It’s been about a week and a half now since Layla was born. She has been a little doll. She eats really well and really only cries when she is hungry or if her belly hurts (in which case the cry ends after a burp or other such relief). I wonder if she has been having a little growth spurt the last couple of days as particularly in the evenings she seems to eat for hours on end with little breaks here and there. She sleeps all the time. She has more wakeful periods every day, but I think she is only awake a total of about two hours per day.
So far we have been really lucky with her at night, as she is sleeping well and gets up every 2 – 3 hours to eat (that’s from the start of one feeding to the start of the next). Her feedings last 45 min to 1 hour at night, including changing her diaper which inevitably wakes her up enough to want to eat some more. There has only been one night when she decided to wake up right before we were going to bed, and then was awake for a couple of hours (which meant I was awake for a couple of hours). But the vast majority of the time so far she is going straight down after feeding and allows me to get a couple of hours of sleep before the next one (except for last night where she was up every 2 hours, so I was only getting one hour of sleep between feedings).
Speaking of feeding, a little off-topic but something I didn’t want to forget was how long Layla fed right after she was born! With breastfed babies there’s always the big question of how well they will latch on in the beginning. I didn’t get to feed her until about an hour after she was born. First they did their tests and all the different things they do to babies right after they are born (and in the meantime they were taking care of me and all the things they do to mommies right after the baby is born). So once I finally got her back I was able to get her to latch on pretty quickly. The nurse came over a few minutes after she was already eating, intending to help me and not realizing she’d been latched on for a while (she was impressed – well done, Layla!). Those first few feedings were so sweet because I almost felt sorry for Layla as she used her instincts to try to get to her food but wasn’t always quite able to get there – either not opening wide enough, not going in the right direction, getting her hands in the way, etc. So sweet. Anyway, I hadn’t eaten anything since about 8:00 the previous evening, and by about 5 am, deep into labor, I was starving. They wouldn’t let me have anything to eat, and there was a good half hour to an hour where I would have given anything for one little cereal bar. So I imagine Layla was famished by the time she finally got to eat, and she breastfed for over an hour in that first session! I had to switch sides three times as she just kept going! If that first session and the following week and a half are anything to go by, we are going to have another good eater on our hands.
In the hospital they gave us 2 swaddle sleep sacks. We had used these with Hayden and he had responded really well to them, but we must have gotten them when he was a bit older as the ones we have are too big for Layla. The ones they gave us at the hospital are newborn size, so I washed them once we got home and as soon as we started using those at night she has just slept so well. At the hospital she would not sleep well in her basinett, even if she was swaddled in a receiving blanket. I would lay her down so we could both sleep at night and she would cry after about 5 minutes. When I picked her up she was fine and didn’t necessarily need to eat. The postpartum ward was not very busy while we were there, and both nights the nurse had come in during the middle of the night and had seen me sitting up in the dark trying to sleep, holding a sleeping Layla on the Boppy pillow. This was the only way I could get her to sleep in the hospital, and both nights the nurses asked if they could take her to the nursery and rock her until she was hungry so I could get some proper sleep. I decided to go that route because I wondered if I would ever get any sleep again once we came home and I didn’t have a nurse to rock her while I slept, but she has done a great job since we got home and I think it’s thanks to the swaddle sleep sacks.
The last thing of note is that her umbilical cord fell off this morning. I seem to remember Hayden had his for a couple of weeks or more; hers definitely seems to have come off faster. Whenever Hayden sees me changing her diaper and comes to see what’s going on he would ask what was on her belly, so I think he will be glad that it’s gone!