I’m currently typing this up as Skyler is seven weeks old, sleeping on my chest, because that’s the only way he will take a nap this week. I originally planned to share this post as a one month update, then that turned into sharing a six week update, and here we are almost two weeks later. The newborn stage isn’t easy to plan around!
The last thing I want to do to is complain about taking care of my little guy. Sky is an absolute blessing and miracle that I still cry happy tears over when I rock him to sleep at night. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t sit back in amazement and stare at his features that are a perfect blend of Scott and I. He’s turned our lives upside down in the best way, and I couldn’t possibly love him any more. I’m truly cherishing this time at home with him.
But, I also want to keep it real with you guys, because the good alongside the bad isn’t always shared. I think the not-so-perfect perspective is just as important to touch on, especially as insight for people who are going through similar stages, and this is especially true for warm, bubbly baby posts. Longtime readers should already know that’s my style.
That said, here we go!
New motherhood has challenged me in so many different ways. For the first time in a long time, I’ve had to put my own wants and needs (including spending time to chat here on the blog on the regular *sigh*) aside to spend precious time with my tiny human who relies on me during every minute of the day.
No matter how hard I plan out my days, something happens to throw a wrench in those plans. I usually have to choose between showering, cleaning up the apartment, doing laundry, eating, or getting work done on the computer during his naps times, and it isn’t out of the norm for him to wake up multiple times or as soon as I figure out what I want to do from the list above. It throws me off every time!
As I mentioned above, Skyler is actually seven weeks old, but I wanted to cover his first six weeks here since they really do change so quickly. My plan is to share a monthly update for his first year starting with two months soon.
Thank you for checking in and reading all about our main guy!
Skyler’s Six Week Update
Skyler King is six weeks old and that absolutely blows my mind.
Time is flying faster than ever before!
(Scott’s outfit choice, hehe)
I feel like everyone says that, but after having a newborn and seeing how much they change on a daily basis, the saying takes on an entirely new meaning to me. I rarely have “long” days, and instead have a cycle of nursing sessions, wake times, and nap times that takes me from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the blink of an eye.
Sometimes I am on top of my game, dressed and ready to take on the day by 8 a.m, but most times I don’t get around to brushing my teeth until lunch time or after. It’s just how it goes!
As expected in his days that are still categorized as “newborn” (<- when does he graduate to baby?), we have some really good days where I feel like I’m killing it, and really fussy days where I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.
I shared an Instagram video that pretty much sums it all up. Surprise! Newborns are a lot of work! Ha. I’ll get into the details of breastfeeding and more about my postpartum recovery below, but for now, let’s just say that we are exclusively breastfeeding and it’s going okay. (Some days are much easier than others.)
Likes & Dislikes
It’s been a month since I shared Sky’s likes and dislikes, so I took a look back at some of his photos to jog my memory. He really does change so much week by week!
Over the last month, we realized that Skyler gets hangry pretty quickly.
He’s the sweetest little boy when he’s full and happy, and he has become so alert during his wake time (between nursing and nap time). He’s currently loving nursing as often as I’ll let him, chest naps (oh my goodness – these are my favorite thing ever – so snuggly!), being up against us while baby wearing, and snuggling as much as possible.
(his bed/snuggle hair cracks me up!)
I also never understood why people put mittens on babies until I had Skyler. He’s past that stage now, but he would scratch his face off if I didn’t contain his nails over the first month or so. He didn’t seem to mind them.
He LOVES being swaddled and toted around in his baby carrier!
He does great for a while on his activity mat, tummy time mat, or boppy lounger, but then he just wants to be held and loved on after ten minutes. He discovered the ceiling fans around five weeks and they have been so intriguing to him!
He’ll sit and stare at one for a long while before wanting to do anything else. It’s the cutest thing. He also enjoys being outside (when it’s not too hot, cold, or windy), and winding down at night with walks outside with Roadie. After being cooped up for a few days, he likes getting out and about with us and usually does well sleeping in his stroller when he needs a nap.
He’s not very fond of changing his outfits, loud noises (although he doesn’t seem to mind the hair dryer or vacuum), or losing his pacifiers. Like a lot of other babies out there, he doesn’t like being in a dirty diaper, being on a mat or in a swing for too long before wanting to be held again, or taking long naps during the days.
We started incorporating tummy time at the two week mark, and he does okay.
Some days he loves it and others he cries. We try to have him work on strengthening his neck and back muscles while he lays on our chests and I put him on the mat for tummy time for a few minutes at a time twice a day.
Sky is exclusively breastfeeding. That was the plan from the start, but man, I can see how it isn’t for everyone. It takes a crazy amount of time, patience, dedication, and persistence to say the least.
