Anyone want a 45 minute timer?

You could use Aviana as a 45 minute timer alarm clock. Seriously…this girl is to the minute almost exact in her 45 min sleep cycle. 

Just kidding…Although she makes a good 45 minute alarm clock, I’m not selling her just yet ☺️ in the past few days she has just learned how to giggle, interact and ‘talk’ with me, grab things and now she’s putting them in her mouth…it’s too cute. I love seeing her big leaps, even if it means she can be a grumpy moose in exchange of all that development!

Child development- FASCINATING!!!!! 

I keep hearing that at around 4 months this 45 min cycle will flip with light sleep and R.E.M. Sleep and she will enter her biggest sleep regression? Did this happen to you at 4 months? How did you get through it? 

(Ps. The photo at the top is Aviana after she fell asleep when I was feeding her lying down, so I took a photo opportunity and made it look like she was snuggled up in bed-that’s not how I leave her to sleep!  I promise!! She sleeps in a crib, on a firm surface, no blankets and on her back!!)

How my 3 month baby coped with jet lag and flying transatlantic

Guys…if you ever travel transatlantic you will know that it is harder to cope with jet lag when travelling East than it is West. Well, not my 3 month old baby!!!! She was the complete opposite. What a weirdo.

I GTS’d* ‘baby and jet lag’ and found little scientific evidence about what was going to happen to my baby when she travels across time zones. I found some tips, but no one was really in agreement. My sense is that it totally depends.  I was curious if at 3 months old my baby had any circadian rhythm at all. I’ve always questioned how she has been so good at going to bed every night no fail at 7pm. Was it the bedtime routine? Or was it the daylight cueing her to sleep for 6,7,8hrs straight?

So this is what happened….

Aviana proved that she didn’t need a bedtime routine to fall asleep for her long night time stretch of sleep, she fell asleep in her buggy before we boarded the flight (a little later than usual – around 7.30pm) and stayed asleep until her usual time of getting up for her mid-night feed.  Our flight was at 10pm, she stayed asleep when we visited the lounge, when we boarded the plane, when she cuddled on my lap as the plane took off and even when we transitioned her into the bassinet that slots into the bulkhead. What a superstar. 

Aviana in her bassinet on the American Flight to London Heathrow

Once we arrived in London I carried her in the mei tai carrier (because the buggy was taking too long to get off aircraft so I had to pick it up from the baggage carousel) and she fell asleep in that too as we went through customs and picked up our baggage. She was great. The new environment didn’t stop there for baby girl, we then drove for 1.5hrs to my parents house. That was the longest she has ever been in a car. She didn’t fuss and slept for most of that too. (BTW inbetween all this sleep I was feeding and changing her ;-p). We then had another 1.5hr car journey to my gran’s house and she was brilliant again. After all that sleeping and change I wondered if she would stay up all night and stay on US time. So I put her down for what I thought would be a nap at 6.15pm UK time…and she just kept on sleeping right through to 3am as if she was on her normal time zone! What is this witch craft??! And for the rest of the holiday she stayed on UK time and generally went down to sleep at 7-8pm as usual.

Baby carrier was essential when we landed in London Heathrow

What about the journey back to the US? Well first of all that journey was crazy because it was a daytime flight. How do you entertain and tire out a 3 month old baby on a plane for 8 hours!?? Fortunately I was sat in a seat with a bassinet by the window and the seat next to me was empty and in the aisle seat was a Jewish man. I only mention that because I’m not sure he was overly comfortable with me breastfeeding next to me, but I have read that in Judaism it is permissible to breastfeed in public in modesty, but I’m not all clued up on different sects. I like to think I’m modest when I’m feeding Aviana and he didn’t change seats, so I think we were both OK about it in the end. I digress…..I asked if he would like to swap seats because I anticipated I would be getting up a lot with baby. But he declined. Something I think he may have regretted because I made him get up about 20 times during the flight to let me out!! Plus, like I said, there were plenty other seats free on the plane!!!

