICU, or who have serious health issues?)

    The good news is that it only gets better! I look forward to more posts! :)

    Reply

    • Becca

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      Oh yeah! Can you imagine! Good thing you aren’t one of THOSE mothers! **looks at her TWO NICU babies**

      Reply

      • Lauren

        |

        What do you mean one of “THOSE” mothers? I was saying that having a difficult newborn can seem like it’s the worst thing in the world, but there are people out there- like mothers who have babies with health issues- who have it WAY worse.

        ???

        Reply

      • cat

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        yeah… i think you read that wrong…

        Reply

  • Jackee

    |

    She’s finally here!!! And gorgeous!

    Long time lurker, first time commenter.

    As a mother of two 20-somethings I will tell you this: go with your heart. Go with what feels right to you.

    Nod and smile at all of the suggestions and good intentions of others. Then go right back to what makes you and that little girl happy.

    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  • 05501609809498320067

    |

    Beautiful post, and so nice to have an update from you! It sounds like you Alexis may be working through the discomfort and “reflux”, but should it rear it’s ugly head again. . just a thought: some babies get gassy, fussy, tummy aches. . whatever you want to call it, when there is an imbalance in the breast milk. Meaning if she is getting too much foremilk and not enough of the hindmilk, it can be troublesome, for some babies. You are so savvy, you have probably already read up on this, but if not, I thought it was worth mentioning. And it’s not to say anything is “wrong” with your milk, it’s just how much of the “fatty” part she may/may not be getting. Good luck and welcome to your “new” normal! Can’t wait for the posts you have coming up, Alexis is a doll!!!

    Reply

  • Marita

    |

    I’m glad you found out that she “just” wanted to sleep by your sides. – The funny thing is, that a few weeks ago I’ve read a German book about natural childcare and the author highly recommended sleeping with the baby in bed. She wrote that the babies would sleep longer and would be more happy during the day. Later I talked to some mothers and most people I told about this principle said to me that I’m crazy and I would spoil my child. But now I’m very happy you’ve written about this topic, because it feels so right for me to let the child sleep with you in the bed. So, always follow your heart and do what feels right for you. I wish you three all the best and thank you so much for writing this blog. I’m not a mother yet but we want try to become parents soon and your blog is so helpful for preparing to get pregnant. So again, thank you very very very much and keep on blogging.

    Reply

  • Dena

    |

    Yeah, it sounds like what you’re going through is perfectly normal newborn stuff. Bed sharing is great (though not for me) but certainly not the solution to ‘reflux.’ Newborns like to be close…it’s just a fact. It’s not surprising that sleeping close to you solved your recent problems. My girls would have slept on top of me for months if I let them, but there was no way I was getting any sleep that way and a happy/well rested mama is just as important as a happy/well rested baby. Glad you found a solution that worked well for you for now! I always say the first 2 months are about survival mode…you’ll find yourself doing all sorts of things you said ‘never’ would happen. Never say never…words are just not that fun to eat. :) Good luck!

    Reply

  • 04820795490564282795

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    I love hearing that you are figuring out your baby and doing what is best for HER. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way.

    Reply

  • Missy

    |

    Congratulations! Welcome to having a newborn. Sounds like everything is happening exactly they way that they are supposed.

    Reply

  • 04224199457326768034

    |

    Co-sleeping is how we roll too, and we love it. He starts out the night in his cosleeper, and then comes to bed with us when we go to sleep. Bedsharing is lovely, and I have no intentions of giving it up anytime soon. He is 6 months, and we get great sleep and I cherish being close to him. Keep it up!

    Reply

  • ADB

    |

    I don’t understand, you say you would do anything for your little girl because she was in pain. Yet the doctor gave her zantac for her reflux and you decided not to give it to her?? I see that you figured out she wanted to sleep in bed with you and your husband, but what if it was reflux and you chose not to give her a medicine that could have helped her to me that is beyond selfish. My son had horrible reflux and soon as I gave him the zantac he was a happy and healthy little boy.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Zantac is approved for babies older than 1 month. Alexis was 1 week. We wanted to exhaust other options before going with a medicine that isn’t approved for her age.
      If she truly had reflux and medicine is the only thing that helped her, we’d gladly give it to her.

      Reply

  • 01231468945391206617

    |

    I think the hardest part of having a baby is going from the well researched, well intentioned, well prepared for ‘theoretical’ baby that’s happily and predictably hanging out in your belly to the completely new experience of mothering an actual unpredictable very demanding little person. Research and preparedness are great, definitely, but then there’s actually putting it into practice in the field under real life conditions, so to speak.

    It’s a big mental adjustment. On the one hand there are 7 billion people in the world so it’s not like having a newborn is a unique experience and on the other hand every baby is different so you’re having a completely singular experience. So who knows what will end up working for you and your family but take comfort in the fact that *something* will end up working be it bedsharing or swaddling or whatever.

    And there will be a million other things that come up with your baby that also seem ridiculously, soul-suckingly hard and that’s not unique either but you’ll find a way to deal with those times too.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

      |

      I actually took solace in having read a lot. Obviously you can’t read or anticipate everything. But this made me think that books need to get a little more info on how breast-fed babies behave. Because from the feedback of breast feeding mamas this is totally normal. Oh and the whole bed sharing issue. So sad it’s being condemned considering most people find it to be the best solution for their babies.

      Reply

      • Joann

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        Old wives tale. BF’ing doesn’t make bad sleepers any more than formula makes good sleepers.

        Reply

        • Sylvie

          |

          True that, my kid is 15 months old, was formula fed and has never STTN

          Reply

      • Lara

        |

        In your reading, did you read “The Womenly Art of Breastfeeding”? Hands doing the best book out there on BFing.

        P.S. I had a HORRIBLE time the first eight weeks, and that was with an easy baby who rarely cried. But we definitely nursed around the clock with cluster feedings like crazy at night and over night, but two bouts of mastitis (that led to supply issues), two bouts of thrust, a bad latch, a tongue tie…..holy cow. I’m so proud of myself for working through those things and still going strong at 7 months!

        Reply

      • Stacy

        |

        You are totally right on that one! Most charts at the pedi office and lots of books are based on formula fed babies. But even so, each baby is different. Even 2 bf babies will be different. My oldest dd was bf and sttn at 3 mths. Before that, she went 2-3 hour stretches and then ate snd back to sleep. My second dd had colic snd never slept more than 45 min-1 hour. Also bf. my ds is a great sleeper. Goes 4-5 hours at night and is 3 mths old. Also bf. so every child is different. Gl with everything. Bf and the whole NB thing can be hard :)

        Reply

  • Stephanie

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    My daughter is almost eleven months old, and a “poor sleeper.” I hate admitting that, because it opens you up to EVERYONE’S unsolicited advice – it’s like, thanks guys, I haven’t had a full night’s rest since my second trimester of pregnancy… I’m not in the mood! But I digress…

    We learned early on that bedsharing is the ONLY thing that gets our little sweetie to sleep for longer stretches at night. End of story. Our pediatrician condemns it, my friends continually make noise about how I’m “spoiling” her – but, you know what? It works for us! End of story. You will learn quickly that your parenting choices don’t have to work for anyone but your own little family.

