Four Weeks Old

How is motherhood going?

Part II.

Mazen is four weeks old today! How on earth has time flown by that fast! I feel like he is such a big boy now – and getting bigger everyday!

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But maybe not quite soooo big yet : )

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Typical for a baby under 6 weeks, fussiness has picked up. I would definitely not say we have an “easy baby” but I don’t think he is to the point of being colicky either. His periods of fussiness, cluster feeding and crying are right on par with what the books say they should be at this stage. I look forward to seeing what happens when he turns 6 weeks and supposedly starts sleeping longer at night and getting more efficient at feeding. I also know not to count on these things! In general though, while he is unpredictable, he is also sort of predictable in that I can count on him eating every 1-2 hours during the day, sleeping anywhere from 1-4 hours at night, fussing in the evenings, napping only in the carriers and being super cute all the time!

We are still using disposable diapers and probably will be for a while because the set of cloth diapers we were given are HUGE, even in the smallest snap setting! I can’t see him fitting into them anytime soon. We don’t have enough prefolds/covers/newborn size to switch full time, but I have put a few of those on him while we’re at home. They are so cute! And so far, so good when it comes to leaking/absorption. We are definitely still going to attempt some elimination communication, but not until he’s on the older baby poop schedule. Newborn poop is just nonstop : )

Why is it that all of the baby books are so confusing?! Breastfeeding Made Simple was anything but simple, and Healthy Sleep Habits seemed like one long run-on sentence to me. I finally found a summary page and wish that had come first instead of last! The only books I have found to be very user friendly are Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby and the sleep version of that too. I love Harvey Karp!

I’m eating half to a whole bar every night, usually around 3am. Twelve hours is too long to go without food, but I’m usually too sleepy/drowsy to prepare a real snack. I’ve been eating Larabars, Pure bars, AnneP bars and Emily’s Coconut Energy Bites.

Breastfeeding is finally not painful. I wouldn’t say it’s comfortable, but it’s not painful after the first latch. I’ve started pumping with the Pump In Style. It’s great in its efficiency, but pumping is hard work!

I’m surprised by the fact that on the weekends when Matt is home, I can take a reallllly long shower. I thought moms weren’t supposed to ever shower again! It’s actually quite liberating that really the only thing only I can do is feed him. Matt can take care of all of his other needs too, so when he is home if I want to take a long shower, make a meal or write a blog post, I can do that right after Maze is fed. The days when Matt’s not home are a lot harder, but Maze and I are still having a blast together. We just have lower expectations on the amount of things we accomplish in our day. 

GAH baby clothes are sooooo cute!! These were on sale from Baby Gap and a present from Grandma KK!

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I haven’t spent one minute in Baby Central. We use the bookshelves for storage all the time, but that chair has remained empty thus far. The couch is way more comfy!

I would love to get back into exercise, but it’s proven to be a bit harder than expected. I thought babies slept and ate at more regular intervals, but I was naïve! He won’t be ready for the gym until 6+ weeks (and even then it seems rather complicated to go!) so right now we’re just walking when we can. Everyday when he’s done feeding, the choice is: walk OR nap, write, clean, watch TV, read, etc. I’m trying to make walk a priority in the late morning every day. I’ve found that he’s pretty happy in the baby carrier, but that is also so HOT right now, so I take the stroller as well and transfer him in once he has fallen asleep in the carrier. It’s a lot of gear for a simple walk, but the system has allowed us to cover 2-3 miles or close to an hour at a time. We are building up! When I’m cleared and comfortable for running, I might leave him with Matt and see how that goes. I can already see how runs as ‘me time’ are going to be awesome.


I’m pretty shocked at how good I feel during the day sleep-wise. I am one of those types who used to get less than 8 hours of sleep and be grumpy and tired all day long. I have always needed 8 hours. Now I’m getting 5-7 hours of [very] broken sleep and feeling quite awake. I have only taken maybe 2 naps in the past month? I think our 12-hour night stretches are how I’ve managed to squeeze in enough sleep to get by, and that leaves daytime naps for getting things done. I’m so surprised at how well this has gone. I thought the sleep deprivation would be the worst part of the newborn stage, but I’d say the breastfeeding and lack of schedule during the day is the most challenging part. That said, if he has a particularly bad night of not going back to sleep, I definitely do feel much worse and need a nap. Luckily those nights come only once or twice a week.

