Sleep Training 101; 4-6 Months

Hey friends! If you're curious on sleep training methods from 0-3 months click here to read up on that! 

As for us, we have progressed! We hit the 6 month mark this week so I guess I'm writing this a couple of days early but OH WELL

These couple of months were rough. Right when you think you're getting to know your baby, and their exact next move - BAM they change. Seriously. They change all the freaking time and they don't do it on purpose but DAMN I need a break! (excuse my language? Is damn bad? idk????? help??) ANYWAYS We have prevailed friends! And we made it through another sleep deprived couple of months! I keep telling myself dang I can't wait for our next baby (yes I can) because I feel like I'm going to be totally prepared with my online journal aka my blog. (I know this is unrealistic haha - let me dream okay!)

I had a sleep training epiphany though, last week. I realized that at different points of her life, different sleep training methods work...... differently.

Who woulda thunk it?

SOOOOOOO the first 3 months of her life we were ALL about swaddling, and it totally worked for us! But now that she has a better grasp on rolling over, it's not in our routine any long. Ttem permanence & cry it out totally did the trick for us from 3-4 months, but it just hasn't been working for us as well lately. So last week, when I was convinced I would never sleep again, I did some research.

At 3 AM. My favorite time at night if y'all didn't already know. 

I basically found that at this point in her life, a similar but totally different (are you still following?) method is working for her. I'm definitely not opposed to doing crying it out again at a different point of her life, but right now this other method is working best for us.

*Just so you know, my posts usually contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase by pressing a link, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.*



sleep training your baby

Basically, our nightly routine (and nap time routine - consistency is key, besides bath time, of course) goes something like this :

7 PM Bath time

I try to make sure I don't do bath time any earlier, because then it throws off her entire routine. So we do bath time, which honestly takes us a solid 10 minutes, because who knew bathing a small human was super quick, Less surface to cover I suppose! After bath time, we do our normal baby lotion massage, and sometimes read a bedtime story depending if she's really fussy or not. She is different every single day, but also the same. I know, I sound insane. 

Jammie switch up!

If you read my last sleep training post, we weren't dressing her in those warm footie pajamas everybody swears by, because she was swaddled and we didn't want her to overheat! Well you guessed it! We are now in the footie pajama stage. I still stick to my word on 0-3 months about not doing it, but like I said before - she changes constantly! Since we are no longer swaddling, we have now switched to those warm and fuzzy footie pajamas! Not only are they absolutely adorable, but they keep my girl nice and warm at night (since we are not letting her sleep with blankets because of the risk it raises for suffocation and SIDS). 


Nurse

For us anyways. If you're formula feeding, this is where your bedtime (or nap time) bottle would come in. So we sit in our rocking chair, while I nurse. I usually turn her bedroom light off and nurse in the dark to set the calm atmosphere vibes. 

Independent crib time

I used to be pretty huge on rocking her to sleep, and then putting her in her crib and tip toeing to sleep, but more often than not she would wake before I could even leave the room. I thought she was regressing or maybe her "startle reflex" wasn't quite gone yet. Turns out, she just wanted to self soothe and be left alone. Since she can now understand item permanence and knows when I am no longer there, I talk to her. I know she doesn't understand exactly what I'm saying with my words, but she can sense my emotions and the different tones in my voice. So I coo at her, and turn her mobile on, and she smiles and coos back. Then I tell her that I'll be back to check on her soon. I quietly escape to our room, and watch her on the baby monitor. She continues to coo and play with her pacifier, as well as puts the pacifier in her mouth on her own when she wants to. Most nights, I go in her room about 3 times, just to let her know I am there and I am checking up on her. Then I tell her again each time that I will be right back in a calm happy manner. Make sure you are taking lots of deep breaths - even if this takes forever! Remaining calm is huge! 

Now, that being said - she does have bad nights when we try to do this. Where I leave the room, and she screams at the top of her lungs. In this case, I kind of let her cry it out. BUT by cry it out, I mean I let her cry and when she stops for a moment, I rush right in. I am trying to basically "reward" her for not crying. Does that sound terrible? I feel like it does - but it really works! These nights are far and few between and I feel like it's because she knows that if she doesn't cry and scream that I will be more likely to come in. Maybe I'm crazy who knows. But it's working. And usually, after about 3 times in and out of her room, she falls asleep on her own. I mean out of nowhere passes out, and doesn't wake up for 3 - 4 hours. (she still eats a lot throughout the night - we are working on that!) When she does wake up, I nurse her, she passes out, I put her down, and that's all.

