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Friday, February 13, 2015

Tess Summary of Month 5

Tess's 5th month of life was from November 30 - December 30th. During this month she was 4 months old.

Nursing: This month we really got in a good groove with bottle feeding. Tess started doing MUCH better with the bottle. She drinks 6-8 oz from it with no problems (still using theMAM slow flow ). I took her out "in public" for the first time this month. Britt had her class birthday party so I took a bottle for Tess and she did GREAT with it! Drank it without any issues at all!

Nursing itself is easy at this point but I did have some supply issues. When we went to North Carolina I wasn't pumping nearly enough for each missed feeding. I also got a clogged duct again while on the trip. We actually made a rice sock for me to use to help loosen it up! I started chugging a lot of water and also started taking my go-to supplement when my supply dips (Gaia Lactation Support !). I also did some research and found out that after 3 years of owning a breast pump that the motor starts to break down. I was SO sad! While I can't stand pumping...I have grown attached to my pump. I got the Medela Freestyle before Kye was even born (so 2008) and it's literally been around the world with me. I talked to Zach and he agreed, it was time to retire it. I actually threw it in the trash can b/c I wasn't about to sell it to someone when I knew it was causing my clogged duct issues! I did invest in another Medela Freestyle . Y'all this pump is the highest class of pumps out there. It's worth EVERY penny. And it should last me for Tess as well as Baby #4 someday! 


During my supply dip, I did notice that Tess started slowing down in her eating. She started nursing longer and was going for 45-60 min per feeding rather than her usual 20-30. She RARELY falls asleep anymore during feedings so I love it when it does happen. So much sweetness!


Schedule: Love the 4 hour schedule!

6:45-7:10: Up for the day, nurse
8:45-9:00: down for nap. If wake mid nap do paci
20 min of independent playtime in pack and play
10:45-11:15: Up from nap, nurse
20 min of independent playtime in pack and play
12:45-1:00: down for nap, if wake mid nap do paci
2:45-3:15: Up from nap, nurse
20 min of independent playtime in pack and play
4:45-5:00: down for nap
6:00-6:20: up from nap
6:35-6:45: Bath
6:45-7:10: Nurse then straight to bed
if wake in night let cry it out

Sleep: This month start off with finishing out the 4 month sleep regression issues we had been dealing with. Once I weaned her (cold turkey!) from the swaddle I noticed that Tess started sucking on her fleece sleeper. She wasn't wanting to suck her fingers. She wasn't wanting to suck a paci (we tried it at night and it didn't work). She was wanting to suck on the material. She'd get frustrated trying to get the material to her face. I started thinking about it and know I've seen lots of kids who suck on a little blankie or something. I debated and debated and ended up breaking down and trying out her "friend" in her crib. Y'all. You know I hold myself to a super high standard and you know I CRINGE about safe sleep precautions being ignored. But her mattress is wrapped, there is nothing else in her crib, and we have a Levana Oma+ as well as an Angelcare . The "friend" I use is a Komit Creations Lovie. It's completely breathable. So I gave it a try. And it made THE difference for her and her sleep. It stressed me out and I hate blogging about something that I basically have to say "do as I say and not as I do" about. It bothers me. But I do have to say that I've now had a paci baby, a finger baby, and a "friend" baby. And I prefer the friend! She can control it by herself (no going in to reinsert a paci), it's not something that will cause issues with weaning later (gah our finger issues with Britt!), and it's easy to keep clean and is cute!

We give her the friend at both naps and night and she likes to sleep with it ON her body. Most often? On her stinkin' FACE. It's like she KNOWS I'm freaking out haha!

Here is my system for how I handle sleep issues: She falls asleep fine at the start of naps and the start of night. If she doesn't fall asleep right away at the start of sleep, then we let her cry (more like a "fuss") until she falls asleep. If she wakes mid-nap I wait 15 min then will go in and give her the paci to finish the nap. At night if she wakes crying then we do cry it out with her and she falls back to sleep on her own (no paci).

It's a good system that I'm happy with and feel good about and it's giving her the best sleep possible. I also feel like it's good use of a pacifier and is avoiding it becoming a prop for her!

This month she had to have the paci mid nap for most naps. She also woke up in the night most nights but would go back to sleep on her own. So it wasn't a month of solid sleep, but it was a month of a solid game plan! By the end of the month her wakings were more like "talking" in the crib to her friend than crying. Same if she took longer to fall asleep at the start of sleep, it was more babbling and "playing" than being upset.

