Everyone knows that the newborn stage and the famous 4th trimester is HARD. In addition to transitioning to life with a new baby, you’re often incredibly sleep deprived!
In this week’s episode, I’ll be talking about some of the things that no one tells you about life with a newborn. Have a listen!
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Hey there, you’re listening to the, My Sleeping Baby podcast, which is all about baby and child sleep. I’m so excited to teach you how you can get your little ones sleeping so that you can sleep too and enjoy parenthood to its fullest. I’m Eva Klein, your resident’s sleep expert, mom of three, founder of the Sleep Bible online coaching program, and lover of all things sleep and motherhood. If you’re looking for tangible solutions for your little one sleep woes or you simply want to learn more, this podcast is for you. For more information, check out mysleepingbaby.com and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @mysleepingbaby.
All right, let’s talk about the famous 4th trimester. This is a stage that is such a blur, but at the same time, I remember it like it was yesterday. And so for those of you who have a newborn or are pregnant and are going to have an newborn at some point in the future, um, definitely listen to this episode because I’m gonna give you, I think some of the biggest insights that I have for moms of little ones in that 4th trimester, that you have the most amount of, you know, insight into what to expect during this 4th trimester and how to manage it as best as you can. Their wake windows at this age are gonna be very, very short. They can’t be up for long periods of time. And those short wake windows include the length of the feet. So you might find yourself with a baby who wakes up and eats and burbs is up for maybe five minutes and then needs to go back to sleep.
And that’s totally fine. And it is all within the realm of normal, just don’t expect the exact same thing in terms of nap, duration and predictability, because at this stage it’s just not gonna happen. Babies in this age range are also usually very sleepy, especially in those first few weeks. I, I found with my own kids that they didn’t get, they didn’t become more alert with their eyes, you know, wide open for those first few weeks, I think until they reached that five or six week mark, when I could tell that they were actually aware of their environment and surroundings, um, which was really wonderful. I remember Umunna gave us her first smile when she was, I think, six and a half or seven weeks. And, uh, and she definitely knew, you know, she recognized me, she recognized my husband. It was really adorable, but for those first few weeks, all the one is gonna be doing is waking up and eating and sleeping and pooping, RINs, and repeats over and over and over again.
And if they are very sleepy throughout that entire period, uh, again, all within the realm of normal something else to just keep in mind when it comes to this specific 4th trimester, is that as exhausting as it is to have a baby that is waking up multiple times a night to eat throughout the night, I suppose the consolation prize for being that exhausted is that you also have a baby who is very mobile, right? Naps on the go are fine at this age. Let your little one nap in a baby carrier in the stroller, in the car, you know, while you’re grabbing groceries, while you’re bumming around the mall, while you’re at at the park with your toddler, it’s all fine. Because again, there is no schedule at this point, the naps are gonna happen very frequently throughout the day with very short wake wig nose, and the nap durations themselves are gonna be very inconsistent.
And it is totally fine to have many, many naps on the go. If I were to tell you in this stage to have many naps happening at home, that would literally keep you housebound because a newborn can barely be up for an hour before needing to go back to sleep. So 4th trimester is that stage where even though it is a physically exhausting one, it’s also a, that probably allows you the most amount of flexibility when it comes to their sleep needs because they’re sleeping all the time and the naps can happen all the time and they’re always happening on the go. So I would just say rule with it and enjoy the flexibility that this stage offers you. Now, if you are nursing and you’re little, oh one is going through a grill spurt, it can be a bit of a tough 24 to 48 hour period for you because in essence, your body and your milk supply has to catch up to the needs of your baby.
Now, for the majority of people who are able to nurse without any problems, and they don’t suffer from low milk supply, your supply will catch up to your baby’s needs, but it can take that 24 hour period or so for your, your supply to catch up. It’s not gonna happen instantly, right? Versus if you are bottle feeding, then the growth spur might not as difficult because all you have to do is just put more milk into that bottle and then boom, your baby’s eating more. So just keep that in mind. I know that, um, as a breastfeeding mom, myself, when my, when my babies were going through through growth spurts, often I was petrified that my milk supply was going down and that there was a problem with my nursing, that there was a problem with the latching or something was happening when really the reality was no, the nursing was just fine.
