Another month has gone by and I can’t believe it. With the seasons changing and so much in the world shifting, Zahra has been the most wonderful gift to our family. Watching her and Zain interact has been amazing and I’m really thankful he has taken so well to the role of big brother.
My mom always told me she had to stop nursing me early because I would just follow my brother everywhere with my gaze and he constantly wanted to hold me. It makes me laugh that these two seem the exact same. I wanted to answer some of the questions I’ve been receiving, share a few updates and also let you know I am working on a much larger and more detailed post about the transition from 1 to 2 kids that a lot of you have asked about!
Are you still pumping? What is your schedule?
I am still pumping but starting to slow down. Exclusively pumping definitely feels like a full time job and between being home with two kids, working and trying to stay sane I am starting to taper off.
I had been pumping every 3-4 hours (not overnight) and my last pump was usually between 8-9pm. My morning pump is the longest (30 minutes) and throughout the day I aim for 20-25 minutes. We have supplemented with formula before and will continue to do so to get her in the rhythm. So far, I have dropped one daytime pump and will continue on that path until I am totally done.
Last time around, my milk supply just disappeared after being away from Zain for the first time. Despite my pumping I became engorged on both sides and then essentially dried up. I’m not sure if my body just thought I was done because I was not with him but it was very painful and I do not recommend 😉
This time, I will try to slowly taper off a pump every so often and then possibly just continue that one morning pump since it’s when I get the most milk. I have built up a pretty good freezer stash to fall back on and have already thawed and tried it out with her. Zain sadly never drank my frozen milk (I think he was sensitive to the taste) but it did come in handy for rashes and bath’s throughout that first year.
I’ve discussed this before but everyone has a different relationship with breastfeeding. I truly believe fed is best and whatever schedule works for you as a mom, works for your family. I have chatted with a few of you via DM and always encourage women to do what works for them. I think it’s important to remove the guilt from ourselves. If breastfeeding works for you, great! If it doesn’t and you don’t want to do it, great!
Your baby will be loved and happy no matter how you chose to feed them. I think the mental health of mothers is something that is so often overlooked and yet so important.
Also, I am still loving the Elvie! If you are exclusively pumping and/or need a pump for work it’s life changing. It works well suction wise and collects as much milk as my Spectra but I don’t use it for my first or last pump of the day. It does have a lot of parts that will need to be washed but being able to pump while doing other things is wonderful. This is the bra I use with it!
How is Zahra doing in her room?
In case you missed it, we decided to move her to her own room once we came back from vacation since we figured she was already in a new environment there and the transition would be easier. We just moved her bassinet (our pack and play) into her room so everything was virtually the same last month but have since transitioned her to her crib.
It felt great to pack away the bassinet but also a little sad. She is growing up and changing so much (especially this month!) and I just can’t believe it. So far, the transition has been seamless and we hope that continues. She is just across the hall from our room and we still use the Owlet so I can hear her easily!
What is her sleep schedule and Zain’s?
First off, Zahra’s sleep patterns are amazing and I’m not sure we had anything to do with it. I’ve said it before but she is just naturally an easy baby. We sleep trained Zain and would with Zahra should she need it but so far it’s been smooth sailing. I shared more of what we did the first few months to get her on a schedule here and I do think our day to night changes helped a lot!
7-7:30: Wake time
9am: Nap – this is her longest and best nap of the day, usually 2 hours.
11ish: Wake, Play, Eat
2:30pm: Wake, Play, Eat
4:30: Nap – this is just a short cat nap and sometimes she just lays around and talks.
5:15: Wake, Play, Eat
6:00: Bath, Books, Bottle
There is obviously variation in this during the day but her bedtime and wake time are almost always the same. I really try to take her cues during the day and not stress over a schedule since she is still so small. She started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks and despite a few off nights she has since been pretty consistent.
7:30 – His Hatch light goes off signaling he can come out of his room. You can read more about how we implemented that here! He usually wakes up between 7 and 7:15 am and will just talk to himself and lay in bed.
1-3pm: Nap – He doesn’t always actually fall asleep for a nap but stays in his bed with books for quiet time if not.
7pm: Bathtime, Books
I try to time their wake/nap/sleep times together and it’s worked fairly well so far. She sometimes doesn’t make it to 1pm but again I just follow her cues. It makes it much easier that we aren’t really going anywhere and can adjust daily.
Has Zahra had a 4 month sleep regression?
I’m not sure 😉 Around her 4 month birthday we had one very weird night. Zain and I both had a runny nose the week prior from allergies. If you didn’t know they are notoriously awful in Louisville and the weather had been all over the place. A few days later, she also sounded really congested and it lasted for about two days. That second night she was difficult to get down and we were so confused.
