Muslim swaddle blankets: Bébé au Lait (pack of two and so darn soft!)
Well that month sure went quick! It’s actually been 5 weeks already, so I’m a little late on my one month update 😉 Such is life with 3 kids! I’m trying not to let anything stress me too much this time around. So, if I don’t get everything I want done in a day (which happens almost every day)… I’m doing my best to be okay with it, and get some much needed sleep or baby cuddles in at the end of the night.
You all had some great requests and questions for me, so here you go!
Ups & Downs (Mostly Ups!) of the Past Month
I’ve truly been blessed with a great third baby! Jack seems content in life and just goes with the flow… hopefully this sticks! He pretty much only fusses or cries if he is hungry. Maybe a couple cries if you have to change his diaper, since he doesn’t like being cold and exposed. And perhaps some soft cries if he is ready for his nap. He really is a dream baby! And thank goodness since I have to focus so much of my energy and time on the other two kids. Basically I just need to make sure Jack gets enough “mama’s milk” as my kids call it and enough sleep and he is a happy camper! And of course we give him lots of attention, and all of us try to make him smile throughout the day.
The transition to three kids has actually been easier than I thought it would be! Again, Jack is an easy baby so far, and it’s still early, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I was slightly worried that I’d be up all night and zombie in the day, but that hasn’t been the case. Jack has been sleeping long stretches in the night, which really helps me recharge for the long daytime hours. Sure I’m tired, but it’s doable.
One thing that has helped me is doing my best to be prepared for those more chaotic moments in the day. For example, I know that I have a hard time getting all of us out the door for a 9am preschool start, even before Jack entered our lives. So, the night before, I lay out clothes for all of us, make up the kids sippy cups for their morning milk, set out my pumping equipment, and plan what I’m going to make for breakfast. Since Jack isn’t the most efficient nurser yet, I decided to pump in the morning and offer a bottle. He is able to take this faster and I’m able to better help the other kids eat breakfast and get dressed, etc.
So on to the challenges… I’d say the two biggest challenges so far are being stuck nursing much of the day when there is so much to do with the other two kids, and dealing with this freezing cold Chicago winter. Now that I have offered a bottle to Jack, I found that he drinks a lot of milk! I mean, a lot! Sometimes I pump 6 oz and he will take it all. So when he nurses, it takes a long time – about an hour or more every time, and he is actually drinking the whole time. It has gotten faster in the last week, but the first month was tough. I wanted to give Jack the opportunity to get my milk supply up, which is why I didn’t take him off after the recommended 15 minutes per side.
With the cold weather, we aren’t able to get out of the house as much as I’d like. Walks are out of the question some days with real feel temperatures in the single digits. And I am scared to take the three kids to an indoor play spaces where they would be exposed to lots of germs. I’m doing my best to keep Jack healthy for at least the first two months. Also, it seems like everyone in our community has been getting away to tropical vacation, and we can’t travel just yet.
The afternoons are particularly slow for Peter, since we don’t have any activities planned while Caroline naps and I’m usually on the couch nursing. Peter is most tired then since he dropped his nap, and gets bored. But probably the most trying part of the day is the hour before dinner where the kids start going a little stir crazy and get hungry. However, this is probably not uncommon for most families, especially in the winter when it gets dark early.
The good news is that Jack is getting faster with nursing, I have the option of pumping and bottle feeding, and Spring is on it’s way! Like I said, it has been mostly ups, but I also wanted to be realistic in that it is not all sunshine and rainbows.
For the first three weeks, I let Jack nurse whenever he was hungry and then he’d basically sleep in between those times. At times this was a lot of nursing (especially in the evenings), but I had the luxury to let him do that, since I had family in town to help with my other two and cook dinner etc.
Now that Jack is a month, I have him on a schedule where he feeds, then is awake (with tummy time), and then takes a decent nap. Typically he feeds every 3 hours during the day with the exception of the evening when he cluster feeds before his longer sleep stretch. This usually lasts from 6:00-10:00pm. I’ve had to introduce a formula bottle during that time for a couple reasons. First, I can more easily get the rest of the family fed and the older kids to bed. Second, I felt like my milk supply wasn’t keeping up with his demand, since I was tired at the end of the day. I realized I could be a better mom/wife to everyone if I gave Jack that extra bottle in between nursing.
As for nighttime, I have Jack going to “bed” around 10pm and then he usually sleeps a 4-5 hour stretch. When he wakes I change him and nurse him and it’s straight back to bed. Thankfully he is happy and content going right to sleep as long as he gets enough milk. Then he will sleep for another 3-4 hours until around 7-8am.
I’ll keep this section on the shorter side!
At three weeks, I introduced a bottle of milk once a day, and he did great! It took about 5 minutes of him playing around with it at first and spitting milk out, but then he gulped it down and hasn’t looked back.
At four weeks, Jack starting smiling and cooing a little bit! It is truly the sweetest thing. I think Caroline and Peter get equally as excited when they make him smile as I do 😉
Jack has really started focusing in on his siblings when they talk to him and teach him things. For example, when Peter started telling us a story in bed the other night… Jack immediately stopped his fussing (he was hungry and due for a feeding, but I had to put the older kids to bed) and watched Peter in awe. It was so cute!
Tummy time is still a work in progress 😉 I think Jack is a little too relaxed for tummy time and doesn’t want to work as hard as the other kids did. So this is an area I’m really trying to work on as much as we can during the day.
Baby Weight Journey & My Recovery
I’ll admit I got pretty scared when my weight just kept ticking up this past pregnancy! This time around, I wasn’t as good about watching what I ate and I had more unhealthy cravings (like carbs, cheese, and chocolate). It was the most I have gained for a pregnancy – 34 pounds. Just barely within the 25-35 pound guideline range 😉 For Peter’s pregnancy (my first), I only gained 17 pounds, but he was born early at 32 weeks, so I can’t really compare here. And then for Caroline’s pregnancy, I gained 25 pounds. So as you can imagine about half way through Jack’s pregnancy I got nervous that my body was’t going to bounce back like it had for the prior two pregnancies.
Thankfully I lost about 24 pounds during the first few weeks postpartum. That said, I’m sure the 10 remaining pounds will be way tougher and more than that, I need to tone up! I’m anxious to really get back to working out once I hit the 6 weeks mark and get doctor clearance. I started my cardio tennis class back up after 3 weeks, and have done some easy workouts (i.e. elliptical, walking, and pilates on the reformer)… it feels so good! But I’m obviously not pushing myself too hard until I’m totally healed. With my other two pregnancies, I found that it was hard to get back to normal until I stopped breastfeeding. Did you find this too? Perhaps with nursing I have an increased appetite, and that is part of the problem, haha.
It has been tough not being able to go on as many walks with our bitter cold streak. Hopefully spring comes early this year. Also, one of my goals for 2018 is to try BBG and get in super-toned shape and not worry about the scale! Who wants to try it with me?! I like the concept that the workouts are short in duration, which makes it easier with a tight kid/baby schedule to work around.
Drop me a note if you have more questions!