10. Jack had mild jaundice. I didn’t know that 50% of babies had this and I felt like a horrible mom that he got it! Was it my fault? Is it something I did? Was he not feeding enough? He had to get 4-5 blood tests (his foot pricked) which made me cry (more than him) the first time it happened. He only had a mild case of it so they just monitored it, and if it gets bad the baby usually needs light therapy. He did not end up needing light therapy, but even if he did it is not a big deal and very normal! I had no idea this was a thing! He ended up getting it out of his system through breastfeeding and peeing/pooping it all out.
9. He didn’t poop from days 3-5 and we were so worried! This happened when we were trying to get rid of the jaundice and they say “pooping” helps get rid of it so that added to my mom guilt. He eventually pooped on day 5 and hasn’t stopped since! Almost every diaper change now! He had he meconium poops for the first few days and when my breast milk came in, it took his body a few days to adjust. We did some tummy oil massages, warm baths, tummy time, even thermometer in his bum (a nurse did it, not me), bicycle legs, so it all eventually worked!
8. He hated his bassinet! For the first week he would barely sleep in it (and it made me so sad seeing him in it alone) so he slept on mine or Jesse’s chest, in his swing or in his boppy pillow. People warned me to be careful which we were but I realized quickly, as long as you are being safe, you gotta do what you gotta do!
7. He has baby acne. Ok, this is totally normally but I didn’t know it lasted so long! He still is working through some pimples here and there as his skin is getting accustomed to the outside world but most babies get it!
6. He grunts and snorts when sleeping. I was warned about this by friends and even my midwives but until you put your child to sleep and hear these noises coming from them, you have no idea! You worry about their breathing, if they are comfortable, if they are sick! I asked every health professional I’ve come in contact with and they’ve told me how normal it was, I even sent multiple videos of him sleeping to my mom friends. When babies are on their backs they have more pressure on their teeny diaphragms and it makes their breath heavier. He usually only does this when falling asleep and gets quiet after that- but then the quiet scares you too! I still find myself putting my hand gently on his chest to check for breathing some nights.
5. Painful gas
. Oh my gosh, you feel so bad when this happens! Did you burp them enough, was it something you ate?! I find when I eat spicy food and when he eats quickly and I don’t burp him extra then he gets more gas. I avoid spicy foods now and when he eats super quickly I try to slow him down and I’ll burp him longer/ hold him up right longer. When that doesn’t work, I use a homeopathic store bought remedy from Boiron for upset stomachs and “colic”, see here
. He isn’t a colicky baby but it helps usually within 15 minutes with his gas. I love this stuff and even keep it in my purse and diaper bag just in case!
4. Cradle cap/dandruff
. He has very mild dandruff but I’ve heard it can get worse if you don’t address it so I bought the FridaBaby brush
and I use with some olive or calendula oil on it to massage his head. I follow it with his regular shampoo/body wash (I use Shoosha Naturals shampoo
as well as their calendula oil
. It is a great line of natural products that is even made in Toronto!). He loves the massages so much that so I even use on his body too and he gets so relaxed!
3. Baby reflexes.
Babies have so many startling reflexes which really affects their sleep! They move their hands a lot and it impacts them greatly. A few people recommended to try different swaddles and my best friends swore by the “Love to Dream” swaddle
, which works wonders for us. It hugs their sides so they feel snuggled and comforted but also allows them to sleep with their arms up (which they say is great for development). It really has helped him get better at sleeping! I don’t want to jinx it but at 4 weeks he started sleeping 5-6 hours at the beginning of the night.
2. “Sucking to Sooth”
. I sometimes find this little guy loves to be on the breast just to sooth. You can tell when they are hungry as they are more keen on eating but I find he just kind of hangs out when he is "sucking to sooth" and uses me as a human pacifier. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I let it happen as they do find it comforting. But most of the time I put a soother in his mouth. I introduced that at around 2.5 weeks and didn’t want to until at least 4 weeks as I didn’t want to create “nipple confusion”. I’m happy I threw that idea out the window (with the help of family and friends)! I had to play around with a couple soothers as well and eventually the MAM newborn soothers
worked for us. It took a few tries for him to figure out what the heck it was but I find it helpful for calming him to sleep, during car rides or when he is sucking to sooth.
! I also had the idea in my head to not introduce bottles too soon to create "nipple confusion" but my sister in law (who is currently expecting baby #3) brought up a great point that I had never even heard or thought of- sometimes if you introduce too late they won’t ever take one. With that being said, I started using my Haaka (manual pump) and bought a Medela Freestyle around 3 weeks so that I could give him a bottle when I was not around or for Jesse to give him (so they can bond + give me some down time). I’m so happy I also threw this idea out the window to not introduce a bottle too soon. A lot of people suggested just waiting until baby is a good eater and latcher to introduce a bottle (which Jack is thankfully) but sometimes you do not have a choice and once again, you do what you gotta do! I have learned very quickly that motherhood is alllllllll about adapting. We also tried a couple bottles as wel before we found one that worked well (he was taking all bottles but I found some flowed out too quickly and made him gassy or choke)! We ended up going with Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Newborn Set
and I like giving him a bottle before he goes to bed (it really calms him down/gives me time to get the house cleaned a bit/for Jesse to be a part of the process). Because I’m not feeding at that time, once he’s down for the night I usually pump for storage (i.e. pump my milk and freeze it for later use when I am working or not around). I’m still playing around with pumping and figuring it all out but I usually do once at night and once in the morning, sometimes I use the Haaka for a midday one as well!
So that is the 10 biggest challenges we have had- SO FAR! Every day with a baby is different and just when you think you’ve figured them out, they develop and change a bit more and there is a new thing to figure out! I know there will be many more teachable moments to come but I find asking questions and leaning on my support system around me has helped a lot! It’s a lot do trial + error and persistence!