Time has flown! It seems like we turned a corner at 6 weeks and then again at 8 weeks. From the beginning, the babies were pretty fussy when put down in their cribs. However, I am very grateful that we started attempting to put them in their cribs from day 1. Even though they didn’t always end up sleeping in the crib, I think we did what was best for us to get the babies to sleep and for us to get sleep. It was pretty awful for the first 3.5 weeks, but I think it will make it easier in the long run. (See our post about the first month.) At our baby prep class reunion, everyone was in shock that our babies were almost exclusively sleeping in their cribs, as their babies would only sleep in rock ‘n plays or bassinets. We explained that we decided that we didn’t want to create habits we would have to break later – the babies sleeping in our room, sleeping in a swing or rock ‘n play, or sharing a crib. And, that we focused on the babies getting enough sleep (always with an attempt at the crib), then to understand the difference between night and day, then to sleep in their cribs, then putting them in their cribs drowsy.
We suspected that part of our struggle with crib sleeping was that the girls, especially Naomi, were suffering from reflux and gas. We began using simethicone drops and probiotic drops (Gerber Soothe and then Mommy’s Bliss) at 2 weeks. At 6 weeks, we also switched to a Enfamil A.R. formula for supplementing to help with the spitting up and reflux. This formula has rice cereal to make it thicker. Giving the babies this formula helped with the spitting up, but they got frustrated by how thick it was, so we decided to mix it with a sensitive formula with probiotics/prebiotics (Gerber Soothe or Similac Total Comfort). We also put Naomi’s mattress on a 15 degree incline. Both of these seemed to help with the babies’ fussiness; however, their digestive systems also might also just be maturing.
At 6 weeks, we also took a road trip to San Jose to see our friend/co-worker get married. This was a 4.5 day trip with 15+ hours of driving on the way down and 14+ hours on the way back. The babies handled the trip like champs! It is a good thing they love their car seats! We stopped in Portland on Wednesday evening and stayed with our gracious friends who put up with 2 crying babies and 2 excited dogs. On Thursday, we were planning on stopping at Crater Lake as we continued on to San Jose, but as they had gotten a foot of snow a few days earlier, the scenic drive around the lake was closed and the viewpoints were socked in. So we made a change in plans, and the babies instead got to experience the majesty of the redwoods at Redwood National & State Parks. We drove down Avenue of the Giants, and we almost got the car stuck in the tourist trap drive-through redwood. When we got to San Jose on Friday, the babies visited Santa Clara Swim Club, where they got to meet mommy’s old swimmers and co-workers. On Saturday our little ones were well behaved during the wedding, didn’t interrupt the ceremony, and allowed us to spend some time catching up with friends at the reception. On the way home on Sunday, we stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. The babies slept in their Ergo baby carriers while we walked around reading about Tillamook’s cheese history.
The trip was really an adventure for all four of us. We had to figure out how to soothe the babies without the help of swings and rock ‘n plays and how to feed babies every few hours on a road trip. For the record, pumping and then bottle feeding the babies while sitting between their car seats is the way to go.
Prior to our trip, Naomi and Norah were eating every 3 hours like clockwork during the day and every 4 hours at night. This meant the I was only getting 4 hours of sleep on average. I would often take a 2 hour morning nap after taking Derek to the bus, but this made me feel like half my day was gone. It was also frustrating because when the babies woke me up, I would be hungry for lunch, but so would the babies… After our trip, they seemed to be sleeping a lot more during the day, and we weren’t sure if it was because they had gotten used to sleeping so much on our trip or if it was because they were going through a growth spurt. At 8 weeks, the babies got their 2 month shots, and this was painful for them but ended up being wonderful for mommy. Babies grow and build their immune systems while sleeping, so often babies sleep more after getting vaccinations. This was the case for us! The night of their shots, they went over 6 hours between feeds! In the 5 nights since then, they have continued to do a 6-7+ hour first night sleep. It has been so nice for me to get some continuous sleep in an increment over 2 hours! This means they are eating more frequently during the day, but it is worth it to get some sleep!
The girls have caught up on their weight gain, so they have now averaged an ounce a day since birth. Norah was 7 lb. 14 oz. and 21.5 inches. This put her in the 25th percentile for height! Naomi was 7 lb. 11 oz. and 20.5 inches. Our little ones have soft hair, pot bellies, outie belly buttons, and long legs. They are still wearing newborn clothes, but the pajamas are starting to get a little small due to their length. The girls started giving me and Derek smiles last week and have started cooing and making noises besides crying! They enjoy looking around outside, baths, being worn in the Ergos, and taking naps during car rides and walks. They think tummy time is alright, especially if they get to do it on mommy or daddy’s chest. They tolerate puppy kisses and have started petting the dogs and cat with help from daddy. It has been fun to start to see their personalities develop, and we can now tell them apart (sometimes).