Now, if you're just tip-toeing into crib transitioning, I suggest doing the 3-5-7-10 minute method. Put the baby down in their crib, leave for 3 minutes. Go back, soothe them, lay them down, repeat, but this time for 5 minutes. Then 7, and finally 10 minutes. The hope is that after that 10 minute mark they will be asleep! 

Remember that attitude is everything!

If you remain calm, and tell yourself this is something you can do - then you totally can do it! Babies can 100% sense our anxieties & our stress, so once we calm down, they tend to as well!

Back to bed for mama.  AHHHHHHHH

 

Final thoughts

 

  • Reward not crying
  • Dress in warm footie pajamas
  • Self soothing in the crib
  •  

     

    This is what's working for us right now, but I'm sure it will change for 7-10 months!

     

    Happy sleeping!

     

    Xo

    -MMM

     

    Disney World with a Baby

    Last weekend we did a spur of the moment trip to the happiest place on Earth... Walt Disney World! We were in Orlando for a family getaway, and right before getting on the highway to head home, we said what the heck! And headed to Disney. Super unprepared, we had no idea what we were in for. Think it's impossible to take a baby to Disney? Think again! We were able to do so much more than I expected. It was quite the learning experience, and since we are now Annual pass holders, we cannot wait to go back again - this time with much more preparation!  

     

    **When planning a Disney World vacation, make sure to stay at a hotel that offers transportation to the parks. Save gas, time, and stress by doing so!**

    Booking.com
    Disney world with a baby

    Rides

    Our original interpretation of Disney World with a baby was a lot of baby swaps and taking turn riding rides. (Let's face it, we were there for us, not our 5 month old!) To our surprise, we were able to ride a ton of things with our little babe! Some rides we rode with her were :

    • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

    • It's a Small World

    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

    • Monster's, Inc. Laugh Floor

    • Pirates of the Caribbean 

    • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

    • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid

    & we barely even scratched the surface! There are so many more we can take her on.. check out the FULL LIST below!

     

    Perks

    Annual pass holders get a pretty good amount of perks that I totally was not expecting. First of all, we were pass holders at Universal for awhile and thought about renewing this year, but surprisingly enough Disney was way cheaper. I couldn't believe it! We have a ton of stuff to learn as far as benefits go for being pass holders, but so far I was really impressed/surprised with the following :

    • Kids under 3 get in FREE!!!

    • Fast passes (3 to begin the day - once those are used, one at a time for the remainder of the day. We didn't wait more than 15 minutes for a ride most of the day.)

    • PhotoPass Downloads (All photos taken during rides, or by cast members, link to your magic band which in turn links to your Disney app - more on that later)

    • Blockout dates (We have the Gold pass, which was perfect for our budget, and also only has block out dates during Christmas time, and spring break time - all times we never would be caught dead in that area of craziness!)

    • Parkhopper (Visit all 4 theme parks on the same day)

    • Free parking!!!!!!!! (Or park at Disney Springs and take the bus to Disney for free as well!)

    • Magic Bands (Your key to EVERYTHING. Pictures, fast passes, and your entire ticket/pass linked)

    • My Disney Experience app (Probably the most impressed with this Access to everything linked to your band. Can book fast passes via the app for your next ride, look at your photos, make dining reservations, look at the park map [which has all wait times for all rides at all parks] and much much more!)

    Necessities

    Although it was last minute, we were still prepared to an extent. We just kind of lucked out! Some necessities I will not be caught without in the future are as follows :

  • Baby Carrier (we wore her most of the day, especially during rides and it was super convenient, and comfortable for her!)
  • Stroller (absolute necessity! Ours is compact when folded, which makes bus rides easy [you can't have them in the stroller on the bus, you have to fold it up!] and also helps with storage of all your things!)
  • Sneakers (don't make the mistake of wearing flip flops! I know it's FL, but you will not be a happy camper at the end of the day!)
  • Baby Wipes!!!! (I don't consider myself a germaphobe, but baby wipes are super handy in keeping your trip as clean as possible! Quick hand wipes, seat wipes, stroller wipe down, etc.!)
  • Lessons Learned

    Like I said, we were SUPER unprepared for this trip. Some things I wish I had on hand, and will definitely be packing next go around include:

    • Cooler bag (snacks, waters, baby food, etc.)

