Parenting Advice on Sleep

Yesterday, I finally checked in with my friend Dee, who is now on her fifth baby. I trust her quite a bit on everything related to kids, so I wanted to summarize her advice where other people could benefit from it. Here it is:

  • Her kids have had pretty different sleep patterns from each other. One, for example, had a 48-hour schedule where she slept most of the day on one day, then not much at all the next day.
  • What she thinks of as “standard” baby sleep would be a big chunk from around 7pm-8am (waking upf or feedings every few hours) and two or three naps during the day.
  • She thinks travel will mess things up, because babies can sense that they’re not at home and may not like it.
  • Her experience has been that babies have pretty short sleep windows where it’s easy to get them to sleep, and that it’s much harder if you miss them. She hasn’t found the clock to be very helpful in determining when her babies are tired, and she recommended that I watch closely and figure out Lydia’s cues. She said yawning and droopy eyes were late indicators–signs that I’d missed her window.
  • She never wakes up her babies when they’re sleeping.
  • She finds that taking baths with her baby in the evening, including nursing in the bath, have worked quite well to relax her kids, and that white noise from the shower and vacuum worked, and that white noise generators didn’t work for her. (She reported some risk that the baby would poop in the bathtub.)
  • She never had success with baby swings, but said many of her friends did.
  • It has been harder for her to catch the sleep windows in the evenings because she tends to be busier getting dinner together.
  • She thinks that early on, every month gets easier, and reminded me that my current worries would soon be a distant memory. The advantage, she says, of this period, is that I can pretty much go about my normal life while doing baby care. Lydia is, after all, asleep most of the time. She said everything gets more involved around when they start crawling and then walking, but then gets easier the more the kids can actually communicate to us what they want.

What Attachment Parenting Overlooks and Baby Schedulers Get Right

Watching for nap cues and paying attention to optimal waketime length.

At least, this has been true of the books I’ve read so far. I’m all for wearing Lydia most of the time during the day and co-sleeping with her at night, but after the first weeks where she would just fall asleep when she was tired right away no matter what (at least, it seemed as though that was what she was doing), I’ve found that the single most important thing I can do to make sure she remains happy is make sure she doesn’t stay up for too long of a stretch. 

Against the recommendations of books like Babywise and the Baby Whisperer books, I’m fine with walking and nursing her to sleep, but I’ve found that it’s very helpful to start that process before she’s too tired, which can actually happen kind of quickly. I carry her a lot, but sometimes she’s having tummy time, or I’m talking to and flirting with her, or having her practice using her leg muscles, or pottying her. And these days she can’t usually fall asleep while I’m doing those things, so I run the risk of letting her get overly tired, at which point she’s upset and it gets harder for her to relax.

Our current rhythm is that Lydia usually has two naps that are about two hours long between around 9 or 10am, when we both get up for the day in earnest, and around 7 or 8, after which point I mostly encourage her to go right back to sleep after feeding if she gets up. That seems to work okay, and is getting increasingly to the point when it’s stable enough that I can actually schedule around it, which is also very convenient!

Why Are Babies Fussy in the Evening?

Everyone knows that some babies, at least in the modern Western world, have times during the day where they’re fussy. They’ve been fed, their diaper is clean (and they don’t want to be taken to the potty, if they’re doing EC), and they’re either crying or would be crying if someone weren’t soothing them. In some babies, the problem seems to be caused by gas, reflux, or other digestive issues. Most if not all of us are eating a diet these days that’s well outside ancestral parameters. Dairy and wheat especially seem to cause problems for some babies. 

The Kung! San supposedly don’t report evening fussiness in their babies, but it’s not clear to me it’s because their babies don’t get fussy–maybe they’re just better at soothing them. Lydia has never been inconsolable, but has occasionally required fairly substantial intervention (breastfeeding while swaddled while I’m walking and shushing her). My (very likely naive, largely informed by a handful of books) understanding of hunter gatherer populations is that they’re emotional systems are less inclined to fight against reality than our modern-day ones, so it’s that they take the extra soothing effort in stride. Plus, there are a bunch of people around to help, and they would have had experience caring for babies since they were pretty young themselves, and are likely to be better at it.

My current leading theory for Lydia’s fussiness is one that’s mentioned in a few books, including Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child: she gets overly tired. She does have gas pretty frequently, but the timing just doesn’t seem to fit. I wouldn’t expect any sort of digestive problem to cause fussiness for a few hours at a time, often in the evening. From what I can tell, Lydia is happiest just when she gets up, then she gradually gets more inclined to be fussy until she sleeps again, at which point the cycle repeats.

