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First of all - CONGRATS!! So excited about the kiddos..

Glad to hear Adam is doing well.

As for your questions...

1. Yes - they are supposed to sleep that much. I think it has something to do with the growing they do in the next couple of weeks. I know my daughter put on a couple of pounds in two weeks :)
2. Yes and Yes. Make sure they are drinking as much as they can take.
3. I was told that as long as they are eating at normal intervals and that they are growing not to wake them up or force more in them. Their stomachs are super small right now - can't hold much. They'll be a time when you can't make enough for them to drink :)
4. Just like us, they don't always eat as much at every feeding. Wouldn't worry unless she's not peeing (doesn't seem to be an issue as seen in #5) or not eating at all.
5. I always changed my daughter before hand to wake her up - and then after if she's poopy. They are SUPER spitters...make sure you're not wearing anything you want to keep clean :)


Everyone's going to have different opinions. Just remember - she'll never know that you did it 'wrong' or 'different' than everyone else :)

Good luck!

Hi Tertia!
Lurker de-lurking here.
Congrats on the birth of your babies!
I'll try to help with your questions.
1) Yes - Newborns tend to sleep ALOT. They are bascially eating, pooping, sleeping for the first few weeks.
2) Not sure about this one.
3) I believe in the beginning it is important that babies don't miss a feeding. Every 3 hours (give or take) I used to wake mine up for a feeding when they were newborns. After a few weeks, I fed "on demand" (which was still every couple hours)
4)I breastfed initally - so I'm not sure. I don't "think" they need to finish the full bottle - I'm sure someone else can help with this one.
5) I used to chenge the diaper in the middle of the feed. That way it sould keep them awake to finish the feed, and keep them in a clean diaper.
Good Luck to you! You will do great!
Caroline

Hi!!

Congrats!!

I did not wake up my son if he fell asleep eating. He usually got enough food and so I let him sleep b/c feeding is exhausting for the little ones. He also pooped when he ate but I would wait a bit till I was sure he was asleep and then I changed him. If I did it too soon he would wake up.

Yes he slept all the time, it was so weird. I had no idea. It was actually quite nice.

Congrats to you and I am glad that Adam is doing so very well.

I'm so happy both of your babies are doing well! Here are my answers...
1. They sleep a lot at first! However, if she seems to become more sleepy than she had been that doesn't sound right. My son had jaundice and it made him extremely sleepy and unable to eat a full meal. He needed treatment with bililights; you may want to have Kate's biliruben levels checked. If you press slightly on her chest does her skin look yellow?
2. I had a winter baby so can't tell you about the heat.
3. She sounds pretty sleepy...I am more of a worrier type mom so I'd probably wake her up until she finished her full meal, and as I said above I'd probably have her checked for jaundice.
4. I always wanted Gus to eat all of his food.
5. I know! I always changed after b/c I couldn't let him lay around in poop.
Maya

1) premies sleep...a lot. its been said that premies sleep until their due date and then they just wake up and act like a full term baby. my daughter was born at 34 weeks. she slept all the time. on her due date, she just woke up!
2) heat does make babies more lethargic. dress them a little warmer than you dress.
3) i was told with my daughter to stimulate her while she was feeding. tickling feet, rubbing her belly, or even get her completely undressed so that she wouldnt fall asleep while eating.
4) if kate doesnt finish her full bottle, i wouldnt worry too much about it. babies will eat when they are hungry. but try to stimulate her so she is more awake during a feed.
5) maybe just undress kate down to her nappy (i so love saying that!) and get her uncomfortable instead of changing her before she eats.
im soooo proud of you! congratulations on your bundles! adam is in our prayers for a quick return home!

Congratulations Tertia! I'm not a mom, but have 15 nieces & nevvies, so i've been around a lot of new babies.
1. Yes, they do tend to sleep a lot, a lot a lot. Being out in the world is hard work! As she gets older, you'll notice her being more and more awake and alert.
2. Heat sucks for them as much as us. She can come here- I live in the northern US, it's cold now! ;-). Barring that, when it's hot we've tended to leave kids in as little as possible. If she seems really uncomfortable, maybe cool cloths? Moms?
3. Wake her up or let her sleep...I've heard both views on this one, but we've always tended to let them sleep. They'd more just doze, then realize they were still hungry- and wake up and want more ;-)
4. In my experience, sometimes they don't finish the full feed. Sometimes they want even more! It depends- I wouldn't worry too much.
5.Babies tend to spit up after every meal, so suspect it has nothing to do w/the diaper change. I'd vote to change, but won't hurt her if you wait a bit. I usally change them when they need it-which sometimes has been both before and after feeding! Most babies are pretty good about dirtying diapers;-).

Oh, and on the changing note- boys, when Adam comes home, make fountains ;-). Watch out! It can spurt a long way- my nevvie peed half across the room when I was changing him once. Girls are so much more decorous :-)

Don't worry Tertia, you're doing great. No mom ever feels like she's got it all figured out. Even if you felt that way, Kate or Adam will change the rules immediately just to keep you on your (sleep-deprived) toes.
I found that most of the time in Newborn Land two diaper changes were required for each time they woke to nurse. Sometimes, if they weren't poopy when they first woke up, I'd feed them, THEN change them. But most of the time for the first month or two it was a two-change deal (once when he woke, once after he fed).
I also think it's okay if Kate doesn't drink every last drop of her bottle. Unless you really feel the amount she's taking is dramatically down for that day, it's probably fine. She's so new! She needs to sleep as much as she can. One time my son Liam slept nearly an entire day. He only woke 4 or 5 times to nurse, then fell back to sleep. And he's a rambunctious 6 year old now.
I also think that the first 3 months (the 4th trimester!) the baby is just starting to figure out that they're out of the womb. Sometimes they get incredibly restless and cranky and fussy JUST BECAUSE.
You're doing great! Best wishes to your family and I hope Adam is in your arms as soon as possible...

I love to read you talking about your children! Newborn babies sleep ALOT. When I brought my daughter home - I was bummed that she slept so much. All I did was stare at her. I couldn't believe she belonged to me and why wouldn't she wake up??? Now that she's 6, I still try to get her to take a rest but she won't (sigh). I would change her before to wake her for feeding and after...so she wouldn't be in a poopy nap. Makes more naps but that's ok I guess. As long as she's eating and growing I woiudn't worry about her not finishing her bottle every time.

