Navy's 3-4 Month Schedule



Before I had Navy, I truly didn't understand the importance of a set schedule. I figured the moms I knew were just Type A and liked being organized. Boy, was I wrong. A schedule (for Navy at least) is necessary for both her and my well-being. If she gets too hungry, or too overtired, it's not pretty. But when we follow a schedule, things flow so much more smoothly.

We've been using the Taking Cara Babies method. Her instructions follow the eat, awake (play), sleep routine. The biggest lesson I learned from her material is that not one day (ever) will you actually follow the schedule. So what's the point of one? A schedule is more of a guide to follow. But your baby will never actually follow it to T.

The following schedule is what we've done (or try to do) for Navy over the past 2 months or so.

Navy's Schedule:

7:00 am- Wake Up. 5 minutes of tummy time. Eat (6 ounces).
7:30 am- Playtime
8:00 am- 10:00 am- Nap
10:00 am- Wake Up. 5 minutes of tummy time. Eat (6 ounces).
10:30 am- Playtime
11:00 am- 1:00 pm- Nap
1:00 pm- Wake Up. 5 minutes of tummy time. Eat (6 ounces).
1:30 pm- 2:00 pm- Playtime
2:00 pm- 4:00 am- Nap
4:00 pm- Wake Up. 5 minutes of tummy time. Eat (6 ounces).
4:30 pm-5:30 pm- Playtime
5:30 pm - 6:45 pm - Nap (generally in the stroller during a family walk)
6:45 pm - bath time
7:00 pm- Body lotion and jammies. Eat (6 ounces). I feed her while Ray reads her a book. Rock her to bed.
10:00 pm- Wake her for the dream feed. Eat (3-4 ounces). Change her diaper. Back to Bed.






Three Tips for Tummy Time



Whenever someone would ask how much tummy time Navy would get, I would lie (just a little!). I mean, the poor girl hated it! Within two seconds of placing her on her belly, she would scream like crazy. It wasn't fun for her or for me. But yes I know, it is extremely important. Recently she started doing a lot better with it. I'm not sure if it's because she's a bit older (16 weeks), or because of the tips I share below. Either way, I'm very glad she no longer notifies our entire apartment building of her dislike for tummy time with the sound of her screams (jk..but not really).

- Practice tummy time right after her naps before her feeds.  I follow the following schedule: feed, awake time, nap and repeat. Up until recently, I assumed tummy time should fall within the awake category. So I would feed her, burp her, place her on the mat, play with her for a bit and then put her on her tummy. If I was lucky and made it a minute on her tummy, she would always end up puking. So I decided that right after she wakes up from her nap, we would do tummy time. After 5 minutes or so I feed her (if you're giving a bottle make sure it's ready because she gets a bit fussy at this point). But she seems so much more comfortable doing tummy time this way.

- Place the baby on the mat and then roll them over, rather than placing them directly on their belly.  I learned this tip in my mommy and me class and it's really helped. I say to her "Navy, I'm going to roll you on to your belly" and then do it gently. Another tip I learned in the class is to gently push down on their bum with your hand, which helps them to lift their head higher.

- Get a toy that distracts them.  This bee makes all of the difference. The sounds, the lights and the movement totally distract Navy so she doesn't even realize she's on her belly. She follows it with her eyes and could stay in the position so much longer than she used to without it.

A recap of Navy's First Month


I don't plan on doing a recap of every month of Navy's life, don't worry. That being said, the first month is both incredibly exciting and particularly challenging. As a new mom, it can be helpful to read other people's experiences to have an idea of what is to come. Also, selfishly I want to remember the details of the first month before it feels like years ago.

The Toughest Parts:

1. Lack of sleep, duh- The lack of sleep is pretty unimaginable until you experience it. We constantly say it's like army training (or what I envision army training to be like). Somehow, everyone does it. But that doesn't make it easier. For the first two weeks, the lack of sleep didn't really bother me. I'd be dead by 7:00 PM, but during the day I felt pretty fine. I think I was on a new parent high, and I was always so excited to see her and hold her that I didn't mind waking up every 2 hours. The third week was the most challenging. While I still felt the same excitement at the thought of holding her every few hours throughout the night, the high was quickly being replaced by pure exhaustion. Navy also got a cold and started becoming fussier. It wasn't easy. For the past week, Navy has been sleeping a lot better. I know it will only get easier.

