Newborn sleeps 10 hours! (TIPS & TRICKS)

i’ve knocked on wood a couple times in the last week. writing this post is kinda freaking me out and i’ve become quite superstitious. as if me giving advice on my baby’s sleep schedule will suddenly revert him back to a terrible sleeper. but i’ll be courageous and push through bc superstition is bizarre and i’ve never really believed in it and well, i want to share my advice on sleeping, dangit!

Let me first begin by saying: THIS IS MY BABY’S SCHEDULE. every baby is different. how many times have you heard that statement since becoming a mom? lol but I do believe a few simple steps and a few simple pointers can actually work for any baby. Another point I must make is that I’m BIG on intuition. I believe God gave us a true dose of intuition the minute we conceived our children, every mother and every father and therefore, we really do know what is best for baby. So, read this post with the light, fun, and truly entertaining purpose that it is intended, and raise your glass to our babies sleeping through the night, bc honestly, that’s what we all hope and pray (beg!) for every night as we lay those sweet babes down to sleep (no matter what age!)

ok, here’s some backstory. Stone is a good sleeper. Always has been. Can sleep in a sun-filled room with the tv blasting and his parents in full-blown conversation. He loves to be swaddled, for the most part, although he does love to work his hands up to his face and is pretty good at it. He sucked his thumb briefly in those first couple of weeks, but hasn’t done it since. We have never used a paci, although not opposed, just haven’t needed it.

When I was pregnant, my friend Tori told me about the SNOO. She went on and on about the SNOO. I was very sick during my pregnancy and while many women love to daydream about when baby arrives and they spend hours filling their registries with the essentials and all the most adorable accoutrements, I never got into that. Grant actually made our registry. I couldn’t even think about it. From being sick to being stressed at work, to worrying about labor to moving house, I had zero brain space to pick out bibs.

But that conversation with Tori kept creeping back into my head. She said the SNOO saved her and her newborn baby in the sleep department. She kept saying he slept soooo good. I didn’t even know what that meant and I truly didn’t appreciate the conversation for what it was worth, but I did remember that SNOO = sleep.

So I told Grant about it and after picking him up off the floor after seeing the price, we decided to retire the idea of the SNOO. but only for a little bit. Grant somehow checked the SNOO website on this random day and it was on sale (FOR $750!!!!). He asked if we should just go ahead and get it, and I said, go for it (having no real idea what this meant for our lives . . . ). The SNOO arrived a week before Stone arrived, and literally the night I was induced, Grant had randomly pulled the SNOO out of the box and assembled it.

So fast forward to today. The SNOO is pricey, but IT IS WORTH IT. I don’t know newborn life without it, so please know that I’m so extremely spoiled by this thing and it is worth every penny.

That’s tip number one: get yourself a SNOO. The best way to describe it: a motorized bassinet that has a built-in swaddle, built-in white noise machine, and 5 soothing settings. We started using the SNOO around week 4, when I felt like Stone had gained some weight and would fit nicely in the swaddle. If Stone starts to wiggle, or gets restless, the SNOO knows. it knows everything. if he starts to cry, the SNOO knows. the soothing settings change based on his movements and cries. Usually, Stone is just restless, and the SNOO rocks him right back to sleep. If Stone is actually hungry or just wants his mom, the SNOO will go through all the sooth settings and eventually shut off the bassinet completely. This is our cue to get baby. It takes like maybe 4 minutes (if that) to go through all the settings, so don’t worry, he’s not crying for long. the sooth settings just give him a chance to fall back asleep on his own – and he usually does.

We have learned so much about Stone over the last six weeks of using the SNOO, and we rarely even put Stone in his SNOO if he’s still hungry or needs a diaper change. so the need to go get Stone out of the SNOO because of crying has happened only a handful of times.

Tip number two: put SNOO in a dark room. Ok, so we had Stone in our bedroom for the first 6 weeks of his life. We don’t have curtains in there, which is fine at night, but for daytime naps, he would sleep in the bright sunny room. By 6 weeks, I decided it was time to move the SNOO into his nursery, where we have black out curtains. Game changer. His daytime naps have been amazing. he sleeps the full nap and honestly could sleep longer if I didn’t wake him up.

