Grayson Allen: One Month

by jenna on June 16, 2014

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It’s so hard to believe that our little guy is one month old now! Where has the time gone?!

This past month has been an absolute whirlwind in every way. I still feel like I’m recovering from the actual birth itself, but feel more and more like myself every day. I know that people say that for the first six weeks you’re just in survival mode, and I couldn’t agree more. If I’m being absolutely honest, I’ll tell you that the about a week and a half ago I looked at Adam and said, “I thought this would be getting easier but every day it feels like it’s getting 10x harder.” Okay, ten times harder might have been an exaggeration but I did feel like it was getting harder…especially around the third week. The day Grayson turned three weeks old was the day he “woke up” almost and he started getting very fussy in the evenings, specifically from 7-9pm. It’s crazy — as soon as the clock strikes 7pm, he starts to get fussy! Witching hours indeed.

We have battled the evening fussiness in the following ways: constantly bouncing him up and down while pacing all over the house, swing + pacifier, standing in the guest bathroom with the faucet running {I know that’s bad for the environment but he loves the sound of running water…}, walking around outside and, my personal favorite, sitting in the bathroom with the hair dryer going {again, bad for the environment but the SECOND the hair dryer goes on, he gets totally silent}. All of those things work for about 10-15 minutes and then it’s on to the next! The most effective “coping mechanism” has, by far, been taking him outside! We’ve fallen into the following routine: Adam gets home at 7pm, we eat dinner quick and then Adam immediately puts him in his stroller and takes him out to the backyard. They water the garden, I clean up the kitchen and then I join them outside. For some reason, he could be completely wailing in the house but the second we step outside he’s fine! It’s amazing actually. We try to stay outside until about 8:30 when it’s time for his bath and bedtime. My mama heart breaks when I see him upset or hear him cry. I know that this fussy stage will pass but man, it’s hard!

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Over the past month we have established a little bedtime routine, which is working really well for us. Every night at 8:30, Adam gives Grayson a warm bath. We don’t use soap or anything- just warm water – because he loves it! Then I take him out, wrap him up in his little robe and rub him with baby oil {I love the one from Honest} or coconut oil. We say prayers while we do this. Then I get him into his pjs, nurse him, swaddle him and put him to sleep with the sound machine going. We put him to sleep around 9:15 and then I quickly brush my teeth and jump into bed myself so I can get as much sleep as possible before it’s time to feed him again. He usually wakes up to nurse around 2am and then again around 5:30 or so. After that, he’s really up for the day. I feel like I can’t complain at all about his sleeping because, so far, it’s been pretty good and consistent! He goes down easily and stays asleep. I try to put him in his bassinet when he’s still slightly awake after nursing and he puts himself to sleep in a few minutes. Now, this is my first rodeo but I think that’s pretty darn impressive. He’s still sleeping in the Rock ‘n Play next to our bed and we’ll probably transition him to the crib in the next few weeks. Sniff sniff.

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It took me about four weeks to get any sort of “groove” going in the day with him. I can totally understand why some people stay home with their babies all the time until six weeks has passed! It’s hard and, honestly, scary to leave the house with a newborn! There’s just so many moving parts. Not to mention, in the beginning breastfeeding is just so awkward! I still haven’t mastered nursing in public and do everything I can to avoid having to do it.

In the first couple weeks I got very stressed out whenever we would leave the house. I think a lot of that stress was routed in sleep deprivation and just feeling entirely overwhelmed by all the newness. But then I slowly started taking baby steps and feeling more and more confident as a mom. I started going to a new mom’s group at my yoga studio, which was a big leap for me as I’m a huge introvert and didn’t know anyone in the group! I am also planning to join our local MOPS group this summer. I started feeling more comfortable getting him in and out of his car seat and wearing him in my w I wouldrap, which made grocery shopping sooooooo much easier. It’s been a little over a month now and while I would still say we are in “survival mode”, I would also say that I feel more comfortable now than I did a few weeks ago with him. Slowly but surely, things are starting to feel easier. I would definitely say week three was the hardest!

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I’m so lucky in that I have several new mom friends that live within 10 minutes of me. One of my good friends just had a sweet baby girl two weeks after Grayson was born so it’s especially fun to walk through this season of life together. I can’t even tell you how great it is to have the support of friends with babies here, especially since our family lives so far away! I don’t know what I would do without them.

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At our one month pediatrician appointment we found out that our chunky boy weighs 11.5 lbs! He’s wearing some 3-6 month clothes and a lot of 0-3 month clothes. Cloth diapering is still going well {I have a post coming about that soon!} and he’s moved from newborn diapers to size small diapers.

As we go forward into month two, we have a lot to look forward to! Our biggest thing this next month is our annual 4th of July trip to Lake Tahoe! We rented a house with our best friends from Texas, Adam’s aunt and uncle and his dad. We’ve been planning for and looking forward to this trip for so long. I’m also going to start cooking and developing recipes again soon! I am really looking forward to getting back in the kitchen a bit. We’ve been surviving off my freezer meals this past month — man, am I ever glad I made all those meals those last few weeks of pregnancy. They have REALLY come in handy!

I can’t believe it’s already mid-June! We are so in love with our boy and love watching him grow and change every day. Being a mom is truly incredible and it really does get better every day.

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{ 140 comments… read them below or add one }

Becca June 16, 2014 at 10:58 am

He’s so cute and I’m so glad you’re adjusting well! Tahoe will be a blast. I’m a Bay Area brand new mommy too…and I hate to even write this because I know how hard the first few weeks are….but we’re in a severe drought!! Sounds like you’re wasting a ton of water by letting the faucet run. Can you try a white noise machine or something else instead? I’ve lived here almost my whole life and the water/drought situation has never been this bad

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jenna June 16, 2014 at 11:18 am

We only run it for three to five minutes…

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Lindzi June 17, 2014 at 5:54 am

Maybe you could make a phone recording of the sound of running water instead of running it every night?

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Kat June 17, 2014 at 8:04 am

An idea would be to fill up the sink, then pour the water into a bucket, and then save the water to use on plants or to fill up the toilet or something later on. Maybe he would enjoy all the motion of a little assembly line going on and hearing the water moved from the sink to a bucket (and secretly he’ll be laughing at how good he is at making his parents work so hard to entertain him!).

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Katie June 17, 2014 at 10:23 am

Give new momma break. Survival mode requires running water, etc. You are doing amazing! Are car rides helpful at all so far? We started really depending on those right around that time.

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Alison June 16, 2014 at 12:45 pm

If it makes you feel better, waste water is cleaned and reused, not wasted. Water you use today you might use again later after it goes through your city’s water treatment plant! :)

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Katy June 16, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Yes–if the water helps, do it. Running water for five minutes is not going to hurt anything in the long run. I can’t believe anyone would even comment on that!

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Dana June 17, 2014 at 8:25 am

That comment really wasn’t necessary. You have to do what you have to do. She’s not running it all night long.

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Lori June 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm

The drought IS REALLY BAD. At least the comment wasn’t made in a rude way.

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Lori June 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Oh goodness, Jenna: you are fine. You do what it takes to survive. And Alison is right: waste water is cleaned and reused. Don’t worry about it. Seriously.

