Tess's 7th week of life was from Thursday September 11th through Wednesday September 17th. She was 6 weeks old during this week!
Nursing: Whew. So thankful to have all the thrush behind us!
I noticed this week that Tess started to be fussier on the breast and would pull off more often. I also noticed that the feeding following my daily pump session she did better. No coming off and no fussing. This made me concerned about over production. My body is prone to over producing. It's not a common breastfeeding issue (most people struggle with maintaining supply while I struggle with too much supply) but it's something I am very in tune with now that I've been through it three times ;) I was pretty much stuck because I felt like the pump session was causing the over production. But I didn't have a choice! I had to have that pump session in order to store up enough milk for our Hawaii trip.
This week Tess also started eating quicker again. I think the thrush issues caused her to slow down some in her nursing. The meds she was on probably made her comfort suck more? Or maybe because I was so out of it I wanted her to comfort eat? haha!
My favorite feeding of the day is the first one each morning. I always take her out of her night clothes and just feed her in a diaper. I LOVE the skin to skin and I love snuggling with her in a blanket. I know I'm totally posting WAY more nursing pics than anyone probably ever wants to see but I just really, really savor these moments in a way I haven't in the past!
My other favorite feeding is the one right before her bedtime. She has a bath and is all clean and has her little pjs on and is just super sweet and soft!
Crazy hair after our nursing session!
I had a lot of debate about what to do with the schedule. I stressed myself OUT over it. I felt a lot of pressure to get her STTN with Hawaii around the corner. I did NOT want Mrs. Charlotte having to deal with motn feedings!
I decided when she turned 6 weeks old to change the schedule. With both Kye and Britt I moved them to the 3.5 hour schedule by this age. But I decided not to do that with Tess. Since I do offer up so much Babywise advice to people, I wanted to go more "by the book" with her as much as I can. I went with Hogg's advice (Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems) and just dropped the cluster feeding.
Here is what her new schedule looked like:
7:00 up for day, nurse
7:45 down for nap
10:45 down for nap
1:45 down for nap
4:45 down for nap
6:30ish bath and bedtime routine
7:00 nurse then straight to bed
by the end of the week I ended up moving the dream feed to 11:00
waking one time to eat around at around 4:00-5:00
Babywise says that at around 6 weeks she should be able to handle 60-90 min of total awake time (including feeding time). Tess just isn't able to go longer than the 60 minutes. She was sleeping solid enough where I thought she might be able to to handle the 3.5 hour but I decided to keep with the 3 hour and just drop the cluster feeding. It worked out to be 6 scheduled feedings a day and I felt allowing her the ONE evening nap rather than two short cat naps might help her sleep longer at night. She also wasn't hungry at night because she was eating so closely together so my hopes were that spreading the feedings out would make her more hungry.
Just to give you an idea of how my day went here is a full schedule:
If I was solo in the morning then I'd get up early and fix the big kids breakfast and such and get them up at 6:50-7:00 to get them ready for school before getting Tess up.
I'd nurse Tess at 7. If Zach was home the big kids would get up at 7:10
At 8:00ish Tess would go down for nap. Big kids would leave for school at 8:10. If it was a day where Britt was home then I'd spend time with her
10:00 Tess would nurse and if Britt was home she'd watch a movie
11:00ish Tess went down for nap and Britt would help me in the kitchen making lunch if she was home
12:30ish Big kids get home from school and I'd have lunch already ready. They ate quickly and we did our devo time during lunch.
At 1:00 I'd have both big kids down for naps then get Tess up and nurse her.
2:00ish Tess went down for nap. This was my solo time!!!
3:00 Kye got up from nap and we would have quality time together
3:30 Britt got up from nap
4:00 Tess up from nap and nursed while big kids watched a movie (yes, that often meant TWO movies for Britt a day but at this point in the game it's about survival mode!)
5:00ish Tess would go down for nap and Zach would be home from work
5:30 I'd get dinner ready while Zach gave big kids baths
6:00 We'd eat dinner
6:30ish Tess would wake up for her bath and bedtime routine. While Zach bathed her I'd read to big kids and get their teeth brushed and such
7:00 I'd nurse Tess and Zach would take over the bedtime duties for big kids
7:10 Britt down for the night. I would go in and cuddle on her once I had Tess down
After Britt in bed Kye and Zach would play a game and he would put Kye to bed at 7:45
Tess went straight to bed after nursing and I would go kiss both big kids goodnight
After I was done tucking everyone in I would work out and shower and have a little bit of time to spend with Zach
Once I moved the dream feed to 11:00 I would take a nap at 10:00 until it was time for the feeding
Typically I'd be in bed for the night around 11:45-12:00
Then I'd be waking up sometime in the 4:00 hour to nurse again
Sleep: The sleep section and the schedule section overlap this week. I took hardcore notes during this week since I was switching schedules and wanted to chart everything to be able to problem solve as needed.
