Almost 4 months old

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, sorry! Life has been very busy lately as I’m sure you can relate to. But things are good. Baby G is doing really well. We’ve had a couple of hiccups along the way, but she seems to be in a good phase at the moment.

Baby G sleeping

Tomorrow, Baby G will be 4 months old. I can’t believe it! The public health nurses are already giving me pamphlets on getting ready to introduce solids to her diet (advised around 5 months in Ireland). I can’t believe it’s time to start thinking about stuff like that already.

Highlights over the last month:

  • Baby G gave me her first giggle last week! She’s only done it a couple of times since but my goodness, it’s the best thing in the world to hear your baby laugh. She does silent laughs a lot, where she just opens her mouth in a big toothless grin, but to hear that little baby chuckle makes my heart pang!
  • She just rolled from her back to her tummy for the first time yesterday! I have a million videos on my phone of her trying so hard and not quite getting there, but yesterday she managed to overcome the shoulder and get on to her tummy. Now we have to work on her being able to roll back over because once she’s on her tummy she gets stuck there and after a few minutes she gets frustrated and starts crying.
  • She’s so much more alert! She’s watching everything and taking everything in. These days she’s generally napping for about 40 minutes at a time and tends to be awake for about 2-3 hours in between in each nap. There’s still no predicting it though, she’s very much a “I’ll do what I want when I want” kind of baby.
  • Baby clothes. Once you hit the 3 month stage a whole new section of clothes opens up. She’s not in onesies so much anymore (mostly because it’s warm and her feet are too big for them anyway!). It’s been so fun dressing her up in big people clothes.
  • Mum and dad lunch date! Last weekend, myself and Mr G were able to leave Baby G with my parents for 2 whole hours while we went for lunch ALONE! It was really lovely. Typically, I missed her the whole time (especially when we walked the pier after) but I didn’t know myself not having to think about where would suit to eat with a buggy and possibly having to stop eating to feed the baby during the meal. I’d like to try that again soon, maybe we could even manage a cinema date next time…
  • SWIM CLASSES! I’ve signed Baby G up for a Water Baby swim class not too far from our apartment. She loves it. We’ve done 3 sessions so far – the classes only last 20 minutes – and it’s about getting her comfortable with water. We’ve even managed to submerge under the water twice and she didn’t seem to mind. So that’s exciting! I want her to be confident around water.

Lowpoints over the last month:

I don’t want to dwell on these too much because mostly we’ve been having a really great time, but….

  • Trip to the emergency room. About 2 weeks ago, Baby G had real trouble with constipation. She didn’t poop for 9 days. I’d read that it can be normal for breastfed babies to not poop for up to 10 days, but I’d made an appointment to see the doctor just in case. Apart from not pooping, she seemed to be in great form so I wasn’t too worried. But then, as always happens, the night before we were due to see the doctor, things changed. It was about 7pm, so all pharmacies had just closed, and she started roaring crying and her stomach suddenly felt hard and swollen. We called an on-call doctor who advised we take her to the ER room so they could check her out. I wasn’t too worried, I knew it was mostly to get her comfortable, but still, being in an ER room with my baby was tough going. They gave her some laxatives and two suppositories and that seemed to help. I was just SO grateful to leave there with a healthy child. I can’t imagine there being anything seriously wrong her. We’ve had a couple other moments requiring suppositories to help her bowels along, but she seems to be doing much better now.
  • Sleep regression! I don’t know if it’s the so-called 4 month sleep regression starting or if it’s the July heat but we’ve gone form sleeping 5-6 hours at a time during the night to waking every 2-3 hours again. It’s so hard waking that often to feed after having a few good weeks of semi-decent rest. But I’m hoping it’s just another short phase and won’t last too long.

That’s about it for now! Hope you’re all doing well….

 

We’ve turned a corner!

For the past week, Baby G has been sleeping 5-6 hour stretches. In fact, one night she even did an EIGHT hour stretch! (Though she fell asleep at 7.30pm which meant once she woke and fed and thought it was time to get up for the day it was only 4.15am but still…progress all the same!)

I guess it’s really true that babies start to settle close to the 12 week mark? I’m just hoping she keeps it up!

Strangely I’ve been feeling a bit more tired lately, like my body remembers what it was missing (rest) and now wants me to get more of it. But overall, things are great and I feel a bit more clear headed.

We’ve turned a corner people. Here’s hoping it continues this way!

Baby Bedtime Problems

Ok.

When I was pregnant I read quite a bit. Books like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and “The Happiest Baby On The Block”. I enjoyed reading about everything I was going through, what the baby inside me was going through and what I could expect for the first little while after we brought her home from the hospital. But I was so bombarded with all the pregnancy and delivery stuff (I was pretty scared about going into labour for the first time) that I kind of had no room for all the stuff that came AFTER the delivery. I figured I’d be able to do my reading about that when I had my baby beside me and could actually put into practice what I was learning.

Good joke! Who has time or free hands to read a book when they have a newborn?!

Anyway, one of the ideas I came across before I gave birth was the ‘4th Trimester’ in “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Karp. I really loved this idea and knew that was something I’d want to follow from the beginning. Dr Karp believes that all human babies are born 3 months before they’re fully ready to be part of the outside world unlike any other animals who are born ready to survive. The reason behind this is because the human brain grows so rapidly in those final 3 months that if the baby stayed inside the mother the head would be far too large to be birthed naturally. He believes we should treat the first 3 months of a baby’s life essentially as the 4th trimester of pregnancy. This means responding to them when they call (or cry) for you.

