Life with a Baby - Week 15

Life with a baby week 15 less sleep but more smiles by CityGirlSearching

Oh goodness me...it feels like someone has swopped my sleeping newborn cherub for a wide awake and ready for action infant, literally overnight! 

It was just the other day that I was thinking that the 3 month stage is just the best...and then just as I was getting used to all the giggles and smiles, along comes more changes which have left me feeling a bit frazzled. Before I go on with this post, I do want to give myself a big pat on the back for keeping a little human alive for the past 3 and a half months. I have completely surprised myself, mostly because I was absolutely terrified about becoming a mom (see posts below for more on my pregnancy journey): 

I loved being pregnant so much that there were times when I wished I could stay like that forever!And the idea of what was to come really scared me. Mostly, I was scared of being 100% responsible for something so small, who depended on me for every.single.thing, and then the worries of what exactly I would do with her all day. Those first few weeks went by in such a blur, I needn't have worried. Mommy instincts do indeed kick in, and before you know it, they are no longer a newborn.


I have been wanting to share a post on life with a Newborn for ages, but, life with a newborn doesn’t allow for much of anything other than keeping said newborn alive! I have a handwritten draft of that post which I will hopefully share with you all soon. I’m going to include lots of the baby things/paraphernalia we loved and that made our lives easier, and the items we felt were a bit of a waste of money...stay tuned for that soon!


According to the plethora of baby books I own, here are a few possible explanations, as well as a few others I have thought up :

  • The dreaded 4 Month sleep regression (eeek!)

  • A growth spurt

  • Teething (she has been drooling A LOT! but no sign of any pearly whites just yet)

  • A Wonder Weeks developmental leap

  • Travel or disturbance of environment/routine (we flew to Joburg a couple of weeks ago? Also we have been visiting lots of family and friends so this could be an added element?)

  • Since returning from Joburg, we have moved her out of her bassinet and into her cot...her baby nest has also become far too small and now she is just in the cot as is, perhaps she's missing the snugness of the baby nest?

  • And the most probable one...she's just being a regular baby, growing and changing with no real explanation as to why she does what she does!

15 week sleep regression life with a 15 week old baby citygirlsearching blog

Up until now...

Evy has been a wonderful sleeper from day one. I had mentally prepared myself for literally NO sleep for the first year of her life, and so the fact that she would sleep 3-4 hours at a time during the day, and 5-6 hours at night in between feeds (Evy is Exclusively Breast Fed Or EBF) in the first few months was a wonderful surprise. I can't really say that it's one particular thing we do that makes her sleep like she does (or rather...DID!), I think a large part of it has to do with luck and her being a really content baby. But I'll share the routine we follow, because I'm pretty sure it does at least play a part.

I know it doesn't really need to be said, but I want to say it here...all babies are different, and some babies, not matter how much 'sleep training/crying it out/routine fixing' you do, just want to be close to mommy and are never settled until they are on their mommy. I am a general busy body, and wanted to try my best to have Everly fit in with our lives (this is only really possible up until a point) instead of us fitting in with her. I also want to say that a lot of my friends have babies who have had terrible reflux and so their journey's have been very different to ours. If you think your baby has reflux and you've been having a really really hard time, I'd love to share these two blog posts by my friend Sophie (an extraordinary mommy I'm so lucky to call my friend)...click here.

We try to be quite flexible in our routines, but our bedtime schedule goes a little something like this:

  • 6pm bath time (depending on her afternoon nap I’ll either feed her one side right before bath time or when she wakes up from her last nap which can be anywhere between 4 & 6pm). Then once out the bath it’s a quick massage, a nice big clean nappy (we are using cloth nappies...click here to read more about our cloth nappy journey so far) and pyjamas. She generally screams blue murder if we take too long to get her clothes on after her bath, and I guess I would too if I was left to get cold on a changing mat after a lovely hot bath.

  • +- 6:30pm feed the other side and burp her

  • +-7pm sleep time

In the last few weeks she was sleeping right through until about 3 or 4am when she would wake and I would go in and feed her (and change her nappy if she needed) and then pop her straight back down again where she would sleep until around 6 or 7am.

We have been pretty strict about Everly’s sleeping right from the very beginning. I had been told to put her to sleep in a way that I could realistically do at 1 in the morning, and so a dummy works best for us. I knew there was no way I wanted to be up rocking a baby to sleep every time they woke up and so we were pretty firm with putting her down and letting her settle herself to sleep. 

