My son (Ryan) will be four weeks old tomorrow, and I definitely know what Annie Browne (Newborns; How to Win When Wrestling With a 3-Week Old) means when she describes how newborns can sometimes scream for no apparent reason. It’s really caused a lot of stress for me. Sometimes I feel like a bad mother because I can’t soothe my son. Also, when I hand him off to my fiancé when I just can’t handle it anymore, I feel like a bad partner. Since he works all day and I’m a stay at home mom I feel like I should be giving HIM the break when he comes home instead of him giving ME the break.
One thing I do want to comment on about Annie Browne’s
advice on feeding the baby any time he/she shows signs of hunger:
At first when Ryan would scream his head off, we took this as a cue that he was hungry. So, every time he cried like a banshee, we fed him. That lead to throwing up (through his nose and everything like Annie describes). We took him to the pediatrician and she told us he most likely had reflux (since it’s genetic and I had it as a baby). Also, we were overfeeding him because every time he threw up we tried to replace it, which lead to him throwing up again because he actually was full. What she recommended was adding rice cereal (since oatmeal has the potential to trigger allergies more than rice). Here’s the feeding routine we use, and it has DRAMATICALLY cut down on his screaming for food and the throwing up (he only threw up 5 times in two weeks with this feeding plan):
NOTE: This is just the plan I am following. It’s only here as a helpful suggestion. Always refer to a medical professional (your pediatrician) for the most accurate advice that best suits your baby.
1.) Make the Bottle
Make 3 ounces of formula how you normally would make it. Then add 2 tablespoons of rice cereal (find it in the baby food aisle).
At this age (less than a month) do not give the baby more than 3 ounces or you could be overfeeding him/her! Ask your pediatrician how much he/she recommends you feed your baby based on the baby’s age and weight gain.
2.) Calm the baby down and offer the bottle.
3.) Burp the baby every 1- 1.5 ounces and at the very end of the feeding.
4.) Offer a pacifier
At the very end of the feeding, my son always thinks he wants more because his stomach hasn’t yet signalled to his brain that he’s full. It takes a while for that to happen, even with adults! So, as soon as the bottle is finished I take it out of his mouth and give him a pacifier to satisfy the sucking need while his stomach takes its time to signal the brain. This has worked wonders to keep him from fussing (sometimes he fussed so much he threw up the feeding).
5.) How often do I feed?
During the day, feed the baby every 3 hours (stick as close to that as possible). At night, after the baby has already gone to bed, only feed the baby on demand (when he/she starts crying).