6 week old baby... makes all the difference!

I realized today at 6 weeks and 5 days that the dust of being a new mom has settled.  All three of us, Me, Dad and Baby Boy, and even the cat too have acclimated to our new lives.  We even have a semi-routine going!  I really think if someone would have told me in the beginning that the first 6 weeks we're going to be scary, difficult, exhausting and altogether a huge cloudy haze of confusion BUT not to worry because by the 6th to 7th week ALL will be better! I might have had a little less anxiety and fear of the unknown.  

So here I am telling you the new mom, It’s going to be nuts at first but don’t worry hold on tight and just wait for the 6th week, all will be better then! 

Here is a list of all of the things that have changed for us, made our lives easier and brought parenting to a whole new, very rewarding, level!

  1. By the 6th week, a clear sleeping pattern will develop.  Not sleep through the night pattern, but a dependable one no less. For us Ollie sleeps two four hour stretches at night, is up from 8am-11am sometimes taking a short cat nap but mostly wanting to just lay awake and stare at stuff, nap for an hour or two after that, then late afternoon he will take a big 3 hour nap and then his two 4 hour sleeps at bedtime.
  2. Feeding patterns are much more predictable. Ollie eats every three hours during the day, not one minute later, and then, of course, he stretches his two 4 hours feedings at night.
  3. We bathe every other day at bedtime.  Our pediatrician said he is too young for baths every night right now.  We only deviate from the schedule when he blows out all over himself (and mommy’s toes).
  4. He clearly knows who his parents are and even shows signs that he is happy to see us!
  5. Oliver knows what clothes are and is patient with us when we dress him.  Before week 6 he would cry when he was naked and got annoyed when we would take too long. Now he lies there and puts up with our fumbling!
  6. He is more self-sufficient.  We can lay him in his crib for a few minutes to wash our hands, find clothes, etc… he will just lie there staring at stuff happily. 
  7. He follows us with his eyes, is acutely aware of his surroundings and appears to be happy and comfortable in his home.  Which makes me feel really good!
  8. I am not jumping up to his sounds and gurgles anymore.  I know what each sound is and even wait for the cry before going to check on him.  The first few weeks of his life I basically slept in the nursery with him.
  9. The cat doesn’t run and hide when the baby cries anymore.  I feel very comfortable with the coexisting between the two now.
  10. The hubs and I are slowly but surely splitting the work and understanding each other’s boundaries.  This is a big one.  We struggled through the first 6 weeks.  Now we are co-parenting much better!
  11. And most of all, that beautiful smile shows up to make your heart melt!

There are other things I am sure I am forgetting but the bottom line is that the first 6 weeks are difficult and confusing.  It really feels like over night I have calmed down, slept better and settled into parenting really well. I have also noticed that Oliver has settled in well and feels more comfortable too.  I would stare at him in his crib in the early days and wondered what he thought of his home and surroundings.  He started his life in my belly and then was yanked out and put into my world.  Trust me that is the other crazy thing, you will ponder and obsess over the strangest things once baby arrives. 

All I can say is that it is really nice to breathe again.  The 6th week has been so easy compared to the weeks prior. If you are still in that confused haze, or about to start it, hold on tight and just wait until the 6th week, all will be much better then!  

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Mrs. Loquacious said...

Yeah, I'm there now too. 6 weeks and 2 days later, we've finally found a co-parenting schedule that works (most of the time) and Baby L is now becoming more predictable in her sleep patterns. Of course, I say that and watch: tomorrow she'll decide to be a holy terror and throw our theories out the window ;) But the fog is definitely lifting and I am seeing some light at the end of this miserable early-parenting-of-a-fussy-newborn tunnel.

Hooray for us both! We've survived our first 6 and our husbands haven't served us with divorce papers...yet! :D

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Hip hip hooray!! Congrats to all three... six of us!!! I'm ANSI happy to hear the fog is lifting for you too. The first 6 are definitely difficult

Alissa said...

Your post gives me some hope that there is light at the end of this exhausting tunnel. My little man is 5 weeks 5 days and I feel like caring for him is never going to get any easier. He went through a growth spurt this week so we've had nearly sleepless nights for 3 nights. And he's still not smiling :( It makes me feel like he's a slug with no personality. I keep reading that "It gets easier" I just wish I knew WHEN it would get easier. Averaging about 3-4 hours of sleep a night is getting unmanageable. Thank you for your words of encouragement! I can only hope that we turn a corner here soon before I go crazy with sleep deprivation.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Hi Alissa! I've been wondering how you two were doing! Give it one more week and you will turn that corner. It will happen over night, just like the first smile. You can try the whole funny face with your tounge sticking out. Try right after a day time feeding and have your face about a foot away. Both will happen soon. The sleep deprivation doesn't get much better, you just get better at dealing with it. Hang in there! Xx