HOLDEN: 2 MONTH UPDATE + 2 MONTH SCHEDULE
Before we had Asher, we definitely knew we wanted kids, but we simply weren’t ready yet. We had been married for 5 years, but were in no rush. Right around Christmas of 2014, we even decided to wait another year before trying. Funny thing is, as we made that decision, we were actually already pregnant. You can read Asher’s pregnancy announcement here. Funny how things work right?
Well, fast forward almost 2 years and having a second child was the LAST thing on our minds. “Mom of two; boy mom”: both descriptions seemed so foreign to me at the time. And look at us now! 2 months into this whole “boy mom” and “mom of two” thing, I am completely overwhelmed with love and gratitude…and exhaustion (ha!). In this post, I am sharing Holden’s 2 month update and 2 month schedule. Make sure you read Holden’s pregnancy announcement and birth story to get caught up.
HOLDEN: 2 MONTH UPDATE + 2 MONTH SCHEDULE
His piercing blue eyes, adorable smile, and strawberry blonde hair…the way he scratches my back while he eats and coos when I tickle him…the way his lip quivers when he pouts…and that feeling of exhaustion and frustration when he wakes me up in the middle of the night, only to be met with all the feels as soon as I see his precious face.
Seeing Asher with Holden has made me fall even more in love with both of them! He always wants to give “Baby Holden” a “beeeeg hug” and a “beeeeg kiss.” MELT. At this point, we are just trying to prevent him from suffocating Holden with all the cuddling. But, I am not going to lie, going from 1 to 2 wasn’t a walk in the park. My goal was to not completely disrupt Asher’s life, so that meant more work on our part, less sleep, and more sacrifices. But that’s what being a parent is all about right?
Holden made his first trip to Bottega Restaurant (our absolute fav lunch spot) when he was 4 days old and goes everywhere with us: to the park, to the zoo, out to dinner…you name it. I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about getting a newborn out of the house too soon, but it worked for us with Asher. So, we went with it. We knew we wanted to incorporate Holden into our lives, not the other way around. The result has meant the 4 of us getting to hang out on the weekends and Asher not feeling slighted.
This may not work for everyone, but so far, so good.
During the week, I keep Holden on a pretty strict schedule (more on that later) but am a little more lax on the weekends. He still eats and sleeps at the appropriate times, but sometimes he may sleep in his stroller or baby wrap and takes breastmilk from a bottle, instead of directly from the breast, more than he does at home. It’s all about balance though, right?
Speaking of Holden’s schedule…this is probably my most requested post right now.
NOTE: I am the furthest thing from an expert, but as moms, we should share our experiences with each other. Lord knows it takes an army. While I realize sleep training and getting your baby on a schedule aren’t for everyone, both have worked wonders for us. It’s clear Holden thrives on sleeping in his crib and being on a predictable schedule. Also, with mine and Ryan’s jobs, this was really the only option. It also helps when you have multiple children and honestly keep us sane! ha So, if you are a mama that is against schedules, I totally get it. I just wanted to make sure I shared a day in the life with Holden and me for those that are interested. But before I get to the schedule, here are his stats, accomplishments, loves, and hates.
BABY HOLDEN: STATS
WEIGHT: 11lbs, 9 oz (This was 10 days ago…he is now over 12 lbs!)
LENGTH: 23 1/4 inches
HEAD: 15 3/8
SIZES: Honest diapers size 2; newborn to 3-6 months, depending on brand
DIET: 4-5 ounces of breastmilk only (mostly from the breast), 6-7 times per day
PERSONALITY: SO SO sweet; hates missing out; cuddly; loves to be held; may have a temper…when he is mad, he is MAD as hell.
SLEEP: sleeps 8-10 hours at night in his crib; normally naps well, but has recently reduced nap times; bedtime: 7:30-8pm
PACI: SOMETIMES, but not often; dabbling with sucking his thumb
BABY HOLDEN: ACCOMPLISHMENTS
-can hold head up on his own (started this around 3 weeks)
-smiles and laughs on cue
-does mini push ups (lifts head and shoulders when doing tummy time)
-sleeps 8-10 hours at night
-can bear weight on legs
-sits up when propped against something
-responds to loud noises
-has found his hands..I walked in to get him out of bed today, and he was completely mesmerized
BABY HOLDEN: FAVS
-getting hugs and kisses from Big Brother
-milk, milk, and more milk
-chillin’ in his Nuna
-smiling and “talking”
-eating dinner with the fam-We all four eat together, which means Holden is on the boob during dinner, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
-looking at parents and Big Brother
BABY HOLDEN: HATES
-being left alone
-when Mom gives him a bottle; he’s fine with others giving him a bottle but not mama
BABY HOLDEN’S 2 MONTH SCHEDULE
I sort of created my own schedule after reading Babywise, Moms on Call, and 12 Hours of Sleep by 12 Weeks Old. This worked extremely well for Asher, so we are doing the same thing for Holden. Asher is still an amazing sleeper. On the weekends, he sleeps until 9:30am and naps 3-4 hours each day. Getting the babies accustomed to a schedule has made our lives much less hectic and more predictable. We typically know why they are crying, when they are tired, and when it’s time to eat. We follow a FEED / PLAY / SLEEP pattern. Would you like a printable PDF of this? If so, please comment below!
