Baby Alexander was delivered weighing 9lbs. Becky had a very long labour which lasted five days and she suffered pre eclampsia. Alexander was finally delivered via C section, but the placenta had to be manually removed.
Seven weeks on and Alexander is exclusively breastfed although he has had the occasional bottle of expressed milk.
Alexander was back to his birth weight within two weeks and has continued to thrive. Mother and baby have had their 6 week checkups and are both doing very well.
Implementing a routine for Baby Alexander…
Becky wanted some reassurance and help to implement a routine for Alexander. Up until this point Alexander would only really cat-nap in a sling on Becky or in his bouncy chair. Becky was feeding on demand as she was unsure if her son was getting enough milk each feed.
I joined Becky and Alexander overnight for a 24 hour period primarily to observe, but my main objective was to implement a schedule that would suit their life style. Both Becky and her Husband are musicians and share the care of their baby son. As this couple do not have a regular 9am-5pm lifestyle, it was important to have a little flexibility in the schedule.
Alexander had not been swaddled as a newborn, Becky tried a couple of times and he always managed to escape, so eventually they decided to stop. At nearly 7 weeks I would not usually re-introduce swaddling as it would soon be time to start thinking about moving him to a cot and introducing a sleeping bag. Becky found it difficult to settle Alexander in his Moses basket during nap times and especially at night. I suggested that after Alexander had been fed and had a nappy change that he have some play time on his baby gym. After about 15 minutes he began to get agitated and his body language began to change. At this point I suggested that we settle him upstairs as he was showing classic signs of tiredness. It is important to read your baby’s signals and not miss the moment, and it was clear that Alexander was becoming over-tired.
I demonstrated the half swaddle to Becky and gently settled him in his Moses basket. He cried for a few minutes, his fists were flying, but his eyes were closed.
Becky had been using a soother, so rather than upset him further, I gave him the soother and then gently stroked his head and down the bridge of his nose. A calming reassuring voice helps. Alexander calmed immediately and his body relaxed. We sat on the bed for a few minutes then before he was totally asleep I removed the soother. Alexander remained asleep for a further 90 minutes. I am not a huge fan of the soother but they can be useful, my golden rule is to always be in control of it. Alexander did not wake up missing the soother as I had removed it just before he fell asleep!
The afternoon continued well and at 6pm we gave Alexander a bath and massage before feeding him quietly upstairs at 6.30pm. We settled exactly as we did before and he was asleep by 7.15pm. For the first time, Becky had the evening ahead to relax, have dinner and a bath before waking Alexander for the dream-feed at 10.30pm.
Alexander woke once in the night for a feed at 3.30pm and then settled well until 6.45am. Becky and her husband Oliver are wonderful parents and clearly Alexander is cherished and adored. A few little tweaks and a routine can make such a difference! Confident parents equals a relaxed little baby!
‘Vickie stayed with us for 24 hours and in that short time I feel that she transformed our understanding of our little boy. As well as designing a routine for him she gave us a huge number of skills and tips including reading the signs of tiredness, getting him to settle in his Moses basket during the daytime, tactical use of the dummy, baby massage and breast feeding observation. She also made me feel comfortable and not judged and adapted her scheduling to suit our lifestyle which is not the average 9 to 5. We were incredibly grateful for her input and have gone from strength to strength since then.’