Monday, July 2, 2012

Communicating with a Tiny Human

Trying to figure out what a baby needs is probably one of the top 5 hardest and most frustrating things I've ever done. There is literally no way to know what he wants most of the time! A lot of moms have told me that you begin to tell the difference between their cries (hunger, tired, cold, hurting, etc.) but I'm not very good at it. I definitely know the difference between his fussy/whiny cry and his true "I need something" cry. The problem is, at this point all his needs sound the same to me.

Cue the disaster week.

For the past 7-10 days Titus has gotten continually fussier and fussier, especially as we got closer to bedtime. He always seemed tired yet I could never get him to go to sleep during the day so I was trying really hard to get him to nap better. This was pretty unsuccessful and lead to a very tired and frustrated momma and baby. We tried all kinds of things-swaddling, white noise, putting him down asleep, putting him down awake but drowsy, with and without paci, nursing to sleep, allowing him to cry for a few minutes... UGH EVERYTHING! Even when I held him (which normally conks him out) he would wake up after only 30ish minutes and be crying and cranky. His eyes would be red and he would yawn and cry and so I would keep trying to get him to go back to sleep, thinking he just needed to get some extra rest.

This brings us to yesterday. Titus basically fussed all day after his morning feeding and unsuccessful nap. We went to Simon and Adriane's for lunch and Titus fussed and refused to sleep. I left early to take him home and try to get him to nap and he slept for only an hour before waking up crying again. Garland and I were going to go out to dinner that night but Titus was so upset and overtired that we just looked at each other like, what are we going to do with this child?!

Here's where the crying cues come in. That night I was breastfeeding Titus before bed and noticed he kept pulling off and wiggling around. I finally realized, maybe he's hungry... OKAY! So you may be wondering, HOW DID YOU MISS THAT HE WAS HUNGRY?! But I swear, it was really confusing. Titus has always gained weight really well, started stretching out to 3-4 hours between daytime feedings, eating for 40 minutes each feeding, sleeping a 7-8 hour stretch at night, having the required wet and soiled diapers a day... So I thought that was at least one thing I could eliminate! Turns out I was wrong. After Titus finished his 40 minute feeding that night I gave him a bottle of pumped breast milk and he ate the whole 5 ounces! He went out right after that and was asleep from 8-5:30am.

So today I offered him a pumped bottle after each feeding to see if he was hungry and he would eat 2-3 ounces each time. He laid down for his naps awake and fell asleep for hours at a time with absolutely no crying. During his wake time he was completely happy and interactive, and when we got in the car, which he normally cries during, he just sat in the back and coo'd and fell asleep on his own. WHAT?! Who is this child?! We even got to go out to eat with my family and he just sat there and stared at the lights and smiled the whole time.

So here I am, feeling awful because my poor little boy was hungry and I had no idea. But I'm glad I finally realized what it takes to make him a happy camper! I'm not sure where we'll go from here, I don't get very much when I pump but I'm going to start some natural supplements to help increase my supply. We may continue this hybrid version of breastfeeding and using some formula or eventually forego breastfeeding altogether. As much as I enjoy the perks of breastfeeding (money saver and closeness to T) I want to do whatever it takes to enjoy my experience raising Titus to the upmost. All I know is that a happy momma leads to a happy baby!

More on this topic to come...


1 comment:

  1. I had something really similar happen with Tobias when he was just a little older (I am pretty sure around the 3 month mark is one of the expected growth spurts.)n And I felt awful that I had not picked up on it sooner, but we got it figured out and everyone was fine in the end. One thing you could try is go back to a little bit of a closer feeding schedule so that he is nursing more often and that should help increase your supply. Trust me, baby #1 is a total learning process and you kind of just figure it out together, then when baby #2 comes along you have a lot less worrying and things (as far as baby care are concerned) are quite a bit easier. You are doing a great job!!