Listen to me....what the heck do I know?? I had to trial and error on my daughter too. Adam will have it made when he gets home. You'll be an old pro!

I had to wake my son up every 4 hours or so to eat. They are very lethargic and sleepy, and that's normal, but it makes feeding them difficult. I too, did the tickle feet trick, the change diaper trick, and sometimes nothing worked. I have a picture of Thomas at 1 week old with his diaper off on the changing table while he is sound asleep.

I never left him sitting in poop, his skin would get very raw from diaper rash. I changed him sometimes before and after. At this age, you are constantly changing diapers, and there's really nothing to be done about it.

Babies can get overheated very quickly, so it's important in the heat to keep them cool and well hydrated. It effects them much quicker than it effects us big people. They don't have the best internal temperature guage.

I'm happy for you, with your two healthy little ones! It sounds like you're an awesome mommy.

They sleep A LOT for the first few months.

You can tell if they are dehydrated or not eating enough by looking at their diapers. Here's some info

Frequency of bowel habits

Babies vary a lot in the frequency of bowel and urinary events — what and how often your baby eats are primary factors. Most babies urinate nearly every hour until they are 2 to 3 months old and every 2 to 3 hours for the rest of their first year. Talk with your baby's doctor if you notice any of the following:

Fewer than three wet diapers in a 24-hour period
Changing color of urine, which is typically pale yellow
Bloody urine
Difficult or painful urination
The frequency of bowel movements varies widely. Your baby may have as many as four to 10 a day, or as few as one every 3 to 4 days. After the first month, the number of bowel movements is usually less than three or four times a day, or even as seldom as once a week.

The color, frequency and consistency of bowel movements also vary widely, depending in large part on how and what your baby is fed. Stools of breast-fed babies generally are soft, watery and golden yellow, resembling mustard with seed-like particles. Stools of bottle-fed babies generally are more formed and tan colored.

Babies may turn red in the face and cry during a bowel movement, or they may seem totally unaware. These reactions are typical. As long as the bowel movements are soft or runny, your baby isn't constipated. However, if stools become hard, dry and difficult to pass, no matter how frequent, your baby may be constipated. Breast-fed babies seldom have problems with constipation. Babies with diarrhea have frequent, unusually loose or watery bowel movements that can come on suddenly. Dehydration, or the loss of essential body fluids, is the major concern if a baby has diarrhea. Talk with your baby's doctor if you notice any of the following:

Frequent large, watery bowel movements
Excessively watery and smelly stools
Marked redness or soreness to the diaper area
Colorless or white stools
Fresh blood on the diaper

The wake up to feed is a huge controversy. Most pediatricians'advice is as long as the baby has no signs of dehydration and is gaining weight appropriately, there is no need to awaken them.

If you change her diaper before a feed, it will be okay for her to sleep in a wet or poopy diaper for a couple hours. This is one of the things most people get real worried about at first but after a few months they're like "Whatever! She's asleep!" Obviously, if she develops signs of diaper rash you'll need to wake her even if it makes her cranky. But diapers are pretty good at sopping up newborn waste. If she's really, really uncomfortable she will cry anyways.

and if you're v v concerned, don't hesitate to call the doctor. My mom is a pediatrician and I've heard her field millions of calls of questions just like these from new moms- they don't mind, it's perfectly normal to want to make sure you're taking the best care of your baby possible. If it's bothering you, it's not a dumb question. You're just a great mom.

I just have to say that reading your blog over the past several days has never failed to bringa tear to my eye. I am sooooo thrilled for you and Marko. Adam and Kate are beauties. And twins are a joy!

In response to your questions from a twin mommy.

1. Yes, they sleep A LOT and also NEVER when you want them to.
2. Yes and yes. My doc suggested water between feedings if you think they need it. You can always tell if they are getting enough by the # of wet nappies (should be 6-8/day)
3. I woke them to eat if they didn't wake themselves. Mine were 6 weeks early, so we needed to make sure they weren't missing feeds. I also woke one baby if the other woke in the middle of the night so they would get on the same schedule. this part gets complicated when one decides they are ready to sleep through and the other isn't, but we can discuss that in a couple months. :D
4. Myt kids were not big eaters when really young, actually still aren't. Just get her to take as much as she will and don't worry if it is only 2oz. or less here and there.
5. changing in the middle of a feed is good to keep them awake for the feed and get rid of that dirty nappie. I ONLY change my kids around feedings/naps, unless they have a poop or soak through and then it gets changed immediately.

HTH!
Kristin in VA

Ditto what everyone else said, and adding, on the topic of finishing bottles, some babies finish full bottles, and some babies are grazers, preferring to eat less more often. My first daughter drank two ounces at a time, every two hours, until she was off bottles. Maddening, but that was the only way she would eat. At the end of the day she would total the same amount as her younger sister, who drank 4-6 ounces at a time.

As most others have said:
1. Yes they sleep a lot.
2. Don't know about the heat thing. My little guy was born in winter.
3. I never woke my guy up, but if after 3 hours, you want to, most drs. say you can, I think. It's all what you want to do.
4.I bf at first, so I didn't have bottle issues. Normally, they'll eat till they are full, or fall asleep, as long as she's eating regularly, she should be fine.
5.I normally changed the diaper when i changed breasts when nursing. when he was tiny, this would wake him up enough to finish eating, but wouldn't upset him all that much.

Don't worry, you;ll figure it all out to how you need to handle it. Then Adam will come home and throw all your routines out the window. But you'll love every minute of it!

Congrats again, and glad to hear Adam is doing so much better.

I remember how absolutely terrified and clueless I was when I brought my son home for the first time. I knew nothing about caring for a baby! But as you can see from the variety of opinions above, there isn't really a right or wrong way to do things-- it really is trial and error, and it will vary from baby to baby too. What works for one won't be right for another. That said, I'll put in my two cents...