Lydia has never been fussy right when she woke up. And I’m pretty sure she’s never been all that calm after having been awake for several hours. Fussiness decreases when I’m good at soothing her, but it pretty much always ends with her falling asleep.

I initially found myself blaming artificial lights, but I’m actually not sure how much that matters. My understanding is that babies don’t produce much melatonin in the first few months, and fussiness decreases around the time they start producing more. Maybe the problem is that we try to get babies to sleep for longer periods during the night in the first place. My experience, common sense, and baby books seem to agree that, while being too tired can interfere with sleep, babies also can’t sleep more than a certain amount throughout the day. The usual situation is that parents don’t like it when babies sleep “too much” during the day and not enough at night. 

I wonder whether more of a true polyphasic schedule would eliminate baby fussiness. Maybe we could eliminate long wakeful periods by eliminating long sleep periods.

I have pretty low confidence in this prediction, but at least it’s easily testable.

Having Actually Read the Nurture Assumption…

Having actually read the Nurture Assumption, I’m feeling a little embarrassed that I hadn’t read it up until this point. Now that I actually have a child of my own, I was more motivated to see what it said, because based on what I thought the book was saying, it seemed like there was a hole in my worldview. I could tell that I didn’t believe the conclusions.

The book is much better than I thought it would be. As far as I can tell, it’s pretty much completely intellectually honest, which is so rare! I’ve been reading a bunch of parenting books recently that seem particularly bad in this area. And the book addresses all the obvious objections and reactions much more completely than I thought it would.

But, most importantly, I now understand that the book is much more about the importance of the peer group than about how parenting has no effect. More specifically, it’s about how the personality developed in the peer group is the one that ends up being the adult personality. There’s a ton more I could (and maybe will) say about the book, but the upshot is that Will and I are currently feeling much more motivated to optimize Lydia’s peer group.

What Do I Say When Someone Compliments My Baby?

When someone compliments me, I often feel the impulse to downplay it or deny it, but I mostly just say “thank you.” Or, at least, that’s my plan for what to say.

But when someone compliments my baby, I don’t have a plan; I’m confused about what response to give. If someone tells me how cute my daughter is, I feel uncomfortable saying “thank you” because I don’t think I’m all that responsible. I usually end up saying “I think so too,” but something feels off about saying that.

Downplaying or denying it seems obviously wrong, but sometimes I’ve done that too. Someone will tell me how calm she is and I’ll say something about how she isn’t always that way, out of a combined desire to correct inaccuracy (not sure why I particularly care) and get some recognition for the fact that taking care of her can be difficult sometimes when she’s less calm.

My NVC heuristics tell me to either empathize or express my own experience honestly. So maybe I could reflect back something about how peaceful it can feel to look at a baby, or whatever else would apply? Or say something about how it feels good to hear the compliment, because it usually does?

I’d love advice here. 

Why I Keep Reading About Babywise

Recently, I’ve been spending a bunch of time reading Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: Implementing the -wise series. I haven’t read Babywise, though maybe I will someday, but so far I’ve been taking a very attachment-style approach, which is quite different. Babywise emphasizes putting your baby on a schedule for eating and sleeping, getting him to sleep on his own (with “cry it out” from a very young age as part of the toolset), encouraging “meals” instead of “snacking”, and discouraging comfort nursing. I’ve been doing pretty much the opposite of those things.

So, why have I been checking every day, and why did I also go back to the very beginning of the blog so I could read it all the way through?

Valerie Plowman, the author, posts six days a week, quite consistently, which I’m sure is part of it. The posting schedule makes checking in predictably rewarding. I can also give myself feel-good brownie points for engaging repeatedly and enthusiastically with someone who has a very different philosophy from mine. The author is also experienced (she has four kid), and inclined towards creating and troubleshooting systems, which means she has detailed models that are closely tied to reality. But, if I really wanted to explain what keeps me coming back, I’d point to two different reasons. Her blog tells an honest and interesting story, and she created it to fill an actual unmet need in the world, so it’s practical.

I love parenting stories, particularly long, detailed, honest ones. Here are two of my favorite ones. I could probably read stories like those all day, even if I didn’t think I was learning much from them.

