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….

 

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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!

Teething at Two Months?!

You might think I’m crazy for suggesting this but I think Baby G is already teething (she’ll be 11 weeks old in 2 days).

For the last week, she just hasn’t been herself. She’s able to get to sleep, though that can be tricky sometimes, but when she’s awake she’s been crying more and more and it seems nothing we do can help her. Her symptoms include: crying and irritability, turning away from the boob, drooling, touching her cheeks and ears (with her tiny, jerky, newborn movements that I adore), sucking/chewing on her hand and anything else she can and also a change in dirty nappies.

I know…I’ve read from countless sources (like here) that teething typically occurs around 4 months. But I’ve also read that babies can be born with teeth (can you imagine?) and some sources (like here) seem to think teething can occur at any time…even as young as 2 months.

Last weekend, she was so upset we decided to give her some calpol and it actually worked. She fell asleep and when she woke up she was happy. For a few hours. Then the crying started up again.

Today, my sister gave me some Nelson’s Teetha Granules to try because they really helped when her daughter was teething. If you don’t know what they are – they’re basically camomile extract suitable for babies 1 month+. The camomile helps soothe them and calm them down. So this evening, when she really started to cry again, I put some of the granules on my finger and let her suck on them and repeated this until about half the sachet was gone. The result? She quietened down (I even got some smiles and chats!) and…SHE FELL ASLEEP. In her crib. On her own.

It may be a 1st time coincidence, but right now I feel like my suspicions have been confirmed.

Anyone else going through teething with their really young baby??

 

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!

 

Baby G is…10 Weeks Old

I can’t believe Baby G was born 10 weeks ago. For me, this is a huge milestone because she’ll never be single digit weeks old again! It’s also crazy to me just how fast this time is going by…especially considering the lack of sleep involved.

Here’s a little glimpse of what life is like for our beautiful 10 week old.

Weight: Baby G weighs a little over 11lbs which means she’s gained 3lbs since she was born. I think her weight gain is beginning to slow down a little now. Not sure if that’s normal or not?

Sleeping: This is still a bit up in the air. She loves falling asleep on me or on her dad’s chest and very rarely lets me put her down for a nap before she’s asleep. I’m letting this go until she’s about 12 weeks/3 months old and then I’m going to start being a little more strict with her. But she’s quite good at nighttime. It can take us 2-3 hours to get her to go to sleep but once she’s down for the night she wakes only to feed and then falls straight back to sleep which is brilliant. She’s typically going 3 hours between night feeds now. I’m hoping this will start to stretch out a bit more soon. She’s still in the co-sleeper to begin the night but usually ends up in the bed with us by the 3rd feed. Once the daylight starts coming through (around 5am) there’s also no putting her back in the co-sleeper.

Feeding: Feeding is still going well. She likes to eat little and often. Typically she feeds for 10 minutes after she wakes up from her naps and that gives us 2 hours or so before she wants her next feed. Though she does look for little snacks every so often. I tried to enforce feeding no sooner than two and a half hours before she gets to feed again (as suggested by a local midwife) but that led to a catastrophic meltdown in a public car park…so I’ve backed off trying to keep a feeding schedule and I’m letting her just feed when she wants. Again, when she hits the 3 month mark I might revisit this a bit more.

Routine: We don’t really have much of a routine down. She’s still very much keeping me on my toes. Some days she’s more awake than others (and usually this means I have to hold her/bounce her/walk with her) and some days she’s very easy and likes to dose in and out a lot. We’ve been trying a bedtime routine – bringing her in to the bedroom, changing her, reading a story and putting her down to sleep – but it’s not going so well. The first night it worked PERFECTLY and she slept for her first (and so far only) 6 hour stretch and I thought we hit the jackpot. It hasn’t happened since and some nights I can literally pace around the bedroom for 3 hours before she lets me put her down without her waking back up again. Did I mention I’m waiting for the 3 month mark to start enforcing more of a proper routine?

Milestones: Baby chats! I just love love love how she’s started trying to talk to us. She coos and gurgles with purpose, usually after a feed, and then breaks into all sorts of smiles when I talk back to her. It’s just the cutest thing in the whole world. You can see her working so hard to make all sorts of shapes with her mouth and then she watches my mouth when I start saying things too. I successfully managed to film one of our baby chats and I keep showing it to everyone. Melts my heart each time. Also, she’s been letting me leave her on her play mat for a few minutes on her own which she never did before. So I guess she’s starting to learn to entertain herself a little?

Likes/Dislikes: She’s still loving white noise (hairdryer, vacuum cleaner, music, the car, white noise from my iPhone app) and loves sleeping on us. She hates being put in her car seat (but then loves being in the car), doesn’t like being put down on her own and still seems to really dislike pooping (haha).

Weekend Reading – For New Moms

Being a new mum you, like me, probably find it hard to find the time to sit down and read things or just peruse the internet. Here’s a list of some interesting articles I’ve come across and hope to get through this weekend!

  1. Things To Do For a New Mama – I love this list put together by Erika over on To The Sea. I’ve been thinking about doing a similar post myself and this just gives me more motivation to do so!
  2. I Am Not a Human Pacifier – a must read for all breast feeding momma’s out there! Sometimes it’s easy to feel drained by being boob on demand, particularly on those days when you’re really tired. But this piece really puts it all in perspective and reminds just how wonderful an experience breast feeding is.
  3. The Day I Left My Son In The Car – something to be learned by everyone (parents and non-parents alike) in this piece posted on Salon.com

I wish this post could be longer, but unfortunately I don’t have that much time to even find things to bookmark that I’d like to read for later on! Also…it’s about quality, not quantity 🙂

Got any other articles worth reading? Please share them with us in the comments below!

Birthday Dress for Baby Girl

Today is my birthday.

When I was pregnant, I was convinced for the first few months that I was having a boy. In Ireland, you only get one ultrasound scan unless you need more for medical reasons. I was 21 weeks pregnant when I had mine and we decided we wanted to know the sex of the baby. Personally I didn’t like referring to the baby as “it” and I also wanted to bond with the idea of what having this child would be like. I was surprised when we found out it was a girl – I don’t know why, but I’d been sure it was a boy. (So much for motherly instincts!)

Anyway, I was also wary about buying things before the baby arrived. I just didn’t want to tempt fate. We only really purchased the essentials when I hit 32 weeks. BUT – a few days after my scan I was shopping for Christmas presents and stumbled across the most adorable dress in Monsoon. They do gorgeous things for children but they’re quite expensive. This dress though was too amazing to pass up. Bonus: It was on sale! Knowing she was due the end of April (of course she arrived early at the end of March) and that my birthday was soon after, I decided if I bought size 0-3 months it would more than likely fit her. So I used the excuse of her needing something fabulous to wear as her party dress for my birthday and purchased my first piece of baby clothing. (Yay for having a girl to dress up!)

On Sunday, my parents put together a BBQ to celebrate the birthdays (it was my sister’s birthday yesterday). Baby G wore her dress and stole the show. It was a lovely moment for me – I’ve waited almost 6 months to put her in the dress and she looked even more adorable than I could have pictured when she was still growing inside me.

Here are some snaps of it. I’m going to frame the dress once she outgrows it. Any suggestions on the best way to frame an item of clothing?

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