Seven Months

Wyatt is seven months old! I can’t believe how big he’s getting.


We tried several more foods this month: carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, and peas. Wyatt is such a good eater – he eats everything we give him. I think he particularly likes sweet potatoes though.


He is so smart, and he’s laughing and smiling even this month, if that’s possible. His sense of humor is developing. He also definitely recognizes and prefers that Derek or I hold him now. He does alright with everyone he knows, but sometimes he’ll get afraid if a stranger is holding him and he doesn’t see Derek or me.

One day when we were packing for vacation, I picked Wyatt up for a minute, and then glanced down and noticed he was starting at the wall. Then he got this huge grin on his face. I realized he was staring and smiling at the picture of Derek and me on the wall! It was so cute.

He loves looking at himself in the mirror. He’ll just stare at himself, and then he’ll start to smile – then he’ll glance at me in the mirror and then back at himself, and sometimes he’ll get a huge grin and then hide his face in my shoulder! It makes me laugh every time.

Wyatt went on his first vacation this month, and he did great! I think he got a little overwhelmed at times at all the new places, but he was so smiley and happy most of the time.


He also went on his first plane ride, and he did wonderfully – we got a couple comments from other passengers saying they didn’t even realize he was on the plane (even though we couldn’t get him to sleep for very long).


He also met his aunt and uncle for the first time this month.




We had our first trip to the beach! He wasn’t a fan of the sun, but he liked it when I carried him and waded in the water.




When Wyatt gets excited about something, he’ll kick his little legs and smile. I haven't mentioned it before, but for several months he does this thing where he kicks his right leg up and down when he's bored - it's so funny! I think he originally started doing it to bounce in his bouncer, but he'll do it anytime now. We joke that he's practicing for future sports.

He’s also been “talking” a lot more in the last couple of weeks – he’s using his tongue to make noises, and I can tell he’s trying to figure it out. He says “momomomomom” now (emphasis on the m’s), but I don’t think he’s quite associated it with me yet. Sometimes he fake-coughs, just to get us to look at him, and then he’ll give us a big grin.

He’s getting cuter by the second.

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My Sweet Wyatt,

You are growing so fast! I know I say that every month, but it’s true. I’m just soaking in all these sweet baby moments, because it won’t be long before you’ll be crawling and walking, and soon you won’t be my baby anymore.
It melts me every time you cry and I pick you up and you sniffle and lay your head on my shoulder.

I think it is the sweetest thing when you grab my hair with your baby fingers.

You make my heart smile when you laugh at all my silly jokes (I only do it to make you laugh, and you deliver), and our giggling fits brighten my day.

I don’t mind the slobber at all when you give me one of your wet kisses.

I love every minute of it, Sweet Boy, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Always,
Your Mama




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How Did You Get Him To Sleep?

I’ve gotten a couple of comments recently asking me how we got Wyatt to sleep so well, and I was thinking about how to answer that question, I realized the answers were worthy of their own post.

Wyatt started sleeping through the night at about ten weeks. By “sleeping through the night”, I mean he started going eight hours between feedings at night. Derek and I always timed his feedings in the early days so that his last one was right before our bedtime, so we could optimize the sleeping time – so it translated into a solid seven hours for us, which is amazing when you consider those couple months of only getting 3-4 hours at a time! Wyatt was going six hours at night before ten weeks, but I didn’t count it as sleeping through the night until he went eight.

At six months (well, at seven months now - where does the time go? Monthly post coming soon...), Wyatt goes to bed at 7:00 PM (giving Derek and I time together before bed), and he sleeps anywhere from 9-11 hours before he wakes up to eat. Then we feed him and he goes right back to sleep for 3-4 hours. Our day “officially” starts somewhere around 9:00 or 10:00 AM.

We didn’t have to use formula to get him to sleep, and we only just started rice cereal at 5 ½ months, so it can be done while exclusively breastfeeding.

I certainly can’t take complete credit for his amazing night time sleep – I’m fully aware that some babies just sleep better than others, and we were blessed with a good sleeper! But there are some things that we did to encourage him to sleep through the night, and I’ve compiled a list of things we did that I believe helped Wyatt to sleep better.