    I’m glad that poor little Alexis is getting her reflux sorted out, and that the sailing is a bit smoother for you guys now!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

      |

      I looooove the great fear of “spoiling”. I wonder where it stems from.
      I’m really glad it wasn’t reflux too and she’s sleeping like a normal breasted newborn now.

      Reply

      • Dena

        |

        Just so you know it’s a pretty big generalization that ‘breastfed newborns’ sleep and eat just like Alexis. Both my girls were nursed exclusively initially and they both had drastically different sleeping and eating habits in the beginning. My youngest slept like a log for the first 3 weeks. It wasn’t abnormal for her to go 2 to 3 hours between feedings and give us 4-6 hour stretches of sleep. My oldest slept way less – she’d eat every hour and barely nap/sleep. I was lucky if I got 20 minutes out of her. My point being that there is no rhyme or reason in newborns. They’re going to do what is in their individual nature. What is normal for Alexis may not be normal for the next newborn. I just think that it’s doing a disservice to people reading your blog as well as your follow up comments to make the generalization that b/c she is breastfed then what you are experiencing should be expected. What you’re experiencing isn’t indicative of a breastfed newborn…it’s simply indicative of a newborn. How they’re fed is generally irrelevant.

        Reply

        • 02754447004654848897

          |

          I agree. My daughter is exclusively breast fed, and has slept like a champ since day one. She was underweight, so I had to actually wake her up to feed her every 2 hours.
          At about a month I stopped doing that, and she will typically sleep from 6-7 hours at night.
          I’m very lucky, and she has never been given formula. :)

          Reply

  • Jessica

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    Good for you sweetie:) figuring out that “mommy knows best” is the HARDEST lesson to learn:) and you will still have people telling you – till they’re blue in the face – that your wrong. but truth is, your the mamma and you know better than anyone:)

    oh! one thing : I think my baby ish went through the “I need to be snuggled” thing at first. and I found that if I swaddled her and put her in the carseat to sleep, especially at night, she slept great! she WOULD NOT sleep in her bassinet (and I couldn’t put her in bed with us cause my hubby is a bed hog lol) .It musta been the closeness of the seat. I know your prolly loving the snuggling thing right now :) but just as a thought for later :)

    Congratulations again:)

    Reply

  • samantha

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    I’m so happy to hear she is doing much better! You do what you have to to survive in the beginning. I didn’t read the other comments, so sorry if its already been suggested, but have you thought about putting her on a probiotic? It worked wonders formy daughter who did have reflux and for my nephew who had serious reflux that had to be regulated with zantac. A daily probiotic for you while you are nursing is a great idea too…they are great for everyone to take daily really!

    Reply

  • Kirsten H

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    I loved this post. So many sources I have read have said that keeping your baby in bed with you is a major comfort to her. Not only does she hear and feel you breathe and potentially your heart beat- as she felt for her entire life so far- she hears her fathers voice too and hears him breath. Both things in themselves sound so comforting. My husband and I are going to have our baby in bed with us, just as we were with our families. Both of our memories of being little in with our parents made our relationships strong with our parents from the very beginning. I remember what it felt like to go into my parent’s room after a night terror when I was about 3 and never feeling more comfort than I did just to be beside them both. :) It is so neat to hear about it from a parent’s perspective.

    Reply

  • Salena

    |

    Oh girl, I am so sorry you are having a bit of a rough time. These first few weeks are HARD! We ended up bed-sharing with Carson at about the same time as you guys are with Alexis. Learning to nurse one your side will be the best.

    Don’t worry if people say you are spoiling her either, Carson slept with us for 13 months and transitioned to his own bed GREAT, never even needed CIO he just was ready. I still love the early morning when he comes from his room to our room and snuggles up next to me. Nothing beats a toddler thats comfortable enough to come crawl in bed with mommy and daddy and rubs his little hand over your cheek.
    You are making me so anxious to have Ollie here next week!

    Alexis is beautiful, just like her mama!

    Reply

  • Melissa

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    When will you be writing about your birth experience. Can’t wait to hear how it went.

    Reply

  • SweetG

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    Wow, your issues are surely not in the minority. Lots of new mothers go through that. LOTS.

    Glad you found something that works for you.

    Reply

  • 08221904373652539331

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    Such a gorgeous little girl. Oh how nostalgic I feel reading all this! The feeding every half hour…no sleep (literally)…decided to cave & let her sleep in the bed. But you know what? It all works out. My daughter is almost one & sleeps perfectly in her crib. She only slept in her bed for a month or two & didn’t get “addicted” like so many said she would. You are doing awesome, so glad it is working better for you!

    Reply

  • Michelle

    |

    Welcome to your new normal. This is completely typical and what every other mother on the planet has gone through. You need to go ahead and throw out everything you have “read”. Your baby girl is completely new and unique to this world, so her experience will be totally different from you’ve read. Try to relax. You really are setting yourself up for failure if everything is so hard.

    She might also benefit greatly from a paci. I saw one in your earlier posts but didn’t know if you were still using it. Newborns have a natural urge to suck, and they are not always hungry. Giving a pacifier might bring her and you relief.

    Honest question- Did you not have any “mom” friends to give in real life feedback about this stuff? I would have gone insane without mine. Good luck!

    Reply

  • Vicki

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    Hi, I’ve never posted before but I have been following along and wanted to comment. I just wanted to say that I co-slept with both of my children and I can guarantee that I was much better rested than many moms who wouldn’t do the same. Babies sleep so much better when they have that contact. Glad to hear things are going well.

    Reply

  • Erin

    |

    You are not alone! My husband and I literally got no sleep for days on end for the first 2 months. Very similar situation. Months 3-5 were “OK.” ( We could get 1-2 hours a night.) Months 6-11 were horrible ( LO would sleep maybe 30 min – an hour and then would be awake for 3-4 hours). I went back to work full time when she was 4 months old so this was not working for us. We finally broke down and did Ferber and luckily now we get some sleep!!

    I have learned that time seems to slow down with a newborn. A few days of no sleep seems like an eternity and like it will never end. Nothing is permanent, thus the beauty of children. Everything works itself out. Your instincts always win out and those few days of no sleep will pass by and this time next year you will have already forgotten how bad it was!

    Reply

    • Erin

      |

      Just to clarify: we chose Ferber at 11 months because nothing else worked (bed sharing, rocking, swings, white noise, etc etc) and it was necessary for us all to go more than 3 hours of sleep at night! I hope you never need to use Ferber, although it is different from CIO, and never should be tried before baby is 4-6 months old.

      Reply

  • Amanda

    |

    She is so sweet! Your first two week sounds nearly EXACTLY what we went through with our son. In the end the only thing that gave us all sleep and comforted him was frequent (every 30-45) minutes during the day and sleeping with us at night. I never in a million years thought I would bed share with our baby but it turned out to be the best thing. It will get easier. Right around 3 months he started going longer between feeding during the day and more comfortable being put down. But he is still a very attached baby. Even at 12 months he spends a lot of time in my lap, we do puzzles, read books, nurse, and it keeps him content.

