Kai is now 12 weeks old! I can't believe how fast this time has flown by. My maternity leave officially ended yesterday, but I've decided to just finish out the week with some vacation time! I will truly be cherishing these last few days of not having to work with my little bub, but I'm trying my best to keep a positive attitude about next week. It's another great step of getting back to some more normalcy in life.
One thing that I'm so relieved about with Kai though is he's been sleeping through the night successfully every night for the last 4 weeks. I am one well rested mama and really hoping this habit sticks with me going back to work. I definitely need my sleep to make it through the work day! Whenever I tell people though that he sleeps through the night already they tell me how lucky I am. While yes I am lucky that I get 7 hours of sleep every night, we didn't just get lucky with him doing this though. It took A LOT of hard work to get to this point. When he was 1 month old we were delirious with lack of sleep like any other parents to a newborn. However, we've been implementing a feed, wake, sleep schedule for him from day one and we started really repping the rewards of this hard work by 2 months. The first two months are incredibly hard. I'm not going to hide that fact, but if you put in an effort to get your baby on to a good routine it can get so much easier! I realize not all parents are fans of schedules with their babes but it is what works best for us. We are both working parents who are organized and love their sleep. Most importantly though, we feel that it is very important for Kai's cognitive development that he gets enough sleep in order to properly develop cognitively and physically. We're personally able to achieve this for him by having him on a schedule. We knew we wanted to have some schedule for our baby even before he was born. Caleb and I both read the book On Becoming Baby Wise, and discussed how much we liked it and agreed with the philosophy behind it. It was both how we were wanting to go about a feed and sleep schedule plus we both liked the idea of our baby potentially sleeping through the night by 8 to 12 weeks. Well my friends it works, it really really works. We think it’s pure magic. So today I am going to share our daily schedule with all of you as of today (12 weeks). At the end of the post I'll touch upon weeks 1-2, 3-7, and 7-10, too just in case your babe is a little younger than Kai and you're wondering what we did during those phases.
Kai's Daily Schedule
7:00 AM - Wake Kai up with lots of kisses and smiles and change his diaper
7:05 AM - Feed
7:30 AM - Pump extra milk while Kai lays in his bassinet. We typically "chat" during this time and he checks out his hands and feet.
8:00 AM - Read to Kai while he's in his baby wrap
8:30 AM - Nap time in baby wrap
9:30 AM - Feed
10:15 AM - Diaper change, get him ready for the day, swing time
11:00 AM - Nap time in crib
12:30 PM - Feed
1:15 PM - Diaper change, play mat time
2:00 PM - Nap w/ mom or in Moses basket
3:30 PM - Feed
4:15 PM - Diaper change, tummy time, walk, play w/ toys
5:00 PM - Nap time in crib
6:00 PM - Feed
6:30 PM - Diaper change, rocker or play mat time
7:30 PM - Nap time w/ mom
8:30 PM - Feed
9:00 PM - Bath (every 3rd night), diaper change, put PJs on, read a story, say our prayers, bed time in crib
11:00 PM - Pump for stimulation and supply purposes
We do this same exact routine every single day to the best of our ability. We of course go out and run errands or go visit Grandma and Grandpa, but even then we typically try to stick to this schedule. Consistency is key. Kai seems to know and understand what is coming next and it's also helpful for us as parents. We know when we can schedule appointments, when we'll have time to get stuff done around the house, or simply the best time to run errands because he's so predictable. Obviously every day isn't perfect and he can be fussy but normally he is one happy baby!
As you can see, we are on a feed, wake, sleep cycle. This is called parent directed feeding per Baby Wise. We like this kind of routine because then it doesn't get Kai dependent on food to fall asleep. A well rested baby eats well. A well fed baby sleeps well. Kai is always so happy and alert and I can say with confidence it's because he sleeps and eats so good. Because he's well rested he is able to get full feedings every time so he's happy during wake time and is able to take a full nap before it's time to eat again. If he wakes up really early from a nap we can using narrow it down to gas because since he gets full feedings it isn't because he's hungry again. After we burp him or soothe him a bit he usually will fall right to sleep and sleep all the way till his next nap time.
