Mr. Theo is now four months old (actually, I’ve put this off so long that he’s closer to 5 months now). I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but I can’t believe how fast he is growing up. He is really developing quite the little personality and is starting to look more like a little person every day. I couldn’t pick a favorite picture this month, so here’s a mini-collage from his photo shoot. I think it perfectly captures how active he is. He just does not sit still!
Stats: 15 lbs (52nd percentile), 26.26 inches long (90th percentile!). Our boy is long and lean — who knows where he got that from, since those aren’t terms I’d use to describe D or me. It’s funny how he doesn’t weigh that much in relation to his length, yet everyone always comments on what a chunky baby he is. He does have a lot of rolls and the most adorable chubby thighs. 🙂
Sleeping: He is going through a pretty bad sleep regression, which, in talking with other moms seems to be pretty normal for this age. Some have referred to it as the 4 month wakeful period. Essentially, a lot of babies get so distracted by everything during the day that they don’t eat as much as they should, and then at night when it’s dark and quiet and there are fewer distractions, they choose that time to eat. He’s also been dealing with a cold for about 4 weeks now, so the frequent night wakings could be just because he doesn’t feel well. I’m starting to really get tired of the sleep conversations, though. It seems like whenever anyone finds out I have a baby, their first question is, “how is he sleeping?” And when I say he still wakes up 2-3 times per night, it’s like I can hear their silent judgment. Or maybe I’m just imagining it. But really, why does everyone seem to expect that babies this age should sleep through the night? Sure, I’d love to get more consecutive hours of sleep, but I just have to remind myself that babies who sleep through the night are the exception, not the rule, at this age.
I did start reading a book on sleep habits, called The No Cry Sleep Solution. I’m not quite ready to do any official sleep training at this point, and I waiver back and forth on whether I believe in letting babies “cry it out” (which is what’s involved in traditional sleep training methods). This book is more about understanding baby sleep habits and finding ways to support healthy sleep without letting them CIO. One thing we are doing is trying to get him into more of a bedtime routine, and are putting him down earlier than we were. Whereas before we were just taking him to bed when we went to bed (usually around 10), we realized that he was pretty cranky in the evenings and could probably benefit from an earlier bedtime. So now we try to get him down around 8, and that seems to be going much better. It doesn’t make him sleep any longer, but he’s not quite as fussy in the evenings, and it gives us some time to relax sans baby, or get stuff done like dishes or a little bit of work. I call our routine the “four Bs” – bath, book, boob, bed. I’m hoping the repetitiveness will help him to fall asleep faster over time, and the book I’m reading says a good bedtime routine is crucial. I do worry sometimes, though, that the bath and book rev him up instead of calming him down. He LOOOVES bath time, but that usually involves a lot of squealing and splashing. And he gets really excited when I read to him, and tries to turn the pages himself and everything. So I’m not really convinced it’s a relaxing activity for him. We’ll see how it goes after a few more weeks, and if we’re not seeing any improvement, we may experiment with a different routine.
Another new development on the sleep front since last month, is that we ended up getting that Magic Sleepsuit I mentioned last time. It’s wonderful! Again, it doesn’t make him magically sleep through the night, but it does seem to help him to fall asleep faster, and he doesn’t flail around like he was with the swaddle, and I’m not worried about him rolling over and ending up face down in the mattress like I did when he was swaddled. He is a rolling machine these days, which made swaddling unsafe.
One thing we are struggling with a bit now are naps. He takes a pretty good nap in the mornings, but really protests his afternoon nap. I’ve been working with daycare to try to get him into somewhat of a consistent routine that we can carry over on the weekends, but he is just such an active baby that he really doesn’t want to miss anything. It’s something we need to work on, because he gets pretty crankypants in the evenings when he doesn’t get an afternoon nap. But napping is another thing that book is supposed to help address. I’ve just started the book, so I’m hoping we’ll learn some new tricks.
Eating: Still loves to nurse, and is taking a bottle like a champ. Only complaints in the eating department are that he likes to nurse a lot at night now, and he is starting to get a bit more particular about the conditions in which he nurses. He doesn’t like being covered, which means when we’re out in public he tries to rip the cover off, or will sometimes fuss and not latch on right away. But it’s manageable. It’s funny how I always thought we got such an easy baby — but really he just hadn’t grown into his personality yet. He’s definitely not shy about telling us what he likes and doesn’t like! Which brings us to…
Likes/Dislikes: He always wants to be upright these days, and only likes the swing for naps now. He likes to sit in his Bumbo seat, and I think we’ll get him a high chair soon, even though we won’t be starting solid foods for another month or so. He always wants to be right in the middle of the action, so we need somewhere to put him while we’re in the kitchen or eating at the table. He doesn’t like his pacifier much anymore, which is a bummer since it means I’m his pacifier, but I suppose that’s one less thing we have to break him of later. He LOVES the ceiling fan, and has also started noticing screens lately – our phones, iPad, laptops, TV, etc. He loves to watch football (just like daddy!). I think the different colored uniforms contrasted with the green field must be fascinating to him. Yes, we let our baby watch TV with us. Surely we must be rotting his brain.
Mama: I can officially say I’ve lost all the baby weight – yay! My stomach skin still looks all loose, though, and I still have a bit of a pooch, so I certainly won’t be rocking a bikini anytime soon. Good thing it’s almost October. 🙂 We’re going to Hawaii in February, and I’m hoping my body will have bounced back by then. I recently started a Couch-to-5k running program and I’m hoping that’ll help me build some muscle tone and maybe shed a few more pounds. I’ve also been taking Stewie running with me, and I think that’ll be good for him. He’s always been sort of a nervous dog, and I worry that his nervousness could make him less tolerant to a grabby toddler when the time comes. I worry a lot about the dogs in general, to tell you the truth. They have pretty much ignored Theo for the most part, though Maggie grumbled a little bit last night when Theo was on his blanket on the floor and turned to face her. She got up and moved, which was the right thing to do — and I hope to teach them that walking away when they’re tired of the baby is always the right choice — but it did bother me to see her do that. I’m not one of those people who gives up on their animals when a baby enters the picture. (I do dog rescue for crying out loud – how hypocritical would that be?) But I never could have prepared myself for the love I would feel for this tiny human we’ve created and just how protective I would be with him. I hope we can continue to work on building the dogs’ tolerance of Theo and making him a positive thing to them. We’ll certainly have our work cut out for us once he’s mobile, though!
Okay, that’s about it. Next week he’ll be 5 months old, and I’ll try to be a little more timely with that post! Here are some of my favorite photos from the past month.