THE BIGGEST LESSON I’VE LEARNED THIS MONTH
Be present. Time seems to be flying by with her and as cliché as it sounds, being present is so important. When I’m with Amalia, I try to really be with her. Obviously sometimes I have to work or do something around the house while she’s awake, but I make sure we have many moments each day where my phone is off, and we can enjoy each other’s company.
Every week I have to put another piece of clothing into storage because she’s grown out of it. I can hardly believe she’s already four months, and I don’t want to take our time together for granted. As my dad likes to remind me, she’ll be driving off with a boyfriend (or girlfriend!) before I know it.
I said it last month, and I’ll say it again now, but I’ve gotten even more relaxed about her schedule in the last month. Even on the days when she’s totally off track, she always sleeps through the night so I’m ok with slip ups on her routine more often now. Everyone said she would have a 3.5 month sleep regression but she didn’t. I know it’s probably around the corner now that she’s 4 months, so I’m always prepared for screaming in the middle of the night but have yet to hear it! I probably shouldn’t put that in writing because tonight will be the night, haha…
Naps- She still takes three naps/day (most days) and they’re between 1-2 hours depending on the time of day. Her first nap is usually 1.5 hours, the second is 1-1.5 and the third is more of a “power nap” at 30-45 minutes. Her new thing is to wake up after 30 minutes and move around, chatting to herself. The first time she did this, I assumed she was up so I went in and got her. She passed out only an hour later. I realized after that, that she just wakes up for 10-15 minutes and goes back to sleep. She’s not upset so I just leave her and she goes back down. She is much happier after a long nap so even if she wakes up like this twice, I just go with it. When she’s up for good, I can tell because she starts kicking her little legs like crazy, ready to party.
Mornings- Ever since daylight savings, she’s been waking up at around 6:30 (instead of 7:30) in the morning, but just chats to herself for a while and usually falls back asleep for another 20 minutes or so. I don’t go in and get her until 7:15am, and if she’s still sleeping, I wait until 7:30am. She wakes up with a big smile every single morning. It’s incredible.
Night sleep- To this day, she’s only woken up twice in the night since she was seven weeks old. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have gotten such a good sleeper. Nine times out of 10, she falls asleep during her last feed (see below for times) and has no problem. Sometimes, she wakes herself up with hiccups or wants to read a book or two (she looks at her bookshelf to tell me when she does) before going down. Other times, she gets fussy and I have to go back in 1-2 more times to burp her or calm her down. But for the most part, going down for sleep is now one of the happiest times of day as opposed to a stressful one.
Below is an ideal day which happens like 50% of the time, but it usually looks similar to this at least…
7:15am- Wake up and hang out until she gets hungry. We usually read a few books or look at the Christmas tree, her new favorite activity.
7:30/7:45am- Feed 1
8:45- Nap 1
10:30am- Wake up and hang out until she gets hungry. She plays on her playmat usually for about 30 minutes. She loves it!
11:00am- Feed 2
1230/1pm- Nap 2
2/2:30pm- Wake up and hang out until she gets hungry. I try to take her on a walk during this time if it’s not too cold.
3pm- Feed 3
3:30pm- Playtime on mat or in her bouncer.
4/4:15pm- Nap 3. This is usually a short one.
4:30/5pm- Wake up and play. This used to be her worst time of day, but if she gets a good 30 minutes during that third nap, she’s so happy and energetic at this time. She likes to bounce in the bouncer for 20+ minutes. If I try to take her out, she gets upset!
6:20pm- Feed 4, then right to bed
10:30pm- Dream feed (Done by Anel with a bottle)
I have no idea how I lucked out so much with her, but she’s the happiest baby ever. My cleaning lady asked me the other day if she ever cries. Mind you, she’s here every week for four hours and has never heard a peep! Amalia just went through leap 4 (If you haven’t read Wonder Weeks, get the book and the app ASAP!), and we thought it would be awful. She was definitely fussier than usual and it was harder to get a laugh out of her, but she really didn’t cry as much as I had expected. Leap 3 was much worse for us.
