The fact that we have a 5 month old is blowing my mind. Time is seriously no joke with a little one. I feel like I start every monthly update with something about how fast time is going, but I am not kidding. Each day is so similar and so different all at the same time. Addison changes with each new week that hits and leaves me constantly on my toes. He is always learning/doing something different and new. Motherhood is the biggest blessing, adventure and most amount of work ever. It's so cool to watch a little human figure out the world with every single thing. Especially when its a human you created with your hubby. Addi is the light of our life and getting into his little personality more and more. I'm sharing all things sleep, solid foods, my postpartum journey and more in his 5 month update.
Addison is such a little goober. Every day is full of so many laughs and smiles from him. Obviously there are lots of screams, grunts, frustration and everything else in between too. Anytime that little boy laughs nothing else matters. He just makes my heart grow bigger every day. These last few weeks have been so fun. We are getting more and more into some type of routine which is helping a lot. I pick up on his cues much easier now and he's starting to be a little less needy. I say a little because he is pretty hands on still. Either way, 5 months of love with Addi boy has been nothing short of amazing - and also really really hard!
Life With a 5 Month Old
It's crazy looking back and reading my previous monthly updates on sleep. I've included it in every single one because his sleep pattern is always changing. It's also something all of us parents are constantly reading up on (i.e. how do we get more of it?). I am happy to report that we are getting just a little bit more of it and it's life changing. We seem to have officially survived the 4 month sleep regression. I almost want to whisper that so I don't jinx it. For us, it was an entire month.
If you read my 4 month update (or follow along on my Instagram stories) you're very aware that Addison was a great 20 minute napper. He napped well up until about 3 months aka the newborn stage. Slowly he started regressing backwards until he hit the 4 month sleep regression and topped out at 20 minutes every.single.nap. It was a long, tough, trying and frustrating month.
I lost track of the amount of things I would try or the amount of sleep blogs I would read up on. Nothing worked. Looking back I wish I would have just accepted defeat in the very beginning and ride out the month. As a parent though, you obviously want to try everything and help get your baby sleeping well - for the both of you. So if you're reading this and are just hitting the regression - yes, try all the things. Sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn't. An extra 20 minutes of a nap does give you hope and at least lets you breathe for the time being.
My tip: Do whatever you have to for your baby to get the best sleep. I know movement is frowned upon, but Addison napped sometimes 45 minutes in his rocker - so I used it. He now no longer needs it. Don't over research everything and make yourself crazy. There is an answer out there no matter what and most of the time it truly comes from your gut. I beat myself up wondering why I couldn't help my child sleep only to come out on the other end realizing it had nothing to do with me. Babies need to learn how to sleep. It's important we give them all the right tools, but at the end of the day they will learn and it will happen. Just give it time.
New Daily Routine
With that behind us, we are slowly getting into a new daily schedule and I am kind of in love with it. As mention, things change so quickly so I am just enjoying this while it lasts.
- 6-7 AM - Our morning starts with the sounds of Addi talking away in his bassinet. It's so nice that we get some time with Kirby before he heads out to work. Working as a team to prep for the day is a relief and starts our mornings with so much more joy.
- 9 - Addi goes down no later than 9am for his first nap. It's almost always a set 45 minutes. Sometimes I'll get another 10-15 more minutes from him, but I don't count on it.
- 9:45/10 - He usually plays for 10 minutes when I prep his food (after snuggling for a few minutes of course) and then we move right into eating. This is where he has his his first of 2 solid food "meals" for the day. It by no means replaces his bottle or breastfeeding. Once he finishes eating the food I go right into the bottle/breastfeeding, change his diaper and more playtime.
- 11:30/12 - The second nap of the day is currently the longest one. Ranging anywhere from 1-2 hours. This new stretch is so nice. I usually try to be ready for filling this time with writing a blog post, working out/showering or doing all the house things.
- 3/3:30 - Goes down for his third and final nap of the day that usually lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- 4/4:30 - He eats his second solid food meal and a bottle soon after getting up. Kirby hangs with him for 10-20 minutes which we always keep pretty low key. We move him into bathtime, moisturizing, story time and then another bottle.
- 6:30/7:30 PM - Bedtime
The second bottle has been key for keeping him down all night. He'll wake up here and there for his nookie still, but doesn't feed again until 6am. This just changed in the last couple weeks so hang in there mama's!
I honestly never thought I'd see the day when Addison didn't have to be swaddled. What a journey. I should have seen the signs earlier and started the transition sooner than I did, however, new mama over here! Addi started fighting his swaddled out of no where around 3.5/4 months and that's when I should have known. He would cry getting swaddled every time, but slept so well with it. Anytime we tried to swaddle with his arms out it was a nightmare. What I've learned since than is that usually it's only a nightmare for a week or less. Just gotta stick with it. Aside from fighting the initial swaddle he would always get his left arm out anyway. So, transitioning began!