Here are some frequently asked questions we get asked all the time about our schedule and how we feed Kai that I wanted to address for you all!
Do you wake Kai up from his naps to eat?
Yes we do. The only time we let him go past a feed time with a nap is if we are off schedule or if he just wouldn't go down for a nap at his usual time. We usually don't let him go more than 30 minutes past a normal feed time though because if we do then that messes up the rest of the day.
Has your supply gone down with him not eating in the middle of the night?
Not that I can tell. He eats a lot at 7am and I still have to pump after he's done eating. The rest of the day he seems to always be satisfied after his feedings and when I pump I still get the normal amount of 2-3 oz per pump session.
How do you feed Kai?
I nurse Kai at 7am, 9:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 3:30 pm and Caleb bottle feeds him pumped breastmilk at 6pm and 8:30pm.
Do you supplement with formula?
Yes, if we need to. Since Kai no longer eats at 11pm I've started to get a small supply of breastmilk that we can give to him. However, if he depletes the stocked breastmilk we do give him formula if he wants it. Like I said, we feed him till he's full. So if he wants more than the breastmilk we have available by bottle, then formula it is! We give him Similac Advanced Pro formula if you're looking for a recommendation.
How do you know how much Kai is getting when he nurses? And how much do you feed him from a bottle?
We feed him until he's full. It honestly varies at every feeding every day. Sometimes it's 1.5 oz sometimes it's 8 oz. It's whatever he wants. When I nurse him, he eat's until he pulls away or just won't suck anymore. It's usually around 15 minutes per side. Sometimes it's 10, sometimes it's 20. I know that can be frustrating to hear when you're trying to figure out what to do but I promise you will learn what your baby needs! Throughout the whole day though he gets around 24 oz total.
How do you get Kai to not fall asleep on the breast?
Kai was such a sleepy baby at first when it came to breastfeeding...sometimes he still is if he didn't get a good nap in. If he keeps dosing off I try blowing in his face, running my finger lightly over his cheek, patting him on the shoulder, and tickling his feet. I also talk to him a bunch. If he doesn't respond to any of those things then that is a sure fire way that I know he is done on that side.
Do you nurse Kai on both sides?
Yes, always. He's never not done both sides. The best advice I can give on this is if your baby is going longer than 20 minutes on one side and doesn't want to do the other side, try pulling them off at 2o minutes and switch them. 20 minutes should be enough time to have emptied one side. If it keeps happening make sure you pump on the side they don't nurse on so you don't get clogged up.
Where does Kai sleep?
At night, Kai sleeps in his Dock a Tot in his crib. He also sleeps like that for is 11am nap and his 5pm nap. His other nap times I hold him or have him in his baby wrap on me. Sometimes he will nap in his Moses basket or bassinet in our room if I want to take a nap, too.
How did you get Kai to sleep through the night?
We gradually worked our way to him sleeping from 9:30pm to 7am and it's all thanks to staying on schedule. During weeks 1-2 Kai ate at these times: 7am, 9:30am, 12pm, 2:30pm, 5pm, 8pm, 11pm, 1:30am, 4am. He napped between all those times with his only wake time really being just for a diaper change or bath time. During weeks 3-7 Kai ate at these times: 7am, 9:30am, 12pm, 2:30pm, 5pm, 8pm, 11pm, 3am with naps between all those times and about 30 minutes of wake time before each nap. During weeks 7-10 Kai ate at these times: 7am, 9:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 6pm, 8:30pm, 11pm with nap times between each feeding and about 45 min of wake time before his naps. When we got to week 10 and we wanted to drop the 11pm feeding, we knew he was ready because he would barely wake up at 11pm and would only have an ounce or two of milk at that feeding. To help pad him though we moved his 8:30pm feeding to 9:30pm for 3 days then moved it back to 9:15pm for 3 days and then landed back at 8:30pm. He hasn't woken up before 6:30am since he was 8 weeks old.
Do you let Kai cry it out?
