Yesterday by baby was four months old! At the last weigh in Athena was 14.3lbs, and is now rounder than ever before. She has fat little wrists with rolls all up her arms and legs. She’s lost a fair amount of hair and has a bald patch at the back, despite me hoping she wouldn’t but she’s not completely bald so that’s something! She’s in size 3-6 month clothes and size 3 nappies. A thorough thumb sucker like her daddy, more often than not when I go in to check on her she’s got it in her mouth, she’s been rejecting dummies for ages so I just hope she gives up sucking her thumb on her own else I’ll have to chop it off! Vocals wise she’s getting much more talkative as the weeks go by, squealing, growling and gurgling away, with a few ‘ba’s added in for good measure. Giggles are a lot more frequent that last month too, with some belly chuckles flung in at time. She has the cutest little round face when she does it. We’ve more or less stopped using the bouncy chair as it’s more of a hammock now she’s so chunky, she’s almost horizontal in it. At the moment the back of it is propped up on some sturdy cooking books so she can see more than the ceiling when she’s in it, So we use the bumbo a lot more (best £3 at a car boot ever!) She still doesn’t cry unless she’s hungry or tired, or the odd occasion when she’s suffering with wind, but that’s rare these days, luckily.
Sleep – Some days 7-8 hours on the trot, other days wakes up a lot more frequently. The average of the last week is sleeping solidly from around 9 until 3 or 4 then a feed and asleep for another 2 ish hours, then another feed and a doze for 2 more hours (in bed with me). The 3/4am feed is the killer for me, as I know she’ll be awake again in another couple of hours… regardless of if she stays sleeping with me in bed on back in her cot/room. Daytime naps are a short one (hour max) in the morning around 2 hours after we get up, and then in the afternoon for a couple of hours, especially if we’re out in the buggy or car. There are no specific set naptimes, I just wait for her to rub her eyes then nurse her to sleep if we’re at home. I’ve been told there is a sleep regression around 4 to 5 months anyway so i’m not too fussed, and if it gets really bad we’ll just co sleep our way through it.
My biggest bugbear is that she won’t settle herself to sleep 95% of the time if we’re inside. Although it’s not a major problem it would be nice to put her in her cot and leave her to fall asleep. I have to nurse her, wait for her to fall asleep then wait an unspecified amount of time until I think she is suitably dead to the world to get her into her room, into the cot without waking her up. If I time it wrong and do it just as she is coming into an ‘awake’ part of her rem cycle we have to start all over again! She’ll fall asleep on her own in the car or pram though, so sometimes we just walk for 2 hours in the afternoon, not ideal when I fancy a nap too!However I don’t want to go down the controlled crying route or whatever it is because it’s just not for me (yet! haha)
Routine – still none to speak of. Obviously there are a few things that happen daily, like when we get up I put Athena on her playmat for 30/40 minutes (so I can make tea/load the dishwasher/wish I was still asleep etc) and then I get her dressed and we have a feed. That’s it for structure until bedtime, which again I take from her cues (eye rubbing/ear pulling) but is normally between 7/8. We have a quick bath together, she gets a massage and a song or two (normally ‘rub rub rub your belly’ to the tune of row your boat…) and then nursed to sleep.
Feeding – still just breastfeeding, we’ve tried to give a bottle of formula once but she rejected it. I wanted to try so that she could take formula if I had to leave her and I hadn’t expressed enough. No such luck so I’m still pumping away to create reserves in the freezer! I’m going back to work for a ‘keeping in touch’ day on Tuesday and Sam has her for the day so i’m hoping there is enough there! Not thinking about weaning just yet, though I have bought some baby rice in preparation. I can count on one hand the number of times she’s been sick in the last month which is good, and we’ve only had 2 windy outbursts too, though one was a shocker for all involved. And because all parents always talk about poop: we’re back to an average of once a day between getting up and morning nap, which is better than once every 5 days in terms of quantity but as I know when it’s coming I wait for it to happen before I get her dressed.
Activity – We have a grabber, for ages it was just batting at whatever was within reach but for a couple of weeks now she’s been focusing on something with major concentration, reaches out and then grasps it properly on purpose, hurrah!. Shortly after being grabbed whatever it is is heading towards her mouth. Everything goes in the mouth, even a foot once. She knows her feet are her feet and often they’re being being waved around by her ears. She can roll onto both sides now, after preferring her right for a few weeks, but she’s only gone onto her front once so I think it was a fluke. Tummy time is a lot more enjoyable after a couple of months of squawking every time I put her on her front on the mat (though fine on me or the bed) but now she’s happy to be on her front for as long as her back and will reach out for things and push herself up with her arms. She can sit with someone holding her hips, so her back is obviously getting stronger too, it’ll be nice when she can sit completely unaided because I’ll have both hands free when she’s sat with me.
She hates being flat on her back unless she’s on her mat or in her pram, and even then if she’s awake she gets a bit pissed off I think, so at some point soon I will convert the pram into its seat position, as it reclines pretty far back for naps when we’re out anyway. I’ll have it me-facing at first so I can still see her but she’ll be able to see way more than from flat on her back!
She loves being chucked about lots too, we know we’ll get a smile when we tip her upside down, or pretend to drop her. I can throw her up in the air too, although Sam can only do this outside as he’s so tall she’d conk her head on the ceiling if he did it inside! With all the early rough play I wonder if she’ll end up a bit of a tom boy like me? We bought her a jumperoo (ebay local collection, job done!) to play in, she’s not spinning round in the seat bit though so has no idea of the joyous musical thing on the other side yet (thank god)
And as for me 4 months post partum, my stretch marks are fading but still very much present, my belly is flabby but not quite as big as it was and I tried my pre-preg denim shorts on and they do up again, so that’s something good. I have however been suffering from awful back leg and foot pains, as well as 1 specific toe and 1 specific finger getting really bad joint pains. I had a problem with one hip when I was younger and saw a chiropractor when I danced a lot to try and sort it, so not sure if it is related to that or not. Also a small mole has changed shape so I think I better book a doctors appointment at some point soon.
So, four months ago I had a baby pulled out of my belly, and a year ago yesterday I had just piddled on the stick and found out I was making an actual baby. Scary stuff.