Sunday, September 30, 2012

August is 5 months old!

.....well, sort of.  Calendar speaking, he is 5 months on Wednesday, the 3rd.  Weeks speaking, he is over 5 months old.  So who knows really.  But for my schedule's sake in writing this post, he is 5 months old! :)

I can't believe how much he as changed over the last several weeks.  Here's what's going on with him lately.
  • August has started sleeping on his stomach.  I was definitely not ok with this at first.  It scared me to death, and I think it scared August too.  He has been rolling constantly (back to front and front to back).  He will not stay on his back if you lay him down that way.  For about a week or two straight, each night he would wake us up screaming, and he would be on his stomach.  We would flip him to his back, and he would scream even more.  Finally, I just stood in his room where he couldn't see me, and I watched him to see how he did on his belly.  I was afraid he would smother himself in the mattress.  He would eventually just go to sleep, with his face to the side.  So he has been sleeping that way ever since.  I'm a belly sleeper too, so I guess that's where he gets it. :)
The first time he did it, he started sleeping half on his side and half on his belly....

....and woke up on his belly!

  • August is now eating rice cereal in the evening.  We started this a couple days ago, and he LOVES it. That boy can eat.  I hadn't planned on doing anything solid until 6 months, but August starting waking up more often, and he also started grabbing our food off of our plates and forks.  So I decided to go ahead and try it.  I mix Earth's Best Organic Rice cereal (I'm usually not a fancy organic kind of person because I would rather save the money, but apparently when it comes to my child, I am.) with a little bit of breastmilk.  The recipe makes about 1/4 cup, but it says most babies only eat about 1/2 a tablespoon the first time.  August ate the whole 1/4 cup....and wanted more.  He cried when it was gone.  Haha.  This boy can eat!

  • August has gotten SUPER efficient at nursing.  The norm for him was anywhere from 25-45 minutes of nursing every 2 hours....which means I was only getting 1 hour and 15 minutes in between feedings.  So nursing was a full time job.  In the last few weeks, he has gotten a lot faster.  Now he is done in 10 minutes.  I have all this new found time!  So now when I have to nurse him while we're out, it's not that big of a deal.  He still nurses about every 2 hours....sometimes 2 and 1/2.  I'm ok with it though.  As long as he will let me sleep at night. :)
  • August is very active.  He is not wanting to nap, he just wants to play.  All. day. long.  His naps have been getting shorter and shorter.  He used to nap about 2 1/2-3 hours at a time.  Now he naps about 1 and 1/2 the a time.  Where did my good napping boy go?  He is just so interested in everything.  I think he's afraid he's going to miss something.  
  •   It sounds like he says "mama."  Now, I won't tell you that he says it and knows what he's saying.  But he says it at least once or twice a day, and I'm not the only one who has heard it.  He has also repeated once too.  When I said "mama," he said it right back.  I'm still not getting excited though, because for some reason I don't feel like it counts. 
  • He still isn't sitting up on his own yet.  Most days I wish he could, and I feel like a lot of babies can by this age.  But I'm TRYING not to compare him.  I know that's a downfall of parenting, comparing your child.  So I'm really trying not to.  I know these days are short when he needs me so much, so I'm trying not to wish them away.  He will sit on his own in time. :)
  • August is generally a very happy baby.  He cries when he's sleepy and hungry, and that's usually it.  I love his smiles.  They melt my heart.
He loves to be propped up.  He thinks he's big stuff. :)

LOVES to read books outside

Flipping over...


He likes to play with the cup at bath time

Watching mommy and daddy wash cars....the hand up by the face means he's sleepy.

Early morning walk in the jogging stroller!

He had actually just turned 4 months in this picture.  This was made in Gatlinburg on Labor Day Weekend.