I wasn’t sure if she didn’t feel well or if we were entering a sleep regression. I took her temperature to make sure there was no fever, changed her diaper and when everything seemed fine we kind of went back to our basics. Put her down drowsy but awake, would go in every so often and shhh her and replace pacifier if needed and then leave. That night it took about 2 hours to get her down and she woke up once at midnight again. I went in and put her pacifier in and left and she slept till the morning.
We were fully prepared to buckle up for sleep training the next night but she fell back into her normal sleep. So, I honestly have no idea! Did she have a regression that night? Did she just not feel well?
Either way, I’ve learned consistency is key and we try to never stimulate her and make sure she can self soothe as much as possible.
What is she sleeping in?
Well, this has changed so much over the last week. We love the Ollie Swaddle and used it pretty exclusively up until a week or so ago. She started rolling over from her back to front regularly so we knew it was time to take her out of her swaddle.
I asked you all for recommendations post swaddle and we tried both the Nested Bean and Magic Merlin which we had used with Zain. After about 2 nights she rolled over in both so we went cold turkey to a sleep sack I had from when Zain was small and it’s worked fine.
Some people had messaged me about the Magic Merlin and although it was short lived with Zahra we loved it with Zain and I have two sizes in it because we used it for so long so don’t count it out! I also had several pediatricians message me that it was what they recommend!
She woke up a time or two the first few nights and then fell back into her routine!
Are you starting solids?
Yes! We got the okay from the Pediatrician to start solids at her 4 month appointment which I was not ready for. I didn’t start with Zain till 6 months and at that point we did BLW. Since she is younger I think I am going to try purees for a short time and build up to some form of BLW eventually around 6 months.
We will just be experimenting with fruits and vegetables and I will give them solo for a few days at a time just to make sure she doesn’t have an allergy. I realized I had nothing to facilitate her eating so just ordered another High Chair like Zain’s because we love it and still use it! It grows with them and is so easy to clean. It’s doesn’t have a ton of tiny crevices and the wood is easy to wipe down after meals. It’s the perfect height for our table and always allowed him to eat with us which helped his excitement to try new foods greatly!
I also picked up this bib and these spoons since we only have metal left in the house and will likely be trying a food subscription service. I asked you all over on Instagram about your experience and nearly all of you said you loved it! I did hear from one person that they made their baby constipated but like everything I’m sure it’s different for everyone.
- Dr.Brown’s bottles: we are solely using these now and haven’t had any issues at all!
- Drying Rack: since we use so many bottles and have my pumping gear I ordered this drying rack and have been liking it much more than the grass one we had previously.
- Ollie Swaddle: This is new to us this time around but we loved used it every night!
- Organic Bibs: I ordered these on Prime Day since she has been drooling so much and love them. Some of the bibs I had from Zain were too thin and these actually soak up the moisture so her clothes don’t get wet.
- Burp cloths: these snap in the back and are thick enough to actually soak up spit up!
- Boppy: I use it every time I feed her to help support her head so my wrist isn’t hurting.
- Zutano Booties: These are amazing and life changing! Never come off, look so cute and cozy and are really all I have her put her in. I already have the next size up and they come in tons of colors, sherpa texture and fleece.
- Baby Jogger City GO Car Seat: This is the new super lightweight car seat we got for Zahra! It is compatible with our entire stroller system so made sense and safety features and low profile made it perfect for us.
- Maty’s Multipurpose Ointment: We are huge fans of the brand and have been using the chest rub and syrup’s with Zain forever. This was a new find for me and has replaced out other petroleum based ointments!
- Baby Bjorn bouncer: She loves this thing and spends a lot of time in it! It is a little pricey but it folds flat and the cover is easy to pull off and throw in the wash. This is the toy bar we have and she loves!
- Owlet and Owlet Camera: We have the combo and love that it’s all connected so we can see her readings on our phones from anywhere. We used the Owlet with Zain and it was a total must for us.
- Frida Baby Humidifier with Diffuser & Nightlight: We have already started using this and love how it’s multipurpose. These drops were great when she was congested!
- Bibs Pacifiers: I bought a 4 pack of these before she was born and it’s all she has used.
- Lovevery Playmat: We just got this a few weeks ago and are obsessed with it! She enjoys it so much and I love how it’s designed for their development. Can’t recommend it enough!
I also try to save most of our frequently used items to my Amazon storefront. There is a tab labeled ‘Zahra’s Things’ that has everything!
Recent buys for her?
Baby Gap, H&M and Janie and Jack are my go to’s for her and I just stocked up on some stuff for fall & winter. Although Target is one of my favorite places to shop for Zain I don’t find a ton of girl’s clothes there. Rounded up a few of my favorites for fall below:
Let me know if you have any other questions!