Rosie just turned 7 months old today and I just don’t know how it has gone by so quickly! It sounds so cliché, but in some ways I feel like Rosie has been in our lives forever and in other ways it seems like just yesterday that we brought this sweet girl home from the hospital in the middle of a “big” Charleston, SC snowstorm, something that hadn’t happened since the year I was born!
Cutting to the chase here today… I asked you guys on instagram to hit me with all the baby related questions. I’m answering those below!
Q: How did you get Rosie to drop her feedings at night?
A: The first part of my answer isn’t going to help anybody—just a heads up. Rosie decided to bless us with a small miracle when she started sleeping straight through the night by 5 weeks old… just totally on her own without us using any sort of baby sleep method on her. She was gaining weight right on track, so we let her do it. I just knew she was going to stop sleeping like this at any time, but she never did. She still continues to sleep from 7:30pm until 7:15am or so.
When Watson was a newborn, we were able to get him to drop his middle of the night feedings by following Moms on Call. I highly recommend picking up a copy of that book! Here are my three main takeaways on what it says about sleep.
- Make sure you space out that supper feeding and the bedtime feeding really well. So for us, we knew we wanted Watson to go to bed at 7:30pm, so that meant the “supper feeding” was at 4:00pm and no later! Then he was always good and hungry three hours later for his bedtime feeding.
- Also, we are sticklers for routine, which is another huge part of Moms on Call. Bath every night, then sing songs and read a book, bottle or nurse, swaddle tight, etc. You basically want to create a routine so that your baby knows it’s time for bed simply by the actions you’re taking beforehand.
- If both of those fail and the baby still cries in the middle of the night, Moms on Call says to let your baby “cry it out” (if your baby is over a certain age), but they give instructions on how to do this in a gentle way. It’s no fun… I’m not going to lie, but as the book states, you’ve just got to remember that your baby has everything he/she needs—clean diaper, a full belly, pacifier, etc. And after 2-3 nights, as the book states, your baby shouldn’t even cry anymore. It’s truly the best thing you could do for yourself and the baby. Everybody needs sleep to function properly! But of course, this is just my opinion. There is no wrong way or right way… it’s just what feels best for you.
Q: Do you want more babies?
A: I honestly do feel that two will be where we stop, but I’m not sure. Brandon is very clear about wanting it to stay this way and I love the dynamic of a boy and a girl… and we aren’t outnumbered by our children! And as Rosie is getting older, I am starting to gain a little more freedom and I forgot how nice that is. All that said, part of me feels called to have a third. I got very emotional when Rosie was a fresh newborn because I couldn’t imagine this being the last time we have a new baby. So, who knows! I would, however, not want to have a 21 month age gap between children this time—I would want it to be a larger gap. So, ask me again in a few years!
Q: How do you balance your days with two little ones and work?
A: I thrive on a schedule, so I really try to stick to it with the kiddos so that I know exactly when my windows to work will be. For me, those windows are in the morning while Watson is eating his breakfast and Rosie is napping, mid-afternoon when they both are napping, and when Brandon gets home around 5:45—I can normally scoot away with my computer then. Sometimes my work means just answering emails, sometimes work is sourcing new products to feature or putting together all the pieces of an instagram post, sometimes it’s negotiating contracts or hopping on a call, sometimes it’s shooting photos or creating invoices, sometimes it’s writing a blog post or editing photos… it all just varies.
I used to try to get some work done little by little all day long while Watson would play, but the reality is that I don’t get much work done that way. I’m halfway watching him (and now Rosie) and halfway doing my job. Plus, it makes me feel guilty to have my computer out. So I’m consciously working on batching my day into work time, play time, cleaning time, etc. Then just giving that particular task my all.
We do run errands throughout the day and that is normally always a morning thing for us. So if I want to plan something, I know it needs to be pre-nap so that Watson can be home for his 1-4pm nap. Occasionally we miss this completely, which is ok, but I try to never let it happen two days in a row.
Q: Were Watson and Rosie different babies?
A: YES, completely. Watson always wanted to be held, but didn’t want to be cuddled. Do you know what I mean? He wanted to be held while you’re walking around rocking him up and down, but don’t you dare sit down and try to snuggle with him! He also was not able to entertain himself by holding a baby rattle or looking at a toy, so forget trying to cook dinner or hop in the shower while he entertained himself in a bouncer, etc. He went with the flow if we carried him around to restaurants and what not, but he was just a busy baby and if he wasn’t being stimulated at all times, then he got fussy. (Now, he has the best imagination and can entertain himself endlessly!)
