Every time I sit down to write one of these posts, I am astounded at how this time has passed so quickly. I know it will only continue to pass quickly too. Before I know it, we’ll be celebrating her first birthday (*cue tears*). But, here we are 8+ months in, and well, we are surviving.
I would say I finally feel like we’re in a good groove. Granted, we will have some more teething battles and I’m sure some sleepless nights ahead, but to this point, I feel pretty good. I have changed alot over the past few months, and I’m still trying to figure out my priorities. While I still have this pressure nagging me to get things done on my to do list, I’m working on just enjoying the ride as it comes. Much easier said than done, but I feel like I’ve really tuned in to how I’m feeling and what I’m needing lately.
While some of the leaps have brought about periods of more fussiness, overall she’s pretty happy. She definitely gets fussier and angrier when she’s tired so we try to avoid that. She is SO aware and observant. Now that she’s crawling and pulling up, anything is game. She sees things that I don’t even see. She’s like a hawk and will move quickly.
We have baby-proofed slightly, but I still have to keep a watchful eye. She has also started pulling herself up on everything – human legs, couch legs, lamps, kitchen counters, chair legs, etc. She loves cords and contrasting colors, too. Gone are the days when I can just sit down with her and pay attention to something on tv or my computer. Oh, and she loves screens – I’m pretty sure all babies do. But if she sees my phone, she’s after it in a heartbeat. Part of me hates this – that we are so dependent on phones and now babies love them. But, the other part of me says, “well this is how we function in our lives.” Totally torn on that front. She is also in a phase where if you take something away from her, she’ll get mad, pout and you may see some tears. But, they clear up pretty quickly.
We have our first tooth erupting (as of writing this) and I know more are coming! It looks like two on the top and two on the bottom are on their way in! We had a night last week where we were up from 2-4:30 am – we were just bouncing around (trying to keep her happy) and grabbing cold things for her to suck on. Poor baby.
The ever-changing dynamics of baby sleep! I’m currently reading this book, and things are going well. We are currently doing some very loose sleep training, but aside from when she’s been in a leap or experiencing pain, she’s a decent sleeper. 1-2 wakeups/night is normal for her. Things are good right now (0-1 wakeups), but I know that can change in an instant so I’m not putting too much stock into it. We have started putting this wearable blanket back on her at night and I think it’s making a difference.
My must haves for sleep….This white noise machine is definitely one of them. I have always slept with white noise and since Tater can be a barker, we use it for Camryn. It can work great for the car, too, if needed because it can run on batteries as well as electricity. We also use this which can help calm her down. I’m pretty impressed with the Shusher’s battery life – I’ve only replaced the batteries once in these first 8 months!
Our biggest challenge with sleep has been her short naps, and she’s pretty much been like this from the start. She’ll throw in a longer nap occasionally (and when the nanny texts me that it happens, I’m so shocked), but most naps are 35-45 minutes, which I guess is one sleep cycle. Although lately the longer naps have come more often! I’m now trying to make sure her wake time is a little longer in the mornings to see if that makes a difference. But, I guess if she’s sleeping well at night, I can’t complain too much about short naps. It makes working at home very difficult, though.
Activities + Likes/Dislikes
Camryn seems to get very bored with toys soon after we buy them. I don’t know what it is, but she’s always much more interested in what we have going on. This Baby Einstein activity center has gotten the most use, and now she loves to pull up against it and push the buttons. She likes climbing the stairs – this is a newer thing and I’ll let her play/climb when I’m near her.
In terms of other activities, she loves the baby jogger (which has worked out great for me!), especially since we shifted her seat up so she can look up and around. We have the Bob and I absolutely love it – highly recommend it if you’re looking for a good running stroller. It’s so smooth and while it is a tough workout pushing a stroller while running, I feel like I am getting more efficient.
We take swim lessons once a week and she loves them. She has always loved bath time and the water, but I think what she likes about the pool is the other kids and interaction. She is FASCINATED by other babies and little kids. She giggles and won’t take her eyes off them. I enjoy the swim lessons, too. We sing, we splash, and we have different stations for learning. She actually tumbled off the float at our last session (I was TERRIFIED) but Ed picked her up right away and she was only under water for a second, and I guess her instincts kicked in. The teacher routinely dunks the babies under during class (though Cam hasn’t done that yet), but I guess she is ready now!
She also loves straws and grabbing anything that is in front of her on the table. We have a few sippy cups for her (this and this), and she’s still figuring them out. But if we’re out to eat, I’ll get a plastic covered cup and let her try to sip out of the straw. She also knows to open her mouth if I tilt the glass towards her to take a sip. Each time I do that, she’s surprised that (cold) water actually comes out!