But I do find myself learning a lot from this Babywise blog. Whether I plan to use the same methods or not, all the observations, conclusions, and theories of someone who has experienced babyhood four times now are very educational. And, having just read Paul Graham’s latest essay, I can’t help but notice how her creation of the blog fits his advice for how to have good startup ideas. She noticed a gap in the world. There were a bunch of mothers following the Babywise system, including her, looking for parenting advice, and all there was to be found online was a bunch of people bashing the book and its methods. Valerie started filling that gap by answering questions on forums. Then, when she realized she kept answering the same questions over and over again, she consolidated her answers on her blog. So, she found a problem that she had herself, helped figure out solutions for individual people who had similar problems, and then put together something that scaled more. I’ve been enjoying it!

One Month of Elimination Communication

Deciding to Do EC

As I mentioned in my newborn gear post, Will and I have been practicing elimination communication, or EC, with our daughter, Lydia. I’d read an article about EC quite a few years ago, well before I was pregnant, and I was intrigued. It’s just the sort of idea that tends to a appeal to me: a bit unusual, contrarian, has a good story behind it where I can talk about hunter gatherer tribes and the evolutionary environment.

But when I first heard of it, I basically decided that it would be way too much work, especially if I wanted to do things other than just stare at my baby all day. I found out through my mother that at least one of my Indian aunts had used a version of EC, though not by that name, but I hadn’t met anyone else who had successfully used EC.

Fast forward to 2012, where I’m pregnant and reading up a ton about everything baby-related. EC seems to have gotten more popular in the intervening years, and my internet browsing ends up one day at EC Simplified. The copy drew me in, and I started to get the idea that maybe EC could actually work in practice.I bought the product, quickly read through the book, and decided it was something I was going to try. I wish I could remember exactly what tipped the scales, but it might have been realizing that I could use a diaper backup full-time, and just do my best to notice patterns. I read a few more books about EC and some of the forum posts on EC Simplified, and then I met some people who used it successfully (mostly though the homebirth community), and it started to seem more and more doable.

It Actually Works

One month into having a newborn, my basic update about EC is that it’s worked really well! It’s been pretty fun and not that hard. I’ve heard from other parents that some kids take to it much more so than others, but it definitely works for Lydia.

The first week I mostly concentrated on observing and cueing. We’ve done basically no diaper-free time, but her bowel movements were hilariously easy to hear right as she made them, and using a Snappied prefold without a cover allowed us to tell when she was peeing in real time as well. 

After some failed attempts to hold Lydia over the sink when I thought maybe she had to go, I fondly remember the first time I noticed her gut rumbling and rushed her to the bathroom so she could poop in the sink. I was so proud! And after the first time it worked, it all started to feel possible.

It’s been somewhat up and down, with some evenings where it seemed like she peed in her diaper ever ten minutes, and some days where I took her to the sink again and again when she didn’t have to go. At first we couldn’t really tell when she was going to pee, but she was pooping so much that we caught a bunch of her pees anyway. Then, she slowed down a bit with her pooping and we stared to figure out her patterns with pee as well. 

Really early on, Lydia clearly got the idea that when we wanted her to poop when we held her over the sink. It was pretty adorable to see her trying, even when she didn’t really have to go. By now she seems to have also decided that she prefers peeing in the sink to going in her diaper as well, but until she actually goes, we can’t really tell whether she’s trying.

I kept vaguely planning to keep track of when she was nursing, waking up, and eliminating to figure out patterns, but I never did end up keeping actual records. Instead, I’ve been building up an approximate model that combines timing, cues, and intuition.

Right now, I’d say we’re getting well over 2/3 of her pees and almost all of her poop. Sometimes it’s been less when we’re out and about, but taking her to bathrooms wherever we end up has worked pretty well too.

Here’s how we do it:

When Lydia has just woken up, I make a judgment call and either offer Lydia a “pottytunity”, as they call it, or an opportunity to nurse. If I think she’s hungrier, based on how long it’s been since she last fed and whether she’s rooting, I’ll feed her first. Otherwise, I’ll take her to the bathroom. She doesn’t like to do much of anything other than feed when she’s hungry.

If I’m feeding Lydia and she detaches repeatedly (without also falling asleep), even after I offer her the other side, I take her to the bathroom.

If Lydia is fussing and I’m not sure what’s bothering her, I take her to the bathroom.

The coolest thing to me is at this point she already seems to be learning to wait to be taken, because early on she used to go in her diaper while she was feeding or sleeping pretty often, and now she basically never does. There’s almost always some signal before hand, even though it’s pretty nonspecific. 

