Joshua is high maintenance.

That was a joke. I’m totally kidding.

He is however, much fussier than I remember Lucas ever being at this age. I have been trying to put him to sleep for the last two hours…and finally, after a hot bath, he is asleep. Joshua will be up for two hours (sometimes three!) during the day. Is that normal for a newborn?? I remember Lucas sleeping 20-22 hours a day when he was this age.

He’s not cranky during these times, just awake. He seems to have trouble falling asleep though, specifically at night. I usually spend a good time between 9-11pm trying to get him to sleep. He will sleep in his swing, thankfully, and in bed with me. He is not a fan of the bassinet/crib yet. I’m in no hurry with that though.

It’s like, he wants to nurse but he gets too much milk and gets frustrated. He wants to suck but can’t keep the pacifier in his mouth. He gets frustrated. He wants to sleep, but can’t get comfortable and gets even more frustrated.

Lucas never had a pacifier this young.  I am currently nursing Joshua every 1-2 hours. Sometimes more or less depending, which I remember is about what I did with Lucas. I remember Lucas nursing every two hours until he was like…. one. ha! But he didn’t have a pacifier till 3 months or so.

Oh well. This too shall pass.


1. Talk to me about swaddling. Oh, that wasn’t a question. How do you properly swaddle a newborn? I never did it with Lucas. Do arms go in or out? I always have him wrapped in a blanket, but it’s not technically a swaddle I don’t think, as I believe a swaddle is a much tighter wrap?

2. What is a good brand of pacifier for babies this small? Joshua loves the pacifier, but he can’t keep it in his mouth very well. I think I need a smaller one.

Okay, so I only have those specific questions.  Joshua is soundly asleep in my arms. I’m going to very quietly and slowly put him on the bed and take a super fast shower and then hop in bed myself!

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

22 thoughts on “Fussy

  1. You can swaddle with arms in or out… Depends what he likes. My one month ok'd never liked to have his arms locked up but my older son did. Technique isn't that hard – baby burrito basically – I bet you can find a video how to online better than I can describe how to!

    Binky – I like the nuk ones (orthodontic shape) because they do stay in – they have them at Target. My baby loved it when I gave it to him but I started too soon for him and he didn't nurse as well (this was 4 days old) after so I decided to wait. I'll reintroduce it soon.

    What happens if you put Joshua down awake but when he's quiet? I like the Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child book and he recommends you put baby for naps every 90 min. I do think it's normal to be awake more during the day a bit and sounds like Lucas was an extra sleepy man. I nurse every 1-2 hrs during the day with my one month old and every 3-5 hrs between 10 pm and 9 am… Sometimes a pumped bottle of milk at 5-6 pm saves my sanity because I can give it while being much more mobile for my 16 month old. My baby also gets more milk with the bottle then just nursing one side which he usually just does…

  2. There is a product on the market called swaddle me. You can get it at Toys R Us. It has Velcro on it so the swaddle doesn't come lose due to movement. My Adam loves it. We use it everynight and it does make a huge sleeping difference.

  3. Oh I feel like I wrote this post! As u know I had my little one a few days or a week after you. 31st.
    He is exactly the same. We are co-sleeping and nursing every hour-2 hours.
    He wont sleep in his bassinette either. I think it really is something to ride out. I know Cody is going through a growth spurt having not lost the 10% birth weight. He actually gained weight so maybe that could also be why Joshua is fussy. Not sure about why he is up that long though. But if hes happy enough I guess all is well.
    Good luck with it all : )

  4. What Nisha said, it depends on what the kid seems to prefer. My hubby could swaddle 'in' really well, and sometimes, if you left one arm out, that made her happy, sometimes both, or she'd just wiggle til she got it out anyway. soon we just left both out, no biggie and she went to sleep, no struggles.

    Nuk is what we used, and even though at first I was like 'man, will she give it up?' at around 20 months, we told her she was on her last one, and it was going to go bye bye if it broke. she bit a hole in it. no biggie. as long as he's nursing okay, dont worry about it. they are not impossible to get rid of later on, I swear!

    we put our daughter down awake as well. she sleeps GREAT!

