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.
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.
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!