Sixteen Weeks of Lydia

Lydia is now sixteen weeks old. As I am writing this she is waving around her one toy that makes noise when you move it, and squirming around on her playmate quite a bit. 

This week has been somewhat crazy, since the first five days of it included being at a seminar, so Will, Lydia, and I were at a hotel most of the day. Lydia’s usually happiest sleeping in a carrier, so it was fine for the first few days, but by the last day she was pretty much done. The good thing was that after that, I’d blocked off almost two weeks on my schedule to try to stay home with Lydia and tinker with her sleep. Which leads me into the next category…


Lots of updates here this week!

So, after some wavering on whether to bother, I decided to follow through on my plan to get Lydia sleeping on our bed more of the time instead of just in the carrier. She already slept there all night with us, but I wanted her to do it more during the day, mostly because it’s been getting increasingly hard to get things done with her sleeping on us. I can strap her on the front or back, and she’s not that heavy, but it seems to be increasingly the case that she wanted us standing and preferably moving steadily, which is not so convenient.

I also liked the idea of moving towards putting her down drowsy but awake, so she could eventually fall asleep on her own. At least some of the stuff I’ve read seemed to indicate that babies can be more flexible around this age than they are later. I figured that for all I knew, Lydia would be basically happy to nap on the bed once I somehow communicated to her that I wanted her to do that. But I knew that without some sort of tweaks, she wouldn’t even have any idea what I wanted her to do if I lay her down there during the day.

(We cosleep at night, and I have no current plans to change that. It’s working fine.)

My plan had a few components.

First, I would at least track when she was asleep, so I would have a decent sense of what was going on and see if there were certain times of day she was consistently asleep or awake and how much variation in wake-time length she had. I didn’t really plan to influence her nap patterns, rather to understand them.

Second, I would implement a pre-sleep routine, both for naps and bedtime at night. Currently, I hadn’t been doing much of this. 

Third, I would try to aim to move things gradually more in the direction I wanted them to go in a variety of ways. If Lydia got upset, I would comfort her pretty much right away. If one or both of us got too frustrated with making changes, I’d go back to what was most likely to work and try again later.

My plan was also to reevaluate the whole thing after the two week block was over. My prediction to Will was that I thought we could make substantial progress towards my desired scenario in that amount of time.

So far, it’s been working much better than I expected! 

The routine I started doing was potty her, feeding her if she wanted it, reading her a book, then putting on white noise and laying her down on a blanket on the bed.

Then, if she complained, I would try to feed her and see if she would go to sleep that way. I know I’d heard that sucking to sleep is the strongest and hardest to break sleep association, but for her movement has been much more of a consistent desire of hers, and it seemed like the easiest way to get her to go to sleep on the bed at all. If she cried even when I offered my breast, I would pick her up and try to soothe. If nothing seemed to be working, eventually I would give up and either walk around with her then to get her to sleep or decide that she wasn’t tired enough and try again later. The plan was also to transfer her to the bed any time that she did fall asleep on us. 

I also planned to do the Pantley Pull Off to try to get her to stop feeding before actually drifting off if possible.

If she woke up during sleep transitions, my plan was to attempt to get her to sleep more if she still seems tired by soothing, including feeding. It’s pretty easy to slide onto the bed next to her to do this.

I’ll try to refrain from giving every detail about the last few days. As I said, it’s been going well. There have been a few hard times where she was pissed, I was trying and failing to comfort her, and I probably should have just given up on that nap sooner. Also, yesterday I wasn’t very successful at soothing her back to sleep at transitions, so she ended up tired from short naps and quite upset in the evening until she went to sleep for the night. She was up for a >5 hour stretch, which is way too long for her to be at all happy :-(.

She seems to hate swaddling now, and me trying to do it what the source of some unhappiness, unfortunately. Swaddling and feeding will still calm her down if she’s very distressed, but it seems counterproductive to use it to get her to fall asleep otherwise.

