This is the LAST weekly summary for Tess! I bought a little journal before she was born and used it for taking notes and by week 14 that junk was filled. I stopped earlier with Kye and Britt so I figured it was a good stopping point for Tess 🙂
Tess turned 13 weeks old on Thursday Oct 30th and ended her 14th week of life on Wednesday November 5th.
Timing also worked out well for stopping because I was to me breaking point with journaling everything. A big thing with sleep training a baby is to journal. Take notes on what works, what doesn’t. By writing everything down (and I mean everything) you’re able to troubleshoot better. And trust me, you think you may remember details of your baby’s nap…but if I don’t write it down, then I do totally forget!
At this point though writing it all down just overwhelmed me. It was like a physical reminder of how sucky she was sleeping and how nothing I tried was helping. It frustrated me. And made me feel like a failure. I needed to stop for my own sanity!
Let’s jump in to the week and more on the sleep in a second 😉
Nursing: It was going great this week! She started speeding up for her feedings and took about 15-20 min total sometimes!
The bottle was, yet again, the show stealer this week. I researched and researched and researched for tips to help get her to take a bottle (if you’re not up to speed on our bottle saga don’t fret, I will do a post about how to help a baby who refuses bottle feeding!). After the hard times we experienced on our beach trip, I was really at a loss. During week 13 Mrs. Charlotte had bought several different types of bottles for us to try. I was instantly drawn to the MAM
bottle as the nipple of it really looks and feels similar to my own (TMI?).
Zach was traveling a lot at this point. I know that everything you read says that the mom should not be the one to bottle feed (baby can smell your milk!) but I didn’t have any choice so I would try to do it during times of the day when I wasn’t distracted. The best time was her 10:30 feeding on the days Kye and Britt were both at school.
On Thursday (Oct 30) I tried the Mam medium flow nipple and it was just too fast. It was POURING out all over her. So then I tried nursing her and sneaking the bottle (with the slow flow nipple this time) in her mouth as she was nursing. She played with it and drank about 0.5 oz just by playing. Then she drank 3 oz. She fussed and I burped her and she drank another ounce. I rewamred it and got her to drink another ounce. It took about 40 min but she did drink 4 oz!
The next day I tried it again. This time she drank 4 oz in 20 min! She didn’t want anymore so I didn’t force it! On Saturday (my birthday) I started the bottle with her and then gave it to Zach and she only would drink 3.5 oz for him from it.
I ended up taking a break from the bottle for awhile. This occurred because Tess started off doing well with the Mam (as you can tell!) but then suddenly refused it again. She tends to take to something for a little while and then not like it anymore or something! It was very frustrating for me as I’d get my hopes up when she did well only to be upset when she’d stop doing well.
Sleep: I’m so thankful for hindsight 🙂 I had never heard of the “4 month sleep regression” with Kye or Britt. When I look back I can tell that they went through it, but I just didn’t realize it at the time. Well Miss Tess? She started going through it two weeks early and it lasted literally until the day the leap ended (which was yesterday, December 17th. So 6 solid weeks of sleep issues!!!). I spent this week really focused on her sleep. I didn’t go anywhere. I was consistent as consistent can be. I charted everything, to the minute. What I learned from it all? Sometimes it just takes TIME. Be consistent, do your best, and WAIT it out!
Her big issues with sleep were a combination of chronic 45 min intruder (she’d wake every single nap at the 45 min marker and then not go back to sleep) as well as waking in the middle of the night (this would happen at random times and she also struggled to go back to sleep).
What tended to happen during naps is that she’d fall asleep awesome then wake at 45 min and fuss/cry. I’d give her time to try to let her settle back to sleep on her own, but she just couldn’t make it happen! I’d try holding her, which always worked for Britt but just doesn’t work for Tess. So I’d try the swing and let her finish nap there. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. Letting her cry never worked. If the swing did help then usually she’d fall back to sleep in it like 20 min before her next feeding.
I tried shortening her awake times (putting her down for nap earlier) and I tried lengthening the awake times (keeping her up longer) but nothing seemed to make any difference! I tried keeping one arm out of the swaddle thinking maybe she wanted to find her fingers to suck them to help soothe herself. That also didn’t help. It was like she’d suck her arm rather than her fingers? So weird! I just couldn’t figure out “her thing.” And I honestly don’t think she knew either! She wasn’t able to transition on her own at the 45 min mark yet my help never worked either. Picking her up to hold her only upset her more. It was very frustrating as I wanted to help her get the sleep she needed, but nothing was working!
Her middle of the night wakings were very similar. She’d wake and take a long time to go back to sleep and nothing seemed to be able to help her get there. Another hindsight lesson: turns out Zach was giving her the PACI for the motn wakings when he was on duty…so I realized later that she was probably wanting the paci when she was waking but I didn’t know he was giving it to her so I wasn’t using it. Reminder for parents: COMMUNICATE haha!
I also realized this week that her room is SIX degrees colder than the rest of the house. I think a lot of her nighttime issues were due to being cold. I’d go in her room and her little hands and face were ice!!!