RISE AND SHINE! No matter what time he wakes up in the middle of the night, he is up by 7! I added in 6:30, because he has slept completely through the night until 6:30 three times now. I really hope I didn’t jinx us there. He typically wakes up on his own at 7am, but if not, I go wake him up. This is the most important aspect to implementing a schedule. After I feed Holden at 7, we have an hour and a half of wake time. During this time, we are also getting Asher ready for school, but once Asher and Ryan leave, Holden and I do some tummy time until it’s time for his first nap. I also make sure to change his clothes, turn on the lights, and make sure he knows it’s time to start the day.
NAP TIME in his crib.
Feed, change diaper, PLAY, PLAY, PLAY until nap. He is really alert at this time, so we do a lot of tummy time and learning activities. Obviously, he is only two months old, so our “learning” is limited. But we play under his activity dome, read books, dance, and sing. Poor kid has to listen to my voice ha.
NAP TIME in his crib.
Feed, change diaper, and play! A lot of times we take a walk during this time.
NAP TIME in his crib. He has been cutting this nap time short recently. If they wake up early, you may need to increase their wake time. For example, instead of putting him down at 2:30, I may try waiting until 2:45 or 3. At 3 months or less, I would NOT keep them awake more than 2 hours. If younger than 2 months, they should only be awake for an hour and a half max. If they wake up early, do not feed them (unless they are starving of course) until the scheduled time of 4pm. And for reference, when he wakes up early, it seems like he is just wanting to cuddle, not necessarily eat. If they wake up early, you are following more of a PLAY, EAT, SLEEP routine.
Feed, change diaper, PLAY, PLAY, PLAY until nap. Ok, starting at this feed, the schedule CAN get a little dicey. I feel like it’s Holden’s way of getting ready to go down for the entire night. He may cluster feed a little and that’s totally fine.
He typically takes a little cat nap in his crib, typically waking up between 6:30pm and 7pm. We TRY to eat dinner at this time, but it doesn’t always work. If not, I am feeding him at the dinner table.
Feed, change diaper and into jammies, start bedtime routine. Holden tends to eat for a long time here. Again, I am sure he is trying to prepare himself for a longer stretch of sleep. I would come up with some sort of consistent bedtime routine. A lot of people bathe baby, read to baby, then feed. We do not bathe Holden every night, so our routine is usually reading books with Asher and Holden and saying prayers. Just find something consistent that indicates it’s time for bed.
For the past 3 days, I have been topping Holden off with 2 ounces of pumped milk. This is a great thing for your partner to do for bonding time. Also, Holden does not like when I give him a bottle, and because he smells my breastmilk, it is tough for me to get him down. This acts as a dream feed of sorts. Now, speaking of a dream feed. We did a true dream feed (twilight feed between 9pm and 11pm) with Asher, and it worked beautifully. However, it did not work at all with Holden. A lot of parents will put their baby down at the desired bedtime (7pm for example), then wake them up around 10:30 to dream feed them. The idea is that they will use their longer stretch of sleep during your bedtime, meaning more sleep for parents!
2 MONTH SCHEDULE TIPS
In my opinion, these are the most important things to be successful at implementing a schedule:
1. Set a very specific time to start the day and end the day and don’t deviate more than 30 minutes from the decided upon start and end time.
When I say start and end, I am referring to the first and last feed. We start every morning between 6:30am and 7am and end at 7pm (last feeding to start). This time can change, but stick to it during different phases of their life.
2. Be flexible but strict. Sounds like an oxymoron, right?
I am very strict with feeding times and naps. However, things happen. If you get off schedule during one round, try to get back on schedule over the course of the next 2 rounds.
3. Find ONE place for the baby to sleep during naps and at night.
At 4 weeks, we went ahead and moved Holden to the crib, because I didn’t want to have to break a habit later. But even if your babe sleeps in a bassinet, keep this consistent during naps as well.
4. Wake times may change.
We are dealing with this right now. Holden keeps waking up after on 30 minutes of napping. This typically means I need to keep him awake a little longer. Also, if babies are overtired, it’s hard for them to nap. Try looking for their tired cues and put them down then. And while I am on that subject…
5. Try not to nurse them to sleep.
I realize this is tough at times, but it is VERY hard for babies to break this habit. You don’t want them to associate feeding with going to sleep. It’s just another clutch that you will have to deal with later. Ideally, you want your baby to learn to self-soothe, so they don’t rely on mama if they wake up in the middle of the night for no reason.
6. Dream feed.
If your child is able to complete 5+ hour stretches of sleep, it may be beneficial to introduce a dream feed. This is where you wake baby up at 10:30pm, to eat (do not talk to them or play with them; simply feed them in the dark and put them back in bed). The idea is that they will skip the 1-2am feed and only get up once or even sleep until morning. This worked so well with Asher but not Holden. You may just need to test it out!
7. Don’t stress.
I know this sounds like a lot. There are days the schedule just doesn’t work. Simply start over the next day and don’t worry about it. Today for example…Holden has a little cold, so he is sleeping a LOT. And that’s ok. I am basically nursing him and letting him sleep, so he can get better. If you have any questions, I am HAPPY to help! I can create a little PDF for you guys if that’s something that would be helpful.