Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Timothy's Fifth Month

Whew, so glad that leap is over! It took a little longer than I was hoping, the fussiness seemed to continue for a couple more weeks longer than I anticipated, and I'm not sure if it was due to the leap, or just the timing of the 4-month sleep regression (or both together) but he did have some trouble getting to sleep for several nights, and two nights where he woke me up three times, which felt like torture after all the nights he only woke once! Waking only once did become his standard this month, so I can't complain too much about the 4-month old sleep regression. And after about a week of rocky naps, he settled back to being a good napper too. 

He's been much more giggly, we're finally getting good laughs out of him more easily! He laughed at Daddy singing him a song, and often thinks it's funny when either of us "eats" him with scarfing sound effects. His favorite sounds to make are very emphatic, loud squeals and grunts. And he's more easily bored with toys, and more easily frustrated when he can't do exactly what he wants (crawling is hard, y'all!) when he tries.

He's also gotten a little more clingy this month, there have been several times when grandparents/aunts/uncles wanted to hold him, but if I gave him to them too soon, he'd start wailing. I need to make sure he gets a few good minutes to warm up to them before getting handed off. 

Here's how he uses his play gym to help him roll from back to tummy!

He's finally gotten back into rolling from his tummy to his back some more after taking a break for a couple months, and he's also working on rolling from back to tummy. He's great at getting onto his side, and has even rolled all the way to his tummy by pushing off with his feet on the leg of his play gym, but that doesn't completely count. He can sometimes get his knees up under him for his scooting, but he hasn't been pushing up on his arms to a crawling position yet. 

We've started letting him sit in his booster/high chair at the table with us while we're eating, and he watches us eat and enthusiastically eats the toys we give him.... and equally enthusiastically flings them on the floor. Which seems quite intentional sometimes, although supposedly babies don't intentionally throw/drop things until much older. At the end of this month he can start eating solids, so that will be interesting!

This is how he naps in the car... the hat helps block the light, and interesting, distracting things going by outside!

For Memorial Day weekend, we did 2 day trips! Timothy's first time to the mountains and the beach! We separated them by one day at home so we'd have some time to recover. Overall they went really well, and the supercharging stops were mostly timed nicely to coincide with when Timothy was supposed to be nursing anyway, so it worked out really well... except for the one time he wasn't interested in feeding, even though he was supposed to be hungry!

First day trip was up to the mountains, to spend the day with Matt's parents who were up there for the week. We had a fun day eating at our favorite mountain restaurant, hiking and just relaxing on the veranda and enjoying the view. Timothy did great napping in the car during the day, and we left after his bedtime feed and he slept the whole way home.

The second day trip to the beach was to spend the day with my family, and some friends, who had rented a cottage on the beach for the weekend. We had a relaxing day eating lunch at the cottage, playing Sushi Go, and spending a short time out on the beach so Timothy could experience sand and the ocean! He did great sitting in his seat while Matt and I ate at our favorite Wilmington restaurant, Indochine. And then he slept all the way home again.

We're enjoying doing day trips with him, it's easier for him to sleep the first few hours after bedtime in the car on the way home, and then we all get to sleep in our own beds at home, which is much better sleep for Matt and me, and seems to be better sleep for Timothy too. 

Timothy is just getting to be more and more fun as he becomes more giggly, more independent and opinionated, and shows us more of his own little personality! He's a sweet, cheerful baby, and I can't believe he's only been part of our lives for 5 months... but at the same time, I feel like he's growing up too fast. 


Friday, May 4, 2018

Timothy's Fourth Month

Timothy has been settling into a pretty consistent nap routine this month, 2 hours in the morning, 1.5-2 hours in the early afternoon, and a later afternoon 30-45 min nap. It's made it a little harder for me to want to get out and do things, because we so often disrupt his nap times being out, and he sleeps so well in his crib! Church is usually right during nap time, but he is still doing pretty well sleeping in the carrier. I'm not sure how long that will last!