    Hang in there! I’m glad to hear she’s doing better at night!

    Reply

  • twinmomma

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    my twins weren’t an issue because i stressed the importance of sleep from 8 months old. Modified Ferber method of CIO, reassurance, assistance with soothing, and teaching them to self-soothe.

    they were also reflux babies (i couldn’t even lay them flat to change diapers), and slept the first 3 months in their bouncy seats beside my bed. then i propped their mattresses and they went to the crib. the best thing i did for them was hold them nearly completely upright for 45 minutes post-feeding…every feeding. talk about no sleep…had to feed them upright which meant one at a time, alternating schedules. took about 30 minutes to feed, hold up for 45 minutes, then down to sleep. by that time, it’s about 20 minutes til the other wakes and needs the same routine. and they were eating every few hours. i lived like this for months and months.

    now they are 6 and ask to go to bed at 8 pm, nightly. once in bed, they sleep until they wake on their own around 7:30 am.

    routines and schedules were put in place as soon as I could tell they were thriving from them (which was around 3 months). it started with a simple bedtime routine (play, bath, lotion/massage, reading, cuddling, feeding, bed) and then expanded out to add solids/table food, etc. We still have a routine.

    perhaps it would have been different had i only had one child. the importance of sleep is often forgotten. sleep begets sleep, and leads to happier babies/kids/parents.

    Reply

  • Joann

    |

    Do you have a Moby Wrap? If your little girl needs lots of snuggle time, that thing will be a lifesaver and you can probably get work done with her that way. I used to cart my little guy along with me for all of big brother’s activities and he’d sleep in that thing for two hours while I worked at co-op preschool. Walking around with 20 3 year olds and baby would sleep right through it in the Moby.

    Reply

    • Lara

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      Oh, totally ditto this! Huge lifesaver. I wore her almost constantly at first!

      Reply

  • Brenda

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    That stinks. I was lucky enough two breastfeed two newborns who only woke up once at night the first couple weeks and then were sleeping 8-10 hours straight by 2 weeks. It’s possible but doesn’t happen with everyone. I guess that is why people warn you about how hard a newborn can be- so it’s not such a shock when you wind up with one who never sleeps. I hear after a few months it gets easier!

    Reply

  • Just Me

    |

    It comes from the all-too-real experience of plenty of parents who have set themselves up for years of having a kid in their bed. Pretty much all parents have resorted to some level of “bedsharing” whether they call it that or not, but it can get problematic for some parents and some children. One of the best pieces of advice my pediatrician gave me was to let me first baby learn to put herself to sleep–I was young and tended to do whatever the doctor told me, but in that case I’m glad I listened!

    Reply

  • Mary

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    My advice would be to let some of the no gripe water, no formula stuff go. You’ll have an ulcer by the time she’s 6 months because you WILL have to surrender some of the things you *thought* you would or would not do. Take it day by day and don’t be so staunch one way or the other. A happy mommy is a happy baby. She may take very kindly to formula.

    Reply

    • Megan

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      I don’t understand why everyone thinks it is impossible to exclusively breastfeed a baby and never supplement with formula? I nursed my son for 25 months and never supplemented (was a SAHM) and am currently nursing my 20 month old daughter who has also never supplemented with formula (and I went back to working 3 nights a week when she was 3 months old). It’s not impossible, and I know I was blessed with an abundant supply of milk, but MANY people never have to supplement. Stop setting Elena up to fail at exclusively breastfeeding.

      Reply

  • Mommy

    |

    You’re doing a good job, Elena. My baby would only sleep being held for the first few weeks too. She’d be completely asleep, we’d put her down, and she’d wake up 5 minutes later. We tried everything…swaddling, warming her crib up with a heating pad before putting her down (removing the heating pad first), a Rock N Play, the Happiest Baby on the Block techniques, her carseat, her swing…everything! She would only sleep next to me, with my boob in her mouth, or lying on my husband’s chest while he sat up at an angle. Finally we gave up trying to make her sleep alone and just let her sleep with us. Best decision ever! It took us 6 weeks to make that decision though. I’m impressed you guys figured it out after only 1 week! When she was 3 months, we transitioned her to her crib, and she did fine. She didn’t sleep through the night until 8 months, but she is a year now, and sleeps 12 hours solid straight through. You’ll get there when she is ready! Until then, just hold your baby as much as she wants you to.

    Reply

  • Me

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    Um. Yeah. Cosleeping. That’s the answer. And my son didn’t let me put him down for the first four months. It’s pretty normal.

    Reply

  • Caitlyn

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    The first few weeks are much harder than you would expect with any baby, but I have to admit that having a baby who wants constant contact certainly adds to the challenge. I probably could have written a very similar post about my son early on. Co sleeping was not something that I ever expected to do, but it saved us in the beginning, and 14 months later we still love it. What I do have to say is that is DOES get better!!! The first 3 months were the most difficult for us, and hopefully the end is in sight for you as well.

    Reply

  • Jackee

    |

    I almost forgot – HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

    Reply

  • M

    |

    If your daughter has reflux, bedsharing will not fix it.

    First, your quote, “Generally newborns wake up every 2-4 hours to feed, that in between time IS sleep.
    When I say zero sleep I mean I was able to close my eyes for 0-30 minutes each night for two nights.
    It seemed like this is what it’s going to be like for weeks.

    We asked around and were told that no, getting no sleep at all isn’t normal.” Yes, it is normal. Sorry. I don’t know ANYONE with a newborn who got 2-4 hours of sleep in a stretch. Sorry to say, you aren’t special for getting 0-30 minutes of sleep each night. :)

    Someone mentioned the Fisher Price Rock and Play sleeper. We were having the same problems with lack of sleep, and lots of spitting up after feedings. We co-slept, but didn’t bed share. We had to feed every 3 hours even if he wasn’t up (don’t worry, he was way before that) because he was a preemie. We’d feed him, burp him, lay him back down, he’d spit up, get upset. We’d pick him up, cuddle him upright for a bit and burp some more, lay him back down, and repeat. Then, we bought that Rock and Play. Best $60 you will EVER SPEND. Don’t worry about organic whatever, your sleep and your baby’s sleep is more important. GET IT. I will sing its praises for years to come.

    Reply

    • Dena

      |

      I feel I need to sing the praises of the RNP as well…if you’re worried about organic lay an organic blanket inside it before you put Alexis down. It really is a life saver – and so simple that mothers everywhere probably kick themselves that they didn’t invent it themselves!

      Reply

    • 09602357368410365419

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      Ehem. After the 5th night (4 of those being in the hospital, one at home), my husband and I split shifts and yes, got 4+ hours of sleep in a stretch. And my son started sleeping through the night (waking for 2 feedings then right back to sleep) at 2 weeks old. At 3 months, he started sleeping 7 to 7 and hasn’t strayed from this, and he’s almost 11 months old. So, literally NO sleep at all is not normal. Elena is correct.

      Reply

      • Sandy

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        Sleeping through the night at 2 weeks? Waking up for 2 feedings does not qualify as “sleeping through the night”. Nice try though…I’m sure this is EXACTLY what Elena wants to hear right now. ::eyeroll::

        Keep up the good work, Elena. The beginning is tough, but you’ll get through it. Alexis is beautiful!