We took her out in the snow this past weekend and she didn’t seem too enthralled. She seemed to enjoy the snowsuit though.
She did NOT like Santa…Maybe next year.
Cam’s General Schedule
I’ve been meaning to do a day in the life detailing Cam’s schedule – would you guys be interested in that? Anyway, we are not super rigid with our schedule. I’ve had some times where I’m adamant about her nap times, but others I realize that I can’t put my whole life on hold for her naps (and they are usually short anyway). I’ve accepted that sometimes naps have to happen in the car, and sometimes they just don’t happen no matter how hard we try. And that’s okay.
This is our schedule on days I am home with her (2-3 days/week).
Wake up: Generally between 7 and 7:30
Nurse, play, eat breakfast.
Nap: Somewhere between 9-9:30. Will sometimes nurse before this nap. She has always been a 35 minute catnapper – literally, 35 minutes ON THE DOT EVERYTIME. Lately, though, she has been napping for an hour to 75 minutes, so I’m really praying we’ve turned over a new leaf.
10:45-11: Nurse, play, walk/run. If I have any errands to run
12:30-1ish: Nap #2. Again, sometimes it’s short, but this one is a little more guaranteed to be longer. It ranges from 45 minutes to 75 minutes. If both naps are short, I usually try to get a 3rd nap in the late afternoon too. So, sometimes she gets 3 naps but more often than not, it’s two. It will be interesting when she switches to one nap a day – I feel like we are so far from then! Currently, Cam shows tired signals between 2 to 2.5 hours after being awake.
2: Nurse and usually walk/play/run errands
6:30 Bottle and bed
I like doing the bottle before bed because anyone can feed her, but also because I think she gets a little bit more than from nursing. Remember in the beginning when she wouldn’t take a bottle? These bottles have been life savers and are still the only ones she will take.
I feel like we found our groove with nursing at around 4-5 months. While we used a nipple shield almost exclusively in the beginning, one day things just clicked and we stopped using it. I am really enjoying nursing and plan on going for as long as I can/as she allows. I used to stress so much about being out in public and having to go to the car to feed her, and I”m so much more relaxed now. She’s efficient so feeding sessions are pretty short. I think me being relaxed and calm is helpful for her, too. I use this cover if we’re in public and now it doesn’t really bother me at all. I’ve nursed her in various public places and I feel like no one else really notices. I also love the cover because it doubles as a carseat cover, which has made her napping in the car exponentially easier by blocking out light.
I am probably feeding her about 6 times a day. I’m definitely not ready to start the weaning process yet but I’ll do my best to follow her cues as we cross that bridge. Now that we’ve introduced solids (which I have a post coming soon detailing this process), she also is eating about 2 meals/day. Sometimes 3 if I can get all my stars aligned, but on the days I work, that is nearly impossible. I’m comfortable with 2 right now, and my absolute favorite is starting our day with breakfast together. They say that you just want to have them eating 3 meals and 2 snacks/day by age 1, so I think we’re doing just fine.
I don’t love pumping but I do it 2x/day on the days I’m with her. Once in the morning, which is my largest pump of the day. And I pump at night before bed. And obviously on the days I work, I pump throughout the day when I’m not with Camryn. I love my Spectra S2, but also ended up getting an old Medela Freestyle from a friend that has made things easier because it runs on batteries.
Update on Me
To continue on what I touched upon earlier in this post, while I had some anxiety early on, I feel much better now. I guess 8 months has allowed me some time for my wacky hormones to somewhat settle. I think resuming my exercise plan and carving time out for me during the week has been very important – whether it be for my work, or other things. I’m trying to carve out 30ish minutes/day for some movement, but it doesn’t always happen. I don’t always feel like it. Sometimes, I just want to stay home and play with Camryn or get housework done.
I absolutely love being Camryn’s mom. Motherhood has just brought a whole new meaning to my life and I just can’t imagine life without her or before her. I guess I would say I’m still adjusting to my life not being completely mine anymore, though. Sometimes, I’m bummed that I can’t just go run when I want to, or can’t say yes to a spontaneous happy hour or dinner date. I can’t just meet clients whenever I want to. I know this phase of life won’t last forever, and I am cherishing it. I just feel like there are always so many things on my to do list that don’t even get touched, so I have to be realistic.
I will say, Camryn is so much more animated and aware right now so it is fun to take her out when we can do that. I’m looking forward to more play dates in the future. I am looking forward to doing story time more regularly, but right now the timing is a little difficult with her naps. How do you mammas balance things with naptime?
You tell me,
Did you have favorite activities you went to with your little ones?
Did you have any must have items that made your life easier?