We sort of let him "cry it out." We have a 15 minute maximum. If he cries for any longer than that we go to him and attempt to soothe him. Most of the time he does fall asleep within 5-10 minutes though. We follow this same philosophy during naps, too. He tends to be a sleep crier, so he's not actually awake and he's able to resettle himself in a couple minutes to finish out his nap. The only exception to this is if he does a horrible hold his breath scream, then we go to him right away because that usually means something is wrong.
Do you wait to feed him until his scheduled feeding time if he wakes up early from his nap or do you feed him right away?
So if the 15 minutes has passed and he still hasn't stopped crying then we feed him. Hunger ALWAYS trumps the clock. If he wakes up and he's not crying or seems to be hungry we'll wait a few minutes to see if he'll go back to sleep and if he doesn't we will still feed him. We try our best not to get off the feed, wake, sleep cycle. He almost will always have a little bit to eat if we offer it to him. From that point we just try our best to get back on track with our normal schedule the rest of the day.
Do you keep Kai up till it's his scheduled nap time?
No, if he's tired before then we put him down. Those are just the latest times we allow him to stay awake before we start to put him down for a nap.
I know this was a long one but hopefully this is a good model for any of you mamas out there who are trying to get on a schedule and are looking to get some full nights of sleep. Please remember though that you need to do what is best for you and your little one. The first month is very hard. It was no where near perfect for us. We kind of just stumbled our way along and after about 4 weeks it all really started to click. The first two weeks are the hardest. You need to get a good latch down, feed almost every 2-3 hours and never go more than 4 hours, and try to get your milk to come in if you're breastfeeding. That's really hard when you're so tired and trying to heal. But it gets better before you know it! Keep at it, and just remember, you are seriously the best mom in the world! If you have any other questions about schedules, sleep, or any other mom questions in general, please leave me a comment below and I will answer the best I can!
Make sure you're following me on Twitter for some #momlife tweets!
Hey there friends! I hope you all had an awesome weekend! We definitely had a great one. Saturday morning we took Kai out to the city for his first ever brunch! We went to our favorite brunch place in Chicago, Bistrot Zinc. He was an angel the whole entire time! He woke up a few minutes after we sat down and just sat in his car seat and smiled the whole meal. We we're such proud parents! The food was delicious, as always. This time I got a seasonal special, the strawberry rhubarb clafoutis and Caleb got our favorite dish ever, which is their eggs Benedict. Yesterday we had lunch with my parents and then I spent the afternoon baking some cookies with Kai. I baked some really yummy peanut butter chocolate chip lactation cookies that both Caleb and I are just devouring now. I'll definitely be sharing the recipe on here soon because even if you aren't a breastfeeding mama they are delicious and actually "somewhat" healthy!
Today I'm sharing a little postpartum wisdom with all you new mamas, so if you aren't a mama and have no interest in the pain and messiness of postpartum don't even worry about skipping this post. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was recommended by a few friends to make these things called padsicles to help me heal after Kai was born. I looked up what was needed for them and got to work on them. I used them almost every day after Kai was born for about a month and they really really helped, so I wanted to share them with all of you! Basically what a padsicle is, is a feminine pad that you add witch hazel, essential oils, and aloe vera to and then you put them in the freezer. They act as an ice pack as well as a cooling mixture to help your lady bits heal after delivery. Here is what you need and how it helps:
Target - $9.29
You can get any pads you like. I started out with heavy duty maxi ones because I didn't know how bad I would end up being after giving birth. After I worked through my first bag and began to heal, I grabbed some less intense pads until I no longer really needed to wear them anymore.
Non-Alcoholic Witch Hazel
Target - $6.99
Non-Alcoholic witch hazel is essential. Make sure it is NON-ALCOHOLIC! Otherwise, you'll be in more pain than you can imagine down there, especially if you tore. That is why I recommend Thayer's witch hazel. It is the only non-alcoholic witch hazel brand that I could find. I ordered mine off of Amazon but I've seen it at Target, too. I got the rose petal one for a nice scent. Don't worry the scent won't cause you any irritation. The witch hazel really helps any tears to heal as well as really helps with hemorrhoids.