1. Preemies sleep a LOT, as another poster mentioned. All babies sleep a lot, but when they're a bit early it's much more noticable. Kate is growing and catching up.
2. I think heat does make babies a bit more listless, just like us.
3. My daughter was born at 34 weeks, and it used to drive me crazy that she fell asleep in the middle of all her feeds. Her full term brothers really didn't do this so much. I used to tickle her and bother her while she was eating, just to keep her awake. And I did wake her to feed her, but that was only right at first when we were very concerned with getting her weight up. I never woke her brothers.
4. I wouldn't be that concerned about her finishing all her bottles. That's the tough thing with bottles- too much info. As long as she's peeing and pooing several times a day, and her urine is clear and not dark, she should be getting enough to drink.
5. As for the diaper-- don't have a clue. But I did want to mention that our daughter managed to spray us in the face with pee with almost the same gusto as our sons. I had no idea it was possible. Maybe she'll grow up to be an exotic dancer.

I'm glad things are going so well! It's amazing how you've gone from "Monday Updates" to "Baby Updates!" I'll try to answer your questions based on what I learned from doctors and personal experience:

1. Newborns sleep A LOT. I don't know what the percentage is, but I remember there were days with my daughter when she'd sleep for what seemed all day, and even through the night.

2. We don't have extreme heat where I live (coast of California) so I don't know if it causes lethargy in infants. But it makes sense. Children and adults conserve their energy in extreme heat, so I would imagine babies would do the same. I don't know if it would make her want to drink less, but it would certainly make her more likely to fall asleep during feedings, I think.

3. I was always told that newborns need to be fed at specific intervals (was it 4-hours? I can't remember exactly) regardless of whether they wake up or not. My daughter had to be woken up frequently just to be fed (and would fall asleep while being fed). But I think the regular feedings are important in the beginning to prevent jaundice. You might want to discuss this with your pediatrician. I'm pretty sure there's a point where you can be a little less diligent with the feedings, but I can't remember what that point is.

4. My husband and I generally encouraged our daughter to finish her feeds. If she fell asleep before finishing, we'd harrass her a little bit to wake her up to finish it. But if she slapped the bottle away or turned her head we'd either try to burp her and get her to finish after the burp, or would just end the feeding.

5. If she poops during the feeding I'd wait to change her until you've at least given her a burp or two. That helps prevent spit-ups. I don't know that leaving her in the poopy diaper while she finishes eating is particularly bad, but I was usually anxious to get my daughter into a clean diaper as soon as possible. Infants are mysterious enough without adding diaper rash to the mix.

You're definitely right about trial and error. Fortunately, they're VERY forgiving and their needs are not very complicated.

I know what you mean about her not telling you what's wrong! That's been one of the hardest things for me to deal with. When my daughter (her name is Willow) was an infant she went through a terrible period of colic where she would scream ceaselessly from about 5:30 PM to about 7:00 PM every night. We tried feeding, diapering, Tylenol, the "5 S's" (Swaddling, Side-position, Sucking, Shhhushing and Swinging--I think Tess has an explanation about that somewhere in her blog. It's a lifesaver.) and NOTHING worked. We finally concluded that she was overstimulated; infants can't filter out sensation the way we can, and can get overloaded and overtired as a result. So we'd place her in her crib in a dimly lit room. It eventually went away.

Hey Tertia:

No advice here, but boy, everyone loves you so much for asking. I just wanted to comment that of course you have to practice on Kate. How else would you learn to be a mom, but with your own baby?

I am just so so so happy for you.

bj

1. Yes! Newborns typically sleep 80% of the day or more.
2. Does the heat make them more lethargic?
Our summers are V hot. Absolutely makes them more lethagic.
Does it also make them want to drink less?
Not neccesarily. As long is she is drinking 2-4 ounces every few hours, your safe though.

3. Should I wake her up for a feed or let her sleep?
If she has had atleast a couple ounces and doesn't want to wake back up to finish, I wouldn't worry. Even though some people prefer their babies to have a "schedule", my gut instict is that a baby will let you know when they are hungry. As long as she is drinking 2-4 ounces every few hours, you have nothing to worry about.

4. If she doesn’t drink her full bottle, should I be worried, or do they just sometimes not finish the full feed?
Don't worry! She'll let you know if she's hungry.

5. Also, when do I change her diaper? Hmmm... If she poops, I would change her after. Can you warm the wipe slightly? It could be that she doesn't like the cold wipe on her bum.

It's all about trial and error, learning how to read Kate's cues, and finding ways to keep her happy. You already doing this Mommy dance wonderfully!

WTG Adam! You'll be home with you Daddy, Mommy, and sister soon!!!

I was told that as long as they gain weight, there is no need to wake them to feed. About the heat, a lukewarm bath used to make my daughter feel better when it was hot. She also liked a fan on low in her room circulating the air.

You'll figure it out - all Moms do.

Oh yay! Questions!
1. Yes, newborns do sleep 80% of the day. Witness article number… I can’t remember… of the manual I gave you – they sleep something like 18 out of the 24.
2. Yes, the heat will make them lethargic. If you’re really worried that she isn’t eating enough, try undressing her a bit just before a feed – she should wake up sufficiently to eat.
3. My rule, right from the word ‘go’, was to let them sleep for four hours between feeds during the day, no longer. Intention being that they get enough nourishment during the day and don’t want to feed right through the night. Eventually, this helps with the day-night mix-up thing newborns have going on.
4. I wouldn’t worry – bottles can be scary, because they’re v precise and you can see exactly how much they’re not taking, whereas with breasts, you have no idea of the quantity they’re getting. She’ll be satisfied when she’s satisfied, is my opinion.
5. Ja, changing before a feed is good for waking her up. But you do run the risk of wasting a nappy when she poops, because, no, you don’t want her to be in a poopy nappy for any length of time. I would just undress her a bit before a feed and then change her nappy after the feed.
Phew, that felt good – I LOVE answering those questions…
Yay for Adam – what a big boy.


1. Are they supposed to sleep so much?

- they sleep an unbelievable amount! (well, until you want them to sleep, then they'd prefer to stay up). basically, the new ones just eat, sleep and sleep. they start having small alert periods as the first two months go on.

2. Does the heat make them more lethargic? Does it also make them want to drink less?

yes, and yes. but you do need to make sure they don't overheat/get dehydrated. but just like us, heat slows them down.