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Stacy K. June 17, 2014 at 12:14 pm

I hate to see people attacking a new mama, but I also hate to see commenters attacking someone when they point out something obvious. Perhaps none of you women are from California, but like Becca, I’ve lived in California my whole life and as a farmers daughter I am very passionate about water conservation. The drought California faces this year is severe and can lead to deadly ramifications of the agriculture system our entire nation depends on. Simply putting a bucket under the running water and using that to water your veggies is easy enough for a new mom to do and prevent waste. We we are asked to water our yards once a week in the middle of 100 degree summers and fined for watering more than that means people need to take additional steps in their home to try and conserve.

We had great luck with a white noise machine, downloading a white noise app on our phone that had the sound of running water, or turning on a radio to a static station.

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Theresa June 16, 2014 at 11:00 am

You should totally look into getting a sound machine! Might help you save water and electricity! http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/homedics-reg-soundspa-reg-sound-machine/1013630208

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Theresa June 16, 2014 at 11:01 am

Ooops. Totally missed that part where you stated that you are using a sound machine.

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Dana June 17, 2014 at 8:28 am

haha! i just ordered that exact machine :)

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Theresa June 16, 2014 at 11:01 am

Oops totally missed the part that you are using a sound machine.

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Stacey June 16, 2014 at 11:05 am

Thank you for being so honest. We are expecting our little guy the beginning of September.. What sound machine do you use?

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Kelli June 16, 2014 at 11:06 am

He is adorable and I’m so thankful for your honest post about new motherhood! It’s hard, but it’s great that you already know it will get easier as time goes on. Well, some things get easier, but then there are new things that are hard, but just let the love guide you through it and you’ll be good. Congratulations!!

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Colleen June 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

Aw, thanks for the update! For public nursing, I found “Hooter Hiders” were awesome. They are a little apron that goes around your neck and you can tuck the baby’s head underneath. Even if I pumped a bottle for outings, it came in handy just having one in the diaper bag.

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Pam June 16, 2014 at 11:10 am

I love the update and you are doing great!! I’m not a mom yet so I have no idea but seems like a lot of feelings of overwhelm would come up and learning how to communicate with a baby and getting to know what makes them happy and all.

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Averie @ Averie Cooks June 16, 2014 at 11:24 am

Thanks for the awesome update and was nodding in agreement to so many things – evening bewitching hour, survival mode, so many pieces and parts just to leave the house, nursing in public hard at first, and being grateful for knowing other moms with babies the exact or very similar ages – yes to all of that! I remember those days and Jenna, you’re doing amazing! So happy for you guys and thanks for taking the time to share with us how life has been!

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Rachel June 16, 2014 at 11:30 am

If you have an iPhone, you can make a voice memo of the sounds the little one loves & the play it on repeat. We had great success for our little one!

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Emily @ Fit as a Mother... June 16, 2014 at 11:40 am

Ah yes – the witching hours are for real!! Sounds like everything is going well. All those feelings of being frazzled and in survival mode are totally normal – trust me!

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Jennifer Deibel June 16, 2014 at 11:44 am

You’re doing a GREAT JOB!!! Well done! It is such an exhausting learning curve, but don’t worry, it will even out and you won’t always feel like a zombie!

You totally have to find what works for you, your baby, and your family! My kids all had the witching hour really badly, too! I will say, around 4 weeks old, I decided I needed to push bedtime a little earlier for that very reason. So, I started moving the bedtime routine up about 10 minutes. I’d give it a few days and then move it earlier another 10 minutes until I found what was the magic bedtime for that baby. Would you believe, for all 3 of my kids that magic hour ended up being starting bath time at 6:45?!? Sounds crazy but it worked! There was still a bit of a witching hour, but they slept better and longer. It was insane! Many nights hubs and I would eat dinner after the baby was in bed! We transitioned to family dinners later, when they kids were up later. All that to say, you’re doing great! But if you find that witching hour is turning into a witching 2 or 3 hours, don’t be afraid to play with the bedtime!

Keep in keeping on, mama. You’re doing great!

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April June 16, 2014 at 1:20 pm

I SECOND this advice about putting Grayson to bed earlier, it worked for me (wish i had known the secret earlier though). You will be amazed Jenna, Jennifer knows what she is talking about, give it a try!!!!!

Grayson is such a bundle of love, so happy for you guys – and yep, i went through ALL those same emotions, i think it is par for the course…makes us stronger i think:)

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jenna June 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I love the idea but also nervous about it because wouldn’t that mean I have to get up more often in the night? I put him to bed late because then I only have to get up once.

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Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats June 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm

We did a “dream feed” at 9 or 9:30 until my son was 6 months or so and was able to sleep through the night. So we put him to bed at 7pm, then I’d feed him at 9 or 9:30 which didn’t really wake him up (hence the term “dream feed”) then put him right back down. He’d then wake up at the exact times you mentioned before getting up for the day around 7am. Putting him down at 7pm was nice because not only did he get those extra couple hours of sleep, but my husband and I got a couple hours to recharge before going to bed ourselves!

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Stephanie A June 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Not necessarily. A lot of sleep books say that you can’t trick a baby into sleeping longer but you can work with schedules and natural rhythms. I think 8:30 sounds really late for such a young kiddo. My Evie goes to bed at 6:30 (7mo) and sleeps until 6. She’s been doing that since 6 weeks and I swear its because of the swing we bought. Kept it moving all night and she loved it. We ONLY used it for sleep and naps. Transitioning her at 5mo was a liiiitle tough but well worth it! Plus eventually survival mode will ween and you’ll get beat. You’ll need that time with your husband to recharge and have your own time together. Good job with the bath time routine! That will help. Ever since Evie was born we’d out her to bed at 6:30 and then cook dinner together while sipping wine. It was so cathartic. Yes, you love your baby but YES you need time to unwind. Also don’t listen to those people giving you junk about the water or hair dryer. You will literally get judged for everything you do as a mother (case in point: bedtime..). The best thing you can do is two ironically contradicting pieces of advice: 1. listen and accept the judgements of others 2. Then throw them in the trash and never think about they’re silly opinions anyway. The best thing about being a mother means that your judgement is never wrong.

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Susan H June 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Oh my gosh, I had the exact same experience with my first…she’d start around 6-7pm each night and SCREAM until about 9pm–we tried everything…nursing, bouncing, noise, etc. I was terrified to actually put her down to sleep before 9pm for fear she’d be up all night long. When baby #2 came around, I started putting her to bed at 6pm when the whole screaming thing started with her, too, and our world changed completely. Same deal with baby #3.

Also…our screamer only screamed for about 3 months…sounds horrendous when you’re in the thick of it, but it’s really not that long. But…if someone had told me to just put the poor girl to sleep, it would have saved both me and my husband hours of our lives. :) Good luck!

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Julie June 18, 2014 at 1:52 pm

My life changed when I realized my twin boys’ natural bedtime was 6pm. Made a world of difference. It sounds like you’ve got a tired kiddo and when they get over tired and fussy, it makes bedtime so much more difficult. Try moving bedtime up to 6pm. Hopefully baby will be happy, and mom and dad can enjoy a peaceful dinner and evening together. Good luck!