Lavender Essential Oil
Amazon - $15
Any lavender essential oil works. I personally got the Lily & Lush essential oil off of Amazon. The lavender essential oil is a nice calming oil that works with the other products to help calm any pain or irritation you might be having.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Amazon - $15
Same thing goes for the tea tree essential oil, any kind works. I just ordered the same brand as the lavender for mine from Amazon. The tea tree essential oil works as a natural healer again for any tears, swelling, and hemorrhoids.
Amazon - $16.23
Just like the witch hazel, make sure the aloe vera is non-alcoholic. I wasn't able to find any non-alcoholic ones at our Target, so I resorted to Amazon again. I settled on this two pack one and it worked great. The aloe vera freezes really well and helps to numb you up down there to get rid of any burning pain you might be having.
A couple of other things you'll want to have with you before you start are gallon size freezer bags and a spoon. That's all you need to make these things. Now here's how you do it.
Step 1: Open up your feminine pad but leave the back wrapper part on.
Step 2: Squirt 3 tablespoons of the witch hazel on to the pad. I used a spoon to measure this out. The spoon comes in handy later, too. I dumped 1 tablespoon in the front, 1 in the middle, and 1 in the back.
Step 3: Add about 5 drops of each essential oil evenly over the pad. You only need about 5 drops of each since the oils are pretty strong.
Step 4: Add a decent amount of the aloe vera all over the pad and smooth it in with the spoon. Add as much of this as you want...it seriously helps so much!
Step 5: Fold the pad back up and put it in to a gallon size freezer bag. Fill the bag up and put it in the freezer and you're good to go!
Hopefully this helps any of you brand new mamas out there to find some relief and heal super fast! I'm not going to lie, they can be a bit of a shock to the system when you first put it on, so if you want to let it thaw for about 5 minutes before you put it on that might help. I remember I'd put it on and I'd dance around for a couple of minutes because it was so cold, but after it thaws a bit it always made me feel better. I had a second degree tear and was completely healed by 6 weeks. I like to think these little things helped make that happen. I also never had any bad irritation down there and stopped bleeding completely by 4 weeks. If you need any more help or support during this trying time I'm always here for you! You got this mama!
Finding products that are good but safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding can be really scary and daunting. I personally really struggle with acne and use to resort to using some pretty powerful skincare products to keep it at bay. However, while you're pregnant, you're suppose to steer clear of products that have retinol in them and my doctor advised me to not use any products that carried more than 2% of salicylic acid. After realizing a lot of the products I were using contained these two things plus some other chemicals that didn't seem all that great for you, I started to hunt for great all natural products to use while I was pregnant, breastfeeding, and even after. After trying and testing a lot of products here is a run down of all my favorites that I personally felt safe using while I was pregnant.
*Please note that you should still check with your doctor to make sure these products are safe for you to use while your pregnant as all pregnancies and women are different.
Osea Blemish Balm
oseamalibu.com - $44
I use this moisturizer morning and night. I use about 3 pumps both times and it's enough to smooth over my whole face and neck. It really goes a long way and the bottle lasts awhile. It also has a nice minty smell to it that is so refreshing. In the spring, summer, and fall when my allergies are really acting up, it also helps to clear up my sinuses a little bit. A perk you never thought your face moisturizer could do!
Up & Up Makeup Remover Wipes
Target - $2.49
I like to take my makeup off right away when I get home for the evening or before I do a work out. I was using the Up & Up Grapefruit Cleansing Wipes for acne before I was pregnant, but since I wanted to cut out salicylic acid as much as possible, I switched to these wipes. They work great at getting my makeup off or just to give my face a nice wipe down if I feel a little oily or dirty.
Osea Ocean Cleansing Mudd
oseamalibu.com - $44
I use this cleanser every night in the shower or just at the sink to wash my face. I use my makeup remover wipes first and then I go in with this cleanser. I wet my face first and then use 3 pumps that I massage in to my face for about 30 seconds. This cleanser also has a minty smell just like the Blemish Balm moisturizer has. So like I said above, very refreshing and great for my allergies!
