Motherhood 4.5 Months

January 28, 2013

Mazen has started reaching out for EVERYTHING! Toys, my phone, himself in a mirror. It’s amazing to see his little hands explore. He loves to map out my face. He latest thing is punching me in the face, especially during 3am feedings. It’s pretty hilarious! We also have a new game called “Pleased to meet you.” If you put your hand out, M will put his in yours and shake. “How do you do sir!”

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You can’t always choose where you live, but I now understand the obsession with open floor plans on House Hunters. Since our house has split living, I do spend a lot of time going upstairs and downstairs with the baby. His nursery, diapers and the kitchen are up; the play area, laundry and stroller departure are down. A one story house would be very convenient! But at least my legs are getting a good workout : )

I have discovered the perfect time for kissing those sweet sleeping baby cheeks – right after nursing when he is so drowsy and cute.

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M has recently learned how to arch up and do a bridge pose. It’s made a big difference in his roll-ability! He can pretty much roll in both directions now, but not always. He’s pretty good at rolling from his back to side, but doesn’t always go all the way to his stomach. Sometimes he still gets stuck. He is so strong! This is actually how we stopped swaddling him. He learned how to lift up and break out of his Miracle Blankets, the only swaddles that would still hold him. We stopped swaddling cold turkey and haven’t looked back – I really didn’t like swaddling him so much (he’s more fun and easier to pick up in his jammies alone), but I was glad that it helped him sleep in the beginning. I have since invested in a few of the Halo Sleep Sacks for extra warmth.

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After nursing is his favorite time to practice talking, and it’s how he lets me know he is finished. We’ve had a little bit of screeching too! He has also started yelling at times, often when it’s time for sleeping.

Speaking of sleep, the regression lasted a month (3.5-4.5 months) and he’s sleeping better but still not great. We’ve seen some improvement overall and had a few 5 hour stretches, but a typical night is 3 hours + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1. I think he’s waking up during his light sleep awakenings and doesn’t know how to go back to sleep, although we’ve had several times when he’s put himself to sleep for the first stretch (parents watching eagerly on the monitor). But for the most part, he needs us to go to sleep. I’m trying some techniques to try to teach him without crying, such as lying down next to him on the bed to just be near for him to feel comfortable falling asleep on his own. It’s working, and I’m crossing my fingers with time he will be able to self soothe in the middle of the night too. He doesn’t seem to want or need to be rocked/bounced/etc., so the stillness is a good sign. Still paci addicted though! Naps are still short, but we had a 2 hour one this week! A lot of 30 minute ones too. It’s pretty hit or miss, but he seems to be happy and alert overall with 2 hour wake times, so I’m not going to stress over the fact that he’s getting less sleep than is recommended for now.

He is absolutely LOVING his Grace Bouncer. In just 2 weeks he has totally learned how to jump and it’s by far his favorite spot in the house. He smiles and laughs and is so cute bouncing and jumping. I’m thinking I should get him some kind of Exersaucer, but I’d like to find one used if I can. He likes to be upright all the time.

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His new sneaky trick is to try to put his thumb or fingers in his mouth while nursing. He sneaks them in from all directions, and if I’m not looking right at him, it might take me a minute to notice there is a little finger in there! Sneaky sneak.

The sure way to get M to smile: look at him, make chewing faces and go “mmmmmmm!” He loves it. A sign he’s getting ready for solid foods? Per our pediatrician, we’re waiting until closer to 6 months to start.

The swing is now in the attic. What once used to bop back and fourth like a chipper metronome turned into a sluggish grandfather cloth “tick…..tock” as it struggled to swing all 17 pounds of him back and forth. He seemed over the swing too. I was not sad to see it go but happy it served us well for month 3.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nina January 28, 2013 at 9:22 am

He’s such a cutie! I’d be willing to betroth our children but I don’t think Sir Scout (our dog) would be willing to give her away just yet. We have a split level too and now that Penelope is turbo crawling we’re all on high alert even with the baby proofing. (She climbs the gate) You will be amazed at how things progress from this point on. I can’t wait for Mazen to start eating solids because you would be a great resource to have in that department.