But mostly, it’s good! She seems to understand that I want her to sleep on the bed. This evening, I had a failed transfer from my back to the bed, but she was mostly happy and cooing for quite a while, maybe half an hour? I went in a few times to nurse and comfort when she complained, but mostly she was happy just lying there (and squirming all around). That was very new!

And just now, after I did the sleep routine she mostly put herself to sleep. I walked away over to the desk when she was awake and happy. After a few minutes she squawked, so I nursed and she fell asleep within seconds and pulled off.

I’ll share more updates about this next week, but right now I’m feeling quite optimistic. The sleep association theory predicts that if Lydia does move towards falling asleep on her own, she might wake up less to feed at night. I guess I’ll see if that happens…or maybe not, since I don’t have a great idea of what goes on at night. After I get into a new routine with her, I’m also thinking about shifting her sleep earlier. She’s currently doing around 10:00pm-9:30am, with a decent amount of variation, but all the books seem to say that it would be more consistent with her circadian rhythms to move it up two or three hours. Evidence in favor of this hypothesis is that by around 7 she starts peeing a bunch and her sleep seems more fitful. I can keep her asleep by nursing her, but it seems more fragile.

If she is more okay with sleeping in the bed without me, it’ll be easier to play around with her bedtime without changing mine.


I haven’t noticed any changes in eating this week. Because of the sleep plan, she’s been nursing to sleep a bit more than before. I don’t offer my breast for random fussing much these days, because she’s usually not interested and will squawk.

Elimination Communication

Not a great week for EC. Lydia would sometimes go in the toilets at the hotel, but she would also resist and get upset pretty often. When that happens, we would just not take her, but she would still fuss from having to pee, then fuss more that her diaper was wet once she had peed. Sometimes I can get her to calm down and pee by nursing her while pottying her, which is somewhat of a complicated maneuver. And it doesn’t always work. 

She’s been resisting more at home too, so I’ve been less inclined to take her. And, there’s been a bunch of peeing during the process of trying to get her to sleep on the bed. She typically doesn’t pee much while in the carrier, but she’s happy to pee while I’m trying to put her to sleep or when she wakes up in the middle of a nap, and it’s both hard for me to realize what she’s fussing about and not a great time to potty anyway, since it wakes her up more. So we’ve been going through more diapers, but still catching a bunch.

She’s also a bit sick right now, and has been having looser stools more often, so that’s thrown things off a bit too.

I’m not too worried about it. I think we’ll get better again once she’s not sick and the sleep has stabilized. Maybe then I’ll work on the mini potty for real :-).


Lots of it earlier this week at the seminar, then less the past few days with the new sleep plan. I still wear her around a fair amount when she’s awake though. It’s pretty much my goto plan if she’s not interested in playing on the ground, which she’s often not.

Motor Skills

She’s been grabbing her feet a bunch when she’s on her back. I don’t know if that’s an entirely new thing this week, but I’ve at least noticed it happening a lot more. 

When Lydia was happily cooing on the bed, I left the room to see if she would put herself to sleep. Eventually, I heard her noise-making toy on the monitor, so I came up to find her face down on the floor next to the bed. Now, the bed is on the floor, so this is a pretty minimal drop, and I didn’t hear her cry about it or anything. In fact, she seemed possibly asleep. I put her back on the bed. It happened one more time before. I moved her way further away from the edge after that, but if this starts being a pattern I may have to come up with a more definitive solution.


As I mentioned, she’s been a bit sick the past few days. Her mood doesn’t seem too affected, but she’s been sneezing and coughing a bit more, and also having loose stools.

Despite her protests at our attempts to leave her with babysitters recently, she seemed quite happy to be social at the seminar. She will talk to people when they approach her, and is usually happy to be held by strangers. I predict she will not be a shy child. 

She continues to be more into playing with her toys. Sometimes I wonder about whether to intervene when she gets frustrated playing and complains, but doesn’t seem to be asking me to pick her up or anything. I try to use my best judgment, but I assume she’ll get clearer about what she wants as she gets older.


Will had her more than I did while we were at the seminar, so I had much more non-baby time than usual this week. It was nice in a lot of ways to think about non-baby stuff and interact with a bunch of people (I forget that I am more extraverted than Will…), but I think I’m also glad it’s over.