He is an extremely gassy baby, so I decided to cut out a lot of my normal dairy intake to see if that helps. (I’m someone who loves milk, cheese, yogurts, etc. and has a lot of dairy on a daily basis.) I’m currently drinking almond milk, I switched to dairy-free yogurt, and I avoid cheese as much as I can. I still have a slice of pizza every now and then, but if I do, I’ll cut out all dairy for the rest of the day. Skyler has been less fussy and seems to be less gassy since I started doing this!
We are trying our best to stick to a flexible schedule of feeding every three hours during the daytime and go for longer stretches around five hours after he goes to bed for the night. Of course, every day and feeding is different.
Around the three week mark, I learned to switch him between breasts after about 15 minutes and encourage him to nurse for around 30 minutes total. Again, every baby is different, but this strategy has done wonders for evening out my supply and tends to get him more milk per feeding, which makes everyone happier in the long run.
(Easter Sunday at two weeks old!)
I have had several clogged ducts, which is usually triggered by wearing a tight nursing bra or engorgement (when I was only nursing one side at a time). Unfortunately, sometimes those ducts are stubborn and eventually develop into early stages of mastitis. This led to feeling flu-like symptoms and completely knocked me out, often requiring antibiotics or medication to come out of. Luckily, my clogged ducts have always worked themselves out after days of me constantly massaging them, putting warm compresses on them, soaking in warm baths, and basically forcing them out by using tips from my doctor and friends (I’ll spare you the details!).
I had a new lump that formed right before my six week OB/GYN appointment, and my doctor actually worked it out for me in just a minute or two. Oh. My. Gosh. It was so painful. But, she said this strategy is best to avoid mastitis, so I’ve been working everything out as soon as possible, no matter how painful that can be.
I was worried about pumping and having enough supply for Skyler if/when I go back to work after my maternity leave, but I’ve been hesitant to do it regularly. I’ve only used my pump a handful of times to help me get through clogged ducts, and I was surprised when my OB recommended me to hold off on pumping for now. She said increasing my supply could trigger more engorgement and rounds of clogged ducts, so I’m keeping my distance.
(Every doctor, mom, baby, and lactation consultant is different, so please remember that while reading this! Do what works for you!)
Skyler isn’t very consistent with napping during the days, but he’s been pretty great at giving us a decent amount of sleep at night. The exception was Week Six – this was completely unpredictable due to a growth spurt, and I had to get up with him every 1-2 hours for a few nights. Super fun.
I aim to have him nap 1.5 – 2 hours at a time during the days on a flexible but semi-structured 3 hour schedule consisting of nursing, wake/playing, naping. He seems to be the most rested and happiest on days where he complies. I think he became overtired without me realizing it when I wasn’t as strict with him. So, I’m doing my best to stick to a schedule when I can.
Sky has been better than expected with sleeping at night. He slept an uninterrupted 7 hours around four weeks! Since then, I put him to bed anywhere from 7-8 p.m., wake him up to nurse around 11:30 p.m./midnight, and then he will usually sleep another stretch of 5-6 hours from there. If I don’t wake him up to nurse, he’ll wake up anywhere from 2-3:30 a.m. I’m trying to avoid having him go more than 5 hours at a time without being fed until our next appointment with the pediatrician, so there are usually at least 2 feedings per night once he goes to bed.
I weighed in at 13 pounds heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight at my six-week postpartum appointment the last week of April. Considering that I gained close to 40 pounds and I hadn’t been able to work out other than long walks and taking on the stairs up to our apartment, I was pleasantly surprised with that number.
(five weeks postpartum)
I completed my first postpartum workout after my six-week check-up, so I’ll get into more of how that’s going on my next update. In short, it’s kicking my booty!
When I’m feeling extra sore, I’ll throw on a post-natal yoga stretch video and usually feel better mentally and physically afterwards. Skyler seems to like the time on the mat, too.
Overall, I feel very soft and weak, and this is extra noticeable when I try to do everyday tasks like walk long distances, carry groceries home, and housework. I’m confident that it will come back, I just have to keep pushing along!
I am mentally doing better than I expected to. As most of you already know, this angel baby took us a really long time to meet, so I think that perspective helps me on the extra hard days.
My birthday fell during an overseas trip for Scott along with Skyler’s sixth week, so that was hard. Sky was extra fussy and needy that week, and since I was home by myself handling everything solo, I felt a bit forgotten and overwhelmed. So yeah, that day was rough, but overall, I am really loving my time alone with him. Even when he’s fussy. Ha!
After this six week mark, I feel like we can finally start to get into somewhat of a routine, and I am excited to get back to the little things I would love to start doing again. Cooking and trying new recipes is a big one, and getting back to trying new workouts and jogging in the park is another. Baby steps!
Anddd since we’re getting very long here, I’m going to cut it there. I know I haven’t been posting very often, so you can catch our daily musings on Instastories since it’s a lot easier to post in real time!
Thank you for checking in and for all of your love towards Skyler.
We sure do love him, and I love sharing this journey with you!
In case you missed it …
Life With a Newborn, Recovery, and Q&As (Two Week Update)