The fourth trimester draws to a close, and we’re still standing. It suddenly feels like we do know what we’re doing, at least more of the time, and a delightful baby personality is emerging from the cranky little creature we nurtured for the first three months.
Finally some semblance of routine is falling into place during the day. Although it’s never actually at the same times, just in the same order. Does that make sense? Moose eats, plays a little on her mat or has some chatty awake time, and then I swoop in and nap her as soon as her blinks get a bit too long (seriously, if she yawns it’s already too late – thank you everyone for that tip). The challenge is that her naps are not a uniform length, so the number of times we go through the rotation varies.
We made some sleep progress over the holidays and then had an awful week of growth spurt – up every hour or so and miserable. This seems to have passed for the moment, thank goodness. Is anyone using the Wonder Weeks? I was so suspicious of the concept but it’s been bang on every time. I hesitate to even put this down in print, but we seem to be having some success with a dream feed at 10 or so, and Moose is generally getting up once to nurse between 2 and 4 and up again at 6 or 7, with the odd “bad” night thrown in where she’s up more. It’s a miracle. We also moved her to her crib in her own room, much earlier than expected, but we’re all sleeping better.
By far the best part of this month has been watching Moose discover her hands, followed by all the things she can do with them. She’s interested in her toys, suddenly, and is reaching and batting at them non-stop. She successfully got the ear of Sophie the giraffe into her mouth the other day and you would have thought she won the lottery. Lauren and I often say that we can practically see her brain growing as she examines things so intently and tries to figure them out. I think we may have an early teether on our hands – drooling and chewing have amped up.
We’re also getting tons of smiles these days and Moose is showing preference for her moms for the first time. It’s oddly validating to have our arms be enough to settle her. Lauren gets big, gummy grins when she appears in the morning or after work. We both spend a lot of time trying to make Moose laugh now that she’s started to find us funny. Fake sneezing and nose beeping really bring the house down.
Notes from the month:
- We do actually call the baby Moose much of the time – I’m afraid she may grow to believe that it’s her real name.
- Car rides have improved and she’s loving the stroller bassinet these days.
- We have a bedtime routine, which seems to be working – nursing, swaddle, pacifier, white noise, a book if she’ll tolerate it, some music if she won’t. She’s much easier to get to sleep – we’re still not able to lay her down awake. How do people teach their babies to fall asleep on their own?
- Favourite song (to Lauren’s horror) – Let it Go. I advised the baby to let it go one day when she was complaining, with subsequent off-key singing and arm movements. She giggled, so naturally I now do it every day.
- She also shows a preference for folk, again to Lauren’s horror.
- We’re starting a baby class this week! I think she’s big enough now to enjoy the music and interaction, and frankly, I need to get out of the house. I can only take her on so many unnecessary trips to Winners. We have tons of drop in centres in our neighbourhood, but they seem to be filled with mostly preschoolers and I feel kind of silly.
- Likes: toys, especially her Lamaze moose (naturally) and Captain Calamari, being kissed, having faces made at her, eating, laying on her back and kicking, the aquarium toy in her crib, her swing, and a white noise recording of a hair dryer (seriously, it’s saving our lives).
- Dislikes: having her nose cleared of gunk, waiting more than 0.00001 seconds for food, HATS, wind on her face, being overtired, and being placed in a stroller or carseat and not immediately moving.
We’re headed to Mexico on vacation in a little over a week…it will be interesting to see Moose’s reaction to that! Any travel tips?