  5. My son definitely needed the comfort and security of swaddling. We bought a Swaddle Me blanket with velcro so I could get it tight every time. He outgrew it, though, before he outgrew the need! I am still bad at using a regular blanket!

    For Jayce, we used a newborn NAM pacifier. He did not like the silicon, only the latex ones. I am not sure if they make them anymore!

  6. Joshua sounds more like Pixie – she was NOT a sleepy newborn. Totally normal variation, there!

    I've seen some “hospital style” newborn pacifiers at both Target and Babies R Us, and also ones shaped specifically for breastfed babies. You may just have to buy a few and see which one he likes best. Pixie was always anti-pacifier (and also super fussy, SIGH). She accepted a paci from Gramma once or twice, and that was it.

    For swaddling, you need a big enough blanket – not the receiving blanket size. A swaddling sheet is usually between 36 and 42 inches square. If you do a Google image search you'll quickly find a bunch of different diagrams for swaddling. I bought flannel for cheap at a fabric store and made my own since I had trouble finding large enough blankets (I've since seen them out again and actually labelled as Swaddling Sheets).

    From my personal experience, I do NOT recommend the easy swaddlers (velcro) you can buy at BRU because we got one as a gift and Pixie could bust herself out of it by 4 or 6 weeks old. Tucking the swaddle sheet tightly instead of relying on velcro is not only more secure but will give you a tighter swaddle (the tightness is what comforts them – it's supposed to be more like being held tightly in the womb).

    As for arms in or out, it depends. For soothing a fussy baby, arms in. If baby isn't too upset and you're just swaddling during the day, arms out so baby can start learning to use them. Pixie loved having her arms out to explore with even when she still wanted to be swaddled during the day.

  7. So Kendall didn't sleep good at all unless swaddled! I have a swaddle me blanket and it worked wonders. She was swaddled until at least 4 months old. I would say it is worth a try! Good luck…his temperment seems to be A LOT like Kendalls…and you are SO right…this too shall pass!!

  8. My 5 week old is awake for about 45 to 90 minutes at a time depending on what time of day it is. He likes to cluster feed before bed and I've found that feeding, playing then giving him a bath before he nurses once more helps him to fall asleep for the night. During the day I often have to bounce him to get him to fall asleep or put him in the wrap. He's only slept once in his bassinet so far.

    I swaddle with a receiving blanket- fold one triangle corner down then place baby down. Fold the left side over and under the baby then the bottom up and under then the right side over baby and tuck the tip in. I swaddle with the arms out because we did it with the arms in with our oldest son and he had a hard time when he was older with waking up every time his arms wiggled out.

    Nuk is a good pacifier but every child is different.

  9. my 2nd (boy) was very different than my 1st (girl). Son did NOT use a paci while my daughter did… i wish he would've b/c SHE slept much better b/c she had her paci. we used the hospital ones, the Soothies… LOVED 'EM!!!! can get them at babies r us too.

    we swaddled my boy b/c he was also a lot fussier, just like your joshua. harder to put to sleep. we swaddled him. i wish i knew what kind of blanket it was, b/c it was actually kinda stretchy. lay it down in a diamond shape. Fold the top corner down. That's where his head will go (shoulders in line with the folded edge). Fold the right corner over his body, tucking around and under the opposite arm and under his body. Now fold the bottom corner up and tuck in the same spot you just tucked the other corner. (snugly!!) then take the last corner and tuck it around to the other side and under him.

    we swaddled with both arms b/c he liked it. as he got older we started to let one arm out, then gradually both arms.

  10. I had one of those swaddling blankets, but it was always too small for me to use. Instead, I use a thermal blanket that is very stretchy. I wrap Alaine in it every night and at every naptime with her arms by her sides. If I don't, she moves her arms around and wakes herself up. 🙂

    As far as pacifiers, I NEVER used a pacifier this early with my kids until I had Alaine. I always said I didn't like pacifiers, but she started using one almost right away. We like the MAM brand. They have a pacifier in size 0+ so it is tiny for tiny mouths. They also have a 2+ and a 6+. Each one is a little bigger than the one before it.