When I made the switch I expected the evening nap to be rough. Tess hadn't ever slept very good for the second cat nap in the evenings so I assumed instead of two short not-so-great-naps that we'd have one longer not-so-great one.
The first day of the new schedule I had to put her in the swing at 6:00 because she was crying so hard. She fussed on and off in the swing but not a bad cry and when I got her up at 6:30 she was smiling and happy as could be! She for SURE was not overly hungry which is a good sign that we made the right move in dropping the cluster feed!
When I fed her at 7:00 she was very content. Didn't act frantic or starving or anything. She did NOT go to sleep very soundly at first. And I think that's because she was used to eating at 8 so her little body said it was time to be awake? Zach had to go in and hold her until she was asleep. Then she woke again at 9:40. I went ahead and did the dream feed at 10:00 and she slept that night until 4 am which gave me 5 solid hours of sleep which, at that time, was HUGE for me! She also only took 28 min to eat at that feeding which was a nice change as I was able to get back into bed quicker. I did end up having to pump for comfort because she didn't nurse very long on the second breast.
The second night of the new schedule she woke again at 8:20 and again at 9:00. It didn't take her as long to go back to sleep though but then she woke at 2:20 to eat! THAT frustrated me. Hello...why was she waking so dang early? Thankfully after I fed her she slept until 7 so I still got a pretty solid block of time but it was just not in the order I'd like it to be in.
On Day 2 of the new schedule her naps were awful and I could tell she was overstimulated. I had been trying to keep her awake a full 60 min since that's the low end of the spectrum for what Babywise recommends. It just wasn't working for us though! I bumped her awake time shorter...all the way to 40 min total awake time. I watched the clock like a crazy person and started her nap routine right at the 40 min marker and it worked perfectly!
I know many people think Babywise = Cry It Out but that is NOT the case AT ALL. For this age I follow the Newborn Sleep Hierarchy. It's a life saver! If she won't sleep in her crib then I hold her to get her to sleep. I prefer holding her as it's less stimulating for her and doesn't get her used to motion. Plus I can easily put her back in the crib once she's asleep. But with three kids there are times that I simply can't hold her. During those times I will use the swing to get her to sleep. I try to sneak in and turn the motion off once she's asleep! I also would unswaddle her legs and wrap a light blanket tightly around them after buckling her in the seat. That way she still felt swaddled.
I also started getting strict about how I handled her pre-nap routine. Again I used a lot of Hogg's recommendations. After I had her swaddled I would turn off the lights and turn on the fan and then I'd sit and hold her. I made myself sit there for roughly 5 min. She'd "fight it" but once her body relaxed I'd lay her down for her nap. Every. Single. Time. she'd cry! But I learned that it's just her way. She has to fuss a little before going to sleep. But she never took longer than 10 min to fall asleep once I laid her down!
On Day 3 of the new schedule she didn't wake up at all after her bedtime feeding. After the dream feed she slept until 4 am! However on Day 4 she had the EXACT same day as Day 3 during the day yet woke again at 2 am.
I tried to push her awake time more and was very strict with the clock. I noticed at this age she was just more awake and alert overall and that she wasn't showing as many sleep cues so the clock was my friend! I started keeping her up for 45 min and then would do the pre-nap routine which took another 5 min so she was technically up for a total of 50 minutes.
On Monday (Day 5) she didn't sleep very good for any of her naps. That night she FINALLY pooped. She poops so rarely that I think the process of it happening messes up her sleep?
That night she woke at 3:30 and then fell back to sleep and woke again at 4:15.
On Day 6 I tried pushing her awake time a little longer. I kept her up for 50 min, then did the 5 min process of putting her to sleep so it was a total of 55 min. She slept much more solid and I think it was what she needed. She had a flawless nap day! However that night sh woke at dang 1:30 and fussed on and off until I finally went ahead and fed her at 3:30. I was VERY frustrated at that point and just felt a loss as to how to get her to sleep for longer, more consistent stretches at night.