2. Breastfeeding- Breastfeeding actually hasn't been too difficult for me. That being said, there were days at the beginning where I thought I would for sure give it up. When your milk first comes in, it can be painful. Moreover, figuring out your baby's feeding schedule and worrying whether or not she/he is getting enough can be disheartening.

At the hospital, I met with a lactation consultant who suggested that I feed 15 minutes on each side, and burp her in between. The nurses would also monitor when she peed and pood to ensure she was eating enough. When Ray and I got home, we continued the same routine of tracking each feed and diaper. It was so stressful! Navy would fall asleep before the 15 minutes was up. I would constantly try and wake her up to feed more and then would get stressed out since I wasn't sure if she actually ate for a full 15 minutes. It made the process exhausting! Moreover, the lactation consultant suggested I wear a nipple shield because Navy had a bit of a tongue tie and pump after each feed. The nipple shield wasn't easy to use and Navy would get really fussy if she had to wait while she was hungry. It wasn't fun.

When Navy was 6 days old we went to see the lactation consultant at my pediatrician's office. She was already back at her birth weight. She ate for 7 minutes and then the lactation consultant weighed her- she drank 2.5 ounces! The consultant said I had an overproduction of milk and that 7 minutes could be more than enough for Navy to get enough to eat. She said there was no such thing as having to do a full 15 minutes on each side (and that probably would never happen with Navy!). She also said I absolutely did not need the nipple shield or to pump yet and there was no need to track every feed, poo, and pee (so long as she continued to have wet diapers). Her advice made the process so much more relaxing. It was only after that meeting that I actually could start enjoying it, rather than stressing over it.

3. Leaving Navy for the first time- It took me almost 3 weeks to leave Navy for the first time. I went for dinner and left after 1.5 hours, it was just too stressful for me. But each time it got easier. Now I feel okay leaving her right after a feed and getting back before her next one.

4. Getting used to newborn noises- Before I delivered I thought I would be so anxious that I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I assumed I would just sit and stare at her in the bassinet. In reality, I was so overtired that even if I wanted to sit and stare, it wasn't going to happen. The second I put her down I'd fall right asleep. That being said, the noises she would make when she was falling asleep would freak Ray and I out. Nobody mentioned this. Newborns make the weirdest sounds that can totally scare you. But apparently it's normal! Just a heads up :).

5. Recovering from delivery- I was very lucky that I had a relatively easy delivery and therefore a relatively easy recovery. Nonetheless, it's never easy. I continued to take the Motrin prescribed by my doctor for two weeks, which really helped with any discomfort. Going for walks was challenging at first since my body still felt sore. But after two weeks I was pretty much back to normal. I can't wait to get cleared to exercise (and take baths!).

6. Being on a strict schedule- I have to feed Navy every 2.5-3 hours. In reality, this is every 1.5-2 hours, since you start counting from the beginning of one feed until the next feed. So it's really hard to do anything, especially if it involves an activity outside of the house. I'm hoping I'll start feeding her outside of the house soon, so we can actually go places and get things done.

The Best Parts:

1. Getting to know your baby- You spend so much time imagining what he or she will look like and be like and then all of a sudden he or she is here! It's beyond magical. Every time I stare at her, I can't believe she is mine.

2. The first week- The first week after Navy was born, Ray and I were alone with her. We spent all of our time hanging with her in bed, getting to know her, figuring out her "schedule"and learning how to care for a newborn (thank god for Google). We didn't sleep at all and really didn't care. Every new sound was exciting. Every time she woke up we smiled like crazy. We took a million pictures. And we listened to my push playlist on repeat. It was definitely the best week of my entire life.

3. Having family and friends meet her- It was so special having our family in LA over the holidays and getting to meet her. Everyone got so attached (how could you not?!)

4. Slowing down- I've loved spending most of the days just lounging, feeding her, changing her, watching tv, catching up with you guys on IG and just hibernating at home.

4. Starting to feel normal- Right after I delivered I started to feel like my pre-pregnancy self. As the weeks went by, I felt more and more normal. I was able to jump out of bed again and tie my own shoes. I could move without getting out of breath. My clothes started fitting (although they still don't fit like they used to). And I overall just felt like my self, which was a welcome change since I found pregnancy to be really challenging.