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Brittany June 16, 2014 at 6:26 pm

I have to chime in here about the early bedtime! It took us until our daughter was 6 months old to figure out that the early bedtime makes a world of difference. She always got up at least 3x (sometimes more) to feed through the night, every night, until we started putting her down by 7:30/8:00 (which was early for her). Nurse, rock, story, crib…and she’ll sleep for 10-11 hours. The later we put her down, the more likely she’ll wake up during the night, and the earlier she’ll wake up in the morning. Makes no sense, but it’s how it is! Sleep begets sleep.

Jenna, you are doing a fantastic job as a mama! It’s not easy, but there’s truly nothing better. I can’t believe Grayson is already a month old. Time flies even faster than usual when you add a baby to the mix. :) Enjoy the snuggles. He is such a cutie!

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Mish @ Eatingjourney June 17, 2014 at 12:18 am

This is so interesting. We would do the whole bath thing at 8:30pm, but hubby and I were exhausted and we found that we would be up til 11:30pm and little miss would be super crabby.

Now I bath her around 5:30-6:00pm, feed and then she goes to sleep from about 6-9, feeds, 10:30-2am, feeds, 3am-6am. She’s feeding and is 3 weeks old.

The other thing I’d highly suggest is an osteopath. I adore ADORE ours.

BUT BUT BUT..you REALLY have to do what is right for you and your family. I’d also like to say THANK YOU for keepin’ it real. Because this mamahood thing is insane. It’s the hardest, bestest, craziest job ever. I feel like, now at week three, all of the sleep deprivation has worn thin and the need for a routine and not just powering through the day has sunk in. Hang in there and ENJOY your upcoming weekend. Think of you heaps! xo

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Sarah June 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm

I also gently suggest that you try putting him to bed earlier. Zoe went through this around 4-6 weeks and when we moved her bedtime a few hours earlier, it REALLY helped. We did a walk from 5-6 and would put her down between 6 and 6:45. She was soooo much happier and I really think it helped everyone because we weren’t completely spent by the time we went to bed…we had a little bit of “us” time and not hours of listening to her scream and feeling awful that we couldn’t stop it.

I agree that motherhood gets harder before it gets easier. I think that’s the sleep deprivation creeping up on you. But let me promise you–it really does get easier when they start sleeping better and even easier when they start to have some semblance of a routine. Good for you for getting into a bedtime routine already!!

Just keep talking to Jesus and asking for the strength to get through that day. He will provide it! It goes so fast and in a few months you’ll be like “man, I’m still tired, but I totally know what’s going on with him and understand how to respond to all of his needs!”

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sarah June 16, 2014 at 11:49 am

The time flies! Our little guy is a few days short of 5mo!!! I can’t believe it.
We thought we had a nice routine down as well a few times over the past 5mo. Don’t be surprised when he wants his routine tweaked haha
You’re doing great! You’re out and about and have your sanity haha

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Charline June 16, 2014 at 11:52 am

Maybe you need a white noise app on your phone instead of running the sink or blowdryer! Mine has all kinds of cool sounds, including hair dryer, fan, vacuum

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Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit June 16, 2014 at 11:54 am

I always hear stories about how babies like sounds – my uncle used to run the vacuum forever for my cousin! I must admit though, I took like some white noise when I sleep, so I totally get it!

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Maryea {happy healthy mama} June 16, 2014 at 11:55 am

This brings me back to the beginning days with a newborn. There’s nothing easy about it so please know that you are totally normal in your thoughts that it is NOT EASY. It will get easier, though, and you’ll soon forget what these early days were like. For now, just try to cherish this stage as it does go by fast. :) Thanks for the update!

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Judith Scott June 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Jenna, I have been thinking about you and wondering howyour life with a new baby was going.
Glad to hear you are surviving, as you know no one can tell you what it’s going to be like.
I knew you come through with flying colors!
I’ll be at Tahoe over the 4th as well, will hope for a Beaugh sighting!

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Melissa June 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Thank you so much for your refreshing honesty!! I have a 3 year old boy and am due July 9 with my second boy. It is hard especially in the beginning and it’s so nice to hear someone not afraid to express that it is hard but it gets better

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Lori June 16, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I have a 20 month old boy and a new baby due in Aug. I can totally relate to this. I didn’t think it got easier, either (and I’m about to go through it again! Oy!). Babies are HARD. Ours was the same in the evenings, and same with being outside; he’d stop crying immediately. Have you tried putting the radio on a station that is just static? Play it as loud as, or louder than, his cry. It worked really well for us (same affect you get from the blow dryer sound). It’s especially handy in the car. You will get so buff from all the bouncing and rocking! The fussiness will pass, but for us it just evolved into a different type of fussing. That’s the thing – every stage has it’s challenges. Our little guy wouldn’t let us sit down. Always wanted to be walked around. For the most part, he was really, really good. It’s still hard though! I’m so impressed by Grayson’s sleep. Is a rock n’ play not a flat surface though? And is it moving while he sleeps? It might be a bit of an adjustment getting him to sleep on a flat, still surface, like in a crib. Luckily, all the challenges and hard days are just so worth it – they are amazing little beings!!

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Corey June 16, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Awesome job so far, Mama! It’s a huge adjustment, welcoming your little one, but oh so wonderful!

Try the Happiest Baby on the Block soundtrack. It has all of G’s favorite sounds on it and you can take it anywhere with you. We do!

As for the witching hour, I know it sounds crazy, but try putting him to bed earlier. We were experiencing the same thing with our now 4 month old. She goes to bed by 6 pm (bathed and nursed) and she is so much happier. Sleep begets sleep. Crazy , but it works.

Hope the unsolicited advice helps. It will pas quickly regardless of what you end up doing.

Take care

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Kristen @ notsodomesticated June 16, 2014 at 1:59 pm

I agree with this, Jenna. :) I followed a program called “Moms on Call,” and they said the same thing … putting the baby to bed earlier actually results in longer sleep. Now, your little guy is only a month, so I can’t exactly remember how well Addie slept then. But by 2 months, Addie was sleeping from 7:30-about 7am .. using swaddling, white noise, and a bedtime routine (sounds very very similiar to what you’re doing).

Only writing this in the hopes that it helps … you do whatever is best for YOUR family!!! :)

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kk June 16, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Yes, Moms on Call is the best!!!!! They have books and an app. Also a helpful facebook page. If I remember correctly, at this age they like you do to an hour nap in the evening and then you start your bath around 8:30 and have a last feeding. It really helps prevent the “witching hour.” It is also a good time to cook dinner! There is usually a wake up again to feed in the middle of the night. By 8 weeks my daughter was sleeping 8 hours and by 12 weeks 12 hours. Seriously, Moms on Call saved my life.

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Samantha June 16, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Totally agree! The earlier bedtime worked wonders for our little one. Made such a difference. We too experienced the dreaded “witching hour” and by putting her to bed earlier it made it a lot more manageable. She was so fussy because she was tired and we kept her up to late.

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Mish @ Eatingjourney June 22, 2014 at 4:25 am

Thank you for your suggestions of Moms On Call. I was NOT a schedule kinda person..save our sleep terrifies me..but MonC is fabulous. It’s CHANGED our day and added so much needed structure. We’re all sleeping better and instantly so. Thank you so much. The iphone app is awesome and it’s learnt a lot of sanity in our marriage and in our daily rhythm. I do NOT do the five minute cry, because I know my baby either needs a tinge more milk or they need to just be comforted because she settled easily otherwise. But everything else we’ve followed to a T.