When he cries, I seem to love him even more, which is an odd reaction since I always thought that when a baby cries it raises hairs on end. Someone once told me that a baby’s cry is like an on/off switch – they could cry at the same intensity if they need to burp or if something is terribly wrong. Thus, I try to remain calm when he does cry and troubleshoot with as clear of a mind as I can. Most of the time crying just means he is ready to eat, or a light cry means he wants to be soothed into a nap. In fact, I definitely have started learning his cries, and his hunger cry is definitely “neh” like the Dunsten Baby Language predicts!


I can’t even begin to describe the intense protection and love I feel for Maze. The kissing is nonstop, and I won’t even begin to tell you all the stupid names I call him all day long!

I have so many posts I want to write and not enough time! I’m enjoying writing reflection/journaling about how things have gone over here on BERF.

Eventual upcoming posts:

  • Thoughts on the different swaddle blankets/outfits we have used
  • A baby bowtie giveaway!
  • Things I Couldn’t Live Without (in the first weeks)
  • Diaper bag thoughts
  • Baby Boogers
  • How I’m experiencing something I call “Phantom Baby” sometimes at night
  • Am I glad I encapsulated my placenta? (YES!)

61 thoughts on “Four Weeks Old”

  1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying writing on BERF– I LOVE reading these posts, and was really disappointed at the thought of not reading these anymore. Of course, I have loved and read KERF for three years or so, but after seeing you post daily during the pregnancy, I hated the idea that we might not get to come along on the early childhood journey also. Please consider keeping BERF up also?!!!??

    Lots of love to your new little family!

  2. All I did for exercise until my daughter was 4 months old was walk. At 4 months, I started leaving her at the daycare at the gym. I’d probably start a bit earlier if I had to do it over again, because getting some time to myself to get in a good, heartrate-elevating cardio workout was *awesome* for both my physical and mental health, but in the meantime, walking was great. Taking both the stroller and the carrier when you head out for walks is a great idea. I also remember taking my daughter in the stroller and a sling or carrier in the basket underneath, just in case.

  3. I enjoy your BERF posts as well. We had our little girl on the 25th- hard to believe I had a baby just over a week ago! I wasn’t sure how I was going to adjust to the change, but I’m loving it.

    We haven’t switched to our cloth diapers yet; the constant newborn poop is my reason. We currently have only 19 of the Freetimes, so we’ll be doing laundry EVERY DAY. Even when we add another 6 to our collection, it seems like we’ll be washing all the time and waiting for them to dry.

    Those aden + anais swaddle blankets are the best! If I want Lucy to sleep at night, she has to be swaddled. I tried a sleepsack last night and she wasn’t having it. I’ve been wrapping her up in a flannel receiving blanket and then using the swaddle blanket to keep her bundled up. I love the baby burrito effect!

    1. Congrats on your new baby!

      Switching to cloth doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing, so if you are ready to start using your cloth diapers but worry that you don’t have enough to go full time, you can do cloth during the day and disposables at night, or cloth at home and disposables out of the house, or cloth til you run out and disposables until you have time to do the laundry, or whatever. 🙂

      Baby burritos are so cute, aren’t they? 🙂

  4. I’m so happy that you guys are doing so well!! Maze is so freaking cute! If you think the first month went by just wait. I somehow woke up with a 10 month old and I have no idea how that happened. I definitely love this stage much more than the newborn stage, for sure!

    I also thought that newborns had a more regular schedule. My husband thought it would be a piece of cake getting up at exactly every 2 hours at night. Boy were we shocked into reality!

  5. I’ve followed BERF throughout your pregnancy & am so glad you’re still writing here! I’m due in 6 weeks so reading your experiences has helped me a lot.
    P.S. Mazen is adorable!

  6. If your “Phantom Baby” is what I think it is, then I’ve experienced it too. For me, it means that I wake up in a panic in the middle of the night because I think my son is in bed with us and that I’ve lost him! Or, sometimes I’ll wake up and I’m actually sitting propped up, shirt undone and ready to nurse when the baby hasn’t even cried. It’s so strange! I’m excited to read what your thoughts are on this (or what you mean if it’s different than what I just said)!

    1. YES!!! Like tearing through the covers because “he has to be in here somewhere ohmygoshhecantbreathe!” It only happens when Matt is on duty in the first part of the night, so I guess i’m in a deeper sleep. Sometimes I even FEEL him, but when I get to the bottom of the cover knot, he is obviously not there. SO freaky!!