1)We didn’t hold him constantly the week he was born.

This one happened by accident – I very well might have held him 24/7 after he was born, but because of my preeclampsia I was on some medication that made me a little blurry, so as soon as the nurses saw me getting drowsy they’d take Wyatt from me and put him in his bassinet. In retrospect, this was a really good thing, because Wyatt got used to (1) not being held constantly (which made him an easy-going baby), and (2) sleeping without being held.

Don't get me wrong, we still held him alot, but not all day, and not every time he was sleeping. I think you should hold your baby as much as you can when they are young, because soon they'll be too big and wiggly, but it's good for them to learn to be okay when they're not being held too.

When we got home we continued the practice of putting him in his cradle or crib for alot of his naps (though I like to hold him sometimes while he naps) and at night, and he was already used to sleeping alone because of those first few nights.

2)I didn’t nurse Wyatt to sleep.

I’ve heard of some moms nursing their babies until they fall asleep, and then trying to sneak them into the crib while they are sleeping. We never did that. If Wyatt fell asleep during his last feeding of the day, we changed his diaper before putting him to bed and laid him down in his crib when he was awake. I think this was good, because Wyatt was able to learn to fall asleep on his own, without having to be eating.

As a hygienist, I also think this is important for developing good habits later – once your baby has teeth, you don’t want them to have to have a bottle or nurse to get to sleep, because then the milk or formula will just sit on their teeth all night. This is what leads to “bottle mouth”, or baby bottle caries (cavities in the baby teeth).

I will admit though that during that first month, I did rock Wyatt to sleep some nights. He would get upset and would not go to sleep. After a couple nights of fussiness for a half hour or more after we put him to bed, we discovered that if I just rocked him and sang to him for a few minutes, he would fall asleep and would sleep well until he woke up for his next feeding.

I honestly am not sure if this was necessarily the “right” thing to do – it could have backfired on me, and Wyatt could have started needing me to rock him to sleep. But he didn’t; he grew out of it in about a month. Looking back, I think a lot of his fussiness was due to a touch of colic or gas, and I was glad I was able to comfort him enough for him to sleep. It was a special time for me to snuggle my baby before bed.

Moral of the story: Take it on a case-by-case basis, and don’t think you can’t cuddle your baby to sleep because it’s against the “rules”. They won’t need you to cuddle them before bed for long, so enjoy it while you can.

3)We didn’t keep the house super-quiet during nap times.

Now, obviously I didn’t go running the blender while my baby was trying to sleep, but I didn’t avoid any activities that were within the normal noise level around the house, even though Wyatt usually takes his naps in the family room (which is in the middle of everything in our house).

I emptied the dishwasher. I cooked dinner. I played music or watched TV. The dogs barked. People knocked at the door. Or sometimes I blogged, and the house really was quiet for his naps. The point is that Wyatt got used to sleeping regardless of what was going on around him, and he didn’t need the house to be noiseless while he slept. This helped with night time sleep later, because Derek and I don’t need to lower our voices at night when he’s sleeping, and with three hyperactive dogs, our house can become momentarily chaotic in the mornings. Wyatt sleeps right through it.

Of course there is always that momentary panic when one of the aforementioned noises really does wake him up, but I don’t go rushing right over to him the second he makes a noise, and typically he will fall right back asleep.

Which leads into the next point. . .

4)We didn’t jump at every little noise from Wyatt.

My doctor told me for the first few weeks Wyatt needed to be roused to eat every four hours or so, and not to let him go longer than five hours at night. Honestly, Wyatt probably would have slept longer immediately after coming home from the hospital, but I guess newborns may wake up hungry but not really think to cry, and then they end up going back to sleep without eating. When your baby is early, the doctors are especially concerned with making sure they gain weight, so they don't want them missing night time feedings. So we dutifully set the alarm and woke Wyatt up to eat for the first couple weeks.

