Berkeley 5 month ~ ElephantEats.com

Well, this has officially become a baby blog because there’s really no sign of me cooking for a while. We’ve been doing HelloFresh meals (they send you the ingredients and recipes) and it’s been awesome, but now that Berkeley decided to start sleeping horribly and I’m exhaused by dinnertime, i think we’ll put it on hold for a while and stick to Trader Joe’s frozen dinners.

Ok, here goes: 5 months- whew this is a long one! Don’t read this if you’re not interested in every aspect of his life right now (Mom, I know you hate these so just look at the pics and skip it!)

Berkeley on his playmat ~ ElephantEats.com

His new playmat!

Berkeley is definitely figuring things out this month! He intentionally grabs things and is very good at it. He’ll even pass things from hand to hand…and of course put them into his mouth. He’s become a pro at tummy time and easily rolls right onto his hands and now gets up on his elbows. He has started following LC with his eyes and if you hold him close enough, he’ll try to reach out for her (she’s not too happy about it). He has JUST started to find his feet (at the end of month 5) and now leans forward to sit and grab them. You still have to hold him though because he can’t stay sitting on his own without falling over. 

We installed blackout shades on his windows and I think they’ve helped lengthen his naps! Although most naps tend to be closer to 40-45 min now instead of 30, he will occassionally grace us with an hour or 1.5 hr nap. After he starts fussing in his crib, we still rock him back to sleep and hold him while he sleeps an additional hour or more. It’s getting harder to rock him back to sleep in our arms, though, so sometimes that will be the whole nap. 

Berkeley 5 months 2 ~ ElephantEats.com

His “awake” time is now around 1.5 hrs before his morning nap and 2-2.5 hrs before his other two naps. This gives us enough time to do things like take a walk…finally! We decided to increase it since he wasn’t napping well so we figured maybe he just needed to get tired out a little more. It’s been working well although he’ll still boycott his afternoon (or occasionally his evening) nap and then he’s up WAY too long (like 4-5 hrs) and gets so cranky by the time it’s his next nap or bedtime. 

For sleep he was fighting the swaddle so much (plus it wasn’t safe anymore because he was rolling over in it) so I ordered the Zipadeezip suit in the hopes that it would transition him out of the swaddle. I can’t say it has magically transformed his sleep like it claims to do, but he’s definitely more comfortable than having his arms strapped to his sides. The caveat is that it takes him a little longer to settle down to sleep after the freedom dance party he puts on in the crib. He sure does like to move those arms. I ended up buying a sheet at Target and using it as the fabric to sew him a second Zipadeezip so we could put him in it when we needed to wash the real one. I’m not the best seamstress and it took me longer than I’d like to admit. I didn’t think to order two suits and the first took so long to arrive (and wasn’t cheap!) so I didn’t feel like ordering another. 

At the bakery ~ ElephantEats.com

Usually at night when we put Berkeley in his crib in his suit (we call it his bat suit because he looks like a bat) on his back, he’ll flip over to his stomach pretty quickly and if he is tired enough by that point he’ll go right to sleep. Usually because of his reflux, he tries to get a burp out and fusses for a while and will proceed to spit up all over the crib. Fun times. Before I realized it was the reflux making him fussy (i thought he was just practicing tummy time) I ended up flipping him onto his back a lot until he tired out. Or I’d rock him until he got drowsy instead of putting him down fully awake like I was  doing. Once I realized he just needed to burp, I now spend way too long with him over my shoulder, patting and rubbing til he burps or spits up. This sometimes goes on for 30 min and he might spit up 2-3 times. It’s exhausting for me and he’s always out of breath and panting by the end, not to mention rubbing his eyes in exhaustion. I feel so bad for him and need to figure out how to get his reflux under control.

Taking a walk ~ ElephantEats.com

He had been fighting his middle of the night breastfeeding session for a while now. He’d often pull his head off my breast and i couldn’t get him to relatch. I couldn’t figure out if it’s cuz he’s used to the bottle and couldn’t get as much out as fast out of my breast? Anyway, it was super frustrating and made eating take way longer (which totally sucks when you want to go back to bed). A couple times I just gave up and put him back to bed. Well about a week into 5 months, he did it again but he really didn’t eat for more than 5 minutes before he started crying when I tried to force him to. I decided that maybe he just wasn’t hungry and didn’t need to eat in the middle of the night anymore, so i put him back to bed. I called the pediatrician to see if he was eating enough during the day to skip feeding in the middle of the night.  She told me that 5 month olds eat between 26-32 oz so he’s right in the normal range and that he definitely doesn’t need to eat during the night. So that was that- I was officially done breastfeeding (not by choice). 