Here's how put Everly to sleep at night:

After her bath & last feed & burp, we pop her straight down in her cot while she is awake but drowsy, put her dummy in and walk out the room. Depending on whether she’s sleeping on her side or back, we’ll give her a few bum pats (gosh I will someone had told me before having a baby how life changing bum pats would be! Pretty much never fails to calm her down when she gets niggly). This is the only time of the day that I feed before her sleep.

And during the day:

I try to follow a 'wake-eat-change-play-sleep' routine during the day so that she doesn't associate sleeping with feeding, as feeding before sleeping makes life really hard as baby ends up refusing to go to sleep without a feed. This has become so much harder to do lately as she is awake so much more. From about month 1 to month 3, she would sleep about 3 hours at a time during the day, which meant every time she woke up it would be time for a feed (I have fed on demand and she would generally go around 3 hours in between feeds during the day). We do the same sleep routine during the day as at night. Except this time she gets put down after play time, and it can take a little longer depending on how tired she is/how much of a good mom I've been and actually played with her vs. popping her on her play mat to play by herself.

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And now...

For the last week or so, she's been waking up after quick 45 minute naps during the day (sometimes stretching two 45 minute naps together...what is called 'linking' in baby lingo) and it's just not nearly enough time to get anything Adult/Roxy/Non-Mommy related things done. This has been really hard for me to adjust to, and I have found myself getting more and more frustrated. But, this is just part of the mommy-hood journey, and I'm sure there will be lots more moments like these to come. But please, comment below and let me know I'm not alone!

Her new night time wakings have also been harder to adjust to. She's been waking up a few times, and I've managed to get through some of them by going in and popping her dummy back in, patting her a few times and then walking out. When that has failed (and I've been back and forth with the dummy numerous times) I have resorted to feeding her and then putting her back down to sleep. We do have it relatively easy, but still...the last couple of weeks been an adjustment.

I wanted to share this post here (and anymore 'Life with a Baby' posts I am ever actually able to write) as a way to document my journey through motherhood. If you have a baby or if you're having a baby soon, I hope you find it useful or inspiring (or perhaps you'll just have a good old chuckle at the things I find difficult now as I'm sure there are worse to come).

But most importantly, I want to share this post because each of us first time moms are walking our own paths through motherhood, and our struggles, no matter how big or small they might seem in comparison, should unite us together, rather than making us feel alone <3.

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Now for the fun stuff...

Current fav nickname: Bobbin

Loves: Being sung to and any and all music! Likes to face forward when being carried so she can see the world. LOVES being naked so she can kick and squirm and fling her arms and body about.

Hates: Tummy time! The amount of tears we ave both shed as I have watchd her squiggle and scream on the mat has left me traumatised. But, there is light at the end of the tunnel! After a good 3.5 months of really struggling with this, it seems that she has graduated from blue murder screams to mumbling her distaste at being placed face down on the floor. It was a pretty viscous cycle for a while, the more she cried the less I forced her to do tummy time (an the more judgey eyes I'd get from my mommy friends), and therefore the harder it was when I did pluck up the courage to do it. But I am happy to say, we seem to have found a position she can tolerate, and this has made tummy time on the floor a bit easier as she is getting stronger.

Here's my absolute favourite photo of her doing tummy time (and the ONLY time she has ever actually stopped crying and actually smiled...#mommywin!). Let me know if you'd like em to write a blog post on tummy time, and how you can actually make it a fun activity rather than a horrible chore.

15 week baby sleep regression life with a baby citygirlsearching

Teething: Loads of drool, both hands always in the mouth (a few choking episodes where she's opened her hand while it's in her mouth and her fingers have gone down her throat...poor thing!). Everything goes into the mouth now, her hands, my hands, any and all toys, and her favourite thing to grab and suck on...my hair (ouch!).

Eye Colour: Grey? Dark Blue?

Hair Color: Dark Brown 

Weight: Weighing in at 6.2 kg's, Everly has officially doubled her birth weight! 

Feeding: Breastfed

Sleeping Aids: Her hands, a dummy & a little soft giraffe taglet/doodoo blankie

Current clothing sizes: 3-6 months (although she has been in this size for a good while). I'm going to blame it on the cloth nappies ;) I have still managed to squeeze her into one or two of my favourite 0-3 month outfits, but these were mostly her sweet little jackets and jerseys. The 0-3 month onesies and leggings haven't fitted her for a good many weeks! 