He likes his crib so much that we've completely switched him to sleeping in the crib all night. The transition to our room was starting to disturb him and he'd waking up instead of sleeping through the move. So we started leaving him in the crib until he woke up for his first feeding around midnight-1am. But then we found that he seemed to sleep less soundly in the cosleeper, so I started putting him back in his crib after his second night feeding around 4-5am. Finally after a few nights of him only sleeping in our room for those few wee hours, I decided I should just let him sleep in the nursery all night, and now instead of nursing him in our bed, I get up and go to the nursery to feed him. 

It was a nice, gradual transition, and he's been sleeping quite well in the nursery. Matt sleeps better because after the few initial squawks from the monitor, I turn it off and he gets peace and quiet instead of listening to Timothy's noisy eating, Timothy sleeps better because his crib is more comfy and my tossing around doesn't disturb him, and I sleep better because I'm not worried about waking him up in my attempts to get comfortable and go back to sleep after feeding. He's even given us several nights this month where he only woke once! 

We still think he's teething, there is just SO much drool! And he wants to chew on everything! But no visible sign of teeth yet that I can tell. He likes chewing on knuckles (Daddy's is his favorite) and his carriers when we're wearing him, but he'll chew on anything he can get in his mouth.

He's also more fussy lately, but we figure that's just because he's been in Leap 4 this month. This is the "world of events" and is supposedly the worst leap yet. So far it really hasn't been so bad, and only a few more days until he's supposed to be finished leaping! I can't wait to see what new skills will be emerging as he finishes the leap!

He likes grabbing faces, pulling hair, playing with toys that make noise and facing out in the carrier with Daddy! He can scoot around a bit during tummy time, and is very wiggly. He'll sometimes try to squirm off of a lap when he's being held. He finally discovered his toes! He's also getting even more vocal, and makes louder squeals than ever before! He usually wakes up in the morning talking, which is so cute, but sometimes he's woken up very excited, and we've been startled awake by his happy shrieks!

His rattle has been one of his favorite toys this month, he will examine it closely, wave it around, shake it, and of course, try to put it in his mouth! He's been trying to roll from his back onto his front, and can do it with only a little help from me! He also loves his Lambie and a vintage stuffed dog/teether that my folks brought from their collection of our old baby toys!

This month Timothy got to meet his great-aunt Deborah, and great-uncle Mark, on Daddy's side of the family, which was very exciting for all of us, I had never met them before either! We had a very fun weekend with lots of laughter and stories of memories. 

He also got to meet his great-aunt Melody, great-aunt Kathy and cousin Barbara (twice removed) on my mom's side when they came down for a Seagrove trip with my mom. Aunt Mel gave him this beautiful cross stitch that she had actually started working on for me, when I was a baby! 

And to finish out the month (actually a couple days after he officially turned 4 months, but I'm including it now anyway) we took him on his first overnight trip! We spent two nights in Williamsburg, and he did so well! We switched him to a convertible car seat because he had began to seem uncomfortable in his infant seat, and I'm so glad we did. We timed our departure to coincide with his usual 2-hour morning nap, and after an initial scare when he woke up after only 30 minutes, he went back to sleep and did end up sleeping for 2 hours of the trip. The rest of the drive he happily played with his toys.

Our other concern was how well he would sleep in his co-sleeper, since he's been in his comfy crib for most of this month. Our trials didn't go well, so we ended up purchasing a new, softer mattress to go in the co-sleeper, and with that adjustment he seemed to sleep just as well as at home! He had fun hanging out in the condo that we shared with his Uncle Dave, Aunt Lizzie and cousin Edison.

He also pretty much behaved while we walked around Williamsburg, sleeping in the carrier with Daddy most of the time. But we went in the Capitol building, and while the tour guide/reenactor was talking, he woke up and decided he wanted to talk too! Matt tried to entertain him by letting him chew on his knuckle, but he just continued talking around it! It was very amusing, and a little embarrassing. Overall it was a wonderful trip, and I'm putting it down as an amazingly successful experiment of traveling with Timothy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Timothy's Third Month

Last month was ending just as Timothy was wrapping up his 8th week Wonder Week leap! We enjoyed all the exciting new things he was learning, but the sleep disruption was frustrating, and inspired me to read "Precious Little Sleep" at the recommendation of a friend who has two kids. It was amazing how well it worked!