Taking a walk 2 ~ ElephantEats.com

Tough guy

Once I eliminated the middle of the night feeding, we had a couple rough nights where he kept waking up and i kept putting the pacifier back in his mouth (like every hour or less). It was so exhausting that I bought some books on sleep training and decided to give it a shot.

First night of sleeping thru the night, he woke up crying and i coudln’t figure out what was wrong…I knew his diapers wouldn’t last all night so around 1:30am changed him which woke him up so much that i just put him in bed with me and we both got no sleep. Next night i bought Pampers Baby Dry (12 hr diapers) but they seemed too small (even tho they were the same size as his daytime Pampers Swaddlers diapers) but I used anyway. I tried to let him cry it out (never more than like 10 min before i checked on him and put his paci in). Finally I realized he had peed thru his outfit and I felt so bad he had been crying!  I changed him and put him in bed with me at 4:30 am.

Blowing Raspberries ~ ElephantEats.com

Blowing “raspberries!”

The next day I went out and bought a size up in Pampers Baby Dry (size 3). I put him in them and he slept really well aside from moving to the corner of his crib and getting stuck so i had to move him. He woke several times and put himself right back to sleep. Finally around 1:50am he started crying. I decided to toughen up and let him cry. He cried about 5 min, passed out for 5, woke back up and cried for 5. I went in and gave him a paci. He passed out and woke about 10 min later crying again. I let him cry 10 min then went in…I checked his sleep suit but it wasn’t wet so i was like ok, he doesn’t need to be changed, i have to be tough. I put his paci in and he fell asleep again. This went on for like an hour and finally when he was wailing for like 10 min and kept waking up after passing out, i knew something was wrong. I decided maybe he just didn’t like having a wet diaper (strange cuz he has wet diapers during his naps), so i figured i’d change him. Well I took off his sleep suit and wouldn’t you know he had peed thru his pajamas! I felt SO BAD!!! i’m the worst mom in the world. Here I was letting him cry for an hour and he was cold and wet :( I still haven’t forgiven myself.

In the meantime, I wrote pampers a nasty email since i wasted my money on two packs of diapers i can’t use. They sent me a couple coupons to make up for it. I then ordered Huggies Overnights (in a size larger than his daytime diapers) that got great reviews and they keep him dry. Needless to say when I finally discovered he was wet and changed him at 3am, he immediately went back to sleep and slept without a peep until 6am!!! I unfortunately think his natural wakeup time is 6am but i can’t deal with that now so I always go get him and get him sleep til 7am in bed with me, at which time he gets up to eat.  I wouldn’t mind waking up at 6 with him and feeding him then, but then the whole schedule i have for him gets screwed up and i don’t know how to change it.

Bouncy chair ~ ElephantEats.com

Anyway, after fooling us into thinking that he could practically sleep through the night, he then started waking up a ton…and I realized that maybe he was waking up because he was still a little hungry when I eliminated the middle of the night feeding, so I increased his bottles.

After that he started waking up every 30 min to hour ALL night. I think it’s from reflux so we’ve upped his dose and it will hopefully work. I still get up to feed him sometime around 1 am though. Unfortunately he drinks a bottle faster than breastfeeding which is worse for his reflux so I have to let him sleep upright on me while i rock him for like 30 min before putting him back to bed. I am EXHAUSTED. I literally haven’t gotten more than 1 hr of consecutive sleep and maybe 3 hrs total sleep for 3 weeks now. I’m crossing my fingers this reflux medication increase changes things :(. I have an appointment with the GI doc in a couple weeks.

Stats: 14 lb 12.5 oz (25th %), 25.75 in (75th%), size 2 diapers 

Likes:

Daddy giving him a goofy smile, going crazy in his bouncy chair!, when I say “mmmmm” to him, standing (assisted)- which he’s been doing for months now, rolling over (all directions), chewing on everything, his colored ring toys, Sophie, pulling himself up to sitting when you hold his hands, being lifted in the air, trying to blow “raspberries,” giggling!, reaching out and touching your face and grabbing your nose/lips/Nate’s beard, facing forward in the Baby Bjorn carrier for walks

Dislikes:

sitting (he refuses to bend his knees!), napping, being on his back for too long, his gross new reflux medicine, taking too long to get his bottle ready after you put his bib on

Things he’s unsure of:

L.C.(the feeling is mutual)

Schedule:

After eliminating his middle of the night feeding, he wanted more to eat during the day so we increased his bottles to 7.75 ounces and then to 8 oz and he gets 4 of them. Then he started waking up during the night and he seemed hungry so now he also gets 3.5 oz around 1-3am. So total he eats between 32-36 oz per day (he’ll sometimes leave an ounce or so in a bottle or not seem to be hungry at night).