3. Should I wake her up for a feed or let her sleep?

our docs recommended, in the first few weeks, waking up for all but nighttime feeds, especially if breastmilk is involved. especially when they come early, they don't always wake up when hungry. we followed our (multiple) pediatricians advice and fed every 3-4 hours during the day, then let them sleep as long as they want at night (this had the added benefit of teaching them more about when is day and when is night).

4. If she doesn’t drink her full bottle, should I be worried, or do they just sometimes not finish the full feed?

they don't always finish it. the best way to tell if they are getting enough is by the number of decently wet diapers in a 24 hour period.

5. Also, when do I change her diaper?

we always changed before, and then after if needed (don't want them to lay in a messy diaper). you will learn quickly how to change them without them fully wakening. also, if she is getting the hiccups/spitting up when you change her after she eats, it is often due to having a young, overfull tummy. so i would hold her and burp her some more before you lay her down to change!

in another week and a half you will be an expert!

If she's really cranky because of the heat, give her a bath (no soaps or anything) to cool her off.

Tertia,

I'm not going to give any advice (for once) as you have plenty.

But I am going to tell you about my twins (16 mo on Sunday) reactions to the photos of your babes that you posted.

Livia smiles, says "Kate" and points to Kates photo. When I bring up Adam, she looks at him rather seriously and says "ohhhh baby" in a sad little voice.

Caleb smiles and gives wet drooly kisses to my monitor and says "I la lo." Translation, "I love you."

Then when I try to close out the pictures to go look at something else or go away from the computer, they through fits and yeall "BABY BABY BABY!" It breaks their little hearts..

Wonderful news about Adam, I hope he is home soon.

Much love to the family! xoxo

Ha! Tertia! Freaked out yet? Ask and ye shall receive...

Tertia,

As excited as I am for you and your babies, I'm even MORE excited about you asking for advice on bottle-feeding! FINALLY, something I can help with! :)

The only piece of advice I got from Penelope Leach was "treat the bottle like the breast." If Hayden was hungry, he ate, even if it was just an ounce. I washed a LOT of bottles (til I switched to bottles with liners -- can you say LIFE SAVERS?) but it was worth it.

Dr. Leach recommended putting more 2 oz. in than you think the baby will eat so if he/she is more hungry than usual, you'll have enough. I started with 4 oz. bottles. Sometimes he ate 1 oz., sometimes three. When he was consistently draining 4 oz., I bumped him up to 6 oz. And so on, and so on.

Here's to Adam being home soon!

I had to really think about some of these questions because my "baby" is 15 years old now.

1. Yes they sleep that much. Enjoy it. It won't happen again until they're 15 yrs old and then you'll trying everything under the sun to get them up for school.

2. My son was born in the dead of winter on the prairies in Alberta, Canada. It was too bloody cold for him to get lethargic, so I'm not sure about this one.

3. I remember something about stimulating my son while feeding or to get him to feed. Again, it's been too many years.

4. Can't remember. I do know that 15 year old boys will eat you out of house and home.

5. Thrush and diaper rash are not very pleasant, hence I found that I changed before a feeding and then usually after a feeding. I did the cloth diaper route and I did a lot of laundry.

Wonderful news about Adam! And Kate!

Bad, bad nurse.

There's always next time.

Hi T,

First time I'm replying.

I'm glad Adam is doing better!

As for your questions:

1. Yes they are suppose to sleep a lot - especially preemies.

2. Does the heat make them more lethargic?  Yes it makes them more lethargic. But make sure they drink. One day it hit 100 degrees here and my DD slept all day. She only woke for her feeds. I told the doctor the next day and he said it was normal for such a hot day.

3. Should I wake her up for a feed or let her sleep?  Make sure she doesn't go past 4 hours for feedings during the day. But don't wake her up at night to feed if you want her to learn to sleep thru the night. 4 nurses told me this and it works,.

4. If she doesn’t drink her full bottle, should I be worried? I guess the bottom line is, is she gaining weight and wetting her diapers? If she's gaining weight and wetting her diapers she's getting enough. But hopefully she'll drink most of her bottle.

5. Also, when do I change her diaper?  I always changed right before a feeding because I had the same problem. My DD always, always fell asleep during feeds and it would take 1 hour to feed her each time. If she poops during the feed, change her again after.

I hope this helps.

Dawn

Hi T,

First time I'm replying.

I'm glad Adam is doing better!

As for your questions:

1. Yes they are suppose to sleep a lot - especially preemies.

2. Does the heat make them more lethargic?  Yes it makes them more lethargic. But make sure they drink. One day it hit 100 degrees here and my DD slept all day. She only woke for her feeds. I told the doctor the next day and he said it was normal for such a hot day.

3. Should I wake her up for a feed or let her sleep?  Make sure she doesn't go past 4 hours for feedings during the day. But don't wake her up at night to feed if you want her to learn to sleep thru the night. 4 nurses told me this and it works,.

4. If she doesn’t drink her full bottle, should I be worried? I guess the bottom line is, is she gaining weight and wetting her diapers? If she's gaining weight and wetting her diapers she's getting enough. But hopefully she'll drink most of her bottle.

5. Also, when do I change her diaper?  I always changed right before a feeding because I had the same problem. My DD always, always fell asleep during feeds and it would take 1 hour to feed her each time. If she poops during the feed, change her again after.

I hope this helps.

Dawn

Gosh, I can't add to anything people have answered, but just want to say that, even with the stress of being a new mommy and waiting on Adam to come home, your happiness is coming through loud and clear!