At this same age Britt was sleep through the night! However, her dream feed was at 1030 (I had Tess's at 10 at first during this week) and she was already on the 3.5 hour schedule. I did not think that moving to the 3.5 hour was the right move for Tess. I knew I needed to give the new schedule time but I also did some brainstorming (and some Facebook asking!) and decided to move the df back to 11:00. I did that on Day 7 and she slept until 4:40!!!
My goal for her was to get her to sleep until 5. I felt like if I could get her to 5 am then I could just give her a little bit to eat, enough to get her back to sleep, and that she'd soon sleep through the night. It was a TOUGH week of changes and troubleshooting but by the end of the week I felt like things were going in the right direction. I liked the non-cluster feeding. My body adjusted fine to dropping the feeding and she seemed to eat better at the other feedings in the evenings. I had figured out her perfect awake time length (50 min + 5 min putting down routine) and had figured out what the key ingredient was to get her to sleep longer stretches at night (11:00 dream feed time).
Smiles after naps!
Love those little puckered lips
My view when she needed to be held during naps :)
Church: The BIG event this week was Tess's first time at church!!! We took Kye for the first time when he was just a couple weeks old. We waited a bit longer with Britt due to her being born in winter time and my knowledge of more bad things that can happen to young babies. With Tess we waited the longest of any of our children. The main reason? Pertussis. We had a local baby die from it and I've heard they believe the baby got it from church. No. Thank. You. I adore our church family but I'm just not comfortable with saying to someone "no you can't hold my baby unless you have had your T-Dap vaccine" that's just an awkward thing to say, ya know? Another reason we waited so long is that I was just straight up EXHAUSTED. Sundays were a day I could, assuming Tess napped solid, get some sleep. On Saturdays we try to do family things together but on Sundays Zach was taking the kids to class and church and I was able to just get some rest.
I was feeling better and more rested and was ready to get out of the house and show off our beautiful baby!!! Since she nursed at 10 and our class starts at 9:30, Zach took the kids to class then I nursed her and rushed to get there. Services start at 10:30 and I was only 15 minutes late! We live a decent way from the church so I def call that a big WIN!
Ready to go!
Our hope was that Tess would remain in her car seat and sleep through the services which would also minimize her exposure to people. It worked out flawlessly! I had her mittens on her and wrapped a blanket tightly around her to help her feel swaddled. I also had her sleep sheep (sound machine) going. It was close to her head and quiet enough not to disturb anyone. We always sit at the aisle anyway so she just snoozed away! It felt SO AMAZING to be back at church. I wanted to make sure the big kids felt special so I tried to coordinate my outfit with Britt's. She LOVES dressing like me and she was so proud of that ;) I enjoyed all the sweet cuddles throughout services and especially loved being back at my church home after so long away!
It made my heart so happy to have SO many people come up to us and ask to see Tess. We kept her in the car seat the entire time and only had one incident of someone being a little too "in her face" but otherwise she kept on sleeping and people just "oohed and awed" from a safe distance ;) Kye and Britt were SO cute showing her off!!! They were very proud and it was so sweet!
My twin :)
Tess was pretty much covered up the whole time during church. Which totally made her adorable first church outfit pointless, right? I kept her in the outfit so I could get some pics of her after her next feeding :) Didn't she look pretty???
Mrs. Charlotte would be proud that I put socks on her ;)
Tummy Time: Tummy time is going SUPER well! You can tell a big change in her ability to lift her head higher. On Sept 11 she rolled over the other way...still from tummy to back but she went over her right shoulder rather than her left.
Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support that I use when she's in her bouncer or laying on her playmat. It is supposed to help prevent flatness (and help fix it if flatness occurs). The reviews on Amazon are amazing and I plan to buy another one that's designed for the car seat (Boppy Infant and Toddler Head Support). I'm all about keeping her sweet little head nice and round!
You can really see how LONG her hair is!
When she gets out of the bath her hair is still very curly. I can't wait to see how it ends up being as she gets older!
This new look CRACKS me up! She looks so shocked haha
I found this picture of me this week and was blown away by it. When I first saw it I thought it was Tess! She makes this EXACT same face too so I tried to get a picture of her making it but it's easier said than done ;)
You can also see in these pics that she still has her "angel kiss" on her left eyelid
More About Tess:
Tess has not ONCE cried or fussed in the bathtub. It's her happy place! She does, however, get upset anytime we take her out of the tub! She would stay in there for hours probably if we let her!
