4 Months

Where has the time gone? Have we seriously had Adeline in our lives for a third of the year? It doesn’t seem possible!

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The weeks are definitely starting to blur together. I always thought it was funny when moms with babies didn’t know how many weeks old the baby was, but now I totally understand. You go from counting weeks of pregnancy to counting the weeks of a newborns life- but the time just passes so quickly that it just becomes easier to refer to age in months. I don’t really think of Adeline as a newborn anymore. She is interacting with her world more and more, and she is less dependent on us.

Flexibility and the Importance of Sleep

This fourth month of life definitely taught us about flexibility and sleep. I flipped through Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child and the one message that I took away was:

Sleep is a NEED for a baby just like food is a NEED for a baby.

I try plan for Adeline’s feedings- I make sure I’m wearing something that I can nurse in, I try to anticipate when she’s going to eat and we find somewhere quiet to sit. HSHHC (how’s that for an acronym?) showed me the importance of preparing for Adeline’s sleep needs too. We start to lower the volume and lights (turning off the TV, getting out of crowded spaces, etc). We “set the mood” by humming and singing to her. We turn on the fan in her room. We rock and sway for a few minutes before laying her down. I try to anticipate when she will be tired (usually 1-2 hours after she wakes up), and I attempt to plan our activities around her naps.

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I think this month has just really shown me that I need to RESPECT her nap times. If I do my best to allow her the sleep that she needs, we are usually rewarded with a rested, happy baby. It kind of seems silly that we cancel plans at the last minute sometimes just because she’s fast asleep, but we’re learning that the consequences of shortening a nap usually aren’t worth getting somewhere exactly on time. I first saw the book mentioned on Healthy Tipping Point, and here is one of her many posts about “sleep training” her son.

Five Minute Rule

I didn’t take much else from reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child. There were a few “methods” for letting baby cry, not letting baby cry etc. as he or she falls asleep. We kind of established our own routine, which would be labeled as “Controlled Comfort” in the book. If Adeline is fussy after we put her down to bed (for a nap or for bedtime), we give her 5 minutes to fuss, and then she’s usually ready to take a pacifier to pass out. Sometimes she’ll just kind of “cry” herself to sleep too. If a pacifier replacement doesn’t work, we’ll try picking her up after another 5 minutes, we try for a burp, and then lay her down again. There have been very few times where the “5 minutes” rule hasn’t worked- and those times have been when she’s WAY overtired because we missed her window for getting her to sleep. I’ve nursed her down a few times when she’s just been inconsolable, but putting her down has gotten easier.

New Things

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Movement– The girl loves to move! Sometimes she get’s this very determined look on her face before she flails her arms and legs. We lay her down in her pack ‘n play long ways and a few times, she has rotated a full 90 degrees.

Tummy Time– she doesn’t hate it anymore! She tries to pull her legs up under herself. Sometimes it appears like she’s trying to roll over, she’ll do her same frantic kicking when she’s on her belly and she’s almost gotten to her side a few times. I’m not too sad that she’s not rolling yet, I like being able to leave her in one place 🙂

Sitting– Adeline LOVES to sit up. In her Bumpo, on your lap and she even tries to sit up when she’s in her car seat or in her bouncy chair. Girl has some strong abs! I think she knows what “sit up” means. You can ask her if she wants to sit up, and she gets excited and flails in the same way each time. She likes to try to lick her toes when she’s sitting.

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Giggles– we’ve gotten a FEW giggles from her by kissing her neck near her ear! Here’s a video of the second giggle that she ever did! I try to do ridiculously funny things each day to try to get a few giggles, but so far, I think she’s just embarrassed by me.

Food– Adeline has started to watch when we’re eating. I usually eat my breakfast when she is nursing in the morning, and she is definitely watching the spoon move from the bowl to my mouth. We’ve let her slobber on a few hunks of banana- she doesn’t quite know what to do with it, but it’s pretty fun to watch her try to do something with it. I’m not planning on intentionally introducing solids as an addition to breastmilk for a while, but we’re totally cool with letting her taste things. I’ve reserved a copy of Baby Led Weaning (one method of introducing solids to babies) to flip through. My friend Ashley used BLW with her daughter Lydia, and I know Brittany at A Healthy Slice introduced her daughter Haley to solids using BLW too! Whenever we do start solids, I’ll be sure to post our thoughts on all “introduction” methods- purees, BLW, “cereals”, etc!

