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Life with a baby: 2 months

January 1, 2019

Sleep:

This comes first, because it shapes the whole experience of having a newborn! If she doesn’t sleep, we don’t sleep, and it is miserable.  The second month of being a parent was much easier than the first, and the only reason is that I’m getting more sleep.

Despite her becoming more alert and having more awake time overall, she’s not eating so frequently or taking so long to eat.  Feeding her every 2 hours around the clock was exhausting! Getting more than 30-90 minutes of consecutive sleep has been a game changer in my quality of life. I’m reliably getting 4 hours in a row most nights – and sometimes more. On the best nights, she’ll go to sleep around 8:30p or 9p and sleep until 3a or 4a.  These aren’t the norm, but they are wonderful.

Naps are unpredictable and ever changing.  We strive for an eat-activity-sleep routine, but are flexible since newborns are a bit flighty when you try to suggest a schedule to them. Sometimes she’ll nap for a short amount of time (15-40 minutes) and won’t be hungry when she wakes up. We’ve had almost exclusively short naps lately – unless we wear her or hold her. This is all developmentally normal for her age, but still isn’t great.

Growth and milestones:  

She’s is growing at an above average rate, going from the 0.1 percentile at birth to the 5th percentile at her 2 month check up. She’s catching up!  She has social smiles, but is pretty frugal with them and hasn’t started laughing.  She’s rolled from stomach to back a couple of times – mostly just by accident of throwing her head in the right direction. Her neck control is improving – she can hold it up during tummy time and holds it in the center when on her back – but we still need to support it most of the time.

Personality:  

She’s still mostly a lovable potato without a lot of personality showing.  She’s an average baby when it comes to fussiness, although I haven’t been around a lot of babies to be able to calibrate. She certainly isn’t an easygoing happy newborn (do those exist?) who rarely cries. On the other hand, she is generally consolable when she cries.

After her 2 month vaccinations, she came down a stomach bug and was miserable for 10 days and was extremely fussy.  There was 10 days where she had almost no time where she was awake and content. That has finally passed, and we’re back to having our average baby.  (The doctor was unconcerned and said maybe it was colic. I think is a silly “diagnosis” and it didn’t fit the pattern of what we saw.  But, there was still nothing we could do for her besides monitor and wait.)

She won’t take a pacifier – it seems like it would be super useful for consoling her, but we can’t make it happen. We haven’t brought her out much yet, because we don’t need to, and it is easier to keep her happy at home.  She did go to two holiday parties! One was just down the street so we could make an easy exit if needed.  The other we got lucky, and she slept a lot and didn’t scream.

Money/Spending:

I had a dream of carefully logging the baby purchases, but that didn’t happen.  Her main cost right now is diapers. We’re using disposable, but I don’t know how much we’ve spent. We haven’t settled firmly on a brand or location to purchase them to get the best value, since she just moved out of newborn sizes. I’m leaning towards Costco, but need to do more research.

Our grocery spending is probably up too. In theory, I should be eating an extra 500 calories a day to cover feeding her. I also am on a low-dairy diet as an experiment, but I don’t expect this will be necessary long term.

Co-parenting:  

With breastfeeding, things are tipped towards me being the primary parent at this stage. Now that her eating is less constant, things are more shared. We introduced a daily bottle so she’ll be ready for child care, and to give me a break – even though it means I have to pump anyway. Lately, I feed her between 4am and 7 am (depending on when she wakes), then T takes over and gives her a bottle for the next meal while I attempt to recover the sleep I lost being up with her. During the day, I always feed her, and I usually take the bedtime shift and call in reinforcements only if needed. We trade off the play time and the soothing. Often he does more of this (since I feed her), but sometimes I do. It depends on who is the most tired, and if we are both tired, we take turns.  T almost always lets me choose if I’d rather walk the dog or calm the crying baby – and I usually choose the dog.

At this stage, that is all parenting really is – feeding, interacting with her when she’s happy and awake, and soothing her when she cries.

Looking ahead:

This is a bit late, so we are gradually approaching the end of the “fourth trimester”.  She already is so much bigger than when we brought her home, and so much more interactive. I kind of already miss how tiny she was when we first brought her home, but I’m glad she is growing and healthy.  I definitely miss her tiny newborn cry – much easier to handle than the screams she is now capable of!

I can’t imagine going back to work, but at the same time, I know I’ll be happy to rejoin the adult world. I’m so happy to have this time with her, and to have T also home for so much of it. I’m planning on returning part-time in February, then full time in March.  T is on reduced duties (no teaching) all semester. We have a handful of leads on childcare, but now that the holidays are over, it is time to step up our search and nail something down.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2019 12:17 pm

    The no pacifier thing is a blessing in disguise. It is harder to wean them off it. Trust me..

    Mine never took the pacifier either so I never had to fight with him to get him to stop using it.

    Mine ALSO never slept so I feel you…. Hang in there, it gets better.

    Right now they are adorable blobs… and it does get better!

    Month 18 is when I REALLY started to enjoy him.. he started feeding me grapes (Lol) and wanting to do adult things, and was more fun in general…

  2. January 3, 2019 2:41 pm

    You are in the throws of it, that’s for sure! I remember lamenting about how lots of people made shitty jokes about ‘sleep now while you can’ – but I didn’t really understand, really grasp the issues around sleep. It wasn’t just being tired – it was that every thought, every plan was all around who will get to sleep, when. My, my new babe, my husband – all choices started and ended around sleep.

    …I don’t remember when it got better, but it did because I’m about to have baby #2 (any week now) and our Little Mister is three!

    You’re doing great momma!

    • January 7, 2019 6:07 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement! Congratulations on the new baby!

  3. January 7, 2019 5:22 pm

    I was envious of those people whose babies took pacifiers but it just wasn’t meant to be for us – JB never understood it! I tried to tell myself it was for the best, I wouldn’t have to bother with weaning later, but there were a lot of bleary nights I wished it worked 🙂

    May she start sleeping through the night soon for you like some of the other 2018 babies I know!

    • January 7, 2019 6:11 pm

      I’d be happy to give Future Me the problem of weaning a pacifier later, if I could just get it to work now.

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