Tip number three: make naptime consistent. (disclaimer: I am home all day with my baby. I have the luxury of making a schedule and sticking to it. We rarely go out. And if we do go out, his naptimes do get interrupted and we pay for it at night. So please know that this advice is based on a stay at home mom who can be very strict with her schedule. hats off to all the moms who have amazing childcare providers that keep their babies on schedule and love them all day long!! ugh, those are angels on earth am i right?!) I used to let Stone nap anywhere. Usually in the living room, with the tv on, lights on, etc. etc. This worked great for us while he was really young. By the 5-6 week mark, I was ready to give him the ultimate sleeping environment, which was actually more of a sacrifice for me than him. It took some adjusting and discipline, especially walking up the steps to put him in his SNOO, but man, it’s worth it. SIDE NOTE: I love a baby napping on my chest. When the iron strikes and Stone falls asleep on me, I do soak it in. Every single nap doesn’t HAVE to be in his nursery. BUT it does help with the full night sleep. SO when you are weighing the pros and cons, just know that there’s a HUGE pro to snuggling and napping with babe, but the con could be he has a harder time going to sleep at night. Remember, this is Stone’s story – your baby is different and lovely and beautiful and something different probably works for them. PS: The reason it could be considered a con is that Stone doesn’t sleep as long and as uninterrupted in my arms. Naps in the SNOO are 1.5 hours. When he’s in my arms, he does a good 30 minutes before he wakes up. So, that’s the difference from a SNOO nap.

Tip number four: Moms On Call. Ahh instagram. Thank you. One day my friend Brittney posted about this app called: Moms On Call. She was sharing about how well her daughter slept because of this app and even though Stone was sleeping great, I was super curious. So I bought it, and started following the schedule for his age the next day. It was actually quite similar to the schedule we were already following, but it included a bunch of tips and tricks to help as well. When I first downloaded it, I was on the 0-7 week schedule. about a week of that and it was time to transition to the next age group (which was scary bc i had JUST nailed the other schedule) We are on the 8-16 weeks schedule right now. It maps out the day from the first feeding (7A) to the last feeding (7P), and all the naps, playtime and bathtime in between. LOVE IT. worth the money in my book. Right now he eats at 7A, 10A, 1P, 4P, 7P (every three hours) and naps at 8:30A, 11:30A, 2:30P, 5:30P (for 1.5 hours each nap) & 8P to 4-5A.

Tip number five: Babytracker. My friend Rachael told me about this app while I was pregnant, and again I didn’t fully appreciate it’s power. I have been tracking Stone’s feedings, diapers and naps since day one (the hospital forces you to track diapers and feedings, on paper (ugh), so I was already in the habit when we got home). Now if you love to track things, this will help you majorly. This is how I can say with confidence that Stone sleeps 7-10 hours every night. Without the app, I wouldn’t know left from right, up from down, because the days seriously blend together. I track how much he eats during the day too – this helps me put him down to sleep after that last bedtime feeding knowing he ate good all day and there’s a slim chance he’ll get hungry in the middle of the night. It also reminds me what side he should be nursing on each feeding because how in the world am i supposed to remember otherwise? I’m no superwoman!

Tip number six: bedtime routine. Yes, we finally have one of these. Took us 6 weeks, so don’t put pressure on yourself if you still have a young babe and no real routine. We start with a bath (Grant does this mostly; it’s their time to bond and I love it!) and then a nice clean diaper, a nice warmer sleeper, coconut oil and lavender oil on his feet and legs and then his final bedtime feeding. Sometimes this feeding is an hour long. I usually read him a book while he eats and then he goes to bed. Bathtime starts at 6:30P, feeding is from 7-8pm and by 8pm he’s in bed. I don’t start hearing him over the monitor until between 4-5am. Then I change him and feed him (for about 10 minutes) and then he sleeps again until 7am. And that’s when our day begins!

