I knew these would catch up to me, lol. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to sit down and write these out. So much has happened in the last 2 months, I hope I can cover everything. I’m also realizing I need to make it a point not to group these months together because so much change happens in these early months and now I can’t remember Cam at 3 months, lol.
What I will say is, we’re at such a good spot and it really feels like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. The 4th trimester for me looked completely different from when I had Harper in the best way possible. As I said before, the experience you bring with you to your next kid is invaluable. It makes the biggest difference. With that being said, postpartum hormones coupled with my pregnancy depression that lingered, and Camden’s sleep, I hadn’t been in the best place mentally until more recently. I’m finding my joy again, laughing more, and just enjoying the process. Juggling it all is still a work in progress and a big stressor, but I’m taking it one day at a time and relying on my word for the year, which is EASE. We’re also in the process of looking for a nanny, which I know will help mama get some much needed personal time.
I’m almost forgetting the best part, Camden is a dream child. He’s SO easy, rarely cries, smiles all day, and basically puts himself to sleep. I’m so in love him, it’s hard to articulate just how much I want to eat him up.
New at 3-4 Months
Literally the day Cam turned 3 months, life changed lol. Cam’s sleep had been rough. He would sleep great and then he wouldn’t. He doesn’t take a pacifier, so he really had to figure out self-soothing. We did a lot of holding to get him back-to-sleep in the early months and I think he got really used to that. So, anytime he’d wake from his naps early, he would cry, we would have to intervene, and it was a vicious cycle. The shorter naps would really affect how he went down at bedtime, so our days just felt consumed by baby sleep. He’s slept through the night since he was 2.5 months but the getting down process was difficult. At 3 months, we let him cry it out at bedtime and from that day on he figured it out. I think it was a combination of his age, him figuring out how to self-soothe, and realizing we weren’t going to help him every time he cried. Babies are way smarter than you think.
Since his naps are great, his bedtime go-down is also really great. And he’s still sleeping through the night. I’m not joking when I say our life changed at 3 months. If you’re in those early months and doing everything right (in terms of the awak times, etc.), know that baby is still young and figuring it out. They’ll get it, just wait until 3 or 4 months.
4 months has been my favorite age so far. He’s turning into more of a person than a blab of a baby. His eye contact is getting better, he’s grabbing for things, he’s super strong and loves standing with our help, he’s smiling up a storm, and laughing. He knows his routine, he knows what to expect and is a happy guy even when he goes down for naps or bedtime. When we’re out and about and he’s not napping, he’s able to hang out a lot more than before. Even when he’s overtired, he’s able to hang with us.
Now that naps and bedtime are great, we’ve actually started to get out of the house more. I try to keep his nap schedule consistent during the day, unless we have something we HAVE to leave the house for (appts., etc.). For his last nap, which is a catnap, we’ll go out to dinner. Basically, I’ll feed him at 4pm, then we’ll leave. Cam doesn’t sleep well in his car seat unless the car is moving, so he’ll end up being awake longer than he should be, but it works because he isn’t fussy. He takes a tiny nap on the way home and then once we’re home I’ll start his bedtime routine. That tiny nap will hold him over, which makes it perfect.
When we were struggling with naps, we decided to move Camden to the Merlin Sleep Suit at around 2.5 months. We could tell he didn’t love his swaddle, so we wanted to give him some freedom. It took a couple of days to get used to, but he’s been in it ever since. I’m so glad we switched! We also moved Camden to his own room at around this same time. We kept him in the SNOO since that was what he was used to. He slept in the bassinet in the Merlin sleep suit, so we didn’t turn the SNOO’s motion on. He was super content there for a while, but we had to move him out of the SNOO around 4 months since he kept moving and getting shoved in the corner. He would fight with the mesh sides and wake himself up. We moved him to his crib and ended up putting a mesh bumper around the crib to mimic his bassinet because he wasn’t sleeping well at all at first. Either the crib felt too big or seeing through the slats was super distracting. The mesh bumper worked perfectly and now little man is happy as a clam in his crib.
