Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sleep So Far

When I was pregnant with Little K, I had big dreams about her sleep. I had a cute bassinet in the master bedroom and a sweet white crib with pink sheets in the nursery. She would sleep in the bassinet for the first few weeks and then *whoosh* off to her crib until we were ready for a toddler bed.

Yeah, umm, no.

She never slept in her crib. Not once, not ever. She never slept in the bassinet, either. Instead, we ended up co-sleeping until she was one year old and then slowly began the transition from our bed to a twin in our room with the hope of one day being able to put that bed in her room. She didn't sleep through the night without getting in bed with me until she was almost four. It was... trying. And tiring.

I wanted things to be different this time.

The plan was to have Little Buddy sleep in the bassinet portion of a pack n' play in our room for the first six months, then slowly transition to his crib during the next six months. I bought a playard mattress, protectors, and sheets, setting up everything right next to my nightstand for easy access to the baby. I tried putting him down in the playard a few times those first two weeks and he would have none of it. Then I purchased a wedge to place under the mattress in order to cut down on spitting up. But he still refused to hangout in the playard.

Then I visited Troublesome Tots. It was there that I realized that this could actually work. Sleep-training was going to be a long, two steps forward one step back, process but we could do it. I didn't want to settle for the same sleep journey we had with Little K.

One night, I put Little Buddy in the pack n' play while I washed my face before bed. When I came out, he was happily kicking and cooing on the mattress. Since he was happy, I decided to let him hang out there as long as he wanted. And, eventually, he fell asleep. Cue disbelief! And sweet relief!

It's been touch and go the past two weeks. The first night, he slept almost four hours in the pack n' play. The second night, three hours. Since then, it's been one to two hours in the pack n' play. I've tried putting him back in the pack n' play after his middle of the night nursing and it's a complete no-go. So, once he wakes up, he's back in our bed for the rest of the night.

The good news is: it's a start. Little K never slept consistently outside of our bed. At least Little Buddy begins his nights on a separate surface!

We start our evening routine with a bath around 7:00 PM (anytime from 7-8pm is okay for bath, depending on our evening activities). Then diaper, pj's, and nursing. After nursing, we sit on the yoga ball in the dark master bedroom to bounce and sing three rounds of "Take My Life and Let It Be." By then, Little Buddy is getting sleepy. He gets placed in the pack n' play with the white noise machine set to "rain" and a sing some nonsense syllables to Take My Life while rubbing his belly. He's usually out by 8:30, just in time for me to run out of the master bedroom and put Little K to bed.

Our routine isn't perfect. We don't read him a bedtime story. He sleeps with a pacifier and wakes up when it falls out. He sleeps with a blanket (I know, I know). He breathes loud. I'm still so used to him being in bed with me that I have a hard time falling asleep when he's in the pack n' play. (Stupid irony.)

But it's okay. Because he sleeps, for even a short time, out of my bed.

Thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Two Months

Yesterday was Little Buddy's two month birthday and two month well-baby check up. Here are his stats:

Birth Weight 8lb1oz, One Month 10lb4oz, Two Months 12lb6.5oz
Birth Length 21", One Month 22.75", Two Months 23"
Birth Head 13.5", One Month 14.5", Two Months 15.75"

The pediatrician was happy to answer our questions and declared Little Buddy perfect, obviously. She did note that, although he is perfectly proportioned and growing well, he is a little slow up the growth curve (rounding the curve rather than shooting up it). We talked about his Asian genetics and how that may cause the European growth chart to show him slightly behind for a boy. But our little man is above the 50th percentile in all measurements, so we aren't sweating it. We know he will most likely be short for a boy (bio father is only 5'9") and that's fine with us.

Although Little Buddy's baby acne has mostly cleared, we are continuing to keep an eye on it. I've started having just a touch of dairy (stopped buying the expensive dairy-free chocolate chips for my lactation bars) and haven't noticed an increase in his acne. The doctor cautioned me not to go crazy with adding dairy back into my diet., though, and that we will reassess at his four month visit.

We had his first round of immunizations and it sucked, as expected. Poor little guy had three shots and one liquid in this batch. He did the horrible crying where they stop breathing and no sound comes out. Broke my heart!! He ended up sleeping most of the day yesterday and I emotion-ate throughout my waking hours. Ugh. I hate doing it to him but truly believe it is in his (and our community's) best interest to vaccinate. My poor buddy. Thankfully he is back to his happy self today.

Sleep has been going surprisingly well! I really expected the eight week sleep regression to kick our butts but it was really just two days of fitful sleep. Since then, Little Buddy has settled into a great sleep cycle with only one big wake-up per night. What a blessing! Naps are continuing to go well, too. I fully expect our sleep to get worse when we hit the four month sleep regression and am staying on top of my reading at Troublesome Tots. Although it is early for true sleep training, we are aiming to start every night with Little Buddy sleeping on a separate surface from us (either the Rock n' Play or Pack n' Play). Last night he fell asleep in the Pack n' Play without his swaddle and without me having to soothe him to sleep! Score!!

As for me, I've started working out again and have lost another five pounds. I gained 40 pounds during my pregnancy (gulp) I have ten more to go before I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight and then fifteen until I'm where I really want to be. The good news is that my clothes (size 10) are fitting well and I can see my stomach flattening every day. Not too much longer!

Wish I had some pictures to upload but we've been mostly taking videos now that he's chattering and I can't manage to figure out how to upload those. Bah. I'll work on it!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Eight Weeks, One Day

I can't believe my Little Buddy is eight weeks old! It feels like he has been with us for SO much longer!

I'm not sure what to say these days. I mean, everything is going really well! Sure, we are slightly sleep deprived (eight week sleep regression is just wrapping up). Little Buddy cries sometimes (hungry, dirty diaper, or tired). Breastfeeding is going great. We finally found a bottle he will take without complaint (thank you, ComoTomo!). Cloth diapering continues to be a huge success (I still have to recreate my masterpiece post on cloth diapering). I was introduced to an amazing sleep training website that has given me a lot of confidence (Troublesome Tots).

It's all so... normal. And, while exciting to us, I have to imagine rather boring to read.

We have a pediatrician appointment this coming Monday and I'll be able to do a more info-centric post then about growth and his first round of immunizations. For now, I have a little head of brown hair poking out over the top of the Moby carrier, asleep on my chest and working a paci.

I love being this guy's Mommy.