|I love a good side by side bump/post bump picture. 7 months in 7 months out.|
This month, Anna is officially over baby food. That didn’t last long this time around. I didn’t plan on feeding her pureed baby food for very long, but I thought I’d make enough food for a month or two to keep in the freezer, but she wants nothing to do with the pureed food now. Every time I try to feed her a bowl of baby food she takes the spoon out of my hand and tries to feed herself. I’ve been just giving her finger foods now, which I personally prefer doing over baby food. I really love the independence finger food helps promote. To make things easy I just cut up whatever food we are having for dinner as long as it’s soft enough for her to eat. She usually eats her main meal at dinner time while we eat dinner and then I give her a little food when I eat lunch and breakfast. We eat meals as a family and I think it’s important to start that at a young age.
As for breastfeeding, we are now going strong on 7 months of exclusively breastfeeding. I never gave myself a timeline of how long I wanted to exclusively breastfeed, but I did know that I wanted to try to breastfeed longer than I did with Jack, even if I supplement fed her. Now I’ve officially hit that mark. I plan on continuing to breastfeed exclusively for the next couple of months as long as I can keep my supply up. I don’t plan on breastfeeding past 12 months, but I do want to take my time. I am just continuing to take it all day by day. I haven’t put any pressure on myself with breastfeeding this time around, which I think has helped me be successful with it.
As of right now, Anna is sleeping anywhere from 11-13 hours through the night. It’s amazing! My pediatrician was impressed that she was sleeping that well. She told me that not all 6-month-olds are able to take to sleep training that well. I am struggling to give up night feedings though. I am still feeding her at 10:00 pm before I go to bed and then if she wakes up for a diaper, usually, that’s around 3:00 am, I will feed her again. For a while, we had cut out that 3 am feeding, but since she’s already waking for the diaper I figured I’d feed her at that time too. Part of me still loves those night snuggles (as long as it’s not all the time) and the other part of me just needs to relieve myself, so I don’t feel so full of milk.
I’ve gotten some questions on whether or not I am following a specific sleep training program. The answer is yes and no. I haven’t followed any program perfectly, however, I have used 2 programs that helped me make a few changes and get our nights back on track. Take Cara Babies is one and the other is Little Lamb. Both sites offer sleep training programs that you can purchase, but they also have blogs with helpful articles about getting your baby to sleep through the night and other resources.
Here are my biggest takeaways from what I’ve learned about sleep training…
- Make sure your baby is eating well during the day. I was really struggling to get those feedings in during the day, but now I try to keep them on schedule and I mostly feed her in her room to keep her away from any distractions.
- Crying shouldn’t equal a feeding. I’ve learned to wake Anna for her feedings, instead of her waking me. That has helped her know that when she wakes up she needs to go back to sleep.
- Crying is okay and it will stop. I could never handle the crying before, but I learned that no matter how upset they get, they will come back down. You just need to listen to their cry and identify when they are really upset and when they are trying to self-soothe. I actually don’t sleep with my monitor on anymore. If there is something wrong she will cry loud enough for me to hear her, but if she wakes up and just makes noise to put herself back to sleep I can’t hear that.
- Get a noise machine and take out night lights. Babies don’t need a night light and having the sound machine keeps the room nice and peaceful.
- Early bedtime! The early bedtime was a game-changer. I didn’t realize how important a 7:00 pm bedtime was for her and for me.
After my sleep experience with Jack, I was convinced that sleep training didn’t work. I thought you either had a good sleeper or a bad sleeper. I definitely have learned a lot on the topic, but I still have some work to do. All I can say is that I’m actually getting some sleep at night with an infant and I am happy about that.
Life with 2 kids
Christmas this year, for me at least, was really special. It was the first year that we were actually home at our house and I got to play Santa and put all the gifts under the Christmas tree. I loved seeing Jack’s face in the morning when he saw them all. Anna just loved all the wrapping paper. Now that I have 2 kids, I feel like I need to step up my mom game a bit. I want to create the special memories that my mom did when I was younger, so I’m trying to do more of that, especially around the holidays.
Jack is not thrilled that his little sister is crawling and getting into all of his toys. He still loves to play with his little sister and he’s always so encouraging to her. One thing I’m still so grateful for is Jack being able to go to school full time. It’s the only thing at the moment that keeps some sort of normalcy in our lives. I’ve really enjoyed having my one on one time with Anna while he’s at school.
Favorite Baby Products
Sound Machine- If a sound machine isn’t on your baby registry, I highly recommend you add it. I wish I would have gotten one when Jack was a baby. This one very affordable sound machine (exact) at Buy Buy Baby and I love it! It has a good variety of noises including lullabies, a heartbeat sound, ocean waves, and more. My personal favorite is the ocean waves.
Full Coverage Bib- Anna got a really cute bib (here) from Pib Baby for Christmas and I love it. Now that she’s eating finger foods she needs something to keep her clean and a bib that cleans up easily. I found this full-coverage bib on Amazon that looks like it’s definitely worth trying, especially since all the food falls on her lab.