rolling with the punches

penny’s growth spurt has ended! it lasted from july 31-august 6. i was able to figure out the dates through the baby tracker app. since i log every time i feed penny, i noticed that during those 7 days, penny’s total time spent nursing/feeding was about 2.5~3 hours a day. normally, she feeds for 1.5 hours a day. at her last checkup, she was nearly 12.5 lb.. surely she must be 13 lb. by now!

yet another way i could tell that her growth spurt had ended was that she returned to her regular sleeping schedule. i began sleep training her at 2.5 months to get her acclimated to having a sleep schedule. newborns don’t really have a schedule but as penny is nearly at the infant stage it was important to start getting her used to sleeping at certain times so she won’t be overtired. she began going to bed around 9-10pm around two weeks ago but i noticed that she would barely nap the last 3 or 4 hours before her unofficial bedtime. this alarmed me because she was so overtired and wasn’t easy to put down. we slowly started moving her bedtime to 8:30, then to 8, and now she sleeps anywhere from 6:30-7pm. it has worked out well for all of us because penny isn’t exhausted and we aren’t eating dinner separately or late because of her late bedtime.

it also helps to have a bedtime routine. ours is feed/bath/*feed/bed. when i nurse her, i try to do it in her nursery with only the lamp on (not the chandelier) and piano music playing in the background (along with the white noise) to get her ready for bed. thankfully she loves baths and is very calm in the tub. we sing and talk to her (and then soothe her once she’s out because she hates getting out of the tub!) while giving her a massage to help her relax even more. afterwards, we apply lotion to her entire body and put a fresh diaper and an undershirt on. usually by this time, she is tired so we haven’t successfully been able to read a bedtime story to her. (i was actually able to read one to her tonight so i hope to incorporate that into the routine.) the last feed is optional as she may still be full but i do offer it so she’ll be more content and sleep longer. lastly, we give her a pacifier and her eyes immediately start getting heavy. then we place her in the magic merlin suit (more on this in my next post) and rock her until she falls asleep. recently, she’s been passing out in our arms in ten minutes or less… i hope this continues.

due to penny’s earlier bedtime, dennis and i have been able to spend more alone time with one another which we truly appreciate. we are eating dinner at a more reasonable time and also unwinding by watching tv and talking to one another. my sister turned 30 last week, and i organized a dinner for 8 people to help her celebrate. while dennis and i got ready, my sister and mil gave penny a bath and got her ready for bedtime. then we all left while my mil rocked her to sleep. lo and behold, she passed out around 7pm.

happy birthday, jen!

happy birthday, jen!

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i think brendan, jen’s bf, told us to do tiger claws

the boys came out too!

the boys came out too!

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even though her growth spurt ended a few days ago, she still has not been her usual self because she has also been going through a developmental leap. the current one that she is on, and will be ending tomorrow, is “smooth transitions.”

after going through this leap some of the things that penny may be able to do are:

  • follow something with her eyes in a fluid motion √
  • turn her head in a fluid motion when following something √
  • more lively, more active, squirms, and is turning in all directions √
  • rolls from tummy to back (with a little help) – i’ve been doing lots of tummy time with her to keep strengthening her neck and core. she hasn’t been able to roll over on her own yet but she’s not quite 3 months yet so we’ll keep practicing!
  • shakes a rattle – she’s definitely grabbing objects more often and moving them around but hasn’t shaken a rattle
  • discovers new possibilities of the voice such as cooing, screaming, and crowing √
  • blows saliva bubbles √
  • clearly shows in her behavior when she finds something funny or interesting √
  • clearly enjoys light bulbs slowly illuminating from soft to bright – we don’t have a dimmer so i can’t try this out but she loves looking at light fixtures so i turn them on and off for her to observe.
  • clearly enjoys sounds that gradually go from high to low or vice versa – i haven’t experienced with volume yet but i do play music when she’s awake to have her exposed to background noise and different genres.
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look at her grabbing toys!

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tummy time!

tummy time!

penny actually hates tummy time so i do it when she's in a good mood after nursing.

penny actually hates tummy time so i do it when she’s in a good mood after nursing.

practicing sitting up with her new sit-me-up chair

practicing sitting up with her new sit-me-up chair

since she’s learning so much, she has been exhibiting typical symptoms of this leap which are crying more often, longer, and harder; wanting to drink more; wanting more physical contact; withdrawn (often); thumb sucking (often); and quieter and/or less mobile behavior. besides the last one, penny has been showing all these symptoms for the past two weeks. she prefers being with either me or dennis probably since she sees us the most. even with my mil, she had been fussing when being held by her. but sometimes she doesn’t like to be held; she actually really enjoys lying on her back and observing everything around her.

this past saturday we ventured to new jersey to attend an annual pool party at our friends’ parents’ home. initially we decided not to go because of the long commute but changed our minds so that we wouldn’t be so tied down by penny. the more we expose her to car rides, the outdoors, and other people the better she’ll be able to cope and to take naps on-the-go (something that she’s struggling with as she’s used to napping at home in her dark room with the white noise on.)

her brief nap on the way down to nj

her brief nap on the way down to nj

well, what should have been a 2.5 hour car ride one way turned out to be 4 because of traffic and two pit stops to nurse and change diapers. needless to say, penny barely napped on the way down so she was super cranky… and then we brought her to a brand-new place that was blaring music and had tons of people milling around. she started crying hysterically right away. As a result, dennis and i spent the majority of the time indoors because every time we stepped outdoors, she would freak out (the loud music didn’t help). she was calm, and even napped, for a little while when dennis wore her in the baby bjorn but after she woke up, it was game over. it was disappointing that we didn’t get to swim or really enjoy ourselves but we did get to mingle and catch up with friends we hadn’t seen in a while. we only stayed for 3 hours before heading home (penny’s bedtime is 7pm and it would take us 2.5 hours to get home). she actually slept on the way home because she was so exhausted and ended up sleeping for 8.5 hours that night.

i’m thinking she was extra sensitive because she’s going through her leap but she’s a fairly sensitive baby to begin with. one example is that we change her diaper often because she can wake up early from naps even with a slightly wet diaper. she also LOVES diaper changes by the way. she will lie there smiling happily and kicking because she’s looking forward to getting a fresh diaper;  it’s pretty cute.

penny and i are meeting up with genie and olivia for another playdate tomorrow afternoon. we like to meet up at westfarms mall because nordstrom has a mother’s lounge for breastfeeding and pumping.. so convenient.. every place should have one. i get nervous bringing penny out on my own especially since she gets agitated in the car seat (really, i would too if i had to sit there with a sweaty back for hours), but i’m trying to build my confidence so that we both can get used to being out and about. she’s a baby so it won’t really be a smooth outing but as long as i can keep a cool head it’ll be okay. dennis is always telling me to ‘roll with the punches’ and be ready for any outcome because a baby’s behavior is unpredictable. i’ll also be with a friend tomorrow so that makes me feel significantly better.

to the mall we shall go!

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