She can even hold it at night when she’s sleeping in blocks of more than four hours, though sometimes she’ll wake up fussing, go to the bathroom, and go right back to sleep for an extended period of time.

It’s happened a bunch of times recently that she got through the entire night without going in her diaper at all. Other times, I’ve been too tired to pick up on her signals (this usually happens early in the night). Not a big deal, and we do put her in a diaper cover so the bed stays clean.

Benefits, Drawbacks, and Open Questions

EC has been fun to do, and I like the feeling of accomplishment I get when I correctly predict Lydia’s needs and patterns.I also like that she almost never sits around in a wet or dirty diaper, and that she gets to squat for her bowel movements, which I’m sure she prefers. I like that she’s retaining awareness of her elimination patterns and also increasingly gaining control of them. Using fewer diapers is also a plus, especially when we’re out of the house, since cloth diapers are bulky to carry around. No diaper rash, but she might not have gotten that anyway. EC is also just kind of a cool trick.

However, it does take time to do EC. We still have to take a diaper off, clean her off, and put one on. The cleaning her off step is shorter, but not shorter enough to make up for the time spent holding her over the sink. It seems worth it to me, but it’s a bit inconvenient. We’re also pretty much training her to dislike going in her diaper and being in a wet diaper, so that makes her a bit higher-maintenance. I don’t mind, but it seems worth noting.

I’m hoping, naturally, that our early success continues, we get even better at this, Lydia gets out of diapers early, and we smoothly transition into her being potty trained, but it’s definitely too soon to say. My understanding is that babies often have their ups and down with EC, especially as they concentrate more on learning other skills, such as crawling, walking, and talking. We’ll see what the future holds.

Another thing I send a medium amount of thought cycles wondering about is what other babies preferences are about peeing and pooping in their diapers. Now that I see Lydia consistently complaining about the prospect of going in her diaper, I can’t help but wonder whether all the non-EC babies are doing the same thing, but their parents have no idea what they’re trying to communicate. I’m pretty sure some babies don’t care, or at least quickly learn not to care, but I’d also guess that some babies do care. I know I’d be considerably more confused about what was going on with breastfeeding if I didn’t have a model of why she sometimes refuses to latch even when she’s not done eating.

I do also realize that getting into the whole EC thing has made me into even more of the stereotypical parent who is always talking about poop. Oh well.

Parenthood and Procrastination

Having a newborn has been good for cutting through some of the thought patterns I tend to have that lead to procrastination. So, while I’m definitely getting less non-baby-related work done these days, I’ve also gotten more efficient at using the time I do have. Specifically, I’ve gotten considerably better at effectively using small blocks of time.

Here are some of the things I can’t really tell myself these days:

  • “I’ll wait until I have a block of time so I can really concentrate.” I may not get a big block of time that day. And when I do have a longer stretch because Lydia’s taking a long nap, I don’t usually know ahead of time. Sometimes I think I’ll have longer, maybe because she just ate and Will’s taking care of her, but I’m wrong because she needs to eat again.
  • “I’ll just read this article/email/book first.” It’s been pretty hard to type while nursing, but reading is easy enough, so it’s hard to justify using time where I actually have access to my hands to read. I have plenty of time for reading.
  • “I can just do it later.” This is the most fundamental thought, procrastinationwise. There’s a very good chance that later, Lydia will need to feed. Or, if she won’t, then I’ll want to eat myself, or take a shower, or do some laundry. I can’t pretend that time “later” is abundant.

And I think that’s the key thing. Time to work on the things I care about actually does feel scarce now, in a way that it never has before, which has its upsides. I get excited about having time to work on the things I care about and I want to use it efficiently. I also feel much more motivated to figure out what’s actually of greatest importance and start with that, since I know I’m not going to get through everything on my list.

Of course, sometimes I end up deciding to sleep, because I’m tired, or play (these days it’s usually Skyrim), because I want to recharge. But more often than not, those decisions feel like conscious choices that I’ve made for good reason.

As a bonus, it seems like I’ve managed to carry over some of the mindset I internalized during labor about taking things I’m worried about minute by minute, and not dreading the future. That helps too.

Baby Gear for the First Month

Will and I actually haven’t used all that much stuff for Lydia’s first month, but I mostly did a bunch of research for the things we did buy, so I thought I’d share our list of gear for other people who might be interested!


