These Last Three Months
It's naptime, and I'm sitting in my favorite chair in our living room, snuggled up with a blanket and a strong cup of coffee. B has started getting herself on a nap schedule, and it feels like we're coming to the end of the newborn phase. I can't wait for her to learn, grow, and become more of herself every day, but I also wish she could just stay my little baby forever. It sounds so cliché when you hear it from everyone else, but when you actually experience having your own, it makes perfect sense.
In fact, all the things "they" say about being a parent are true, and not exaggerated in the least. The days are long, but the years are short? Yep. You'll love them in a way you've never felt before? YEP. The minute you have them, you join this funny little club where naptime schedules reign and talking about things like "nipple confusion" becomes normal (it's especially hilarious to watch dads bond over this stuff.) And all the times you said "I won't EVER do that" - Ha. Hahaha. YES. Yes you will, and you will eat every word happily because sanity is more important than your pride, my friend. You're mush in their hands, and that's totally fine because this goes by fast, so hold on tight and just enjoy it.
I will never forget the night we took B home. Jordan unloaded the car, and set up our room for the three of us while I hobbled to the couch to rest and feed baby. We got ready to go to bed, and I set B in her Pack and Play all swaddled up and sound asleep. I laid my head on the pillow, closed my eyes, and... bam MAD. She was sooo mad. I spent the majority of the night awake, trying to figure out how to nurse her successfully without sitting like a hunchback for an hour (finally figured this out after like two months...) We've all learned a lot since then. B knows that she can rely on these two goofy humans that brought her into the world, and we now can tell when she's getting hungry, tired, bored, etc. Oh, and if she gets overtired, we've learned that is no bueno for ANYONE when bedtime comes. So we became "those people" in a heartbeat, and I do not mess around with naptime. It's cool if you're chill about naps, but routine reigns supreme at the Storey household!
The first month was a blur of feedings, exhaustion, and extreme cabin fever (Example: I took my 2 week old in a baby wrap to Dillon's to get sushi and a Starbucks - no "ragrets," only the feelings of euphoria and mild insanity!). We really did luck out with a sweet baby and a good sleeper. I took full advantage of this in the early weeks, when the weather was warmer, and ran errands during her naps. Now that winter is in full force, we've been staying closer to home.
It's crazy how much has changed in the last three months. We went from 3-4 hour spurts of sleep with a newborn that made me feel like the world's biggest rookie to through-the-night sleeping with a baby that coos, kicks, and gives "kisses." You're so busy, you hardly notice that things are changing at a rapid pace.
The hardest hurdle we've tackled this month is sleep training. At B's two-month appointment, our pediatrician assured me if B's needs (dry, fed, and burped) were taken care of, she was fine to learn to sleep on her own. We've moved B to her room, in her crib, after weeks of transitioning her naps to the crib only. I was super consistent for 2 weeks straight - putting B down for a nap in a sleepsack (no more swaddling for B - she's outgrown it!) in her crib every. single. time. We were still co-sleeping at night (Safely of course - no blankets or pillows near B. My body was sore from not moving all night long, too.) until I felt she was adjusted to the crib. One night, when bedtime had come and gone, B was still wide awake acting like it was playtime because Mom and Dad were in the room. I knew the next night was our night for the crib. I set up her Owlet (a seriously awesome little gadget for my peace of mind) and checked/reassured her at intervals until she fell asleep. The first night was the hardest, running up and down the stairs all night, but the second night was a dream. I've learned a lot about baby sleep cycles in this last month, and it's become really important to me that B learns how to sleep on her own, especially when her sleep cycle gets to a light level, so she is able to put herself back to sleep as well. She's done really REALLY well with the transition, and it's been great to have our room back to ourselves again. I may or may not still fall asleep watching her sleep on the monitor... :)
So we're beginning the new year with a no longer newborn, and it's totally surreal to think of all the milestones ahead for B. Jordan and I were talking the other night about how much we're loving every new stage, though, and it's awesome how with every increasing week, B gets more and more herself. She is a sweet baby, and she continues to amaze me with the little person she's becoming.