The only times she really cries is when someone other than Anel or I put her to bed (so far only twice, more on that below under “worst moment”). We have a babysitter coming tonight to do it again because we need to be able to go on date nights once in a while and want her to get used to it. Luckily she loves the babysitter, so we’re hoping it goes better this time.
During the leap she also had a bit of stranger danger and would get upset if someone else held her, but that seemed to have disappeared as well. On Thanksgiving she met a bunch of my family members who she hadn’t met before, and was totally fine with them holding and fawning over her.
In addition to being happy and chill, she’s hilarious. She makes me laugh every single day. I have a feeling, she’s going to be a big jokester like her dad.
I’m starting to wind down with breastfeeding and am going to be slowly weaning her over the next two months. She pukes much less with a bottle so I’ve been pumping a lot which is the worst (for anyone who’s been there, you know what I mean). Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on the progress and will probably write a post dedicated to the process soon!
I still have a babysitter who comes for two hours on Mondays and Fridays but that’s it. Anel tries to work his schedule so I can make it to meetings and photo shoots, but it’s definitely been a challenge. Now that she’s awake more during the day, it’s harder for me to get a lot of work done since I’m at home alone with her most days. Those 1.5 hour naps seem to fly by!
She’s starting daycare in January, 2x/week and I’m so so so excited. I’m excited that she’ll get to be around other kids and learn new skills (like how to sleep somewhere else) and I’m excited that I’ll have two days each week to really buckle down and get work done. Obviously the thought of leaving her for 6 hours a day is terrifying still, but I know it’s what is best for both of us.
HER FAVORITE THINGS
Play mat– Still her ride or die. She twists her body around to look at it if we’re even near the family room. She likes to pull on the toys, kick around on it, and just coo and chat to herself, sometimes making herself crack up which, in turn, makes me laugh.
Jumper– We got a door jumper and she’s obsessed. We only started using it last week but the girl has so much fun in it! She will only bounce when music is playing, so we’ve had so much fun watching her do that. The other day I put her in it while I did a workout and she just bounced around, watching me. It was awesome.
Books– She loves when I read her books, especially when she’s tired. Here is a list of our current favorites.
Christmas Tree- She will stare at the tree for long periods of time, seemingly in awe. If I hold her and bring her close, she likes to reach out and touch the ornaments. She’s still small enough that she can’t break them but I imagine next year will be a different story.
Music Class- I bring her to a music class every Monday evening, and no matter how tired she is, she loves it. Her favorite part is when they blow bubbles so Santa is for sure bringing her a bubble maker for Christmas. She likes to stare at the other kids and smiles when they come near her, which makes me think she’ll love daycare too.
Boots– She loves to watch the dog, especially if he’s playing with Anel or another dog. This is going to sound insane and you might think I’m making it up, but I swear to you she tries to bark when like him when he plays with his doggie girlfriend, Faye. When they play in our yard and playfully bark, she grunts and tries to make the same noise. She only does it when watching them play, so I’m convinced that’s what’s up.
About a month ago, Anel and I went out to dinner to (finally) celebrate our anniversary. We had a big night planned at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and our usual babysitter came to watch her. It was the first time Amalia had been put to sleep by anyone other than us and she cried/screamed bloody murder for 45 minutes, no exaggeration. We were oblivious to it, but when we got back and she told us what happened, we re-watched it all on the Nest camera and it broke my heart. I felt such intense guilt for leaving her and making her so upset, but Anel reminded me that there are going to be times when we have to go out and we have to live our lives, so she will learn to get used to other people.
Decorating our tree was so special. I remember doing it two years ago and feeling so empty and drained after my last miscarriage. I cried the entire time. Last year I was so sick, I could hardly stand up so Anel had to do most of it. This year? I cried tears of joy as we drank a glass of wine, played music, and decorated the tree with Amalia watching and loving every minute. It was so special; to have her there as a part of one of my favorite yearly traditions. I told Anel in that moment that I literally don’t care if I get one Christmas gift because she was all I ever wanted. I feel truly fulfilled… And here I go crying again as I type this!
It’s amazing how much I love this sweet baby girl.