Tip number seven: grace. give yourself and your baby grace. Stone loves to sleep. He’s not much into this “playtime” stuff the “moms on call” app speaks of. He’s most alert (re: fussy) from 4-6:30PM (thank god, this is when Grant is home) and we do tummy time and HE ROLLS OVER for us (still in disbelief my baby is rolling over) and we sing and dance and do all the things until bathtime. everyday is different and i have to give myself grace. Stone is a human being with needs and those needs can change day to day. as much as I wish life was planned out, that’s unrealistic. so take the structure, love the structure but be okay with a deviation here and there.

So, overall, this is how my 10-week baby has slept 7-10 hours at night since he was 6 weeks old. I really believe that these tips are what works for Stone! If we didn’t have the SNOO, I honestly don’t know what life would be like and I don’t want to think about it lol it’s a luxury item but it has allowed us to get some sleep and therefore, I believe it’s worth it.

What are some tips that work for you and your babe? I would LOVE to know, seriously! Another small tip: we use disposable diapers at night because my other friend Rachael said they are more absorbent than cloth diapers (which we use during the day). So that might also help him sleep through the night, who knows?!


Here’s Stone’s week in review! He’s 10 weeks today and weighs: 12lbs on the dot!

A couple of cute things: his back is ticklish. I found this out while nursing him today, SO CUTE. My boy is ticklish! ahhh. ALSO, he truly is rolling over. I love it and I’m so proud of him. Smiles all the time. OH, and I took away his favorite toy – my hair! haha. Chopped 10 inches off and I feel like a new woman! My hair hasn’t been this short in FOREVER.


Flu, Flu go AWAY (week 8 & 9)

yeah, you heard that right. camp cardwell was infiltrated with the flu last week. grant got it from work (6 or 7 guys were out for it!) and then brought it home to me.  we tried to do our best to keep away from each other, masks and all, but the flu is airborne (thanks nurse jena for the lesson ;)) and therefore we weren’t really able to avoid it. Stone got sick with a nasty cold, but no fever thank the lord! He’s definitely got his appetite back and his smiles back!

because of the illness i missed stone’s 8 week update! he was 11lbs 8oz. He gained almost a pound in a week! He loves his milk and I’m really loving breastfeeding. It’s exhausting sometimes but I love it. he’s talking up a storm and smiling like it’s his job. i’m in love. actually in love.

some big news I shared was deciding to stay home with stone, it was a little bit of a whirlwind. I was blessed to have a staff lunch where some of my closest friends said some really remarkable things and I left SOOOO emotionally exhausted and feeling very loved. I cried way too much. I loved my job and all the people I got to spend everyday with! I will miss them so much.

One big milestone, Stone slept for 10 hours straight! I was SOOOOO proud of him. Which got me thinking about how every new mom should experience this joy! Let me know if you’d like a blog post on our sleep schedule and what works for us (mainly Stone!). I think it would be fun to share, so let me know!

And TODAY, Stone is weighing in at 11lbs 7oz at 9 weeks. What a chunk! He really didn’t eat his normal amount for the three days he was sick 😦 so I’m glad he only lost an itty bitty ounce.

New JOB?!

effective today jan 24, i’ve accepted the position of full-time stay-at-home mom!

most of you know i’ve worked at my church since i graduated college (9 years ago!!) & it has been one amazing journey. i matured as a woman working in ministry, learning alongside the best leaders & pastors you can dream of!

working in ministry full-time was something only God could orchestrate (in my head, i was gonna be the next Katie Couric!) & i’m so thankful for HIS plan. if you’ve ever talked to me, you know how much i loved my job! i loved the tasks, i loved the people, i loved being a part of all the things! to get to be a part of growing a Biblical community, there’s just nothing else like it.

oh but then there’s MOTHERHOOD. what i didn’t even see coming! becoming a mom has changed my heart & soul & i am blessed to be experiencing it! grant & i are so thankful for the opportunity for me to be home with stone; i pray i never take it for granted.

we love our church & our church family & we thank you so much for the way you’ve taken care of our little family: from our engagement, to our marriage, to our baby boy arriving in the world; thank you. & to all my ministry partners, i will miss you. so much. we are a family & i love you dearly.

i’m a different person bc of my job. God used it to show me a lot of hard lessons about myself, lessons i know have prepared me for motherhood.

i’m SO excited for this new chapter & we would love your prayers as we navigate this new season. humbled to be stone levi’s mama, that’s for sure.

love, the cardwells🖤

The Season Of The Sponge (plus baby pics, duh!)