Once we got the okay from our doctor, we started letting Wyatt sleep longer. Sometimes he would start making noises in the middle of the night, but we just knew he shouldn’t be hungry yet. So we’d wait fifteen minutes, and he’d usually go right back to sleep. This really helped with pushing back some of the night time feedings. If he would fall back asleep for another hour or two before needing to eat, he would start to get in the habit of sleeping a little longer. Then we started having those beautiful nights when I would look at the clock and realize he had gone two hours beyond what I expected him to!

Obviously, you have to use discretion. We never let Wyatt “cry it out”. Wyatt was just not a crier, so if he was all-out crying, it was because there was something really wrong. But to me, fussy noises are not crying. So we would let him have fifteen minutes (sometimes longer, depending on the situation) of fussiness before we went to get him, because a lot of times he’d just end up going to sleep if we gave him a little time.

5)We made sure Wyatt stayed awake to get full feedings during the day, and we kept him awake for a little while after feedings.

I read the book that came before Babywise (same author, same information, just a different book), and I think the whole book can pretty much be summed up in those two points. We did those two things, and Wyatt fell into his schedule naturally – it wasn’t nearly as complicated as the book made it sound. I really do think those things were a big part of what helped him though, especially making sure he stayed awake for a full feeding during the last feeding of the day. If that meant we had to undress him, tickle his toes, or move him around to wake him up, that’s what we did, but we made sure he was really full for that last feeding, and he’d sleep better.

6)We prayed.

The night we brought Wyatt home from the hospital, my (*amazing*) husband suggested we do “Bible time” every night, and that’s what we do. Almost every night we read a chapter of the Bible together and pray together as a family. And one of the things we pray for? That Wyatt will sleep well! I don’t think there is a single thing wrong with praying that your baby will start sleeping through the night – it can do nothing but help!

One thing to note: Expect relapses when your baby is going through a growth spurt or not feeling well. Wyatt had major sleeping relapses around 3 ½ months. The only thing we could figure was that he was going through a growth spurt and just needed to eat more. We tried not to get frustrated and just kept plugging through, and he grew out of it and started sleeping better again the next month. The point: when your baby starts sleeping through the night, that doesn’t mean they’ll sleep through the night every night, and it’s normal to have bad nights, or even several weeks of bad nights during growth spurts. Try not to be discouraged, and just do what you can to encourage your baby to get back on track.

I would like to be upfront and say that Wyatt does not take morning naps, and he will take an afternoon nap for maybe two hours each day (though sometimes he drops that nap too). If you want your baby to nap more during the day, you might have to accept less sleep at night. For me? I’d rather have 14 almost-straight hours at night than a morning nap! And I’d rather have some alone time with my husband in the evening than a longer afternoon nap.

I would also like to say that I’m not saying these things will work for every family, or every baby. They may not even work for my next baby! But you asked how we got Wyatt to sleep so well at night, and these are the things that I think helped. My list is certainly not law, and you should definitely take into account your own baby’s needs and situations, but I hope you can take away something useful from this post.

And may all you new moms be blessed with a full night’s sleep!

Ten Years Ago

I can't believe that it was ten years ago already. I can't say anything that hasn't already been said, but I feel so blessed to live in this country. We can't forget those Americans who died in that horrible attack ten years ago or those who continue to fight or have died for the cause of preserving our freedom!


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I'll be saying a prayer for the families of those victims and for our soldiers today.

Moms And Babies - Ashley {2}





Today I'm featuring Ashley from Introverted Mama! I started reading Ashley's blog last year when I was pregnant with Wyatt and when she was still pregnant with her son. I love reading Ashley's blog - she is so sweet, and her son is such a cutie! Read on to learn more about her.


Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I'm Ashley. My husband Aaron and I have been married for almost 3 years and we welcomed our first child in December. I'm currently getting my MA in Clinical Counseling and my Masters of Divinity and this fall I will be starting my counseling internship at a local community mental health center. We just moved in with my parents as we are looking to buy our first house in the next 6 months (if it's part of God's plan).



What's your baby's name and how old is he?