Throughout the flight Aviana kept a good routine of eat, play, sleep, but she didn’t sleep well because our seats were right next to the galley, so there was a lot of loud banging. She was a little grumpy as a result. Going through customs I put her in the baby carrier and she screamed blue murder. So much so in the immigration hall I was ushered to the front of the queue!!! Brucie bonus! Once I cleared immigration and customs I put her back in the buggy and all was good with the world. Until the second internal flight. More grumpiness and crying. Fortunately the plane was practically empty, and there were a few doting grandmas to give me words of confidence. She fell asleep at about 4pm US time (9pm UK time) and she was out for the count. Nooooooooooooo. This was not good!!! When we landed and finally made it home we tried to keep her awake with a bath-feed routine. But alas she woke at 1245am and wouldn’t go back to sleep until 5am. Brutal. The next day we managed to keep her awake until 6pm, but she woke up again at 1.30am and stayed awake again until 4.30am. The second day we stretched her out to 6.30pm and she woke up 2.45am, back to sleep at 5.45am. Finally, by the third day she was back on routine -7pm bedtime one night time feed at 3.45am, back to sleep til 6am. Phew. So there you have it…dealing with a jet lagged baby isnt easy, especially  if one of you isn’t jet lagged! It takes a bit of patience, but it won’t be the end of the world!

Bassinet on return journey from London to JFK on British Airways

It took 3 days for Aviana to get back into a routine coming west and 0 days to get into a routine going East. So it wasn’t actually that bad in the end. Could have been worse?

I have some handy tips I’ve discovered when flying with a baby that I will share in another post! For now…I need just a bit more sleep ☺️
*Google That Shit

The fear

When we went to childbirth classes back in October we were all given a piece of paper to write down our fears about childbirth. Chris and I wrote the exact same thing. We were afraid of our baby girl being born sleeping. Everyone else in the class wrote things like fear of child birth being painful or having a c-section etc. we went straight to the most morbid fear! But was that a result of our infertility and our journey to bring Aviana into our world? Actually everyone else in the room nodded and said yes they too were afraid of losing their baby, they just didn’t write it down!! So maybe we were just honest in our ultimate fears. 

I had a flashback to Aviana’s birth today as I read an article about postpartum C/section bodies. It reminded me of the moments in when I was pushing and Aviana’s heart rate was slowing down after every contraction. This is actually normal to some extent, but her heart was slowing down too much too fast, she wasn’t coping well with the labour. There was talk of having to get her out right now or else it was emergency c-section time. I could hear the heart beats slowing to a point that I was imagining them leading to stopping completely. The doctor had to use the vacuum to help get her out quicker. I hadn’t been pushing for that long and I felt helpless in the moment. Equally, I felt determined that Aviana was going to make it out alive and so I focused on pushing hard, I don’t remember being in pain I was that focused. I do remember being exhausted and barely able to breathe myself. I knew I had to breathe deeply to get her the oxygen she needed but it was hard to find the energy, I was digging deep. But I remember in that moment the complete and utter fear of losing her. It was the most afraid I’ve probably ever been in my life, and I’ve had a few scary moments in my life!

Thinking about that very fear, I hadn’t even really met Aviana and yet I was already afraid of losing her. I loved her before she was even born. Now that Aviana is part of our world that fear has never really disappeared, in fact I’d say it’s even stronger. I can’t imagine ever losing her now that she is here. I imagine this fear is very normal in the parent population, but I wonder how our invested journey to get her here makes that fear higher? But does that even matter? No, not really… a parent is a parent no matter what. Becoming a parent is not only a huge responsibility it’s a huge burden of constant fear in the back of my mind. I imagine my mother right now saying to me – ‘well Danielle, now you finally know how I feel about you going away to dangerous places like Iraq and Afghanistan! Or when you go rock climbing or sky diving or many other types of dangerous activities You partake in etc etc!’. 

….Well here’s to many more years of fearing for my daughter!!! If she’s anything like Chris and I combined we are in for some ‘worrying’ times ahead of us 😋