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2 Kristin January 28, 2013 at 9:24 am

Hi Kath! Mazen’s sleeping habits sound a ton like our little one’s. we finally got him sleeping through the night at 8 months. I know that sleeping experts say otherwise, but I really think our turning point was when he started eating larger meals of solids. He’s very active and an early crawler, so I think he just needed food. Mazen is so adorable!!!

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3 Ashley January 28, 2013 at 9:26 am

I wish you luck in your sleeping. My solid sleeper has never been the same since about 3.5mo (now 6.5mo). I can’t wait until he can put himself to sleep. If you are ever stressed or want to read more about it, I’ve found the posts and comments at askmoxie.org (http://www.askmoxie.org/sleep/) to be supremely helpful, particularly this one: http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/2006/02/qa_what_are_sle.html this site made me feel so much less alone the week that the baby woke up every 45 minutes, all night long.

You’ve really got a cute kiddo! My boy is a chunker too, it’s amazing how fast they grow. If you are open to a jumperoo and not an exersaucer, I have nothing but praise for the Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo and its toys: http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-K6070-Rainforest-Jumperoo/dp/B000I2UJ0Q all of the other ladies in my RL mommy group have this one and love it too. Bonus, collapsible/foldable! My boy can spend 30-45 minutes happily occupied in it. I’ve seen it a lot on Craigslist too.

Love your BERF posts, you should post them more often! Would love to hear more from you about motherhood. Day in the life (those fun hour by hour posts!) are my favorite as a reader, if you want suggestions. ;) keep up the good work with M, he looks healthy and happy!

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4 Nicole January 28, 2013 at 9:32 am

Lucy just turned 4 months on Friday and has been rolling over for about two weeks. I’m ecstatic that she’s going back to sleep when she does it at night instead of waking up and crying about it. She grabs everything and tries to stick it in her mouth, She loves petting the cats and the puppy and they amazingly tolerate it.

We have the same swing as you and are still using it. Most of the time we’re just plopping her in the seat in the kitchen, living room, etc. I’m not sure what she weighs, but it’s def over 15 lbs. We got her one of those Go-Pods instead of an exersaucer because I like how you can change out the toys and it folds up easily for storage/travel. I also just ordered a booster seat/highchair instead of a true highchair for the same reason- easy for travel. Plus it will take up less space at the table. I can’t wait for it to come so she can be up at our level at dinnertime!

I hear you about the baby stuff being spread out. Since we still cosleep, the cloth diapers are in our bedroom and we keep a basket of toys in the living room. She’s rarely in her actual bedroom.

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5 Kristi January 28, 2013 at 9:54 am

Bless your heart. If that is improved night sleep things must have been really rough!! From what you post Mazen definitely seems like a difficult sleeper!! Are you ready to stop sleeping in the nursery? My son is 8 weeks and thankfully a pretty decent sleeper but recently has started waking up to tiny noises like opening a drawer. Maybe Mazen is hearing you move and waking up? Anyway, I’m sure you’ve gotten lots of unwanted advice already. Good luck!!

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6 KERF January 28, 2013 at 10:30 am

We tried moving out bit it didn’t help… only made the walk to the crib that much longer and both of us up all night long. We have the white noise on pretty loud, so I don’t think the rolling over really makes him wake up

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7 Kristi January 28, 2013 at 11:24 am

Hope he settles into a better routine at night. Giving up my own solid sleep was one of the toughest parts of motherhood for me. We’re in a pretty good place right now but I know things will change as the regressions, teething, etc come along. Hang in there!!!

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8 Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) January 29, 2013 at 7:15 am

I second Kristi. . . Sleep deprivation is hard stuff! Hardest part of mommyhood for sure. It took us a long while before Clara really started sleeping the recommended hours at night. Mazen will get there. Regressions and teething do come along and throw a kink in whatever established sleep you had so just know that is 100% normal. And it is just a phase. I swear it does get better!!