Wylie Orion - 8 months

Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

Well Wylie doesn't do well with schedules so there is no such thing as a typical day in our household. Wylie is up between 6 and 8:30 and usually takes a morning nap 2 hours after that. He has oatmeal for breakfast, a fruit and veggie for lunch, and a fruit and veggie for dinner. Somewhere between 1 and 3 he goes down for an afternoon nap which can range anywhere from 45 mins to 3 hours. I spend all his awake time chasing after him, and I wouldn't change that at all! Bedtime is usually around 9, but we go by when he starts showing he's tired.


If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality, what would they be?

Energetic, curious, and happy.



What's your favorite part about being a mom?

I love the unconditional love he has for me. Much to my husband's dismay, I would love if my son was always a mama's boy!

Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

I did pilates videos during Wylie's naps for the first two months. I continue to workout daily, although it has gotten much harder as his naps have gotten shorter and less frequent. Breastfeeding also helped, but I think a lot of it was genetics for me. I've always been very petite so once my eating went back to how it was before I was pregnant, the weight came off pretty easily. I know my body will never be the way it was, and I'm totally okay with that!

What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival to keep your relationship strong?

It has been difficult because my husband has a seasonal job and he works 100+ hours a week during the season. His job started when Wylie was 3 months old and so I really hadn't ventured out much at all. Now that his job is over, we're trying to do things together we enjoy. We have been watching TV shows through Netflix, playing video games together, and we go out to dinner as a special treat. We're still learning the balance, but our son has definitely made our relationship stronger.



Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

The Snuza was the best investment I made. I was able to sleep much better at night with this (now if only Wylie actually slept through the night....) A Keurig has also been amazing to have. It saves time and you can get your coffee with one hand, I highly recommend all new moms to get one (if they weren't so expensive, I'd get one for every baby shower I attend). Some other favorites: Swaddle Designs organic cotton swaddle blankets, Dr. Brown's bottles (we rarely use a bottle, but this is the only one he will use), and nursing bras.

What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

We went to New York when Wylie was 2 months old to visit his great-grandparents and his great-great grandma. It was a lot of fun to have 5 generations together and my husband had never been up there either. We are planning another trip in September and we're planning to go to the city this time. Wylie is much more active and interactive this time, so I think it will be a lot of fun!

Any advice for first-time mothers?

Do what feels right to you. You are the mother and only you know your child best. The first 2 months I let people walk all over me and I was miserable and I became resentful of them and myself. Something changed, though, and now I do what I think is best for my son. You are your child's biggest advocate so do not be afraid - you know more than you think!



Thanks Ashley! Check out Ashley's blog to read more!

From The Comment Box

You know that post I did about Gilligan's Island a couple weeks ago? Brittney had a comment on it that I thought was really challenging, so I wanted to share it today.

"I was just reading some of your posts and was really struck by your Gilligan's Island post (funny, I know.) You mentioned how incredible and intentional it was that a person had the ability to rescue the marooned but chose not to. It reminded me how intentionally we choose not to share with others about our faith when we have the answer to be "rescued." I think alot of times people say that it is not intentional, they just forget, but I would disagree. When you have such wonderful news you'd think all would be shouting it from the rooftops - doing their best to get the marooned off of the island."

She brings up such a good point, and it's something that I need to get better at - we should be excited to tell others about Jesus and not shy away from a conversation about our faith, just like those people in Gilligan's Island should have told the authorities about the castaways so they could be rescued!

Thanks for those thoughts, Brittney! Who would have thought such an important moral could be hidden in old episodes of Gilligan's Island?

Eat More To Have A Boy?

I came across this article recently, and thought I'd share: Diet Before Pregnancy Can Affect Baby's Sex, New Research Suggests.

If you don't want to click through and read it yourself, basically it's about a study that suggests that women may play a part in which gender their babies are. The article says that women who had a higher caloric intake at the time of conception were more likely to have boys (56% as opposed to 45%).

The article didn't suggest any theories on how that exactly works, but it makes you wonder . . .