I actually had two separation anxiety dreams about Lydia during that time period, where she was crying and I couldn’t get to her, and other people were taking her away from me. She was only inches away from me when I was having these dreams, but I think I felt weird about being apart for her so much during the day. And I wasn’t even that far apart from her! When Will had her instead of me, he was right outside and I could come within about a minute if she needed me.

I’ve been feeling pretty well rested for a while now, and while I’m spending fairly many hours in bed to get that way, I have no real complaint there. I think if Lydia starts napping on the bed I’ll be able to get more writing done, which I’m excited about.

I seem to have a very mild cold-type-thing, as does Lydia. Will is more sick with what I assume is the same ailment. I woke up last night and felt pretty crappy for a little bit before I went back to sleep, but I think that was the worst of it.

Fifteen Weeks of Lydia

Lydia is now fifteen weeks old! (This summary is posted late because my blog seemed to be down.)


I know last week I said that I was going to try to encourage her to fall asleep on her own. I haven’t done any of that, and I’ve somewhat retreated from that intention. I talked to my friend Dee (who’s had four kids), and she’s never tried to influence their sleep habits and it’s always worked out fine and they’ve moved towards more adult sleep patterns over time. I do hear plenty of stories about kids who don’t seem to do that, but I also know people are more likely to be vocal about sleep patterns that aren’t working.

It does seem to still be true that she’s not happy being up and about in the evenings, so I’m going to try to limit doing that with her. I also do still have time that I had blocked out on my schedule to try to figure out her sleep better. Regardless of sleep, I think I’m going to try to keep that time pretty unscheduled. That will be nice for me!


Not much more to report here. I’ll say more about this below, but Lydia didn’t like our plan to get babysitters, so I didn’t really pump more. 

Her eating patterns seem pretty similar.

Elimination Communication

No real success with the mini potty yet. I have tried a few times, but she doesn’t seem to be a fan. Sometimes she’s refused to go in it, but then gone in the sink afterwards. Sometimes it can work to put the potty in the sink, but even that is sort of iffy from her perspective, it seems. I’ll keep offering it occasionally.

She’s also not crazy about random toilets that I take her to when we’re out, but will sometimes use them anyway, especially to pee. Sometimes I’ll get her to do it by nursing her at the same time so she calms down. She doesn’t seem to like to poop when we’re out much at all, which I’ve heard of in adults but wouldn’t have expected from a baby. I guess she’s not as relaxed?

Nighttime EC strategy continues to be confusing. Lydia will go a pretty big stretch at the beginning of the night without having to pee. But then, before she has to bee she will squirm and squirm, and want to suck. However, she has reacted pretty badly to me trying to potty her at this point. So usually I’ll just wait until she actually pees, then change her. Because she also has more fussy sleep when she’s wet. It seems as though she’s more amenable to being potted after around 7:00 or so (sun is starting to come up), and will sometimes go right back to sleep afterwards.


Still good. She gets heavier bit by bit, but I’m probably getting gradually a bit stronger too. She loves sleeping in carriers, and that’s usually how she takes her naps. Recently though, she’s been falling asleep directly on the bed at night more often.

Motor Skills

She’s rolled from front to back a few more times recently she definitely hasn’t forgotten how.

She can roll from her back to her side, but has never gotten to her stomach from there.

She can also squirm quite a bit, so if I put her down on one part of her playpen, she get over to the other end of it. Her toys also end up very far from where they started, kind of all over the room, which I’m pretty impressed by.


She hasn’t been quite as drooly this week, I think because she’s been swallowing more of the drool. Maybe a little less fussy than last week, but hard to know.

She seems to have separation anxiety, or something similar, anyway. We tried leaving her with babysitters a few times, but it didn’t last long because she got upset. The first time, I had a hard time believing she wanted us specifically, since I thought that wasn’t supposed to happen until around six or seven months, but it wasn’t subtle. She would calm down noticeably when Will or I entered her visual field, and then immediately more when we held her. It would be nice to have some babysitting sometimes, so our current plan is to spend time with the people who would be watching her all together, letting them hold her until she starts to get upset, comforting her, and trying again.