      1. Yes!! I had this, too, for weeks after my daughter was born. It seemed to happen when I was waking up out of a deep sleep, and once I was fully awake I realized that the baby was in fact in her bassinet right where she was supposed to be, and not in my arms in bed with me. It happened almost every night for a while, and finally went away when I started getting more sleep. My husband was pretty worried about me and did some research, concluding that it was some kind of hallucination associated with sleep deprivation and possibly anxiety. And sure enough, it went away after the first couple months.

        Like you, I felt like I was doing pretty well during the day despite getting much less sleep than I was used to, but I think that one of the consequences of such broken sleep was that I wasn’t going through all the sleep cycles normally, which probably contributed to the weird phantom baby hallucinations.

        I’m sorry to hear that other people have had this happen, too, but I’m also very reassured to find out that I’m not the only one.

        1. Yep, I had this too! My husband did, too…some nights I would wake up and find him on my side of the bed, feeling all around me because he was sure the baby was RIGHT THERE.

      2. I thought ‘Phantom Baby’ meant that you were still feeling him kicking inside of you, even though he’s out. That happened for almost a year for me with my daughter 🙂 We co-slept – to each their own – and that’s probably why I can’t remember doing this BUT I can imagine how freaky that is!

  7. Early start potty training is the BEST thing we have done with our son. Around 5 months, we just started putting him on the potty seat every time we changed his diaper. At first it was just to get him comfortable with it, but eventually he figured out what to do (with encouragement) and by the time he was on solid foods he was almost exclusively pooping in the potty. He’s 17 months and still doing well. He wears a diaper (we do the pre-folds) but goes on the potty most of the time. It definitely takes a little more work and I don’t think we could have done it if he was in daycare. But I highly recommend trying it if you are interested! We used this book:

  8. Hi Kath!
    Mazen is super cute!
    I have a suggestion. I would start taking Mazen to the gym as soon as you are ready. I think the earlier you start the easier the transition is in the nursery at the gym. Both my kids LOVE going to the gym and I think it is directly correlated with them being used to going and comfortable being left.
    It is also great for my sanity. Even of you can only get 20 minutes in, it is worth it…in my opinion.

    Good luck!

    1. I agree – I started taking my daughter at 4 months, and would probably start a little sooner next time. The lady who runs the daycare at my gym is very experienced, and she told me repeatedly that it was good I started bringing her when she was young so she got used to it before hitting one of the stages where separation anxiety sets in. And that seemed to be true – she never had a problem being left there for an hour even around 7-8 months when she freaked out if I left the room for 15 seconds at home.

    1. Babies also really love to be swaddled, especially the first three months of their lives. They are in their 4th trimester (according to Dr. Karp) and they derive lots of security and comfort from swaddling. Our son was swaddled a lot during the day for the few few months and still got plenty of leg stretching time. Now at 6 months, he pretty much impossible to contain except in the Ergo carrier!

      1. Not all babies! My son needs it to sleep well, but he definitely fights against it a bit and would much rather not be swaddled 🙂

  9. I am loving these posts. I am not pregnant nor am I a mother but I find it so interesting. I’m glad things are going well and hope things continue to get easier as the weeks go by.

  10. Kath,
    I just love to read how your days as a new mom are going. You are such a positive inspiration, even to this grandma…
    Maze is just so beautiful.


  11. Aww, Kath. What a sweet last few paragraphs. He’s adorable and glad that BFings is finally not painful for. Maybe not perfect, but not painful. All in all, I think you guys are doing great! When I was in your stage of it, I know things in general were just not flowing quite as well for me. Sleeping, nursing, my own sleeping, everything else kind of a scattered mess! Things seem to be really clicking into place for you as a mama and so happy for you!

  12. The only women who will understand your intense feelings for Mazen are other mothers. It’s a mother thing. I didn’t believe that until they put my daughter in my arms and at that point I knew I’d joined a club.

  13. Love the post! I can’t want to start wearing my baby in the carrier.
    I’d love if you talked a bit more about when you pump. I just pumped for the first time today (about an hour after I fed my 3 week old), when she was ready to eat again an hour after I pumped, there didn’t seem to be enough leaving her still a bit hungry. Just trying to figure out when the best time to pump is?!