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9 Mary January 28, 2013 at 10:08 am

Post feed is definitely the best time for kissing those cute little cheeks!
How old was he when you stopped swaddling him? At the moment our little lady sleeps well swaddled (only in her special blanket, no others!) so we’re continuing it for the sake of sleep and less screaming, but I’d like to get her into a sleeping bag at some point.

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10 KERF January 28, 2013 at 10:28 am

About 4 months

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11 Linda January 28, 2013 at 11:29 am

I just stopped the swaddle cold turker at 15 weeks which was last week. I went to get him when he woke up crying in the morning and he was flipped over in the swaddle. I didn’t want that to happen again. We had a few rough nights after that. I am now putting him to bed in his crib in a short sleeved onesie and a fleece footed sleeper and he is staying nice and warm. He tends to flip over during the night now, but keeps his head turned while sleeping. I put him in his crib on his back though. He typically cries for about 10 – 15 minutes before falling asleep and will wake up again and cry again for about 10 – 15 min and then typically flips over to his belly and sleeps through until the morning. Good luck! I know any change that impacts sleep is scary.

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12 Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles January 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

Pleased to meet you sounds adorable. It is so much fun loving these precious little guys!

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13 Jennifer January 28, 2013 at 10:24 am

I love his ice blue eyes. Beautiful!

One day his sleeping will just click and he’ll sleep for a longer period. All three of mine slept so differently. My oldest was the worst, though. He would only sleep for 2-3 hour periods until he was about two years old. Now he’s the best sleeper at 11 years old. :)

Have you looked or felt for any teeth? :) Sometimes you can’t see them but if you rub your finger gently over his gums you may feel them starting to poke through. Every time I see him gnawing on those fingers I think teeth.

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14 Ashley January 28, 2013 at 10:42 am

Ugh, I hear you on the paci addiction! Luckily(?) my daughter decided she likes her fingers better. I’m sure I’ll hate this when she’s older and constantly has her hands in her mouth, but for now it’s been awesome. I just put her up in the burp position to rub her back before naps and bedtime, rub her back, fingers go in and she’s set…for now! It’ll probably change next week haha. 4 month sleep is so tough!

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15 Lindsey January 28, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Mazen is so cute! Those one hour chunks of sleep are so, so rough. Hope they improve soon.

Have you considered baby led weaning/solids? We started at 6.5 months and it is so fun. Just really messy. :)

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16 KERF January 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm

We’re hoping to start solids at 6 months – or just before, but we still have a ways to go!

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17 Lindsey January 29, 2013 at 6:22 am

Ah…yes, I should have phrased my question differently. When you choose to start solids, do you think you will do cereal and purees or baby led weaning? No pressure if you haven’t thought too much about it yet. I think delaying solids is wise. At 8.5 months we still only offer 1 meal a day, nursing is just so much easier and less mess :)

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18 KERF January 29, 2013 at 7:28 am

I think we’ll start with cereal and purees. That’s what most of us were fed and even really soft “solids” make me nervous for choking. But once he’s used to them and a little older, I like a lot of the BLW ideas.

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19 Tamara January 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Arg, we are moving toward the no swaddle at sleep… he keeps busting out of his blankets and would get really upset (to the point of it making it REALLY difficult to put him down at all) with the swaddle-mes. So we bought a few sleep sacks, but he still is flailing about so much. I know you said you did it cold turkey, and it seems it was in the middle of Mazen’s sleep regression, but how did he do with that? Tucker already is a bad sleeper (during the day) and I am worried it will really interrupt the “schedule” we already have… any advice?

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20 KERF January 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I figured he was sleeping so poorly anyways it was as good a time as any. I think if he’d been sleeping really well I would have been a lot more reluctant. Also once he was crying a lot and I took the swaddle off and he quieted down. I have no idea if that mean he didn’t like the swaddle, but it was another reason I decided to go for it

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21 Amanda January 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I am sure you have probably tried lots of different things to get Mazen to fall asleep on his own, but I thought I would share what has worked for us. My son Bryson is currently 2 months old. We’ve been working on helping him fall asleep on his own for a little over a month now. I started by holding/rocking him until he was drowsy, then putting him down in his crib. I would keep one hand behind his head and one behind his legs. I made sure to pat his legs or bottom so he still felt the contact. I would slowly remove one hand, then the other. If he started to fuss, I would put one hand behind his legs and one on his chest so he knew I was there. At night, we are now able to put him down drowsy and he will fall asleep on his own. We watch him on the monitor and he usually coos or looks around for a while, then falls asleep. If he starts to fuss, we are able to quietly walk in the room and put a hand on his chest and shush him until he calms down. It took some time, but it has definitely made bedtime a happier experience for him (and us!).