4 months....Labor Day Weekend

My mom had this little fleece thingy that wraps around the baby and snaps him to the shopping cart.  August LOVED it.  He  sometimes gets fussy in his car seat in stores, and he doesn't always like the Moby wrap, he's pretty independent.  So this he really liked.
His feet are his new favorite toy.  He finds them fascinating!
Thanks for reading!  Hope you had a great weekend! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summer "Dining Room" Decor

Now that summer is ending, I am starting to think about fall decor.  I love decorating my home.  My style is very simple and easy.  It won't win any awards, but I like it. Today I thought I would share with you my summer decor for my dining room since I'm about to switch it up.  I call it a dining room, but it's really just where the table is in the kitchen.  It's all one room. :)  I took these pictures a few weeks ago and forgot to post them, so here they are.

This is a view of my kitchen table as you walk in from the living room.

The tablecloth is actually a curtain from World Market.  The curtains used to be in what is now August's nursery.  The burlap is a remnant that was on clearance at Hobby Lobby.  The candlesticks were bought in college from TJ Maxx.  They were silver, and I spray painted them white.  The flowers are from my husband just because. :)  

Aren't they beautiful?  He has good taste!  I got the vase at Target about a year ago.

I'm sorry about the lighting.  The sun was setting.  

I came up with this little set up when August was about 4 weeks old.  I was getting stir crazy being home all the time, and I was ready to get back into decorating.  I usually have the round wooden candle lantern in the center of the kitchen table, but I wanted the flowers as our dinner centerpiece that night.  Adam keeps his guitar in the kitchen because he likes to play it after supper.  It used to bother me that he kept it in the kitchen because it wasn't really the look I was going for.  However, I am learning to create my home for my family, not for HGTV.  I am thankful to have a husband who likes to play music for his family. :)

You might remember this mirror from my post found HERE.  I finally hung it.  It was from a local shop in town. The green cups are  Fiesta Ware in the color Lemongrass.  The white mugs go with a Corelle set.  Both sets were wedding gifts.

This is a Bible that came from Adam's grandfather.  I can't remember the date of its publishing, but its a really old Bible.  That binding isn't even attached.  The blue books are also from his grandfather.  I got the bottle and faux plant from TJ Maxx.

This Bible also came from Adam's grandfather.  The plate was bought at a local shop in town, and I personalized it with our initials in the center.  You might remember that project, found HERE.  The lamp was from my parents' house.  It was the hallway lamp outside my bedroom.  It reminds me of those days.  The plant is from TJ Maxx.  

This is the set up on the other side of the kitchen table.  You might remember that marble top table from HERE.  I gave it a makeover after inheriting it from Adam's grandfather.  The globe is from a local shop.  The chalkboard was a picture frame, and I just painted the glass with chalkboard paint.  The flowers are faux flowers that I used in my wedding pictures before the ceremony.  I used real flowers in the wedding, but my mom didn't want them to be wilted by the time the ceremony was ready to begin, so we used these.  She is one smart lady.  The picture frames were wedding gifts.  There is a telescope to the left of the table that was a gift from my parents when I was younger.  Adam and I have enjoyed using it on the back porch on occassion.

These are the pictures on the table.  Excuse the glare.  The first picture is of Adam and his brother, mom, and dad.  We miss his mom so much.  I think about her everyday.  I wrote about her HERE.  The other is a picture of Adam and me on our honeymoon.  We were at dinner on the cruise.  

That's it!  Maybe I'll post pictures of the rest of the kitchen soon.  I enjoy homemaking.  Some aspects of it are hard, but decorating is the fun part.  Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tips for Sleeping Through the Night

A lot of friends have asked me how we got August to sleep through the night.  Honestly, I didn't follow any method or perform any witchcraft, but there are a few things that we did that I think may have contributed to him sleeping through the night.  August started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks old.  Now, the baby definition of sleeping through the night is 5 hours of sleep straight.  August started this at 7 weeks, and then quickly jumped to 6-8 hours of sleep.  After a few weeks of sleeping 6-8 hour stretches, he started sleeping 8-10 hour stretches, and now he often sleeps 10-12 hour stretches at 4 months old.  I'm not a doctor, and I can't make any guarantees that these tips will work for your baby, but they are worth a shot!