    1. Everyone says in the morning after your first feeding. But when your day really has no start or stop, that’s hard to gauge! I pump about 10-15 minutes after a feeding (and I did get more in the morning) so that gives me a good hour+ to replenish before he’s ready to eat again. It’s temping to pump when you’re full, but then you risk running out like you did!

    2. My best advice for pumping is to do it at the same time each day (or after the same feeding so generally the same time!). Your body will get the message that you need more milk at that time and you will make more. If you are consistent, you will have enough for the next nursing session. But I know it is confusing!

  14. Sounds like thing are going well. The only (unsolicited) advice I would give is just to trust your mommy instinct above all else. Throw away all expectations of what you thought babies should do or what you think/expect from your little one in the things to come. Books aren’t babies. Your little one is unique and special to this world. There has never been another like him, so no matter what something in a book says, he’s going to be his own special person with his own special needs. I just think new mothers often wrap themselves up in what they think their baby “should” be doing at certain points and it just never pans out like that, lol. Just do with your gut and everything will be just fine.

    1. Haha only sort of about that, but we already have a Nosefrida that a friend gave us! Haven’t had to use it yet though : )

  15. I’m really enjoying your updates Kath! My husband and I are currently in the process of TTC and hopefully soon I’ll be starting my journey in motherhood.

    Phantom Baby sounds like an interesting post. I experienced something like that with my dog! I know it sounds so silly but when we were raising him as a little 8 week puppy, every night I would wake up in a panic thinking he was in the bed with us (which was impossible) or that he was out of his crate and in our room. So if I was that bad with our dog, I can’t imagine how it’ll be with a baby!!

  16. Elimination communication is really great. Everyone in our family used this method, It worked like magic to start early potty training. Glad to see you’re doing well, and enjoying your beautiful bundle of joy!

  17. those big boy outfits are too cute. And don’t worry, even my super easy second child went through a couple week phase where she’d cry around 8 pm everytnight and I had to so the same walking/bouncing for like 30 minutes to get her to sleep. You’ll figure out what works for Maze and he will stop the evening fussing in a couple weeks.

  18. From your posts, it seems like Maze really does well during babywearing. I know some philosophies strongly advocate using carriers and wraps as much as possible during most daytime hours. Have you thought about trying to wear him during most of a day to see how it goes? It seems like he is soothed whenever he is being worn, so why not try doing that most of the time?

  19. You’re going to be amazed at how many “eventual” posts you are going to write…the wondering and questioning NEVER ends!!! I mainly blog about making baby food but I think when my daughter is born (in 2 months!) I might start sharing all my neurotic thoughts with other new or soon-to-be moms! You can never get enough advice! 😉

  20. I so agree about the sleep need, I always thought I needed uninterrupted sleep for 8-9 to function well and get moody duing the day. now that I get 6-7 hrs, interrupted sleep, I fee, great and happy. I do take 1-2 short naps during the day whe. baby is sleeping, but I find I can skip at least one of them easily,

    M is soooo cute and handsome in those outfits. I didn’t buy any real outfit for my baby because babies grow out so fast, but now seeing this, I wish I had bought some.

    we are also giving her a lotmof nicknames, she’s just too cute not to.

    and finally I also feel the need to protect my baby, to give her the best.

    Kath, have you readnany book about sleep training? what’s your thoughts on that issue?

  21. I wanted to have cloth diapering figured out before I went back to work but it is NOT going as planned! Just like Maze, Jackson is swimming in them on the smallest snap!
    ….Turns out my child is “lean”— yep, I have a skinny child (never on my life would have guessed that one!) so he can’t wear the cloth ones yet. Jackson is 6 weeks old now and I only have a couple more weeks before I go back to teaching, hopefully I can get a diaper on once or twice to see how it goes.
    I hear you on the shower thing—- but I’m guessing all showering will be a little more crazy when he is two and trying to get in the shower with me or banging on the door yelling ‘moooooooooooom!’ 🙂 I’ll continue to enjoy them now while he can hang out in his bouncer.

  22. Just curious — thought you wrote a post on why you would not be continuing writing on BERF? Apparently you changed your mind?

    1. I meant I wouldn’t continue with the daily intensity and just have fun with it. and was going to use it more off a journal than a “how to” mommy blog.. So faa far, so good. I’m just seeing what I like writing about and what I don’t. It seems reflections are easier to write than more speculative posts

    2. I was actually coming to comment about the same thing. I know you’re really busy, Kath, but maybe a post talking about why you decided to continue blogging after your post about how you weren’t planning on being a “mommy blogger” (as you put it) would be good!

