Nora is 2 months old! This post goes over the last month of her life (from 1 month old up until she turns 2 months old).
OK. So she isn't actually 2 months old right now. But she used to be. I have this tendency to finish posts 98% of the way and then not post them. One day I will get to these mostly finished posts. With life as busy as it is, I'm proud of myself for getting this one up!
Nora pretty much always goes 3 hours between feeds in the day. Rarely she'll wake up sooner and I'll feed her. She wakes up right around the 3 hour mark some of the time, and the rest of the time I'll wake her (give or take a few minutes). She goes back and forth each week with waking more on her own for feeds during the day, and needing me to wake her for feeds.
All four of my children have been similar to Nora with feeds as a young baby. I never force them to wait with their feeds, but by doing the e/w/s routine, encouraging full feeds and good sleep, they naturally fall into feeds around every 3 hours.
Nora is awake for 45-60 minutes at a time. If she's awake longer than this she gets fussy and has a hard time falling asleep. My husband asked if something was wrong with Nora because all she ever did was sleep. I reminded him that he asked the same question with Stella and that babies simply need a lot of sleep :)
Nora isn't as sleepy as she was a month ago, but she's still pretty sleepy. Stella is always signing 'sleep' when Nora eats because Nora has her eyes closed. In fact, Stella signs 'baby' 'sleep' 'milk' on and off all day long. It's cute. Nora's sleepiness varies from day to day and week to week. I'm sure it has something to do with her development and growth.
For the most part, getting a full feed is pretty easy, even with the sleepiness. This has never been a huge issue with Nora. I've always been able to get her to nap pretty well and I'm sure this is a big part of the reason she's able to eat well.
Poop and Sleep
She's pooping much less at night. It's becoming uncommon. Yeah! I love it when you aren't having to change a poopy diaper in the middle of the night. Getting up to feed at night is enough as it is!
Nora has gotten progressively fussy as she's gotten closer to 8 weeks of age, especially in the evening. I expected this. All my kids have done this to some extent. It's amazing how much easier it is to deal with something when you have the appropriate expectations and when you've dealt with it before. AND when you are busy. A fussy baby is so much less noticeable/difficult when you've got a hundred other things going on at the same time.
She has had periods of random fussiness, almost since she was born. I'm not sure what is causing it. I am watching diet and other things. At first I thought it was just tiredness since she ate and was pretty much ready to go to bed, but now it doesn't make much since since she'll wake after a 2 hour nap, eat for 15 minutes, then be fussy. I'll let you know if I figure it out. For now, I am having to use a pacifier a lot to keep her happy.
I don't always notice growth spurts. Most often my babies will eat more food rather than more often. There is usually a lot of extra pee and no poop followed by lots of poop. Sometimes my baby will suddenly not fit into any clothes! This growth spurt I noticed because Nora started waking up to eat more often at night. And I actually had to feed her off of both sides for her to be satisfied. It began just as she was about to turn 1 month old--I mentioned this in my 1 month post of her. After a few nights of this waking, she continued the wakings but she wasn't really hungry. I decided to offer a pacifier instead to see what would happen since she seemed to be starting to wake out of routine/habit, rather than a need to eat. The first time I offered the pacifier she easily went back to sleep for over 3 hours!!! And she went back to her longer night stretches of sleep from then on! I didn't expect the change to happen this quickly.
Similar scenarios like this snag up sleep ALL THE TIME. Baby wakes because of hunger, illness, a sound, light, ANYTHING, and a well meaning parent attends to the baby. The 'need' related to the waking soon goes away but the parent keeps attending to the baby again. and again. and AGAIN. And before you know it, sleep is something out of your worse nightmare and you wonder how in the world you ended up here!
While Nora got progressively more fussy as she got closer to 8 weeks of age (the peak fussiness age) and also when she was having her growth spurt, she also got SUPER fussy for a few other days this month. Like she screamed all day. She seemed perfectly healthy but miserable. I started to wonder if a wonder week was upon up (because there are lots at this age) and I checked my wonder week calendar. What do you know, it was time! And amazingly right after her super fussy days, she started to do all kind of new stuff. She was jabbering like crazy and way more interactive.