I wasn't wanting to do a "cry-it-out" method, but I liked her suggestion of "fuss-it-out," where we'd just let him fuss a bit for 5 minutes, and then go comfort him. Well, after snuggling and bouncing a bit to help him get sleepy, I put him down "drowsy but awake" and he only fussed for 3 minutes. We have still never had him fuss longer than 5 minutes going down for a nap, and at bedtime he usually doesn't fuss at all. This helped so much with the 20-30 min nap problem! He now takes at least 45 minute naps, and sometimes a whole hour and a half or two hours! 

He even gave us 4 nights in a row of only waking up once! (March 9-12) But now at 3 months, he's definitely going through a growth spurt, and has been getting up much more frequently. I'm really hoping he goes back to sleeping soon! Probably just in time for the famous 4-month sleep regression to hit and mess it all up all over again! Haha! Nothing ever stays the same for long with a baby.

"The Monkey Butt" outfit is one of our favorite footies!
We've had fun introducing sign language to him this month. Baby sign language is a really exciting tool for babies, because before they can verbally communicate what they want or need, they can sign it! My mom did baby sign language with my younger brothers when I was a kid, and we also taught a baby that we provided in-home daycare for when I was a teenager. It's so much fun to see a baby happily communicating what they want! He's not ready to sign back yet, but he looks very intently at my hands when I sign to him, and he's definitely starting to understand what they mean. I can't wait until he signs back! Probably will take him another couple of months, but once he starts signing back I'm going to start adding to his repertoire! Currently, I only sign to him "milk," "more," "all done," and "change diaper." (Check out the TalkBoxMom YouTube channel if you want to see the signs!)

His hand control is continuing to improve, he has a monkey that hangs from his car seat handle that he loves to play with in the car, and he's grasping his fruity teething toys and successfully stuffing them in his own mouth! The strawberry seems to be his favorite. He also blows a lot of bubbles now. And he's finally started giggling! He's had three different episodes where he just thought something was hilarious and laughed for a good 2-3 minutes straight! It's so cute and funny, but we haven't figured out how to trigger it yet, he seems to just randomly become amused enough! 

Sitting up is still his favorite, and just recently he started wanting to stand more, and even turned the sit-up game we'd been doing into the next level, pulling himself up to standing while holding my hands! I can't believe how fast he's growing. 

He still loves being worn, I like wearing him around the house while I'm doing chores if he's fussy in the late afternoon/evening, and Matt usually wears him when we walk (which has been mostly cold lately, so he's bundled up in a hat, and gets zipped into Daddy's jacket too!

We finally made it back to church this past Sunday, and he did really well. We also finally got his birth certificate stuff done! As a home birth, that can be a little difficult, but they actually didn't look at any of the proof they required us to bring! Typical bureaucracy. At his 3-month check up he was 23 inches long and weighed 13 pounds, 14 ounces! 

I'm going to switch to just doing monthly photos now, because 13 weeks was the day after 3 months, and the photo shoot attempt is getting to be too much work every week. We get plenty of cute shots at other times!

Timothy is such a treasure! It's been a whirlwind 3 months, I can't believe we're already out of the "fourth trimester" and our little newborn has turned into an active, happy, adorable and incredibly sweet and precious baby! He seems so alert and loves interaction. He's changing so quickly! It's exciting to watch.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Timothy's Second Month

At the beginning of this month, Timothy started smiling at us! He gives us such huge, cheesy grins and his eyes smile too, it's so adorable! He really is a sweet, happy baby most of the time! He's getting more demanding lately though. It used to be when he'd first wake up hungry from a nap, he'd give short little cries at first, and didn't start screaming unless I took too long getting to him, which I tried not to do. Matt commented once, "He's so polite at first." Now he tends to just wake up in full meltdown mode.

His naps have become much shorter in general, and harder to get him to take, although he did a couple of super-long 3 hour naps! Bedtime is still quite a bit of a chore sometimes, but he tends to sleep well once he goes to bed.. He's started to get so upset that he'll refuse to eat, even with the source of food in his mouth, he will scream instead of eating, and can be very difficult to calm down. But once he is fed and asleep for the night, he's done a few great stretches of sleep! He did 7 hours, just a couple nights before he turned 7 weeks old! And has occasionally only woken me up once during the night! Nighttime feeds are still really easy too, he goes right back to sleep, unless I accidentally leave him with a burp that needs to get out. 

