Sunday, December 30, 2012

Aven Hope - 4 months

Little Miss is 4 months old! Honestly, I have to say that this past month was a harder one...the transition back to work was tough, coupled with some sleeping issues. Thankfully we seem to be back on track now as I've had the past 11 days of holiday break at home with her to spend some quality time and tweak the schedule a bit. Now I'll have to adjust AGAIN to being away from her, haha! Anyway, here's what we've been up to the past month:


Feeding - Little Hippo is still a good eater! For the first half of the past month we were on a 3 hour schedule (6 feedings), but are now on a combo 3-3.5 hour one (5 feedings). Nursing was different this month as she is now waaaay more aware of her surroundings and gets distracted quite easily. She'll eat steadily for 5 minutes, but then stop and smile at me, talks, look around. It's really cute but at the same time, I want her to eat a full meal! She is more efficient at eating now too, so it really only takes her 5-10 minutes per side to finish. She still goes back and forth between bottle and nursing very easily, so I am lucky! I am able to pump at work and do 2-3 sessions, averaging 15 oz. total, which is more than enough for her next day's meals. Now that we are doing 5 feedings a day, she'll get 3 nursing sessions and 2 bottles. She's now up to 6 oz. of breast milk in a bottle and sometimes does 7! I know we can think about rice cereal this month, but since it's not really nutritionally necessary and just something else to add to the plate (no pun intended!) I think we'll wait until 6 months to try.

Love that little smirk

Look at those legs!

Weight - 15.5 lbs.
Length - 26 inches
Head - 14.5 inches

I had to pack away most of her 3 month clothes the other day *tear* as she's outgrowing them in length. She's in mostly 3-6 month clothing and a size 2 diaper now - just finishing up a pack of 1's then will move fully to 2's.

Awake time - We are still following the Babywise method of "eat/play/sleep" and she does so well with it. She can definitely stay awake longer now, but it's not the same every time. Sometimes she can make it 1.5 hours before hitting her wall, other times it's an hour and 10 minutes. There has also been a few times where she hasn't napped in between feedings so gone 3 hours being awake - that's not good and she gets fussy. Usually the magic number seems to be around 1.5 hours before she gets grumpy and it's time to swaddle. Her awake time is so much more fun this month - she is getting more and more alert and interactive! She LOVES to show off her beautiful smile and chat and coo along with it. She has the cutest little giggle, and loves to talk to us all the time. We got out her highchair and she'll sit in it while we eat and just hang out playing with her toys. She still loves Sophie the giraffe and will put any toy (or anything - burp cloths, mom's hair, etc) we give her right in her mouth. Speaking of mouth, she drools a lot so we have to keep a bib on most of the time! Little Miss got spoiled over Christmas and got some great new toys! She loves ones that light up and make sound, and will stay entertained by them for awhile. Since she loves standing so much we set out her jumperoo and though she doesn't quite get it yet, she'll enjoy it soon! She also likes to sit in her Bumbo chair, though her thighs are a bit chunky and she gets stuck out the way out. :) She tolerates tummy time much better this month and I think likes it now! She'll squeal and play with whatever is in front of her. She does well with tummy time but still hasn't shown any signs of rolling over either way, but that'll come. Maybe once we stop the swaddle she'll figure it out. :) 

Big little girl in her high chair!
Very serious in her Bumbo
Tummy time!
Getting stronger!

Sleeping - This was a rough month for I said in last month's update, at 10 weeks she started sleeping through the night for about 3 weeks, then I went back to work. And from 13 weeks until just this past week (17 weeks), she's been waking twice a night! I think it was for a few reasons...1.) The change with me going back to work and not being with her all day affected her, and I think she misses me so maybe wanted to see me more at night? 2.) She is more distracted during eating so may not fill up as much during the day, leaving her hungry at night. 3.) Teething? 4.) We were putting her to bed too late. Whatever the reason, she would wake at 2 or 3 AM then 5 or 6 AM, like clockwork. Some nights we just let he cry at the 2 or 3 AM one - my limit was 10 minutes. Normally she settled down before then, but if not one of us would go pick her up and rock her for a few minutes to get her back to sleep. Then at 5 or 6 AM I knew it was probably hunger, so I'd feed her from one side then put her back down, only to get her back up at 7 or 7:30 before I went to work. That second wakeup was really rough, because I get up at 6 AM to get myself ready so if she was up at 5, I was up for the day. (diaper change, nurse, swaddle, lights out, sing Cuppycake song and rock)

So once I was home for Holiday break, we started a new schedule for sleeping, basically taking away one catnap and moving her bedtime back an hour. It's worked really well for the past 10 days, praise the Lord! She's been sleeping through most nights with this new schedule so I think we're on to something.

