WOW – I can’t believe I’m already writing Peanut’s four month update. I feel like I just pressed “publish” on her three month update, and yet here we are. Four months. A third of a year. Where is the time going? Please excuse my mom sniffles.
This has been a busy month for Peanut & co. We’ve had an influx of houseguests – Grandma and Auntie Em for Thanksgiving, Aunt R soon after, followed immediately by Nana and Grand Dad, and finally Uncle Dan just last weekend. And while we love visitors, and we love each of the people who dropped in this month, the flow of houseguests has left both Peanut and her parents exhausted, overstimulated, and in desperate need of some quiet time. We have about two weeks now without guests, until the next installment of family comes after Christmas, and while I’m so looking forward to seeing them, I’m also glad to have ahead of me a stretch of days where it will just be Peanut and me, snuggling and reading on the couch.
Oh, yes. About the snuggling and reading on the couch. We’re still doing that, despite the pediatrician’s gentle suggestion that we really should be more disciplined about crib naps. I have tried to be better about enforcing the crib for naptime, but Peanut really, really hates napping in her crib during the day, even though she’s perfectly happy to snuggle on Mommy anytime. A big part of the problem with the crib is – as a friend suggested to me – you need to do a “delicate transfer” of baby to crib once baby has nodded off. Well, that’s fine for tall people (like the friend who suggested it), but I’m very petite (a shade under five feet) and I just can’t execute. Daddy is more successful because he can keep Peanut snuggled up to his chest while he leans over the crib and deposits her on the mattress before she even realizes what’s happened. But Mommy has to “forklift” Peanut into the crib and she wakes up every. blinking. time. So crib naps just aren’t happening that often for us. But I’m okay with it, because my maternity leave is ticking away and I want to get in as many snuggles as I can before I have to return to the working world.
In addition to hugs and snuggles, I’m storing up smiles. Peanut is full of them lately – especially between 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. She greets me with a big grin almost every morning and chats happily through her diaper change and bottle. And she’s just so much fun in the morning – babbling and interacting with everything and everyone she sees – that she makes me forget how tired I am before my tea.
Of course, hand in hand with those bubbly mornings goes the certainty that she’ll unravel later in the day. She’s not colicky, thank goodness, but by around 5:30 p.m. she’s pretty much had it with the day and she gets progressively fussier until around 8:00, when she dozes off, usually on Mommy and with one little hand buried under the neckline of Mommy’s shirt. (I guess she likes her hands to be warm?) And thus ends most of our days.
Peanut at 4 Months:
Adjusted Age: 2 months
Weight: 8 lbs, 9 oz
Length: ~23 inches cooperative
Clothing Size: Newborn still, but she’s very close to growing out of it. Santa will be bringing her plenty of 0-3 month size clothes, since she barely has any and she’ll be needing them soon.
Sleep: Lots to say on this front! We’re still doing fairly well with putting Peanut down after her 9:00 p.m. bottle, although we had a temporary setback in that department. I was stressed about something for a few days (unrelated to Peanut) and I think she sensed that I was tense and started acting out after her evening bottle as a result. I definitely think babies can tell, and to paraphrase one article I read while in the thick of it, if you depended on someone else for your survival and they were upset about something, and you didn’t know what it was, wouldn’t you freak out? When the source of my stress eased up a bit, the nighttime shenanigans eased up too, so I definitely think there was a connection there. Let’s hope it doesn’t start up again, because I was a pretty tired Mommy for awhile. Also on the topic of sleep, our pediatrician has told us that at four months we can start gently nudging Peanut toward sleeping through the night. Huzzah! We’ll start slowly, by allowing her to stretch out her middle of the night bottle (as in, we won’t wake her up to eat, but instead let her sleep until she wakes up and feels hungry; the ped thinks we’ll get an extra hour or so out of her right off the bat). I don’t know that we’ll ever go the true “sleep training” route, since I’m more of an attachment parent. But I am employing some sleep training techniques already; specifically, I’m trying to set up some rituals to signal to Peanut that it’s time to sleep. When I go in for her 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. bottles I am very quiet and don’t chat or sing, unlike the daytime bottles, because I want her to learn that these are “quiet times.” But before I put her down at each of those feedings, and for naps during the day, I sing “Hush Little Baby,” which we’ve designated as our “sleepytime” song. I want Peanut to associate “Hush Little Baby” with cuddling up and going to sleep, so it’s reserved for those times; we sing other songs during the day. Well – sorry to be so long-winded about sleep! It’s been a big focus for us this month, though, and sure to remain that way for a few more months yet.
Likes: Still enjoying stroller walks and being carried around; loves to suck on her paci and her toys, especially a crab rattle that was part of a gift basket from my firm; enjoys staring at the pretty white lights on the Christmas tree; madly in love with her swing (still getting used to the bouncey seat, though). And I wouldn’t call it a “like,” but she is finally beginning to tolerate baths without screaming – win!
Dislikes: Being weighed on her baby scale; tummy time (still) – although she’s pretty much given up on putting any effort into lifting her head, and now she just lays around licking her hand; wearing socks.
Milestones: Great head control while being held basically upright by Mommy or Daddy, although she can’t be bothered to practice during tummy time; lots of smiles and babbling, especially in the morning; rolled over again, for Mommy this time!
Quirks: Definitely a morning person! She’s bubbly and chatty and oh-so-fun first thing in the morning, then gradually falls apart as the day wears on. This isn’t surprising at all, since both Mommy and Daddy are morning people as well. We’ll see how much Auntie Em enjoys it when she takes over baby care duties for us after I go back to work, though…