Currently eating/not eating: in the beginning, I found that the only thing that really seemed to upset Everly in my diet was tinned tomatoes. I pretty much carried on eating everything I had eaten during pregnancy. Something that I am pretty sure plays a big role in her afternoon grumpiness and something which I try to avoid is caffeine. The days when I do drink caffeine, I try to have it as early in the day as possible. This has seemed to lessen the 4 - 5pm bbay meltdown period  considerably!

3 month baby 15 week sleep regression life with a baby by CityGirlSearching

That's all for now friends. I'm hoping she settles back into her usual sleeping pattern, and if not, all the smiles and the talking and general cuteness will undoubtedly make up for it all.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and festive season from all of us here on the farm.

My Woodland Themed Baby Shower in celebration of our baby girl

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A few weeks ago I was suprised with the most incredibly beautiful baby shower, organised by my very special new friend, Bianca. I first met Bianca at our local Pilates class and we immediately hit it off when she told me she was a freelance graphic designer. I was pleased as punch to meet a new friend in the same industry as me, and one who lives here in the same town as me.

We became fast friends over the months, and I jokingly one day asked her how she would feel about planning my baby shower. Well, she took up the challenge and I have no words to express how incredible she was, and how loved and special she made me feel on the day.

I didn't really have any requests for my baby shower, I simply wanted it to be a surprise and Bianca quickly got to work by stalking my Pinterest boards and picking up clues from photos I had shown her of the inspiration behind our nursery. With the help of some of the local ladies here (and my mom & sister - in law) she got right to work and planned the most beautiful party I have ever been to,

I had no idea the baby shower would be across the garden at my in-laws house, and after removing my blindfold, I promptly burst into tears that came in wave upon wave as Bianca showed me around. I was completely blown away at the attention to detail that went into each and every single thing, from the food to the hand painted signs, to the biscuit favors, to the gift area set up. Bianca had even organised a wonderful photographer (Courtney from Courtney Clegg Photography) who took all of these beautiful photos.

I was absolutely delighted to have Courtney there as it meant I didn't have to worry about capturing all the details and I could just enjoy myself (while still knowing I would have lots of photos to post on the blog afterwards).

The details

The food!

Wow...I don't have much more to say about the food than WOW!

Everything was carefully planned and so thoughtfully prepared and laid out. And how sweet are the little name cards for each of the eats. 

To everyone who came and spoilt our little girl, thank you. Thank you for making us feel so loved and special. Baby Hutton is one very lucky little lady to have you all in her life.

Thank you to my mom for making it to the farm to be there for the celebrations, and a very special thank you to my Farmboy for putting up with all pregnancy hormones and for being so patient and loving with me over the past 9 months.

x

Here's to the last few weeks of life before parenthood!

P.S. Any advice for us for these last few weeks? I'm trying to enjoy long soaks in the bath, afternoons naps and binge watching my favourite series, and finally finishing the crochet blanket I started in my first few months of pregnancy!

As of the time of writing this blog post, our little girl has already been with us for 10 days! She decided to join the world at exactly 38 weeks (2 weeks early) leaving me no time to finish her crochet blanket! I'll be sharing more about these first few days/weeks with her, as well as posting the backlog of posts I had planned for the last few weeks of my pregnancy!

For moms, by moms - a list of newborn, baby & nursery essentials

A few months ago I reached out to my friends on Facebook and asked them the following question:

"Mommy friends, I'm wanting to write a blog post on newborn/baby/nursery items you couldn't live without. Please pop me a comment below with those things you loved/found so useful/couldn't live without <3

Please include the brand names you liked!"

Here is a list of items/tips/recommendations & advice that my wonderful (and experienced!) mommy friends shared with me. I hope you find their thoughts as helpful as I did, and if there is anything else you'd like to add please feel free to leave a comment below: 

list of newborn, baby  and nursery essentials

I am so thankful to all my friends who took the time to leave their thoughts. If there is anything you feel is missing, or you have some more items you think are MUST HAVE's to add to the above, then please feel free to leave me a comment! As a first time mommy-to-be, I'd love to hear from you.

We're having a baby!