Loves her toys

She is still a great napper and with our new schedule is down to 3 naps a day and sometimes one catnap in the evening. Around 14 weeks we moved all naps to her crib and that's worked out great! One Saturday I tried one nap in there and it went well, so we haven't looked back since. Because she is getting more distracted, the lights and Keely barking were inhibiting good sleep, so I think being in her room really helps. That being said, if we're NOT home during her nap, she's a lot less likely to do so. She used to sleep anywhere in her carseat or my arms, but now she's much more social and wants to be a part of whatever is going on, whether it's a Costco trip or being at someone else's house. For naps we do a shortened bedtime routine where I swaddle her in an A&A blanket, turn the lights off, rock for literally a minute, then put her down. She usually puts herself to sleep quickly. We rarely use the swing anymore, and if we do it's for her evening catnap before bed, if that's not in our arms. :) I think we may put it away soon...


Temperament -  She is still such a happy little girl! Rarely fusses unless she is overtired. Smiles all the time. Loves her puppy. Has the cutest little giggle and makes "mmmm" sounds often. She makes the most hilarious faces! She is ambivalent about baths - doesn't love them, doesn't hate them. We only give her about one a week for now. And her faces - oh my! She makes the most hilarious faces that crack Tyge and I up. She is still a drool factory and chews on anything and everything in front of her, but I don't think she's full blown teething just yet.

Such a ham!

Best buddies!
Chewing on Baga's hand

Outings/Firsts/Other -  With me being back at work, we've really pared down outside commitments as all I want to do is be home with her. :) We had her first Christmas which was more fun for us than her I think - she'll enjoy all the magic more in years to come!  We also had a play date with my friend Chelsea's son Jack who is 5 weeks older than Aven - I look forward to more of those to come! She started sitting in her high chair with us during dinner at the end of the month and does really well in there. We also got out her exersaucer after we put away the Christmas tree and she doesn't quiiiite know what to do with it yet, but will get there.

Future Mr. & Mrs?

As for me: Not gonna lie, this was probably the toughest month for me since she's been born. Going back to work was much harder than I thought and I'm still having a hard time adjusting to life as a working mom. I do miss her during the day, but I had prepared myself for that (and Stephanie sends pics!) so it's not so much that, but I'm just having a tough time getting it all done. Working all day I often feel like I'm not giving 100% because I'm thinking of her, then being at home I sometimes think about work and don't give her 100% so it's a weird balance that I've yet to figure out. When I walk in the door at 5:30 or so I have to change, put away the day's pumped milk, wash supplies, feed Aven, get dinner started (Tyge does this most nights, thank goodness!) - it all sounds piddly but it's a lot at the end of then day when all I want to do is snuggle my little girl. Again, once it becomes more of a routine it'll get MUCH easier but for now it's still a lot. And everything is amplified when you're sleep deprived, which we are.
Selfie snapped after our Christmas Card Photos - she looks terrified!
Schedule - Like I said, we do the eat/play/sleep thing and have been settled into the routine below since around 10 weeks:

  • 7:00 AM - Wake up and nurse followed by playtime
  • 8:00 or 8:15 AM - Nap
  • 10:30 AM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 11:30 or 11:45 AM - Nap
  • 1:30 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 2:30 or 2:45 PM - Nap
  • 4:30 or 5 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 5:30 or 6 PM - Catnap in swing while we eat dinner, if she wakes she lays there quietly and stares at the tree :)
  • 7:30 PM - Nurse and less stimulating playtime
  • 8:30 PM - Doze in our arms or bunny swing
  • 9:30 PM - Nurse followed by bedtime routine - usually in crib by 10 or so
  • Starting at 13 weeks she'd get up 1-2 times (3 and 5 AM usually) and we'd either rock her, feed her, or let her self soothe depending on her cry.
And for the past 10 days (around 16 weeks) we've done this routine, which seems to work really well:
  • 8:00 AM - Wake up and nurse followed by playtime
  • 9:30 AM - Nap
  • 11:30 AM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 1:00 PM - Nap
  • 2:30 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 3:45 or 4:00 PM - Nap
  • 5:30 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 7:00 PM - Catnap in swing or in our arms while we watch TV
  • 8:30 PM - Nurse followed by bedtime routine - usually asleep by 9:00
  • And she's been making it until morning without a peep!
We continue to be blessed each day by our sweet Aven Hope!

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