We inherited a few packs of disposables from a friend’s baby. My plan was to use them until Lydia was done producing meconium, and that they’d be good to have around in any case. We ended up using them until her cord stump fell off, which happened on day four. I think it happened  quickly because she mostly wasn’t more than a diaper, so it got to air out.)

Before she was born, we had bought two dozen OsoCozy infant diapers, one dozen in 4x6x4, and one dozen in 4x8x4.

They were really long for a newborn, and, at 8 lb, Lydia was a pretty big newborn!

The diapers were fluffy, absorbent, and seemed pretty high-quality overall, but I’m really not crazy about the proportions. They worked okay with the big diaper covers Will’s aunt had made us, but most of the time we were doing without a cover so we could know right away when she peed and better learn her patterns. We ended up getting an EC belt, and, being longer, they work pretty well belted, but I ended up preferring Snappis, for the times when we weren’t using a cover, at least for now. We did try folding them them over to make them shorter, but that got bulky and didn’t work that well.

Two dozen was also not as many as we wanted. I had been thinking that we’d be able to get away with having fewer diapers because we’d be doing EC, but it didn’t work out that way. For one thing, the first week and a half or so was more about noticing her patterns and cuing with her than actually successfully pottying her very much, and we were also changing her diapers as soon as we noticed that she was wet, so she wouldn’t get used to sitting in a wet diaper, so I think we ended up using more diapers than we would have if we hadn’t been ECing.

We ended up getting one dozen Cloth-eez prefolds each in newborn and small from Green Mountain Diapers. Those were similarly fluffy, absorbent, and high-quality, but they don’t have as many layers as the more absorbent OsoCozy diapers. That didn’t matter a ton for us, since we change them right away. They’re wider though, which I very much prefer. It doesn’t matter a ton for folding them up inside a cover, but it really helps when we’re using them with Snappis, which is what we do all day unless we’re taking her out or having other people hold her a lot.

Will’s aunt had made us four small diaper covers, but they’re still pretty huge on Lydia. We use them at night (with the thicker OsoCozy prefolds), but we also got a Bummis Super Whisper Wrap in the newborn size, so we could have something that actually fit her really well and would work better under clothes. However, at almost a month, she is already close to outgrowing this cover, so I’ve ordered one more that’s a little bigger and another one that has snaps to make it different sizes. (I can review those once we get them.) The Bummis Super Brite Cover is a good size, and I like that the inside is exposed PUL, since that means we can wipe it clean and not always have to wash it every time we change her.

We did get a top hat potty with a cozy to make it less cold for Lydia to sit on, but we actually haven’t used them much yet. (I also don’t think she cares about the temperature, based on what I’ve seen.) If I’d had it from the beginning, I might have used it more, because I was mostly staying in bed for the whole first week, but we didn’t get this until the second week, and by that point we had gotten in the habit of taking her to the bathroom sink. The nice thing about the sink is that we can watch her in the mirror and see what she’s doing. I expect we’ll use this more as we’re increasingly out and about with the baby, but maybe not.

We had this wet bag from the beginning, which was great for keeping in the diaper bag, but we quickly realized we needed something to use at home. (I guess we could have just used garbage bags, but I wanted something we wouldn’t have to keep buying.) We got two large pail liners from Green Mountain Diapers, Mommy’s Touch in flight and Blueberry in monkeys. I like both patterns, and the bags are fine. We switch them out so we can wash them with the prefolds and covers.

I also didn’t want to use disposable wipes, both because I don’t think they’re ideal for the baby’s skin, and I didn’t want to have to keep buying them, so we got these wipes, one dozen small and two dozen large. I like having the option of the two surfaces. Especially since we’re ECing, we rarely use much surface area of the wipe at all, so in retrospect I probably would have gotten more of the smaller ones. I thought we might end up putting them in a wipes warmer, in which case the small would have fit better, but instead we just kept the wipes solution at room temperature, and that seemed to work fine.

For a wipes solution, we used this mixed with water stored in these spray bottles (we have two). I like that it doesn’t have too many ingredients, and it does seem to be more effective than just using water.

We got a diaper bag and changing pad from Will’s aunt too, so we used those. A regular bag and a blanket, towel, or big prefold diaper could substitute pretty easily if you don’t want to buy either of these things, but I’ve liked having them.


We inherited a bunch of clothes, and I bought a few things because I wanted them, and because they would be more EC-friendly. Onesies don’t work so well with EC because they take longer to get off, so I got some baby T-shirts, elastic waist pants, and long newborn socks. The long socks actually seem too tight around her chunky thighs in newborn size, so I don’t always pull them up all the way, but they definitely stay on better than other baby socks I’ve had experience with.