5. Getting to dress Navy- This one is pretty self-explanatory!


What to Register For



This is a round-up of my favorite baby products that are on the more expensive side. It's truly incredible how many things such a small baby needs. That being said, does she really need 6 different places she can chill? Probably not. But I have magically convinced myself that I need every option. After all, they all provide a different purpose (so I've convinced myself). The swing will rock her to sleep or distract her when she is fussy, whereas the Bjorn is so portable and the mat is useful for tummy time. See what I did there? I have a feeling you guys get me ;).

1. Stroller- We went with the Bugaboo Fox and I'm obsessed. It's so easy to maneuver and looks tres chic. We customized the colors (black base and white canopy), with a phone holder, cup holder and reflective wheels.

2. Car seat- This one is so light so it was a no-brainer. Plus, the colors match the stroller.

3. Baby monitors- I went a bit overboard with this but oh well. Since I'm going back to work so early, I really wanted to make sure I could watch her while I'm at the office (I probably won't be able to get any work done!). We went with the Nanit with floor stand for on top of her bassinet, which will be moved to the crib once she is sleeping in it. We also went with this pack of 3 Google Nests for around the house.

4. Swing- This is amazing for when she's fussy or overtired and doesn't want to be in the bassinet or Snoo. It's also great to put her in it when I'm working because she gets distracted with the moving objects, sounds and swinging motion. She can stay in there for a while.

5. Baby Bjorn- If you are alone, this is key. It's portable so it's really easy to bring with you around the house.

6. Mattress- This is the mattress we went with and it's the only one I would go with. It's fully breathable and waterproof.

7. Baby Carrier- Not only does this one look cute, it also has a hood that makes it easier for a baby to nap or shield them from the sun (most carriers don't have this).

8. Travel stroller- We actually still need to buy this. It's apparently the only travel stroller to get, since it acts as both a stroller and car seat.

9. Food maker- you won't need this right away but it's good to have.

10. The Snoo- Okay, so you can't register for this. But if someone wants to get you a gift, ask them to rent it for you for a month (or three). It's been a lifesaver for us.

11. Taking Cara Babies- Like the Snoo, I don't believe you can put this on a registry. But it would be a very useful gift. We are currently in the middle of watching the newborn sleep class and it's been so helpful.

12. Playmat- We love this one. It's designed to provide activities for your baby based on their different development stages. Plus it's great for awake time and tummy time.

A Few Tips for a Smooth Delivery




Luck. I know that's annoying to say, but I genuinely think that luck plays a big role in whether or not a delivery goes smoothly. You can plan as much as you want, but ultimately the baby, your body, and your circumstances will dictate how your labor and delivery will go.

I was set to be induced on December 11. A lot of people say that being induced makes your labor a lot more difficult. For personal reasons, I was willing to accept that. And, in the end, my water broke the day before. I spent months researching induction methods, debating the pros and cons, and worrying about how it would go. But little miss Navy had different plans, and because she came early, I got to skip the foley bulb I dreaded and potentially longer labor process. To me, that was pure luck.

That being said, I do think there were several things I did that made my labor and delivery go so smoothly, and end up being such a positive experience. I really wouldn't change anything. Here are my tips for helping you have a smooth labor and delivery:

1. Make sure you have a good OBGYN- This is the most important advice I can offer. When I was trying to get pregnant I was seeing a certain doctor. Upon realizing that ovulation sticks weren't working for me, I called to ask her advice. She had both an annoyed and condescending tone, and the call lasted no more than 2 minutes (I could feel her ready to hang up at any moment). It was stressful, to say the least. Then, every time I went in for an ultrasound to track my ovulation, I would meet with a nurse. The doctor never came in to see an ultrasound or to talk to me. The next step was supposed to be Clomid (which the nurse was going to prescribe, not my doctor). It was far from ideal and I just dreaded the process with her.

