I figure it would be wise to continue my saga here on my blog and not fade into complete obscurity. Blogging helped me through my infertility journey, and now it will help me through the fog of first time motherhood. I like having a reference to a place and time in the past to look back on. Our mothers had baby books, this will be mine.
Parker will be 3 months old in a few days, though he’s already been “3 months” in my mind for at least 2 weeks now. Once he gets half way through a month I just seem to round up. The first 6 weeks of having him in my life were some of the toughest ever. It’s just such an abrupt change going from one lifestyle to another in the blink of an eye. Nothing prepares you for it. Once 2 months rolls around things started to seem “normal”. My adjustment period was ending, my mind had finally rewired itself for motherhood without cracking out constantly. It also helped that the newborn helpless stage was starting to end and/or I finally “figured” Parker out. By 8 weeks I started to get us into a routine, a very loose routine. It seemed like before then he was not capable of having a pattern. He just cried, a lot. There was no “tired” cry, there was no “hungry” cry, it all sounded the same to me. I’m sure I fed him when he was tired and tried to nap him when he was hungry. I don’t know what changed, him or me, but somehow we got into a rhythm.
We follow an EASY routine. Eat, Activity, Sleep, Your time. Basically I feed P after his naps rather then feeding to sleep, which was a problem in the first 2 months. I tried to watch the clock to time feedings rather than naps, and tried to feed every 2 hours. P Would get fussy every 2 hours. It may have been because he was genuinely hungry, but more likely it was because he was tired. He was a terrible sleeper during the day for those 2 months. He would wail and fight every single time he got tired. Even being rocked in someone’s arms, he would pop awake and scream. My hypothesis was that he was both hungry AND tired at the same time. He couldn’t nap long without a meal, but would fall asleep while eating. He’d get caught in this negative loop and be a crab ass all day long.
Thankfully something changed in either he or I and he finally started to have naps during the day, in his crib no less! I should mention that his night sleep figured itself out by 6 weeks, right at the time I transfered him from my room to his room. He would always do longer stretches at night, usually only waking twice to eat. Between 2 and 3 months it dropped to a single night feeding most nights, save for the week we were in Florida and the week before. He decided he no longer wanted to sleep long stretches and kept waking up every 3 hours or so. It was a doozy, but he started sleeping again once we got back home. In the past 2 weeks he started to go even longer, shattering his longest stretch records every few days. He would usually wake up crying and required food to go back to sleep, but lately he wakes up and coos or grunts, but doesn’t cry, and will go back to sleep if I don’t go get him. I’ve adopted a night time law of “if he’s not crying, he stays put”. I figure if he really needs me for something (food), he will surely let me know. This has been working well, to the point that he was down almost a full 12 hours for the first time last night. For a breastfed baby that is fantastic. I know not to count my chickens though, sleep never stays consistently good. For some reason I still wake up fairly groggy despite getting longer stretches of sleep. I wake up with the monitor every time he wakes up and makes noises getting himself back down. We still swaddle, but he breaks out fairly quickly so I’m not sure the point anymore. Superstition?
As for daytime naps, I became determined to get him to take them in his crib. I started watching the clock and making sure he wouldn’t stay up too long. At this age 2 hours is kind of the max before they need a nap. Most babies seem to sleep in 1-2 hour chunks. Not Parker. Maybe because he does so well at night, he only takes 20-40 minute naps, never any longer. He usually wakes up peaceful so he must be rested enough. He used to wake up crying from naps so something must have changed.
He seems to be on track developmentally. On 10/16 he was 12lbs 2.8oz and 23.5 inches long. In the 25th percentile according to a universal growth chart, his doctor doesn’t have the breastfed charts. He’s my little guy, that’s for sure. We just went into size 2 diapers because he has the cutest chubby thighs. It seems like the carter’s 3 month outfits (which are really 0-3) are starting to get a little snug. I think it’s because of the bigger diaper. His favorite thing is standing up on his legs. He has super strong legs and a strong kick. He loves being held up on his legs so he can stand up like a big boy. When I pull him up to sit he actually flexes his legs and gets pulled into a stand instead. He hates tummy time so his arm strength and ability to lift his head 90 degrees is lacking. Propping him up seems to help, but he still screams after a while. I’ve decided to intervene and force the tummy time. It’s hard to see him get so upset but it’s for the better. He also has a mild flat spot on the back left of his head. He turns his head to lay on it like that when he’s asleep, and since he sleeps so long it was bound to happen. Just another reason to be up on tummy time. I try not to let him stay in his bouncer long or have him on his head unless he’s sleeping/napping. I try to have him sit on me or hold him upright. He has pretty good head and body control at this point. He coos and makes adorable sounds, mostly spitty, raspberry type noises, and ooo oos. Smiles in response to me and his father talking directly to him. Some days are more smiley then others.
In the next month I’d like to have him working his arms and head more. He seems so into lifting his butt and pushing his legs that I think with the same amount of arm strength he’ll be scooting around in no time. I’d also like to stop swaddling but it’s not a hard and fast requirement. I hope to get a laugh out of him too. I’m still not quite sure if he’s laughing.