        1. I guess maybe there’s not. I was just surprised to see you continuing to blog so regularly after saying that wasn’t going to happen. It appears I’m not the only one with that thought. I figured there was a reason for the change of heart and thought it might be interesting to hear what that was. But if there’s nothing else to say then there’s nothing else to say.

          1. No reason in particular… I’m just playing it by ear. I might not continue after writing all of my baby thoughts for now or I might find they just keep coming. I don’t love writing about topics, but what I did realize is that I like journaling… In the past tense. So I guess that’s the difference?

  23. Hey Kath, love your blog and have been reading for a long time! I wanted to comment that you look really great for just having a baby, but have you thought about doing a post on your post-baby body? It looks like you are wearing regular clothes which is awesome for still having a newborn. Do you have any advice on how you did so well during your pregnancy with not gaining a lot of weight? I still saw that you ate well, but do you think your exercise and walking contributed more or less?
    I have to say that you are an inspiration!!

    1. Hey Sharon, I don’t think I’m going to blog about my body. It’s just too personal and varies so much from person to person. I am going to address post-baby weight loss on my Real Health blog I’m doing for Anthem, but it will be more about small changes I’m making to get back into shape rather than measurements and weights and things.

  24. Hi Kath!

    I love both of your blogs, but I’ve especially enjoyed BERF! You have such an open and honest way of sharing and I have very similar beliefs as you. My husband and I just found out we are pregnant with our first baby (7.5 weeks!) and I’ve found myself going back and rereading through BERF and sharing some posts with my husband. I’m glad to see you’re going to write a post on things you couldn’t live without in the first few weeks. We were just saying we’d love to her your thoughts on that exact topic! Can’t wait to read it!

    Congratulations to you and Matt! Maze is beautiful!


  25. If you want to use cloth diapers and the ones you have are too small, you should try out the FANTASTIC cloth diapering service in Charlottesville, The Stork ( We’ve been using them since the day we got home from the hospital and my daughter was about the same size as Mazen when she was born. You can use the smallest size prefold and rent the smallest covers – there’s no reason not to start cloth diapering from day 1! And the prices are great – less than you’d spend on any “green” disposables, and since it’s a service you don’t have to worry about washing the millions of poopy diapers that newborns have. I can’t say enough how much I love their service – in 10 months of cloth diapers we’ve NEVER had a poop blowout or ANY diaper rash at all. And my mother and mother-in-law watch my daughter during the week, and they have no trouble using them, it’s really straightforward. You should switch to cloth! (Yes, I am a bit of a cloth diaper evangelist! lol).

    1. Cool! I have heard of this service, but we hadn’t considered it because we were given so many of our own cloth diapers. But sounds like it’s a good one. Can you give me an estimate of how much it costs you per month? I just bought a replenishment stock of diapers, but by the time we researched this, we might have used them down a bit.

      1. I think right now we’re spending about $75 a month (that’s for 60 medium prefolds a week – you’d probably need more for a little baby, but the smaller sizes of prefolds are cheaper, so I think it works out to a similar price).

  26. Hi, I just wanted to say I am enjoying your blog so much. I’m not much of a blog reader but my friend recommended yours to me. I am about six months pregnant and feel like I am enjoying and benefiting so much from your posts! Thanks so much for sharing your life on here 🙂

  27. You will be so glad you wrote out your thoughts. With school age children, I can’t remember all those small details from when they were babies. I wish I had documented more! Mazen looks adorable and you seem to be doing a great job!

  28. My sweet little Oliver is four weeks old and I can’t believe how much I love him. The sleep deprivation is hard on me though…maybe a little more so because I had a c-section? Yesterday I got a two-hour nap with him and it made everything so much easier. Often I am using his naps to eat, or take a shower, or take a look at email. Both my husband and I kept feeling like we were at a music festival and that a long sleep was coming, but then we realized that it was not, so we switched to your 12 hour night time idea and that has helped so much.

    Breastfeeding felt great until we got thrush but now that we are treating that it is better for both of us. And I agree, each book says something different. My doctor said just to pick two and don’t read any more than that. I think it is the “teacher’s pet” in me that drives me to continue to read more, though at one point I said the sleep book could suck it. Happiest Baby on the Block is still really helpful. I’ve decided that I will inevitably pick him up too much, not enough, mess something up in his putting himself back to sleep and that we will just have to fix it later.

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