Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Mom Life - Checking In (4 Months)

Lexi is growing up so fast! I swear each time I get back to writing this post another month goes by and I rewrite everything. So before we hit month five next week, here is a recap of #momlife thus far. Trying to hit on all the topics that people ask about, especially my mom-to-be friends.

Starting off with this topic because almost everyone initially asks if she's sleeping well... and the answer for now is yes.  I would like to think it's a combination of luck plus all my crazy research on scheduling, but it's just luck. She has been sleeping through the night since 8 weeks, giving me and Ted a break for first time parents. Lately she has occasionally woken up but fallen back asleep with her pacifier. I know things can change at anytime but my fingers are crossed.

The first few weeks she was fed on demand, but I never let her go more than 3 hours without feeding her during the day. One of the pediatricians at the hospital suggested trying to feed her every 2 hours during the day so the intervals at night were longer. We started to give her a bottle of pumped milk every night at two weeks. It was great to have Ted help out and also know she was getting a full meal before "bedtime" each night. It was definitely hard at first and I have never been so exhausted.

Most message boards and blog posts mentioned Moms On Call when talking about scheduling and sleeping through the night, so I bought the book and roughly followed their plan. I started to give Lexi a bath followed by bottle every night at around 6-7 weeks. She was sleeping from around 9PM to 5AM at 8 weeks and started moving back her own bedtime as the weeks went on. Although I don't follow the advice in the book to a T there was lots of other helpful information. 

For the first 3 weeks she slept flat on her back in a Graco Travel Lite Crib. A lactation consultant then suggested that we move to the Rock 'N Play to help with reflux symptoms since it kept her at an angle. We then went to the bassinet again to get her used to sleeping on her back at 14 weeks and will be moving her to her crib soon.

I didn't have the same luck with a daytime routine since I was primarily nursing and didn't know how much she was consuming. A routine came naturally after I returned to work at 3 months and eased into exclusively bottle feeding. I started to mix formula with pumped milk at 12 weeks. I gradually increased the amount of formula and transitioned fully at 15 weeks. It did take her system time to adjust and we also ended up going on medication for reflux. I had planned to pump for another month but this is just how it panned out.

3-4 Month Routine (Bottle Fed)

5:30 - 7:00AM - Wake Up
If Lexi wakes up before 6:30 I sometimes move her into bed with me if I'm snoozing. Otherwise, she will typically fall back asleep with her pacifier. I try to wait as close to 7 for her first bottle.
7:00 AM - Bottle #1, play, nap
10:00 AM - Bottle #2, play, nap
1:00 PM - Bottle #3, play, nap
4:30 PM - Bottle #4, play
5:30 PM - 6:30 - Walk outside around the park/cat nap
6:30 - 7:00 PM - Bath
7:15 PM - Bottle #5
7:45 PM - Bedtime

This is just a general idea of how the day goes, we are flexible. Sometimes she naps for 2 hours, sometimes she doesn't at all. We may only do 1 bottle in the afternoon, it just depends. The one thing that doesn't really waver is the bath. She is like clockwork and ready to start her nighttime routine. 

I had 3 months of maternity leave, which went by so fast. The first month was a complete blur and by the third when I was starting to function it was time to return. I'm really fortunate to live down the street from the office and depending on my schedule go home during lunch. My mom has been watching her, which helped with the transition back. Lexi will start daycare in October across town, which will be a tough changeover for me. I will miss those mid day meet ups! I am also traveling internationally next month for meetings... another big change to be away. Thank God for Facetime.

Instagram Stories

Getting myself out of the house has always been a production in itself. Shockingly I have done much better than I thought packing us both up. I carry around way less stuff for me and joke that I don't even need to wear my own bag anymore since I use the "stroller fanny pack" for my wallet and phone and just throw anything else in her bag. I find it helpful to always have the diaper bag ready to go, so unpack and repack it after each outing. Now is an appropriate time to give a shout out to Ted... always happy to jump in and help! I was in J. Crew and came outside to that cute scene on the bench.

I know that I paint a pretty picture on Instagram and my blog, but want to be honest that I have bad days and the occasion meltdown. At first I felt like I had no idea what I was doing... but it got better and like everyone says you just figure it out. It is more than worth it.

As I mentioned above, I have found Moms on Call to be very helpful with basic care and scheduling. I googled a million things about breastfeeding and always ended up on KellyMom. I like receiving emails each week from The Bump on baby's development and milestones.

The world of Facebook mom groups is so intriguing to me. So many moms, so many opinions. If you are in the NYC area, I encourage you to join UES Mommas. I've gotten some great tips on there, as well as some good laughs. Definitely find your town's group page and ask your mom friends if they recommend any or can add you.

I can't stress enough this is what worked for me. Every baby is different and you need to do what's right for you!

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