Care of the little berry
A month into the whole mothering business, I’ve learnt a couple of things about the little berry. I’m still very far from knowing her well, but here’s what I’ve gathered so far:
Fussy Baby… Not
The little berry is not a fussy baby. When she’s had her fill of milk and isn’t constipated, I can put her in the cot wide awake and she’ll be happy to fall asleep on her own (after about 30mins of arm exercises). I’ve witnessed this more than once. Hence I know that when she cries, it’s for a reason. And that reason is usually hunger or the need to be comforted. This is why I don’t leave her to cry for more than 1-2mins, because if I do, the crying escalates and it’ll be much harder to comfort her.
Comforting The Berry
Comforting the little berry when she cries is a dedicated job. Chucking her in a bouncer or car seat will not work (We tried. Several times). What usually works is carrying her and walking as I talk to her. She recognizes voices and is comforted when she hears familiar voices in a gentle tone.
When carried and walked around, she usually stops crying in 2-3mins and will calm down to a sleepy state in another 5-10minutes while walking (if she was sleeping previously). Once her eyelids are heavy, I sit down with her in my arms for another 5-10mins and then put her back in the cot where she’ll usually sleep. If she jolts awake in the process or starts crying when her head hits the pillow, then it’s back to square one.
Diaper change at night can be tricky and it’s not always a good idea to change her diaper. Especially when she’s jolted from a sleepy state at night. Usually at this time, she cries because she’s hungry or needs comforting, and changing her diaper somehow upsets her more. What she needs is someone to hold her and tell her it’s ok. So I try not to change her diaper late at night unless it’s heavy/soiled. If I do change her diaper, I make sure that I change it before a feed so she’ll be comforted after and can transit to sleep easier.
Hush At Night
For her night feeds from 8pm onwards, I lower my voice and try not to talk to her too much. This is so that she knows it’s night time and interaction is kept low.
I’ve also learnt that I can’t rush her when it comes to nursing, else I would really suffer for it (as I am now, writing this post at 6am). Not sure if she’s going through another growth spurt, but she’s been taking 40-50mins to nurse each session and when you add that up, it amounts to a good 4-5hours sitting in that nursing chair! The very thought of it freaks me out so I try to unlatch her at the very first sign of her not suckling.
I’ve since learnt that by doing so before she’s had her fill (and there’s no way of really knowing), I’m only paving the way for myself to suffer her crying and another nursing long session 5-10mins later. So now I try to give her a good 30-40mins at each breast for each session.
The Heart Of The Matter Is The Matter Of The Heart
Essentially, I’ve learnt that when taking care of the little berry, my heart has to be in it. I can’t be distracted or half-hearted about it. If I do, nothing will work and I just end up spending double or triple the amount of time I would’ve initially spent comforting her.