Aveeno Positively Nourishing Calming Body Wash
Target - $5.99
While I was pregnant I had a real issue with certain scents during my first trimester. Vanilla scented products really made me nauseous and strong floral scents gave me terrible headaches. I had a lot of stuff like this from Bath & Body Works prior to being pregnant and I just had to stop using them because I would really dread showering and feeling even worse coming out of it. I discovered that lavender actually helped ease my nausea, so I tried to find a body wash that was lavender scented and came upon this Aveeno body wash. It smells amazing and feels amazing. My skin is so smooth after using it, too.
Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner
Sephora - $44
I was using this Fresh rose toner long before I got pregnant and was so relieved I could still use it during my pregnancy. It's on the pricier side but it lasts FOREVER! I was actually worried it was going to expire, that's how long I had my first bottle. Even though I have oily skin, hydrating it is still important. If you dry out your oily skin too much then it actually starts to produce extra oil. So this toner was a great way for me to help keep my skin balanced. The roses make it feel extra luxurious, too!
Korres Wild Rose Brightening Eye Treatment
Sephora - $38
Eye cream was so important for me during my skincare regimen while I was pregnant because it really helped with my dark circles. I was zapped of energy like every other pregnant woman out there and my eyes definitely showed it. However, as long as I made sure to use my eye cream I felt like I looked decently awake. This eye cream also really helps with puffiness, too.
Osea Essential Corrective Complex
oseamalibu.com - $32
Thanks to my other Osea products my acne was pretty good during my pregnancy, but if it flared up at all, I could safely use this corrective complex on any pimples. They go away within just a couple of days! It has a little roller for the applicator so it's very easy to evenly spread over any blemishes to get the whole area without having to touch it with your fingers and potentially make it worse.
Lush Mask of Magnaminty
Lush - $14.95
This mask from Lush is my favorite mask, EVER. It smells like peppermint and is so refreshing. It really helps with blemish prone skin and leaves your skin feeling so smooth afterwards. I loved putting this mask on and sitting in a warm bath to help myself relax while I was pregnant.
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Target - $8.99
Like I mentioned before I was very sensitive to smells while I was pregnant, so my solution to that with finding the perfect daily lotion to use was to get a scentless one! I used it every day after showering and it is so moisturizing. It definitely helped keep my skin from drying out this past winter.
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks
Target - $5.49
I was so scared of getting horrible stretch marks on my belly and breasts, so I started using this cocoa butter as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I've gotta say, too, it did a pretty good job at keeping them at bay! They sprang up pretty bad on my belly my very last week of pregnancy but with how big Kai got towards the end I think it was inevitable. I never got any of my breasts though and it helped the lighten some that I already had on my thighs. Plus it smells like chocolate! Now that was a smell I was 100% ok with while I was pregnant ;)
Make sure you follow me on Snapchat (@dianakaravida). I always feature any new products I get or products I fall in love with in my story!
Hey everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. We had a nice one here at home again and Kai turned 2 months old on Saturday! Some friends came over for a movie day on Saturday and yesterday we had dinner with my parents at their place. They need their weekly Kai fix! Our little one had his 2 month doctors appointment today and he had to get his vaccinations at it. It was seriously awful, guys. He cried so hard and it broke my heart in half. Now we're battling a slight fever but it seems to be improving after giving him some baby Tylenol. We're just going to be snuggling and watching Toy Story the rest of the night. Anyways, it's time for another Little Kai Bear date! Happy 2 Months, little one!
Weight: 12.4 lbs
Height: 22 in
These last 4 weeks have honestly been so fun. We've really started to click with you. We understand you so much better and you're also getting use to the outside world. You smile so big now and I swear you're going to laugh soon! Sometimes you cackle/grunt when you smile, too, so I have a feeling it will be coming sooner rather than later. You're also cooing now and you have the cutest voice ever!
A big thing that's happened this month is you've finally noticed Wrigley. You actually look at him now and smile. You smile so big and it makes you so happy when Wrigley gives you kisses, too. There are times when Wrigley walks out of view and you actually start crying until he comes back. Now that my little one, makes my heart literally burst out of my chest.
You're really starting to grow! You've actually grown out of some of your clothes, which means mom gets to go shopping again! ;) You're able to hold your head up so well now, but sometimes you get tired and you head butt me and Dad. You really enjoy sitting up in our laps so you can see everything around you.