1. Newborns will sleep anything from 16 - 20 hours a day. Be grateful for this!
2. The heat will make her a little more lethargic and fussy and she probably won't sleep as well or as deeply. If she's not interested in the bottle, try cooled, boiled water...that is water that has been rapidly boiled for 5 minutes and then cooled to room temp or below before giving it to baby. I come from a hot climate (Australia) and had a small baby over summer. Less is more where clothes are concerned and that seemed to help with the sleeping and feeding. I would dress Mike in a singlet and nappy, wrap in a muslin sheet and he was fine.
3. Wake her or let her sleep? Hmmm, depends on Kate. If she falls asleep on the bottle and stays asleep for a few hours, no worries. If she tends to wake soon after the feed and then be fussy you could maybe try waking her a little after the feed by changing her nappy and then settling her to sleep again. A hungry baby will not sleep so you don't need to worry about her going hungry. When she's ready for food, she'll wake.
4. Contrary to popular opinion on bottlefeeding, babies will only take what they need from the bottle, same as the breast. If she spits out the bottle and doesn't finish a feed, don't worry. If next feed she needs more, fine. Let Kate tell you what she wants. She is talking to you, but it takes a little while to understand little babies.
5. Trial and error just about describes it. The books are heavy on how to get pregnant/stay pregnant/be pregnant/give birth, but are struck dumb on the topic of brand new babies. It is trial and error, but as someone told me with my first, your baby doesn't know that you haven't done this before, is incredibly forgiving and so long as yu offer food, comfort, warmth and love (DUH!) the rest will sort itself out as you get to know your baby (babies) and she/they get to know you.
BTW, has anyone suggested "kangaroo cuddling" for you and Adam? KC is holding him bare chest to bare chest under a cover so he doesn't get cold...very important for newbubs who have been in NICU - helps with the bonding process. Trust me, been there, done that.

Oh goody, my favorite Bad Mommy trick! For a short stretch, my daughter would reliably poop in the middle of the night, while in a deep sleep. What I took to doing was smearing her tush but GOOD with Desitin (don't know what SA equivalent is--the protective cream stuff for diaper rash). Figured if she did poo and sit in it for a bit, she would be somewhat protected.

1. Yes. They wake up eventually - no worries.
2. Hmm. Dunno - winter baby.
3. My LC said to wake DD to eat at least every 3-4 hours until she regained her birthweight. After that you can feed on demand.
4. I bf DD, but unless it is a huge variance I wouldn't worry.
5. I always changed before and after. Keep lots of cloth diapers on hand for spit ups at first. It is amazing how much laundry you go through!

Sounds like you are doing great. We all learn by trial and error. You'll be feeling more confident soon.

I'll answer three of the questions...

My youngest (also a Kate) slept ALL the time. At 3, she's still a wonderful sleeper. Her older brother hardly ever slept as an infant and still wakes up at the crack of dawn, even on weekends. Yawn. (Oh, and my Kate was born in our winter and Kyle was born in our summer, so I don't think the heat has anything to do with it. It was very hot the summer Kyle was born and he still didn't sleep!)

My doctor told me to wake mine up for feedings until they reached a certain weight. I would bet that yours, being preemies, would need to be woken for feedings until the doctor says otherwise.

I changed mine before a feeding and after a feeding. Before, because it woke them up to eat, and after because I didn't want them sleeping in poop for three hours. Generally, they didn't wake up for the second diaper changing.

Congrats on the babies!

Congrats again! Here's what my book Baby Love by Robin Barker says, combined with what I reckon:
1. The range of sleep for healthy newborn babies varies from nine to eighteen hours ever twenty-four hours. I think you should thank your lucky stars!!
2. I would keep my baby out of heat if I were you, but Robin says that healthy, well-fed babies do not need to be constantly offered extra water or juice in hot weather. If it is very hot and you think your baby is thirsty, by all means offer some water but don't get worried if she doesn't drink it. I don't know what age that advice is for. I know that if your baby is not giving you wet nappies, her fontanelle is sunken and she is listless, etc - those are signs of dehydration. However, Robin adds that the fontanelle on all babies' heads pulsates, so there are times when it looks depressed or sunken - this is normal. And yeah, I'd say they get more lethargic in hot weather, just like we do.
3. I was never told I had to wake my baby for a feed. That said, he would also fall asleep on the bottle. I would waken him so he could drink by tickling his toes, his cheek, blowing on him - just to get him started. Also, often I'd change his diaper in between the feed - that would wake him up enough to finish. Maybe that's when you can change Kate's diaper?
4. If you look at breastfed babies, they take different amounts all the time - sometimes 10 ml, sometimes 150! I'm not sure what the case is with bottlefed babies, except that when my baby was on the bottle, he often varied. There were times he just wanted about 1/4 of his bottle, and that was it! But he was a big baby.
5. I think you answered your own question - change her beforehand if that's what works best! If you smell a dirty nappy, you can change it again, but if it's only pee, the disposable nappies (if that's what you're using) are do absorbent that it won't worry her to be in them for the next few hours. You can use a nappy rash cream to make sure she doesn't get one from being wet. I use something called Bepanthan Ointment in Australia, and it's excellent.

You are doing a wonderful job! And don't worry - we ALL practice on our babies. There's no other way to do it!

Everything has been answered the same way that I would, except:

Number of wet diapers in a 24 hour period: 8-10. If she has that many, you are more than likely cool.

I was told to wake my tiny 37 weeker for feeds just for the first couple of weeks. She wasn't to go more than 4 hours between feeds in any case, until she was much older. Ask the doc whether he wants you to wake them more than that or not--but if no one told you to, you probably don't have to.

I had to wake her because she slept ALL the time. I would literally see her eyes only a few minutes a day. Because everyone believed she had yet-undiagnosed disabilities, we were terrified, until somebody told me that "sleep until their due date" thing. Sure enough, that's when she woke up. And hasn't slept since. At least that's how it feels...

I know you will have many mothers tell you many different things but here is what I think:
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. I was to make sure my babies ate all their bottles because they were preemies. After two months being home, I was told if they wanted to sleep through the night that was fine. My opinion, try to wake her to finish the bottle, but if she wants to sleep through the night, let her. But you might want to call the dr and ask just to be safe.
4. They told me in the NICU that they will not always eat the same amount every time, but I would say if she eats 8 oz one time she should eat around 5 or 6 the next time.
5. I change after mine eat, they poop while feeding also. I do not want getting a raw bottom because I did not change them, but it does wake them up.

Glad that Adam is doing so well. I know you can't wait to hold him. Hope that happens tomorrow. Best wishes and many prayers.

Isn't it great to see Adam in a little sleeper? I remember when my girls were out of the incubators, into cribs, and in clothes, it was so exciting, each little step. He's just recovering from being born, and having a tear in his lung, no wonder he is tired. He'll perk up!

I'm going to offer my assvice to your questions, to add to the fun of all the different answers you will get. I probably would have given different answers when my son was small than I will give now. The experience of getting through one baby's infanthood, and then dealing with two at a time with an older brother has changed my perspective!