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lucinda June 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

ha! i remember that time in the evening just before bed when our little guy used to get all worked up too – the “witching hour” {or “arsenic hour” as ou pediatrician called it!}. it seems like the outdoors and white noise is the univesral solution. despite those trying moments, you sound and look great. i can’t get over how much grayson looks like adam – such a sweet family!

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sarah June 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

You look great, Jenna. And it sounds like you’re doing great. Have you seen the stuff about “Wonder Weeks”? I’m not sure I totally buy into it, but it does seem like they get fussy around certain times in those first 6 months or so because they’re overstimulated/growing/learning. You’ll get through it! At 6 months I realized I felt like a normal person again, even though I thought I had before that… it takes awhile.:)

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Urban Wife June 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm

He is absolutely adorable. :)

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Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution June 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Who am I to give advice to a new mom, as I’m not a mom myself but have you thought of getting a white noise app for your phone? Hey, if turning on the faucet or hairdryer soothes him, go for it! I just wonder if it might be easier on you to whip out your phone? He’s SO cute! Thanks for being so up front about the struggles of being a first time mom. I’m hoping to go through that soon, so it’s good to hear the hard parts!

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Amber / Caleigh's Kitchen June 16, 2014 at 12:38 pm

He is so stinking adorable! They grow so fast, mine is somehow already 2. Praise the Lord for those Rock and Plays!

Also…love to see that Aggie ring in the picture :-) Gig ‘Em!

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erin @hooleywithaz June 16, 2014 at 12:42 pm

okay, this whole witching hour thing is totally new to me, so i’m starting to get a little nervous! i have two months left, so i love hearing about these new mom experiences. makes me feel like i will be okay when i see other people surviving and thriving through it all. the scheduling of everything makes my head spin a bit…who knew that a baby was so complicated?? :)

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Tammy June 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm

You’re doing great! Enjoy these precious moments — I know you are. :)

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Christina June 16, 2014 at 1:14 pm

My baby girl had a horrible witching hour too, and the only cure was going outside as well! I would put her in the Moby wrap and go on walks. Now, she’s nearly a year old and still loves to be outdoors more than anything else. It’s actually great. All the walking is good exercise for me and it wears her out for bedtime.

Try not to be too nervous about nursing in public. I was anxious about it at first too, but it is so inconvenient to plan around nursing. Especially when they are nursing so often. Just remember that most people probably don’t notice, and once you get the hang of it, baby covers most everything up anyways. Try nursing in your wrap or carrier (there are good online video how-tos). I can go on walks with my baby in the Ergo and walk around nursing her and no-one sees anything.

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Abbey June 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Oh gosh, those first several weeks are so hard! But they will pass before you know it! He’s so cute and you look great! Keep going, mama! :-)

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polly June 16, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Girl, you run that water as long as ya like, blow the hair dryer, whatever the heck ya need to do! :) I love you and you are doing AWESOME. So so happy for you guys and that little chunka love is so blessed to have you two as parents. LOVE YOU!

XOXO
big sis

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Stephanie June 16, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Run the water…do whatever it is you need to do! The first few weeks are hard!! We just had our second (4 weeks old tomorrow) and he is obsessed with the vacuum. My house has never been so clean! Also, nursing gets easier as they get bigger and can control their bodies better. I was the same way with my first…a slave to the clock/house for feedings. You’ll be a pro by 3 months (and the nursing cover will feel less and less like you are wrangling a king size sheet!!). I think you’re doing amazing! Baby wearing still doesn’t come natural to me and you seem to be getting out and rocking it! Good luck and I can’t wait for more updates!

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Ella June 16, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Hey Jenna, everyone will have advice but just know – you’re doing awesome! I wish I had relied more on my mommy instinct and less on what books and others said was normal. Congrats to you and Adam! He is adorable and I think he looks like his daddy!

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Lori June 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm

I have to agree. I read and googled too much. There is so much conflicting info out there and it makes it really hard. I obsessed over doing the “right” thing. And after each trying phase, I realized that I felt better about what I was doing when I did what my instincts and heart told me. All babies are different. Some schedule from a book may not be best for yours. Especially at such a young age. I think 4 weeks is very early to be trying to stick to a strict schedule. Though your schedule, Jenna, sounds like it’s working great. Go with your gut, let love guide your decisions, and you can’t go wrong.

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Mary June 17, 2014 at 7:57 am

I love your blog, Jenna! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us – I never comment, but just wanted to agree with these ladies who say you’re doing great! Your little guy is lucky to have you! Remember that, and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks is right or advice that doesn’t make sense in your context. You were meant for your baby and your baby was meant for you. The perfect team (with Adam of course!) My baby will be two next month. I wish I had not felt like I had to follow what the books said or what was right for other people’s babies and other people’s families. Babies and families are different… My son cried (and nursing really helped so we nursed a lot too) SO much the first three months. I was not prepared, but it really did get easier after that.

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Steph June 17, 2014 at 5:37 pm

So true! I tried putting my son to bed earlier at around 2.5 months, which ended up just meaning that he slept in his crib for 15 minutes before I had to go back in. He just wasn’t ready for that early bedtime until closer to 3.5 months. Every baby is different, and there’s no need to force something that doesn’t work just because books say so! In my experience, pretty much no sleep book has gotten “it” right :). Keep doing what you’re doing, if it works for you!

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Amanda June 16, 2014 at 3:25 pm

That top picture is just TOO much! So glad to hear everything is going well with your new little boy!

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Caitlyn June 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

I’ve read your blog for over a year and a half and in the past 9 months so many bloggers are either preggers or just had babies. You definitely seem like you’ve held it together :)

I am from Tahoe and will be up there 4th of July as well! I hope you have a blast and enjoy the mountain air. It definitely helps with finding a balance and ‘peace’-of-mind again.

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Amber June 16, 2014 at 3:48 pm

You are doing great with his bedtime routine. High five to you!

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Susan June 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Thanks for sharing your life with us! I am newly pregnant and appreciate so much your honesty! I LOVE that y’all say your nightly prayers together, what a wonderful routine to start early!

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Emily @ Life on Food June 16, 2014 at 4:15 pm

I think it is great you are still going out no matter if you feel overwhelmed. It will only make things easier in the future. You will be a pro soon.

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Lisa L June 16, 2014 at 4:24 pm

I loved reading this post! I’m so happy you’re getting into a bit of a groove with Grayson. I can only imagine how tough those first few weeks must have been.

I absolutely love the char in your nursery and have been testing out that one, Dutailier, and Best Chair at the local baby store. How is the Little Castle chair for nursing? Do you use it with the my breast friend/boppy pillow?
Thanks Jenna!

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Jenny S June 16, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Our daughter had the very same issues! We ran the tap forever, until we figured out that radio static is the exact same noise. Have no fear, things will change – it’s only a stage. Hang in there, and trust your insticts. You know more than you think. God bless -

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Kelly Mitchem June 16, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Love reading these little family updates! Can’t wait to read more about the cloth diapering!

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Jen June 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm

I didn’t have time to read through all the comments to see if someone else suggested this but this tip saved my sanity with our now 5 month old son during those witching hours:
A friend suggested slinging(wrap) the baby up and bounce on an exercise ball!!! Oh man. He loved the bouncing and wearing him made it easier on my back!! Hope it helps!! Witching hour disappears. It’s crazy tough though!!