Wondering what a wonder week is? Check here? Want to know when they occur? Check here. More about the signs that a wonder week is upon you? Check here.
Sleep Plan and Naps
We had big sleep changes this month.
I mostly stopped holding Nora to sleep unless we are out and about (partly because she will not fall asleep in her carseat, partly because I like to hold her).
At home I swaddle, do white noise, give a pacifier, hum a song, stroke her face (because she loves it) and then put her in the crib or rock 'n play. I always give a few extra pats on her back before setting her down to make sure all her burps are out. Sometimes she fusses for a couple minutes, but this is getting less common. She often goes to sleep without a sound. And she almost always has a long nap. If she wakes after a short nap, I give her a minute to see if she'll fall back asleep, and if she doesn't (which is rare) I pop in a pacifier which extends the nap.
Now, after reading that last paragraph you may hate me, feel like crying, or both. I certainly would have if I'd just read that when my first child was a month old. I probably would have had constant day dreams about finding you and doing some not so nice things to you. But here's the thing. Nora is my miracle sleep baby. At least at this age she is. I've suffered through three babies that have not been naturally good sleepers. It's taken lots of work and consistency and patience before they've slept great. Nora certainly doesn't sleep as amazing some newborn babies out there, but compared to my other children, she's a miracle! This is especially true when you compare the lack of consistency and structure I've had with her compared to my other children.
While I've obviously had experience helping babies sleep, Nora's good sleep is a result of more than just that. I've been around enough babies at this point in my life to know this. You don't just do this and that and your baby will easily be put down to sleep and STAY asleep. As much as many people try to tell you this will happen (or should happen if you are doing things correctly), it often doesn't. Some babies are simply better sleepers than others. I've had so many people come to me with baby number 3, 4 and even 5 and say sometime like "I thought my previous babies slept awesome because of me, but this new baby sleeps horribly no matter what I do". Don't take this to mean that you can't do lots to improve your baby's sleep because you certainly can (especially as they get older). And don't take this to mean that you can't totally and completely screw up your child's sleep and turn a good sleeper into a bad one. You can. But what YOU as a parent do is only part of the picture. With sleep and really everything else regarding your child, now and in the future.
For some tips on things you can do to improve your baby's sleep and ways to prevent sleep issues, check out my newborn sleep post. If your baby is a bit older you can also check out the 3-6 month sleep guide and the sleep training posts.
Nora got sick this month. With 3 older siblings it's bound to happen. Especially with my two year old, Stella, who crawls around, sticks her hands in her mouth and tries to touch Nora all day. Nora was really congested during this sickness. If I didn't have the rock 'n play to put her to sleep in she probably would have had to sleep upright in my arms all day and night. Anytime I put her flat she coughed and gagged. Thank you rock 'n play! I know I've said it before, but I love this thing!!! She napped a lot more when she was sick. I knew that she might end up being up all night since she slept all day, but she seemed to need lots of extra sleep and luckily she still slept fine at night.
I am still swaddling. All is well with this. I was using the miracle blanket to prevent Nora from breaking out of the swaddle, but she doesn't break out like she used to. She is more in the habit of sleeping with her arms at her sides and she also falls asleep pretty quickly and rarely wakes up part way through naps so she doesn't have any time to try to break out of the swaddle ;) You can read more on swaddling in general, here.
On a side note, I decided to see if using the swaddleme in the carseat would help with napping on the go, since that is something Nora has to do sometimes. The swaddleme has a whole to slip the bottom buckle through so that it'll work with the carseat. She slept so much better swaddled in the car seat! Swaddling her saved us when we went on our family reunion to yellowstone when she was 6 weeks old. There is an absurd amount of driving done in yellowstone and she napped at least half the day in the car seat swaddled.
