Our sweet Jack is 4 months old! I feel like we just had these photos taken. It’s funny how different the first few months feel with Jack vs. how I felt with Charlie. With Charlie I wished them away and just wanted to get to a place where I felt like myself and confident and in a routine but with Jack it’s like I never want these days to end. Maybe it is because Charlie and Jack are NIGHT AND DAY opposites. Dave and I laugh now that we thought Charlie was this dreamy baby who had some minor issues (acid reflux, spit up CONSTANTLY, cried all the time) but it was parenthood and we were newbies and we thought he was perfect. After having Jack it is like oh my gosh Charlie was the worsttttttt. I say that in the most loving way possible. But Jack is literally perfect. Never cries, has slept 5-6 hours stretches since 2 weeks, has yet to hit a regression (knock on wood), lights up when he sees us and rarely spits up. Dave and I joked that we literally never have to rock him. He just lays in his crib and falls asleep where with Charlie I would rock him for hoursssss. Needless to say, the newborn phase with Jack has been such a happy time in my life that I want to hold on to forever.
Remember when I was so worried about having two kids? How could I ever love another baby as much as Charlie! So many of you told me that it feels impossible but then it happens and you were all so. right. *If you’re a pregnant mama about to have #2 or thinking about having #2 you should read the comments on this post, so many amazing responses!* People often ask me how I feel with two and I always describe my relationships with my boys this way. I am in a fully committed relationship with Charlie. He is my person. We argue, we make up, we support each other, we have conversations and we are deeply in love. Haha. With Jack, I am in love but we are still getting to know each other. However, it is so true what everyone said – my world has been rocked after having two kids. I never imagined loving anything like I love Charlie and then it happens. When I was my sister’s maid of honor I referenced a quote that always reminds me how grateful I feel that I have my brother and sister. It reads “siblings are the greatest link to your past and the most likely to stick with you in the future.” It’s so true. The greatest gift we could ever give Charlie was Jack. That makes any feelings of guilt fade away.
Jack’s Sleep Schedule
I wish I could map out his day for you hour by hour but the truth is every day is kind of a free for all. I still use this infant awake chart and make sure that when Jack wakes up he is back down for a nap an hour and a half later. During the day he could take a 30 minute nap or a 3 hour nap – there is no rhyme or reason and I just kind of let him do his thing at this point. Once he has longer stretches of awake time it will be easier to dedicate nap times. However, we are pretty consistent with his bedtime routine. He usually takes a quick 20-30 minute nap around 5pm and then we put him down at 6:30pm for the night. I change his diaper, put him in the Magic Merlin sleepsuit and feed him, make sure he burps and then put him in his crib. I may rock him for a couple minutes but I always make sure he is sleepy but awake when he goes in his crib. I do not nurse him/feed him to sleep. Jack usually wakes up at 4:50am (it’s always either 4:44 or 4:52!) and I’ll feed him and he will sleep for another 1.5-2 hours. I’m hoping to drop this feed soon, more on this below. We never did a dream feed, leading up to this schedule Jack would go down around 7/7:30pm and wake up around 2. He has always given us some good stretches at night!
We transitioned Jack from the SNOO to his crib at 3 months old and he sleeps in the Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit (we keep him in a footed pajamas underneath because our house is drafty). I started introducing a more strict nighttime routine around 3 months and have really tried to be consistent. Jack naturally fell into a 6:30pm bedtime (after always showing signs of being sleepy at this time) so we kind of went with it. When it comes to sleep training, we have used the cry it out method with both of our boys. Honestly, Jack hasn’t required too much of this. He puts himself to sleep really well (I think being aware of their awake time is a huge factor in helping them fall asleep on their own and doesn’t make them overstimulated before sleep) but we definitely let him whine/cry when needed. As a second time mom this whole process feels much easier. Maybe because I have a better sense of the cries that aren’t as sad! Jack has also started to self soothe with his thumb so that helps too. We will probably transition him out of the sleep suit and just into a pajama sleep around 6 months.
