Thursday, March 12, 2015

Violet Eve -- 4-5 months

Well, so much for monthly posts...haha. Hopefully I'll have my act together enough to manage a monthly update starting at 6 months, but whatever, we'll all survive if that doesn't happen. It has never been more clear to me than it is now that I just cannot do it all, if I want to keep my sanity, that is, so I've kind of stopped trying in some areas, blogging included.

The last month and a bit have been rocky for everyone. Violet got her first cold, hit a growth spurt and a wonder week all at the same time, and I'm pretty sure she also hit the dreaded 4-month sleep regression. Not fun. I'm hoping we're through the worst of it and we can have some smoother sailing for a bit.

Routine: She's been on a 3 hour feed/wake/sleep routine since the beginning. She definitely hit a growth spurt right around 3.5 months, and was nursing every 2.5 hours for a few days. We're working now on moving her more towards a 3.5-4 hour cycle, which she's adjusting well to.

Sleeping: Just before she hit 4 months, she was sleeping 11-12 hour nights, from 7:30/8pm to 7/7:30am with a dreamfeed between 10-10:30. Then just after she reached 4 months of age, she started waking during the night again. Sometimes not until 5am, but other nights it would be 2am or 4am. I was pretty sure she was waking out of hunger, since her wake up times were all over the place, so our approach was to first try getting her back to sleep if we could, and if it wasn't happening, or if she'd go back to sleep for just an hour or so, I'd just chalk it up to the growth spurt, feed her, and put her back to bed. Now that we're closer to 5 months, we're back to 8-10 hour stretches, which I'm happy with.

Naps, however, have been a much bigger source of stress for me and have taken so much effort and work, for what feels like very little payoff. We've been struggling with short naps for the last 6 weeks or so. She sleeps about 30-45 minutes, then wakes up and it often takes a good 20-30 minutes or more to get her back to sleep, only to have her wake up again after another 20-30 minutes of sleep. We've worked on adjusting her wake time to make sure she's not too over or under tired, making sure she's not too overstimulated during wake time, and on and on. I've been driving myself crazy trying to fix it, but I think we may just have to accept that we have a short napper on our hands, take the longer naps whenever we can get them, and enjoy the extra awake time we get with her. She's almost always a happy girl when she's awake, so I have to believe that she is getting enough sleep. I'm constantly having to remind myself that maybe I need to adjust my own expectations and remember that babies don't always fit into the nice little boxes that we try to create for them. I'm doing the best I can to encourage good sleep (and I can only do so much with a toddler in the house who also needs my attention), but I can't force it, so it is what it is.

Eating: Still eating well and growing like a weed. She was nearly 15 lbs and over 24 inches at her 4-month appointment, about 75th percentile for both height and weight. She seemed to take so long to get out of her newborn clothes, but flew through the 0-3 month clothes and is now in her 3-6 month things. We also finally got her into her cloth diapers around 3 months - her legs were just too skinny before that to get a good, leak-free fit. She fills them out nicely now.

Doing: Lots of cooing and babbling, and we've been able to get a few little giggles out of her. Tessa was never a giggly baby and we were hoping Violet would be different, but so far, she's almost as difficult to get a giggle out of as her big sister was. She definitely makes up for it in huge smiles though. She's much more interested in toys now, and she's trying so hard to roll over but hasn't quite managed it yet. She tries to self soothe by sucking on her hands, but that often backfires on her when she makes herself gag on her own fingers. She recently figured out how to blow spit bubbles, so she entertains herself by blubbering away and laughing at herself. Her favorite time of day is still bath time and she splashes around and makes a big mess.

Me: I've been really struggling this last little while. I mentioned in my last post that we decided to use Babywise this time, with the hopes of getting better sleep earlier than we did with Tessa. On the one hand, I'm glad we chose this method, because we have seen some very positive results - Violet sleeps about a million times better at night than her big sister did, so I'm grateful for that. I think Babywise offers some really great guidelines on routine, structure, and teaching healthy sleep habits to babies. On the other hand, we are not seeing the 'perfect' 12 hour nights that Babywise promises and we are having big struggles at naptimes. This would probably be ok ordinarily, except that now I've got it in my head that because things aren't going exactly as the book promises they will, that somehow I'm failing. Of course I know that each child is different and that this method doesn't even work for some babies and families and for some it just takes longer and so on. I guess maybe the problem is ME - that maybe I've set an impossibly high expectation for myself and my child and don't realize when I'm pushing too hard until I get almost to a breaking point. Yes, sleep is valuable, but it's NOT more valuable than my sanity, my relationships with my children and husband, and my ability to enjoy motherhood - which, I'm sad to say, I haven't been doing lately. So, I guess what I'm saying is that we're going to take the good we gained from Babywise - a good routine, decent sleep, and most importantly, a healthy, thriving baby, and leave the rest behind. 

And one last photo of our two precious blessings...I can't even handle all this cuteness!!!


  1. Don't be so hard on yourself Nancy! We did Babywise with all our babies and only Eva was textbook. The rest of them had their own ideas as far as nap times or at what age they would sleep through the night, so we just used it as a guideline and went from there. Sounds like everything is going great and you are a great mom!

  2. Thanks Kindra, that's encouraging! I didn't know you did Babywise...all this time I could have been pestering you with my questions! haha :) Yes, we've seen some good results, and now I need to just let go of my ideas of perfection or whatever and stop being so hard on's just not worth the stress I'm putting on myself.


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