Schedules and Feeding and Crying, Oh My!

Being a parent is hard. I didn’t realize how hard it would be. I have so much respect for all of you stay-at-home moms because there are days when I just want to rip my hair out.

I feel like Lucy cries Now, this could just be the exhaustion talking, and I know she doesn’t cry like some babies because we’ve been told that what she does is *not* fussy compared to others, but it seems like she cries all the time. And, I have to say, if she’s been fed and changed and I’m holding her, I have no idea what to do to make her stop. And how much crying is considered normal and how much is worrisome?

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get her on a schedule. Her schedule right now is baby-led, and basically consists of eating, sleeping and crying with a bit of playing thrown in here and there. I’ve been looking at different examples of schedules, including the EASY method, but Lucy tends to sleep after she eats and then wants to eat when she wakes up, which kind of throws off the whole eating-activity-sleeping thing. I feel like it’s hard to get active time in right now because she’s not really playing yet. She doesn’t hold things. We talk to her and make faces at her, and I put her on her playmat, but that’s about the extent right now. I feel like I’m a bad mom.

Speaking of her playmat … I’ve started to try to work tummy time into her day. She hates it with a passion. I’ve read that most babies can lift their heads for short periods of time at this point. Joe says he’s seen her do it when she lays on his chest (which counts as tummy time, I believe), but I really haven’t, which makes me worry that my baby is developing behind schedule. I tend to be a worrier because I want my little girl to be perfectly on schedule.

I’m also still trying to figure out napping. I’ve read that you should put babies down to nap when you see them yawning or rubbing their eyes, which I’m now trying to do, but, of course, she fights it. I hate hearing her crying, and she’ll crying, then stop, then start up again. How long did/do your kids cry at naptime before falling asleep?

Another thing I wonder about is her feeding schedule. The sample schedules I’ve seen show babies Lucy’s age eating 6 oz. or so every 4 hours. Lucy eats 3-4 oz. every 2 hours. Is it normal for an almost 7-week-old to still be eating every 2 hours? I also read in an article on BabyCenter that the total you should feed your baby a day is 2.5 oz. per pound that your baby weighs. For Lucy, that would be about 22 oz. a day, and I know she eats more than that. Have any of you heard of this or followed it? I really don’t know how much stock to place in it because I’m going to feed her when she’s hungry. I know our pediatrician said not to schedule her feedings and let her eat when she’s hungry, but it’s still something I wonder about. When will she eat less often? I feel like all I do is change diapers and feed her.

I just hope I’m doing what I need to do to help her develop correctly. That’s my biggest fear. And, maybe I’m just worrying too much.

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Hi! I’m a wife to a wonderful husband, mom to a beautiful and active (to put it lightly) kiddo, and fur-mom to 3 crazy cats. I’m a former journalist. I quit my full time job two years ago. Now, I am a freelance writer and a virtual assistant for several bloggers!

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  1. Carol says:

    Personal, I am not big on schedules for babies until they’re about 4-5 months old (and honestly even now at 7 months, Laura isn’t really on a “schedule” per se). I think you’ll find that Lucy tends to do things around the same time each day and that will probably continue as she grows. Without prompting from me, L. tends to nap at 9 and then around 1 or 2. And she falls asleep around 7. (And then she wakes every hour on the hour thereafter, but that’s another story, LOL!). As for making sure she’s eating enough — as long as she’s gaining weight she’s eating enough. I nurse so I am never really sure how much milk Laura drinks, but she gains weight and our ped. is happy with her progress. My advise, after three kids, is to not take the BabyCenter etc. articles too seriously. They are very general and each baby is very different. It’s so easy to worry about every little thing. As long as Lucy is gaining weight, keep doing what you’re doing! As for the crying, that is so frustrating. I guess I would maybe try writing down everything you do with her for a couple days and see if you notice any trends. Sorry I am not more help! It’s not easy, but you are doing a great job!

  2. Liz says:

    You’re doing fine. No more worrying. I agree with Carol, those articles are just too general & there really shouldn’t be a schedule until around 4 or 5 months. Don’t even try to let her “cry it out” until at least 4 months. It’s okay for her to fuss a bit when she’s trying to sleep though. Don’t worry one bit about how much she’s eating, because as you said, she’ll eat when she’s hungry & stop when she’s not. I have no idea how many ozs Alexa ever ate.

    Also, don’t worry about play time with her right now. She’s still a bit young for that. Interact with her, but don’t try to fit play time in. And don’t feel bad for leaving her on the mat for a bit when you have to do things. I had no choice of that with Alexa since I had Ava to deal with as well, and Alexa is SO MUCH better at entertaining herself than Ava ever was.