        Reply

        • 09602357368410365419

          |

          Sleeping 7 to 7 and waking for 2 20 minute feedings then right back to sleep is “through the night” enough for me. And yeah, at two weeks. Why would I make that up?

          And my point was, feeding every 30 minutes for 24 hours straight isn’t average. M was so quick to snarkily tell her that she’s not special for getting 0-30 minutes of sleep every night. Not a single person that I know got that little sleep with their newborn. Something was wrong, Elena knew something was wrong, and she’s found what works for her, for now.

          Reply

          • Sandy

            |

            I’m not saying you made that up at all. I am saying its totally ridiculous to say that your baby slept through the night at 2 weeks. That is not sleeping through the night, by any definition. Newborns need to wake to eat, obviously. But to say your child slept through the night at 2 weeks? Please.

            It’s comments like that that make other parents feel like they are doing something wrong, or something is wrong with their baby if they are not sleeping through the night at 2 weeks. (And obnoxiously braggy, actually) That’s great that your child slept so well from the beginning, but to imply that any child that doesn’t isn’t “normal” it totally ridiculous.

            You are right, feeding every 30 minutes for 24 hrs straight isn’t average. But it’s not abnormal either. Nothing is wrong with Alexis, she’s a newborn. And Elena is figuring that out.

            Reply

      • Megan

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        No, your child would be in the minority. Babies bellies are too small to keep enough milk in them to last 12 hours. They are biologically wired to eat around the clock.

        Reply

  • Jen

    |

    TOTALLY agree with those who’ve said that your baby and your experience are 100% normal. Your post made me chuckle a bit when you said it’s “not newborn rough”, because that’s exactly what it is.

    All babies are programmed to need to be close to mama. I am not surprised in the least your daughter wouldn’t let you put her down (smart girl!). My DD (turned 2 in December and is now a beautiful, independent sleeper) had to sleep on my chest for the first two months. Time will pass and it will get easier. But this is exactly why people say having a newborn is so hard–this is a completely typical experience.

    Hang in there! Four months from now your sleep and schedule will be totally different and will feel much more manageable.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

      |

      I feel like I NOW have the newborn normal- feeds every 30 min during the day, sleeps 2 hours at night.
      I realize many moms deal with refluxy babies, but that’s not normal. Baby not going to sleep isn’t normal- they are supposed to sleep 16 hours a day.
      I do feel that it’s a shame moms don’t talk about their babies needing constant contact and bed sharing. Because resources and books definitely don’t set that expectation.
      I’ve only had 1 person tell me her DD couldn’t be put down, so I thought it was an exception…. But it truly seems like its more common.

      Reply

      • M

        |

        There IS NO “normal” or “supposed to” when it comes to newborns. Or babies. Don’t start comparing to other babies EVER.

        Moms DO talk about their babies needing constant contact, you just need to listen.

        Reply

        • Michelle

          |

          Absolutely agree. There is no such thing as “supposed to” when it comes to babies. Just throw all that garbage out of the window. You will drive yourself crazy if you keep doing things or expecting things because that’s how it’s “supposed to ” happen.

          And with all do respect, as the mother to 2 reflux babies, saying that is not normal doesn’t really sit well with me either. I think it’s FAR more common than you realize. And I know VERY few newborns who sleep 16 hours a day. That sounds like a dream baby.

          Reply

      • Dena

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        I wish somebody would have told my newborn that she was ‘supposed’ to sleep for 16 hours. I remember keeping a sleep log and I was lucky if she topped out at 8. Newborns are going to do what they’re going to do. Throw away the ‘manual’ that’s in your head and keep following your instincts but also don’t dismiss other mothers’ advice. I’m not saying take EVERYTHING but don’t discount real life experience just b/c it may not jive with the image of motherhood you have in your head. As always good luck!

        Reply

  • 00169732959396572559

    |

    So relieved to hear that the steps you took led to a happy baby, happy mom! It is sooo hard, those first few days / weeks / months as a new mom. I tried to avoid co-sleeping at first with my son, and he WOULD NOT sleep anywhere but in my arms. After many tears, a trip to the pediatrician, and lots of online research I decided to co-sleep and it made a world of difference. That’s how most babies in the world sleep, and I think it’s actually safer and better for a newborn — as long as it’s done correctly, which I’m sure you are since you very thoughtful and specific in everything you do with your little one.

    I have to say, I read those comments saying “What did you expect?” and I felt they were very mean spirited. Of course we all know becoming a mom means little sleep and lots of sacrifice, but nothing can prepare one for the massive life change of a newborn — its the hardest thing in the world while at the same time the best thing in the world, and what moms NEED the most is lots and lots of support! So please know there are so many of us nodding our heads, very empathetic, and wishing you and your sweet girl the best. You deserve it! So glad you are getting a bit of sleep. She is a very lucky baby to have such a smart, caring mom!!!

    Reply

  • Jillian

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    I don’t know, that sounds like a very typical newborn to me, but I had 3 babies with reflux (2 with severe reflux. Our first was actually hospitalized due to reflux causing apnea episodes) so maybe that’s just what I’m used to. For what it’s worth, we co-slept every night with all 4 and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    Reply

  • Camille

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    Aww, it sounds like reflux / colic! It’s soo hard. I had my mother to help me full time and my husband to help me after work and I still barely got any sleep. I recommend babywearing, being held with her tummy pressed up against you (or daddy or grandma or whoever) will help stop the crying. And I could even do chores while wearing mine. :) Co-sleeping is a lifesaver. I wasn’t going to do it either; I had a bassinet, co-sleeper, and a crib. But it was the only way I got some sleep some nights was to have my lil one in bed with me. I also did gripe water and Mylicon (sp?) and it didn’t seem to have any bad effects, but I didn’t see it helping much. It just made me feel better because I was trying to help her. Probably the best thing to do is wait it out and comfort her. It’s hard to hear her cry, I know! But hopefully she will grow out of it soon!!

    Reply

  • Jess

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    That sounds exactly like my first few weeks with my daughter. I assure you that when people say you get no sleep, that’s exaclty what they mean. At this stage newborns clusterfeed and need to be held. They crave and need that contact. My daughter would nurse for 45-60 mins every other hour for weeks. The only time she’d sleep not on us is if we had her tightly swaddled. If you’re not swaddling, I REALLY recommend it. What your describing sounds like typical newborn behavior but don’t worry it gets better!

    Reply

  • AC

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    Baby not going to sleep IS NORMAL!! F people are telling you that they have experienced it as well, why do you continue to think that your situation is unique? It isn’t. Your situation isn’t special. at.all.

    And guess what? If your baby still isnt sleeping through the night at 8,9,10 months, that is also normal. Do some browsing on sleep sites and you will find women that have 9 month olds that sleep no more than 2 hrs at a time and are still constantly nursing to sleep.

    16 hrs is an average. Not an absolute, finite number of hours that a newborn sleeps.