1. Are they supposed to sleep so much? Kate sleeps 80% of her day.

Yes, in the beginning, they have so much work to do getting used to being out instead of in that they sleep a lot. Enjoy it, it won't last.

2. Does the heat make them more lethargic?
I would say yes. My son was born in August, and I would undress him to feed him sometimes so he would get cooler and wake up more. I also put the air conditioner on low in his room so that he wouldn't get sooo hot. He was a sweaty baby.

3. Should I wake her up for a feed or let her sleep? She falls asleep while drinking her bottle.

It depends. If it is at night, and you want her to sleep a little longer, I would try and wake her. I used to wiggle my son to get him to wake up if I didn't think he'd nursed long enough. Now, with my girls, I went more by the "never wake a sleeping baby golden rule" even though they were so little. I'd just use your mommy instincts. If you think she is eating enough, and needs sleep more than food, then I'd let her sleep.

4. If she doesn’t drink her full bottle, should I be worried, or do they just sometimes not finish the full feed?

I'd let her drink what she wants, and not push her to drink more, unless, of course, there are any issues with weight gain, etc. (which I doubt). One of the reasons that breast-fed babies may have fewer weight issues when they grow up is that they learn to eat until they are full and then stop. You never really know how much they eat when they nurse. With bottles, we tend to want them to "finish." If she seems done, don't push too much.

5. Also, when do I change her diaper?
Again, it depends. Do you want her to eat more or sleep more? Depends on the time of day. If at night, I'd change before, and try and get her to go off to sleep after. If she poops, maybe wait a bit until her food has settled a bit before changing her. It really won't kill her to have a poopy diaper for a little bit. With my son, the second he pooped, off came that diaper. With my girls, if they were sleeping, and I was tired, and I sniffed a little something, the diaper sometimes waited a bit, and they were fine.

That is my assvice. But you should really go with your gut instincts. I guarantee you will get it right, because there is no right or wrong, and you will know your daughter (and soon your son) better than anyone.

Just adding a comment to my comment. I see a few people mentioned that preemies sleep a lot. It would never even occur to me to think of Kate and Adam as "preemies." Twins at 36 weeks seems so not preemie, but I guess technically they are. So I will add that when they hit their due date, watch out! They will really wake up then. Or at least that was my experience with my 31-week girlies.

Here's what I did with my 36 week preemie twins....

I was told that during the first few weeks to a month to wake them for feedings. Mine were VERY sleepy and waking them was difficult. Changing their diapers didn't even wake them nor did undressing them. We finally resorted to dangling their feet into a sink full of lukewarm water so they would wake up and eat. Per their Pediatrician, I was supposed to wake them every two hours during the day and every four hours at night for feedings. I think I did this for the first month.
As for the changing thing, I changed them before AND after feedings. They always pooped while eating too. Just make sure to burp her really well before laying her down to change her. Then try to elevate her again really quickly. One of mine had reflux and vomited whenever I layed him down. He had to sleep in a bouncy seat and his swing for the first couple of months until he outgrew it.
Yes, the heat can make them lethargic. It does that to me too! If she seems sweaty you can apply cornstarch to her skin to help absorb the moisture and she will feel more comfortable.
I hope Adam cooperates tomorrow and you get to finally hold him. That darn nurse! That would have pissed me off!

I'm with the wake them up to feed them school of thought. As far as finishing a feed, maybe don't force the one feed but make sure they are getting their daily quota. Also, spitting up with diaper changing sounds like reflux. Elevate her diaper changing pad at the "head" (we used our "house projects 3 ring binder as we won't be doin g projects for a while) then don't lift her legs to wipe her bum, but roll her to her side. This will help!

I only change before feeding, why wake a sleeping baby. Mine don't get diaper rash from it...

Lurker coming out! Congratulations on your beautiful babes and I hope Adam will join you at home soon.

Don't worry, first children will be practiced on a lot. It's okay, they won't remember it. The heat will make them more lethargic and it will make them more difficult to rouse. As long as Kate isn't crying to be fed soon after falling asleep on a bottle, I wouldn't worry. They don't always finish every drop.

Also, spitting up after eating while having her diaper changed is not unusual. The valve between the throat and tummy is still weak in newborns. Combine that with the jostling required for a nappy change and spitting up is almost the norm. You could elevate the change table a little on one end if you think it will make Kate more comfy.

Carry on darling, you're doing wonderfully!

Congratulations again :)

Now on to your questions. I think some of my answers my differ from those you've already received, as twins are a *tad* different than a singleton...

1) Sleep - Yes, they do sleep A LOT at first - try to enjoy it now, because it won't last too long :)

2) Heat - YES, just like us, it wears them down. Make sure to keep the fluid going and that they both have wet "nappys" (or is it "nappies"?!?!) several times a day.

3 & 4) Wake for feeds - YES, He11 YES!! Once A comes home and you'll be feeding them both every 3 hours, it's super important to make sure they're completely filled. Think of this at 2am... K wakes up and "snacks" half her feed then falls asleep. You wake A to eat, and he falls asleep after half at around 3am. K WILL be up again at 4 because she's hungry (half a feeding will only last about 2 hours). ONE hour of sleep (randomly) is not enough for you or Marko. I kept mine on the every 3 hour schedule during the day and once we reached 10pm, we'd "let them go" as long as they would. Fill 'em up during the day and let them sleep at night...