    The important thing though with parenting is to go with your gut & trust your instinct. Everything you’ve been naturally doing as a mom is working. We can tell by how beautiful & healthy Lucy looks. Oh ya, and you look beautiful. Don’t worry about the weight loss yet. I know it’s hard not too, but it will come off. It took me a long time with both girls to get to a comfortable weight. Just try to survive the first few months, then worry about your weight.

  3. Jess says:

    I think you’re doing fabulously. And honestly, and I mean this in the best way possible, this post really reads like it was written by a new mom (which of course it was)–in that once you’re used to this whole thing, you’ll probably go back and read this post and feel so far removed from these worries you’re talking about now. It is great that you are so dedicated to being the best possible mom for your little girl, but I think that’s already the case. You love her, you’re taking care of her, you’re meeting her needs, and you’re helping her develop. All these schedules and whatnot are just averages that don’t reflect individual differences. It sounds to me like she is thriving and you’re helping her do that. You’re doing great!

  4. Nonnie says:

    It’s all par for the course in the first months of babyhood. Some babies cry more than others, but they all cry more than we’d like to hear! I think getting on a schedule at such a young age would probably be more for you than it would for her (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing). I would try to let things remain baby led for a while if you can. If she’s hungry, feed her. If she’ll only wants 3 ounces ever 2 hours then making her wait longer is going to mean she’s going to sit there hungry for an hour, and honestly, her tiny tummy may not be able to hold more than what she’s been taking, which explains why she never wants more than 4 ounces. None of my children EVER took more than about 5 ounces of milk, and that was when they were MUCH older than Lucy. I think 3-4 ounces was the norm for them from a bottle until they were weaned.

    As far as crying, even the cry it out experts and advocates don’t recommend letting a baby cry it out until they are at least 4 months old, some suggest 6 months. Just remember that the cry it out method does not mean letting her cry for long periods of time. She’s still really young for this…but when she is old enough, read up on the Ferber Method (or cry it out), and you’ll find that there is a long process to doing it the right way.

    As for why she’s crying right now…if she’s diapered, fed, burped, and warm…who knows?? This is what makes all new (and veteran) moms CRAZY! If it is really excessive crying, maybe you should check into a hypo-allegenic formula, like allimentum. I know a girl who has a newborn who was crying all the time, and she tried that and things have been much better since. Good luck, Cady! I know you’re doing a great job…it’s just really stressful!

  5. Lisanne says:

    I completely agree with what Carol said above. You are *NOT* a bad mom. You and Lucy are both new at this and are trying to figure things out. I don’t think that babies can really be on a “schedule” when they’re that young. Our children didn’t like tummy time, either. Don’t worry ~ you are doing great!!!

  6. Leah says:

    Have you tried putting her in a wrap or a sling? I have a Moby wrap and it is amazing. Put my baby right to sleep. It’s worth a shot. Also, I believe that she is too young to be on a schedule right now. My baby is a grazer, still, at 4 months. She will take 2 -3 ounces every 3-4 hours even now. When she was 7 weeks old it was more like every 1.5 – 2 hours. She will have to lead you both for now…and will eat when she is hungry. There is no making a baby eat. They will eat when they are hungry. I think that all babies hate tummy time. We are just seeing our baby enjoy being on her belly. Give it some time…she will get there. I would agree that crying it out is not the best thing to do at her age. There is nothing wrong with rocking her to sleep now…it won’t spoil her. I know you are frustrated with all of the crying. I can’t imagine. You will get through it and it will get better. Hang in there.

  7. cady says:

    Just so you all know, I don’t let her cry it out yet. Sometimes she’ll cry for a few minutes before she falls asleep when she naps. At night, we’re lucky in that she passes out on her own in the living room and we just carry her into her room.

  8. Caroline says:

    Hi Cady,

    I don’t yet have any children so I don’t know how helpful I can be.

    One of my friends had a little girl that cried a lot. She tried absolutely everything but nothing seemed to work. In the end she discovered that her baby was allergic to both dairy and soy milk/formula. Once they had sorted out her food she was a happy baby.

    Secondly, I am reading a book you have probably already read (The Happ.iest Baby on the Block). It suggests swaddling the baby, holding them on their side or stomach (even in your lap), rocking them, loudly shushing them and letting them suck (ie pacifier or your finger). Apparently it should be done in that order. I don’t know if these suggestions actually work but I thought I would pass them on to you.

    It sounds as though you are doing a good job. Motherhood sounds so hard!

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