On a happier note, I think she’s leveled in playing! The other night she played pretty much continuously in her playpen for a very long time–I think more than half an hour. I don’t think she’s even been that interested in her stuff for more than ten minutes or so before. It was very fun to watch, and one of my most fun parenting moments so far.

Watching her play and play like that was also a nice reminder than babies learn new stuff totally on their own, and she’s changing really fast no matter what I do one way or the other.


I was looking forward to having some babysitter time, but it’s also not that hard to accept that it won’t work yet. Will does quite a bit of childcare, so I do get time to do some of the things I like to do that it’s hard to do with a baby.

I’ve also been feeling more well rested lately, which is really nice, even if I’m not sure why I am. I don’t really track these things, but I think I’ve been getting about the same amount of sleep, and that Lydia has been feeding about the same amount (a lot!) during the night.


Fourteen Weeks of Lydia

Lydia is now fourteen weeks old, and it’s time for another summary.


She’s doing about the same as last week. She got up early one day, and I was thinking that would be a pattern, but then she’s back to doing around 10-9:30 or so (with feeding in there).

The biggest change is that she seem even less willing to just go to sleep wherever we are, even in a carrier. We had her out last night in the evening, and she didn’t nap for hours. Predictably, she was quite fussy. She calmed down and went to sleep pretty much as soon as we left and started heading home on BART, even though we were doing much the same thing at that point–carrying her and walking around. It’s pretty tempting to start reading intentionality into her behavior and saying that she wanted us to go home, then calmed down once we did. But that might be ridiculous.

I’ve been feeling ready for a change in her sleeping. She’s less portable, sleepwise, and definitely fussy when she’s not well-rested. I think I need to go out less. I also like the idea of doing the whole putting her down drowsy but awake thing, to get her able to fall asleep on her own. Sort of wishing I’d been trying that before, at least once a day or so, but I also think it should be fine to start now. I’ve blocked out some time on my schedule to experiment here.

I’m also wondering about debugging co-sleeping. It seems good on most counts, but I think I’m getting into weird positions nursing her at night. My back has been hurting, and I think that’s it. Our bed isn’t huge. Doubt I’ll make any changes in the next few weeks, but this is going to be at least in the back of my mind.


This week I tried pumping. I only have a manual pump, and it wasn’t particularly fast, but it worked fine. I could do it while reading. Then I tried feeding her from the bottle. She only drank about two ounces, but I don’t think she was all that hungry at that time anyway, so I think is good for now. 

We’re going to try some longer periods of babysitting next week, which was the motivation to have pumped milk. 

I also think Lydia’s current preference is to feed all the time at night and not as much during the day. I may try to influence this pattern. It also could just be she’s having a week of not being very hungry, or that she’s eating even faster. Not sure. I got a little paranoid about her consumption when I saw how long it took me to pump, but my understanding is that babies are much faster than manual pumps, so I think I should just put it out of my mind.

Elimination Communication

EC has been going pretty well this week. She’s pees a bunch of times in relatively quick succession in the morning, and then more regularly throughout the day. I’ve been meaning to get her used to going on the mini potty, but in practice haven’t been pushing it. Maybe next week.


Babywearing is still going well, but I think for the first few times the past week she’s actually seemed to want to get out of it and play on the floor more. Fine with me! Long walks still seem to be her favorite activity.

Motor Skills

Nothing big here, but she was very cute and intentional seeming about grabbing Sophie the giraffe today. No rolling recently.


I might be imagining it, but I think she’s been fussier this week. My latest theory is that it’s related to teething, but I don’t have much evidence for this, and I think parents blame all sorts of things on teeth that probably aren’t that. She drools a LOT, and she’s pretty into gumming stuff, which is where I got the idea. But I don’t feel any swollen spots on her gums or see anything obviously going on. 