Your feeding and sleep schedule are really improving! You slept all the way through the night last night for the first time, too! A full 7 hours! Babywise is really working for us, little one! You love to take naps and you sure do love to eat. You still do your little snarl when you go to eat and it still makes me laugh every time.
You are such a happy baby. You really only cry when you're really tired or hungry. You recognize me and Dad and the sight of us seems to always calm you down when you're upset. You really look at us now and whenever we lay you down to change your diaper you always put the biggest smile on your face when you're looking at us. You love when we hold you, and I love our snuggle time more than anything else. We've started having snuggle in bed Wednesdays, which I can tell you love so much, too. We hang out in Mom and Dad's bed almost all day just snuggling and watching Netflix. I really look forward to this day together all week!
You are pure magic, Kai. You've brought more love and joy in to my life these past 2 months than I ever thought was possible. I love you always, my little bub.
Hooray for Friday, guys! I've been looking forward to this weekend all week because tomorrow Kai will be 2 months old! I've really been loving this newborn stage of us just staying cuddled up at home, but I'm also itching to get out. We haven't really taken Kai anywhere besides my parent's house to minimize the risk of him getting sick. The flu season is finally dying down and Kai's 2 month doctor's appointment is Monday. So, while I'm not looking forward to him actually getting his shots, I'm so happy he is going to have them now and be safe guarded from some terrible illnesses. We'll finally be ready to go on some adventures! Ever since I got pregnant I've been dreaming about how I want to make Saturdays be our "family day" where we all go out and do something fun together. I can't wait to go the museums, have picnics, go to the beach, hit up the farmers market, and so much more!
Speaking of Kai...I've got another Little Kai Bear post for you all today! Caleb and I (mostly Caleb ha!) worked so hard on making Kai's nursery perfect. We repainted the walls blue, replaced the doors, and Caleb put up the wainscoting. The theme for his room is Disney's Up + more Disney. We added some "Disney Easter eggs" as Disney themselves like to call them. If you don't know what I'm talking about, if you watch Disney movies (especially Pixar) you'll see little objects from other Disney movies within the movie you're watching. Well we did the same thing in Kai's room! I absolutely love spending time here with him playing and snuggling all day long!
Crib - Wayfair
Blanket ladder - Caleb
Shelves - Caleb
Stuffed animal basket - Michael's (similar)
Dog bed - Target
White teepee - Me (DIY post coming soon)
Adventure is Out There decal - Etsy
Cloud decals - Amazon
Automobile blanket - Minky Couture
White furry rugs - Ikea
Aviator helmet + goggles - Etsy
Mickey hot air balloon picture - Art of Disney at Epcot
Mini blue globe - Anthropologie
Toy Story toys - Disney Store
BB-8 action figure - this is actually a drink cup! Available at the drink cart outside of Launch Bay at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Elephant bookends - HomeGoods
Colorful flags - Me (DIY w/ felt, twine, and clips from Michael's)
Propeller - Amazon
Changing pad - Target
Changing pad cover - Target
Changing pad holder - Caleb
House/balloons wall lights - Ikea
Maui hook - Caleb
Glider - Target
Ottoman - Target
Up pillow - Etsy
Curtains - Target
Curtain rod - Target
Moses basket - Dua Design
Clouds crib sheet - Target
Letter blocks - Amazon
Diaper genie - Target
Dresser - Walmart
Diaper cart - Ikea
Wrigley - Not for sale ;)
Anything that isn't listed above was gifted to us, and I'm not sure where it was purchased. However, if you see something that you're dying to know where it is from and I don't have it listed here, please leave me a comment and I will try my best to track it down for you! The Up quilt was handmade by my best friend and the white bookcase was built by my grandpa. He actually made it for my dad and then my dad painted it white for me when I was a little girl. We currently have it switched out with this though, which we are using to keep Kai's burp cloths, bibs, and some small toys in it. Check out my Instagram stories for a walking room tour of his nursery with anything like that, that we've updated since shooting these photos!
Thank you to Brandie from Bourbon Oak Tree Photography for shooting some of these photos for us during our newborn shoot!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
Follow on Instagram