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22 Kim January 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Hi Kath :) Love your blog!!! At 4 mths, how long at a stretch does Mazen sleep at night? I am a new mommy and love reading your experiences and thoughts! :)

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23 KERF January 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Good night: 5 hours
Bad night: 1 hour

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24 Shel@PeachyPalate January 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm

The bouncers are great! Great way to build strong legs! And they look so cute bouncing away in them!

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25 Marci January 28, 2013 at 2:26 pm

We were fans of the Jumperoo and not the Baby Einstein one, I think Fisher Price was what we liked. He also didn’t care for an Exersaucer. The Jumperoo lasted from about Month 4.5-8.5. It was the only thing left where I could put him down and he could stay put. We miss those days.

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26 polly January 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm

what a muffin! i love BERF. and you!! :) blessing to you and Matt, Kath. Maze is a baby doll!!!!

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27 Laura January 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm

My daughter Anna (our 2nd baby) is 2 weeks younger than Mazen so I love your BERF posts! And it has made my day to hear how not-so-great he is still sleeping, as Anna is pretty much right there with him, although we never get anything longer than 3 hours at a time. But she does the same thing, fairly easy most nights to put her down on her own for the first stretch at night, and we can usually get 3 hours from that (sometimes with a quick wakeup or two that we can replace the paci for and sneak back out easily), but then she is up every 45min to an hour for most of the night. We are working on getting her to sleep in her crib more – I’ve been co-sleeping with her, and for now she does the first 1-3 stretches of night sleep in her crib in her own room, as well as naps when she is at home (she is in daycare Mon-Fri.) Anyway, I had been wondering how much of our sleep issues were due to the fact that I was right next to her, but that is not the case with Mazen and he is still waking up every hour or two it seems, so it really did make me feel better! And make me feel like there is nothing “wrong” with her or what we are doing, it just is what it is! My oldest is now 3 and she did not sleep all night (12 hours) without waking to be fed until she was 11 months old! But she still slept better at this point than Anna does!

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28 KERF January 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I’m comforted by you sharing your experience as well!

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29 Coreen S January 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Mazen is so cute!

Since starting solids will be on your mind pretty soon, I’d be interested to hear how you are planning to approach this- obviously you can’t predict how much your little man will try to steer you off course, just curious to know your thoughts going into it!

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30 sarah (the SHU box) January 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm

wooooah how is he 17 lbs!? he looks so much littler! a. is 20 and such a chunk :) he must be long!

i really really really hope he starts sleeping better soon. i do feel like a did better at around 5-6 months so maybe it’s just around the corner!

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31 Coco January 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Woo! You went cold turkey unswaddling him? How did he react? My baby is about to outgrow the miracle blanket and I’m so afraid of she not going to sleep well.

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32 KERF January 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm

He didn’t seem to notice that much

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33 Coco January 28, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Isn’t great to know how to make him to smile? We just learned that too and it’s so wonderful!!! :)

Oh, how did you know that he’s over with the swing?

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34 KERF January 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm

The swing would barely swing!

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35 Allison k January 28, 2013 at 10:28 pm

The naps will come! Anderson’s were 40 minutes for the LONGEST time, probably three months to 8 months and now, as he is consolidating naps they are 1.5 hours!

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36 Kiersten January 28, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Its amazing how similar our sons are and they almost share a birthday! I am all too familiar with half hour naps. Yet Ethan will take 2 hour naps at daycare. Ive convinced myself its just Bc he wants to spend more time with me :)

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37 Irene January 29, 2013 at 11:41 am

We need to stop swaddling and I’m scared what sleep is going to be like. Have you heard of the zippity zip?? I’m thinking about buying one.