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megan June 16, 2014 at 5:46 pm

The first month goes by so fast. I wouldn’t say things ever really get easy – there are different challenges with each little stage they go through. I just wanted to say that white noise is awesome and was something that we used from the beginning with both my kids. It was the one thing that they knew was their signal for bedtime – no matter what other transition was going on – moving from basinnet to crib, dropping the swaddle, dropping the pacifier, trips away from home… it’s the one sleep aid that you dont have to drop so their sound machines have been such an amazing tool. My 3 year still sleeps with his white noise – he turns it on himself now and my 15 month old sleeps soundly with her sound machine while he is running wild through the house. We’ve found that the best sound machine is an old iphone with a sleep machine app hooked up to a speaker docking station. We’ve tried everything under the sun and this is the only way to get it loud enough to fill a room and put those babies to bed.

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Juliet June 16, 2014 at 5:52 pm

I would also agree with what some others said about running the vacuum. My daughter had reflux so the witching hours were really bad. Running the vacuum worked like a charm. We tried the app that has the vacuum sound and it didn’t work for her. Do whatever you need to do to get through this time and maintain your sanity.

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Amy Lee June 16, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Although my baby is now a teenager, I remember those fussy times. Putting him in his bouncy seat on top of the dryer worked for me every time! He loved the vibration and noise.

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Rachel June 16, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Grayson has the best facial expressions I’ve ever seen on a really young baby, especially in the first and the third photos, cracked me up. I love your blog, so glad to see the latest post, I was getting antsy waiting for an update. That sounds so creepy now that I think about the fact that you’re a real person… Seriously though reading your blog reminds me of reading Anne of Avonlea when I was a kid :) Best of luck with it all.

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Shawna kemerer June 16, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Everything you are doing is completely normal. You just have to do whatever you can to get through each season with the baby. We are only 10 months in, but I remember at least 2-3 months of the bouncing and shushing all through the house for what seemed like hours! It’s always nice to hear other suggestions from seasoned mothers, but remember that YOU always know what’s best for your baby and he will be just fine.

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Jessica June 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Thanks for writing so honestly-I’m about 19 weeks into my first pregnancy and just absorbing what I can from new moms and experienced moms alike. Sounds like you’re doing great!

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Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking June 16, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Aww I love the family selfie!! You look fabulous for allegedly being so tired! ;-) Thank God for close mommy friends!

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Laura June 16, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Just wait for the six week growth spurt abs sleep regression!! Currently battling it now and I’m sbout to pull my hair out.

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Beth June 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

My boys are 18 and 14 but I remember so well the fussy evening hours. The 7 pm hour was the worst for them as well. We would eat dinner and immediately go our for a stroller ride through the neighborhood. It was good for all of us. Even when the second one came, the whole family went out, the oldest on a bike or trike, the little one in the stroller. We all needed the fresh air and exercise. Keep up the walks. Good times! The dishes will wait until the little one goes to bed. Cherish the moments. They do grow up quickly.

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy June 16, 2014 at 7:49 pm

I don’t have any babies yet, so I appreciate you being honest! I feel like my husband and I are ready for kids now, but I’m still feeling a little apprehensive of all of the changes that will take place. Everyone says that you’re never 100% ready for it!

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Amy Walters, A DESIGN DOCK June 16, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Love the update, Jenna! Grayson is so precious.

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Lizm23 June 17, 2014 at 12:09 am

Yes, 3 weeks was when my guy “woke up” too! I remember thinking it was pretty easy up until my little guy turned 3 weeks old! Up until then he just slept a lot and would only cry during diaper changes or when he was hungry…then that changed! My pediatrician even told me that it was like that–at 3 weeks you can kind of tell what kind of baby they’ll be. My guy is 3 now and a blast! The first year to two years was rough for me! It was such a change. I knew it was going to change me but I didn’t really know, you know?!

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Aynsley Keller June 17, 2014 at 5:31 am

I’m a long time reader and so happy for this stage of your life. My second son is only a little older than your first and I can tell you – BOYS are AWESOME!!!! We’re in the evening fussy stages two right now and it’s comforting to remember it does end :)

Best of luck and have fun cloth diapering! It’s so fun :)

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Louise June 17, 2014 at 5:31 am

From the look at that first photo, he seems like a happy baby to me! What a darling photo of your little family! You might want to try this: use an iPod with downloaded iTunes nature sounds. I particularly enjoy the sounds of rain…but there are many offerings, such as the ocean, birds, etc.

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Steph June 17, 2014 at 6:36 am

It’s so refreshing to read a blog that talks honestly and openly about how difficult the transition into motherhood is. You can love your baby beyond words, but those first few weeks (months, and even year) is SO hard. Your statement that things were getting harder when they were “supposed” to be getting easier probably resonantes with a lot of women.

You may have seen this before, but if not I wanted to share. It helped me to have a little better understanding of what was going on with my son during those early days, and really just made me feel good to know that his nighttime fussiness was totally normal.

http://www.purplecrying.info/

I just went out and replaced my broken hair dryer the other day. That was a lifesaver for us too ;)

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Ali O June 17, 2014 at 6:36 am

Grayson is so adorable!! Love that first pic of you all in your post, his little smile, so sweet!

Our daughter was born Feb 25th and she is just turning 4 months old…she’s still in the Rock N’ Play next to our bed. I just haven’t been able to let her go to her room yet. :-( It was hard enough for me to let her sleep in the Rock N’ Play because initially she was in bed with us (sleeping on me). I keep thinking that we need to transition her to her crib soon…I know my husband is ready for it. haha I never thought that I would be that way. Before I gave birth, I talked about how “the baby will definitely have it’s own room, etc, etc” But after, boy did I change my tune! Funny all the changes that motherhood brings.

Also, I too had those thoughts of “I thought this would be easier…” Not that I thought it was going to be a breeze, but just didn’t think I would have as tough a time as I did. Those first two months were tough but now in month four…I feel like we have a good handle on things. It will get better, I promise! :-)

As always, thanks for sharing your life.

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Lyndsay June 17, 2014 at 6:42 am

Thank you for being so honest about how hard and wonderful the first few weeks can be :) I had no clue it could be as hard as it was after the birth of our first. Everyone only shared the good stuff :) You are doing a GREAT job! And trust me, you do whatever you can do to keep your baby happy and sleeping through the night as much as possible.

I do agree with an earlier bedtime, but he’s still pretty little so we didn’t really “enforce” bedtime until our kids were closer to 2-3 months. However I am a BIG believer in the dream feed. We have done that with both kids and it gets us through the night :) But again, we didn’t really start that until they were about 2 months. I think the first 2 months are all a gamble. Both you and your little guy are both trying to figure this new world out. :) Just remember what a great mama you are!

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Rachel June 17, 2014 at 6:51 am

You are so honest, I love it!! You are doing a great job. His smile in that first picture is precious:)

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Sarah June 17, 2014 at 7:32 am

Jenna! It’s been so fun to read this update. My little guy is two weeks older than yours, and everything sounds so familiar! George has just started dropping the 2 am feeding, which has been so nice to get longer stretches of sleep. The fussiness in the evenings is starting to get better (knock on wood). He’s becoming so much more predictable, and I’m starting to feel like myself again. Keep it up, Mama! You’re doing great!