He ends up coming into bed with me way too early (so i can actually try to get some sleep) and i can’t get him to sleep til 7 anymore, so he typically gets up around 6:15-6:30. He gets a bottle and goes down for his nap about 1.5 hrs after waking. He gets the next bottles 4 hrs apart and will nap about 2-2.5 hrs after waking from his prior nap. He tends to sleep less during his early afternoon nap (around 12 or 1ish) and takes a long late afternoon nap (around 4ish). We usually have to wake him from his last nap around 6:15pm so he can have his last bottle, change, have a book (if he’s not too tired) and go straight to bed. We’ve been starting this bottle earlier so he more time to digest before bed because of his reflux.

BerkeleyCollage 5 months ~ ElephantEats.com

9 Comments

  1. Amy, I can so relate to your experiences – all the sleep issues and everything that seems to go with it. I remember going through all that with mine and thinking I’d never get through it. Don’t blame yourself…we all learn as we go because every baby is different and it’s obvious you care as much as any good mom would. I know things got better for us after the 6-month mark. We did have to do the “cry it out” thing but luckily, it worked for us (but not without relapses). I wish I could offer some really useful advice but I’ll just say that it does get easier as time goes on. Listen to everything and see what might work for you. I remember when my son started crawling out of his crib at nights when he got a bit older and I thought our night sleep was over again but someone told us to get him a tent and it worked like a charm for over a year.

    I am glad you are taking a break from cooking. Frozen foods from TJ’s sounds like a necessity right now. I can’t believe how women cook (not to mention blog!) with an infant. I was dysfunctional but it gets better!! Take care now. You don’t need me to tell you how adorable Berkeley is…I hope he continues to grow beautifully and sleep more and more!

  2. First of all, what a cutie! Poor thing with all that reflux, etc.:-( We used to spend HOURS burping L so I can sympathize a bit with what you go through.

    On overnight diapers – I can’t believe the Pampers never ended up working! We are going to have to size up again soon, should I switch to Huggies? Are they that much better?

    We finally started taking L’s arms out of the swaddle but still put the velcro one on him (just with arms out) because it helps signal naps/bedtime. Crazy but he still doesn’t roll back to front (I think he is close, though), so I guess we could have kept swaddling but I was starting to feel bad about it lol.

    I don’t even know how you are surviving on so little sleep. Hopefully that will turn around asap so you can start feeling like yourself again! Maybe the time change will help with his schedule, too:-)

    Oh yeah and naps- we are all over the place. One day we will have 3 1.5 hr naps and then the next almost nothing. But I totally agree, when that late afternoon nap doesn’t happen, evenings are a little tough.

    PS You are SO not a bad mom! We had an experience like that when nap training where he pooped all over himself. I think it happens to every parent so don’t feel bad!!!

  3. Oh, my gosh, your little man is ADORABLE!!! But I’m exhausted just thinking about those crazy months with babies who weren’t good sleepers! But it does get better. And you are a magnificent mom!!! xo

  4. For the Love of Cooking

    It takes me back to the baby days… enjoy every minute because it flies by! Your little guy is so cute.

  5. It’s been so long since I had a littlie at home. He’s SO cute. Don’t beat yourself up because he spent a wet hour, honestly in the big scheme of things, he’s a pretty lucky boy. I hope he gets the reflux problem sorted so you can have a nap. :)

  6. Oh dear. No wonder you’re exhausted. Don’t be too harsh on yourself as it’s all a steep learning curve. Becoming a parent is like a baptism of fire. He sure is a good looking boy and I love his play mat. If it makes you feel any better, both my two boys didn’t sleep through the night until they were 2 and a half. I read every book on settling babies and went to see every professional available. Nothing worked. And they were early risers too! xx

  7. Aww don’t put too much stress on yourself! One of my coworkers is sleep training and ignored her baby’s crying because she was tired…and then when she went to get him in the morning, he had crusted spit-up all over him because he had obviously spit up in the middle of the night and she hadn’t gone to see him. It happens!!

  8. Berekely is adorable! I can’t believe he is 5 months already. Reading this brings back so many memories. We didn’t have trouble with our son sleeping through the night until he learned to climb out of his crib.He wasn’t even 18 months old at the time and I couldn’t figure out a way to keep him in his room. We switched him to a toddler bed because I was afraid he would hurt himself climbing down from the crib. I had to put a baby gate at his door to keep him in but he just stood there and screamed. I was pregnant with my daughter and needed the sleep so I let him start sleeping in our bed. Big mistake! That was a very tough habit to break. :)

  9. Awe man, you’ve got quite the cutie on your hands! It’s crazy how fast he is growing.

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