Being well rested is still the most important thing. Last night I got up and couldn’t go back to sleep easily, so this morning was really hard. Then I napped for two hours while Will had her and I feel like a new person. I’ve blocked out some time on my calendar with the intention of scheduling as little as possible and just staying home with Lydia and getting into more of a routine. 

Will and I have our first date night with a babysitter tonight, which I’m very excited about!

And we’re going to be spending some time at a conference next week. Increased non-baby time may feel good and rejuvenating, but I’m not sure yet. Depending on how it goes, I’ll try to plan accordingly.

Thirteen Weeks of Lydia

As of today, Lydia has been outside of my body for thirteen whole weeks!

Tomorrow, she will be three months old, which feels like a pretty big milestone. It’s already getting hard to remember what the early days were like, so I’ve decided to start the tradition of writing a weekly summary of how she’s doing every Wednesday. I’ll try to include pictures too.

This summary will touch on the past three months, since it’s the first one.


From the beginning, based on the books I read, my plan was to get Lydia onto more of a regular sleeping schedule by around three months. At first, she could sleep just under just about any circumstances, and she would just drift off all the time. We never knew how long she’d sleep for, and some days she slept quite a bit more than others. She slept on us, either on the bed or in the wrap. Near the beginning, she’d pretty consistently wake up if I got up when she was sleeping.

We went through a rough stretch when we were visiting my family in NYC, sleepwise. I’m not sure if it was the time change, six-week fussiness, or that her day/night confusion was exacerbated by my walking around with her in the wrap all day even more than usual, since that’s been her favorite place to sleep, but around 7 weeks old she would be awake for really long periods at night. Usually a few hours. Sometimes she didn’t go to sleep until six in the morning. It was a pretty good time for it to happen, since Will and I could trade off soothing her and sleep in shifts, but it was still kind of brutal.

It didn’t last long though, and by the time we got back, she was back to going right back to sleep after feeding when she woke up at night.

Since then, we’ve been settling into more of a pattern. Lydia usually falls asleep in the wrap, though sometimes she falls asleep nursing lying down in the bed. Sometimes I swaddle her, but usually not. Her schedule is somewhat irregular, but getting more and more regular. I suspect she would be more predictable if we stayed home all the time, but we usually take her to do things at least a few times a week.

She doesn’t sleep much in the carseat anymore. She will eventually go to sleep in there, but mostly she just stays awake, pees on herself, and complains :-(. Early on, she would fall asleep in the carseat pretty much immediately, so that’s too bad. I’m assuming the carseat situation will get better eventually, and I am looking forward to that day!

Lydia usually gets up pretty late, mostly because I usually get up pretty late. This morning, she got up at 8:00am to feed only, then slept to 9:30. That was an early morning for her. I think the day before that, it was 11:30am, but that was a late morning. I think I noticed her squirming around more once the sun is up, but I can’t be sure whether it’s that I’m more awake by then or that she is.

I’ve been trying to get her down for the night the first time she goes to sleep after around 8:00pm or so, with the vague plan to move than up to around 7:00pm if she seems amenable. The easiest way to get on a regular schedule is probably to start the day at a consistent time, but so far it’s seemed best for my sleep not to wake up to an alarm. I may change my mind on this.

Lydia’s usually awake for less than an hour in the morning before she goes back to sleep. Her first nap is longer the later she went to bed the night before. Assuming no disruptions, she’ll probably nap a total of three or four times, with evening naps often but not always being shorter than morning ones.

I think she wakes up a few times a night to feed, which has been similar since the beginning. Hard to know for sure, since she sleeps with me and I don’t always fully wake to feed her. I think once she went about seven hours, but that’s definitely the exception. She sleeps longer stretches when she’s swaddled.

Walking around in the wrap is the best way to get her to sleep, and she usually transfers to the bed pretty easily, especially if I nurse her once she’s there.

I think she’s just starting to have the more adult pattern of going into Stage 1 sleep as she’s falling asleep, instead of going directly into REM.