On top of everything else we also had the time change happen this week. It was “fall back” which is the harder change for babies/kids to adjust to as they have to sleep an extra hour/wait an extra hour to eat. I was mega nervous about it but the benefit of her already sleeping crappy is that it didn’t affect her! My birthday was the day before the change and she had a HORRIBLE day. She was tired and fussy and just not herself all day anyway so that night I decided to do her dream feed later in hopes that she’d sleep that extra hour longer the next morning. Wellllll. I accidentally overslept the alarm haha. I ended up waking up at 12:30 new time (1:30 old time) and fed her. I slept upstairs to get some solid sleep and she woke up once at the old 5:50 (new 4:50) but Z helped her go back to sleep and she slept till new 7:15! It was a breeze!
By the end of the week I realized I was struggling with PPD. When her naps didn’t go well I would have to often go outside and sit and just cry. I was really in a bad spot and I just couldn’t handle hearing her cry. I couldn’t handle keeping track of every little issue. I couldn’t handle the bottle not going consistently well. I couldn’t handle my own personal lack of sleep due to her night wakings. I just was overwhelmed with it all. I’m a mega Type A personality and am a problem solver. When I couldn’t figure out how to solve the problems (none of my troubleshooting for sleep was working…none of my bottle tips were helping…) it made me feel bad about MYSELF. Why couldn’t I fix it? What was I doing wrong?
Once I realized I was in a bad spot I made some changes. The first thing I did was stop journaling her sleep. I also took a “bottle break” for awhile. And I made a game plan to cope with her sleep issues. I went back to fully swaddling (since the one arm out didn’t help anyway). I also started moving her to the swing as soon as she started fussing at 45 min. Once she fell back to sleep in the swing, I’d turn it off so she wasn’t getting used to the motion. A big part of my issues were due to Zach being gone so much. It was hard and I was exhausted. So we agreed he’d try not to be gone more than a couple nights in a row again for awhile. I also needed to make plans to GET AWAY for a bit so I tried to make myself leave, even if just going to the store, whenever Zach was home. I also realized I HAVE to have my house somewhat clean (especially the kitchen) so I focused on that as well.
Schedule: It stayed the same! She ate at 7, 10:30, 2, 5, 8 and 10:30.
I found that I needed to do her dream feed in three “shifts” in order to keep her sleeping through the night. At 10:30 I’d go in and get her and unswaddle her then feed her on one side. Then I’d go and change her diaper and feed on the other side. Then I’d go and swaddle her and top her off. Doing this helped keep her eating and made sure she was super full!
I will also say that the schedule didn’t stay this way for long. Both of my older kids had moved to the 4 hour schedule around this age. I had a goal of being more “by the book” with Tess and waiting longer to make the switch…but I didn’t 😉 More to come!
Independent Playtime: Tess does AWESOME at her independent play! I set up a pack and play in our dining room with lots of toys for her and lay her down for 15 min sessions and I aim for 3 sessions a day. She has not once ever fussed about it!
More about Tess:
- I stopped using gas drops this week
- Tess will chew on her hand when doing tummy time
- She is happy most of the time!
- She started chewing a lot…teething maybe?
I LOVE how awesome the Swaddleme works for naps on the go!
You can’t tell but she’s fully buckled!
This week she started really reaching and grabbing things!
She also loves her Bumbo (and I love that crazy hair!)
Bald spot keeps growing…
She is lasting a little longer with tummy time but just isn’t a fan of it but she also still isn’t back to rolling over a lot.
Kye can get her to smile quicker than anyone else can! She smiles INSTANTLY when she sees him!
I finished taking photos of Tess with her gifts this week! She had some super sweet thoughtful presents arrive when she was around 10 weeks old and it took me awhile to get the photos of her putting them to use 🙂
My Aunt Cheryl sent a beautiful Vera Bradley baby set! Bibs, pacifier holder, gorgeous blanket, and even a changing station! I love it all! Here is Tess wearing the bib 🙂
One of my sweet dear friends at church, Mrs. Myra, made Tess this bib. She prayed over it as she worked on it and it’s so special to me. What a blessing!!!
Mr and Mrs Grant are other from church who we adore and who are so special to our family. They got Tess a beautiful bib and bloomer set!
And my blog friend, Chelley, sent this adorable onesie to Tess when she was first born! It was the very first thing Tess had with her name on it and I LOVE it! She can finally wear it 🙂
Holiday Attire: I don’t usually invest in holiday themed clothes! But Tess has been fortunate enough to benefit from sweet gifts and hand-me-downs so she had a LOT of Halloween outfits!
I bought these onesies for Tess and Carter back when they were “Leo” and “Branch”
Donald Duck for Halloween!
And an adorable bonus Halloween “Berry” Cute Baby!
Postpartum Update: I already talked a good bit in this post about how down I was this week. It was bad timing to be the same week as my birthday, huh? Looking back it’s much easier to see that I just had a lot going on and it was a lot for me to handle. I think I was blessed with a LOT of help in the early days of three kids and it made it kinda a delayed adjustment for me! I still had a nice birthday and still enjoyed my sweet baby girl…but it was just a rough patch for me which I’m, thankfully, through the other side of now (post to come on how I coped with the PPD!)
Sibling Comparisons: I didn’t blog for either Britt or Kye at this point! I had already switched to monthly posts 🙂