    Reply

  • Jen F.

    |

    Honestly, I am sorry that you are having a hard time. But what you are describing is a normal newborn, and yes it is “normal newborn rough”. Just because you are having trouble doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with your baby. 99% of new moms have the same complaint– “my baby sleeps fine in my arms but then immediately starts crying when I put them down”. That is so unbelievably typical I’m honestly shocked that you thought it was abnormal. That being said I’m glad you’ve found a solution, there is nothing wrong with bed sharing if it is what works for your family.

    And just to clear something up for everyone else, there is legitimate evidence both for and against bed sharing. There is legitimate evidence both for and against crib sleeping. You will always be able to find studies that support your own personal preference. So please stop saying that it IS this way because of THESE studies.

    Reply

  • Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker

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    My daughter is 13 weeks old and has reflux. I agonized, but when she turned 1 month, I decided to give her the medicine and it has worked wonders. So, if everything moves in that direction — just know that I didn’t take any drugs during my pregnancy, I avoided all interventions during labor and birth, and I never, ever wanted to give Ada medicine so young — but it worked! And she’s much, much happier. I also agree with what other folks have said: All of this the no sleeping at ALL is absolutely normal. Which is why — and of course it’s different for everyone — but I’d advise you to take a bit time off from posting to take care of yourself and just survive these early weeks. I tried posting all the time after Ada was born and it just wore my out. If you really aren’t getting any rest/sleep — take time to be a family in real life . . . post later . . . and it’ll get better before you know it. I promise!

    Reply

  • Jennifer

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    My son is 9 months old and we still co-sleep… And have since day one. He too did not sleep away from us, but slept so well with us. It is the only way that I have survived the last 9 months as he still wakes up every 3-6 hours. As he got older, we were able to simply roll towards one another, nurse, and go back to sleep. He still won’t go down for naps during the day… Yes, I still allow him to sleep in my arms for daytime naps the few days that I stay home with him. And I am perfectly happy doing so. Before we know it, these kiddos will be pushing us away!

    Reply

  • Polly

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    I am so confused as to what you were reading or who you were talking to that you think no one talks about how hard breastfeeding is or how you don’t get any sleep with a newborn.

    Every mom I know talks about how hard breastfeeding is at first. Why do you think so many moms quit?

    Were you only trying to sleep at night when Alexis sleeps? Why weren’t you trying to sleep during the day?

    Being a first time mom is a very hard adjustment and I had some terrible nights completely ALONE because my husband was working night shifts. I was so sleep deprived I was hallucinating. But your baby is a normal newborn who is adjusting to the outside world. It’s hard to read your blog now because I feel like you’re trying to act like you some how have it harder than everyone else. It is hard and I’m glad you’re being honest, but the “Oh darling you have no idea” lines are ridiculous. Yes, the world does have an idea because it’s full of moms.

    And I just want to point out that while CIO is not a technique I’ve had to try on my 7.5 month old and I hope I never do, it’s absolutely NOT for newborns! No where will you find recommendations for the CIO method for newborns. That’s not what it’s for, so I don’t know why you even mentioned it in regards to a 2 week old.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

      |

      I know a total of 2 girls with kids, only 1 of them breastfed. All my other friends are kidless.
      As far as sleep, aside from books and online resources, if you go to any message board (even ones that’re same age group babies as us), their complaints are “my baby won’t sleep for longer than 2 hours, or won’t nap but sleeps for 5 hours at night.” I didn’t see a single post with babies eating every 30 minutes all day and night.
      I don’t think I have it harder than everyone else. When she was feeding every 30 minutes all night and day, maybe harder than some people. But that wasn’t the point of the post. The point was worrying that something wasn’t right and then figuring out what it is she needed (sleeping with us) and now I feel she sleeps like what you’d expect- 1-2 hours at night.
      She still feeds every 20-30 minutes during the day which is why I can’t sleep then, but nights evened out.

      The “darling comment” was actually to my sister’s remark of “did you think it was gonna be easy”, not that I have to explain myself…

      Reply

      • Michelle

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        Again, an honest to goodness question, not trying to be snarky at all. But is it at all possible that your supply may have dropped? Both my babies are/were eaters but every 20 minutes sounds like a LOT! I know in those first few weeks, it’s all about survival, so making time for myself to eat was difficult and my supply suffered from it because you need constant water and food to make your “fuel”. Just wanting to make sure you are taking care of yourself so that you can take the very best care of Alexis =)

        Or she might not be truly hungry and just want to “suck” , which newborns have the natural urge to do. I know you used a paci in the first few days and I didn’t know if you still were. It could bring her (and you) great relief. Hang in there!

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          I constantly worry about my supply (who doesn’t?), but she has 9 BMs and wet diapers a day, she definitely swallows while eating, not doing the light suck.
          Won’t take a pacifier any more. The only way I’ve gotten her to take one is when she against my chest with paci pressed in her mouth (puts her to sleep instantly… For 10-20 min)
          Like today, I kid you not she was attached to me from 10 am to 7pm with short snooze breaks and active alert stages.

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          • Holly

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            I have to recommend a wubbanub pacifier. There’s a tiny little animal attached to it that keeps the pacifier close to baby’s face. The animal is small enough that it does not risk smothering. We love them!

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      • Jen F.

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        I guess I just don’t see how that’s possible. How long does she eat for? Most babies will nurse for 15-20 minutes. So is she nursing 90% of the time? That makes no sense. If that is the case then I can guarantee she is not always hungry and it is comfort sucking. I guarantee if you gave her bottles of pumped breast milk and she was “eating” every 30 minutes you would be able to see that most of the time it is comfort sucking. I know you aren’t open to doing that so I’m not actually suggesting you do that but it’s just how babies are. I exclusively pump and bottle feed and my daughter does this frequently, where she will act hungry, suck on the bottle for 10-15 minutes and I will look to see how much she has drank and she will have literally drank nothing, you just can’t see that this is what’s going on when it’s from the breast. If you give her a pacifier which I saw you were doing in the hospital, I would bet that would satisfy her a lot of the time. You probably won’t agree with me but I’m sorry, I maintain the fact that there is no way a baby could possibly be eating every 30 minutes.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Her average is 14-17 min per feeding.
          I watch for comfort sucking (when she doesn’t swallow) and she does it for maybe 2 mins at the end.
          We tried bottle feeding breastmilk just to see how much she takes and she took all I pumped (2oz first week) and was hungry 30-40 min later.
          She won’t take a paci either :(
          Uses her hands to soothe.

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          • Michelle

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            Then she’s hungry. My DD has been taking 4oz since she was 2 weeks old. Our pedi was amazed that she ate so much but some babies need more. If she really is eating (as in you hear swallowing) every 20 minutes, I bet your supply has dropped. Try upping your water and food. Oatmeal is a wonderful food in aiding your supply. There are also natural supplements that you can take. Mothers Tea is also wonderful.

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          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            I don’t actually know how much she takes. The 2 oz I pumped that one day was after a feeding and I stopped cuz I ran out of time. It was when she was 1 week old.
            I’ve been drinking mothers milk and eating milk makers oatmeal and my water intake is good. I think my food intake is ok too.

            If she wasn’t getting enough, wouldn’t she have less BM and wet diapers?