“Soak it up. These days won’t last. Enjoy every second. Soak it up.”

I’ve heard these phrases multiple times in my life. The first time I can remember was probably in high school. I didn’t know what they meant – that “these days won’t last.” That these people may not be your friends in ten years. I couldn’t even imagine a world any different than the world of my high school days.

But they were right. I moved on to college and I looked back and those days were a distant memory. A really good, good, memory – but distant for sure.

I guess the next season I remember hearing those words was when I started dating Grant. And then into our marriage. BK. Before kids. This season was apparently so precious that I shouldn’t even THINK about having kids. Because once you intro kids into the mix – life is over.

Not everyone had this perspective, but man oh man, I was hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t. And I think I’m too fresh into the motherhood game to really see how precious those newlywed days truly were. I mean, just like high school wasn’t a walk in the park, neither were the newlywed days. If you’re married, I know I don’t have to explain that to you.

But here we are, in this new season of soaking it up. And I am truly soaking it up. I’m really trying. I even have extra burp cloths there is so much soaking happening. But seriously, I can’t imagine appreciating this season more than I am, but I know in a few years I’ll look back and say, dang they were right. And I might even shake my head at my younger self and say “She really didn’t soak it up. She thought she was, but she had no idea.”

And so, I want to have a little conversation with future self. You are wrong. I may not love every second of every day, because newborn life is hard and motherhood is hard and being a wife is hard and keeping a home clean and organized is hard, but holy moly, I’ve never felt more like a sponge in my life. I’m giving my ALL to this child. I’m being vulnerable and crying on his precious, sweet, barely-hair-filled head while he eats, thinking about how thankful I am to be his mom.

And tonight, I think about the next season where some sweet, wise person will be smiling telling me to “soak it up, these days won’t last.” Or — plot twist — I’ll be looking into the eye of some sweet, young person saying the same thing.

I’m thankful that God gives us the ability to learn SO much even as we grow up. He’s not done with us yet. No, no, no. We aren’t factory made, replicas of the next person. We are unique and fearfully made. Set out for an individual PURPOSE. We will continue to grow as long as we let Him. The same vulnerability I have to give Stone, is the same vulnerability I have to give God. He wants my ALL. He needs my ALL.

Can you tell I’m out of my placenta pills? (hello hormones!) I hope tonight, whatever season you’re in, you let yourself be a sponge. And sometimes sponges soak up quick, and sometimes sponges soak up slowly. And sometimes sponges stink. And sometimes sponges need a good wringing out. Soak it up! Enjoy every second. These days won’t last. xo

And now some adorable pictures of my 7 week old son! And one of my cat! Stone (my son, not my cat . . . his name is Sonic) is 10lbs 9oz (up 6oz from last week). He’s being a little monster at the “witching hour” and it makes mommy cry sometimes, but other than that, he’s cooing more, smiling more, awake a little more, liking tummy time a little more, and stealing my heart major. love you stink butt!


Stone Levi: 6 Weeks WHAT?!

our little joy is 6 weeks today! 6 weeks! We are coming off of a really fun and crazy week!

First, it snowed! Normal for Maryland. Not normal for Grant to get off work – but praise, he did! So that was extra fun to have daddy home on a Thursday. Then on Friday, JuJu, PeePaw and Trevon (Grant’s mom dad and nephew) came into town from Texas. We enjoyed their company all weekend, filled with good food, games and old fashioned snuggles with the grandparents. That adorable penguin hat that Stone is wearing in the pictures above was made by his JuJu; she’s got a knack for making him adorable hats and blankets!

