Below is the birth story of welcoming our 8 lb 5 oz 20.75 inch little…
6 Months of Life with Eastyn / Baby Led Weaning & Sleep “Training”
I thought it was about time that I sat down and recapped life and especially, life with Eastyn. I wish I could say it feels like yesterday Eastyn was this tiny little babe snuggling in my arms, but I’d be lying! “Momnesia” is a real thing. So much of those first few months were exhausting yet incredible and much of it still remains a blur. I am thankful for the hundreds of pictures and videos I took so that I can reminisce.
Life with Eastyn today is so exciting! She changes everyday. She’s strong and independent, curious, and super smiley.
It’s been about 3 months since I have been back to work and overall the transition has gone very well. I still have bad days where I really miss her and Greg. I get envious of the time they are getting together. Or I feel guilty for not being there. More than that though – I am grateful that when I’m away she is left with someone as wonderful Greg. Their relationship is the sweetest thing and Greg continues to kill it as a Dad.
There are days when I come home from work, he has Eastyn in his arms, dinner on the stove and a big smile gleaming on both of their faces. I truly live for the evening and weekends now because that is my time with the two of them.
Having a child really makes you prioritize. I mean for seriously, what did I do with all of my free time before we had a daughter?! At 25 I thought I knew a lot about myself and the world in general, but my boundaries continue to widen and be tested, for the better, because of being a Mom.
Looking forward – we have some other big things on the horizon. One is the introduction of solids. Poor Greg has been dreading starting food. I don’t think he’s ready for the mess and I don’t blame him! In addition to starting solids we have also been sleep “training” and I’ll share a bit on that below.
Solids: BLW vs Purees
I’ve done a lot of research on the difference and pros/cons between purees and baby lead weaning. I love the idea of BLW and feeding Eastyn what Greg and I are. We just started – and modestly. We do dinner every night and feed rather soft foods still like sweet potatoes (steamed and cut into strips), banana, mango, avocado, eggs, fish… and more! The idea is that instead of blending or mashing foods, they are cut into finger shapes to be munched and explored by baby on their own. No intervening or aiding in feeding baby. The main con of this is the mess! Eastyn usually just tries to wipe everything off of her tray, as if it’s a game. But in just the short week that we have been doing this she is already getting the hang of it and even gets excited to eat at dinner. I’m trying to get Greg to start doing lunch with her too for a little snack (even though she isn’t really eating much of it yet).
She just met the requirements (6 months +, sitting 1 minute unassisted) so pretty soon here we will start offering exactly what we are eating. Yes… even meats, breads, veggies, fruits, legumes, spices. Can’t wait!
A friend suggested joining the Baby Lead Weaning for Beginners & Beyond facebook group for advice. It’s been my only source of information and it’s been plentiful.
A few things we purchased as we started on this journey:
Weighted sippy cup
Silicon Training Cup
Plates/Bowls (ezpz brand)
Bibs (silicon, and long sleeve)
Training Spoons (LOVE these!)
High Chair – One that sits on a counter is huge because it get’s exhausting to pick things up off of the floor, counter height makes this easier and allows dropped/thrown food to be reserved.
We’ve decided to adventure into the world of baby sleep training because Eastyn is already such a good sleeper that we think she will do well training herself how to go to sleep. I think sleep training is maybe not the right word with the approach we have taken, so let’s go with “independent sleep encouraging” lol. We have not done any “crying go tout”, simply because Eastyn has never gotten passed the whining stage.
We did not hire a sleep trainer or read books – in fact I took the “leach” approach and had my girlfriend forward me on her baby’s nap plan and sleep trainer’s suggestions. I continue to pick her brain with questions of course too :)
The premise of sleep training is introducing a routine to let baby know it is time to sleep, it also teaches them how to self soothe with little to no sleep crutches (like rocking in a chair, or holding on to mommy’s hand). The end result: putting an AWAKE baby in their crib for a nap/night sleep and walking away. I strongly believe that this not only gives parents independence, but the baby too.
Right when we started on this path, we offered Eastyn a “lovey” in this case, her little giraffe (alot like this fox lovey) which she gravitated towards after offering a few different types. This alone, made a huge difference. She was always pulling at her sleep sack and the lovey seemed to provide that bit of comfort for her. Some may think 6 months is too young for something in the crib, but choosing the right one is safe and of course – it’s your baby, your choice! We felt comfortable with it.
Sleep Sack — we use the Woolino
Bottle/Nurse (and burp)
Read 2 books
Sing a Song
(room as dark as possible + noise machine)
Lay down in crib with paci and lovey
After this, the idea is that you leave them alone to put themselves to sleep. Come up with a key phrase to say to soothe them from afar. Ours is “I’m right here” “I’m right here Eastyn”. When she is first falling asleep I will say that every 10-30 seconds if she fusses. I will also re-insert her paci to get her to fall asleep. This usually only takes us a few minutes. Usually, she will lay quietly and pet her lovey until she falls asleep.
In the middle of the night, the approach is similar, but you want to avoid touching or taking them out of the crib if at all possible. Some will use a timer to time out the cries and extend them over time. We have not had to do this, and after about a week of being consistent with this routine we noticed less often night wakings. I would say this is not the norm, just our experience! I honestly think the SNOO crib did a ton of the ground work for sleep training. The biggest thing we have learned is to trust Eastyn and what she is capable of. A few times I have went in to intervene before I am “supposed to” and she almost shoos me away – I don’t need you she says!
As of last week, Eastyn’s two lower teeth have popped through (OMG right?!) so we do feel like she has been uncomfortable. Because of this, we have been much more apt to soothing her at night with snuggles and using the pacifier.
Eastyn’s daily “routine”:
630 AM Wake & Nurse
8 AM first nap
9 AM Bottle
11:30 AM Bottle
12 PM 2nd Nap
2:30 PM Bottle
3 PM 3rd nap
4:30 PM Nurse
5 PM Dinner
7 PM Start Bedtime Routine / Nurse
We can’t wait to continue to watch Eastyn grow and learn! As she gets older I think Greg and I both need to be better about getting a bit of our adult social lives back. I have turned down many events to spend time with her or be home even after she goes down for the night. We need to be better about having a date night or going out with friends in the evening. Eastyn loves visitors and would do great with a sitter, we just need to let her.
Until next time —