I told myself before Gabby was born that I didn't want to stress too much over sleep. I know that not sleeping well can affect everything in life, but nobody ever sleeps well with a new baby and they are only little for a short amount of time! Our main strategy is just get sleep to happen however that needs to be, with some 'future sleep habits' practice.
For the last week or two we've started a bedtime routine - she gets her pjs put on, we read her a short story and then she gets swaddled and I nurse her, burp her and put her down in that magical 'drowsy but awake' state in her sidecar mini crib that I made. The time depends on her last nap, but is generally around 8:30 (and we go to bed just after that to get maximum sleep!). We've had a few nights where she loves looking at the story book, and then some nights where she is overtired and can't handle life anymore and starts to scream! The actual going to sleep part is pretty good. Sometimes she falls right asleep, sometimes she fusses a tiny bit and then sleeps, and other times we have to go in and soothe her (usually give her the pacifier - or 'dummy' as Nathan is making me call it) once or twice. Her best night of sleep so far was a 6 hour stretch followed by two 3 hour stretches. There have been a lot of nights close to that, and then of course some less fantastic nights. The good part is that she hasn't yet been really awake at night. If she wakes up, she's either hungry or has gas and she goes right back to sleep.
We've been aiming for one nap a day in the crib (the first morning nap usually). That nap has been pretty good - she is up for about an hour in the morning after she eats, and then she can be put down awake/relaxed (and swaddled) in the crib and 9 times out of 10 she falls asleep easily. A few times that has been a nice 1.5 hour nap, but most times she wakes up at 45 minutes and then soothing back to sleep in the crib doesn't really work, so into the wrap she goes. I never knew how much I'd love the Moby wrap! It gets used multiple times daily. I also made a ring sling and we were generously hand-me-downed an Ergo - both of those are useful too, but the Moby gets used the most right now!
I feel really lucky that breastfeeding started out well and has continued to go really well. Gabby eats every 3 hours or so during the day. It probably takes her about 10-20 minutes per side right now (sometimes she is happy with one, sometimes she wants both). We weighed her today and she is 12 lbs! Last weigh in was at 6 weeks and she was 10 lbs 3 oz then.
In general Gabby is pretty much perfect (not that we are biased or anything ;) ). But really, she seems to be continuing to make things easy on her new parents. She only really cries when she is hungry or over tired. When she is neither of those things, she is all smiles and is happy to lie on her play mat cooing at her toys (and herself at the mirror). She loves to lie on her back and stretch out and practice kicking and opening and closing her hands. She is so aware for the past few weeks and tracks us and the dogs and cat around the room. She loves being on the change table and having her diaper off :) She is always happiest first thing in the morning; we chat to her while we drink our much needed coffee! When she does get herself worked up, she can always be calmed down with either nursing or being put in the wrap carrier (phew!). Sometimes she also needs her 'dummy' but sometimes just being close and snuggled in the wrap is enough. She seems to like riding in the car and she usually falls asleep. She has such good head control now! She isn't a huge fan of tummy time but she puts up with it for a few minutes at a time (then she just starts mouthing at her blanket on the floor). She *loves* bath time, especially when she gets to go in the big bath with me and kick herself through the water. She definitely does not like being cold, so we have to be quick getting her out of the tub and into pjs!
In those pictures you can see that she has some very crusty cradle cap. Now it's mostly on her scalp but it started all in her eyebrows!
Useful baby items:
I read a lot of lists before Gabby was born about 'baby must-haves'. We got a ton of hand me downs and found pretty much everything else used. The one thing we just bought new is a high chair (hard to find any used that aren't disgustingly and permanently dirty!). We have a swing and a vibrating baby chair for her and she definitely likes the baby chair more. She has fallen asleep a few times in that. We also have a pack and play with a bassinet on top that I thought we would use but so far naps have been in the crib, carseat (in the car) or carrier. For sleeping, I love the Halo swaddle sleepsack that you can use with arms in our arms out. It's so nice and snug and warm. A few weeks ago I made a water ring sling out of athletic mesh jersey and we went to the pool - that sling worked like a charm! We took Gabby out for a little swim around the pool and then when we put her back in the sling she fell asleep for the next hour. I think she would have gotten cold and fussy right away without being up against me in the pool.
We started using cloth diapers a week ago. I had bought some before Gabby was born because I was interested in trying them - when one of the least expensive companies (Kawaii diapers) had a buy 1 get 1 free sale I bought 14 bamboo pocket diapers. Each one came with 2 bamboo inserts. I first tried one on her when she was about 2 weeks and it leaked - either her legs were too skinny or else I might not have done all the snaps up right. In the last week, though, they've worked really well! I think we've had one leak and that was from a very wet diaper. We've just been laying the inserts in the cover instead of actually putting them in the pocket of the diaper. Because the bamboo feels damp against her skin when it gets wet, I cut some pieces of microfleece to use as liners. It only takes a second to put the layers in the diaper during a diaper change, and then the whole thing can be tossed in the wetbag lined diaper pail. For night times we put her in a disposable diaper because there are no middle of the night diaper changes around here!
We had a crazy snowstorm two weeks ago!
Here was my attempt at a snowy photo shoot...
It isn't possible to put into words how much I love this baby!
At some point there will be farm updates...once we can actually get back out there! We did prune the fruit trees today, and wrangle Pippa back into the paddock - naughty goat is still naughty!