Some updates for Stone personally: his eyes are raging blue! his hair and eyebrows are getting darker! his eyelashes are growing longer and darker! he slept for 7 hours straight! he moved from newborn diapers to size 1! he wore his first 0-3 month onesie (he’s been rocking the newborn size since birth).

He smiled at a compete stranger today at the doctors. I was so proud. He’s actually smiling big in his swing right now. Still 100% believing these are real smiles (and if you disagree – well, hush!) 😉

His spitting up has decreased tremendously – so happy about that! He’s loving bath time. He’s so peaceful during it. We love the end, when we wrap him up in his cozy towel and put on his pjs. What parent doesn’t love those moments right after bath time?! ugh. can’t get enough.

We took our first car ride alone together. I got my hair done – so overdue!! Lordy. Thankful for darker roots and a successful first outing. Then today we had our second, much longer, outing to my midwife appt. Everything went good there – GOT THAT GREEN LIGHT, if you know what I mean! #6weekstoolong #grantshappy

I also started using my cloth diapers yesterday. I think I really like them! Hoping to use them exclusively while I’m home – trying to save some $$ and the earth and stuff.

And one last great thing – my wedding rings finally fit again! Haven’t been able to wear my rings since like 2 months into my pregnancy. It’s the little things people!

so I got curious (and desperate) and ordered the nose frida. google that bad boy if you’ve never heard of it. it’s done amazing things for my stuffy, fussy boy! we are so thankful for this swedish invention haha. now, whether or not to buy the windi (also google)

I took my last placenta pills 😦 cue the tears. no seriously. cue the tears haha I noticed a difference in my ability to cry at the drop of a dime. this was proven during the golden globes when even the most normal acceptance speech was met with tears rolling down my face.

and finally, Stone has gained another 5 oz since last week, bringing his chunky total to 10lbs 3oz.

we love you monkey chunk! you light up our lives!





One Month Postpartum UPDATE

One month postpartum update! Whoohoo!

Here are the topics I talk about:

1. placenta encapsulation

2. supplements

3. probiotics

4. water/hydration

5. spiritual time/growth

6. exercise

7. recovery down below!

8. weight loss

9. cooking & activities around the house

10. showering

11. visitors

12. going out with baby

13. marriage

14. taking pictures and videos

Thanks for watching! Let me know if you have any tips/advice or questions!

Stone Levi: You’re 5 Weeks Old!

I’m overwhelmed by all your amazing advice from last week! Things are SO much better. thank you to everyone who called, texted, commented, messaged, etc. We’ve taken breaks between feeds, we use mylicon drops (gas relief), i’m burping Stone sitting up, feeding him while i’m laying down more (which seems to help slow my flow!) and honestly, just hearing how NORMAL the spit up is boosted my confidence which ultimately gave me a ton more patience every time it happened. Totally helped!!

Baby boy is one more pound heavier! 9lbs 7oz. He’s growing great I think! A couple of fun 5 week milestones: Stone’s getting so strong with lifting his head. He *seems* to be cracking smiles at me. Could be my imagination, but I totally see it! He’s doing about 4-6 hours of his longest sleep stretch at night. Love that. Eating great. I think that’s it really.

Grant and I celebrated three years since our first date. 12/30/14. We watched the vlog from our first date together and it sparked a little of that “first-date-butterfly” romance that has for some reason been missing these last few weeks (re: newborn baby!) It was a fun trip down memory lane.

And then it was NYE. We spent the day undecorating for Christmas, cleaning and organizing, and cooking meals for the week! I made a yummy pizza for dinner, we popped champagne from our Charleston vacation (in May when I was *secretly* pregnant) and the baby was in bed by 8pm. And we were in bed shortly after! I’ve never been obsessed with NYE. Honestly, my favorite NYE was 2014 because it was spent with Grant, and from then on, I really don’t have a desire to stay up haha I know I’m not the only one. I am pretty sure no one is obsessed with NYE anymore. Ok. I just made that up.

And now we shall wait for what could be the first snow of 2018! I’m hoping we get snowed in and Grant gets the day off! *does snow dance shake on the couch while typing*

thanks for reading! xo