Rosie, on the other hand, is fine with whatever you want. Snuggle her? ok! Put her down on her play mat? ok! Carry her around in the carseat for errands? ok! She’s the cuddliest baby and rarely rarely cries. I could have a whole litter of Rosies. (Although now, Watson is fairly calm and well-behaved, so I wonder if we will have a behavior shift when Rosie gets older!?)
Q: How did you transition her out of the swaddle and at what age?
Q: What was your experience with breastfeeding with a toddler running around?
A: I would always try to make sure Watson was taken care of prior to starting a feeding session. I breastfed Rosie in the car a lot while we were out running errands and Watson would just sit in his carseat watching a DVD or playing with his toys during that time. At home, it becomes super hard when your toddler needs something while you’re nursing, but luckily Watson was old enough to understand “Mama can’t help you right now, I’m feeding Rosie. Wait just a minute and I’ll help you, ok?” And he would say OK!
Q: Are you still breastfeeding?
A: I actually just breastfed Rosie for the last time on Sunday, just prior to her turning 7 months old. She wasn’t getting enough milk at each feeding—she would get so frustrated and it made me feel guilty. Also, I started feeling dizzy during the day and totally zapped of energy, which is how I knew it was time to ween her from breastfeeding. I felt this same way with Watson around the same time, which is when I quit with him, too.
It took me one month exactly to ween her totally. Here’s how I did it: I was nursing her five times per day. I dropped one of those feedings and gave her one bottle per day for a few days, just to get her used to bottles and formula. Then, I started giving her 3 bottles per day and I continued nursing her morning and night only. I was able to drop this many feedings all at once because my supply was quickly decreasing anyway.
As I nursed her morning and night, it only took a few weeks before I had to stop feeding her in the mornings because if I did, I didn’t have enough supply to feed her before she went to bed, which was the time I really wanted to nurse her the most if I had to choose one. So I dropped that morning feeding. I nursed her at night for a couple weeks and then I felt like she wasn’t getting enough to be satisfied, so I just started giving her formula instead. That was a little hard on me because I loved nursing her at night, but I kind of knew my body probably wouldn’t be able to keep up with just that one feeding supply. We put a lot of guilt on ourselves as mothers, but you’ve ultimately got to listen to your heart and your body. She loves her bottles, is getting good nutrition, and I’m happy, so those things are most important.
Q: How often does Rosie have a bottle?
A: Since we dropped from 5 to 4 feedings per day, she has one at 7:30am, 11:30am, 3:30pm, and the last one around 7:15 or 7:30pm. (We dropped that 5th feeding when she started eating pureed foods at 6 months. At that time, I also increased the ounces from about 6oz to 8oz per bottle.)
Q: Best nursing cover for feeding on the go?
A: I love the soft covers by Copper Pearl, but my friend has one I’ve borrowed once before from Bebe Au Lait and it’s great because you can see down to your baby so much easier. That’s the kind I would buy if I were starting over!
Q: Do you have any help at home/use a daycare?
A: Watson started a Mother’s Morning Out program two morning per week when he was 18 months old. It was just six hours per week, but it helped me out so much and gave me a chance to get a little uinterrupted work done. This coming year, we have him enrolled five mornings per week! I don’t know if I’ll send him all five each week, but it’s nice to have that option. I’ll probably put Rosie in the same program when she is 18 months old a couple mornings per week. It’s bittersweet, but it’s nice to have a few baby-free moments during the daytime and we noticed a huge difference in Watson’s development when he started “school.”
Q: What does Rosie’s schedule look like?
A: On a day we’re home, she wakes around 7:15am more or less and has an 8oz bottle, plays for a little while on the play mat, naps in the swing at 9:30am for about an hour, then plays until her second bottle at 11:30am, then we normally go outside for about an hour for Watson to get some energy out. We have lunch around 12:30pm, then Watson and Rosie both go down for a nap around 1:30pm. Rosie naps in the swing for about an hour and a half. She has her third bottle at 3:30. I play with her until Watson wakes around 4:30pm. Then we go outside or play inside until Brandon comes home around 5:30. If Rosie didn’t nap super well during the day, she will take a cat nap at 5pm in the swing—normally for 45 minutes or so. We all eat dinner around 6pm. Then 7pm there’s baths, then Rosie has her last bottle, and at 7:30pm, the goal is for them both to be in bed!
