Thursday, May 5, 2016

Seven months!

I really haven't blogged a whole lot about Macey... #secondkidprobs!!! I have been doing a weekly photo to make her a chatbooks for her first birthday. I try to capture a cute picture along with something that has happened that week. I don't really have time to do a baby book, so this is my 21st century version of one! But I do want to write a little bit about Macey today!

So, she's seven months old now! Crazy how slowly seven months of pregnancy creeps by and how fast seven months of baby life flies by! Macey's first months of life have been quite hectic, but *hopefully* we're getting into a groove. Honestly, I really was looking forward to the six month mark because I remember that's when I really started to feel more "at ease" with Maleah. But, poor Macey got sick all over again right at six months, so... it wasn't quite the milestone I was hoping for!

Anyway, now she's over the crud and feeling much better and we're trying to carve out some sort of new family structure. Of course with a little baby, things change all the time... but, in my opinion and experience, by 6 months, you can really start to have more of a predictable routine and the baby can also be a little more flexible than before. So my "goal" is to create a routine Macey can be familiar with, but not be so rigid that she can't be flexible from time to time.

Her day: 
5:45-6:15 ~ wake up, take 5-6 oz bottle
6:30/6:45 ~ solids (oatmeal + fruit)
8:30-10:30 ~ 45 min to 1 hr nap somewhere in there
10:15/10:30 ~ 5-6 oz bottle
12:30-2:30 ~ 45 min to 1 hr nap somewhere in there
2:15/2:30 ~ 5-6 oz bottle
4-5:30 ~ cat nap somewhere in there
5:30/6 ~ solids (1.5-2 containers veggie)
6:30/6:45 ~ bath
7:00 ~ bottle and bedtime
9:30/10 ~ dream feed

It has taken us nearly a month to get this routine figured out. We still don't have it totally down pat, but we're working on it! I'd ideally like to have her sleeping until 6:30, but I'm confident she'll get there as she's able to sleep longer without a bottle. Some mornings she goes back to sleep for a bit after the bottle which I'm okay with for now.

Sleep Training
So, in the beginning, Macey was a really good sleeper. She "slept through the night" (meaning going 6 hrs) sooner than Maleah. But, the good sleep was thanks, in part, to the Rock & Play. I don't really want to recount the drama that took place while trying to "wean" her from the Rock & Play. I still kinda have PTSD. Haha. We went from a soundly snoozing baby to a little monster when we tried to transition her out of it! But, we eventually got her sleeping in the pack & play and we just use the R&P for sickness & Sunday naps! She was sleeping soundly once we got her used to laying flat, but then she got RSV... then sleep regression... then the crud... then a growth spurt! So, basically we were struggling for about 2 months. During the struggle, we also did some "spoiling" - meaning, we created some habits that we are now having to break. 

First habit we have to break - the paci. I am fine with her having a pacifier. But we simply cannot go in every hour and give her the paci when it falls out of her mouth. She has to either learn to get it herself (she uses a Wubbanub so it's always close to her) or she has to learn to sleep without it. For now we are giving her more time to help herself before rushing to her side when she starts to fuss. Amazingly, after just a couple nights, she's already self-soothing! If she starts to really cry or fusses for more than, say, five minutes, we to the "shush-pat" technique (see the third habit). 

Second habit we have to break - rocking to sleep. I always rocked Maleah for a little while and then put her to sleep drowsy but awake. That's been my goal with Macey, but she falls asleep really fast! So I have just learned that once she's asleep, I need to savor the moment... and then go ahead and put her down in the crib. I've noticed lately she kinda opens her eyes some when I lay her down, and then she falls back asleep. So, I count that as "drowsy but awake". 

Third habit we have to break - picking her up during the night. I was picking Macey up and rocking or swaying her back to sleep while she was sick. That's obviously fine while she's sick, but I can't do that multiple times each night. Instead of picking her up, now we are doing the "shush-pat" technique. Macey will NOT sleep on her stomach, so I just rub her chest/shoulder/tummy while quietly making the "shhh" sound.

It's only been two nights and we're already seeing the benefits of these techniques. One thing I will say about sleep training is that you can't just start suddenly. We have been doing "sleep training" techniques for her whole life. But now we are having to implement some actual "rules" (for lack of a better term) to help her get back to sleeping better. I know she's gonna be a happier baby because of it!

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