We've started doing cloth diapers more, and just added to our stash a bit. I'm still experimenting with exactly what kind I like the best, but I'm definitely liking cloth. I might do a whole post reviewing the ones I've tried so far, and what I'm liking and disliking about each... if I can find the time between all the laundry! So much laundry. The laundry is never ending. Good thing I've always rather liked laundry. I often think how nice it is just to throw everything in a machine, not having to use the old-fashioned scrub board! I usually do multiple loads per day now, and it's very satisfying for me to walk away while the machine does all the work. After the ease of washing and drying, I don't mind having to stuff the cloth diapers and fold clothes.

Which is good, since Timothy has started spitting up more. Lots of soaked burp cloths and outfits. Matt and I have gotten some lovely spit-up showers on ourselves as well. There's really nothing like being the parent of a newborn to help you get over aversions to gross bodily fluids. "Oh, look, he peed on me again." "Spit up in my hair? Good thing it's been 5 days since I was able to snag a shower anyway." Don't even get me started on the liquid baby poop, and how it gets all over the changing pad. The nice thing about cloth diapers is that the poop seems to stick to the diaper more than to his bum, so it's easier to clean up. 

We took Timothy to his first chiropractic appointment to help with his latch, which is still a little shallow. She said she will also be able to help fix his spitting up, nasal congestion and goopy eyes! It was a really good appointment, and I did notice immediate improvement in his latch. He also likes to only turn his head to the right, so the chiropractic will help with that also. She specializes in infants, and was very gentle. I'm excited to see how this can help him!

At his 2-month appointment with our pediatrician, his official weight was 12 pounds 11 ounces. He's gained about 2 and a half pounds since his 1-month appointment, which is on track with his growth curve. He's definitely getting heavy to wear in the carrier, and to rock/bounce to sleep.

Besides smiling, Timothy has been growing even more conversational, with a wide array of sounds he likes to "talk" to us with, and he will sit and make great eye contact, taking turns "talking" for quite a few minutes with me! It's so cute. He can roll from front to back pretty consistently during tummy time. And his latest new favorite game is to sit reclined against our propped up legs, and pull from his reclined position to a full sitting up position. He holds onto our hands, and actively participates in trying to pull himself up. He has discovered his hands, and really likes looking at patterned things. 

I found The Wonder Weeks book just as he was completing this leap, which they call Leap 2. It explained why his sleeping habits changed with this leap, as well as why he's more fussy, and also listed in great detail all the things he might be learning at this point, along with ways to encourage him. The sit-up game was included in their list! They also suggested some toys, which reminded me to pull out the ones that he'd already been given.

We tried giving him a bottle, and he took it really well. With my recurrent mastitis, I've been doing a lot of preventative pumping and have a large freezer stash of frozen milk now, and we need to use it up. Some longer date nights may be in our future! We've still been managing to get out one night a week, except this current week. This past week though, we tried going out after we'd put him to bed for the night, instead of between his late afternoon feeding and bedtime, because he's been so fussy, and unpredictable about when he'll be hungry in the evening. If he'll start taking a bottle, we could let the babysitters put him to bed for the night... I'm not sure I want to do that, though! As hard as the bedtime process can be sometimes, I feel like I would miss it terribly if I passed it off to someone else!

I can't believe our little guy has already been here 2 months! He's such a sweet, happy baby most of the time, he smiles a lot, and even when he's a little fussy or grumpy, he often still has a smile right under the surface that can pop out if we talk to him. It's so fun seeing how much personality he has, and watching him grow so quickly.

So, funny enough, he turned 2 months on February 26th, and the very next day he turned 9 weeks. I kinda wish the months actually worked out mathematically with 4 weeks in a month. Oh well!

I can't wait to see how much he'll have changed in another month! Hopefully this next month holds some improved sleep. And maybe he'll start laughing!