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Flying– Yes, our daughter can fly. But not without a little help from daddy 😉 This is a wonderful “evening activity” that helps to minimize any evening fussiness! I don’t know if she’s loving the flying so much that she forgets about being cranky, or if she’s absolutely terrified about hovering horizontally 5+ feet off of the ground! Mommy is not good at helping her fly, I’ll blame it on lack of upper body strength and having small hands.IMG_20130127_162728

Dislikes

She’s not a happy baby when she misses a naps. Adeline doesn’t always like putting clothes on. I’m still convinced she was born in the wrong season, she loves naked time! And socks- she HATES socks. She’ll wear them during the day, but as soon as it’s time for a nap or for bed- it’s just easier to take them off so she doesn’t spend 5 minutes trying to kick them off!

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I’ll update her 4 month stats next week after her pediatrician appointment!

Is there anything else I’m missing?

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4 Months

2 Months

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Two Month Stats: 
Adeline goes to the doctor in a few days for her two month checkup (with shots, boo) and I’ll update this post with how much she has grown! She’s filling out more (check out the difference in the newborn vs. 1 month vs. 2 month photos!!!), and she lays around with her limbs stretched out instead of being all smushed into a ball.

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All of her newborn clothes are packed up. ALL OF THEM. I cannot believe how fast she outgrew (in length) all of her tiny little outfits! We’re in 0-3month and 3 month clothes now, although some are still pretty big on her. I’m actually pretty glad that we’ve moved on to bigger sizes because she has a lot more “cold weather” clothing in the bigger sizes! We’re also getting into the swing of cloth diapering, but I plan to do another post on that sometime in the near future!

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Likes

Her changing pad (still!), eating, music (she kicks like crazy when one of her songs plays on her Pooh Bear bouncy seat). 

Watching mom and dad in the kitchen in her Pooh Bear bouncy seat.

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Stroller rides (we take Silas on a walk almost every day!)

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She loves baths, she loves being held while she falls asleep (I think all of the snuggles over our Thanksgiving visits spoiled her…) and she loves hearing mommy and daddy talk to her!

Dislikes

Napping, having a stuffy nose (baby girl got her first cold, sniff). She’s not a big fan of tummy time, although her head control is pretty good when she’s up on your shoulder! Here is what happens when you attempt to take a picture with a fussy baby: rapper baby-

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Struggles for Mom and Dad

Setting a “Schedule”

This second month has been kind of all over the place. We had the 5 week growth spurt that threw off our rhythm, and then we got back into a groove before Thanksgiving. I think we’re beginning to understand her needs a little bit better, and we are slowly learning how to adjust our schedules and expectations to do what will benefit Adeline the most.

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We were able to visit with some friends over our Thanksgiving break, but we made sure to leave early enough so that we could keep Adeline’s bedtime routine pretty normal (she was hanging out with her Grammy and Woody!) We still take her everywhere with us, but we just adjust our leaving time so that it coincides with nap time a little bit better!

The Elusive Nap

We’re still struggling with naptime a bit. We have pretty successfully gotten into the “BabyWise” plan (eat, play, sleep) with ~3 hours between feedings in the daytime. However, most of Adeline’s naps have been taken in the car (when I have an errand to run or when we’re going to visit friends) or in the stroller. She has no problem falling asleep in someone’s arms (or in the Baby Bjorn), but sometimes this momma just wants her hands free for a while! There have been numerous days where napping just doesn’t happen, and I don’t want to drive the baby around the block just to get her to snooze. Any tips for successful napping at home? 

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Adeline has definitely gotten over-tired on some days where napping just doesn’t happen (or when the naps are super short), and that makes bedtime a bit difficult. The girl can fight sleep for a long time! I know we’ll get the hang of napping sooner or later, but I just want to make sure she’s getting the sleep that she needs!

Final Thoughts

It is SO COOL to see Adeline become more interactive with her world. The gummy smiles we get in the morning and beginnings of coos make those few “rough” days TOTALLY worth it. I love talking to her and watching her face light up, and Daniel really likes watching her “ride her bike” when she hears music that she likes. We like showing her the “baby in the mirror” and think that it’s absolutely adorable when she smiles at herself. 

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We are pretty excited to share this Christmas season with Adeline. The lights on the tree are shining just a bit brighter, and the holiday songs on the radio sound so much sweeter. I think having Adeline around has already made this holiday season more special than the ones before!