Here's a video of her enjoying her bath!
She has a great grasp! If I put something in her hand she will hold onto it for an extended period of time.
The dogs are showing more interest in her and Levi is very protective. If the big kids are being wild around her he will get angry!
- Tess's hands are still "crazy hands" she doesn't have control over them at all and they will randomly smack her in the face haha
- Whenever I kiss her she will pucker her top lip afterward like asking for more
- When the kids got home one day she smiled SO BIG when she saw Kye! They share such a special bond already
- This week she stopped needing as many diaper changes. She went from needing one when she first woke from nap and another before going down for nap to just needing one change per awake time
- She has GORGEOUS skin! I have never seen a baby with such a pretty complexion!
- When Britt was a baby she was a very "physical touch" baby (and still is). She would only smile when I touched her. Tess smiles without having to be touched!
- Both Kye and Britt loved to stare and stare at lights as babies. I have never seen Tess doing that though?
- When Tess hears my voice she will turn to look at me, she also "talks" to me and responds when I talk to her!
- Tess spits up some, but not nearly as much as her siblings did
- When britt was born we KNEW we were in TROUBLE when we first heard her cry. When tess was born Zach and I were both so happy to hear her sweet cry. Her cry is not bad AT ALL. Here's a video of it!
Gifts: Tess has been so blessed in the gift department! She's spoiled by so many of my sweet friends! Amanda and Tabitha sent her a super fun box of goodies. I think this sheep is my favorite toy she has. It's adorable and makes the CUTEST little sound. They also got her a hoodie bath towel with her name on it! I'm all about stuff that is JUST for her...so much of her stuff is hand-me-downs (and will continue to be haha) so it's nice for her to have some special items :)
For my baby shower everyone did messages on diapers for us to read. Seriously if you ever throw a baby shower DO THIS! It's truly a gift for a new parent! During Tess's 6th week I had a tough time. Zach was gone, I had thrush. It was just a lot on me. I decided it was a good time to use the diapers and the messages made me laugh and totally brightened up my gloomy spirit!!!
As a babywise mom it's tough to find friends with similar parenting styles and I'm blessed with my friendships with Kelly and Laura! We all have kids the same ages (Laura's third baby is coming soon!), we are all Christians, and we are all baby wise moms :) It's great to troubleshoot things together and they were SO sweet to surprise us with Omaha Steaks! Zach and I had a mini date night :)
Siblings: Tess may be over the new baby stage but the excitement Kye has for her hasn't even come close to wearing off yet. He is so adorable with her!!!
Postpartum Update: I was supposed to have my 6 week check up but had to reschedule due to the craziness of Zach being gone and everything. I was on the challenge (see my products I'm using here!) and was doing great with it! I also got to enjoy some ME time this week. Robyn and I went to dinner and I had some time before meeting up with her to go to Target. I hadn't been to Target in over 6 weeks. I mean I felt like I was having withdraws. You all know it's every mom's favorite place :) I enjoyed walking the aisles and just having that solo time. Plus dinner with a good friend just topped off the evening! I've found that with adding a third baby I NEED "me time" more than I ever have in the past. It's vital for me to get a break and to go somewhere outside the home. I come back SO refreshed!!!
A couple more pics of my sweet girl!
Sibling Comparisons: I totally missed this week of Kye's life! We were in Paris. My mom kept him for us and looking back at these pics of him at this age I really do think Tess is a prettier girl version of her brother! It was INSANE to leave Kye when he was so young. It was a LOT of work for us to go and I was SO out of it while we were there. I'm thankful Hawaii wasn't until Tess was older (10 weeks old vs 7 weeks old with Kye...only 3 weeks but it's a HUGE difference).
You can see Britt's 7th week of life here! Britt slept through the night for the first time during this week. I think that did make me feel a lot more frustrated with Tess's sleep situation. I knew we'd get there eventually but seeing that Britt was ALREADY sleeping through the night made me feel even more tired ;)
I can't believe that I got my period at 6 weeks pp with BOTH Kye and Britt (which is crazy for a mom who is exclusively breastfeeding)! With Tess it's been random little moments of "omg is this my period?" but then it stops. So I haven't had a full blown one yet...thankful for that :)