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38 KatyBug January 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm

We’re done swaddling, too…sniff, sniff. Audrey loves her Exersaucer and once she’s a little less floppy, we’ll get a doorway bouncer as well.

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39 Lindsay January 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I hear you on the up and down the stairs. We just moved into a new apartment on the 3rd floor with no elevator. Let me tell you my legs and arms are getting a workout! Looking forward to when we move into a house this fall.

Also hear you on the sleeping. Last night had to be the best night in 6 weeks with 3.5+2+3.5+1 rather than every 2 hours.

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40 KERF January 29, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Apartment up stairs would be the worst! Carrying up the carseat and groceries and things.

Yay for two 3.5s!

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41 Kerrie January 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm

My little nugget turned 7 months yesterday. He started sleeping through the night right around 3 months, right before I returned to work. Well he got sick a month later and had a major sleep regression. I was off the week of Christmas (6 months for him) and declared it a week of sleep training…and it only took him 3 nights to figure it out and start sleeping through again. What really helped us was a wubbanub. My boy likes his binkie too but the regular ones just pop out too easy and can travel pretty far. The nub stays close by, or I’ll position it in a place where he can feel it with his hand when he wakes up, and he’s able to grab it and pop it right back in his own mouth. He likes to stroke it too so it helps him soothe on a number of levels.

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42 M January 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm

So sweet!

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43 Lauri Watson January 29, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I keep thinking any day now we will put our swing up… but Miss B STILL takes a nap in it every now and then! She is actually sleeping in it right now!! She weighs 17 pounds and is pretty long (28inches), so I know it won’t be long until we put it up… I will probably try to sell it actually! It’s too bulky to store! I’m surprised you put yours up already!

For our 1st foods, we did MASHED avocado and banana mixed with a little breast milk. So easy and she had no issues with it all! Soon after we added pumpkin and Scottish oats (ground up and THEN cooked). I never gave her super thin purees or rice cereal… I’m excited to see how your ‘solids’ experience goes!! You may have already seen this website, but I reference often :)

http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/

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44 Lisa @bitesforbabies January 30, 2013 at 7:00 am

I hear ya about split living! We live in an older with a lot of character (the reason why we bought the house in the first place) but we also didn’t take kids into consideration! It’s difficult once they get older because you can’t plop them in be place and know they’ll sit still! I am constantly running up and down the stairs and peaking around corners! My daughter is now on the main floor (we are upstairs) so whenever I have to check on her at night I have to rush down the stairs…not fun! Just prepare yourself for when the time comes! The only up-side is that if you really want to (or have to) you can “quarantine” them in one room and know they can’t have the run of the house! Lol!

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45 Tarynkay January 30, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Just curious- did you end up doing elimination communication, like you had posted about before he was born? We thought it sounded… messy? So we just do cloth diapers but we do have friends who did that with their daughter and they thought it was great.

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46 KERF January 30, 2013 at 9:08 pm

I haven’t given it a try – still think it’s really cool though! And I have a few friends who have tried it.

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47 The Robertsons of Mumbai January 31, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Hi Kath,

Not that I am in any way glad that you are suffering with the sleep situation, but it is nice to hear that I am not alone! My baby is 3 months now and has never been a long sleeper – cat naps of 10-20 mins throughout the day (just long enough for me to pee and eat!) and night is normally 3+2+2+1 (or sometimes worse). Weirdest thing – he did surprise me with a 5 hr stretch last night for his first sleep (!!!!), but then was totally done sleeping for the rest of the night! Ug! I sometimes feel like I am never going to make it through this phase, and it doesn’t help that a friend from my prenatal classes has a baby that slept through the night (8-9 hrs) from day 1, or so she claims! Anyway, I’m right there with you…

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48 KERF February 1, 2013 at 1:08 am

And I’m glad to hear it too : )

I love that we speak in the 3+2+1+1+1 language : )

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