Figuring out sleepy cues has been a bit of struggle with Camden. Early on he never really gave any of your typical sleep cues, so we kinda were guessing while staying within his age-appropriate wake windows. At 3 months I would say we stuck between 60- 75 minutes. Because he wasn’t giving any cues and sometimes taking short naps, I knew I wanted to extend the time. But, just 5 minutes extra would oftentimes make him overtired. Ugh, it’s such a delicate thing. Thankfully, at 4 months we’ve been able to extend his awake time between 80-90 minutes. He’s actually started yawning this week, so that’s been so helpful.
At 3 months we implemented a nap/bedtime routine. It’s very simple, but I think this has helped Cam go down well. This made the biggest difference at 3 months, but even now, I think it helps him go down a happy baby. We simply grab him from wherever he is and head to his room to change his diaper. We’ll sit in our rocking chair for books and once we’re done, I’ll close the curtains, turn on the sound machine, get his swaddle on, lay him in his crib, and then turn off the lights. We do this at the 70 minute mark. The nice thing is, if I can tell he can be awake longer, I’ll read more books or play with him in my lap OR if he’s already getting fussy, we do less books. Don’t underestimate this simple routine. It really helps baby.
Something nobody talks about, not even the baby sleep accounts I follow on Instagram -what do you do when baby doesn’t sleep his/her full nap time – sleeps only 20 or 40 minutes. At the beginning I struggled with this so much. It didn’t make sense to me that if Cam slept only 20 minutes that he could then proceed to be awake for the full awake time again. I thought he would need to go back to sleep pretty much after he fed. BUT, yes it’s true. It’s like even a 20 minute nap restores their body to be able to have their normal awake time. When Camden wakes up early from a nap, we always try to see if he can put himself back to sleep. If he can’t we’ll get him up and start his awake time of 80-90 minutes. Sometimes this means a feed gets bumped up 30 minutes, or sometimes this means feeding at the end of his awake time. It depends on how long his short nap was, but we always try to keep his normal feeding times. I also used to think that if he has 1 bad nap, then the rest of the day is shot. This is also not true. He’s had 2 bad naps in the morning and then a great nap in the afternoon to turn the whole day around. Baby sleep is so weird, lol. Lessons from all of this, I stress less about it all.
We’re still exclusively breastfeeding. We tried bottles last month with no success. We will start trying again since we’re hoping to get a nanny soon. I will keep you posted on that. Cam is still feeding every 3 hours. By 4 months, you can move to feeding every 4 hours, but Cam can only stay awake 80-90 minutes, so it doesn’t make sense to extend the time between feedings. Plus, he sleeps through the night, so I want to make sure he’s getting enough milk during the day. He’s definitely become a more efficient eater as feedings have gone from 20-30 minutes to about 15 minutes. He’s always been a big spit-up guy, but last month it got pretty bad. Lots of spit up and in large quantities. He’s back to his normal amount. He doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable while spitting up so I’m not too worried about it.
We are at about 80-90 minutes of awake between naps and bedtime. We do as much tummy time before he eats, then we’ll feed, and then Cam will kinda of go along with whatever we have going on. Monday-Friday there’s a lot of dedicated Mom and Cam time in the mornings. Once Harper gets home from school he sort of goes with the flow. He spends a lot of time off his back since we’re dealing with a flat head. Lots of laying on both sides of his head. He loves to stand with assistance, play in the mirror, watch his sister play, read books. He’s obsessed with his hands right now.
As mentioned above, bedtime is so smooth now. Once we hit 3 months, Cam has been going down for bed really well. After his catnap, we’ll keep him up for about 90 minutes and he’ll go straight to sleep and sleep through the night until 7am. At about the 50 minute mark of being awake, I’ll start his bedtime routine, which includes a feed before bed. We’ll change his diaper, get his pajamas on, put on aquaphor (for his eczema), then start his feed. After he’s done eating, we’ll do a couple of books just so he has some time to digest his milk. I’ll turn the sound machine on, put him in his swaddle and into the crib, and turn off the lights.