My baby was just growing. Their appetite was increasing and my milk supply had to catch up to the, the further demands of my baby’s feedings. And so don’t sweat it like within about, you know, that one to two day period, the craziness of these growth spurts, you know, should subside. If I recall, there’s, there’s numerous growth spur that happened within the first three weeks of the baby’s life. And then there’s a very well known growth spur that happens at the five to six week mark. But honestly you might not even notice any of these growth spurts. Like I just wanna put it out there. When I say that there is a well known growth spurt that happens at that five to six week mark. First of all, it’s not exact, it’s not a by the clock type of thing where, you know, the second year kid hits six weeks.
It’s like they turn into a pumpkin, you know, clock strikes midnight. It’s not like that. Right. You know, these are all approximations, you know, babies go through these gross spurts on their own timetable, but also remember the, at it, you might actually get off lucky in that your experience with your little one, with your newborns, going through a gross spurt might not be as terrible as my own experiences have been, or, you know, other very common experiences of other moms have been. So you might not even realize that your little oh one just gained one or two pounds and you’re going, oh my gosh, he’s already outgrown all of his newborn sleepers. I didn’t even realize it. And so sometimes your little one can grow, go through a gross spur and you won’t even notice it. You won’t even notice it until his clothes are too small on him.
Now, the last thing that I will mention about this 4th trimester is that it is an exhausting one. And I know that that might seem a little bit obvious, but I just wanted to put it out there that this is a stage where hopefully about halfway through, you’ll be able to start getting some stretches of sleep. But during those first few weeks, especially if you’re nursing and your milk Supplie coming in and your baby’s going through all these different growth spurts, it can be a stage, um, that involves some sleepless nights. And I just want to send you, you know, all the love and support that you need to get through that stage. Remember that it is a stage, it’s not a way of life that you have to do with forever. Thank God for that. We love our cute, adorable newborn babies, but we also, at the same time love for that stage to come to an end so that you can start getting some sleep, right?
And just remember that by the time your little one reaches that 16 week mark or so that’s when, if they haven’t learned how to fall, fall asleep by themselves, you can begin to teach them how to fall asleep on their own and give you really big stretches of sleep throughout the night. So that they’re only waking up maybe once to eat before going back to bed. So I want you to know that as exhausting as this stage is, it only needs to be short term, but when you’re in the thick of things, I get that exhaustion can take over you. And it could be very tempting to find yourself falling asleep while your little one is in your arms, maybe you’re feeding and you’re in the rocking or you’re on the couch. Be very, very careful. That is it’s extremely dangerous. And so avoid doing that as much as you can.
Um, if you know that your little one is, is going to be falling asleep, transfer him to a safe sleep space before you go to sleep yourself, because it’s, it is a very common scenario. Um, in, in the case of SIDS incidences. Unfortunately, you know, a lot of the time when we hear about these SIDS cases, a very common scenario was the baby fell asleep in, you know, mom or dad’s arms. And I’m not saying this to be the least, but insensitive to the that I have felt myself that I have been through, you know, three times now, already. I totally totally get it, but we still wanna make sure that we’re not doing anything dangerous in the name of getting sleep either. So just keep that in the back of your mind. And so to sum up, what can you expect in this 4th trimester?
They’re not gonna give you much of a schedule. They’re gonna be very, very sleepy, very short wake windows and the duration of the wake windows going to include the duration of the feed. But at the same time, this stage also, um, allows for naps on the go and flexibility because there is no schedule. Um, though you will get quite a number of grilled spurts that you may or may not feel
Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share this episode with a friend who can benefit from it. I also love hearing from my listeners. So feel free to DM me on Instagram @mysleepingbaby, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org until next time have a wonderful restful nights.