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Angie @ Pint of Goals June 17, 2014 at 7:39 am

I was where you are now one year ago, and I remember that stage all too clearly still. Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing and messes with so many aspects of your life. You’re doing an amazing job Mama!

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Sarah June 17, 2014 at 7:43 am

Wearing my first baby in a carrier and vacuuming was my only salvation the first months!

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KRISTY June 17, 2014 at 7:55 am

ROCK ON MOMMA! IT TAKES TIME TO FIND YOUR WAY AND EVERY SINGLE DAY THESE LITTLE PEOPLE ARE CHANGING AND GROWING. ADVISE CAN BE HELPFUL BUT THE TRUTH IS ONLY YOU WILL KNOW WHAT IT BEST FOR YOUR BABY AS YOU BOTH GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER! IN A YEAR YOU WILL LOOK BACK AND JUST SMILE…. KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING, ALL HE NEEDS IS LOVE!

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Dana June 17, 2014 at 8:04 am

He’s absolutely adorable , Jenna! So happy for you guys! I 110% am on board with your first week survival mode feelings! Trial and error for sure! it is HARD. I have an almost 4 month old and it’s STILL hard certain days. The running water is hilarious because that shuts up my sweet girl in 1 second and the vacuum is great, too. I’m always vacuuming. at least my carpets are always clean! :) I just ordered a sound machine…the girl needs white noise and we are also just now trying the crib. And it still sucks, but getting better each day. For our sanity, from day one she’s slept wonderfully in the rock n’play. we tried the crib early on and she’d scream bloody murder, but she’s only gonna get bigger. we gotta suck it up and hopefully she’ll love the crib soon! :)

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Laura June 17, 2014 at 8:26 am

Jenna, I love your blog and have been reading it from London since 2008. I never comment, but a great book that saved me is by Gina Ford, called The Contented Little Baby Book. She is a British baby nurse and her technique (called the “Gina Ford method” is what many British mums swear by. It is wonderful and helped me tremendously with both my daughters- Chloe, age 4 and Lily, age 9 months. I think following her routine from the early months (7 pm bedtime, dream feed at 10 pm, 1 nighttime waking/feed for the first 4 months at 3 AM) sets a good foundation – they eventually drop the 3 AM feed, then they drop the 10 pm feed, until their tummies are big enough to hold enough milk and they can sleep 12 hours through the night (at about 6 months) which let me tell you is happy days. Plus her instructions are very easy to follow for first time mums.

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jenna June 17, 2014 at 9:34 am

I just ordered that book! I have never heard of a dream feed so I am very intrigued…

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Lori June 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm

I just do not understand these schedules. It really seems to me that they should be fed on demand. And how do you just “put them to bed”? Just lay them down and let them cry? What if they wake before 10pm? Not all babies are meant to be on the same feeding /sleeping schedule.

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Lori June 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Are you a mom?

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Lori June 17, 2014 at 8:25 pm

I sure am

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Lori June 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I just do not understand these schedules. I really think they should be fed on demand at such a young age. What if they wake up before 10pm? And how do you just “put them to bed”? Just lay them down and let them cry? Not every baby is meant to have the same feeding/sleeping schedule. It is absurd to think that all babies will just follow the plan and be sleeping 12 hrs by 6 months. Some may, but some surely will not. There is no magic answer. Jenna, don’t drive yourself too crazy with all of this. Know that nothing is wrong with you or your baby if you do everything that some “expert” says and you don’t get the results they promise. Babies wake at night. They nurse at night. Even when they’re one or older! It’s normal. The promise of sleep sells books, but it’s an empty promise for many.

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Steph June 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Totally agree with this. Sleep/wake cycles aren’t dictated exclusively by hunger cues, and there are plenty of babies (mine included!) who will not sleep through the night regardless of how satiated they are before bed. There’s nothing more frustrating than being told that “babies sleep through the night by 6 months” when it’s just really not true.

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Lori June 17, 2014 at 8:27 pm

…and sorry, I didn’t mean to hit submit yet, that’s why my comment is kind of repeated

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Mary June 18, 2014 at 8:52 am

The dream feed has worked for some of my friends, but it did not work for me and my baby. I did not want to get him up once he was sleeping because he was likely to really wake up. My pediatrician also agreed to just let him feed on demand. Also, I tried to follow the Baby Whisperer book pattern at first: Eat, Activity, Sleep, “You” time (ha!)… It is nice if it works for some people, but it did not work for us. My baby took such short naps, I was always frustrated that he never slept more than 25 minutes at a time for the first few months. After a while, I figured out that he was actually was waking up hungry because he needed to eat more frequently than this schedule allows. When I fed him before naps, he slept MUCH longer, was better rested, and I had the time I needed to rest too. I really believe it is trial and error and figuring out what works and feels right for you, your baby and your family. Advice is nice, but do not feel you have to follow it. Schedules do not work for everyone. Contrary to what these books tout, many many babies feed at night, and it is normal!

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Deanna & Jerry June 17, 2014 at 9:12 am

I love your photos of Grayson. So lovely! He looks totally at peace and happy with life. An idea that may work for you regarding the sound of running water: since Grayson loves being outdoors, you could have a recirculating fountain installed. It can be small such as a stepped copper fountain in a courtyard or a larger spouting fountain. The sound is very soothing for adults also. It would not be wasteful and there are lots of choices in price and size and it would be a permanent fixture that would be enjoyable to your family. We’ve had fountains at all our homes over the years and everyone enjoys them. On family member (4-year old) enjoyed the fountain a little too much. When he visited us, I always had a towel at the ready, because he couldn’t resist getting wet.

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Cara June 17, 2014 at 9:30 am

Great job mama! I have a six month old and I know that you do whatever you got to do to survive and it does get better! Hearing the comment about running the water makes me cringe! Perhaps the other commenters aren’t from CA but we are having our worse drought ever. Ever! Farmers in the Central Valley are literally committing suicide bc they can’t water their crops and their farms are going under. And it’s not true that waste water is reused. It’s treated and then discharged to the ocean. Our white noise machine has a water feature, maybe that will work? I don’t mean to be dramatic, but I know you also support good, local food and water is so crucial right now. Something to think about.

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jenna June 17, 2014 at 9:33 am

I totally understand about the drought – we literally ran the water ONE night for three minutes. I don’t think in the grand scheme of life it really did that much damage. We had each only slept about two hours the night before and it was the only thing that calmed him down. It’s not a daily occurrence or anything like that, but thanks for the heads up!

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Christin S June 17, 2014 at 10:03 am

Firstly, just my opinion but don’t feel bad about the water…It’s not every day, only for a few minutes, and only temporary, so if you have to do it, do it I live in CA too! The last thing you need on your plate is others taking away your coping options for taking the best possible care of your baby. your first priority is your son, not the state’s supply of water. ;)

I didn’t read through every comment to see if anyone suggested this, so I apologize if it’s a duplicate, but my daughter Bethany (now 4 months) went through a witching hour faze (it does go away I swear! And then the 4 month sleep regression hits lol but that passes too) and her pediatrician explained that a lot of it has to do with their little systems still developing. Gripe water can be an amazing help, not just for stomach issues but also teething and generally calming them down. I suggest Mother’s Bliss or Colic Calm.