I started with one arm out and pulled the second arm out after about a week or so. It took a day for him to really get the hang of having his hands and arms free, but he was ready. When we originally tried he definitely wasn't ready because his startle reflex was still crazy. Trust your gut. Every baby is different and if something doesn't work right away don't give up! You're really never alone. There is always another mama out there going through the same thing and struggling in the same way.
Praise the lord we are past 20 minutes naps (for now)! I mentioned above just how hard the 4 month sleep regression was on us. Addison has a strong personality and sometimes is just not having it. He fought sleep like no other. So many other mama's out there gave me recommendations that worked for them and nothing worked for us. Which didn't help the situation. I kept questioning everything I was doing wondering if that was the thing affecting it. Nope. Addison is a baby and went through a very normal developmental stage and poof. Just like that it's done!
I do want to be real with you babes. I did do the cry it out method (bare with me) for a week. It wasn't a true CIO because I only let Addi cry for a total of 10 minutes. Rewind to why I chose to do that. Addison is very attached to his nookie and usually falls asleep with it. When it would come time for his sleep cycle to end the nookie would be out of his mouth and he would wake up crying from his nap. Then the whole cycle of trying to get him back down would start and it would end with a tired, not sleeping baby and a very frustrated mama.
I made the decision to let him cry for 5-10 minutes because I was tired of fighting with him to get him back down. After all that crying you can bet that most times he would fall back asleep the second I placed the nookie back in his month. Sometimes only for 10 minutes, but other times up to 45! Whoa. That was a big victory over here. After a week of that + sizing up to the next nookie, he slowly started sleeping more. I know there are other sleep regressions in the future so we'll see what the next hurdle is. For now, I'm going to enjoy my time as much as possible!
This is still very much a work in progress, but we have made strides! Addison is no longer using the rock n play which is huge in this household. I started slowly transitioning him away from movement over the last month. I would randomly try him overnight in our bassinet, but eventually just pulled the rock n play cold turkey. I've found that pulling things cold turkey is the best way to do it. Yes, you're signing up for 1-5 nights of craziness, but then it's done. We are still not fully there, but coming around!
Addison likes to be cuddled in between things (if that makes sense) and one of my girlfriends gave me the best idea! She created a homemade dock a tot under the crib sheets. Genius! My friend mentioned that she obviously had to stop once her son started rolling over consistently (he's a few months older than Addi), but I needed to try it. I fully think that by creating this it has helped get Addison used to crib sleeping more and more. I know having blankets surrounding your little one is not safe, but for me, he's not sleeping in it overnight so I'm always watching him. I also used thin swaddle blankets that you can breathe through as the surrounding part.
Again, total work in progress. I tried pulling them yesterday and he had a 20 minute nap. So, I put them back in because I just got rewarded with longer naps and didn't want to fight it. I will start transitioning those out by next week and will most likely cold turkey it when I'm ready for a tiresome day.
**DM me if you'd like to see an example of what I do in my Instagram stories!
All About Addi
Yay! Introducing food to Addison has been so fun. He has really enjoyed it and I knew he was ready. I had asked about it at his 4 month appointment and got all the details from my pediatrician. Start there and go with what they recommend! Around 4.5 months I started Addi on oatmeal and rice cereal mixed with my breast milk. I think having the smell and taste of my breast milk really helped since that's all he had. He ate every bite right up and loved it! This is not replacing any bottle or breast feeding. Just slowly working it into his diet to help his digestive & taste buds grow! I started with only giving him solids every other day, then everyday and now twice a day.
Once he was eating it everyday I started introducing more than just rice cereal and oatmeal. As of right now I plan to make as much of his food as I can myself. I like knowing exactly what is going into his little tummy + it's way cheaper. I'm sure I'll buy food when needed, but want to do what I can when possible. It's all one ingredient foods right now so it's really easy to do. The first thing we tried was a banana and Addison loved it! Didn't even think twice when he took his first bite. There were some faces of course, but he ate it right up. After 4 days (recommended to wait in between each new food) we tried sweet potato which he didn't like at first, but ate right up every night after. Since he rejected it a few times we stopped and went right into the bottle. Waiting to try it the next day seemed to work for us because he loves it now!