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          • Haley Miller

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            My son was like this–he ate all the time at the beginning. He was and is a big kid and was putting on the weight he needed. I never had supply issues at all. In fact, most of the time I had almost too much milk. I’m sure your supply is perfectly fine as well, especially since she is peeing and pooping. Ignore these comments and trust your instincts! You are doing a great job.

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        • Amanda

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          I think you need to do more research. A newborn has such a tiny stomach and they grow a TREMENDOUS amount, if she’s gaining weight, and having enough wet and dirty diapers her supply is fine.

          Reply

          • Michelle

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            More research? I have 2 children. I think that’s all the research I need. But thanks!

            Elana, I wasn’t trying to make you feel like you were not doing a good job or make you worry. I was just trying to maybe offer up some suggestions to help. But if you got the 2 oz AFTER a feeding, then that’s really good. I’m sure your supply is fine then. She just might be a “snacker”. Only taking in a little bit at a time, and not doing a full feeding. Therefore waking up and eating more often.

            Reply

  • Katherine

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    I haven’t read all the comments, but I always say to my friends who are concerned that this is how their baby sleeps: “She slept with you, listening to your heartbeat, for the last 9 months… is it any wonder why she sleeps best that way now?”

    Clearly you discovered that for yourself! :)

    Reply

  • Shannon

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    You have an awful lot of judgemental people that like to criticize and critique every single thing you are doing and I hope you aren’t letting any of their opinions get to you. It is hard enough during this time, adding that on top is just so much worse.

    That being said, I have followed your blog since you found out you were pregnant and honestly, I enjoy reading it. I just wanted to lend a little support to you during this time. You seem to be doing the best you can, and that is really all you can do. These first few weeks really are the hardest, ever. I remember having trouble with my VISION during the first few weeks after we brought our daughter home because the lack of sleep was just killing me. I would cry with her because I just didn’t know what else to do.

    I promise you though, it will get better. You are doing a great job. Pat yourself on the back and know that this too shall pass!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Thank you Shannon! Unfortunately it comes with the number of readers… Good things and bad things….
      Luckily I realize opinions are like “you know what” and you can’t please everyone and unless you write a mile long list of disclosures, there will always be someone who will get upset/ offended at anything , including my own choices lol
      I rarely care what other people think, only what’s right for my family and me.

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      • stacie

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        Great! That’s a positive outlook. And please, do not let anyone worry you into thinking your supply is low. That’s something we breastfeeding mama’s worry about enough on our own. Pumping is not indicative of supply anyway because it doesn’t suck the milk out like baby. Great work on your beautiful baby and good luck. Positive thoughts that sleep is in your future.

        Reply

  • Jenna

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    Good for you! I don’t even know you and I’m proud of you. :) My DD screamed every single time we put her down, from the hospital bassinet onward. Even though I’m a public health professional, and I’m supposed to say “no bed sharing”, I’m a huge advocate of doing it safely. My DD is 6 and still prefers to sleep near us – not all the time, but when she’s feeling most vulnerable. And you know what? It’s a good thing that she turns to us and we’re there. The only reason it was ever a bad thing is because I let other people and their opinions get to me. For a short time, I ignored what I felt my child needed and went with what I thought we were “supposed” to do, and we were all miserable – as soon as I dropped that mentality, I found peace in giving my child what she needed and what we felt was right for our family. Good for you for figuring it out so soon. The best thing a parent can do for his/her child is to trust their instincts, and you’ve got it Girl. :)
    Jenna

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  • Jaymi

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    two of my best friends had a baby last year and were determined not to let her stay in their bed. they very quickly learned that was impossible! Everyone, parents and baby, were much happier with bedhsaring for MONTHS. I think the baby was close to 8 months before sleeping in her nursery all night every night was really an option. When it came time, they had a lot of “cry it out” sessions, and after two nights it was a piece of cake. I think the key is just not to let it go on too long (which is probably different for every family) so you don’t end up with a 2 year old that has a meltdown if she’s not in your bed! :)

    good luck to you, sounds like you’ve overcome a difficult hurdle! :)

    Reply

  • Jen

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    Don’t worry about anything except nurturing that little baby. You cannot spoil a newborn. She just wants to be loved and whatever that means to her is what you should do (and are doing). Keep up the great work momma!

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  • Natalie

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    First of all… CONGRATULATIONS! I read your posts on your adjustment to being a mommy and it sounds like things are going pretty well for you thus far.

    I had one suggestion that I thought I’d share… my second daughter also had an issue with wanting to be sleeping on us all the time… I did it for the first few nights but honestly I was never super comfortable with her being in the bed with me (I am a really sound sleeper). I couldn’t sleep very well, and NEEDED to because I had not only a newborn to care for but also an 18-month old daughter who needed me during the day!

    One night I had a revelation that worked out so well for me, we wound up doing it for several weeks before my daughter was more adjusted to life outside of the womb… we swaddled her, then we’d wrap the shirt I wore that day around the swaddle. The “smell of mommy” helped her sleep better, and I still had her right next to me – just in a safer way than what I felt I could do with her sleeping in bed with me.

    But in all honesty… when it comes to life with a newborn… you have to just do what works, for the time being. And believe me – with two girls 18 months apart, and one more on the way, I have learned something very valuable: every time you think you have something figured out (sleep schedule, feeding schedule, whatever it may be), it just might change on you before you realize it. It probably will. When you figure out how to make your baby happy, GREAT… just be prepared for something different to work better in a couple days/weeks. ;-) You’re doing a great job, though! Hang in there… sleepless nights don’t last forever.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      You know, I tried a similar thing- hanging my shirt on the co-sleeper. I didn’t notice a difference but wrapping her in it might be interesting.
      I don’t mind bed sharing at all- I can hear her every sound and I love snuggling next to her but I might try this trick for naps. Thank you!

      Reply

  • Jeane

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    http://www.happiestbaby.com/ Get the Dvd. It was very helpful for us in distinguishing the different cries. Also swaddling was epic!! he LOVED being swaddled. Oh, and doing “bicycle legs” pumping his legs in circles helped a lot with the gas. All babies are different, the first 2-3 weeks are crazy. Don?t worry, she?ll settle into a routine soon. Find what works for you. Good luck. You?ll be having 2 hour stretches of sleep in no time!! For me, a 4 hour sleep=full night?s sleep (for the first 4-6 months).

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Read the book before even getting pregnant. We have swaddled since day 1, she still wakes up. Now she seems to hate the swaddle and sleeps better without it (as long as she’s with us).
      But every other S totally works for her.

      Reply

  • Cassie

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    Congratulations on your new little girl – she’s precious!

    I do however have to state that this is exactly what newborns do. You aren’t dealing with an isolated incident. No new moms/parents sleep (surprisingly they don’t just say that to hear themselves talk, it’s true for everyone).

    FYI, you might want to try swaddling. Just think of how she was in utero, that same feeling can be replicated with a good swaddle and I guarantee it will help in her – and you – getting a good nights sleep.