Q: How do you wash baby clothes and make them look so perfect?
A: I rarely ever iron baby clothes actually! I wash all the baby clothes separately on the delicate cycle, which uses cold water. Most all of her nicer clothes air dry on a drying rack. Then I’ll put them in the dryer on low when they are almost completely air dried to fluff out any wrinkles and soften them up.
Q: Do you love staying home with your babies? Any advice for someone thinking about doing the same?
A: I’m not sure. I don’t love it but I can’t imagine not doing it. I love being with them every moment of the day and being around to catch any and every milestone, but it does suck the life out of me sometimes. I miss getting dressed up every morning, grabbing coffee, and running out the door to work or meetings where I’d see and chat with other adults. Little things like driving the car without tending to babies in the backseat… listening to the radio. I miss parts of my day like that! But it’s such a blessing for me to be able to stay home with them and I know if my situation were reversed, I’d feel heartbroken every time I dropped them off at daycare. It’s definitely one of those “grass is greener” situations.
Q: What is the brother/sister dynamic like between Watson and Rosie?
A: He adores her! He has called her Sissy since she was born, but just in the past couple of weeks has started calling her Rosie and it’s heart-melting sweet. He has never shown any jealousy for the most part, but now that she is old enough to really have an interest in toys, he is having a hard time sharing. We’re working on it.
Q: How did you get Rosie to finally take a bottle?
A: A lot of trial and error. Hop over to my instagram and watch my story highlights on this subject. I tried about eight different bottles and finally found that she liked Tommee Tippee. I had to make sure the nipple flow was just perfect and the temperature had to be just right. She liked it much warmer than normal baby milk. Once she had a few bottles like that, she would take any brand bottle and the temperature doesn’t have to be so warm anymore.
Q: Where do you get Rosie’s clothes?
A: I have a whole blog post on where I buy both of their clothes right here.
Q: How do you think you and your husband’s style of parenting is similar/different?
A: It’s pretty much the same as we were raised in very similar households. The only notable difference—which we often joke about—is that if I see Watson about to fall, for example, I’ll jump like a quick fox to save him. Brandon does not move quick like I do. He says he wants to let him “learn,” but I think his reflexes just aren’t cat-like like mine. ha ha! He will walk over to Watson and if he gets to him in time to save him, then great, if not, then hopefully he “learned.” See, I just cannot do that!!
Q: How do you make time for Brandon with a new baby and a toddler?
A: We try to go on a date night at least once a month. Before kids, I would have laughed at that because we used to go on nice dates downtown at least once a week. I’m hoping the frequency will increase now that Rosie is taking a bottle. A couple nights per week, we will put the kids to bed and then eat dinner after that so that we can do it in peace and really talk. We also try to have about two nights per week that we cuddle up and watch a show or a movie. So, we just fit it in when we can. We know life won’t always be like this—so busy with two babies—so we give ourselves a little grace.
Q: Do you have a door jumper? I’ve heard mixed reviews.
A: No we don’t, but we have this jumper and Rosie loves it. Watson did too!
Q: What baby gear do you wish you had?
A: I’ve heard amazing things about the SNOO. I sort of wish we would have used that, but we did fine without it. That’s the thing about baby products. You don’t NEED any of it, but man do the good ones make your life easier. I also would like to get a double jogging stroller soon. I have a Baby Jogger Summit X3 and love it, so I’ll probably scoop up the double version!
Q: How have you and Brandon’s parenting roles shifted going from one to two babies? (Both mental load and shared responsibilities!)
A: Yes! First of all, having a second baby instantly makes you feel like one child is a vacation. It’s so funny how that works. It’s like, “whooaa what exactly did we find so hard about having just one of these??” Haha! But other than that mental shift, we also had a change in our responsibilities. We divide and conquer a lot now, whereas we used to do every little thing together—bath time, bed time, all of it. But when Rosie was born, we found it way too time consuming for us to go through Watson’s bedtime routine completely, then start it all over for Rosie. After a couple weeks, Brandon started bathing Watson while I’d do the same for Rosie. We meet up in Rosie’s room once they are both bathed and read a story to both of them while Rosie has her bedtime feeding.
To wrap things up, here are 25 baby items that are still available in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Hurry, prices go up soon!
PS. You can read more “baby” posts here!