Best of luck!

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Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork June 17, 2014 at 10:17 am

What a lovely post! Yes, I have also heard that the first six weeks are survival mode, especially as you adapt both to the new life and your new body post-baby (hormones!). I totally hear you on the introvert thing–I will most likely have to force myself to do the same thing and will probably end up being so grateful I did.
Can’t wait to see what the next month will bring for your adorable son and family!

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Jennifer June 17, 2014 at 10:55 am

Do whatever works!! The sleep sheep wasn’t enough for my daughter. Our routine was to swaddle her, turn her on her side and up against the back of a fan while we made the shooshing noise in her ear. ha! There wasn’t any wind blowing on her, but the noise from the fan put her right to sleep!! Never say never and try everything :) You are doing great and he is so adorable!

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Ginna June 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm

I remember the witching hour(s)! So hard. If you have an exhaust fan in any of your bathrooms that seemed to lull my lo to sleep! I would spend hours sitting on the closed toilet in our bathroom in the dark with it on lol. But hey whatever works right?!

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Michelle June 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Hi Jenna,

Our baby had the same witching hour. I started experimenting with music, and there was ONE jazz song that would stop the crying. Every single time for months, if he started crying or was upset, the song would break it. I just played different genres till I found one. Our song is “I wish I knew how it would feel to be free”, by Billy Taylor. It’s a great song, worth a shot! You’re doing great!!

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Teri June 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm

So glad to hear you’ve found friends and family to share these special and changing times with. Sounds like your going thru normal fussy baby times and have already discovered ways to calm Grayson. Good for you! Wishing you continued happiness and increasing calm times.

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Becky Smith June 17, 2014 at 4:52 pm

I just wanted to say that you’re awesome. You’re gorgeous. And your family is beautiful. Thank you for opening your adventures up to all of us, and sharing your struggles and triumphs in a beautifully honest way.

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Jennifer June 17, 2014 at 5:27 pm

I didn’t read all of the comments, so I’m not sure if anyone suggested this, but…when mine were infants and that witching hour came, I would wear them in a wrap/frontal baby carrier and vacuum!! They loved the movement and the noise. And the floors were never cleaner :)

My theory is that they were so used to being bounced around in our bellies so much that they miss it now that they are outside on their own, so to speak. It gets easier once they learn how to self soothe. And you are right…you are still in survival mode, so do what it take to survive!

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Sophie June 17, 2014 at 6:06 pm

You do whatever you need to do to keep that baby happy and you sane :) I’ve been there. There is app for noises that sounds like the womb, vacuum, and a hair dryer that I would play if we got stuck in the car during my son’s fussy phase. Also, gripe water!! You are doing a fantastic job!

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jen June 17, 2014 at 6:39 pm

What a great candid post! And a good reminder to me that 2 is enough!! Those first 12 months are merciless. There’s so much that’s wonderful and amazing, but there’s also so much that’s just so dang hard! I never thought I’d use paper plates and eat tv dinners and do a million other previously unimaginable things until I had a baby, and she slept about 4 hours a night and screamed all of her waking moments unless we were walking, bouncing, vacuuming, etc. I wondered why the heck people ever talked about rocking babies to sleep cause ours didn’t rock or sleep! Then I thought I knew all the tricks for number 2, but he’s extra challenging in his oen special ways that put me right back in survival mode and trying to figure out new tricks… he hates bouncing and vacuuming! And hearing them cry hurts so much you’d do anything to stop it. Luckily, it all does get easier and the survival season doesn’t last forever even if you have a super challenging baby… not saying whether you do, but I sure did. And man, they’re just the best kids in the world and I’m so lucky to have them in my life. And they sure push me beyond the limits of what I thought I could survive in their infancy.
All that to say… rock on, you know your baby best, and survive whatever way you need to.

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Jamie June 17, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Sounds like you are doing great! The beginning is so amazing and so hard at the same time and I don’t think you can truly understand until you’re in it. The lack of sleep makes you feel like a crazy person! My baby is 7.5 months now, but I remember my husband and I literally switching off eating dinner while the other one tried to bounce/shush/do absolutely anything to stop him from crying during that witching hour. Once we started putting ours down for bed at 7pm (when he was a bit older and doing longer stretches), we started to do a 930/10pm dream feed that I think helps a lot, but I know that it doesn’t help all babies. Every baby is so different! It has gotten easier with time, but everyday is a new adventure :). Yours is SO cute.

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Christina June 17, 2014 at 8:12 pm

I am due in November with my first, so reading your experience and seeing all the comments is so eye opening. I tried to google the wrap that you mentioned using at the grocery, but wasn’t able to find it?? I love your freezer meals post, I have tried a few just to test them out to see how hubby likes them (I have a picky hubby), and every one I made was excellent. I plan on spending the last part of October cooking up a storm, it’s great to hear that it was such a life saver! Do you love your Uppababy? I know you are super busy with your sweet boy, but I do love your posts, thank you so much!

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Diane June 18, 2014 at 12:08 am

Try sitting and bouncing on an exercise ball for fussiness. During evening hours, the exercise ball/birthing ball saved us for the first 12 weeks (and beyond). I would strap on the My Breast Friend, hold my baby girl (my arms rested on the breast friend to relieve some of the weight of the baby in my arms), sit on the exercise ball, and bounce up and down. Seriously try it. It’s amazing and has worked wonders for both me and my sister. WAY easier than bouncing while pacing around the house.

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Nicole June 18, 2014 at 2:33 am

Hey Jenna,
Now that he’s here, would you have done anything differently in the nursery? Just curious because I’m 20 weeks and working on mine soon!

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Alisha June 18, 2014 at 7:32 am

Download a sound app on your phone, there are a ton, for sleep and fussy babies.
My friend use to walk around with her iPhone around her neck or in her shirt, bra, etc. with the sound of a vacuum playing because it stopped her son from being fussy, haha.

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Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner June 18, 2014 at 7:35 am

Once again, I love your honesty! Your family is beautiful.

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Carol June 18, 2014 at 9:56 am

This post is so open and hoest about those first few weeks of motherhood – it’s really hard! I thought I was prepared when my daughter was born but I had no idea! The sleep deprivation! The nursing be so, so hard! Finding a routine that worked! Was it okay to do things the book didn’t tell you to do? No two babies are alike, what works for one, won’t work for the other – as I learned when my son was born! Just do what works for you and makes you less stressed! I would take my son – and sometimes still do at age 2! – for long walk nights at night. It lulls him to sleep, and I know he should be putting himself to sleep, but he just has such a hard time, it takes the stress off! We are both more relaxed and the stress of the day just melts away – and he sleeps so much better!

There really is no right answer – trust your gut, do whats best for you and your family!

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Sarah June 18, 2014 at 11:28 am

Hahaha! I love that you call it the witching hour. My oldest (now almost 6 yrs) would experience this from 9pm to midnight every night for a few months. Nothing we did helped, he just out grew it. All you can do is make sure they are fed, dry and safe after that it is all ancedotal. Good luck and know that every baby is different and it will get easier. My daughter (2 yrs) was a piece of cake from day one! Baby 3 is due in 5 weeks and I am hoping for the same.