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2 Months

Random “New Mom” Things

This is a list of things that I wish I had known before having a baby. Some bullets are tips that I got from other moms, and other things are just

  • Night Sweats. They have gotten less intense (I’m not soaking through 2 shirts each night), but they still leave the bed cold and damp for my return from a nighttime nursing session. Ick. I slept with a sleeping bag as my blanket for the first 3 or 4 weeks because it was easier to wash.
  • Tank Tops. I live in tank tops. Upon recommendation from my dear friend Ashley, tank tops have become a STAPLE in my nursing-friendly wardrobe. You can pull up your shirt and pull down the tank- your belly stays covered and the babe has access to food. Win-win. I have about 5 tanks (these tanks from Target and something like this from Old Navy), and none of them cost over $5. They really make any shirt into a shirt that you can nurse in!  (However, wearing a tank top with just a sweatshirt over top is NOT an easy outfit to nurse in)
  • Sometimes I wish that I didn’t have side bangs. I now spend a lot of time looking down at the baby, and my bangs end up in front of my face (when they should be pushed to the side). I’m always pinning them back so that they don’t get in the way
  • A Smartphone. Daniel and I lived in the cell phone stone age before Adeline came. And then BAM- we had a cute and adorable little person that we wanted to share with the world. We upgraded our T-Mobile plan (for just $20 bucks more per month than our previous no-data plan) and purchased smart phones online (half-price of what we would have paid in-store). Now I have the world at my fingertips. But seriously, it has been great to have a camera at all times, and I love some of the apps.
  • Favorite Apps: I LOVED BabyESP for “tracking” feedings/sleep times, etc., BUT the full version isn’t available in the USA. Weird. So now I use the (free) Baby Care app. I’m trying to see a pattern in her naptimes, and it’s great to have a visual of her blocks of eating/sleeping times.
  • Good smelling shower gel. Showers are little breaks when you feel like you’re in heaven. Get a good smelling bath soap or shower gel and enjoy your time to relax!

Energy - Orange Ginger Body Wash & Foam Bath - Aromatherapy - Bath & Body Works

(source)

One thing I haven’t really used (that I thought I would use all of the time):

  • Moby Wrap. It was really hard for me to put a floppy newborn into the wrap. I’m going to try it out again in a few weeks (and with a different way of wrapping), but I only tried it twice and didn’t care for it.

Things I thought I wouldn’t use but use frequently:

  • Baby Monitor. I didn’t register for one, but we purchased a $7 monitor the day that we moved Adeline to her nursery (6 weeks old)
  • Pacifier. I was kind of anti-paci before baby got here- but she really does love sucking on things, and since I don’t want to be a human pacifier, her WubbaNub has been great. She also hasn’t quite figured out how to keep her hand/thumb in her mouth, so a paci helps to calm her down when she’s frustrated

There you go- my list of things that I wish I had known before baby arrived!

Random “New Mom” Things

Getting into a Rhythm

Adeline’s fifth week of life was a doozy- I’m pretty sure she went through some sort of growth spurt. Monday through Friday she took maybe one actual nap per day with a few (unpredictable) cat naps. She was also eating a LOT. Any sense of a “schedule” went out the window. Week 5 was a rough one for me- Adeline and I spent some time crying on the couch together because nothing I could do or say would console her (I suppose growing is hard work!) Daniel was as supportive as ever, and we made it through that difficult week.

Then, a switch flipped and she was back to her happy, napping self- just in time for our visit to Lexington last weekend! We are so happy that Adeline got to meet so many of our friends, family and former co-workers. It’s pretty special for us to share her with the world! We also got our first official family photos taken by our friend Melissa who started her own business, Melissa Rossine Photography. Check out this ADORABLE sneak-peek she posted last night:

SO. EXCITED.

Back to Adeline’s 6th week of life. We have started to get into a bit of a routine- we’re following the BabyWise “schedule” loosely, and it seems to be working great for us and for her. Adeline has been FOCUSED on getting her right thumb into her mouth this week. I hope I can snag a video of her struggle to coordinate the hand to mouth movement before she figures it out! It’s pretty hilarious how much effort goes in to getting that hand to her mouth! I didn’t capture the thumb struggle in this video, but she does give a few smiles to the camera:

I forgot to update her 1 month update post– she weighed 9lbs 1oz and was 21 inches long (38% for both weight and height)! She’s getting big, and I swear she gets heavier each morning that I pick her up! (I think I see 3 chins in the picture below…)
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Adeline is also sleeping in her NURSERY! We kept the Pack ‘n Play in our room for the first few weeks because it was easier to tend to her needs, but now that we have a baby monitor ($7 from TJMaxx), she has been sleeping (successfully) in her own room!

I know blankets aren’t recommended in the crib, but they’re lightweight, Adeline hates swaddling and it’s cold. I don’t want the baby police to arrest me for trying to keep the baby warm.

Our church, Missio Dei Cincinnati, released their very first Christmas album- Advent: Let Men Their Songs Employ. It is awesome, and you can download it (FOR FREE) here. Adeline smiled when we played one of the songs this morning, so I’m convinced that she is going to love Christmas as much as I do!