I also knew that Baby G would sleep in our room – but in a co-sleeper. I was worried about the dangers of her being in the bed with us. We bought a crib and assembled it next to our bed, but honestly she was so tiny inside it and reaching in and out constantly in the middle of the night was just not working. So after losing my mind a couple of times (and hurting my back and knocking my head once or twice) Baby G began to end up in the actual bed with us which made me very nervous. So I did some research for actual co-sleepers and came across the SnuzPod. This seemed to be the perfect solution – it fit perfectly with our bed, was a better size for our tiny little baby and it easily transforms into a stand alone crib for when we want to start establishing some independence. So I bought the pod hoping it would be the answer to my prayers and well…it kind of was but it also really wasn’t. Feeding became so much easier but Baby G still wanted to sleep mostly beside us in the bed. It’s like she could tell the difference between her mattress and ours and she’d rarely want to go to sleep in it. It was becoming impossible to get her to go to bed on her own. She always wanted to be with us and sensed the second we wanted to put her down and would start crying. She was happier (and quiet) when she was with us.

I also have to say that it’s been this way since day one. I tried to get her to sleep in her own crib beside us from the very beginning but she always hated being on her own.

So then I went looking for ideas. Everyone was telling me over and over that we needed a proper BEDTIME ROUTINE. But how do you establish a bedtime routine with a baby who is different every single day? Some days she’s sleepy, other days she’s active. Some days she’s constantly hungry, other days she just snacks. Some days she’s fussy and other other days she’s so easy going and happy. But we were slacking on a proper routine – but that’s part of being new parents right? So we decided to come up with a real routine to follow.

Our current bedtime routine is this:

  • Bring Baby G into the bedroom and close the curtains. Turn on her night light which plays some lullabies to signal it’s bed time.
  • Feed her. (If she’s hungry at this point. Sometimes she’s not interested in anything other than a snack).
  • Change her nappy and put her into a bedtime onesie. Every other night we also give her a bath.
  • Read her a story.
  • Rock her a little and then place her gently down in her crib to sleep.

But here’s my problem. Once I get her into the bedroom, she may or may not start crying. And crying. And crying and crying. If she’s crying I can’t read her a story and we tried to soothe her with a bath once but it just made her worse. Sometimes her crying can last 30 minutes and other times it can take me 3 hours to settle her. She doesn’t have collic, and she isn’t a baby that usually cries unless something’s wrong or she wants something. She’s normally very placid.

But for whatever reason, the evenings seem to be our problem. Some evenings the bedtime routine works easily and really makes my day. But on those other evenings, pacing around the bedroom, putting her down and picking her back up to soothe her and trying to put her down again repeatedly for 3 hours is just not sustainable. My back and neck are in bits and it means we have no time together in the evenings. It’s also not fair on her because she spends her evenings before bed so upset. But there’s just no telling what way the routine will go. (You know, I think she might be starting to teethe but everyone’s telling me she’s too young at 10 weeks).

So I went looking for better ideas. Another blogger, Amie from Bump Baby & Me, suggested I check out Tracy Hogg’s “The Baby Whisperer”. Knowing I couldn’t really find time to read a full book I decided to buy the audio book. I listened to it the first night through and went through everything she suggested (pick up to soothe and then put back down once they stop crying). And you know what? That night was the first time she slept through for 6 hours. I thought I’d hit the jackpot!

Until I repeated the routine step by step and almost word for word the following night and all hell broke loose. Nothing I did would help her settle and it took 3 hours for her to just tire herself out and go to sleep. She was awake every 2 hours that night and she hasn’t slept for 6 hours solid since.

Right now I’m itching to implement a proper bedtime routine that works but we haven’t been able to find a consistency that works for us. I’ve even considered letting her cry it out – but I don’t want to do anything like that until she’s at least 3 months old. Even then, I’m not sure I’m strong enough for it. Maybe I have to be. But really how can you rely on a bedtime routine for someone so new to the world? She’s growing and changing so much – some days she’s more alert than others. I can’t really expect her to do anything she doesn’t want to do, right?

In the meantime, I’ve started keeping a baby sleep diary trying to track her routine (I’ll do another post on that soon). I have a few weeks before she is officially 3 months and out of the 4th trimester. Until then, I’m reading small bits when I can, I’m listening to podcasts and audiobooks and I’m watching the baby for any sleep patterns she might have.

Has anyone had similar experiences to me? I’d be interested to hear how you are all getting on with your own bedtime routines. Any and all suggestions welcome!

 

Getting ready for another night’s sleep with a newborn

Baby G’s sleeping is still so unpredictable and I’m realising that I’m starting to worry as the evening rolls around…is tonight going to be another restless night or might it be the one where she finally sleeps through? Or even just for more than 3 hours at a time? I’m exhausted. She’s slept for large chunks today which is really nice for getting stuff done – but it also means she’s going to wake up any moment for a feed and feel well rested…and won’t want to go back to sleep.

Last night she cried for 3 hours before throwing up all over me and then finally falling asleep.

So, I’ve got the dinner on. Then we’ll bath her and hopefully settle her down for the night.

Maybe I’ll even get her to sleep in her co-sleeper and let me stretch out a bit more…wish me luck!