After nap

Watching her like a hawk on the monitor!
This is how she usually sleeps at night. AHHH

Talking to her friend :)
Sleep Sack: This month I tried out a HALO SleepSack . You can read my full review about it here. But it's my new "I'm obsessed" baby item for SURE. A lot of her sleep wakings, in my opinion, were due to her room being too cold (it's 6 degrees different from the rest of the house) so the SleepSack completely solved that issue. I started using it at night for her and really noticed a difference.
Hair: So. Not only do I have my first child who likes fabric, she also is a hair baby. She plays with it all the time while sleeping  and while nursing. And it gets SO matted. Like child already has wild and crazy hair and now on top of that she has this section that's all fluffy and matted and a hot mess. While she's nursing I sit and kinda pull apart the matted pieces. 



Basically from the front Tess's hair looks wild...but then from the back it's a MESS. The top section is the matted section and then you have the BALD section. Haha! Bless her heart :) 



Sick: This month Tess was sick for the first time. She's the youngest baby I've had to ever get sick. Britt was 1 month shy of turning three before she ever got sick!!! I'm hoping we won't deal with anymore baby sickness for awhile. Here's the post about her RSV
Independent Playtime: Tess is a legit rockstar at independent playtime! I always wonder how parents don't have independent play. It's so easy to do and it's so great to have that time set aside where I know I can do something else. She does 20 min now of playtime in her pack and play 3 times a day. Sometimes it's shorter, but not longer. She does GREAT with it! In the mornings it allows me to get the big kids ready for school. At lunch time it allows me to make the big kids lunches. And in the afternoons it allows me to give the big kids (usually Kye as Britt is still asleep) some individual attention. Plus it's teaching Tess all kinds of great benefits too (this post talks about the benefits and how to start). Here's a video of her doing independent playtime!

I have it set up with the "mobile" bar from the pack and play with links attached to it and toys at the bottom of the links so she can be on her back and play with the toys still. She's now too strong for that to work very well b/c she pulls the whole thing down!

Swing: This month Zach changed out the swing on our swing set. He put the infant swing (Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug 'n Secure Swing ) back up so all three kids can swing together :) Tess doesn't love the outside the same way Britt did. I remember with her she'd be crying and I'd walk outside and BAM she'd be happy. Tess is more happy all the time and gets rather bored outside! 

Jumperoo: The Fisher-Price Jumperoo is one of my favorite baby items. Tess is big enough now to start using it and really likes it! I like it because it's a safe place for the baby to play, it helps build up that back/neck/head strength, it allows them to exercise, and it helps keep them off their heads to help with the flat spots! She can't touch the floor yet but a cushion does the trick!








Other Toys:

My sweet friend Larissa recommended the aden by aden + anais Security Blankets when I started having Tess sleep with her friend. These blankets are WAY safer because they are so small and so, so breathable. I tried them, but it was a no go for Tess. I think the fleece type fabric is what she loves? She does still like the little blankets and chews on them a lot (hello teething!). If I'd started with them as her sleep friend rather than the bunny, she probably would love them. Good to remember for #4! 
Something I LOVE about my bouncer is how there is a detachable toy. All three of my kids really love to work to get that owl down and get so proud of themselves when they are old enough to get him! I don't think they make this actual bouncer anymore but the newer ones do have the ability to pull something which makes stuff light up. I think it would be the same effect with the sense of pride and it's great for working on that hand-eye coordination! I like this one a lot (Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Sensory Stages Bouncer ) Here's a video of Tess getting the owl!



We completely stopped using the swing in Tess's room this month. We do still use the travel swing we have but we keep it in the kitchen and have her sit there once she wakes from her cat nap in the evenings while we eat dinner. The rocking motion is calming and helps her make it till bedtime ;) 
I was pretty pumped about Tess's big Christmas gift! I saw the Go-Pod and knew I had to have it! It folds up like a tailgating chair and is easy to move from room to room. I pretty much keep it set up in the middle of my kitchen right now though! It's similar to the jumper in that I like how she's sitting UP in it rather than laying down. It has tons of hooks to put toys and such on and it's a safe place to have her sit as needed. 

Bath: In the bath Tess now is hardcore about wanting a toy to chew on. She chews and chews and kicks and kicks! 
Tummy Time: Tummy time has become a breeze with her now that she's rolling with no problems. I like to use a mirror (I have bought Sassy Floor Mirror every time I have a baby! I love it!) so she can look at herself. I have always heard that looking a mirror helps build positive self image, which is so important! Especially with a daughter, right? It helps keep her attention and keep her on her belly longer :)
Spit up often occurs during tummy time!
My FAVORITE gift that Tess got for Christmas has been the Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano . She LOVES it. The buttons are very easy to press so she can make the music start on her own. The lights are great and she especially loves to play with the paws of the tiger and the strings that are made to help tie it onto a crib. I do plan to eventually put it in the pack and play for her to have during independent playtime. But right now we use it on the floor for tummy time!

Rings: Tess has gotten great with her eye hand coordination and her ability to see an object, want to get the object, and actually getting it. She can now grab rings on her playmat and bring them to her mouth with no issues!

