Bringing Home Baby: The First Six Weeks

October 4, 2021

Fast-forward six weeks since Miss B was born…

This is not the easy-peasy experience I thought it would be. When I was pregnant with my fourth child, I joyfully awaited her arrival with the most optimistic thoughts. 

As a newborn photographer, many mothers have asked me to come home with their baby as I had the touch. I was the baby whisperer in their eyes, which came naturally to me as a mother of three. With that kind of confidence bestowed to me,  I started thinking baby number four would be a piece of cake.

The first week home was non-eventful. Miss B was jaundiced, and as a result she was sleepy and barely made a peep. That all changed in the second week, when by day 12, she would cry every time I breast or bottle fed. She would arch her back and fussed without avail. No one in the house was getting any sleep.

In addition to those symptoms—Miss B would hiccup a lot. She’d have a bout of two or three in a row every 15 minutes. I knew all too well these were classic signs of reflux. 

While I suspected it, I second guessed myself because she didn’t have the typical symptom of spitting up. She would burp—yet nothing came up. That’s because the poor thing would have the contents of her stomach travel up her little esophagus only to come back down. I later found out this type of reflux was called Silent Reflux

Doctor, doctor

Miss B had been thriving up to that point, so my husband Ed and I didn’t feel worried, but wanted to get to the bottom of it so we could all get better sleep. She had trouble settling at night as a result of this issue, which meant we all had trouble sleeping. 

I’ll admit it—I was worried the doctor would be hesitant to provide a prescription for her due to her thriving growth—she was in the 89th percentile. Luckily, I have one of the best pediatricians in the area, who took care of my first three. When I called him, I was tired, frustrated and scared that he wouldn’t believe me. 

“Sofiya,” he told me, “Mothers are the best doctors…they know their children best.”

He told me the fussiness at feedings was bothersome and that he trusted my judgement. What a relief. 

He started Miss B on twice-a-day medication that took about two weeks to start working. In addition to that, because of her reflux, Miss B had to be in a specific breastfeeding hold, sitting upright when feeding. This significantly helped her tummy adjust to feedings. 

The truth about baby poop

After getting Miss B started on her new meds, she was still extremely gassy.

One thing that I learned (after having four babies!) is that every baby goes through a stage where they need to “learn to poop.” Now hear me out—if you’re reading this right now it’s likely you’re either pregnant or have a lil’ one of your own…But this is serious stuff. 

Here’s what I learned: 

Babies aren’t born with the ability to poop on their own. In fact, they need to learn how to do it—and this usually happens within the first few weeks of their life. That’s why from two to eight weeks there’s often a lot of grunting and pushing involved. 

Why is that important? Because it’s normal for all newborns to adjust to their newly forming digestive systems at their own pace. This period of time can be one of the roughest for new and experienced moms. 

Turning a corner and sleeping at night

I’m noticing that Miss B is finally moving past this sleepless phase—and I’m finally getting more rest. I’m convinced it’s partly the medication plus the addition of BioGaia Protectis baby drops in her bottles. 

It was hard to go through this period of time when I expected it to be so much easier. I was exhausted. Between the baby and work, I didn’t have much time for selfcare. 

I got through with help of my amazing husband Ed, who brought me breakfast and took care of me when I needed it most. He would hold Miss B so I could nap. He’d wake in the night with me, helping to set up feeding time.

The community pulled together and organized a meal train for our family. It was truly heartwarming—food was coming from different people that we didn’t even know! It was an incredible show of support—one that I am grateful for. 

That’s why I am writing this to you today…To help share my story, the tips I learned along the way and the products that have made a huge difference.

And on that note, here are my top three must-have items for newborns.

  • The Nested Bean: I can’t say enough about this amazing swaddle with rice pockets. I read about it in a Facebook mommy group, ordered it on Prime, and received it on the same day! After only a few days we’ve seen results and are so happy about it. 
  • BioGaia Protectis Baby Drops: I’ve noticed a BIG difference in Miss B’s gassiness once I started her on these baby drops. The probiotics help with baby’s digestion. 
  • Baby Shusher: As a newborn photographer, this has been my in-studio secret for many years! This white noise machine is the best of the best for lulling baby to sleep—and keeping her asleep.
  • A good old-fashioned yoga ball: Bouncing on a yoga ball does wonders for calming babies. 

What about you? Drop me a line to tell me about your favourite products or the interesting things you’ve learned about the first six weeks.