Rolling Over & Sitting
These are the two biggest things we're currently focusing on. Addison's been rolling over to his back no problem since 7 days old so I wondered if it would be quick for him to get to his tummy. He's a strong little boy and officially rolled over to his tummy all by himself 2.5 weeks ago. It was so fun to see. Now he's slowly doing it all the time. Yesterday I went into his room to quickly put his mattress back into the crib (switched the sheet) and when I came back out he was sitting on his tummy! It was so cute. Rolling to his tummy was a big reason I needed to get the swaddle transition in the works.
Seeing Addison sit up is the craziest thing. It's so hard to imagine him doing things all on his own! He is slowly getting stronger and become more steady, but I am definitely still assisting him. We like to use the floor seat while we cook, fold laundry, etc. because it helps strength his spine and back for sitting on his own. We're constantly saying how weird it will be when he's sitting on his own and crawling all over the place. Right now, I am enjoying every second of him sitting snug on my lap.
5 Month Postpartum Update
I am feeling so good lately after finally getting into some type of workout routine. Being active is always something I've loved, but after having a baby everything just feels so different. My c-section made me feel fragile and I don't feel comfortable moving the same way I used to. I feel uncoordinated, but the more I keep up with it the more comfortable I'm getting. By working on me and my health I will be happier overall. It's hard squeezing in a workout on top of everything else, but it always feels so good when I do. Taking those 20-30 minutes to workout makes everything else come a little bit easier. I feel a sense of power and achievement after kicking butt in a online workout class. It gives me more pep in my step and helps my overall attitude the rest of the day.
I'm slowly beginning to feel and see changes in my body which is making me even more eager to continue. It's tough work getting back into shape after having a baby. Super important that you listen to your body and take the time you need as a mama. Everyone is so different. Just remember that everything takes time. That's the most difficult part about it. You feel so out of shape when you start and it really takes time to see results. You have to get over the hump! I knew that if I made it at least 2 weeks consistently working out that it would be hard for me to stop. Once I start to feel even just the slightest bit of change it makes me wanting more. My muscles have definitely been so sore lately, but it feels good to be getting back to something I truly enjoy doing without having to think of it affecting anyone else.
Kirby and I have been working on switching over to a healthier diet again. Neither of us really like to diet. We like to do everything with the thought that moderation is key. Cutting back on our favorite carb heavy meals like pasta and Friday night pizza's has helped make all the difference with my body. Working out is one thing, but eating a healthy diet overall is absolutely key. We still enjoy our favorite things, but way less often. I love to bake so that is one thing that's difficult to cut down on. I have been trying to save it for special or fun occasions. Making a life change like this is never easy. It takes a little extra work and effort, but in no time it always just becomes routine which makes for a happier me.
This has been one of the more annoying parts of postpartum for me. I started noticing more hair coming out in my brush and in the shower around 3 months. By the time I hit 3.5 months there was hair everywhere. It just started slowing down a little bit in the last week or so, but the damage is real. I have fine hair to begin with so having a big loss has thinned my hair out like crazy. I haven't tried a whole lot because I have heard from lots of people that it just takes time. My little sister introduced me to an amazing product that has helped filled in the blank a bit (if you know what I mean). Style Edit Root Touch Up Brunette (blonde color) is something that fills in the mini bald spots with matching color to your hair. It's seriously magic and so easy to use! A simple product like that is amazing and has helped make me feel so much better.
Breastfeeding & Formula
I debated if I wanted to share much about this right now or not. I like to be as open as I can with you babes so I figured I might as well. Right now I'm transitioning out of breastfeeding and into formula feeding. It has not been an easy decision, but I know it's the right one for me. I'm struggling with it because I didn't need to stop breastfeeding. I was blessed with an over supply and easily could have kept going. For me, it just became too much. I always had major anxiety about making sure he had enough food. Being the only one who can provide food for your little one is amazing (obviously), but also really daunting. Anytime I wanted time to myself I had to make sure he had enough milk out in bottles to leave him or had to time everything just right for breastfeeding him. It's the most amazing thing you can do for your child and Addison and I had such a good experience together. A beautiful connection came from it, but I needed to have some more time for me.
I (like any mama) have given up so much to have Addison. I would do it all again, and hope to one day, but need time for me in between. Addi will receive breast milk almost all the way to 6 months. It's been weird bringing formula into his diet and our routine. I'm lucky with him (again) because he ate formula right up without thinking twice. Slowly I've been working it into his diet this last week and half. I started by serving him small amounts before breastfeeding or bottle feeding him my breast milk. Now I will do a bottle of formula one feeding and a bottle of breast milk another feeding. As of today I am down to feeding once (max twice) a day and think I'm officially done with pumping. It's so weird, but freeing to have my body fully back for me. It's been nice very slowly weening off breastfeeding because I had am amazing experience through it all and cherish that. I hope my next breastfeeding experience goes just as smoothly!