5) Change her before & after - nappys are free over there, right?!!?

lol@practicing on your daughter. I know exactly what you mean though. When my oldest (who is now 12) was born, I didnt know anything about taking care of a baby (thank God I had my mom!!) and I remember feeling so inadequete when my mom could sooth him right away when I had been trying for hours. I guess the first baby you bring home has to be the guinea pig. By the my 2nd came along, I was much better. And by the time my 3rd (and final) baby came, it was simple as pie. Everything is trial and error for you. No two moms do it the same and certainly no two babies are the same. I am so glad to hear that Adam is doing so wonderfully and I bet you are so excited to get to feed him tomorrow. It sounds to me like Kate is a typical newborn. They do sleep a lot (Ive heard they can sleep up to 20 hours a day) and sometimes nursing is so comforting that they do drift off to sleep. My professional (Im an RN): as long as she is having plenty of wet diapers and is consitently gaining weight, then no worries about how much she is eating. Even if it makes her cranky, change her as soon as she's finished pooping. Diaper rash can be very brutal on newborn skin. I remember my second one had such a severe case that the skin on his tiny hiney actually bled some. I always changed him immediately and it happened anyway, so always beeter to be safe! Heat will definitely make your baby lethargic. Do you warm her bottles up? If so, it might make her want to eat less - it would make her hotter, just like if you were to drink hot chocolate. If you are worried about her staying hydrated, talk to your pediatricin about how much fluid he/she recommends that Kate take in. I know that some doctors want babies to have extra water and some dont want a newborn to take in anything other than breast milk/formula. Never hesitate to ask your babies' doctor any question you ever have. No question is silly and any pediatricin who has been one for very long has heard it ALL. I too hope that Adam gets to come home very soon. I bet Kate misses him as well. After all, she spent all time time snuggled up to him in your tummy.

1. From what I remember, tons of sleeping is way normal.

2. Sometimes heat makes babies tired. More often is makes them cranky and have rashes :). It should make them want to drink more, not less ... I worry a little that maybe the tiredness is dehydration? I have heard some people say that in very hot climates, that babies need water in addition to formula -- but obviously check with your ped. first. I'm a bf mom, and relied on the changing consistency of breastmilk to take care of my summer baby (born in July in the U.S.).

3. Well, I tell you what -- provided everything else is fine, I would never ever wake a sleeping baby. But it is a BIG "if" -- and I can't tell you where Kate is on the "fine" spectrum. Also, I had simply huge newborns (9 lbs 10 oz and 9 lbs 13 oz at birth) so they could go for longer without nursing and not hurt much for it.

4. Again, as a bf mom, I'm not much help with finishing bottles. If she's doing well otherwise, I'd say don't force the issue. You might try jiggling her a bit to see if she'll wake up and finish, but it's normal for appetite to vary from feeding to feeding and day to day.

With small newborns, you do have to be concerned about whether the baby is full or just too tired to keep eating.

5. Always change a poop diaper -- they can get nasty, nasty rashes otherwise. Pee diapers, you can leave (assuming it isn't bugging the baby). Actually, diaper changing can be a great way to wake up a sleepy baby.

Those are my opinions and memories -- use or ignore at will :).

Rachel

I've got nothing to add. Just wanted to say how happy I am that Adam is doing well.

Isn't it great to have babies to care for?

I didn't get a chance to say Congratulations on the other post so I wanted to say it here. Congratulations on Adam and Kate. I didn't read all the previous comments so I will most likely repeat answers but please don't feel bad for "practicing" - we all have to learn somehow. It's funny how scared I was about that in the beginning and now I find it interesting to practice with my twins - they like different things so what works for one, may not work for the other. 1. They are supposed to sleep that much - I called my doctor three times the first few weeks concerned about this and he constantly reassured me it was okay for them to sleep a lot. That's what little babies do. 2. I am not sure about the heat question. 3. A lot of times my babies never finished the bottle in the beginning and I just let them drink what they wanted at that time. We were on a three hour schedule with our twins and I always woke them to feed - that way I didn't have them on alternating schedules and I knew they were getting something every three hours. Mine were born at 37 weeks and the nurses put them on this three hour schedule immediately because they both had low blood sugar at first. 5. About the diapers - In the beginning, I changed before and after a feed if the pooped while eating. If they didn't poop, then I waited to change until the next feed. Good Luck - you are doing great. Have fun feeding Adam tomorrow. Kelly

Congrats on your babies! As a recent new mom myself (Bryan Steven was born on December 17, 2004), I had a lot of the same questions. He was full term, so he's a bit different than your babies, but I think the same things apply once they get to go home.

1. Yes. They sleep A LOT. But not when you want them to, you know, like at 4 am.

2. Heat does make them lethargic, just like us big folks.

3. If she's asleep, let her sleep! My pediatrician said that as long as the baby is making plenty of wet and poopy diapers, then he's getting plenty of food, even if he sleeps through a feeding. Since my boy goes through his fair share of diapers, I let him sleep. I actually counted wet diapers and poopy diapers for the first two weeks until we took him back to the doctor for his first check up and I found out that the kid had gone from a birth weight of 9 lb 4 oz to 10 lb 7 oz.

4. They are hungrier at different times; my boy will take from 2-4 oz at each feeding, depending on how long it's been since the last feeding and just how sleepy he is (he tends to eat less at night).

5. We change him before we feed him, and then we change him in the middle of the feeding if he poops (breast milk is a natural laxitive, did you know?). We like to have a couple of ounces to put him back to sleep with; that's why we'll change him in the middle of the feeding.

Hope this helps!

Nobody likes to be too hot. Ben's first summer, I mostly kept him in a diaper. He was a preemie, but by the time he left the hospital, he could maintain his body temperature, and it was a hot, sticky summer.

We didn't always wake him up to eat, because sleep was such a precious commodity to us. The pediatrician gave us shit for letting him sleep nine hours straight one time, but that was the best nine hours! Provided the baby is gaining weight at a decent rate, there's no harm in sleeping through the occasional feeding, as I see it.

By the way, in case translation is needed (I haven't read all the comments), 2 ounces = about 60 ml.

You have to be really careful about giving water to a newborn. They're so small that there's a danger of throwing their electrolytes out of balance. Milk/formula is typically sufficient. Give extra water only if your pediatrician advises you to, and be careful not to overdo it.

What fun to talk about babies with you! :) Great to hear Adam's eating and sleeping and dressing like a big boy. Next thing you know, he'll be getting those nurses to order him pizza.

No thoughts on the bottles, but I can tell you what we did/do with diapers. Poopy diapers immediately changed, even if sleeping (especially for girls, I think, with our short urethras and sensative bits and all that).

If you want to think in the long-term, the more sensetive you keep them to their own waste, the earlier they'll want to use the potty. We also change wet diapers immediately (unless baby's sleeping), for that very reason, among others.

Something you can try, though I don't know how it will work with a plastic/paper diaper is to hold the diaper under her bottom loosely while she drinks, and if she wets or poops, just take it away, wipe, and replace with a new one. That velcro would wake a dead man, I would think. Elevating the changing table's a good idea, too.

