You're starting to get this thing called parenting under control ... a bit. How to change a nappy in under 20 minutes, eat with one hand and function with little-to-no sleep.
By six weeks (the longest six weeks of your life) you finally have some idea of your baby's behaviours - not everything feels like a complete mystery. Then suddenly, everything changes ... again!
So what just happened?
It's around six weeks that babies go through a perfectly natural period of developmental - not a pleasant phase, but an important phase and one that will pass.
You may find your baby is:
- less settled
- hard to get to sleep
- needs more cuddles and feeds.
Don't go Googling
This is the time you'll find yourself on Google at 2am, desperately trying to find out what's wrong. It's when many parents start to consider sleep training, a change to formula or daily trips to the GP.
Fact is, there's most likely nothing wrong. Everything is progressing exactly as it should - though this doesn't mean it's not distressing.
Sleep training is not the answer
You baby needs your constant love and attention to help them get through this stage. As hard as it is for you, it's incredibly unsettling for baby. All they need though, is to feel safe and connected. To help both of you, I suggest:
- lots of cuddles
- wearing baby
- massages (for baby)
- regular feeding.
Please, please, please don't consider this a time when your baby needs any form of sleep training, because it is NOT. You may be missing the predictability you once had, or may have reached the end of your tether with 6 weeks of chaos, but the most important thing you can do is stay calm.
Light and smiles at the end of the tunnel
With your support, your baby's sleep patterns will evolve after a week or two, and things will start to settle down. Be kind and don't go changing too much. You'll soon come out the other side to find your baby has done a lot of growing, mentally and physically.
Most importantly, they'll have undergone an enormous social shift and start smiling like never before, coo-ing and looking for eye contact. So although those long unsettled days and nights feel endless, your baby is going through a necessary growth phase. Be patient and prepare to enjoy your emerging two month old.
Author: Helen Stevens. RN. RM. MCHN. Manager of Clinical Services, Education and Research. Parent Infant Consultants. 0411880720.