McKenna continued to just get faster and faster while nursing. It really is amazing to me how fast they get around this age.
My yeast infection is doing much, much better. The two week regimen seems to be getting rid of it for good (I hope).
One night as I was trying to feed the dreamfeed to McKenna, I decided the cluster feeding was now interfering with her eating. She didn't eat well for the dreamfeed because she had cluster fed. So I went to my Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems book and looked up when to stop. 8 Weeks! Oops. I missed that one. So I stopped that day and things went even better at night.
Waketime finally clicked this week! On Sunday, McKenna was up a little longer for the third nap of the day, which had previously been hard for me to figure out. We were at church, so by the time we got home and put her down, she had been up somewhere between 60-70 minutes (my husband doesn't watch the clock as closely as I do and he had her when she woke up :) ). She cried for a minute then went right to sleep. Wow! That was much better than silently sitting in her bed for 20-30 minutes and then crying. If I didn't have a video monitor, I would have thought she was asleep and then woke up.
So I finally figured out all of her waketime lengths for the day. Her first waketime is best at about 50 minutes. The rest are best at about 60 minutes (though I am toying with trying 55 for some...but I might just leave well-enough alone). Some can be between 60-70 minutes.
This week I also started stimulating her more during waketime activities. For her entire life, I have been very cautious about overstimulation, which was really great for her for a long time. I kept things mild and quiet. But now that she is older, she naps better if she has some real stimulation during her waketime. Not a parade (though that is coming this weekend!), but more just normal life.
Her first waketime is still pretty mild. She eats, has a bath, and then I lotion her and do a massage and "goo-goo" with her. Then I get her dressed and she has about 10 minutes of independent play.
Her second waketime is more stimulating. I feed her, then we all go for a walk. Kaitlyn and McKenna sit in our double stroller and Brayden rides his bike along with us. Because I know someone will end up asking, here is a link to the double stroller we use: Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All-Weather Umbrella Stroller. We really like it. Each seat can recline and it is lightweight. Also, it is a lot less expensive than most double strollers out there (and as I type this, it is 31% off on Amazon). We used it with Brayden and Kaitlyn and now Kaitlyn and McKenna. Oh, and an idea I had (once it was too late for McKenna) is that if you want to use it with a younger baby, you could get the Kiddopotamus Snuzzler. We have this and use it in our bike trailer for McKenna. It works great. But I found it when she was older and didn't need it for the stroller. Just a little FYI for you :)
Her third waketime is just with me. She eats of course. I often have her sit in her bouncy seat while I clean up the kitchen and/or she does some tummy time also.
Her fourth waketime is with the whole family home, so various things can happen. She eats. Errands, bike rides, visiting friends, around the house, etc.
Her last waketime is just before bed, and in actuality I haven't perfected this length yet. I am working with figuring out if she should have it be long or really short. It does include eating, getting ready for bed, and reading a story.
Some of you might be getting coss-eyed thinking about doing the same thing for each waketime. If so, mix it up! For me, I like the predictability and it also helps me be sure I get everything in that I want to. Some waketimes naturally vary because life isn't the exact same every single day, but this is the current plan I work with. Having one unpredictable waketime each day is enough for me.
CIO was fast and painless for us (I guess as painless as it can be). I am going to write an "In Action CIO" post because there are things I learned during this process that I think will be of benefit to others.
Naps were good. One change I made this week was to close her blinds during naptime. I always like for my kids to learn to sleep with light, but I thought it might be disrupting her. I decided sleeping well the 99% percent of the time when she is in a room that can have the blinds closed is better than sleeping okay 99% of the time and okay the 1% of the time she might be somewhere I can't darken the room with blinds or curtains.
NIGHTTIMEShe continued sleeping through the night. When I say sleeping through the night, I mean she slept 7-8 hours continuously. Since I do the dreamfeed quite early, that puts her waking up before our ultimate desired waketime.
You will recall that in the past with McKenna, when she STTN I treated any feeding past 6 AM as our first feeding for the day and then just extended the first nap (which she will do). At this age, however, I found it better to feed her on one side and then put her back to bed and get her up at her desired waketime.
I think that around three months old, the baby starts to get more stable and even more on a pattern. I wanted her to learn what time is morning. So I reduced the amount she ate in the early morning feeding and then woke her up to eat. This went well this week.
I didn't mess with the swaddle this week at all. She is still in need of it. She is getting much more coordinated with her arms, so I think that she will be able to at least have one arm out "soon." By soon, my guess is within the month (though that is only a guess; who knows the future). She does sometimes work her arm up so her hand is at her mouth. That can make her "upset" (not crying, just frustrated). At first I wanted to go in and put her arm back down, then I decided that it is part of the learning process for her. She needs to learn to sleep that way since she is strong enough to get that way. Keep in mind I can see her on the video monitor, so I know if she has her hand there or not by looking. She really quickly adjusted to this and fell asleep well with her hand down or her hand up. This really is a small step toward weaning from the swaddle.
HAND SUCKINGAs I said, she is getting better with her hand. She can more purposefully get her hand to her mouth. She still hasn't decided what she likes. Fingers, thumb, fist...she doesn't know yet. She is still trying it out.
McKenna got a lot more social this week. Not only was she very social during nursing (stopping to talk to me), she was also much more social during awake time. She lights up when her siblings enter the room. She looks around to try to find the people who are talking. She is a jabber-mouth. She loves kisses. She is just so fun! See, this is the reason I just look forward to three months old so much. I love interacting with my children.
Our schedule has some differences. Our morning waketime got a little later because of the early morning feedings and we also dropped the cluster feeding:
7:30-8:00 PM--sleep in swing due to witching hour
5:30-6:00 AM--early morning feeding (she wakes for this, I don't wake her)
I have a new book to add:
- The Wonder Weeks. Eight predictable, age-linked leaps in your baby's mental development characterized by the three C's (Crying, Cranky, Clingy), a change ... and the development of new skills (and a link to their site: http://livingcontrolsystems.com/)
- On Becoming Baby Wise
- The Nursing Mother's Companion: Revised Edition
- Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby
- The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior--Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood
- Super Baby Food
- What to Expect the First Year
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child