My experience fits into this theory. At the time when we were trying for Wyatt, I was trying to gain weight to get my Body Mass Index in the normal range. My caloric intake was pretty high.

I just thought this was interesting.

So maybe if you want to have a boy, you should go for that extra brownie?

What about you? Were you dieting or eating alot when you got pregnant with your baby? Did your experience match this study at all?


Moms And Babies - Melanie





This week I'm featuring Melanie from Country Roads! Melanie and I found each other's blogs last year before either of us had announced our pregnancies, and it has been so fun watching her go through pregnancy and life with a new baby while I was going through alot of the same thigns! Read her itnerview below to learn more about her!



Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Melanie and I'm a stay at home mom/homemaker. I've been married to my husban, Damon for 10 years now and we have a lovely life here in the great state of West Virginia!


What's your baby's name and how old is she?

My baby girls name is Makayla Giuliana and she is almost 3 months old now!

Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

I get up sometime during the night with Makayla for a feeding (anywhere between 4-6 am..yes..I consider this 'night'!), back to bed and up again around 9-10 am for another feeding and then we start our day. She'll lay in her crib for a short bit while I get dressed, check emails, etc. Then its in her bouncy chair for some cartoons while mommy gets a snack! Another feeding in there somewhere then we'll go out either for a visit with Makayla's grandma and grandpa (my parents) for a couple hours or stay around the house and do a stroller ride through the neighborhood and lounge around the house. Daddy gets up around 4pm (he works night shift) and takes over for a bit while I prepare dinner. Another couple feedings in there (around 3 and 6pm, roughly) while we all have "family time". Makayla finishes up her day around 9-10pm with a feeding and nice warm bath then its lights out which usually happens around midnight or 1 am!


If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality, what would they be?

Happy, loveable, and CUTE!!




What's your favorite part about being a mom?

Oh my gosh, where to begin!! First off, I must say that all my life I didnt want any children. So the fact that I am now a mom and loving it more than I can even wrap my mind around is amazing! I love everything that comes with being a mom... I love that I can comfort her, feed her, nurture her, clothe her, play with her, make her smile, and be with her every single day. Yes, I am totally smitten by my little girl!!


Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

Definately breastfeeding, as I know its been mentioned before. But it truely does work! When in the hospital and the days following I felt like the incredible shrinking woman! I still have a few pounds to lose of the baby weight, plus more for my own personal self and this I can tell will be the challenge. Its true what you hear, your body is NOT the same after you have a baby! Yes you might lose all the weight you gained while pregnant, but your body just isn't quite the same. I've been trying to watch what I eat and finally went out the other day and bought a set of scales (you read right, we've never had any before!) so I'm hoping to get on track with my weight now that I can finally keep tabs on it the right way!


What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival to keep your relationship strong?

Communication is key, whether you've just had a baby or not, so that is extremely important in my opinion. Being able to talk about the simple events of the day, whether its work, the baby, housework, etc, keeps a marriage strong and connected. We go to church regularly also (even going 5 days after my c-section)..so having God as your center is MOST important. Of course, spending time one-on-one is a must too!



Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

Definately Gripe Water (its a lifesaver!), Pampers (because they have the wetness indicator which I love), a good baby carrier, nipple shield (if your breastfeeing, it can be a lifesaver in more than one way!), a good breastpump, Boppy pillow, and some nice fleecy sleepers. Makayla LOVES to be super warm and having a good cozy sleeper to put her in at night helps her sleep really well!

What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

We just went to the State Fair of WV a few days ago and I'd say thats been my favorite outing! Vacation in Ohio wasn't exactly memorable unless you want to count having a fussy baby with an upset tummy! I'd kind of like to go back this fall so we could enjoy ourselves more and be more prepared (note to self..dont drink lemonade!!!).



Any advice for first-time mothers?

Be PATIENT! You and your baby are learning about each other on a daily basis. It takes time to figure out their cues, what they like/don't like, etc. I don't think I really understood the true meaning of being patient until I had a baby!



Thanks Melanie! Check out Melanie's blog to read more!


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