    • Stroller cover (for the inevitable FL rain - our stroller just finished drying this morning after one soak at the park!)

    • Poncho or Umbrella - or both! (Agin... the FL rain is inevitable y'all.)

    • Towels (Okay seriously - don't play about the rain friends. Be prepared.)

    • Change of clothes for Mom & dad (can you guess why? THE RAIN PEOPLE!!)

    • Cooling towel (FL heat is no joke either. Luckily, it was overcast. But still.)

    • Clip on fan (for the stroller! Saw someone with one yesterday and now I'm on the hunt for one on Amazon!)

     

     

    We plan to head back in the next couple of weeks! Being the money savvy couple we are, we will definitely be getting our money's worth from these passes! And I'm so excited to write about our PREPARED experience next time! Make sure to subscribe and get the scoop on all of our future Disney World adventures!

     

    Happy Vacationing!

    Xo

    -MMM

     

     

    Postpartum Realities

    As a new mom there are so many different things constantly running through your mind. A new problem I never expected to have postpartum arises every single day. You think you know, but you have no idea, until you are actually in that spot. 

    Last night my daughter slept through the night in her own crib in her own room. This wasn't the first night this happened. But still, somehow I am exhausted this morning. Why? Because I sat and stared at the monitor as every single minute  passed.



    postpartum realities

     

    1. Sleeping through the night

    WOW. Nobody warned me how miserable this was/still kind of is. Is it just me mama's? Am I crazy? Don't get me wrong- I totally enjoy my evenings with my other half. But 3 AM hits, and she still hasn't made a peep - and I am losing it. Why did everybody talk about this moment like it was magical? I know I SHOULD be taking advantage of this moment right now, but I can't because every fear in the world is currently setting up camp in my brain. Then she rolls onto her belly - and now I'm really hyperventilating. This is NOT all it's cracked up to be. I miss her, I'm worried about her, and I'm still exhausted the next morning. I feel like this is really a lose lose and I should prob go pick her up and cuddle with her right this instant, right? 😩

     

    2. THE CLOTHES.

    So I knew she had a huge wardrobe even prior to our baby shower, but WOW. Nobody can prepare you for the amount of decluttering you're going to be doing AT LEAST the first 6 months of their life. It doesn't just happen in spurts like you would think. I'll go through her clothes at 3 months, then 6, so on so forth. Nope. Every. Single. Day. I go through clothes. I have a permanent gift bag in her room that I am forever throwing things into, so I can pass it down to my friend who is having a baby next month., And don't even get me started on YOUR clothes. You find something comfortable, that fits, and then your weight fluctuates AGAIN. You go from super preggo, back down to 3-month-preggo look-a-like postpartum, and then kind of back to normal... but not really? Clothes = clutter = madness = I-dont-have-time-to-declutter = AHHHHH!!!!!!

    postpartum recovery + healing after birth

     

    3. Unwanted parental guidance + Negativity

    Okay, third time is the charm. WOW. I can't believe the things people say to you as a new mom. I mean I heard horror stories prior to being a mom, but it's an entire other level when you are actually a mom. Let me break it down for you in the simplest terms - you will never win this battle. It doesn't matter how long your kid is rear facing, or how often you homemake their baby food, or whatever it is you do. You will never be able to please everybody. People are going to constantly question every single method of your parenting. Why don't you cut their hair? Why don't cut their nails? Why don't you feed them this way? Everybody has something to say about everything. Accept it early on, and ignore them. Don't let it consume you! Why are we so negative towards each other? Why do other moms feel the need to constantly tell me "Oh, it's only just started" or "It gets worse" Like??????????? Can we stop?! And how about the judgement and questioning? Why do we feel the need to question each other about how we parent? I am all about advice from other mama's who have struggled before me - educate me! And I love to educate others from my experiences as well! It's why I started blogging! But do we have to be so negative? Stop putting each other down, or telling people that it gets worse! Seriously?! We can do better mama's! This goes for all of you, I don't care what generation! Grandma, aunts, cousins - it's not okay! 

     

    With everything in life, "this too shall pass"!

    But until then, I'll be enjoying my growing babe, staying up all night watching the monitor, and ignoring the negativity! I hope you choose to do the same!

