Have you found yourself shushing and swaying your newborn baby all day and the moment you lie her down, she becomes unsettled? She will only ever settle in your arms? Only will sleep on your chest? Fear not, your baby is not broken, she is in the Fourth Trimester.
The Fourth Trimester
This is a period of transition between the womb and the world for your baby. She is adjusting to the big wide world, and it’s a scary place for someone who is so new. It is named the fourth trimester because the theory is that it is a continuation from a mother’s pregnancy as baby continues to develop and mature.
Why does my new baby cry all day?
Put yourself in your baby’s shoes. You have suddenly left your watery world, you have never felt hunger or cold air on your skin. Nor have you had to wear clothes, been subjected to bright lights or loud noises. It is sensory overload.
The main issue that I think a newborn baby must struggle with is being separated from mum. For 9 months, the baby in the womb has been connected to the mother constantly. She is you and you are her. Your smell, your voice, everything about you is soothing and comforting for your baby. When a baby is born, there is a disconnection, creating the feeling of vulnerability. Your baby can only communicate their overwhelm and discontent with their experience by crying.
How long will the fourth trimester last?
As with previous trimesters of pregnancy, the fourth trimester is deemed to last three months. The first 12 weeks of a baby’s life is this adjustment period. By 12 weeks of age, your baby is more alert, able to handle more sensory stimulation and has a little more understanding of herself, the world around her and of course you too.
Surviving the Fourth Trimester
Actions which emulate the womb will help your baby adjust to the world. Check out my blog on tips to soothe your baby for the 5 S’s to help comfort a baby as they adjust.
It’s also important to remember that you too are adjusting so you must be gentle with yourself as much as you are gentle with your baby. Having a new baby is a whirlwind and the demands of the fourth trimester are exhausting and at times overwhelming. So, remember to be kind to yourself and withhold your own judgement when you take a nap or sit and binge watch your favourite Netflix series with a napping baby on your chest. This time will pass very quickly, even if it feels like forever right now. You can rest assured your baby is not broken, she is just finding her way.
How Can Colic SOS help in the fourth trimester?
I have created an online course which helps parents through the difficulties of the fourth trimester. It helps you ease your baby and yourself through this period of transition, as calmly and gently as possible through tips and techniques to settle and soothe your newborn baby.
The online course gives you exclusive access to videos on how to massage a new baby to calm them, aid bonding and connection between yourselves. There are also videos on baby yoga movements, holds, etc to create a happier baby. There is also audio on your baby’s development so you can understand your baby, their digestive system and newborn sleep too. You can gain access to the online course right here.