Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Night Weaning

This past weekend we took the plunge and finally night weaned Esther. This post is mostly for me so I can remember and not wait so long to do it with our next baby. Also unrelated pictures from the duck park the other day. 

It took about 6 months of waking at night with Esther before I finally got used to it and realized that getting broken sleep was part of my life now. Once I accepted that she wasn't going to sleep through the night anytime soon things got much easier for me. I napped everyday with her and felt like I usually got enough sleep. However, I always told Leland (who wanted to night wean her earlier) that once she turned one, if she wasn't sleeping through the night then I would let her cry it out, so that's what we did. 

Since about 4 months when we originally trained her, Esther has always been able to fall asleep on her own. Most the time I lay her in her crib she goes to sleep with less than 5 minutes of fussing/crying. So going to sleep on her own wasn't the problem, she just needed to break the habit of waking during the night for comfort (because at this point it obviously wasn't about nutritional needs anymore).

Around 11 months we tried to "gently" night wean her. Instead of me feeding her when she woke up, Leland and I would lay with her in our bed for 10 minutes or so. About 10% of the time she would fall asleep in the bed, if she didn't fall asleep we would put her back in the crib, and about half the time she would go to sleep with no crying, the other half of the time she would scream and we would give her milk (in a bottle if I was at work). This obviously didn't work to get her to sleep through the night, but I think it did make it a little easier on her since she had gone 12 hours at night a few times with no milk.

After Esther's party weekend she got on a really bad schedule of waking every 1-2 hours at night for no good reason. That's when we decided it was time for her to sleep through the night. We started the first night by letting her cry for 30 minute intervals when she woke up before going in and holding her/comforting her then putting her back in the crib. This probably wasn't the best of methods, after an hour and a half of crying I gave in and fed her, but it wasn't a complete fail because she slept for 7 hours after that feeding. 

The next night we decided to not go in at all when she cried because it would just make her madder and then she was even further from going to sleep. The second night all was going well until I got home from work and just had  to go in and check on her/cover her up (it's a mom thing). Well I woke her up and she cried for 40 minutes before going back to sleep. The third night she woke up and cried maybe 30 minutes before going back to sleep. 

The fourth night she regressed a little and I ended up bringing her into our bed to try and get her to sleep, I didn't feed her and she ended up falling asleep on her own in the crib with no crying. Then last night (night 5) she slept for 11 hours without waking up at all, and then at 6:30am I fed her and she went back to sleep until 8:30! So hopefully she is officially night weaned now. I am a little worried about how things will go when she is teething or when we aren't at home, times when she usually wakes a ton at night and I nurse her to get her back to sleep, but I guess we'll deal with that as it comes. For now I am glad to have my sleep back!

It was really hard to listen to her cry, but a lot of her crying was either mild fussing or mad screaming. Only a few times it was her little heartbreaking sad cry, and those were the times when I just had to go get her haha. Also she is the lightest sleeper ever, so a lot of the wake-ups were my own fault for going in to check on her and accidentally waking her up. **Note to self: get a camera monitor with the next baby so this won't happen.**

For future reference here is Esther's current schedule (roughly):

6:30-Wake up and nurse, go back to sleep
8:30-Wake up for the day
11:00-12:30-Nurse and then nap time
3:30-4:30-Nurse and then second nap
6:30-7:30-Bedtime routine, nurse and then bedtime

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Esther's Birthday Party

Alternately titled: The post with a thousand pictures.

For Esther's party we decided to just have a family party, since she doesn't have many friends yet. We were originally going to have it in the yard next to our apartment complex, but we thought it was going to be too cold, so we decided to have it at our church instead. It worked out better this way since there were chairs and tables for everyone. Plus there was plenty of room for everyone to run around. 

Esther's smash cake (which never got smashed). 

The birthday girl

Esther and her Aunt Kel

Esther with Grandma and Grandpa

She is not a fan of kisses lol

Esther with Aunt Kylee

She loved all the presents she got!

Esther playing with her cousins

Esther and her cousin Evelyn are only four months apart. It is so cute to watch them together!

This was the extent of her "smashing" haha

Esther and Uncle Alex                

A horrible pic of me, but the only picture of the cake for everyone else. 
All of my family after church the next day. 

Esther's party turned out great! I was stressing a lot beforehand, but everything turned out fine. I'm glad it was a success. Thanks to everyone for coming!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

One Year Old

Today was Esther's birthday! We kept it pretty low-key since we will be having a party for her on Saturday. When she woke up in the morning we sang happy birthday to her, then let her into the living room, which we had filled with balloons. She liked playing with them, but wasn't as excited as I thought she'd be haha. Maybe next year. We got a video of her reaction (or lack thereof) but not a picture. After her photo shoot, breakfast and a nap, we took her to Toys R Us to pic out a present. 

She was so adorable there. She loved looking at all the toys and "playing" with them for a few minutes before moving on to the next thing. We ended up getting her this which she loves and should keep her entertained for a while. For lunch we had her favorite things, chicken sandwiches and mangoes. She ate 90% mangoes. 

After another nap we decided to go to the mall for dinner and to let her go on the carousel. But first a few pictures outside. 

Where did my baby go?

Blurry pictures in the elevator. 

Esther loved her dinner at Panda Express. 

She was not a huge fan of the carousel. Just like last time haha. Her little hands were white from gripping the pole so tightly, but at least she didn't cry. 

She will have her real cake at her party but we wanted to do something for her real birthday so we gave her a little cupcake which she throughly enjoyed. 

I am so glad to be the Mama to this amazing little girl. We love you so much Esther, Happy Birthday!

12 Months!

Today is sweet Esther's birthday! This past year has flown by, but we couldn't imagine our life without her. She was not very cooperative for pictures today, but I took a ton of her today as we celebrated that I'll save for another post. 

At 1 YEAR Esther likes: 
-baths (as always)
-dancing (she just started doing this and it is adorable!)
-watching Daniel Tiger
-doing baby yoga (see below)

At 12 months she doesn't like:
-holding still for anything
-when mama does her hair
-diaper changes
-loud noises

She is a pretty good eater, she will vegetables if she can feed herself, but she doesn't always eat a lot. She also likes her baby cereal, all fruits, chicken, lunch meat, and of course her milky. I am happy to have made it 1 year of breastfeeding, and I'd be okay with being done now but she doesn't show any signs of giving it up. 

She has been doing better with her sleeping. We've gotten a little lax with her bedtime so she goes to sleep anywhere from 7-8:30. She usually wakes up for the day around 8. Occasionally she won't wake up at all during the night, but usually she wakes up at least once and sometimes twice. We are working on getting her to sleep through the night though, and hopefully she will be able to before she starts teething again and messes everything up. 

She is a sweet little girl and so social. I watch other babies her age who are content to play on the floor next to their mom, this is not her! No matter what toys we give her she always has to be off exploring. She loves watching other babies and kids and seems to have gotten over any fear of strangers as long as I am close by. 

She wears size 5 diapers now and size 12-18 month clothing with some 24 month and 2T stuff fitting her. I will update with her weight and stats after her dr's appointment next week. She has grown up so fast, but she is so fun and smart now. It is fun to play with her and teach her new things. 

And here is all of her monthly pictures together! It's crazy to think she used to be my little brown haired babe. I can see my photographing skills have improved a lot over the past year. I hope with the next baby I can be more consistent with how the pictures look, but I am glad I stuck with this every month even if some of the pictures aren't the greatest. 

Images by Freepik