The other clothes I ended up picking out were from Babysoy.

We’ve gotten a bunch of clothes as gifts too, so we’re definitely not lacking in this department. Especially because when Lydia is at home, which has been the vast majority of the time so far, she mostly just wears a prefold diaper and a Snappi, no clothes, to facilitate skin to skin contact.


We have some non-plastic bottles that we inherited from Izzy and a manual pump that we bought, but I haven’t used them at all yet, so I can’t comment there. Eventually, I would like to pump to give me the option to be away from the baby for longer than usual, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.

I did end up getting a Boppy pillow. I didn’t do any research about whether it would be better than a Brest friend or something else similar, but it works fine. I’ve used it for nursing sometimes, and also found that it was good for sitting on when I was still healing. My basic recommendation here is that having a bunch of blankets and pillows of various shapes and sizes around is good for making nursing as hands-free as possible.

I mostly used laid-back positions for breastfeeding at the beginning, which didn’t go all that well with the Boppy, but within a week I was already switching things up a bunch.


We inherited a rear-facing carseat, so we just used that for the car.

We also inherited a green Moby, and I had already bought a purple one, so we have two. It’s nice to be able to use one while the other one is in the wash, but if I were picking now, I would probably pick two different wraps instead of two of the exact same kind. I haven’t used woven wraps yet, though I’m probably going to get one soon, but I’d at least get a Boba wrap to compare, and because they’re somewhat shorter.

I could easily do with a much shorter wrap than the Moby, but it ultimately doesn’t matter that much. It takes a little while to get the Moby on, but it’s quite comfortable for walking around and doing stuff, and I like that I can get it pretty tight. I think it makes Lydia calmer to have it that way, in the same way that swaddling would (though we haven’t tried that yet).

I also ended up getting a Maya wrap ring sling a little after the birth, because I thought that would be nice to have too. The ring sling is really fast to get her in and out of, and is easier for hands-free breastfeeding, so I am definitely glad I have it. I wish I’d have it from the very beginning. It’s not quite as ergonomic, and I don’t feel as comfortable bending down and picking things up a bunch, but it’s great to have in the rotation.

We had an Ergo, but we didn’t get the infant insert, since people didn’t seem to love it, and my plan had been to use the Moby at the beginning. Yesterday, I tried Lydia in the Ergo without the insert just to see how it was, and I think it actually worked pretty well. I was going to use a blanket as an insert if it seemed like she needed it, but she seemed fine. Her legs fit inside in the froggy position, and her head was supported. The straps needed to be tightened quite a bit for it to work, but I think I’ll end up using this a fair amount too, now that I’ve tried it.


Lydia sleeps in the bed with us, so there’s not too much gear involved here. We did get a waterproof mattress cover to put under our sheet, which I would definitely recommend if you want to keep your mattress clean, and I would have wanted this even if she were sleeping somewhere else, since we hung out on the bed with her quite often, especially at first.

We inherited a baby swing, a vibrating seat, and another seat that moves in a few different ways that we haven’t used yet. The swing seems like the best of the lot, but Lydia doesn’t seem that crazy about it. Once we put her in there and she fell asleep, but in general she prefers to be closer to us (and I prefer to be closer to her). I think it’s likely we could get her used to sitting in these seats, and that it’s likely she’ll be more okay with them as she’s older, but right now I use the swing pretty infrequently, mostly when I want to put her down and go to the bathroom.

We have some swaddle blankets, but haven’t really used them. We might in the future though.

I have needed some light to wrange night-time feeding (though I expect I won’t forever). At first, Will had set up a great station for me by the side of the bed with food, water, and everything else I might want, so we put a lamp there, which worked pretty well. Now, we’ve retired that, and I have a motion-activated night light. I would have preferred a red LED, so it wouldn’t mess with our circadian rhythms, but given that it’s off when we’re not moving, I doubt it matters much.


I’d love to hear other people’s recommendations here, but I think at this age there isn’t much she’s capable of playing with. We inherited a bunch of toys and gotten some as gifts, but so far the only ones we’ve used have been some high-contrast blocks for her to look at.


It’s been hard for me to use my computer while nursing (though I’m actually doing so semi-functionally now), but reading on my iPad has worked really well. Will and I also played a ton of Dominion while I was in bed, because I could mostly do that one-handed.