family photo session + sleeping through the night

Back in the end of August, on probably the hottest, most humid day of the entire summer, my good friend and client (who also happens to moonlight as an AMAZING family photographer) snapped some photos of the hubby, baby girl and me and they turned out so much better than I ever could have imagined!!  Lydia and I wore matching white dresses with embroidered edges and the hubby shaved.  It was a pretty big deal.  I have taken upwards of a thousand photos of Lydia since she was born and I can count on one hand how many I am in with her; her daddy was deployed for almost half her life and yet, he appears in a staggering number (does this sound familiar to any of you mommas??)  So, while this was meant to be a family photo session, Shannon was kind enough to sneak in quite a few candid shots of me and my beautiful baby girl to prove she really does have a momma! From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Shannon!  I am eternally grateful for these beautiful shots and will treasure all 60 (!) of them forever. 


These photos expertly hide the fact that I was TIRED.  I mean, bone tired.  I was so spoiled so early on because Lydia started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks old.  And I’m talking ten, eleven hours straight, then she’d wake up, eat and go back to sleep for another two!  With the hubby deployed at exactly the same time and no family nearby, I was so grateful for this little gift.  But all that changed when she hit four months and started teething.  At exactly six months, she started waking every 1-2 hours and continued that until she was 8 1/2 months old.

I don’t care how young you are, sleep deprivation like THAT is its own form of torture!  I’m such a sucker and wouldn’t (and still won’t leave her) to cry it out, but something had to give.  I had tried everything but, seeing as I had nursed her to sleep all of her life, I knew I had to start there.  A friend loaned me The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg as a guide- have any of you ever read it?  It was amazing; in a matter of days, she went from waking every 1-2 hours to only waking once (albeit, it would take me an hour to get her back to sleep)  The first week she napped twice a day and I wanted to rejoice!  The second week and since, she’s still only getting up once wanting to have a dance party in the middle of the night, but it’s like pulling teeth trying to get her to nap during the day. Have any of you had this problem?  I’d love to know how you handled it or what might have worked for you! 

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I'm Kelly, interior designer, stylist, hostess with the mostest and editor of my blog, where I share pics of my work, my own home, dรฉcor projects, entertaining hacks, where to find the best decorating deals and all the beautiful things that are currently inspiring me!




  1. Kate on October 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Gorgeous photos, Kelly! You all must be so, so pleased! They are absolutely precious. Not sure how she's nearly a year old?! Best of luck getting her sleep schedule sorted out!

  2. Kelly Stivers on October 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks so much, Kate! I'm hopeful it will sort itself out soon (fingers crossed!) Babies are so resilient ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. angie on October 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    AAhh! These are gorgeous! She is gorgeous! You are gorgeous! Awesome photos! As for the sleeping through the night; my boys are 3 and 5 and still wake once in the night due to bad dreams mostly at least 2 times a week. They both took forever to sleep through the night. At least until 2- 2 1/2. However, they both took two 2 hour naps everyday, which I cherished more than the sleeping through the night. Good luck with Lydia!

  4. blogreader on October 6, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Try cutting back to one nap a day and being as committed to the schedule as possible. Add formula or cereal to the bottle before bed. My 2.5 year old was a great sleeper. Still pretty good. Some days he plays in his crib for 2 hours and never goes down for a nap. He's happy and mommy gets a little break.

  5. samsmom on October 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    She is precious, beautiful, happy……mom and dad are not too shabby either. Thank you for sharing

  6. Kelly Stivers on October 7, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Angie – thank you, thank you! You are too sweet! I would gladly take two, two hour naps during the day, that sounds wonderful! I don't expect her to sleep through the night completely, but every 1-2 hours at this stage is just outrageous! Thank you for the reassurance ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Kelly Stivers on October 7, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Blogreader – thank you so much! Cutting back to one nap wouldn't be a problem seeing as most days one nap is all she gets! I'm super committed; as a perfectionist in every other aspect of my life, it's tough not being able to tackle this stage, but I will continue to be consistent, thanks!

  8. Kelly Stivers on October 7, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Samsmom – thank you so much!

  9. angie on October 7, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Does she sleep to white noise at all? I swear that made a difference in my boys. There are cds you can buy from ( I think that's the website) that I just put on repeat, or just a white noise machine. Worth a shot if you don't already do it. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I feel like I recently read an article or blog on someone who was trying to stretch out their baby's waking. If I remember what it was or come across it again, I will send you the link.

  10. Kelly Stivers on October 8, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Angie – YES!! I've used a while noise sound machine since we brought her home from the hospital…it definitely helps, but more to drown out any other sounds!

  11. annie on October 8, 2014 at 11:56 am

    So beautiful! Every one of them!

  12. Kelly Stivers on October 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Thank you so much, Annie!! xx

  13. Mauichick on October 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    My daughter read Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child and had her twins sleeping through the night at 12 weeks! She highly recommends the book. Worth a try!

  14. Kelly Stivers on October 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks so much for the recommendation, MauiChick!

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