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We have such happy news to share with you today! We will be welcoming a little bundle into the world in September this year, and we couldn't be more excited.

I have to be very honest and say I wasn't sure I was ever going to feel 'ready' for kids, but that feeling of readiness really does come to you when the time is right. Of course, it doesn't alway happen as quickly as it did for us (the moment we both decided the time was right, I was basically instantly pregnant) and I know a lot of people for whom the process can take a while.

Everyone's body is completely unique, and you really just have no idea how long things will take or what your pregnancy will be like. It's great hearing other ladies share their stories as it helps to open your mind as to what might happen for you. But definitely be prepared for the chance that it might take a whole lot longer (or a whole lot shorter) than your friends.

On that note, I read the most amazing book that covers everything and anything you've ever wanted to know about getting pregnant, but were too nervous to ask. I learned SO much from this book and can't help but tell everyone I know about it. Even if you're not thinking about having kids now, this book will help you prepare mentally & physically for what's to come. It helped me understand why I kept getting negative results on my pregnancy tests, even though I just knew that I was pregnant (turns out there is a waiting period after actual conception and you won't be able to test for pregnancy until your next period is due...around 2 weeks later).

The book I keep mentioning is The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant and I just loved every page. It's written by Jean M. Twenge who is as informative as she is funny, and each chapter is filled with everything you need to know about getting pregnant, including when you can test for pregnancy, how to prepare your body both physically and mentally and it also has a whole chapter dedicated to natural ways of enhancing your fertility.

I actually only bought the book for the chapter on how soon you can test whether you're pregnant, but found every single page to be full of useful information.

It's not just for first time mom either, Jean also talks about trying to conceive baby number 2 and 3 and also goes into great depths dispelling myths around older women not being as likely to fall pregnant as younger women. It's a must read for anyone even thinking about possibly having a baby at some point in their lives.

Farmboy and Citygir are having a baby

I am now in the last week of my first trimester (I'm 12 weeks pregnant) and that means I'm a third of the way there...eeeek! Nine months has always felt like a long time, but it's just flying by. 

And now for something a little different.

I've decided to create short weekly/monthly (I haven't decided how often I'm going to make them) videos to document my pregnancy, and I've just wrapped up the first one.

I hope you enjoy this little look into my pregnancy so far, and if you have any questions/comments/queries please feel free to leave me a comment below! 

Caleb Bear Honsbein - Newborn Photography in South Korea

Newborn Photographer in South Korea

World, meet little Caleb Bear Honsbein. Caleb is the happy baby boy of one of my special friends here in South Korea. Caleb's mom went to the same University as both Farmboy and myself and we've spent many happy weekends together (including for her Winnie the Pooh baby shower). It has been so wonderful being able to celebrate the arrival of her little boy.

Here are some photographs from Caleb's newborn shoot which we did at their house in Yeosu. Granny was visiting and I was able to also capture a few special moments between her and Caleb too.

If you're looking for a photographer to capture some special moments, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. You can see more of my work by hovering over the Photography menu bar above.

Enjoy!

x

A Winnie The Pooh Baby Shower

Winnie the pooh baby shower theme

One of my dear friends from university will soon be having a baby boy here in Korea. This is both a very exciting and scary time for her, being so far from friends and family back in South Africa. Even though it may seem incredibly daunting to some people, Vicky and her husband have done everything they need to stay up to date with how things work here when it comes to giving birth, and have an amazing support system, made up of new friends who have all come together to help in any way they can. Her friends threw her a very surprise baby shower a few weekends ago, and I was able to be part of the surprise, and to capture a few photographs of the special day. Everything was organised and put together so beautifully, and the Winnie the Pooh theme was just so cute. 

Vicky, you are so brave and so strong. I admire you more than words can say and I can't wait to meet your baby boy.

For any soon to be moms here in Korea, there are a whole number of really great Facebook support groups created by fellow expat moms. Let me know in the comments section below if you would like me to put you in touch with them.

{Melah Rose} a beautiful bundle of joy

A little while ago I posted a sneak peek of Melah Rose, just to give you a little hint. Here are the rest of a delightful morning spent with this gorgeous little one. She belongs to a dear friend of mine, Carmen, who is also a co-owner at Little Vintage {a boutique vintage clothing store} right here in Pietermaritzburg}. I hope you enjoy these photographs, and I look forward to doing many more!

xxx

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