Lydia has gotten pretty fast at nursing, and she does it a lot less often than she used to. She used to like to nurse pretty frequently, and I used to offer her the opportunity most of the time when she was crying. Now she’s pretty rarely interested, unless it’s right after she’s gotten up, or she wants to nurse to sleep. She doesn’t always nurse to sleep though, since walking works for her too.

I haven’t tried pumping yet, or giving her a bottle, though I keep saying I want to get around to that.

We’re not planning to start solids until six months, so there probably won’t be any interesting news on the eating front for a while.

Elimination Communication

It’s been up and down. We didn’t do as well when we were visiting Will’s mother in Oregon, and when I’m hanging out with people I’m sometimes distracted and miss more. But in the last 24 hours, I think she’s used only two or three diapers, including at night. Today was a good day!

She definitely understands that when we hold her over the sink, we want her to pee and poop, and she’ll almost always pee at least a little. Lately she’s been resisting a bit, but then going after a few seconds of complaining.

She’s down to pooping a little less than once a day, on average. She pees a lot more often than that, but I haven’t counted how many times recently. I’ll take her at least every 20-30 minutes or so when she’s awake.

Lydia doesn’t pee when she naps, and always has to pee right when she wakes up. These days she doesn’t usually need to nurse immediately upon waking, so this works out well. At night, she’ll usually squirm for a while when asleep if she needs to pee, then half wake up before peeing, then complain until I change her diaper. She doesn’t usually like it if I try to take her to pee at night, and will cry, so I don’t do that anymore much. My heuristic is to take her if it’s light outside. Some nights she won’t pee at all until morning, but that’s rare.

She very rarely pees when I’m wearing her, though it’s not unheard of.


I’m so glad we figured out how to nurse in the wrap! It makes life much easier. I mostly use the front wrap cross carry with the Girasol woven wrap. For Christmas, I got a hybrid stretchy wrap that I can use for back carriers too, and a water wrap.

I have tried showering with her in the water wrap, which was fun and worked pretty well.

The most recent development here is that I’ve worn her in the rucksack back carry a few times. I like it. My back muscles are clearly still working up to it, and it’s obviously impossible to nurse that way, but my arms are even more free. I expect I’ll only use the back carries more as time goes on. I’d practiced a bunch before it seemed easy to get her on my back, but now that’s not an issue.

Motor Skills

Lydia rolled over front to back just before turning two months, which was pretty cool! She often rolls a few times a day. I tend to give her tummy time first thing in the morning and right after her first nap, since those are her happiest times. It used to be she would only roll then, when she was really well-rested, but now I’ve seen her do it in the afternoon too.

For a while now, she’s been putting her hands together a bunch, and the latest development is that she’s been getting much better at getting her hands in her mouth to suck on her fingers and thumb! We’ve never used a pacifier, so I like knowing that she now has something to suck that’s totally under her control.

Head control is basically perfect, and has been for a while now.

She grabs stuff a bunch, and seems to get smoother and more intentional with that over time.


Lydia has been pretty smiley recently! I still don’t think I really have any sense of what she’ll be like as a person. She’s happier in the morning, and happier just after she’s woken up from naps. Then she pretty much gets progressively fussier until it’s time to go to sleep again. I like how she reacts to faces and will smile in response. She also enjoys her own image in the mirror.


Sometimes I have a particular thing I’m worrying about with her, but not so much this past week. I’ve been trying to move her bedtime up, and get more consistent there, but I think the more important thing is actually my bedtime, not hers. Parenting ranges from fun to a little tedious when I’m well-rested, and more like neutral to miserable with moments of cuteness when I’m exhausted. I don’t have too many non-Lydia commitments, and she sleeps in pretty late when I do, so it’s pretty easy to sleep enough if I go to bed early. But then sometimes I like to hang out with people, or talk to Will, or get work done, and I end up going to bed late. I don’t have too much of a cushion of well restedness, so I can’t do this multiple nights in a row and remain happy.

I’m very glad I have Lydia, and I think I’m doing a good job of remembering to enjoy the baby moments, because every parent I meet tells me how quickly it all goes by. That being said, I do expect to enjoy having a kid more than a baby, so it should get better, if not easier!