Have you considered getting a sling? They sleep so well in them, and then you could bond and go about your business at the same time. ('Business' meaning resting, eating, glancing at something with words wondering when you'll read those again, and so forth.)

Happy mothering, Tertia! Sounds like you're doing a great job.

Ewww, did I really misspell sensitive TWICE?! You'd think I was the sleep-deprived new mama.... Sorry for that.

You got lots of answers, so I won't add mine, which are repetitive.

Very glad to hear Adam is doing better. My son was much the same about eating, and spent some time in the NICU until he wasn't so sleepy. He had to be fed via NG tube for a while, but once he gained a little weight he turned into a great eater.

I don't even know you, have never spoken to you, but am *so* thrilled to see you talking about your big healthy fickle babies that drive you nutty.

Adam will be eating you out of house and home soon. He's probably just worn out from all the fuss and hullaballoo, and from his sister kicking him in the head for months.

1. absolutely--especially this soon after birth. adam will sleep a lot, too.
2. in our case, cx was just more fussy in the heat. try to keep the babies coolish, if you can, as they are easily overheated. difficult to regulate body temp on their own when they are under 8 pounds (sorry, don't know the kilo conversion off the top of my head) because they haven't quite enough fat just yet.
3. try to keep her awake while feeding her. use a cool washcloth on her face, move her arms about gently, blow on her face--anything to rouse her. our guy falls asleep at the breast or bottle routinely to this day--8 mos.--and i think some are just comforted by the suckling process that they are destined to be sleepy eaters. that being said, if she goes more than 2 hours (breastmilk) or 3 hours (formula), wake her up for her feed.
4. just keep track of how much she's eating, and when. it may be that she likes breakfast but doesn't eat heartily at night. her weight gain is the key to whether she's getting enough to eat or not. a good-quality baby scale may help to ease your mind if she doesn't get in the habit of eating 50ml at each feed.
5. i would change her before and then about half an hour after her feed. we found that immediately after a feed, if we changed cx's diaper, he would always spit up. the culpirt, as far as we were ever able to tell, is that we were bending him at his tummy to perform the diaper switch out. to change kate while she's sleeping, put her on her back, and roll her from side to side instead of lifting her legs. that may also help prevent the spitting up action. she's also still quite young, and her body has to get used to this new food, so a little spitting is nothing to worry about. and just a "blep" spitup is normal--if she were to be projectile vomiting, there would be a problem.

i know you've gotten a load of answers from other moms, probably many more qualified than i. mine are just based upon the last 8 months we've spent with cx--i had zero (or less) baby experience before he came along, so it was very much trial/error/on-the-job learning for me. you will learn what works for YOUR babies, too, and in four or five months you'll likely look back and feel like you've been doing this all your life.

Tertia, I've been reading previous posts and now have a better understanding of your history--what a long, hard road this has been for you. G-d bless you! (looks like He has) Happy to hear that Adam is coming along and that Kate is doing fine. Soon you will have both of them home with you. You've gotten enough good advice already, but I would just add, when you get that little guy home, always have a cloth shield handy when you change his diaper--they love to spray the instant they sense they are naked!

Being a single parent at age 30, and so far from my family (I'm in Germany, and my family is in the US), the first few months were trial and error.

I never put Kennedi on a feeding schedule. I figured if she's sleeping...let her sleep, she'll wake when hungry or needs entertaining.

Once she started daycare at 10 weeks old, the staff would tell me how glad they were that she was NOT on a schedule.

While I was pregnant with Kennedi, she would be most active when things were quiet~at night~so I knew she would be a day sleeper for the most part. Once she started daycare, she started taking shorter naps during the day, and sleeping more at night.

The heat here in Germany is a humid heat, which flared her eczema something terrible. Her pediatrician told me to not fully dress her. A t-shirt that snapped between the legs was enough clothing during the heat.

I let K sleep~I NEVER woke her to feed her, and to this day (she's 3) I still don't.

I started with smaller bottles, so if she didn't drink all the milk, there was less waste (she didn't drink 8oz in one sitting until she was almost a year old). I made lots of 4 oz bottles, ready to go, and stored in the refridgerator.

About the diaper~~~DO NOT TRY THE FINGER TEST!!! You might get a surprise (please warn Marko). Eventually, you will learn by smell when it's time to change. I would change K as soon as I realized she was wet/soiled, because a diaper rash is not a fun thing to look at, let alone have on your bottom!!

Hopefully I was able to help a teenie bit.

1. Yes, they sleep that much. Your child is normal. You sleep when she sleeps, especially because once Adam comes home, they'll tag-team you and one of them will likely -always- be awake.

2. It can and so you need to pay attention and make sure they drink plenty. You don't want dehydration. Bad bad. The more concentrated the urine (the more yellow), the less water there is in her body. If she fails to urinate for a significant period of time -- and ask your doc what that period is, it'll be short -- consult your doctor.

3. We let our twins sleep. If that causes malnutrition, ours (especially our chubby boy) seem to have gotten over it.

4. They aren't like adults who eat to excess. Worry thyself not. You will find a consistent pattern to how much each of them want. Over time you'll see that grow.

5. Change the diaper as soon as you notice it's nasty. Failure to do so causes painful, angry red diaper rash, and in girls can lead to vaginal infections from fecal bacteria if the ... deposit ... gets up there. You absolutely do not want that.

1. yes
2. Huh, I know babies aren't suppossed to be too warm. If they are warm undress them. I dress my kids in layers. I also live in MI where one day it's warm and the next it is freezing.
3. Tickle there feet or undress them. My daughter falls asleep because she gets cozy. Or rub the nipple on the rough of her mouth.
4. NO. They only eat what they need.
5. After. Do you change your underwear right before you eat. This way there's no risk of germs from the bottom reaching the mouth.

Hope I helped. Good luck. Eventually she will scream bloody murder when she's hungry and then she will learn to talk and ask 900 times an hour for juice. ; )

Ask the peditrician if you're real concerned about the feedings. I still get nervous. Oh, if she is poopie change her. Little girls tend to get yeast and stuff. I'm learning this right now. I had 3 boys then a girl. My boys would only cry when they were hungry so diaper changes were scheduled and not feedings!

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