The First Six Weeks live chat Q&A

The First Six Weeks live chat Q&A

Mater midwives Claire Maguire and Stacy Jukes today tackled the hot topic of the first six weeks in our monthly live chat.

Claire and Stacy answered questions from Mater Mums on everything from sleep and feeding patterns to burping, introducing your new baby to the family pet and how to deal with unsolicited advice from friends and family!

For those who missed today's chat, we have saved the questions and answers for you below. To find out about when our next live web chat is taking place—and to take part—become a member of Mater’s Mothers’ Group.

If you have a suggestion for a topic for our next web chat, please let us know at www.facebook.com/matermothers.

Is there such a thing as too many poos in one day? My baby is averaging around 10 poos a day and most of the time she has also wet her nappy.

Breastfed babies will sometimes poo with every feed—that's normal! The frequency of poos tend to decrease as babies gets older.

I have been told by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law that it is not normal for my baby to not want to nap and to give her formula to sleep better. I said no because she is gaining a lot of weight and growing nicely. They also said to let her cry it out and not to get her use to sleeping anywhere else but cot cause she will get used to being around us all the time. I don't agree with those methods. Am I wrong in this? She does seem to settle easier and fall asleep when she hears and sees myself or my husband so I might start putting her in a sling or a swing in the lounge room during the day.

Your baby is transitioning from the womb to the world. Your baby is used to constant noises and movement during the day when you were pregnant, now it's all different and they're adjusting. Trust your instincts, it sounds like you're spot on. If they can only sleep in a cot this can be difficult long-term - it's best if they get used to sleeping in a range of different places.

I know you are supposed to time between feeds from the start of the last feed. What do you do if she takes around 2 hours to feed and settle?

It is not uncommon for babies to take time to feed and settle, especially in the early weeks. This is also bonding and getting to know you time—your baby is transitioning to the world from the womb. As long as your baby is having 8-12 feeds per day (including snacks, short feeds) and she doesn't go for more than 5-6 hours between feeds than this is considered normal newborn behaviour. Start your timing count from the start of the last feed.

My baby girl sometimes gets white mucus in her vagina. Are you supposed to wipe this when you change her nappy or should you leave it there?

Mucus is normal and you can wipe it front to back as you change her nappy or bath her. This is the vagina's natural way of cleaning itself. We wouldn't be concerned, unless it was smelly or yellow/green.

My baby is 7 weeks old and doesn't want to nap during the day unless it is on me or in a pram while we are taking a walk. I have been trying to put her in the cot when she is tired but still awake and I pat her head for few minutes and leave the room. I repeat that when she starts crying but it's not working. I end up doing that for an hour at the time. And on the odd occasion it works, she ends up waking up every 5, 10 minutes or she spits her dummy out and cries every few minutes. Any advice or words of wisdom for me please because I'm going crazy and I can't get anything done. She is breastfed by the way and during the nights she generally sleeps good, she wakes up every 3 or 3.5 hours.

It is common for a good night time bub to be more wakeful during the day time. Try to involve your baby in your day time routine, such as using a sling or try to settle her in the area that you're working in—so she can hear you and sounds made by you, which will be comforting. Sounds like you might benefit from family and friends visiting for baby cuddles in the early weeks.

I have a 3.5 week old who is showing signs of wind/ discomfort at times and is difficult to settle (usually 2am-5am). He also usually has at least one green poo in 24hours (others are typical yellow mustard). I have been feeding one breast per feed due to oversupply however then the other breast feels very full by the next feed and he gets 'flooded' initially. Does this mean he is getting too much fore milk? Any tips on how to prevent this?

As the green poo is only once a day, this all sounds pretty normal. Prior to the 2am feed, how long is your baby sleeping? Is that the longest sleep of the day?

(cont.)My baby usually feeds every 3 to 4 hours with his longest sleep typically from 7pm to 10:30pm. Then he feeds again around 1 to 2am when he is unsettled (grunting, pulling legs up, fussing at breast etc) until the rest of the house is up at 5:30am!

All babies have an unsettled period in a 24 hour period and unfortunately it sounds like your baby has chosen 2am! This in time will generally transition to an afternoon/early evening time. It might take time, hang in there! Try to have a nap yourself during the day.

I have some friends who want all their relatives to be vaccinated before visiting their newborns. Is this something I should do too?

We would recommend whooping cough vaccination for family and friends who are going to spend a lot of time with your baby. We would also advise to let those coming around to the house know that they need to be well and not showing symptoms of cold and flu. Be reassured that breastfeeding provides babies with some protective immunity.

I'm a first time mum, and have been getting a lot of advice from my family and friends since coming home. A lot of it is differing advice. How do I know which advice to listen to?

Most advice from family and friends is well meaning. Some of it you may choose to take on, other advice you may not. Every mum and baby pair is different and you need to decide what best works for you and your baby.

Is there a time where I should look into routines? Like after 3 months maybe?

You will find that you and your baby will create a natural routine together on your own in time. There's no need to set down a routine in the first few months.

I am finding that my milk is fast to let down and my baby seems to be gulping to try and keep up and it often leaks out around her mouth. What is the best way to try and slow the release so she doesn't get too windy?

Its early days and babies tend to get used to it. You could try lying in a laid back position where your baby is more vertical than horizontal.

I'm finding hard to get my baby to burp. I am using the sitting up position with one hand on her chest and the other on her back and over the shoulder but she often doesn't burp. When I try to put her back on the breast she pushes away so I know she is not ready to feed again. Do you have any tips on how to burp?

A lot of breastfed babies don't need burping. Before offering the second side, give a cuddle and let the baby show some feeding cues.

I have tried cuddling instead of burping but my baby still seems uncomfortable. She kicks her legs into her chest and makes an "Eh Eh" sound and she is not making feeding cues.

She might be full as you have a fast let down and the baby might be getting used to the increase in volume. This will settle. The feeds may not be taking as long as they did in the first few days - and that's normal.

I have been trying to feed every two and a half to three hours, but lately my baby seems to be able to go longer. Should I be waking her, or let her sleep?

At eight weeks you should leave your baby to sleep and feed on demand. Try to get some naps for you too!

My baby is 6 days old today. She is getting hiccups often when I feed her. What is the best way to relieve them?

Hiccups are perfectly normal and it doesn't bother babies. Just keep feeding as normal.

My bub is just under two weeks old, is she too young for me to take her out for outings?

It is safe to take baby in pram for walk when you feel able to, when you feel comfortable taking your baby out. There’s no need to rush, take this at your own pace. Particularly in the early months, we recommend avoiding heavily populated areas where there may be increased risk of transference of disease, including flu. If you’re going for a walk, start off small distance-wise and then build up over time.

I have read, and people have said to me, that by eight weeks, babies should be able to sleep for like a 6-7 hour stretch. My little girl is breastfed, and putting on weight well, but really can't do more than say 4.5? Should I be adding an extra feed?

That sounds perfectly normal; many babies do not sleep more than 4 or 5 hours. If she's putting on weight and is settled, we recommend continuing to feed on demand.

We have a dog, who we haven't introduced to our newborn yet. When is it safe to do this? Our family have told us it's not safe yet.

It is safe to introduce your baby to your dog whenever you are ready—even if that's when you first get home. We'd suggest you keep your baby higher than your pet as a sign of dominance. Then get your pet to sit and allow the dog to smell your baby while you hold them in your arms. Also, remember no baby should ever be left unattended with a domestic pet – no matter how well trained they are.

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