I realize that I haven’t written much about Emmett’s daily schedule or how much he sleeps or eats. You already know why (no, not just that he’s the 2nd child) — my new philosophy no longer hinges on schedules or counting hours or minutes or trying to “work on” changing the way things are. So I haven’t kept sleep logs or written down how many minutes he’s nursing on which sides when. And thank goodness for that.
Though I haven’t cracked open a single parenting or sleep book or website this time around, I think Emmett is pretty textbook for 3 months old.*
He goes to bed around 7pm and wakes up between 6am and 7am. During that time he usually gets up once around 1am or 2am to eat. If I’m lucky (ha!), he gets up twice, usually around 1am and 5am. Aside from those times, he’s totally silent (he never wakes and cries for no reason). There is a small (and getting larger) part of me that really, really wants to “work on” things so that he sticks to getting up once or even eliminates all night feedings altogether. But I’m resisting the urge. It doesn’t really work anyway; he’s on his own schedule.
Last night was one of those lucky nights when he got up twice and I was so physically exhausted by the 2nd time I heard him that I seriously contemplated letting him cry. Don’t judge me. We’ve all been there. But then I realized he’s still only 13 weeks old and some people’s babies wake up many, many more times throughout the night at this age (and older). And he was probably legitimately hungry. So I kicked myself in the butt, shuffled into his room and stuck my boob in his mouth. He was, in fact, hungry. Note to self: Don’t starve your child.
During the day I can see tiny glimmers of a real “schedule” falling into place without my intervention, but we’re still very loose. Emmett can be awake happily for about 1.5 hours before needing to sleep again. So usually I wake him up, change his diaper, feed him, “play” for the next 45-60 minutes, and then put him back down. And repeat. Naps are almost always 1 sleep cycle (45 minutes) but we’ve had the occasional 1.5 hour stretch as well. The old me would have been all, “I’m really working on extending his naps and helping him learn how to consolidate sleep blah blah blah”, but the new me is fine to squeeze my To Do’s into those 45 minute windows since they are pretty much guaranteed. Anything above that is icing on the cake.
He is super easy to put to sleep. Unlike his brother, who needed 30 minutes of rocking and a delicate transfer to the crib, Emmett is happy to pretty much happy to be plopped in the crib and to put himself to sleep. Sometimes I steal a few minutes of rocking him in his swaddle because he’s just too sweet to put down.
And then, of course, there are the random nights when he’s screaming bloody murder despite being fed and tired. But we won’t talk about those nights. They don’t happen very often, and for that I am extremely grateful.
As a result of his sleep schedule, that means he’s eating every 2-3 hours. Sometimes 2 on the dot if he got tired early, and sometimes 3 or even a little longer if he sleeps longer. On average, his nursing sessions take 20 minutes (15 on the fast/big side and 5 on the slow/small side). Sometimes gas gets the best of him and he barely eats anything, twisting and turning away. Other times he’s happy to suck and suck and suck for 45 minutes and it still seems as though he’s getting milk. At night he seems to like 30 minutes. It varies.
Thanks to an awesome supplement (GoLacta), my milk supply has increased and I think I’m making exactly the right amount of milk (as opposed to a few weeks ago when I was regularly supplementing with formula as needed). At night I still opt for a couple ounces of formula or milk I pumped the previous night at my bedtime so I can guarantee I won’t run dry before he’s finished (as I hate to disrupt bedtime with having to take him into the bathroom to make a surprise bottle, and often he really likes to tank up at bedtime). But in general I feel like we’ve hit a really good stride with supply and demand and understanding each other in the nursing department.
Emmett’s not a huge fan of tummy time, but he’s very strong. He loves to be held upright and we’ve just started using the Bumbo seat for short periods of time. He also loves his play mat with toys dangling down and has a mean right hook to knock them back and forth. He can hold your finger tighter than a boa constrictor squeezing its prey. He especially likes beating me up while we’re nursing.
All in all, he’s doing awesome. For a 3 month old.
* To everyone who I meet on the street and in the grocery line and at the doctor’s office who asks me if he’s sleeping through the night (and balks when I say he is not), SHUT YOUR TRAPS. It is totally, totally fine and normal that my 3 month old is not sleeping through the night yet. So please stop giving me that pitying look. I realize it is a common thing to ask a new parent, but really. Just don’t.