Morning friends! I really can’t believe I’m sitting down to write this post about Zahra turning two months old. Time has seemed to fly by and I’m not totally sure where the last 8 weeks went. It’s also wild to envision our family any other way because it now seems like she has always been with us.
I thought I would share a little update on how she’s been and answer a few questions I’ve been receiving. I have to preface this by saying, she is such a good baby! Not that Zain was wasn’t. However, he was born early (37 weeks that night) which may have contributed to his reflux which I think then disturbed his sleep. Overall, I remember him being much more high maintenance than his sister but he was also our first baby and the exhaustion hit us like a ton of bricks.
Overall, one of the most amazing parts of having her here is watching her and Zain together. It’s safe to say he’s obsessed with her and always wants to care for her. Zain turned 3 at the end of May so they are almost exactly 3 years apart and while I don’t know any different, I think the age gap has been great. Zain is able to do much of what he needs on his own (potty, change clothes, etc) and can also help me out a bit whether that’s grabbing a diaper, putting in her pacifier, etc.
So, on to a few big updates:
This is the one I am asked about the most! We read and followed Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child with Zain and still have it on the shelf. I brushed up on a bit of it when we first brought Zahra home but need to read up on the next stage soon. This early on, we are really not sticking to any strict ‘schedule’ but I do try to do a few things consistently.
Sleep, Play and Eat is the rule of thumb so I try to make sure she keeps that consistent during the day. She is taking 3-4 naps per day and I really try to let her tell me when she needs those rather than sticking to an hourly schedule I know I can’t maintain and then getting stressed. I was much more concerned with that stuff when I had Zain (we sleep trained him) but to be honest I don’t have the bandwidth for it currently. If Zahra has taught me anything, it’s that some babies just know what they need without much help.
I am also cognisant of making naps during the day and night time sleep feel very different. During the day there is no sound machine, swaddle, crib or special environment. I hope to have her be a more flexible sleeper and this helps us all. She will usually sleep in the Snuggle Me in whatever room I am in with a little blanket over her.
The big thing we have tried to keep very consistent since her birth was a nighttime routine. Around 7:30 each night, I give her a bath and get her dressed. She then hangs with us as we read books to Zain and then has a bottle before bed. Our hope is that this signals to her that it’s nighttime and so far it’s worked great.
6:30 – 7:30 : Wake, Eat, Play
8:30/9am : Nap (usually 1-2 hours)
11am : Wake, Eat, Play
1pm : Nap (Usually a little longer around 2 hours)
3pm: Wake, Eat, Play
5ish: Cat Nap
6ish: Wake, Eat, Play
7:30 : Bath, Books, Swaddle
8:30-9:30pm : Bottle and Bed
She started sleeping through the night at around 6 weeks which was unexpected since we had a very different experience with Zain. She would do it off and on for a little while but is now pretty consistent with it. If she does wake up, it’s usually between 2-3am and I will feed her a bottle and put her back down and she will generally sleep a tiny bit later in the morning.
I shared a bit of the backstory in this post but since Zahra wasn’t latching when we came home, I decided to go ahead and exclusively pump. There are obvious downsides like the time I’m attached to the pump but overall I think it’s worked out best for our family. I had a really hard time feeling like I was chained to Zain when I nursed the first time around and the idea that no one else could feed him except me. This time around it’s been so lovely to have Trevor help out with feeds and share that nighttime responsibility with me, especially in the beginning when everyone is beyond exhausted.
I began pumping every 4 hours when we first came home and have now stayed consistent with that during the day but am sleeping through the night. If she wakes up in the middle of the night and I am uncomfortable, I will go ahead and empty but I don’t do it consistently. I am still able to stash a bit of milk in the freezer each day and am hopeful I can get enough to last me till 6 months.
I am setting no expectations on myself. I would really like her to consistently have some level of breastmilk, especially with Covid but we have already supplemented with formula some and I have no issue using it when I need to. I am a firm believer in the ‘Fed is Best’ mantra and truly think you have to make sure you are healthy and happy as well as your baby.
Zahra is eating around 4-5 ounces at each feed and some days those are spread out as above and sometimes she will cluster feed every hour or so during the early morning. Just depends! We are lucky in that she hardly ever cries so it’s fairly easy to know when she’s still hungry. Again, we are very thankful she is such an easy baby so far!
I also just received the Elvie pump and it has been so helpful and motivated me to keep going! I want to use it a little longer with more consistency before I do a full review but am loving it so far. It’s allowed me to stay consistently on schedule with my pumping which has helped my supply a lot.
What we have been using and loving…
Most of our baby items are from Zain and Trevor joked the other day that this poor girl will get nothing for herself 😉 It’s kind of true but I imagine her wardrobe will be more fun! The things we use the most are our Bassinet attachment which I highly recommend. We love our Pack n Play and it’s so easy to travel with. Getting the bassinet attachment with Zain eliminated having a whole new apparatus to use and then store.
We are also still using and love the Mesa car seat that clicks into our Uppababy Cruz Stroller with her snug seat. We also transfer that over to our double stroller if need be and it’s worked great. I will be sharing another dedicated post on how we are liking the Baby Jogger and how we chose it as our double stroller soon!
I also couldn’t live without our boppy, Spectra pump, Dr.Brown’s bottles, bottle drying rack, sanitizing bags, Bips pacifiers, her playmat, bouncer and Ollie swaddle. I tried to include most of what we use below and as always you can check out my Amazon Shop which has a ‘Zahra’s Things’ tab that I usually save everything to for easy access.
I also shared this on Instagram stories last week but after using the Snuggle Me for a few months, I think the Dock a Tot is probably the better investment. We used the Dock a Tot with Zain so I thought I would try out the Snuggle Me this time around. Although I love it, I do think it’s much smaller than the Dock a Tot so we will likely get less use out of it, I don’t love that the removable cover fits looser so there is excess material floating around and I think the actual product is harder to wash.
I’ve also been asked about our bouncer quite a bit! I will say that we love it and it’s so easy to clean. You just pull up the cover and toss it in the wash and slip back on. However, I decided on this when I was pregnant with Zain because I was so worried about becoming dependant on products that moved. So I avoided things like the Snoo, bouncers that rocked, etc and I’m not sure that’s really necessary. All this to say, we love the bouncer but am not sure it’s worth the investment and am sure a $20 bouncer would work just the same!
Overall, it’s been a wonderful adjustment to life with two but also has its challenges. I have a lot of feelings about the new dynamic and going through it during a pandemic which I hope to share more on soon but all in all, I feel lucky we all have our health and are soaking up the newborn days we won’t get back.
Hope that helped answer some of your questions and if you have other others just drop them below!