She is having more fun looking at people, and her brothers and sister are having lots more fun playing with her. I love seeing siblings enjoy each other! Nora loves looking at black and white patterns. I used some that my cousin made and gave me. They are easy to make, or you can always buy something like this black, white and red mobile.
A beautiful thing happened just before Nora turned 2 months old. She started to fall back to sleep easily, almost always, after she ate at night. I am soooo happy when this time comes. It's one thing to wake up and feed a baby at night. It's a whole other thing to wake up, feed a baby and then spend an hour trying to get them back to sleep!! She is eating once at night (night is 10-12 hours--it's a bit inconsistent at times because my life is busy and I have to work Nora around that). Waking at night outside of a feed is becoming less and less common. When she has these wakings a pacifier or being held puts her right back to sleep. If it didn't, I'd consider that she was hungry or had some other issue. How long she goes before being fed at night still varies, but she usually does a 6-8 hour stretch at least.
I wanted to mention that she is definitely getting used to the idea that night is for sleep. Her body wants to sleep then and if she is woken up or goes to bed too late, she is cranky! She is also starting to get sleepy (sometimes fussy) when I make a room dark and turn a sound machine on. She knows sleep is about to come!
I don't think I mentioned this in my 1 month post, but I don't do a dream feed with Nora. For me, not doing a dream feed is easier. I can expound on this more in another post if people are interested in why.
Nora has never had a big issue with gas. Sure, she's got it like 99% of newborns out there, but it's never really seemed to bother her much. She doesn't start screaming a high pitched scream when she passes it (or shortly before passing it) like some babies. Burps don't bug her much either, although she might have to get a burp out before being able to eat properly again. Sometimes when she isn't falling back asleep well at night I wonder if it's a burp or gas and I try things to relieve this, but most likely this isn't going on because it isn't an issue at all in the day.
Baby Items I Couldn't Live Without
Wonder Week - As I mentioned above, there was a big wonder week this month. It helps to know about them so you don't think your baby (and consequently you!) has gone crazy. You can find my posts about it here and the wonder week book here.
Rock 'N Play - The rock and play sleeper saved me during Nora's cold this last month. She slept great in it, but slept horrible flat. I'm so glad this thing was invented! It has saved my sanity more than once. You can find it here.
Swaddle Blanket - While I love the muslin blankets that everyone has and I always have one with me in my diaper bag (for nursing, burping and swaddling in my arms away from home), I highly recommend blankets that are made for swaddling. They just work better. I like the swaddleme, halo swaddle and for babies that break out of the swaddle, the miracle blanket.
Snuza baby movement monitor - I'm still using the snuza. I love it. Especially this last month when Nora was sleeping and congested and I wasn't within ear/eye shot. You can find it here.
Pacifier - I couldn't survive without my mam pacifier. A pacifier is so helpful with a fussy baby like Nora! Most newborns simply like to suck, fussy or not.
White Noise - Nora has become much more aware of her surroundings this month which has made a dark room and white noise much more important for her sleep. I have used several white noise machines over the years. My favorite is the lectrofan. It's more expensive than some, but it also works better and it won't break after 2 months.
Costco Baby wipes - I've still got a newborn who is pooping all the time (as well as a 2 year old) and I'm using wipes like crazy. It seems odd to say I couldn't live without these things, but have you tried them?!
How I'm Feeling
I've had progressively worse baby blues during this time. They've been better than my first (obviously, that was PPD), but worse than my last two children. I think one of the things that has made them worse is that I am burnt out right now. Life is tiring and has got to me. My daughter, Stella, has had a million appointments and where I was functioning well with them before, adding one more child to the mixture has put me a bit over the edge. That said, I am learning to cope better with things. I am getting used to juggling 4 kids and everything else that needs to be done with life. I am missing my dear friend that passed away two months ago. That has made this time harder. I am starting to feel things improving, though. Hopefully they'll keep moving that way. I am constantly feeling grateful that Nora, while fussy, sleeps so well. Having a baby sleep well is a completely different experience from having a baby that doesn't sleep well. I know this is a tender mercy and I thank my Heavenly Father for it frequently.