Oh goodness me...it feels like someone has swopped my sleeping newborn cherub for a wide awake and ready for action infant, literally overnight!
It was just the other day that I was thinking that the 3 month stage is just the best...and then just as I was getting used to all the giggles and smiles, along comes more changes which have left me feeling a bit frazzled. Before I go on with this post, I do want to give myself a big pat on the back for keeping a little human alive for the past 3 and a half months. I have completely surprised myself, mostly because I was absolutely terrified about becoming a mom (see posts below for more on my pregnancy journey):
I loved being pregnant so much that there were times when I wished I could stay like that forever!And the idea of what was to come really scared me. Mostly, I was scared of being 100% responsible for something so small, who depended on me for every.single.thing, and then the worries of what exactly I would do with her all day. Those first few weeks went by in such a blur, I needn't have worried. Mommy instincts do indeed kick in, and before you know it, they are no longer a newborn.
I have been wanting to share a post on life with a Newborn for ages, but, life with a newborn doesn’t allow for much of anything other than keeping said newborn alive! I have a handwritten draft of that post which I will hopefully share with you all soon. I’m going to include lots of the baby things/paraphernalia we loved and that made our lives easier, and the items we felt were a bit of a waste of money...stay tuned for that soon!
According to the plethora of baby books I own, here are a few possible explanations, as well as a few others I have thought up :
The dreaded 4 Month sleep regression (eeek!)
A growth spurt
Teething (she has been drooling A LOT! but no sign of any pearly whites just yet)
A Wonder Weeks developmental leap
Travel or disturbance of environment/routine (we flew to Joburg a couple of weeks ago? Also we have been visiting lots of family and friends so this could be an added element?)
Since returning from Joburg, we have moved her out of her bassinet and into her cot...her baby nest has also become far too small and now she is just in the cot as is, perhaps she's missing the snugness of the baby nest?
And the most probable one...she's just being a regular baby, growing and changing with no real explanation as to why she does what she does!
Up until now...
Evy has been a wonderful sleeper from day one. I had mentally prepared myself for literally NO sleep for the first year of her life, and so the fact that she would sleep 3-4 hours at a time during the day, and 5-6 hours at night in between feeds (Evy is Exclusively Breast Fed Or EBF) in the first few months was a wonderful surprise. I can't really say that it's one particular thing we do that makes her sleep like she does (or rather...DID!), I think a large part of it has to do with luck and her being a really content baby. But I'll share the routine we follow, because I'm pretty sure it does at least play a part.
I know it doesn't really need to be said, but I want to say it here...all babies are different, and some babies, not matter how much 'sleep training/crying it out/routine fixing' you do, just want to be close to mommy and are never settled until they are on their mommy. I am a general busy body, and wanted to try my best to have Everly fit in with our lives (this is only really possible up until a point) instead of us fitting in with her. I also want to say that a lot of my friends have babies who have had terrible reflux and so their journey's have been very different to ours. If you think your baby has reflux and you've been having a really really hard time, I'd love to share these two blog posts by my friend Sophie (an extraordinary mommy I'm so lucky to call my friend)...click here.
We try to be quite flexible in our routines, but our bedtime schedule goes a little something like this:
6pm bath time (depending on her afternoon nap I’ll either feed her one side right before bath time or when she wakes up from her last nap which can be anywhere between 4 & 6pm). Then once out the bath it’s a quick massage, a nice big clean nappy (we are using cloth nappies...click here to read more about our cloth nappy journey so far) and pyjamas. She generally screams blue murder if we take too long to get her clothes on after her bath, and I guess I would too if I was left to get cold on a changing mat after a lovely hot bath.
+- 6:30pm feed the other side and burp her
+-7pm sleep time
In the last few weeks she was sleeping right through until about 3 or 4am when she would wake and I would go in and feed her (and change her nappy if she needed) and then pop her straight back down again where she would sleep until around 6 or 7am.
We have been pretty strict about Everly’s sleeping right from the very beginning. I had been told to put her to sleep in a way that I could realistically do at 1 in the morning, and so a dummy works best for us. I knew there was no way I wanted to be up rocking a baby to sleep every time they woke up and so we were pretty firm with putting her down and letting her settle herself to sleep.
Here's how put Everly to sleep at night:
After her bath & last feed & burp, we pop her straight down in her cot while she is awake but drowsy, put her dummy in and walk out the room. Depending on whether she’s sleeping on her side or back, we’ll give her a few bum pats (gosh I will someone had told me before having a baby how life changing bum pats would be! Pretty much never fails to calm her down when she gets niggly). This is the only time of the day that I feed before her sleep.
