I knew as soon as I wrote this, things would change. And I was right! Here we are just under a month later, and Maleah's little routine has already changed thanks to the introduction of solid foods. This post, like the last, is mostly for my own' memory's sake, but maybe it'll help a new mom out there!
So, yeah, we started solid foods. Right at the 4-month mark. I wasn't planning on starting so soon, but she took right to it! We fed her oatmeal cereal at her 7pm evening feeding for about five days and then started her on it for breakfast and dinner. I know most people just feed them at one feeding for a week or two and then add the second feeding, but again, she just seemed to be ready for it. In the mornings, she wants a little of her bottle first (an ounce or so) since she hasn't eaten since 10 the night before. But then she'll eat about 2 tablespoons of oatmeal and then the rest of her bottle (4-5 ounces total). This coming Friday, we're going to try out a vegetable. Haven't decided which yet, but I'm thinking sweet potatoes or carrots. I want to make our own baby food, but I think I'll buy the pre-made kind at first so I can see what she likes and how much so I'll know what to make (and in what quantity).
Maleah is a good napper at home and a so-so napper at daycare. Some days she sleeps great at daycare, others not-so-much. But we don't worry about it too much unless she's super fussy (which she really isn't). She has moved to taking only 3 naps, but still needs the 4th nap (sometime between 5:30-7pm) every now and then. We just play that by ear.
Sleeping at Night
Someone's a thru-the-night gal now! Last week she woke up a couple of nights around 3 am to eat, and we fed her, of course! It was a little worrisome because she'd been sleeping so well for several weeks, but she hasn't done it since, so I suspect it was a little growth spurt. We do have issues with the pacifier - she usually cries around 3/4 am for someone to come find the paci for her. Part of me wants to break this habit and let her cry it out and self-soothe, the other part of me doesn't really mind it. Since we don't get to see her during the day, it is nice to have that couple minutes of time at night when we get to soothe her back to sleep. So the plan for now is to let her keep the paci. If this is still a problem once we know she can find the paci & put it in her mouth herself, we might try to break her of it during the night time. We'll see.
They weren't kidding when they said her poops would change. I hate to post about this, but... you know you want to know!!! Right now she seems to be "going" in the morning. She used to go at daycare, which was great because that meant someone else got to change the poopie diapers!!! But now it looks like it'll be on us... great! It smells, it's gross looking, and she laughs the whole time we're cleaning her up. Babies!
Schedule - now going about 3.5 hours!
7am - wake up, change diaper, feed 2 tbsp oatmeal & 4-5 oz formula
10:30 am - feed 4-5 oz formula (nap 12-2-ish)
1:45/2 pm - feed 4-5 oz formula (nap 3:30-4:45-ish)
4:45 pm - feed 4-5 oz formula (nap 30-45 min if she needs it around 6-ish)
7pm - feed 2 tbsp oatmeal & 4-5 oz formula then bath, book, finish bottle (she sometimes only takes 3 oz after eating the oatmeal at this time), sing, sleep!
10:15pm - dream feed
*I know it seems weird that we would feed her at 4:45 when 3.5 hours would be 5:30. When we tried to feed her at 5:30, she didn't eat as well at 7pm and it caused a lot of problems (she was uber-fussy). Plus, I get off work at 4:45 and pick her up at 5. Otherwise I'd wait until 5, so it would have been 3 hours since the last feeding. But, this is working and she will take anywhere from 3-5 ounces at 4:45 and then be satisfied until 6:45/7 pm for dinner.
Thoughts on the Dream Feed
I'm not totally sure how to stop the dream feed, to be honest! I've read lots of different things about ending the DF and nothing totally makes sense to me. One thing says wait until they're on a 4 hour schedule (which she's not ready for yet). Another says we should've already dropped it. One says to drop it cold turkey. Another says "wean" by dropping it an ounce at a time. Honestly, my parenting theory is, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Currently the DF works - we missed it one night b/c we fell asleep and she woke up starving at 3am - so we're going to keep doing it for a while longer. Lately she has been chugging the DF, so she apparently still needs that additional feeding.
I've written about the difficulties of getting everything in while you have a baby, so I wanted to toss in a little bit of how I get things done:
5:30 a.m. - Wake up, shower, do make up
5:55-6:25 - fix coffee, Bible study
6:25-6:45 - unload dishwasher, prep bottles & diaper bag, fix lunch
6:45-7 - quick chores (fold a load of clothes, spot clean counters, etc)
7 - Maleah time!
After she's eaten & been changed, I sometimes do a few more chores while she watches. Or I play with her and watch the news. Just whatever we feel like at this point!
7:30 - Finish getting myself ready & get breakfast together
7:45 - leave for work (soon this will be 7:35 since we'll live farther away! BOO!)
5:15 p.m. - come home, play with Maleah, start dinner
6-ish - eat dinner, clean up dinner, straighten up kitchen, play with Maleah if she's awake
7-8pm - nighttime routine w/ Maleah
8pm - wash face (I have to do it now or I will honestly forget before bed!!!), do chores
9pm - free time! (aka fall asleep until 10:15)
10:15 pm - dream feed & bedtime!
And that's life!!! Maleah is super fun right now - lately she has been REALLY chatty and gets REALLY loud!!! Lots of squealing and Chewbacca-like throat noises. She loves when we blow raspberries on her belly! She also has a favorite toy - it's a vTech butterfly that sings. She will choose it out of other toys, which is really cute to watch. However, that toy is REALLY annoying so hopefully it's batteries will die soon and it will go to the bottom of the toy bin for a while. :) Don't tell Maleah!