Baby Middle is 4 Months Old

Baby Middle…

You are now 4 months old.  I am going to just cut to the chase here and confess that I L-O-V-E this age.  I know that I should talk about how I love every minute of every day, but in all honesty, I’ve found that the first several months were really hard with each of my babies.  But at 3-4 months, the clouds began to part and the sun came out.  And now here we are at 4 months, and the forecast is absolutely “Mostly Sunny!”

If I hold you in front of my face and smile at you, you give me the biggest grin in return.  I can put you on your back and tickle your belly and underarms and make you laugh.  The smiling and laughing is hands down the most rewarding part of being your mom!

I have not weighed you in a few weeks, but at 3.5 months you were 15lbs, 4oz.  Based on that, I would bet that you are around 16lbs now.  I’m proud of myself for doubling your entire birth weight by now!  And you are long!  You’re almost 27 inches long.  People ask me often if we have a lot of height in our family, but we are all fairly average.  Maybe you will take after your Uncle John and be 6 feet tall.

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Overall I would call your personality very happy, content, and flexible.  You like to look at everyone in the room and don’t seem to mind being held or passed around by others.  You babble and coo all the time.  You like it when your daddy carries you around under his arm like a football or in the Ergo baby carrier.  You don’t seem to mind being buckled into your car seat either.  You ride happily wherever I go.

At this age, you are becoming very playful.   You are using your hands to grab your toys and bring them to your mouth.  Just this weekend I noticed that you found your feet, too!   You are also trying to roll from your back to your tummy.  You are so close to getting it, but you keep getting stuck on your arm.  With just one more little push, you will figure it out!  You’ve known how to roll from your tummy to your back for some time, though sometimes you seem to forget that you can do it.

So, there is a phrase that reminds me of you.  “Don’t poke the bear.”  That sums you up perfectly.  Even though you are really happy 95% of the time, I have learned that when things go downhill, they go downhill very quickly.  I am almost always watching you (and the clock) so that I can make sure and keep you happy!  For example, you need to nurse every 2.5-3 hours or you become very upset.  And when you wake up from a nap, you become hypertonic/overstimulated after about 70-80 minutes, meaning you need to go down for your next nap within 1.5 hours after you wake up.  It’s not that you can’t stay awake for longer than that, it just means that things get pretty risky!

As long as you’re fed and rested, you’re a breeze.  It’s when I miss a feeding or napping window that you get upset.  If I can’t remedy your discomfort within 5 minutes, the bear comes out.  You scream – LOUD.  If enough time goes by before I can make you feel better, you’ll become so hysterical that even trying to give you a pacifier or nursing you isn’t enough.  There have actually been times where the only way I can calm you down was by carrying you into my bedroom, turning off the lights, and holding you against my bare chest for several minutes while you scream.  Your skin become slick with sweat and you get bright red.

That actually happened at IKEA last weekend.  I took you with me to Houston and fed you in the parking lot.  Then I put you in the Ergo carrier and hoped that you would fall asleep while I shopped.  At first you snuggled up to me happily and enjoyed looking around the store.  But then you got tired and began squirming.  Within 10 minutes you were in full blown meltdown mode while I desperately tried to get through that store as fast as I could.  You cried so intensely that one couple loaded my cart for me, and then a lady ahead of me at the checkout line told me to please go ahead of her.  Then on my way out of the store, a teenage boy insisted on putting our purchases in the trunk of my car for me.  When I finally pulled you out of the Ergo, each of us had soaking wet shirts and you were bright red.  I probably lost a year of my life in that half hour, but at least I got my book shelf.  Ha.

You are usually quite pleasant and enjoy smiling at everyone!  Here you are with my mom.

You are usually quite pleasant and enjoy smiling at everyone! Here you are with my mom.

Making silly faces with your Grammy.

Making silly faces with your Grammy.

You met my dad, Granddaddy, on your 4 month birthday.

You met my dad, