Surviving Newborn Sleep

Whenever you have a new baby, sleep is always a hot topic. I can’t tell you how many times I Googled something related to sleep or sleep schedules – there were many desperate nights early on!

As a new Mom, I really was ill prepared for newborn sleep. I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t know the difference between co-sleeping or bed sharing; I was clueless. I knew that the universal recommendation is that parents and newborn children sleep in close proximity to one another and I don’t know why but my entire pregnancy I was blindly focused on getting the nursery ready for the baby. I literally didn’t give a single to thought into where she would sleep and what she would sleep in when we brought her home. I guess I just assumed she’d sleep in the stupid expensive crib we bought her! 

That first night was rough. I cried because she was crying and I had no clue how to get her to sleep. I remember sitting with her in the nursery at 1 am, lights on (wrong!), and I was just praying for sleep. When she finally fell asleep, I laid her in the crib (we didn’t have an alternative) and I tried sleeping on the floor next to her crib. Needless to say, neither of us slept well and I knew I had to figure out another sleeping arrangement or I’d never survive. All I wanted was restful sleep – who doesn’t? – because I am not someone who functions well when I’m exhausted. Plus! I was violently ill for 3 weeks postpartum and constantly felt nauseous – not even Zofran helped.

After our really bad first night, Sikmon and I took turns sleeping on the couch with the baby while the other slept in bed. He took the late shift (11pm-3am) and I took the early shift (3am-7am). Doing this helped him get some sleep before work, and helped my body recover from vomitting all day. It worked well but it meant that whoever had the baby slept on the couch like this:

 

After my sickness finally wore off a few weeks later (maybe one day I’ll feel ok enough to blog about it), I started laying her down to sleep in this bassinet next to our bed that we purchased second hand from a co-worker. We used the bassinet for maybe two months and it was ok. It was nice to sleep in the bed again but I really didn’t love it. I worried so much every time she slept in it – so much so that she’d sleep for several hour stretches but I was up and awake every hour checking on her. Was she cold? Was she breathing? She felt so far away even though she wasn’t. I was a paranoid mess.

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That’s when we started bed-sharing and that’s when Sikmon got booted to the couch. Poor him – he slept on the couch for an entire year! Emie was 3-4 months old and as soon as we started bed-sharing, I was finally able to get good stretches of sleep again. I basically kicked Sikmon out of our room and our Cal-King bed so Emie and I could sleep together. Something about her sleeping right next to me gave me so much more peace of mind than when she was in the bassinet. We slept this way until she was about 5 months old.

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At 5 months we brought her crib into our room and transitioned her out of our bed and into the crib at the recommendation of our pediatrician. At that point she was a lot more mobile, rolling over and scooting, and I worried that she’d roll off the bed in the middle of the night. The transition to the crib was effortless and it helped us both gain some independence and longer stretches of sleep! Emie didn’t sleep through the night until she was 8-9 months old though – another reason Sikmon continued sleeping on the couch during this time – but moving her into the crib once again gave me the peace of mind to sleep soundly during the stretches that she did. And looking back, I question why we never moved her crib in here from the get-go?!

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When Emie turned a year old I had every intention to move her into the nursery and Sikmon back into our bed but a few things hung me up.

I was way too attached to our sleeping arrangement. It comforted me to have her close by but as she got older I think it hindered her sleep (and mine) more than it benefitted either of us. She’s a pretty great sleeper overall but I started noticing that she’d wake up in the middle of the night and would just sit there staring at me (laying in the bed) because she knew I was there. I knew she wasn’t sick, hungry, or wet because if I laid still enough she’d fall back asleep without issue – almost like mama, is that you?

Also…because both Sikmon and I work outside the house, our alarms would go off well before her wake time and we’d quickly silence them but on occasion our getting ready routine would wake her. Over the last 17 months we both got pretty good at dressing in the dark, we’d shower in the guest bathroom, but every once in a while she’d get woken up and be up all kinds of angry.

Aside from that, the main reason I held off for so long is that she has no doors on the main passage in and out of her room and I was concerned about light and sound passing through and disturbing her sleep. But after our recent announcement that we’re planning to sell our house in the coming months, the truth is this: it was safe to do so, Sikmon wanted to sleep in a real bed again, we need to put our house back together in order to sell / take listing photos, so back into the nursery she goes – doors or no doors.

About a month ago I dragged her crib into the nursery and haven’t looked back. I did it right after she woke up on a Monday morning so she could take her naps in there before having to sleep in the nursery overnight. That first day we talked a lot about sleeping in the nursery and how exciting it was going to be. Before her first nap, I allowed her to read books in her crib. I wanted her to get used to being in the crib in a new environment and also see that everything else – the crib, the sheets, the sound machine – was exactly the same as it had always been.

So far it’s been a massive success. It was a much easier and smoother transition than I ever expected and not having any doors hasn’t been an issue at all. We have heavy drapes on either side of the door way and just draw them closed during naps and bedtime. We keep an eye on her with our Yi Home camera that’s mounted on an adjacent wall over looking the crib. If we do hear her cry out in the middle of the night, I can just pick up my phone and watch for a few minutes to see what’s going.

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She sleeps between 11-12 hours a night and at 17 months old, is still taking 1-2 naps a day. We have a pretty consistent bed time routine and making sure all the major parts of her routine remained the same have been a huge help with keeping her sleep on track despite the transition.

I honestly still really miss sleeping with her in the same room but I know we’re both not only sleeping better – but Emie is sleeping longer! I call that a #momwin.

 

Our Favorite Children’s Books

Books are a huge hit around here these days, in fact, we have two overflowing baskets full of them in the nursery that we’re constantly digging through. When Emie got a little older, we moved all her books to a couple of rope baskets on the floor instead of shelves on the wall we had previously. I love that this puts the books at her level and makes it so she’s able to reach for them as often as she wants. We sit and read through multiple books every day and already she’s developed quite a few favorites. You know it’s a favorite when at the end she says “Again, Mama!”.

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Here’s the 10 books we reach for most often:

First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

A big book full of colorful pictures of everyday objects in a baby’s world. We easily spend 30 minutes going page by page pointing out things she recognizes. Helps build vocabulary too!

In my Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek

I love the premise behind this book; walking through many different feelings and emotions your child may experience at some point. The book does a great job at explaining what each feeling feels like in an approachable way.

Three Little Mermaids by Mara Van Fleet

A fun interactive book about mermaids and underwater friends with pull tabs and touchy-feely features on every page. We liked it so much, we bought two!

Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet

An imaginative book about mixing colors without the mess!

My First Baby Animals Book by DK Publishing

This tabbed board book is great for in the car. The pages are FULL of cute little baby animals and animal families of all types. There’s so much to look at, I can usually get where I’m going without a peep if she’s “reading” this one. We love it so much, I just ordered this one and this one.

My Big Day Busy Book by Curious Columbus

This interactive soft book is full of great activities to keep your child busy while helping to develop their fine motor skills. Activities include: brushing teeth, tying shoelaces, getting dressed, color matching, buttoning, buckling, and zipping.

The Nose Book by Al Perkins 

We have the mini version of this book (great to carry around in the diaper bag) and since we’re right in the thick of learning all about body parts these days, she’s very intrigued by all the different types of noses you encounter throughout the story! They even have a foot book, eye book, and ear book too!

 

 

 

In Case You Haven’t Heard…

I’m not sure whether to be excited or nervous as hell but after 2+ years we’ve decided to put our house on the market. It’s strange to be at this junction when not too long ago if you had asked me, I would’ve said that our plans were to stay here for the next 3-5 years. In fact, a few weeks ago we were getting ready to refi, pull money out, and completely gut reno the kitchen and both bathrooms but! I woke up one day and something had changed – I was ready to sell.

In truth…while I’ve always loved our home, Sikmon hasn’t. In a lot of way he feels like we hastily purchased this place in a desperate attempt to find, buy, and close on a house before the lease on our apartment was up. We began house shopping about 3 months before our lease was about to end, put in several offers but were beat out for various reasons. When we found this place, it had just come back onto the market after falling out of escrow itself, we were tired of looking, it was in our price range, it had potential, and we were cutting it close on time. I remember feeling the pressure to find a house and close on time so when we toured this house, I was like…this’ll do. It had all of our basic needs but nothing on our “want” list. I could tell that Sikmon wasn’t emotionally invested in this house when during the walk through he spent the entire time out on the deck talking to the realtor. He spent maaaaybe 5 minutes looking at the actual house but I liked it and that was all that really mattered to him.

After a very rough and frustrating closing where we had to completely restructure the loan at the last minute or we’d lose the house, we miraculously closed 1 day before our lease ended. Talk about pressure cooker. So while I’ve grown to love it, have always seen the potential, and have enjoyed fixing it up, he’s always felt like we settled and in a lot of ways, I think he was right. I look back now at all the obstacles we had to overcome to close on this house and it feels like it was a sign that we (or maybe just me) ignored.

Despite all that though, I’ve always been so deadest on staying until our daughter started to school – just ask Sikmon. He’s been casually tossing out the “we should sell” conversation for over a year now and I’ve been totally against it. Until now. The longer we live here the more obvious it’s become that we need a house better suited for our family – not necessarily bigger…but we need a driveway to wash cars, a yard to run around in, and A/C (!!) just to name a few. I’ll do another post about exactly what we’re looking for in our next house plus how we’re planning to prep this one to sell but what I do know is that there’s no rush this time around.

Now that the Summer softball season is over, we’ll be using the break between All-Star season and Fall season to do some minor repairs, touch up paint, and finish up some lingering projects before we list. We’ll probably be in the position of having to have sold our house first (or at least be under contract) before being able to put in offers of our own. The market here in California is tough and a lot of buyers come with all cash offers so in order to stand a chance, we don’t want to put in offers with the contingency of having to sell our home first before we can buy. This will probably mean that we may to move into an apartment during the interium and/or rent back our house from the new owners. However it shakes out, I’m excited for what’s ahead.

Here’s a few before & after’s just for fun:

Entry

Entry Reveal

Guest Bath

Mini Refresh

Guest Bath Sources

Living Room

Built-Ins Part 1

Built-Ins Part 2

Master Bedroom

MB collage

Nursery

Nursery Reveal

Nursery Sources

Nursery Closet Re-Work

Nursery Closet Organization

Tween Bedroom

Sun Room

Most Expensive House Purchase

Sun Room Updates

Loving Lately: Storage Baskets

Baskets and bins are my only saving grace around here. The areas where I haven’t put an organizational system into place are the areas that look the worst and it shows. A couple of baskets or bins go a long way to keep my home looking tidy most days so I wanted to share the few areas around my home that have really benefitted from the addition of storage bins plus share the bins and baskets that I’m loving lately since it seems I’m always on the hunt for a great storage solution!

The fabric bins I scored at HomeGoods have come in clutch to corral all the toys in our living room built-ins and the rope basket on the floor hold toys reached for most often.

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In the nursery closet we have an assortment of fabric bins from HomeGoods, Marshalls, and Target that really keep things in check. We added the shelving on the left and the added storage potential quadrupled.

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I even have a small bin tucked neatly behind the passenger seat of my car (just under the car seat) to help keep all the car toys contained.

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In my constant battle to conquer home organization, here’s all the bins and baskets I’m currently loving:Publication1

  1. Black and White Rope Basket 2. Gold Basket 3. Rattan Zig-Zag Basket 4. Pom-Pom Basket 5. Dot Bin 6. Wire Basket 7. Stitched Basket 8. Dipped Basket 9. Belly Basket 10. Felt Cube 11. Seagrass Basket 12. Woven Felt Bin 13. Braided Basket

Tidy House Tips

I wouldn’t say our house is clean all the time but we do keep it pretty tidy and picked up most days considering my Mom watches both my daughter and my niece at our house during the week and babies are messy! We’re lucky enough that while my Mom is there she does everyone’s laundry, the dishes, and pretty much anything else I ask for her help with, so I’m grateful for the extra help! Thanks Mom!

So, while the deep cleaning is usually a bi-weekly chore around here, it can be hard to keep up with all the household duties on any given day but the tasks below are ones I do, do every day or are key factors in keeping our house in relatively cleanish shape all the time.

Choose Washable/Wipeable Furniture

I love the look of a light colored sofa but when it comes to kids and even adults, messes are inevitable so keeping it clean is important to me. One of the many reasons I love our sofa (more about that here) is because whenever those messy life moments occur, it’s as simple as stripping all the covers off the couch and throwing them in the wash! Our sofa has taken a beating – from blueberries, blood, and bottles – so after a quick wash in the washer and it’s as good as new.

Our dark indigo wool rug and molded plastic dining chairs are also clutch when it comes to keeping things looking clean and tidy. Any spills or grape smashing is easily cleaned up with a quick scrub of a baby wipe. Easy peasy!

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Nightly Quick Pick-Up

After the baby goes to bed I usually do a quick 15 min pick-up of toys, clothes, shoes, returning approx 45 balls back to the ball pit, etc. I’ll fold throw blankets and put them away, fluff the couch, sort the mail, but it’s usually just a general put things where they belong session that I tackle nightly. Some nights I get distracted and take on a bigger task but most nights its just a quick sweep through the house to get it ready to be destroyed all over again the next day.

Make Toy Clean-Up Easy

We have a cabinet full of toys in the living room built-ins but we keep one large basket of toys out in the open. We rotate the toys in and out of the cabinet into the basket in the living room but having the basket out not only promotes self play but it makes for easy clean-up too. When I’m doing my quick pick-up, I literally toss the toys into the basket and I’m done.

Same for books in the nursery…we opted out of book shelves or book ledges in favor of 2 large baskets filled with books which makes putting the books away a breeze. Making toy clean-up easy and uncomplicated also allows our daughter in on the action. She’s now at an age where she can participate in the clean-up before she goes to bed and it teaches her about cleaning up after herself.

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Vacuum Frequently or Go Automated

I try to vacuum the rugs and around / under the dinner table every other night and this is my go-to vacuum of choice. It holds a 20 min charge which is just enough time to get the most trafficked areas vacuumed without having to drag out the big guns. When it comes to whole house vacuuming, I enlist our robot vacuum for that! I usually run our Neato, Flo, on Saturday & Monday – usually right before we head out the door for an errand so that when we arrive back home, everything is freshly vacuumed and looking good!

These 4 simple tips are what we subscribe to around here and help keep our spaces mostly clean, most days. Any other quick tips you’d like to share?

Loving Lately: Laundry Hampers

I thought it might be fun to start a new series where I share something I’m loving lately. It seems like I’m always online looking for that one thing and in my search I end up with so many good alternatives so…why not pass those finds onto you?

Laundry is probably last on the list of things I like to do. Scratch that – putting away laundry is last on the list of things I like to do. Anyone else? But dirty laundry has to be stored somewhere until we run out of underwear and I’m forced to do it, so why not keep the dirty laundry in a vessel you don’t mind looking at?

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The two hampers we already have – the one in the master and the one we keep in the nursery (we have this one in a different colorway), were both TJ Maxx/HomeGoods finds! I love oversized seagrass baskets as hampers and the two I found were a steal – less than $50. I linked a few similar options below if you like that aesthetic but always check out your local TJ Maxx/HomeGoods for similar options at a lower price point.

 

H&M HamperAmazon HamperCB2 HamperUO Hamper

Serena & Lily HamperAnthropologie HamperCrate & Barrel HamperCrate & Barrel Hamper 2

Herringbone+Woven+Laundry+HamperWayfair HamperRoll+Laundry+HamperMeshHamper10055089_x

Click on any of the pictures and it’ll take you directly to the linked site. Really loving #5, #7, #8, and #12 from the round-up above.

I plan to keep sharing finds like this, but if you enjoyed this post and would like to see something specific in a future post, just leave a comment and let me know!

Blog Changes

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You may have noticed a few changes around here – ahem…peep that new blog name! Did you notice?

At the end of last year I decided to make a few blog changes. I switched platforms. I purchased my very first domain (serious stuff, people!). I also wanted a new, cleaner look and decided to finally change the blog name. It’s been something that I’ve been secretly contemplating and wanting to do for a while but never shared with anyone. Not even with Sikmon. So when I brought it up to him at the end of last year he was all…huh? Why?

I never felt like Made2Make was it for what I wanted this space to be and I always felt like the name lent itself more to a small craft / DIY impression – which is great but not really relevant to what I talk about most: our life and living in this house. But when you start a blog you have to choose a name and that’s just sorta what I landed on. I never really knew what it meant or how to explain the name to others when asked and I never felt proud about sharing what I write about on the blog – mainly because I was embarrassed by a name that literally meant nothing.

When I started blogging in 2015 I didn’t really know what this would turn into. It hasn’t turned into much (yet) but what I’ve discovered is that I’m passionate about DIY, interior design, and home décor. I’ve never been passionate about anything (aside from being a Mom) so it’s pretty cool to find something you love and have people tell you you’re good at doing what you love. For that alone, I’m forever grateful.

For now, this is just a hobby but maybe some day it can be something more. I get on here and share what we’re up to when I can but occasionally I hear that people actually do read and do enjoy the updates so it pushes me to keep at it. I say every year that I want to devote more time to the blog and some years it happens and other years it doesn’t. That’s just the truth. Changing the blog name is the first step I’m making towards really reaching and chasing after this passion of mine.

But why The Homebody House?

Because when you get right down to it, that’s exactly what our house is – a house full of homebodies! So it was time for a new name for the blog – one that more accurately reflected our life and who we are.

I do have a sneaking suspicion though that our daughter is NOT a homebody…but Sikmon and I? Hardcore homebodies through and through. We always joke that we’ll die in one of two places – at home or at the home improvement store – it’s so true! We love our house, being at home, and renovating our house to make it our home – our own home.

Welcome! We’re glad you’re here.