Can’t believe little Miss Mabel is now 4 weeks old. It feels like we just brought her home from the hospital yesterday. Yet the other day when we were giving her a bath, S said “I can’t remember anymore how we spent our time before she was here. What did we do all evening?” It’s true. Those evenings of binge watching our shows and lazily enjoying our dinner are over. And it’s way better now than I ever thought it would be.
This is a happy baby. She has no problem letting us know when she’s hungry or needs a new diaper, she goes from 0-60 in no time. But she seems to only cry when she’s trying to communicate her needs and we haven’t dealt with any major meltdowns since adding formula to the mix. (knock on wood)
Having said that, we have wandered into the phase I’ve read about where newborns are fussy in the evenings. She’s cluster feeding, drinking smaller amounts of milk every 45min to an hour each evening this week. But the fussiness seems to be well contained as long as we keep her moving between her feeding. This kiddo loves being bounced, rocked, gently jiggled, walked, you name it. I read that this is very common while newborns are adjusting to being outside the womb. In utero, they were used to near constant movement as we walked around and went about our usual business all day. Mabel definitely loves movement. I spend many hours on the birthing ball or in the rocking chair. Last night we even danced around the house to Aretha Franklin.
Music that calms her down: the soundtrack to Les Mis (I have an advanced degree in theatre design and a real soft spot for musicals). We also downloaded some albums from a company called Rockabye Baby. They take popular musicians and convert their songs to instrumental lullabies. We have the Prince, Radiohead, and Pink Floyd albums. They also make one with Cure songs that I want to download next. It’s surprisingly joyful to dance around the house to an instrumental version of Little Red Corvette featuring a xylophone.
Sleep: it’s getting better. Mabel still has the occasional night of waking up every hour and a half, but for the most part she’s sleeping in 2 1/2 – 3 hour chunks. She still prefers sleeping in our arms or on our chests. Last night we finally got serious about getting her used to the bassinet. She slept for about 3 hours in there (a record!), woke up around 2:30am to eat and then slept for another 2 hours before getting fussy. I brought her into bed with us for the last couple of hours before we started our day. But that’s progress! While Mabel was in the bassinet, it was so nice to cuddle with S again in bed. It felt like it had been forever since we were able to spoon!
Ive made it a priority to try to get dressed every day and brush my teeth before noon. The two times I’ve become overwhelmed with parenting responsibilities and started crying, it was late evening and I was still wearing my pjs from the night before and I hadn’t brushed my teeth or washed my face all day. It’s amazing what putting on a pair of pants and brushing your teeth can do to your mental state. I also try to get out of the house more often. It can get pretty lonely being cooped up in a house all day. Even just a walk around the neighborhood with Mabel in the carrier helps. Maybe it’s the vitamin D.
Overall, I feel like we’re settling into this whole parenthood thing. I haven’t tried to implement any sort of schedule with Mabel yet. Just feed her when she’s hungry and let her sleep when she’s sleepy. At some point this summer I’ll try to get her on some sort of general schedule before I go back to work in mid August and she’s left with a nanny. When did you guys start implementing a schedule? Did it just sort of happen organically as the baby matured?