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  • thebabywife

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    Elena, if you haven’t already – read ‘The Continuum Concept’, and anything about AP you can get your hands on by Dr Sears

    xxx

    Reply

  • Alla

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    No wonder your baby wants to be next to you she was inside your belly for 9 months! :) I’m glad that you figured it out before treating your newborn with medicine for something she never had. I’d suggest baby sling like Moby or such to free your arms a little or a breastfeeding pillow which saved my life. My son napped on my chest for a few months and still likes to nurse and nap at the same time(hi is 4 m. o. now)

    Reply

  • Snorky

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    It will get better! Do anything the baby needs for the first 3 months- think of it as a “missing trimester”- constantly hold her, wear her, feed on demand, etc. Just follow your instincts and try to recreate the womb experience. After 3 months, there is such a huge turnaround and things get so so much better. Try reding The Happiest Baby on the Block for some ideas. congratulations and Good Luck!

    Reply

  • Lisa

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    You do what works. And what makes the baby happy and keeps everyone safe. Something about the baby hearing/feeling your heartbeat is very important in the newborn stage.

    Reply

  • Jenna H.

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    Hi I just found your blog not too long ago. New reader here. Your daughter is beautiful! I can’t wait to read the birth story (as I’m sure lots of people are waiting for it too). How is the cloth diapering going? Maybe you mentioned it already, but I can’t remember reading about it. It’s totally okay if you do disposables as well. I tried cloth diapering but it never worked with my child, tons of rashes all the time, and as soon as we switched to disposables rashes went away completely. I also want to say that it’s okay if your daughter gets things besides breastmilk. Don’t worry about her intestinal flora too much. Some babies get only formula from day one (for various reasons) and turn out just fine and completely healthy. When I went back to work I didn’t have enough milk pumped and my baby had to have some formula supplemented, even though that was the last thing I wanted, although it had to be done so baby could get enough to eat. Anyways, you and your husband look really young. (that’s a compliment!) How old are you if you don’t mind me asking?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      We are yet to switch to cloth due to size (all diapers I got are one size and a but big), plus while I’m figuring out breastfeeding it’s really convenient to use the pee indicator diapers.
      I’m really itching to start cloth diapering. We use cloth wipes and love that part.

      Age: I’m 26, hubby- 42.

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      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        Correction: I’m 27 (28 in August), I haven’t actually thought of my age for so long I had to count it from my birth year lol

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  • Cobalt

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    So sorry your first few weeks were tough ones! Attachment Parenting has some good ideas. It also has a reputation for putting a lot of stress and guilt on mothers – new mothers especially. Trust your instincts, do what your baby needs. If that’s in the direction of AP, great. If it’s in a direction that would cause Dr. Sears to wag an angry finger at you, so be it. No single parenting philosophy is perfect..

    And I’d love to read any tips you have on photoshopping or improving photos. The ones on your site are beautifully enhanced!

    Reply

  • anna

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    Keep her close to you. She will grow up so quickly, can you believe its already been 2 weeks? Don’t worry about what others say, babies thrive on bonding with moms and sleeping so be there for her ss much as she wants. I’m not sure why in American culture, they like to shove the spanking new baby in another room, they have all their life to be independent!

    Reply

  • Bubbles

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    Hi,
    I had a refluxy colicky baby. I as well skipped the Zantac that was offered, too much bad research and not not enough research for infants and I do not consider myself selfish for skipping it. I will tell you what saved my life. The book “The Happiest Baby on the Block” It really focusing on the 5 S’s. I can not remember them now but is is swaddling, shushing, sucking, swaying and I more, I can not remember. I can not say enough about swaddling. It works wonders even if you think she does not like it. Mine did not at first and then I kept at a tight swaddle for naps and at night. I swaddled him until about 4 months old. It really mad him sleep! Not hours and hours on end but at least 4 hours at night and a couple during the day. This book is a must read!!!!!
    I was ready to die from sleep deprivation. It is not normal for babies to not sleep at all and mine did not. Actually the beginning of your post brought back bad bad memories LOL!!!!!

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  • irina

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    Lenochka (sorry to sound so familiar, but this is better than “honey”….), please do not worry about your milk supply – you have enough to deal with as it is. You are fine, not having enough milk is highly unlikely (based on a lot of research conducted by a paranoid mother who worried about her supply for weeks and finally decided to let it go)! You take good care of your body, it knows what t do, plus her wet/soiled diaper count is fantastic. You are a good mom!!!!

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  • BabyBoyNYC

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    Our baby at 8 months still sleeps with us about 3 hours a night. I probably wont try to correct it until maybe 1? He used to sleep with us from 12am till wake up at 7am but he improved on his own. whatever works for parent and baby is whats best! Though sleeping without a pillow really sucks! (we had a major scare so I never sleep with a pillow when he is in our bed)

    Reply

  • Erin

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    Just a couple more suggestions:
    1. If you try something once and it doesn’t seem to work (swaddling with one if your shirts, for example), keep trying. I found that if usually took at least a week for something to catch on, or to reverse itself.
    2. It’s very likely that Alexis was and is going through a growth spurt and that’s why she was and is eating so often.
    3. Don’t worry–even if Alexis isn’t “normal,” you are definitely not alone! I looked back throughmy sleep logs and it was rare that we got more than 2 hours of sleep a night total in the first few months. My LO got most of her sleep napping during the day but even then she was rarely getting more than 8 hours in a 24 hour period. I was freaked out that the lack of sleep would ruin her development but she is currently a highly functional and smart toddler!

    Reply

  • Amanda

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    Both of my daughters were like this. I coslept in a recliner (GASP!) with my first daughter for 6 months and with my second daughter for 4 months. I would periodically try to get them to sleep in the co-sleeper and when they did, that is when we stopped sleeping cuddled up. I cherish those memories and wouldn’t change a thing. Its so easy to say do this and don’t do this when you do not have a baby (or when you have a baby that doesn’t cry or want to be close), but once you are in the crossfire, you do what you have to do to keep baby (and yourself) happy and healthy!

    Congratulations on Alexis, she is adorable!

    Reply

  • Mrs Loquacious

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    What a relief to know it’s not just us going through the ugly pain cries in the middle of the night! Our little Baby Loquacious also goes from 0 to 100 on the fussy crying scale, seemingly for no reason. We caved last night and finally got her some gripe water and saline spray for her snorty little nose. We haven’t gone to a co-sleeping model yet, but we have second guessed our adequacy as parents on more than one occasion when baby has been crying so hard that her little voice becomes hoarse.

    Our doc’s advice: breastfeed and top up with formula, give her gripe water, and stop eating dairy and gassy foods (that’s a directive aimed at me).

    What we have learned: white noise = awesome, and if you have to get bottles, get the kind that helps prevent gas bloating and colic. Read baby’s cues and take all other “advice” with several grains of salt. Trust your instincts. And relax!

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  • Crystal

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    I wouldn’t be too worried about your supply (easier said than done, I know), but if you are, call a lactation consultant. My kids both nursed 15-25 times a day (not kidding, I kept a log for 2 weeks) for at least 2 weeks. I took them in to see a LC who weighed them before and after a feeding to see how much they were getting at a feeding and both were getting the typical amount. They just really liked boobs and would pass out halfway through a feeding, wake up in 20 minutes, finish it and repeat all day. I got a lot of TV watching in during that first month.