And during the day:
I try to follow a 'wake-eat-change-play-sleep' routine during the day so that she doesn't associate sleeping with feeding, as feeding before sleeping makes life really hard as baby ends up refusing to go to sleep without a feed. This has become so much harder to do lately as she is awake so much more. From about month 1 to month 3, she would sleep about 3 hours at a time during the day, which meant every time she woke up it would be time for a feed (I have fed on demand and she would generally go around 3 hours in between feeds during the day). We do the same sleep routine during the day as at night. Except this time she gets put down after play time, and it can take a little longer depending on how tired she is/how much of a good mom I've been and actually played with her vs. popping her on her play mat to play by herself.
For the last week or so, she's been waking up after quick 45 minute naps during the day (sometimes stretching two 45 minute naps together...what is called 'linking' in baby lingo) and it's just not nearly enough time to get anything Adult/Roxy/Non-Mommy related things done. This has been really hard for me to adjust to, and I have found myself getting more and more frustrated. But, this is just part of the mommy-hood journey, and I'm sure there will be lots more moments like these to come. But please, comment below and let me know I'm not alone!
Her new night time wakings have also been harder to adjust to. She's been waking up a few times, and I've managed to get through some of them by going in and popping her dummy back in, patting her a few times and then walking out. When that has failed (and I've been back and forth with the dummy numerous times) I have resorted to feeding her and then putting her back down to sleep. We do have it relatively easy, but still...the last couple of weeks been an adjustment.
I wanted to share this post here (and anymore 'Life with a Baby' posts I am ever actually able to write) as a way to document my journey through motherhood. If you have a baby or if you're having a baby soon, I hope you find it useful or inspiring (or perhaps you'll just have a good old chuckle at the things I find difficult now as I'm sure there are worse to come).
But most importantly, I want to share this post because each of us first time moms are walking our own paths through motherhood, and our struggles, no matter how big or small they might seem in comparison, should unite us together, rather than making us feel alone <3.
Now for the fun stuff...
Current fav nickname: Bobbin
Loves: Being sung to and any and all music! Likes to face forward when being carried so she can see the world. LOVES being naked so she can kick and squirm and fling her arms and body about.
Hates: Tummy time! The amount of tears we ave both shed as I have watchd her squiggle and scream on the mat has left me traumatised. But, there is light at the end of the tunnel! After a good 3.5 months of really struggling with this, it seems that she has graduated from blue murder screams to mumbling her distaste at being placed face down on the floor. It was a pretty viscous cycle for a while, the more she cried the less I forced her to do tummy time (an the more judgey eyes I'd get from my mommy friends), and therefore the harder it was when I did pluck up the courage to do it. But I am happy to say, we seem to have found a position she can tolerate, and this has made tummy time on the floor a bit easier as she is getting stronger.
Here's my absolute favourite photo of her doing tummy time (and the ONLY time she has ever actually stopped crying and actually smiled...#mommywin!). Let me know if you'd like em to write a blog post on tummy time, and how you can actually make it a fun activity rather than a horrible chore.
Teething: Loads of drool, both hands always in the mouth (a few choking episodes where she's opened her hand while it's in her mouth and her fingers have gone down her throat...poor thing!). Everything goes into the mouth now, her hands, my hands, any and all toys, and her favourite thing to grab and suck on...my hair (ouch!).
Eye Colour: Grey? Dark Blue?
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Weight: Weighing in at 6.2 kg's, Everly has officially doubled her birth weight!
Sleeping Aids: Her hands, a dummy & a little soft giraffe taglet/doodoo blankie
Current clothing sizes: 3-6 months (although she has been in this size for a good while). I'm going to blame it on the cloth nappies ;) I have still managed to squeeze her into one or two of my favourite 0-3 month outfits, but these were mostly her sweet little jackets and jerseys. The 0-3 month onesies and leggings haven't fitted her for a good many weeks!
Currently eating/not eating: in the beginning, I found that the only thing that really seemed to upset Everly in my diet was tinned tomatoes. I pretty much carried on eating everything I had eaten during pregnancy. Something that I am pretty sure plays a big role in her afternoon grumpiness and something which I try to avoid is caffeine. The days when I do drink caffeine, I try to have it as early in the day as possible. This has seemed to lessen the 4 - 5pm bbay meltdown period considerably!
That's all for now friends. I'm hoping she settles back into her usual sleeping pattern, and if not, all the smiles and the talking and general cuteness will undoubtedly make up for it all.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and festive season from all of us here on the farm.