Here we are, almost at the end of 2021 and my girl is growing!! Some of my favourite things this last month are how she reaches out to grab our faces, all of the big, wide smiles (and giggles) and she’s got baby talk down (she is so much more vocal now, it’s pretty darn cute, babbling away). My supply dipped this last month because Grace was sleeping longer stretches in the night, so a big part of this last month was me getting that up again! It was a very emotional thing for me and a lot to get into, so I can do a whole blogpost to share my experience as well. I included some tips down below in the Q&A for some solutions to help.
Now to answer some of your questions for this month…
Is Grace sleeping in her crib already? If so, how did you transition and when?
Not yet, we plan to transition Grace from her SNOO bassinet to the crib in the new year, so a little after 6 months! We currently have it on wean mode, so there is no movement unless she cries to soothe her, but when she does cry it’s for food so I go in anyhow and pick her up to feed. We lay her down for naps or bedtime and she’s content in there, so it really doesn’t have to rock her anymore. This makes transitioning to the crib a lot smoother. I’ll be using sleep sacks for her when she’s in the crib, as of right now she’s in the SNOO sacks that clip to the SNOO bassinet so she can’t roll over, with both her hands out. I can’t believe it’s almost crib time!! We’re focusing on tummy time as well to help her for when she gets into her crib (especially with rolling over).
Are you pumping or using formula?
I breastfed Grace exclusively for 4 months and I still breastfeed, however the last few weeks we have supplemented with some formula (we look for her cues if she’s still crying and looking for more milk and offer her). I pump once at night before I go to bed just because Grace still does a long stretch of sleep (which is great) and I want to keep my supply up, so I need to ensure I don’t let myself go longer than 5 hours without demand on my breast whether that’s her or my pump. I put that milk in the fridge and supplement with that after her afternoon feed. We naturally have more milk in the morning, so I like to give that to her instead of formula in the afternoon, as it’s packed with my antibodies.
Gracie’s schedule goes a little like this: wake up for the day at 7:30am, feed, change diaper, awake for 2-2.5 hours, nap for 1 hour and then up again to feed and repeat. We put her to sleep around the same time each night (between 7-8pm). We like to do an evening bath to really relax her at night and she loves it. Grace usually wakes up at around 4am to nurse and then she goes back down for a longer nap before she’s up for the day again! You can google age appropriate awake windows, this helps to prevent an overtired baby, as well as to ensure it doesn’t impact baby’s nighttime sleep. As babies get older, they have more awake time during the day in order to have 10-12 hour stretches of sleep at night.
Do you plan to baby led wean, purees or both?
We plan to start off with purees and then work into BLW. I am going to be starting this course with Neal later this month to educate ourselves more!
How did you decide when to pierce her ears?
My mom pierced my ears when I was a very young baby as well, this way they properly heal when baby hasn’t discovered their ears or will touch it as much! We got Gracie’s done at Visage (they’ve got a few locations in the GTA, they’re inside many malls, you can search this up for your nearest location if you’re local) at 3 months old (which is the earliest they will do it) and they were incredible! Quick, clean and gentle. Now we don’t have to worry about bringing her to go do that when she’s older and when she can understand what’s going on, he he. I was always grateful as a young kid that I had them done as a baby.
How is Grace’s sleeping schedule? Does she sleep on her own in her nursery room now?
Gracie’s always been an awesome sleeper, but I will say having a “schedule” really helped her thrive on a routine and avoided having an overtired baby. This includes the appropriate wake windows during the day, in order for her to have that long stretch of sleep at night (she usually does 9-10 hours now). Grace has slept on her own in her nursery since she was 3 months old, but we’re very close by (our condo is small, he he) and we keep both our doors open so we can hear her and watch through the baby camera as well.
Working on my registry, what are some baby products you truly can’t live without?
Ah, so fun!! But I also know how overwhelming it can be. That’s why I created a whole blogpost with my registry and truly, we’ve used EVERYTHING off it now! Except for the high chair (that’ll be in the next 2 months when she starts foods). Off the top of my head my must-haves are the hushh portable sound machine, velcro swaddles and two-way zipper footed sleepers.
You mentioned your supply dipped, how did you increase it again?
I’m thinking I’ll do an in-depth blogpost on this! I worked with an incredible doula/lactation who was wonderful and supported me both emotionally and physically (with many natural tips to help my body produce). It was really hard on me emotionally and stress just doesn’t help with that supply issue! I dropped everything on my schedule and went into mom mode to work with my girl to get the milk up again. I focused on having Grace skin to skin on me for 24 hours (as much as possible) because again breast milk works on a supply/demand basis, so letting her constantly feed. I was pumping after nursing her to completely drain out each side to be able to produce more (this was pretty exhausting to do but I committed for a few days like this). I went back to night feeds with Grace, feeding every 3 hours to get that demand in, took Fenugreek/Blessed Thistle supplements, drank 3L of water daily and meditated to stay relaxed (this video helped).
She loooves to reach out and grab everything, including our faces (she squeezes at my cheeks and Neal’s beard, he he)
Activity/toy ideas for 4-5 month olds?
We subscribe to the Lovevery boxes which takes the guess work out of researching what to do or how to entertain baby during those longer awake times. They’re educational, fun and we look forward to them! It also helps me not buy just anything and collect a bunch of “stuff” as this is more curated and focused, while focusing on her development. Baby’s really don’t need a lot of stuff. Grace loves it when I just read to her, sing, cuddle, walk around the house from mirror to mirror — so never feel pressure to get anything I mention, just sharing what’s helpful to us and nice to have 🙂 I taught Grace how to turn pages when we read (board books are best for this to avoid a paper cut), picture books are definitely a great way to interact with your little one too. She loves hearing the stories and just stares at me whenever I read to her and smiles, it’s so sweet!
Carhartt Baby Beanie // Roots Onesie // Medela Pump // Fisher Price Swing // Board Books // Como Tomo Bottles // Grip Ball // Bubble Tea Silicone Teether // Sophie Teether // Skip Hop Avocado Stroller Toy Clip // Bibs
Now that I am pumping more, I really do love the Medela flex (it’s easy to use and small, I can pack it with me as well, not that I go anywhere ha ha). We always get asked about Gracie’s pink carhartt beanie so I linked it here too! Bibs definitely come in hands for feeding Grace with a bottle now to protect her clothes from getting dirty so I’ve always got a little basket on her night stand of fresh ones for night feeds.