    Reply

  • Mary R

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    Are you concerned at all about all of the chemicals in the disposable diapers? I mean if you’re using all organic bedding, clothing, etc….have you looked at all the chemicals in disposable diapers?

    Reply

  • Hailey

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    You clearly know it all so good luck to you. lol

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    • Kay

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      This was rude and uncalled for.

      Reply

  • 07587136107547265653

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    I literally just have to laugh since I was once at this stage in life. My daughter will be three so way past the newborn stage and on to others. I thought it would be pretty easy to adjust to having a newborn and it was until my mom left after a month of being my support and doing everything else a wife does. It was tough after my mom left and I ended up getting very depressed and there was a huge lack of support and help from my then spouse. I will say once you get in a routine (it is a huge key) that things get better, maybe not easier but it helps so much! It took almost four months to get in a good routine I was comfortable with. My daughter never slept with me but she might as well have. I had her newborn bed right up next to my bed and I could constantly hear her breathing and if she was choking (she did end up with acid reflux and was choking a LOT.) and was able to be right there. I think the first at least 6 months to a year they are okay to sleep in your room next to you. She adjusted just fine to her crib and being in her own room. Do what you feel is best and it will get easier to adjust to your new life!

    Reply

  • Cmama

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    My daughter had terrible reflux. Before we figured out what was bothering her, she would scream at the top of her lungs for hours, inconsolable. After we figured out the right medicine (zantac did not work), she would only sleep on top of me/on her stomach. We also went through the no sleep at night before we figured it out, and with her on my chest we were actually able to sleep for short stretches. She slept like that for months until we were able to get her to sleep in the cosleeper. Also, she hated the carseat, b/c the angle pushes on the little tummy. Do whatever works and whatever you are comfortable about. That’s what mothering is about, what works for your family. She still has reflux, but at 2 1/2 it doesn’t bother her nearly as much as before, so she’s no longer on meds.

    Also, about the sleep, you’ll find that they go through cycles. They will just seem to be getting into a pattern, and then you’ll have a string of nights where you can’t figure out why they just won’t go back to sleep. Sometimes it’s a growth spurt, sometimes it’s developmental, and other times there is just no explanation. This happens even when they are toddlers.

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  • Jamie

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    that sounds sooo rough! my LO is 1.5 weeks and nighttimes are hard but not like that. The hardest part is not being able to console her at times. Have you tried the moby wrap at all? it helps my LO sleep because she is close to my chest but i have free hands. (typing with one right now) it also keeps her upright which i think helps with gas/hiccups (maybe reflux?)

    Reply

  • give me a break

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    Cosleeping does not cure reflux. Choking and gagging are classicare classic signs of reflux. Why bother going to a dr if you’re just going to dismiss her opinions? Gripe water is harmless to bab
    You’re not the only mom with a difficult baby and crap sleeer. Lots of moms have babies who don’t sleep and cry around the clock. Tons of babes will only sleep on a chest of someone for the first month or even longer. You can’t say that no other mom has it as hard.
    That being said, I am all about cosy.leeping and doing wtever it takes t baby to sleep.

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      • Jaymi

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        wow people are way too harsh on you! you just write your experience and findings and are never critical of people doing things differently, but it seems some people take it as criticism anyways!

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  • Stacy

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    I agree with Ali. My son just had a heart transplant 6 weeks ago. If you’re afraid of gripe water and zantac, just be glad you don’t have to give 13 different meds a day. I breastfeed too, but obviously can’t worry about his intestinal flora too much. I do what I have to do. He is alive and healthy due to all those “evil meds.” as a mom, things change every day. My second dd had such bad colic that dh and I had to switch off holding her in order for either of us to get an hour or do if sleep. She was up screaming all the time.

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  • Mel

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    Im glad you found something to help you and your daughter get more rest at night. We also coslept for a short time, but in our case, the only one getting more sleep was our daughter! She would only sleep on my husband’s chest, so when she was there, she was great between feeding. Would not sleep on the bed next to us or next to the bed in a bassinet or swing. Had to be on him. So, he slept really lightly and woke up anytime she would make a peep or a slight movement and I barely slept because I was worried she’d somehow tumble off him, he’d roll over, or he’d unknowingly pull the covers over her (didn’t happen once. Because he barely slept). I’m cerainly glad she got better rest in that time, but we were super thankful when she started sleeping in a crib a couple months later. When my husband and I were a bit more rested, things got immeasurably easier.

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  • Mike

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    I must ask, after reading so much about your toxic free lifestyle and rather un orthodox approach…have you vaccinated your daughter? Of course this is completely your decision, however, if you haven’t researched, please take the time to research the dozens of toxic ingredients in vaccines before allowing them into your baby.

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  • Lisa

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    I think all the people who tell you don’t do this, this is a no-no, SIDS risk blah blah blah have never had a baby! We had the same problem. We ended up sleeping him on his tummy since he wouldn’t stay wrapped and had tummy pains on his back. I also brought him into bed with us in the early morning hours to feed and sleep because let’s face it, you can’t a the best parents when you are not sleeping. I think this is absolutely fine. Our boy is 5 months now and he sleeps in his own cot in his own room, can roll himself over if he get uncomfortable and we all get 8+ hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. You can teach her to sleep on her own later. She is a brand new baby and needs her mummy and daddy cuddles. She is just forming her bonds and establishing trust so you need to give her whatever she wants right now. It MAY make it harder to get her to sleep on her own later, but you can deal with that as it comes, every baby is different. Well done!

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  • Concerned mama

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    So, I am an AP parent all the way. But PLEASE listen to this word of warning. Our close friends lost their newborn son in October from a co-sleeping incident. He was their THIRD child and of course nothing like it happened with their other two. The father accidentally rolled and smothered him. Exhaustion and lack of sleep can do funny things to our sense of awareness. If you fall into a deep sleep, horrifying things CAN happen.
    I photographed this sweet pea’s newborn shots. (On my website, he’s the baby boy under newborns suspended from his daddy’s hands in black and white.) He was perfectly healthy and beautiful. And now he’s in heaven and his parents are left here, devastated by the off-chance situation.
    PLEASE consider putting him back in the cosleeper when possible.

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    • Concerned mama

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      If you still are determined to have baby in bed with you, consider buying a mini co-sleeper. You put baby in bed with you, but the sleeper has walls so that when you roll you cannot smother the baby. We used it with all three of my babies- it’s great.

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  • Josey

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    My daughter just turned 3 months old, and she ALWAYS sleeps better if she’s cuddled up with me and swaddled tighly. Screw the ppl who saw I’m endangering her. It’s just not true!

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  • Katie

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    Just an FYI, spitting up does not equal reflux. It is inaccurate to compare spitting up (which every newborn does to an extent) to the the medical diagnosis of reflux. And, a baby not wanting to sleep anywhere but on their parent is pretty common. There’s a reason they call the first three months of a baby’s life the “Forth Trimester”.

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  • twinmomma

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    this. generally swallow studies need to be done to properly diagnose reflux. those aren’t fun, but it was better to have a correct diagnosis with proper treatment.

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