We’re really glad that we’re settling into a bit of a rhythm. I know it will change and shift over the coming days and weeks, but it makes us feel like more confident parents when we can better identify and meet our baby’s needs. Coming up on Wednesday- things that I wish someone had told me before I became a mother!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Week!

Getting into a Rhythm

3 Weeks and Questions!

Hard to believe that Adeline has been in our lives for 3 WEEKS now! It feels a lot longer than that and the weekdays are flying by! My dad and sister flew in from California to meet our little girl this week:

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We don’t have a scale, but we think she’s at (if not more than) 8lbs! Adeline is eating like a champ, but this momma is doing a trial run of life without dairy to clear up some “green poo” issues. I have never wanted to eat ice cream or cheese as much as I want to now, So far… the “green poo” issue is getting MUCH better, so I’ll stay away from dairy as long as the little one’s tummy needs me to!

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Our sweet babe has also blessed us with pretty good sleep during the night! She’s usually up 4 hours after I put her down after a feeding. Those 4 hours of sleep are GREAT! She’s also only eating for 20-30 minutes at night, so from wake up till my head hits the pillow is under an hour. Momma likes that.

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I’m feeling great, for being only 3 weeks post-partum, I’m really surprised at how quickly my body has gotten back to normal! I’m still taking it easy, we get out on a few short walks during the week and lifting a babe up and down all the time has any arm strengthening covered!

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This weekend was full of fun! In addition to a visit from my dad, Catherine and Matthew (complete with an awesome dinner that the baby slept through at Lemongrass Thai Restaurant here in Oakley), we also went to a beautiful wedding of our friends, the Payne’s!

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Adeline slept soundly through the ceremony AND most of the reception!!! And she slept well that night too (halleluia!) Daniel and I really enjoyed getting dressed up, and it was pretty fun to have people asking “Is that a REAL baby?!?” at the wedding.

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We capped off the weekend with church and a walk around town. Daniel chose some craft beers at Dutch’s Larder and then we had a nursing session in the park on a beautiful fall Sunday.

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Questions

If you have any topic ideas (I’ve got a post about our first few weeks of breastfeeding in the works) or any questions about ANYTHING (recovery, body after baby, a day in the life of a newborn, meals we’re eating, a post about how my dog is shedding ALL OVER THE PLACE), let me know in the comments or in a Facebook post or something!

Also, I am now on Instagram!!! Follow me @hollyccoopEmbedded image permalink

3 Weeks and Questions!

10 Things about Week 1

I cannot believe Adeline is a week old today!

Here are 10 things that I want to remember about our first week with Adeline!

1. Adeline can EAT! Baby girl loves “mealtime” and mommy and daddy love that she can sleep for 3+ hours at night between feedings (probably why our transition into parenthood has gone pretty smooth so far!) She even took a pumped bottle from Daniel yesterday when I ran to the grocery. (And nursing is going well! Not without a little pain and frustration, but all things considered, we’re working well as a team!)

2. Adeline has an alter-ego: Little Miss Piggy. When she’s hungry and on the verge of crying, snorty Miss Piggy noises come out. Sometimes I make her wait a second to eat because I find the noises to be hilarious!

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3. Adeline is not a blue-eyed baby. She has some (very dark) blue in her eyes… but they look mostly brown to me.

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4. Daniel and I are getting the hang of this “working as a team” thing. It has been cool to see our relationship grow and develop in new ways!

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5. Our friends and family are AMAZING! From fantastic meals to a clean bathroom and a freshly-washed dog, our friends and family have been so helpful and supportive in this transition time!

6. In week 1, Adeline loved all forms of “transportation”. She likes her car seat (in the car and in her Snap ‘n Go stroller) and she LOVES when daddy wears her in the Moby Wrap.

7. Her awake times are my favorite. She becomes more and more alert each day!

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8. This has been a good week, and we have been able to “mesh” baby Adeline into our “normal” lives. We took her to the new REI this weekend, we went to Whole Foods and Fresh Market for samples (that’s a normal thing to do, right?), we took her to church on Sunday and we’ve even visited the dog park a few times!

9. Adeline loves peeing on daddy. I think her record is 3 times (with a poop as well) in 1 diaper change.

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10. Her umbilical cord fell off today. Daniel and I were breathing through our mouths at diaper changes because it smelled so bad (it wasn’t infected or anything, but what can you expect from a rotting stump of flesh?)

11. (oops!) Being a momma is so fulfilling. It’s a feeling I can’t quite put into words. I just feel… more complete. I have a different understanding of how God sees us as his children. I have a new purpose in my life.

IMG_5834I don’t know how we are so blessed! In case you missed it, here are Part 1 and Part 2 of Adeline’s Birth Story!

10 Things about Week 1