Photo by Samantha Willis

Weeks 0-3 of August's life

During this time, August slept in a co-sleeper in our room.  A co-sleeper is basically a bassinet.  I was supposed to wake August up every 3 hours during the night to feed him per doctor's suggestion.  I did that for about 1 and 1/2 weeks or so, but then I just let him wake up when he was hungry.

  • This is probably a given, but I would always feed him before I laid him down for the night.
  • When August would wake up during the night to eat, we would change his diaper before I fed him.  This way, when he fell asleep nursing, we didn't wake him back up with a diaper change.
  • When we would get up with August, we would only turn on lamps, no overhead lights.  This way he understood that when the room was dim or dark, that meant it was time to sleep.
  • Keep it quiet.  My husband and I would talk in soft voices at night, and we would not give August a ton of interaction.  We let him know that this was the time for sleep.
  • We used a "pippy" (passy).  Yes, this is a lifesaver.  Sometimes when newborns want to sleep, they also want to suck.  We had originally decided we were gonna be super parents and not use a pippy.  But when we had him home the first night, and he had been screaming for 5 hours straight, we gave it a whirl, and it worked like gold.  
  • For naps during the day, we would lay August down in either the co-sleeper or the crib.  We did not schedule his naps in the early weeks.  I would watch for his personal sleep cues: eye rubbing, hands up by the face, crying when not hungry, etc.  This way, he associated sleep with the co-sleeper/crib, so when we would lay him down there at night, he would know what to do.  (Sleep!)  I made sure to let him nap in his crib too, not just the co-sleeper, so that way it would be an easier transition to the crib.  He would already be familiar with it. He also took short cat naps in his swing and in our arms as well.
  • When August was napping, we didn't tip-toe around the house or lower our voices at all.  We wanted August to be able to sleep while we were still awake, and we didn't want household noises to wake him.  We wanted him to be used to noise.  We did this even in the hospital and early days at home, so when we had guests, we encouraged them to use their normal voice level.
  • We would swaddle him for night time sleep.  Newborns don't have much control of their limbs in the early weeks.  They often startle themselves on accident just by moving.  Swaddling him made him feel secure (think of the womb, very secure), and we only swaddled him when it was time for him to go to sleep.  This was another cue that let him know it's time to sleep.  

Week 3-Week 7

We moved August to his crib at 3 weeks old.  I realize this is really young for a lot of people.  However, this worked out best for our family.  August and I had a lot of difficulty with breastfeeding in the early weeks.  For the first 2 weeks Adam would have to help me get August to latch.  It would take a long time to get him to latch.  He tried to find the breast with his hands, but his hands would get in the way, and he would end up sucking on them.  Adam would have to hold his hands, and I would have to hold his head.  It was a team effort.  Breastfeeding was super painful, and it involved a lot of tears, prayers of pleading, prayers of asking for forgiveness, etc.  At about 3 weeks old, breastfeeding was still a struggle, but I was starting to be able to do it on my own.  Because breastfeeding had us awake for anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half at a time at least twice a night, Adam was missing out on a lot of sleep.  He was (and still is) working 10 hour days, so he needed every bit of sleep he could get.  So I decided to let August make the transition to the crib.  That's when he started sleeping 3 1/2 to 4 hour stretches.  Instead of nursing August in our bedroom, I nursed him in the rocking chair in his room or in the living room.  I continued to follow the tips I listed for weeks 0-3.

Week 7- Present (4 months old)

This is when August started sleeping about 5-6 hours straight.  The first night he did it, we were camping (in my parents' camper), and he was sleeping in a laundry basket.  I dunno, I guess he really liked that; either that or the day's activities had him super exhausted.  Up until this point, I did not schedule naps for August.  I just let him nap as he needed.  Newborn babies are good about sleeping when they are tired.  When he started sleeping for longer stretches at night, I scheduled his naps during the day to help regulate his sleep clock.  I didn't google "sleep training" or read up on any articles, but this is how I did it.  