    What kind of postpartum surprises did/do you run into? 

    Xo

    -MMM

     

    CHOOSE YOU : Self Care For The New Mom + Self Care Ideas

    As a new mom, it's so hard to find time for yourself. I honestly give credit to every mom with a full time job hustling out there, because I can't find time to do anything, let alone work 40 hours a week. I can only imagine how incredibly difficult it must be for them to find time to treat themselves! This is not an optional thing, it is a necessity to survive motherhood! When I say "Choose you" I obviously don't mean to necessarily choose yourself over others, especially your family, but I do mean that occasionally you to need to CHOOSE to take care of YOU, too.

    * Side note : this is actually a necessity for EVERY human out there, but especially mamas! * 

    #TreatYoSelf

     

    *Just so you know, my posts usually contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase by pressing a link, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.*



    SELF CARE FOR MOMS

    There are so many countless things you have to worry about as a new mom, that treating yourself definitely gets put to the back burner WAAAAAYYYY too often, (Don't even want to discuss how long I have gone without a haircut). But we HAVE to find time to do it! This weekend, thanks to my long time friend Kara, I was able to help her as a hair model and get an amazing and fresh new hair style! Something like this is just life changing! I have not given my hair any love in probably two years. No exaggeration - and that is just awful. It really got me thinking on how much more often I need to be doing this for myself. Here's my before shot.

    Wish I could describe my fancy new hairdo in cosmetology terms, but basically she took trash and made it into a masterpiece and I just cannot figure out how she does it. She does all of my friends' hair, and everytime I think she can't get any better - she does. Okay enough of my girl crush on Kara, here are the afters!

    Annnnnnd a side by side Before and After... for dramatic effect, duh.

    I feel like an entirely new person! You can follow Kara's hair journey as a stylist here ! And if you're a local (or even visiting) the Treasure Coast of FL give Calvetti a call and book with Kara ASAP!

    I honestly felt SO good after this haircut, that Matt & I ended up planning a last minute date night to get dressed (semi) nicely and have a quiet meal together (at Moe's LOL)  followed by a movie. It was the greatest domino affect and that is exactly what I'm talking about today y'all.

    SOMETHING LIKE A FRESH HAIRCUT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE AND IF NOT THAT, AT LEAST YOUR DAY. 

    We are so worried about making sure our husbands are taken care of, and their laundry is done, and they have a meal to come home to, and making sure the baby is dry, fed, happy, the dog is protected from fleas, and oh wait you have to pay 3 bills and sit on the phone with the cable company for an hour today, and oh no your husband lost his wallet for the 12th time this week and you need to find it (true story, actually happened while I was in the chair LOL) and now your lawn mower is broken so you live in a jungle, etc! (I know that was the worst run-on sentence) But that's my point! We have to STOP putting ourselves on the back burner. I went Into this Monday morning feeling READY for the week, and it's because I did a couple of things this weekend to take care of myself.

    Here are a couple of self care ideas you can do that are simple, quick, and affordable. Even if you  can't possibly find the time to get away for a couple of hours, this self care plans are pretty close!

    self care

    1. GET A HAIRCUT

    What Kara did for me was definitely more than just a haircut and took more time than just your average haircut would - but I needed it. If you don't have time for something like this, I still suggest at least getting your run of the mill haircut/trim/whatever it is you do. Sitting in that chair, not having anything to do with my hands for more than 20 minutes was indescribable. It DEFINITELY took time to get used to, but once I was adjusted it was SO NICE to relax. *Bonus* If you get your hair washed when they cut it, that's prob one of my favorite things in the world. It's the little things people!

    2. TAKE A HOT SHOWER

    LOL I know this should be a must no matter what, but once you're a mom this is literally something you have to work to achieve and that's rough. Give your baby to your hubby, mom, significant other, whatever and take a hot shower. I SWEAR by this method. Whenever I am overwhelmed and feel like I need a break, but know that it's not in the cards anytime soon, I take a super hot and steamy shower. I don't know what it is about steam that just completely calms me down but it works. I sit there and just breathe until I feel ready to clean myself and start fresh. Yes - I literally SIT in the shower sometimes. Don't knock it until ya try it, okay! Sometimes I will do this mid day, and when I get out I feel so refreshed and motivated to finish whatever is at hand that day. Sometimes we need that mid day pick me up! 