A good friend of mine begged me to have a consultation with her doctor. Since it was a man, I was a bit hesitant (I always thought I only wanted a female doctor). At 6 weeks pregnant, I decided to meet with him. That was the best decision of my entire pregnancy journey. My doctor ended up being one of my favorite people I've ever met, let alone have care for me. He was kind, empathetic, calm and non-alarmist. He was available 24/7 by email (would email me back on a Friday night), and always wrote the kindest emails to ensure I didn't feel embarrassed by my questions. Knowing he was going to delivery Navy truly lessened my anxiety since I knew we were in such good hands. I know for certain my experience would have been drastically different had I not changed doctors.

2. Go with the flow- As exemplified by my situation, there is only so much you can plan. Be open and okay with whatever will happen. Your delivery is in many ways out of your control. You can only plan so much. My delivery went better than I had expected (which I know is not always the case). Nonetheless, if you stick too rigidly to your "birth plan", you can end up very anxious if it goes a different way.

I didn't have a birth plan. My plan was to be induced and get the epidural- that is it. Whatever else was going to happen would happen. I remember people telling me that getting induced would lead to a greater chance of a c-section (which my doctor disagreed with). Ultimately, I would respond that whatever needs to happen to get my baby girl here safe is fine with me. There is always a risk that you can end up in a c-section, and you need to just let go and trust that your doctor will do what is best for you and the baby. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing to have a birth plan, but be open to whatever ultimately will happen.

3. Know that it's temporary- You may feel a lot of pain and discomfort, but it won't last long. Just remember that. It is very temporary in the grand scheme of things.

4. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want- I was very upfront that I wanted my epidural done by the chief anesthesiologist and not a resident. Cedars Sinai is a teaching hospital so I had to ask and make sure I didn't have a resident. I have a lot of respect for residents but I didn't want to take any chances when it came to my epidural (I have heard horror stories of people's experiences with epidurals and long-term effects). I'm so glad I asked for the chief anesthesiologist because he was amazing. I felt no pain whatsoever and he even stayed to chat with us for a bit (he was the nicest). Whether it's the anesthesiologist, deciding when to get the epidural etc., don't be afraid to speak up for what you want.

5. Don't fear the epidural (or even contractions, if that's possible)- I read a lot of blog posts before my delivery about how people's anxiety over the epidural made the epidural worse. I won't lie, I really wasn't nervous about that part of my delivery.  For one, I'm less afraid of needles with something getting injected into me than blood draws (blood draws make me queezy). Strange, I know. But also knowing the purpose of the epidural was to reduce my pain put me at ease. Just don't look! My epidural didn't hurt at all. There was a tiny prick with a burning sensation for a few seconds and then nothing. Ray said the needle was really long- again, just don't look!

The epidural did wear out for me twice, so I got two boosters. Again, don't be afraid to ask for what you want. The button didn't work for me so I specifically asked for boosters (which btw they just put into the catheter so you don't get more needles).

I waited around 7 hours before getting the epidural. Before my delivery, I asked my doctor how dilated I should be before getting it.  He always responded that it was entirely up to me. I'm actually surprised I waited 7 hours to get it. My contractions hurt but they were by no means unbearable. They were like a very very painful period cramp, but nothing I couldn't handle. My only request (going back to #3 above), was to get the epidural before I started Pitocin. That is why I opted for the epidural at 12:00 am. Also, let's be honest, I wasn't trying to be a hero. If it could eliminate my pain, why not get it? (Especially since Pitocin would help the contractions progress).

6.  Stay fit during your pregnancy- I think one of the reasons my delivery was so easy was that I stayed active during my pregnancy. I know staying active doesn't necessarily mean your delivery will go smoothly, but it can't hurt. I walked every morning and did prenatal pilates 3 times a week. I honestly can't imagine pushing if I wasn't in good shape.

7. Play good music- When I asked for song requests on Instagram for playlists, people laughed. A lot of people responded that I wouldn't care about music during my delivery. This was far from the truth! While I was pregnant, I created a few playlists. I would listen to my "Push Playlist- Part 1" (the calm one) on my walk every morning. I then played it the entire night I was in labor. It created a relaxing atmosphere. When we got home from the hospital I played the playlist on repeat all week (and I kind of still do).


Products I've Loved In The First 3 weeks



Knowing what to buy for your baby can be overwhelming. There are so many options of baby items on the market. I did a ton of research and consulted with my best friend before making my purchases. I created a highlight on my Instagram showcasing most of the things I purchased and also published this post with my amazon baby list. I would still recommend everything I bought.  That being said, I thought it would be helpful to share with you the top products that I absolutely loved having or used every day for the past (almost) 3 weeks since Navy was born.

