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.

 

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’s One Month Old!

Watch his one month video here:

Stone has been a game-changer in our lives. Complete game-changer. We love his simple, content, sweet personality. We love the way he tells us what he needs in his own little way. We love learning what each noise means, what each look means. He is such a love. I pray over him everyday and ask God to give us grace as parents. We want to show him Who Jesus Is, and live that out in his life! Jesus, thank you for this perfect gift from heaven. We love you Stone!!

 

weekend trip: charlotte

earlier this month, g and i took a road trip down to charlotte, nc. it was our first road trip together – and we now know that i have serious driving anxiety and i should always pack a pillow to sit on for long drives. i’m a super fun wife.

the weather in charlotte happened to drop as soon as we arrived – from like 70 degree sunshine to 50 something gloom. but the sun did manage to peek out for the clouds on our last full day of exploring for which we were quite thankful.

friday was spent traveling to charlotte, checking into our hotel which happened to be hosting many nascar fans for the big race that weekend, and showering before lights out.

saturday morning we woke up refreshed and ready to find some good local acai bowls for breakfast to feel like we were truly living the dream. only to find out that every trendy cutesy place i had bookmarked was about 20 minutes in the wrong direction of where we needed to be at 9am. so bob evans it was! this was surprisingly g’s first time eatingĀ at bob evans, yet for me this was a chidlhood favorite. it was delicious and fast.

the whole purpose of being in charlotte for the weekend was for a conference I was attending. you can read all about it in this post. while i learned about all the things, g went exploring the town. he found mcdowell nature perserve and hiked around a bit until the wind just was too cold to bear. on his way back to the hotel he found the billy graham historical library and stopped in for a visit. he came out with a new book and a cute wooden sign for me. he’s so thoughtful and sweet, seriously.

after the conference, we tried to do the cool hip thing and visit the cool hip part of town – but we just weren’t feeling it after walking around and having an hour long wait for a table – or maybe it’s that we just weren’t cool and hip enough? so we ended up a few blocks down at ruru’s tacos & tequila. it was loud yet adorable – we really liked the atmosphere and the food! seemed like it’s definitely a local date night spot for many!

sunday morning was exciting! we had plans to meet up with brittany (longtime childhood friend) at elevation church. it was such a sweet expeiernce to get a behind the scenes look at prep for the service, while meeting some really awesome team members/staff. brittany was such a great host to us and we really enjoyed the experience. elevation is the kinda church you can learn so much from.

the rest of sunday afternoon was spent exploring 7th street market. we had pizza at a local spot and then took the train to southend. g and i discovered were not much of the exploring type – we need a plan, a destination, a purpose. so after walking around aimlessly for a few hours, the hotel was calling our names. lame, we know.

we chilled in the hotel, i probably took a nap, and then we awoke to grumbling stomachs, ready for the next meal. isn’t that just how it goes on vacation? hurrying up to the next time you’ll eat? haha

we stumbled out of the hotel to a beautiful pond with people paddle boating. so cute.

g and i are obsessed with mexican food and even though we had just had it the night before for dinner, we easily said yes to trying out zapata’s. and good glory we are so glad. this was hands down the best mexican food we have ever had. each of our dishes had amazing flavor. we now hold zapata’s at the top of the list, and like i said, we have frequented many a mexican restaurant since our trip, and nothing compares. so delicious.

monday morning, ironically, the weather in charlotte shot right back up to the usual sunny and 70 degrees – but alas we had to hit the road back home around 7AM.

it was fun to get away for the first time since being married. g had really been looking forward to our charlotte trip and would remind me often during the snowy maryland months that we were only xx days away. he’s always so encouraging and hopeful. i love him. would love to return to charlotte for a longer stay with a tad bit more of a purpose – maybe an itinerary created by some of the locals. that’s more my cup of tea. enjoy the pics, y’all!

IMG_1769

IMG_1772

IMG_1832

IMG_1838

IMG_1843

IMG_1847

IMG_1858

IMG_1872

IMG_1879

IMG_1882

IMG_1892

IMG_1896

IMG_1920

IMG_1936

purpose – like real purpose

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

this weekend at church the message is about “the single family.” i’ve been married to grant for 5 short months, so honestly my life has been spent more single than not. y’all know i’m passionate about what a single person is capable of – what a single person can experience during this season, bc that was me. it was my story. i’ve never been shy about how i feel on the topic of being single (just search “single” on this blog & you will see!) there tends to be this invisible timer attached to a single person – as if your time just hasn’t come yet, as if he or she isn’t here yet. now, i’m a newlywed who knows literally nothing on the topic of marriage, but i must say (shout!), marriage won’t complete you. it’s a blessing, absolutely, but it’s no lifesaver. you have purpose no matter what. bottom line. i hope you do feel encouraged that you do matter in the kingdom and god will use you, no matter what your relationship status. remember, he’s bigger than any situation.

lately

lately, i’ve been in the winter funk and ain’t nobody gonna change that. i’ve been trying though – really trying to be grateful through this season. it happens every year, so i really shouldn’t surprised. my husband? well, he’s learning. i keep telling him: “you married me. all of me. even this season of me.”

he’s so sweet and reminds me that “yes, he did marry me.”

this kinda stuff just doesn’t phase him.

god knew i need a man unfazed by my craziness. ha. that made me laugh. bc it’s so true.

here are some pictures from last weekend. not sure the reputation maryland has throughout the country (or even the world!) but we are basically a four-season kinda state with water & woods everywhere you turn. i love it here. it’s so dang beautiful. enjoy!

IMG_0587 IMG_0591 IMG_0592 IMG_0599 IMG_0613 IMG_0618 IMG_0625 IMG_0641 IMG_0646IMG_0651IMG_0657 IMG_0661

 

how to hike

first, make sure your husband is extremely sick.

second, make sure it’s a ridiculously famous holiday where most people DONT do things like hike.

third, bring your new camera and pretend like you’re really good at film making.

fourth, get your shoes SOAKED and walk back to the car, making sure it’s at least 2 miles.

fifth, smile. smile that you get to enjoy the crazy weird moments with the love of your life.

PRESS PLAY BELOW. It’s vlog time!