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Katie sB June 18, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Jenna, I’ve been reading your blog for five years now! Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us and for your honesty.

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jean June 18, 2014 at 10:25 pm

my son was totally the same way in the evenings when i would just start to lose it waiting for my husband to get home! the only thing that seemed to calm him was for me to “jump” on a small fitness trampoline in our living room. it wasn’t really jumping so it wasn’t unsafe, more just a slight movement up and down. he would be crying nonstop but that would always calm him. it’s funny because it seemed like something that would never end at the time but now i barely even remember it (he’s 20 months now so it’s not like it has even been that long!).

i think i saw you at the marin country mart over the weekend. if it was you, you looked so calm and happy being a new mama! belated congratulations!

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Brigid June 19, 2014 at 10:50 am

Jenna, hang in there. You are doing great! I’m the mother of three ( 8,10,12) and I remember those days. My saving grace was a book called The Baby Whisperer. It helped me through some of the more challenging moments, especially the first time around.

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PamL June 19, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Sounds like you are doing awesome! I am laughing reading some of the comments–I am expecting #7 any day now, and each and every baby is different and routines come and go. And just when you think you have it down…..baby changes! :) Especially with breastfeeding–it’s a supply and demand life and sometimes, if baby needs more, you just have to let him have more, no matter what time of day or night. Most of my kids did sleep 8-10 hours by about 8 weeks, so there is hope in the future for more sleep, which makes huge difference. But your baby is still very young!

I am a control freak, and having babies/toddlers/kids/now teens have taught me a lot in the area of flexibility. And I keep learning more every day. Anyway, I just wanted to encourage you to take it one day at a time and if you have any routine at all, go with it. And go with what works for you and your husband and baby. There’s no right or wrong at this point. Enjoy the newborn stage while you can–it goes by wayyyyy too fast!

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em@simplypresent June 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Such a sweet little guy! I can’t wait ’til I’m a mom someday :)

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Susan June 20, 2014 at 8:33 am

Jenna, I went thru the EXACT same thing with Wes. He would be easy breezy all day long but as soon as Dad got home and I started putting our dinner together, 7:00, like clockwork, he would start the fussing. We put him in his swing and that generally worked, but I have to say, I never got as enthusiastic and creative as you & Adam have! You are doing a great job, but you are right. The first month is definitely a time of trial, for you and for Grayson. Hang in there!

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Jennifer June 20, 2014 at 9:54 am

Awwwww. My son loved the sound of the dryer .. I would put him in his car seat on the floor in front of the dryer and boom .. quiet. lol. That and the vacuum cleaner worked too.

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Liz Ford June 20, 2014 at 10:26 am

Yayy!! Jenna I’m just so happy for your little family!!! You are doing a great job! Sending light and love to y’all <3

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Amanda Bowen June 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I totally believe in doing whatever you have to do to take care of your little guy. He’s your priority, the drought is someone else’s. Congrats!

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Anne June 22, 2014 at 9:05 am

??? Read what Stacy K. is explaining. Like every issues is “someone else’s” issue… Nice reflexion.

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beerab June 21, 2014 at 8:22 am

Congratulations Jenna :) I’m about to be a FTM as well, and only thing I want to say is screw everyone else when it comes to breastfeeding! If you need to do it in public than do so and don’t worry about covering up unless you want to cover up! :) I think breast feeding is beautiful :)

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Rachel Cooks June 22, 2014 at 11:43 am

Such a little cutie! Can’t wait to follow along with you guys on this journey :)

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Jessica June 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Sounds like you’re doing a awesome job Jenna!! :) We had a fussy baby during at night too but after a few rough nights, we successfully moved bedtime up earlier and believe it or not, we actually get up less during the night. He is four months old now and I think we moved bedtime up around 7 or 8 weeks, right around when we transitioned him to the crib from the rock n play! He now eats at 6, bath right after(soap only every other night), lotion/baby massage and then bed by 6:45 or 7pm. Good luck! As a first time mom myself, it’s definitely all trial and error. Just remember’, you’re doing a wonderful job!

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Mary June 23, 2014 at 4:52 am

Way to go mama!! Do whatever works!

To combat the witching hours with my newborn, we started putting him to bed at 7pm, then I would also go right to bed too. It honestly cured the fussiness overnight!

At 9 mths old, his bedtime is still 7pm.

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Rebekah June 24, 2014 at 9:00 am

I agree with your statement that it gets harder for awhile. In my experience (my third was three months old on June 16th), it definitely gets harder before it gets easier. With all three, they’d get increasingly fussy, with evening fussiness peaking at 6 weeks. And then, somehow, and almost imperceptibly, it just got better. My 3 month old is always in bed asleep by 8, and usually by 7. She’s like a magically good sleeper BUT it really does get easier. From week 3 to week 6 she would be up fussing for hours in the evening, anywhere from 2 to 5 hours of fussing. We got through it and she’s a champ now!

I know you probably get a TON of unsolicited advice on here, but I highly recommend reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It was so empowering to me to have information and a plan for my kids’ sleep. :)

Hang in there, you’re doing great! He is so young still, it can feel like treading water for quite some time and that’s so normal. My third has been such an easy baby, I feel very capable on that front, but the other two (one’s 3, the other is 20 months) are crazy enough that I’m treading water where they’re concerned. Can’t escape it! :)

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Rachel June 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Oh gosh, I really feel your pain :(
My daughter is 16 months old, but for the first 8 weeks, like clockwork, she would scream bloody murder every single night from the hours of 6 – 10pm. It was brutal. I tried everything, night after night with no success…non-stop nursing, baths, sound machines, rocking, swaddling, stroller, mama wrap, etc., etc. I questioned everything…why was this happening, why did I have a child at all? why would people ever have more than one child if they go through this?! I really felt hopeless, and that sounds terrible, but it was such a hard time. I am happy to report that the day she turned 8 weeks and 1 day old, she stopped. She was still a fussy baby but it got so much better. Now she is a healthy, happy toddler and just the best, making every day great. I look back and think how that was such a short time, but while you are in it, it feels like forever and it will never end. I remember taking her to the doctor at one week old to make sure she was ok and crying in the office when they told me that she would grow out of it around 3 months old…that seemed like a lifetime. Ugh.

Good luck..you are doing a great job! It only gets better from here…

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Nola June 28, 2014 at 4:16 am

I hate to recommend another book to read or DVD to watch but as a child development specialist, parent educator and mom I can’t stay quiet. If you haven’t already, please check into Dr. Harvey Karp and The Happiest Baby on the Block. His work is nothing short of amazing.

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Ellen July 4, 2014 at 3:57 am

My family and I are going to Lake Tahoe this summer for vacation for the first time. Will you do a post about what there is to do at the lake? I’m so excited and it looks beautiful from your previous posts about it. Thanks Jenna and have fun!

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Bobbie July 31, 2014 at 10:08 am

I just wanted to say that if you haven’t done it yet, I strongly recommend MOPS. I found MOPS right after I had my 2nd and I don’t know what I would have done without all those wonderful ladies I met. Then when I had my 3rd they were so generous and made meals for me every night for the 1st two weeks we were home.
I can’t say enough good things about MOPS. I ended up becoming part of the steering committee and stuck with it until my girls were older.

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