and then my heart exploded into itty bitty pieces
Alexis is a great baby. I’m not sure if my memory of newborn days with Cayden has faded or it’s the fact that she is the 2nd, but overall she is a good & chill baby. Easy temperament and pretty laid back. She does have her moments when she is hungry and I’m taking too long, but in general she is pretty chill. I think I paid my dues with Cayden, whom we nicknamed pterodactyl for the bloody wailing he did as a newborn and where my namesake originated from – MommaBird to my pterodactyl.
I remember agonizing about sleep, talked about sleep, read books about sleep – all to get the baby to “sleep through the night”. I debated back and forth if Cayden should co-sleep in our bed, or be in the co-sleeper, or be rocked in the swing. Doubting myself with each choice and then changing my mind each night and trying something different. Part of this I blame on being a new mom, and the other on just reading too much. Every sleep book contradicts the other; every advice I heard could be rebutted.
This time around, the day we brought Alexis home she has not left my side at night. She is either glued next to me, or within an arm’s reach away in the rock ‘n play. Can I say again how much I love the rock ‘n play? I’m a light sleeper and even more so with a new baby next to me. If she squirms at night I can reach over and gently rock her a few times and she falls back asleep. These last 2 weeks she has been only waking up once at night to nurse and then falls back asleep.
Her typical day.
:: Disclaimer :: I should add that this is her ideal day, off course things ebb and flow. For instance, the minute I after I hit publish on this post I must have angered the sleeping Gods because today she has been all over the place.
7:30am – She wakes up, diaper change, and we nurse. I get up and get dressed and we all head downstairs for breakfast. Alexis usually stays awake for about an hour after waking up and then she is ready for her morning nap.
9am – Alexis goes down for her morning nap. She is swaddled and goes to sleep in our bedroom. On the good days, she’ll sleep 3-4 hours in the morning and will usually wake up once Cayden goes down for his nap. Sometimes she wakes up during lunchtime and that can make for an entertaining meal.
1pm – Alexis is up, we nurse and hang out while Cayden is taking his nap. Cayden will nap anywhere from 1-2hrs. During this time I usually make lunch for myself and relax with just the baby. Or somedays when the stars & moon are in alignment, I get the elusive overlapping nap times.
3pm – Cayden is up, and Alexis will be ready for her late afternoon nap. If I can time this nap right, she will usually sleep through me prepping & cooking dinner and eating dinner with the 3 of us.
7pm – Dinner is over, Cayden heads upstairs for bath with Daddy and Alexis is up and ready to nurse. She’ll hang out until we are ready to tuck Cayden into bed.
8pm – Cayden is in bed for the night, I nurse Alexis again and most times she’ll take an evening catnap and wakes up around 9:30pm.
10pm – Alexis is up and ready for bed. We nurse again, swaddle and go to bed. Some nights I’ll tuck her in upstairs and head downstairs for some me time, and I usually go to bed by 11pm.
11pm – I’m in bed and hopefully sleeping. Some nights I’m a rebel and stay up till midnight.
3am – Alexis is up and wants to nurse. We nurse in bed and fall back asleep.
7:30am – Cayden wakes up and waddles into our bedroom and the day starts again.
Let’s begin by saying that time has flown by. And it is beyond crazy to be watching her grow right before my eyes.
At 6 weeks, Dustin went back to work and I am home with both kids Monday – Wednesday. The first week being solo with both wasn’t too bad, we have a regular playdate on Tuesday mornings so that was a nice break to our daily routine plus it forced me to shower and put on real clothes for the day which did wonders on my productivity. The hardest part with two is the morning routine and getting in some kind of physical activity in with Cayden so he is worn out enough to take a good nap in the afternoon. Alexis will generally take her morning nap from 9am-noon which gives me enough time to make breakfast, eat, clean up and prep lunch before she wakes up. Then while Cayden is napping, we will nurse and snuggle downstairs.
The weather here in Colorado has been a bit crappy and chilly these last few weeks so we stayed indoors a lot. Which meant endless rounds of board games, shows and playing his rock band instruments. The three of us have ventured out a handful of times – once to a mall play area and then lunch at Panera, and to friend’s house for a playdate. So if things went south at least I was with other mom friends which proved to be necessary when Alexis was melting down at Panera and Cayden refused to leave. I loaded one up in the car and then went back to get the other. Motherhood at it’s finest.
At 9 weeks – Alexis had her 2 month check up and shots. Poor girl turned bright red after the first shot and cried so loudly. But she was a champ afterwards and was snoozy the rest of the day.
Weight: 10lbs 10oz – 50th percentile
Height: 23″ – 90th percentile
Head: 15″ 85th percentile
However by that night, she spiked a mild fever and was just out of sorts. Poor girl wasn’t comfortable and fussed and cat napped the entire night in 1hr increments. But thankfully she was feeling much better by the weekend and was back to her old self.
Right around 8.5 weeks, she started smiling and cooing at us. She absolutely adores Cayden and gives him the biggest smiles whenever he is running around. She loves staring at lights and especially the lamps behind the couch but her favorite by far has been the Christmas tree.
Sleep in general has been okay, if we disregard the couple bad nights due to the shots, she generally sleeps from 10pm – 3am nurses and then 3am – 7am. Most of the time there’s also another nursing session at 5am. She starts out in the rock ‘n play for the first stretch and then it’s either next to me or on my chest for the rest of the night. Thankfully she falls asleep quickly after nursing. And around 8 weeks she has stopped pooping at night.
Slowly we are getting into a good routine and rhythm during the week. I feel like Alexis has finally got her days and nights sorted out so we are getting better stretches of sleep at night. I think her nights of partying from 1am-3am are over, thankfully!
It’s only been 6 weeks but it seems like she has been here forever. I know how fleeting these first few weeks are and how quickly they grow so as I am going on with the daily chores of living, I try to pause and just soak in the newness of this little one. My heart sank when I had to pack away the newborn sized clothes and thinking how she was swimming in them the day we brought her home but now she is too big.
The transition of going from a family of 3 to 4 has not been nearly has life shattering as going from 2 to 3. A lot of things are easier the second time around and partly because you know you’ve done it once. The late night parties and cluster feedings will come but I know they are just a season and they too shall pass. Having that perceptive is a lot easier this time around while I am in a zombie state walking & rocking a little one to sleep while knowing in the back of my mind that she will learn to sleep through the night and that I will sleep again. Maybe in 6+ months from now – but that’s besides the point.
The four of us have been on a few outings as a whole family. One was to a Halloween party, and the other was a night out to dinner with relatives and both went smoothly. We divide and conquer. The hubs takes the toddler to go potty while I quickly nurse her before we leave and we are out the door. Also, this second time around I haven’t even used our diaper bag. There is a pack of wipes in the car and I just throw one itty bitty newborn diaper in my purse and we are out the door. 9 times out of 10, she doesn’t need a change while we are out and most of the time she just snoozes peacefully in her carseat.
I’ve forgotten how easy it is to bring a newborn along vs. a wiggly toddler to places. I remember being anxious the first time around and being afraid that he would cry and disturb people around us whether we were at a restaurant or Target. But now even if she fusses and cries when we are out I don’t sweat it and it’s much easier to calm a little baby in a carseat than it is to calm a crying toddler. Now to be fair, BabyBird rarely throws a fit while we are out but you get my point.
Being a family of 4 has been both exhausting to the core but also heart exploding while watching your older child love on the newest member. Days will ebb and flow and some nights will go better than others but wouldn’t change a thing.
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