  11. We used these blankets for swaddling: bbsleepsolutions.com I got one as a gift and then had to buy another more. We STILL use them as a blanket because they are HUGE for my 2 year old son. The blankets also come with a free DVD that talk a lot about swaddling and it's benefits etc. I found it SUPER interesting and helpful. These blankets change all of our lives 🙂 My fussy little newborn finally started sleeping longer stretches of time once he was swaddled correctly. And in the DVD it teaches you how to continue swaddling them as they get older(Arms out)… The blankets are HUGE and thicker, so we used them outside, for tummy time etc..they are also super warm and breathable which was important for my December baby. email me if you have more questions about it 86.megan@gmail.com I have also emailed the founder/creator/sleep consultant/mom of the burrito blankets with my sleeping/swaddling questions and she is sooo nice and answered very quickly. she was a HUGE help.

    And with pacifiers we use the NUK, I LOVE it… I really hate how those giant green ones look. They take over the poor baby's entire face and just look odd. They come in sizes and you get new ones as they get older, 0, 6 months, 12 months, etc… We also used the orthodontic kind. It is supposed to promote a correct way of sucking as if they were nursing and helps their teeth come in correctly 🙂

    Good luck. Your new little man is darling! it makes me baby hungry for our #2! 🙂

    (ps. I just did rain gutter book shelves in my sons room. we both are in.love. with them. they are a dream come true! easy to get books out and for him to clean up himself, and i loove how it looks. love love. thanks for the brilliant idea!)

  12. I swear by the Woobmie swaddler (thewoombie.com), I used it for my daughter and for all foster babies that come through my home! It gives them that secure snug feeling, but they can still put their hands under their chin and wiggle around somewhat freely.

    I started using the NUK with my daughter when she was 5 weeks old because I needed a break. I had a massive oversupply so she would do the same as Joshua- then she would spit everything back up on me and fuss and fuss. 😦 So we used the paci until she was 11 months old just to help keep her asleep. The NUK is shaped in a way that's easier for babies to keep in their mouths than those unsightly Soothies, or the MAMs/Avent ones that I think you use.
    Have you tried putting Joshua on the same side he nursed off last when he's rooting around and wanting to suck? That way he's not getting bombarded with foremilk and a serious letdown. The flow of milk will be slower, not to mention he'll get more of the creamy hindmilk so he'll sleepm, too!

  13. My daughter has always been awake more hours per day than the average, and has gone through many phases of having a hard time falling asleep at night. In the early months, she would nap great, and sleep for pretty long stretches once she was asleep at night, but we would be working at getting her to sleep starting at like 8, and sometimes she wouldn't be out (for the night) until like 12ish… I ended up just going with it and would nurse her and bounce her on the exercise ball while watching tv or reading. We tried lots of things, and that was the only way to keep her comforted during that time, although we never tried pacifiers. She did like being swaddled for a while, like 1-2 months I think? But it didn't totally solve the evening fussiness. I think it's a lot about temperament — I know I have a hard time winding down at the end of the day, and my parents said I have always been like that, while my brother and sister were much easier to get to sleep at night. Hopefully the pacifier/swaddling combination will do it for your little cutie!

  14. So we don't have a baby yet (due 7/13 – yay!) But I always give my friends the gumdrop pacis & have heard good things back from them. You have to buy them online but they are the same as soothies (I believe they are the ones hospitals use), just not as giant & doesn't cover your cute baby's face. You can buy them from Amazon or Haiwaiian(sp) Medical something. Google it. 🙂

  15. I swaddle with the arms in… helped us a lot! You can get some great swaddling blankets that help them stay tight. =)

    my son loved the soothie pacifiers. they were easy for him to keep in his mouth.

    My son would be awake for a couple hours during the day too.

  16. SwaddleMes come in two sizes so if he grows out of the small size you can move up to the large. They are amazing!

    We went through every single type of pacifier out there. Gerber's original pacifier (not the orthodontic one) is longer and skinnier. It was the ONLY one my daughter would take. Every baby is different so keep trying different brands until you find one he likes.

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