1. The Snoo- This was a last-minute decision for us and probably the best decision we ever made. We decided to rent it since I think Navy will move to a crib at around 3 months and therefore it didn't make financial sense to purchase it. I would HIGHLY recommend it.

2. The Baby Shusher- We brought this with us to the hospital and it has calmed her down since day 1. We primarily use it when we are changing her and when we are in the car or out for walks. We even purchased a second one, just to make sure we always have one readily available!

3. Changing Pad Liner- I love these to put over your changing pad. Just be ready to do a ton of laundry, since we need to wash them almost every day.

4. Disposable Pad Liners- We stole a few of these from the hospital and I wish we had taken a million more. Since #3 above needs to be washed so often, I decided to order a huge pack of these. They are disposable, which makes it a lot easier. I use them on top of my changing table when the others are in the wash. I'm also going to start using them for naked tummy time.

5. My breast friend- What would I do without this? Makes feeding way more comfortable. In the hospital the nurses would help position 4 pillows to make feeding comfortable, but who has time to recreate that with a screaming newborn ready to eat.

6. Burp cloths- I love these and they're so soft.

7. Vava light- This is hands down one of the products we use the most. I feed Navy in our bedroom at night and use it while I'm feeding and then when I'm changing her. That way I don't have to open the bedroom light and wake Ray (or wake up Navy more than necessary).

8. Haakaa- I have an overproduction of milk, so the haakaa has been amazing. Without pumping I have tons of milk stored in the freezer already.

9. Pacifier- I was really hesitant to introduce one, but Navy loves it. Unfortunately, she doesn't love the pretty ones I purchased (like the Bibs) but loves the Avent one.

10. Clothes- Navy lives in Kickee Pants and Spearmint Baby footies (I personally don't mind snaps). But I will say, the shark one we got from Target (that Ray chose) has been one of our favorite jammies, and so has this one and this one from Old Navy (I plan on buying them in 0-3 months since she is outgrowing newborn). On that note, I suggest having no less than 10 newborn footies. We can easily go through 5-6 in a 24 hour period. Also, I purchased cute clothes from the Gap for newborn...don't. Luckily most of what I bought is 0-3, not newborn. It's such a pain and I always end up changing her out of the outfits and back into footies. Stick to 0-3 months for cute clothes.

11. Nail file- Navy was born with really long nails and they grow so quickly. She scratches her face all the time, so I need to file them a lot. She doesn't mind it at all!

12. These pajama pants- I live in them 24/7 (I got them in a Small and Medium, but only wear the Small).

13.  Stain remover- We use a mix of this one and this one. As mentioned, we go through 5-6 footies in a day. These are good to remove any poo stains. Also (and this is gross) but when their belly button is falling off, they can get some blood on the footies. These help to remove it.

14. Lansinoh breast milk storage bags- for the obvious reasons.

15. Lansinoh gel pads- These were amazing for the first two weeks when you're adjusting to breastfeeding. I ordered them twice.

16. Baby blanket- omg, I love this one so much. We used it coming home from the hospital and use it in the stroller or car seat every time we leave the house. It's so warm and cozy and the perfect size.

17. The Nanit- best decision we made. The image is so clear. Very happy with my research.

18. Water bottle- This makes it easy to drink while feeding (because you'll be so thirsty all the time) and keeps your water so cold throughout the night. I ordered it right when I got home from the hospital.

19. Coffee- just kidding!..but not really ;)


Recipe: Overnight Oats


If you are looking for an easy, healthy breakfast then this is for you. The hardest part is remembering to prepare the oats the night before. The key is to have very ripe bananas. Overnight oats are nutritious, filling and are particularly good for the fourth trimester (especially if you are breastfeeding).


Ingredients:

-1 very ripe banana
- 1/2  cup  of rolled oats
- Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1/2 tbsp Vanilla
- Maple Syrup

Prep:

1. Mash banana in a bowl until there are no clumps.
2. Add rolled oats and mix.
3. Add almond milk just so that it covers the oats and banana.
4. Add vanilla and mix.
5. Keep it in the fridge overnight.
6. Add maple syrup and mix before eating.