At one month Bridgette was already very strong! At around three weeks old, she got mad enough to roll over on two different occasions during tummy time. This hasn't been a consistent feat, but we were very impressed with her when we saw that newborn strength!
From the first month Bridgette was sleeping pretty well at night. She would usually go three or four hours between feedings. She went five hours a couple of times, but not consistently. I didn't let her go over three hours until she was three weeks old and I knew she was gaining weight well. She was already 8 lbs. and 15 oz. and 21 in. long at her three week doctor's appointment, so I wasn't too worried about her getting enough to eat. She has never liked to take a late night feeding at 10 or 11 p.m. just because that's when she likes to sleep. I think it's because she doesn't nap well during the day. Her daytime sleep often doesn't last longer than 30 to 45 minutes at a time. As the day goes on, her naps get longer and longer. Thankfully, I am able to feed her and put her right back down at night, but she's not a fast nurser. She usually takes 20 or 30 minutes to eat, but the middle of the night feedings are generally the shorter 20 minute feedings.
Once she had regained and exceeded her birth weight, I stopped forcing her to wake up to take a late night 10 or 11 p.m. feeding. I decided I would rather just wake up at midnight, 1 or 2 in the morning to feed her whenever she woke up by herself. It just worked better for us. I got tired of trying to force her when she was too tired. It didn't seem to help with getting her to go longer through the night either. She still seemed to wake up around the same time for the next feeding. She always ate better when I let her wake up on her own to eat.
Her biggest accomplishment at one month old was finally getting the hang of breastfeeding. I was still having some pain while feeding her, so we visited the lactation consultant when she was almost four weeks old. The consultant helped me realize that she was latching on great (which is what I thought was going wrong), but that she was just having trouble with the flow of milk. Apparently, it was coming out too fast for her. She was choking and gagging on it. I had noticed the choking and gagging. Sometimes I would have to sit her up quickly for her to catch her breath again, and sadly, on more than one occasion, she shot milk through her nose. The consultant said I was getting pinched because she was biting down to try to slow down the flow. There's not a lot that I could do about it but try to understand why she was doing it. Her advice was to hold her tighter so she couldn't get a good bite, or take her off and put her back on, or use a breast shield for the first few minutes when the flow was the fastest, or pump for a few minutes before feeding her. She also recommended letting her suck on a hard pacifier. This was supposed to help train her to relax her jaw so she'd stop biting me. I tried just about everything for a couple of weeks. She had never had a pacifier until then. She loved the normal soft pacifier that we introduced her to until we could find a harder one, but she hated the hard one that we got her. I don't blame her. I don't think I would want to suck on a hard pacifier either. We still gave it to her occasionally just to exercise that jaw, but we haven't bothered with it in a couple of weeks now.
We had a rough start, but she really started to get the hang of breastfeeding without pinching the crap out of me at around five weeks. She's doing better with it all the time. I think she's growing and that has helped a great deal. I do have to remember to burp her often because she guzzles and then spits up like crazy. That has been a work in progress. Thankfully her bite has lessened, so nursing her is much more comfortable. I am glad we stuck with it!
My heart is full. I am thankful for my sweet baby girl! Her first month with us was difficult and wonderful at the same time. God has given us a huge blessing in this little life. I am humbled to have been chosen to be her mother.
|At around one month old she started giving us some of her first social smiles.|
|Bridgette at one month old.|