    3. PAINT YOUR NAILS

    Or the longer alternative, get them done. While your babe is napping in the other room (being watched via monitor of course) treat yourself to that cheap nail polish home manicure girl! I know this sounds silly, or like you can do a million other things during nap time. I know how hard it is to try getting so much done in and hour or two period without a baby in your arms. But fresh paint is another thing that makes me feel like I semi have my life together.

    Sometimes taking care of yourself can be something as little as putting on some lipstick and dressing nicely, and whatever it may be just do it. Do it for yourself, because it's not just a physical type thing, its mental too. And if you don't, you will probably eventually have a mental breakdown and be overwhelmed from doing so much for others and never taking care of yourself - mentally and physically.

     

    CHOOSE YOU, MAMA'S! YOU DESERVE IT!

    I love chatting about this stuff, so if you ever feel like you need more suggestions or help in this area of your life please, just contact me, I'd be so happy to help!

    Xo

    -MMM

     

     

    A new mom's guide to : TUMMY TIME!

    A new mothers worst nightmare! Tummy time! I used to dread this part of the day, every single day.  I would watch the clock and time it 5 minutes exactly while I laid on the floor trying to soothe my little girl. I finally got my niche and stuck with it, and now my girl has already learned how to roll over at 3 months old! Not that it's out of the ordinary, but I feel like it's all because I was persistent and diligent with tummy time!

    There is no exact age to start at, but they say as long your baby was full-term and healthy that you can start as early as day 1 home from the hospital! We let her settle in a little before starting. Like most things in life, starting is the hardest part! 

     

    *Just so you know, my posts usually contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase by pressing a link, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.*



    tummy time

    Tummy Time Mats

    We have this tummy time mat, and it honestly does work great! But not for beginners! That was our first mistake! Thinking that miraculously putting our newborn on this mat was going to get her to perfect her tummy time skills... ummmm no! You definitely have to be on a professional level to use these mats! It can be scary for them, just facing the ground struggling(sort of) to breathe! And as a mom, you are obviously freaking out and uncomfortable when they're uncomfortable! We put the mat away until she was much more advanced and now she absolutely loves to play on it and grab for the toys! I definitely suggest purchasing one forsure! 

     

    A Nursing Pillow

    A nursing pillow has been such a lifesaver in my life as a new mom for so many different reasons.  It's a nursing pillow, so it obviously was amazing for that when I was just starting breastfeeding and really awesome even for other people to use when holding her! But I really felt like we got our moneys' worth when I discovered its uses for tummy time! When she was still learning how to get better function and control of her head, the boppy pillow really helped due to the extra cushion put under her chest. It propped her up a little higher, making her more comfortable and able to see around her better. I think part of being uncomfortable with tummy time is them only being able to see the ground and that's all. If your baby is anything like mine, I'm sure they love to look around and see their surroundings. The nursing pillow really helped her get better control and was a complete game changer for her tummy time routine! We prop her on her pillow, put her flashing singing turtle in front of her, and let her gaze in awe at the colors and sounds! She loves it! Of course always supervise your child while using the nursing pillow!

    *P.S. use my code : "MMM100"  @ Nursingpillow.com for a FREE nursing pillow :)* 

    tummy time
    tummy time

     

    Time Increments

    Ugh this was the worst. I wanted to pick her up the absolute second I put her down. She hated it so much! We started with 3 minute increments at a time. Honestly, I couldn't bare to hear her go crazy and scream like she did for more than once a day so we really only did it for a couple of minutes once a day. Once I felt more healed from delivery, comfortable and able to really focus 100% on her (about 3-4 weeks in) we really tried making up for lost time! Tummy time is apart of our daily schedule now and can sometimes last up to 15 minutes! She really enjoys being on her tummy and reaching for her toys. I think the best way to handle time increments is to start low at 3 minutes per time to get acquainted, and then increase from there. 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes. By the time they are comfortable, you can almost put them anywhere that's soft on their tummies! We do tummy time on the carpet, our tummy time mat, in our pack and play - pretty much anywhere! Always supervised of course!

    This same night she rolled over for the very first time!

    This same night she rolled over for the very first time!

    Hopefully you found this post helpful, and your babe is on their way to successful and less stressful tummy time! 

    Xo

    -MMM