  • At 0-3 months old, August would usually eat 2 times during the night.  He gradually dropped feedings until he reached 0 feedings around 7 or 8 weeks old.  
  • Before 7 weeks old, August would eat about every 3 hours.  So in 24 hours, he would eat about 8 times.  However, when he started sleeping through the night, I had to increase how often I fed him during the day to make up for his lack of feeding at night.  This helped encourage him to sleep at night because I would get all of his feedings in before bedtime.  So at this point, I started feeding him every 2 hours during the day (every hour and a half or so during growth spurts).  I did get this information from BabyWise, and it makes total sense.  So now he gets about 7 feedings during the day, and none at night.  If this sounds like I'm super rigid and calculated with our schedule, I'm not.  It comes as second nature.  I had to think about it pretty hard to be able to type this out.  So if you're thinking this sounds too "scheduley," it's really not.  Our days are just pretty consistent.  Sometimes he only gets 6 feedings, or sometimes he'll get 8 feedings.  He is human just like we are, so sometimes he needs more sleep instead of food or vice versa depending on the day.      
  • Bedtime and Wake Time.  Weeks 7-10 or so, August would go to bed when we went to bed (around 11 or so), and then he would get up around 5:30 or 6 a.m.  As he got older, around 3-4 months, he would go to bed at about 8:30 p.m. and wake up anywhere from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.  He typically wakes up a little bit before 7:00 a.m.
  • Naps.  I lay August down about the same time every day.  Not necessarily the same time each day according to the clock, but the same time according to his schedule (number of feedings).  I believe regulating his feedings with his naps is what lets him know when to sleep.  Our day goes something like this (on an ideal day....sometimes we get a little off, but it all works out).
    • 7:00 a.m. Feeding #1
    • 9:00 a.m. Feeding #2
    • Morning Nap
    • 12:30 p.m. Feeding #3
    • 2:30 p.m. Feeding #4
    • Afternoon Nap
    • 5:30 p.m. Feeding #5
    • 7:00 p.m. Feeding #6
    • 8:15 p.m. Feeding #7
    • Bed Time
  • I usually plan trips to the grocery store, errands, etc after his morning nap.  I'll get him up, feed him, and out the door we go.  If we aren't back in time for his next feeding, I just feed him while we're out. That way he will still get his afternoon nap when we get home.  
  • August naps in his crib.  We don't use the co-sleeper anymore since he sleeps in his own room now.  He doesn't really take cat naps anymore.  
  • August started getting out of his SwaddleMe when he was about 3 months old, so we transitioned to a sleep sack.  When the sleep sack goes on, he knows it's time to sleep.  We put him in the sleep sack for naps too.
  • We let him cry.  I wouldn't say we follow the "cry it out method," because we aren't following any method.  We do let him cry, because he is a baby, and babies cry.  As long as I know that he has been fed and changed and that it is time for him to sleep, I'm ok with him crying.  I usually let him cry a few minutes, then I go back in and stick his pippy back in.  Then if he is still crying 5-10 minutes later, I'll go back in and put the pippy back in again.  This is usually all it takes.  There have been rare nights where he will cry longer, but I don't take him out of his crib to comfort him.  I just rub his forehead, tell him it's ok, and stick the pippy back in.  He has never cried for more than 20-30 minutes.  Wait I take that back, he cried once for 40 minutes, but that was a really off day for him.  
These are just the things that have worked for us.  I know every baby is different, and many parents are different.  I don't think there is one right way to do things.  This is just the way we do it, and it has worked wonderfully.  If you have any questions, leave me a comment, and I will be happy to answer you.  Hope this helps!

Images by Freepik