Jack has been pretty amazing when it comes to nursing. I pretty much exclusively breastfed him and rarely pumped unless I felt he didn’t drain my boobs or once he started sleeping longer at night I would pump before bed. We have had no issues but in the last couple weeks I have noticed that my supply isn’t keeping up with his demand. He recently went through a growth spurt and wants to nurse every 1.5/2 hours and I have struggled to keep up! Then when we had to go to the hospital with Charlie last weekend and my adrenaline was pumping when we got home it seemed like my milk just dried up. The next day I barely had any supply (I blame the stress and lack of water). He was starving all day and I caved and gave him formula. I made sure to drink a TON of water that day and the next day seemed better but still not what he needed. So, we are officially introducing formula and honestly, I’m feeling pretty good about it. I had a really hard time weaning with Charlie but this time I’m ready to feel like myself again. I am feeling guilty because I know some of my desires to stop are selfish (I want my body back) but it will lead to a better schedule, more freedom for me which makes it easier with a toddler and a full night’s sleep. I’m also really proud that I successfully breastfed him exclusively for 4 months. I’m still nursing him 3x a day but I’ll probably start dwindling this even more over the next week. Once your supply goes down it is so hard to know how much they are actually getting during these feeds so it’s comforting to know he is getting exactly what he needs with formula. My one sadness is that he doesn’t smell like my little baby anymore! There is something so sweet about the smell of a breastfed baby (is that weird?).
I also wanted to specifically answer a few questions that some followers left on my Instagram in hopes that it helps any fellow mamas!
Do you pump prior to working out in the morning or feed him and then leave?
Since Jack wakes up around 5am for a feed, I’ll nurse him and then head to the gym. If he does sleep through the night (like 7-7, he has only done this a couple times) then I always set my alarm so I can pump before and then Dave has a bottle to feed him when he wakes up.
When trying to get Jack to sleep through the night, did you attend to every sound and fuss or just crying? Or did you do the cry it out method? I have a baby boy Jack too, just a couple days younger than yours and I’m still feeding 3-4 times a night. How do I get this down?
I would only react to crying! This is much easier if they are out of your bedroom. I also didn’t follow this rule at all with Charlie – every peep he made I attended to him! Eventually we did let Charlie cry it out and we’ve let Jack cry it out/fuss as well (Jack doesn’t cry much). My pediatrician told me that if your baby is 3 months old and over 12 pounds, they are well fed and you don’t need to worry about night feedings as much. I would say your little guy is probably waking for comfort! I would really try to let him self soothe. It is HARD to hear them distressed but trust me that it won’t be as long as it may feel and it is 100% worth it (more sleep for you!). My pediatrician ansi told me that the greatest gift you can give your child is the ability to put themselves to sleep. It’s so true! Listen to their cries, most of the time it is winey and they just want the attention. If they REALLY need you, you’ll know. I like to think of their crying as a little workout and that they will sleep better/long after 🙂
Any tips for transition from swaddle to magic sleep suit or just cold turkey?
We just did cold turkey. We tried a sleep sack with Charlie and decided that eventually that would be another transition so we went straight to footed pajamas at 6 months. He would settle on his tummy and sleep through the night just fine! It was probably a week long transition but just remember that everything will pass and you’ll have a successful sleeper at the end!
Does Jack where his sleep suit during naps too or just at night for bed?
Yes! As soon as Jack goes into the Merlin it’s like he knows he has to sleep. I think it helps with the whole sleep routine!
I’m curious about any sleep regressions. My little one is almost 5 months. He was sleeping almost 8 hours at night and now he is waking 2 times every night and is barely napping. I’m assuming he is going through a sleep regression but he is my first so I have no idea what I’m doing. Ha!
Regressions are brutal! Jack hasn’t seem to hit one yet but I know it is coming. It’s all part of it. One of my mom friends told me early on with Charlie that as soon as you’re comfortable, it changes. I would download The Wonder Weeks app and prepare yourself for storms (regressions, developmental leaps) and sunny days ahead. Just remember it will pass and it is totally normal!
Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll answer them in the comments! xx