I think we may be out of the thick of this. Camden’s eczema has been pretty bad since around 1 month. I cut out gluten, which seemed to help, until it didn’t, lol. I haven’t been eating gluten and his eczema had flared up here and there, so we’re not 100% sure what it can be. I recently introduced gluten back into my diet and it doesn’t seem to sit well with him as his gas was much worse. So for now, I will avoid/limit my gluten in-take. We did a few weeks of minimal 1% Cortisone (which I’ve been very against), but it did work/help. We’re currently maintaining with Aquaphor, which has helped a lot as well. I’m going to keep an eye on this, but it does seem to be getting better/growing out of. Harper had eczema, but not nearly as bad as Camden. Harper grew out of it, so we’ll see.
Cradle Cap Update
Cam has had Cradle Cap basically since he got home from the hospital. I didn’t know anything about it because Harper never had it. I thought, oh he’ll grow out of it. Yeah… no! It’s still really bad. We recently tried Frida Baby’s cradle cap shampoo and spray conditioner as well as their brush. All 3 have worked really well and I highly recommend them. If you have any tips on how to get rid of this, I’m all ears.
Favorites at 4 Months
Merlin Sleep Suit – Transitioned Camden at 2.5 months to this sleep suit and it’s been amazing. He fit the weight minimum even though he wasn’t 3 months, so keep that in mind. Fighting the normal swaddle and having lots of gas, it just made sense to get him into something less restricting.
Activity Ring – Now that he’s grabbing for things, this is perfect. Love the neutral colors too.
Mesh Bumper – This made the crib transition seamless. It mimics his bassinet, so it worked perfectly.
Aquaphor – We’ve been using this for Camden’s eczema. We love how hydrating it is and how it locks the moisture in.
Freda Baby Cradle Cap Set – This works great. We saw results right away. It hasn’t completely gotten rid of it, but it’s better than it’s ever been.
Freda Baby Cradle Cap Brush – This is worth getting. We were using another one we got off Amazon and it’s not as good. This one works really well!
Green Sprouts Bibs – These are our favorite for feedings. Big, absorbs spit-up well, and aesthetically pleasing.
Green Sprouts Burp Cloths – We just ordered more and it seems like they’re bigger than they were years ago (yay!). Fit on your shoulder well, large, pretty, and handle spit up so well. We love these.
Zara Pants – These ribbed pants are great! You can go up a size (to get the most wear out of them) and roll the bottoms if they’re too long, without them looking weird. Soft, stretchy, and comfy!
Zara Onesies – I’ve loved these ribbed onesies. They’re more fitted so may need to size up.
H&M Onesies – He also lives in these. Great easy basic that come in neutral colors.
Wallaby Blanket – My favorite! It’s so pretty, soft, and a great size. We use it to cover him up while we’re out or use it to cover the car seat while we’re on the go and he’s sleeping.
Wee Gallery Black and White Cards – Camden loves these! We use these a lot during his awake time. I’ll show him the cards in my lap or we’ll put them standing up for his tummy time.
Charlie Crane Rocker – This piece is SO beautiful – more of a rocker versus a bouncer. I’ve used this SO much in the last couple of weeks. Just to put Camden down to get something done or he’ll sit in here when Harper wants to play or read him a book. Highly recommend this or something similar.
7am – Wakes, diaper, changes clothes
7:20 am – Feed
7:50 am – Activity
8:20 – Nap 1
10am – Feed
10:20 – activity
11:20am – Nap 2
1pm – Feed
1:20pm – Activity
2:20pm – Nap 3
3:30pm – Feed
3:50pm – Activity
4:50pm – Cat Nap 4
6:00pm – Wake and hang
6:40pm -start bedtime routine
6:30pm – Bedtime
* we know Cam can sleep through the night even if he goes to bed before 7pm, so we like to aim for a 6:30pm bedtime. 7pm just seems really late for parents and baby… when naps are shot for the day, there’s been times where he’s gone to bed as early as 5:45pm and he still sleeps through the night.