Sitting: I don't think she's close to solo sitting yet, but I work with her by using my Boppy Pillow  when I'm done nursing. She still mostly tries to lean back when I put her in a sitting position. I'm not in annnny rush ;) 
Siblings: I keep waiting for the newness of Tess to wear off for Kye. It hasn't. And honestly, I never thought I'd say this but I LOVE the 5 year age gap. Like LOVE IT. It makes me wish we'd started having kids younger and would have waited longer between each of them. Britt still isn't very involved with Tess or overly interested in her. We have moments of sweetness but they aren't often. Kye and Tess though are seriously the cutest thing EVER. I just didn't even really think about that when she was born. I didn't realize how much he'd ADORE her and how much she'd just light up when he's around. It's the sweetest thing in the WORLD. Hopefully Britt and baby #4 will have a similar relationship! Here's a video of them playing together. 



Delivering links for her with his crane 




Britt was sleeping and the three of us made cookie dough. He was so proud of Tess "helping"

Every single morning he loves on her and kisses her!
The three of them playing together for the first time (Sadie too!)
She just LOVES her brother!
While I know right now Tess and Kye have the stronger bond, I am SO thrilled for Britt to have a sister and I think their bond will only get stronger and stronger as they grow up! Tess just loves her siblings so much. Check out that cute hand holding :) 
Tess's look of love!
My heart is FULL!
Holidays: Tess celebrated her first christmas this month! I pulled out all the baby clothes I had from when I was baby and took some pics of her in some of them :) I can't wait to have grand babies wearing these clothes someday!

I actually wore this dress for my second Christmas but with Tess being a July baby I worry it won't fit her by then (I'm a November baby!)

 Here's Britt wearing it (also her 2nd Christmas)
Here's Tess wearing it!







Britt had a blast at her Donald Duck Party this month and I wanted to get a few pics of Tess rocking out with the photo book props :) 



More About Tess: 

  • Tess has started to try to sit up in the bathtub, it may be time to find our bath seat for her!
  • Tess has found her feet and anytime she's laying down she tries to grab them
  • She gives such sweet open mouth kisses
  • On 12/7 she reached and grabbed my face for the first time
  • She started pulling my face towards her to kiss me
  • When doing diaper changes she talks a lot to the intercom clock thing on the wall
  • Snuza started having issues with random beeping? I troubleshooted and figured it out and replaced the batteries in it. Then it started having problems with sliding off of her diaper. We ended up stopping using it (only use it for times when she's sleeping at someone's house like Mrs. Charlotte's) and now just use Angelcare
  • She's very focal and will talk SUPER loud to get attention. Here's a video of her talking and here's one of her grunting
  • She is THE most easy going child! She never fusses like literally NEVER. Britt was a very sensitive/spirited child so maybe I'm thinking Tess is more chill than she is b/c I'm comparing. But it does make life a lot easier that she'd so laid back!
  • She laughs out loud a LOT which is such a sweet sound. Here's a video of us getting her to laugh and another one b/c it's just so cute
  • Tess has the softest skin
  • I feel this overwhelming feeling of love and I just have to SQUEEZE her like for real all the time
  • She's in a size 2 diaper and they fit fine but she doesn't poop often so whenever she does it's MASSIVE and almost ALWAYS a blow out (thank the lord for oxiclean!)
  • She can stand with support on her legs very well
  • She is a more "shy" personality. For us at home she's always smiling and happy but if we get in large crowds she gets upset easily and doesn't like for people to get all in her face or play "pass the baby" with her
  • She is chill but also gets bored easily. She tends to want to move from one toy to the next rather than focusing on just that one toy for very long
  • We let her watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas since the whole family was watching it on Christmas Eve. After that she really did "get it" what screens were and started showing more interest in my phone and iPad and such while I was nursing. Totally regretted the Grinch decision!
  • She's close to rolling from her back to belly but not there yet. Here's a video of her going from belly to back, and another one, and one of her new game where she just instantly rolls over when you put her on her belly!
  • She ALWAYS wakes up happy! If you've been reading this blog since I first had her then you know it took WORK to implement Babywise. Can I just officially say that she's 4 month old and it's ALL WORTH IT. 
Here's more pics of my sweet baby girl!


















Sibling Comparisons: You can read Britt's 5th month summary here. I thought Britt had so much hair b/c I was comparing her to Kye but man Tess has a MASSIVE amount of hair doesn't she? I hope the hair trend continues and that #4 has even more haha. I also love reading about Britt when she was a baby b/c the child was just BORN with personality! I read about her being dramatic at 4 months old and think, yup, that's Britt ;) You can see Kye's post here! I mentioned in Britt's post how she and Kye didn't look alike at all. When I look at Britt's post I see BRITT but when I look at Kye's I see TESS! I think they are so similar in so many ways but I love that Tess is such a mixture of them both and also her own unique self! 

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