Baby R is five weeks old today, and looking back on week four, I realise it’s been a week of firsts. There have been the typical highs (first smiles) and lows (in particular, R waking up at 1:45am and not properly going to sleep until the following night), but it feels like we’ve made more progress this week in terms of me personally as a parent, as well as R as a growing human!
I’ve been more on my own this week as my mom has gone home to Sheffield, and my husband is back in the office (although he has been here more than I expected). I was dreading being on my own, but I also knew I needed to start figuring out this baby stuff for myself. I’m nowhere near doing that, but it’s good to have the space to have a go without fear of being judged.
Smiles that aren’t wind
I read somewhere that babies start smiling about six weeks because this is when they become most fussy, and so it gives frantic parents a reason to keep going! I don’t know if that’s true, but seeing her smiling properly this week was a huge reward for the long days of fussiness, crying and constant feeding. It’s much more fun to be able to interact with her (pulling silly faces, mirroring her expressions etc) compared to the first few weeks where she wasn’t interested in anything really. She’s also been happier in her vibrating musical chair this week, too, and spent a bit longer on her play mat without screaming the house down. And she’s cooing! Very cute – it feels like she’s communicating with us now, which is exciting.
A Cheeky accident
We had our first accident as well, and it was AWFUL. We use Cheeky Wipes instead of disposables, which come with two Tupperware-type boxes for keeping the fresh and mucky ones. My husband chucked a dirty wipe in the box, and shut the lid. I then heard a loud scream. ‘What was that?’, I shouted. There was a pause, then R started screaming and my husband suddenly went really quiet. He’d accidentally shut the box on her hand, as she’d been flailing her arms while she was on the changing mat, as she does.
The poor girl was inconsolable. One of her fingers was cut and swollen My husband was beside himself. I did the only thing I know how to do: I held her while she cried, rocked her and eventually breastfed her, which calmed her down for a period. We thought we might have to go to A&E, but she was OK in the end. It just made me realise how small and vulnerable she is, and how easy it is to hurt them. But having talked to other moms, it’s easy done and everyone seems to have a similar story. Apparently crying is a good sign – it’s when they’re injured and go quiet that you need to worry.
Loads of people have recommended to me about slings being a great way of carrying a baby round the house and helping them sleep. Up until this week, we’d only had one successful sling wear. My husband’s sister showed us how to use a stretchy one – Baby R went from screaming beast to sleeping beauty in a matter of minutes. Since then, she just cried when I tried to put her in, so much so that I convinced myself I was hurting her. But out of sheer desperation, I tried it again this week and have had two days of success! She still cries when you put her in, but she soon calms and literally falls asleep in a split second. The major win with the sling is my husband can share the load. Last night but one was the first evening she slept for a couple of hours on him. Yesterday was less successful, but I had a good half an hour where I could shower and get ready for bed. For me, this is a major result! A bit of me time!
We also had Baby R’s hip check-up this week, which apparently is standard for babies who are transverse during pregnancy. But because we had her at Frimley, Surrey, which is a fair drive away, her appointment was in the same area, but even further away in Aldershot – about 45 minute drive away! And as we still don’t have a proper car (it’s a two-seater rust bucket), my parents came down from Sheffield to drive us there. I was really nervous about how R would cope in the car, as well as how we’d dismantle the pram to fit in the car and set it up on the other side, and whether she would kick off at the appointment or not.
Well, she was calm in the car seat and didn’t cry, but didn’t sleep either. I’ll take that! We also managed to put the pram together, which wasn’t as scary as it looks. And Baby R behaved herself – in fact, she was very good – and didn’t really cry at her appointment at all. Unfortunately though, her hips are ‘immature’, and so we have to go back when she’s six weeks (in two weeks’ time) to see if they’ve sufficiently ‘matured’. Fingers crossed they have, because her cousin was in a plaster cast for three months because of her hips when she was this age, and I would HATE Ruby to go through the same thing.
Other things of note
- R had her second and third bath, and actually enjoyed them! (She cried after 30 seconds in her first bath)
- I’ve learned that playing white noise on my phone and putting it in the pram can more often than not stop R from crying
- R is definitely sleeping better, and this week we were able to actually put her in her Sleepyhead pod during the night on her back (although she still won’t be put down during the day)
- I managed to read a book! I highly recommend using a Kindle – I found I was able to read much more easily on that than a regular book.