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Parenthood: 5 months

March 23, 2019

Routines & Sleep

Baby doesn’t have a schedule yet. We’re still following an eat-play-sleep routine at home.  She’s fed bottles roughly every 3 hours at childcare. Her naps are still random, making a true schedule impossible. This is fine, and some other moms have said schedules can be tricky until Baby gets down to 2 naps.  We still have 3-4 naps, depending on length.

We try for a consistant bedtime, but it varies based on naps.  She can generally stay up for ~2-2.5 hours before she gets cranky and wants to sleep. She would play until she melts down if we let her, but she goes to sleep really easily for a well timed nap f we time it right. Many naps are still about 40 minutes, but we’ve started to get a few longer ones too.  I hope that trend continues to develop!  She usually gets at least one long nap at childcare, and only just the past weekend had some longer ones at home.

At bedtime, we do a routine then I nurse her to sleep. I’m pragmatic, and this works for now and is easy.  She still is sometimes sleeping from about 8pm until 5/6 am.  Recently she’s had more  middle of the night awakenings (~2 am), and they seem to be triggered by gas, and started when she had a mild cold. This is not a problem – nursing in the night is better for my milk supply anyway, and she goes back to sleep easily.

She’s still in the bassinet in our room. This is a perk of having a small baby – she fits in her newborn gear for a long time. The bassinet should last us another month.  I’d prefer not to bedshare, and I’m not too motivated to set up a pack-n-play or crib in our room.  This means we’ll move her to her crib around 6 months – unless we come up with something else that works better for us.

Childcare

This marks her first completed month of childcare!  I’m super thrilled that we ended up in a nanny share, even though we only did it because there weren’t other options.  The other child is older and may start preschool, so it is TBD if it will continue after fall.  The nanny is great, and I love how much individual attention Baby gets. When we first started arranging a nanny share, she was barely 3 months and tiny and cried a lot. I couldn’t imagine entrusting her to someone else for 40 hours a week. She blossomed a lot between 3 and 4 months, and she is doing great with the nanny. They have just started going on little adventures during the day, and it makes me happy to see.

Of course, I miss having so much time with her. I miss being the one that knew everything about her, her daily schedule/routines, and the details of how her day was. But all things considered, chid care is working out well.

Eating

She’s still only eating breastmilk, which is simple. It isn’t exactly easy – pumping is time-consuming and annoying – but it is simple. There are few decisions to make.  Baby hasn’t shown signs of readiness for food yet, but I’m hoping she will soon.  After a tiny bit of research, we plan to start solids foods no later than 6 months, and earlier if she shows readiness.

I tried reintroducing dairy to my diet, and it seemed to have an impact on her nursing and gas.  So, I’m back to dairy-free.  The nanny reports that she spits up about twice a day, but we don’t see that at home, so it must have something to do with the bottle feeding.

Personality / Milestones

I think it was just last month when I said I thought she was a bit of a difficult baby.  I take it back! She has turned into an easy and happy baby. Her digestive system has matured, and she isn’t as troubled by gas as she once was. We no longer have a cry before every single nap. She likes us to play with her, but she’s also often happy to play by herself for a bit. It is amazing.

She’s gotten really great with her hands, manipulating everything she can get her hands on into her mouth.  She’s rolling only intermittently from stomach to back, and has attempted back to stomach but not succeeded.  She likes to sit supported, but falls over instantly unsupported. She’s pretty smiley, and laughs just a little bit.  She’s still figuring that out.  We’ve started taking her on our evening walks sometimes, either in the carrier or the stroller.  She sometimes cries if she’s tired, but she’s getting more into it.

She didn’t have a doctor’s appointment this month, so I’m not sure how much she weighs.  I would guess roughly 12.5 pounds.  She’s still fitting into lots of her 0-3 month size clothes, but we’re starting to wear some 3-6 month sizes.

Money

Child care is $600/week, and everything pales in comparison to that. Costco diapers were on sale this month for ~13 cents a diaper, so we stocked up big time. (We didn’t seriously consider cloth diapers for a variety of reasons. I do feel a bit guilty about the eco/environmental impact of diapers, but I do not feel bad about the cost/benefit portion of this decision.)

I already mentioned this, but we intend to open a 529 for her within the next month or two.  I don’t really expect gifts until her birthday or Christmas, but it would give us a place to put the gifts she already received.

Co-parenting

With childcare, things during the week feel relatively equal. Aside from nursing for me and dog walking for him, we share the remaining tasks pretty evenly. On weekends, I feel more tied to her because I need to feed her every 3 hours or so. We can probably work on making the weekends more equal in the future.

The immediate impact on our careers has been unequal.  I’m back full-time and T is on reduced duties (no teaching for the semester) with normal pay. Now that we’ve started childcare, this is probably a boon to his career – more time for research.  He’s also traveled for work a few times already, while I’ve yet to travel and have no immediate plans to. This is quite the change from the past few years where I traveled a lot (and generally enjoyed it). I spend roughly 1.5 hours pumping during each work day.  I can somewhat work during this, but it breaks my flow, limits when I can have meetings, and is a huge distraction overall.  T does try to make things easier for me by doing the childcare drop off, taking care of the dog at lunch (formerly my responsibility), and generally being as available as possible. But again, being the one producing the milk means I’m more impacted.  I expect things will settle in time.  In the long run, this is a short period of time.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2019 6:55 pm

    Every time people say breastfeeding is free I think about all the hours we spend around it: nursing, pumping, cleaning bottles and equipment AND all the dietary restrictions we have to respect as it affects them. The details!

    I love the changes from month to month, the first year is bursting with change even weekly!

    • March 25, 2019 1:24 pm

      Yes, exactly. The extreme pro-breastfeeding culture bugs me. I think the conversation needs to be a bit more measured and balanced, although I’m grateful that there is a lot more support and information out there than there was decades ago.

      • March 25, 2019 5:39 pm

        Speaking from experience, the anti-breastfeeding culture is worse!

        • March 26, 2019 7:24 am

          That is very true. But I’ve not experienced it at all. Which is really good – no one should have to experience that!

  2. March 24, 2019 8:50 am

    We never did schedules, just routines. Now as kids they get themselves to sleep at night and up in the morning. It’s fine. Not scheduling had the benefit that we never had to arrange our lives around the baby’s schedule unlike many of our friends who would be in real trouble if they missed the start of a naptime. Of course, not scheduling also means that there’s less predictability. So there’s trade-offs.

    Re: spit-up, if you’re not using the low flow bottles/nipples from Dr. Browns, that might help. Also I don’t know if the nanny is taking little breaks after every ounce or two, but that also helps. (Our first mother’s helper was a pediatric nurse, so these recommendations are from her. The idea is that spit-up sometimes happens when the baby gets milk too quickly.)

    Sounds like things are going well!

    • March 26, 2019 3:08 pm

      I like the idea of a schedule, but don’t intend to be a huge stickler about it, because I think it is more difficult that way. So, we may or may not actually ever get a schedule, and it seems like not soon. We have a slow flow bottle and she does take breaks – but I still think it is quicker compared to breastfeeding.

      Yes, things are well!

  3. April 11, 2019 5:08 pm

    Great blog!

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