27 February 2011

Revolving Around Sleep

Sleep has been on my mind constantly for the past few weeks. Not my own- I'm actually getting pretty sufficient rest every night, amazingly. It's Lyla's sleep that has me stressing and worrying all the time (one of the first in a long line of items to worry and obsess about as a mom). At three months, she's getting older and bigger so we're talking about the transition from bassinet to crib, and full body-binding swaddle to more free sleeping.
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Spending the first months in the parents' bedroom is common and it really worked for us. Lyla's room is next door to ours, but it's far enough away that multiple trips per night would make life much harder. The pack n play with bassinet has been a great choice with the changer and napper right next to each other, just 2 feet from where I sleep. She still fits in the space, but by morning she has wiggled down to the bottom with her feet propped up. She's comfortable but the day is approaching when she will no longer fit at all, so we've got to move her to her crib.


Lyla naps in her swing, and starts her evening sleep here too. We put her down around 7:15pm, then I wake her for a final meal at 9:30pm before going to sleep for the night in the bassinet. I need to start weaning her off the swinging motion to help her fall asleep. She has no trouble falling asleep in the middle of the night without it, so I'm hopeful the transition won't be too difficult. I'm just not sure how to go about it putting her down in the new, strange place.


White noise also helps Lyla fall asleep, so we've stopped using the sounds on the swing and started using the Sleep Sheep from her crib. I put it next to her on the swing so she becomes accustomed to its sounds.
As for the swaddle, this has been wonderful for calming and soothing Lyla, as well as keeping her warm at night. But the effectiveness of swaddling is much less after 3 months, and the use of her arms is important for development.


I'm happy to say we seem to have accomplished this, or so far so good! We started by leaving one arm free for a few naps. At first her arm took on a life of its own and woke her a few times, but she has grown accustom to it. Babies naturally move a lot while asleep (the swaddle restricts this which is one of the reasons it is so effective early on). Today I put her down for a nap with both arms free- I wrapped her lower body as before to keep her warm, with some mittens for warmth and to prevent any scratching of her face.

And she has been sleeping away for three hours. Victory!
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I still don't know how I'm going to transition going down for the night from the swing to the crib. I've been encouraging more playtime in the crib so it becomes a familiar, more friendly place.
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But I'm still pretty nervous, and am stalling a bit. To be continued. . .

26 February 2011

Miss Bunny

It's cold today so we're bundled up like little bunnies in a burrow.


23 February 2011

First time in the Johnny-Jump-Up

This contraption is called by a few names, but I know it as the Johnny-Jump-Up. My youngest brother Matthew enjoyed one in our house in Atlanta, a simple seat attached to the doorway by sturdy strings.

Like most baby toys, these are now equipped with a lot more bells and whistles. Lyla is still so small, but her head strength is very good and we can adjust it low enough so her feet touch the floor. She doesn't understand how to bounce yet but she'll figure it out.

Our house is very small, so the best part for us is that it takes up almost no space, unlike some of the other options (ok the doorway, but I can slip by and there is another door on the other side of my kitchen).







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21 February 2011

Baby Bunting

Baby growth is amazing! Lyla, 9 days old:


Lyla, 3 months and one day:


My mom made this beautiful bunting for Lyla to wear in these first cold months. At first she was positively swimming in it, so I haven't reached for it. It's freezing cold this week and Lyla's weight has doubled since birth, so I brought it out of the closet. There's nothing like filling out clothes to show you how much your baby has grown. It's better than the numbers on the scale.

12 February 2011

12 Weeks

Times marches on, so I knew this day would come eventually. I just didn't know how.

12 Saturdays ago Lyla was born. Somehow we've come from this


to this

Today she is an expressive, smart, and terribly cute little girl.

She bats wildly at the toys on her play mat and has conversations with the octopus over her head.

She sits in her Bumbo seat in the morning and evening, but never in between.

She stares up at me while in the carseat or nursing and makes faces and smiles.

She loves to sleep in her swing, a place that she's starting to grow out of.

She can go from happy to screaming her head off in a few seconds. She has a cry for annoyance, a cry for impatience, one for hunger, one for dirty diaper, and one for fatigue.

She doesn't like too many faces in hers, and she squeals and shrieks when she is starting to feel overanalyzed.

Her beautiful hair is long enough for a tiny hair clip now.

She has outgrown newborn clothes so now we're in 3 months and up, and size 1 diapers.

If you put your nose to her mouth, she will give it a good lick.

When she wakes up she will make noises but sit quietly for the most part until Mommy comes. Then she'll smile and wriggle her eagerness to get up. She'll have her diaper changed, eat, then have an enormous poop and need to be changed again. Every single day.

Technically she'll be 3 months old next Sunday, but the 12-week milestone is huge for me. We made it through the fourth trimester.

I am Lyla. Hear me roar.

06 February 2011

Proud Mama

Just a few cutie pictures from the past week~


And these, I'm so proud of my little bunny! Refreshed from a nap, she can lift and hold her head really well on her tummy.

04 February 2011

Office Visit and Bedtime

Today we visited Ray at his office. It was a quick 20 minutes but Lyla managed to charm everyone there.
This week she's been doing a lot of 'talking'- squeals, throaty yelps, cackles. She's experimenting with her vocal cords and its so cute. She's been doing this recently while nursing, between breasts: looking up at me with big wide eyes, making these sounds and smiling. Like she's both showing me what she can do and trying to make me smile back at her. These are the BEST moments of my day, probably the best so far with her. Anyway, she did some of this 'talking' in the office which attracted some positive attention from both men and women.

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The past three nights we've had some issues putting Lyla down to sleep. Until now she has gone to sleep between 6pm and 7pm, but we swaddled her for bed and she went ballistic. As in screaming bloody murder for another 2 hours before falling asleep from exhaustion. It has baffled Ray and I since she gave us sleepy cues and it was time to go to bed! We couldn't figure out what she was so upset about- not too hot or too cold, clean diaper, nothing poking or pinching, nothing! Clearly tired, but totally pissed that we had the audacity to try to put her to bed. Inconsolable too- won't nurse, won't quiet, nothing. We just had to wait it out.

Listening to her cry so hard and so long is really hard for me. Ray and I would switch off trying to console her. In particular it was very hard for me to listen to her cry so terribly. At 9:00pm last night I had the smart idea to put my ear plugs in to muffle the sound; I couldn't stop her crying but I could make it easier to handle while I rocked her.

Tonight Ray is out for a guys' night, and Lyla went down to sleep at 7:00pm! Boy am I glad too, since I'm on my own with no back-up. I'm not completely sure what changed tonight, she did take a shorter nap this afternoon but I don't think that's the only factor. I'll just be thankful for now, take advantage of this time and slip into a nice hot bath!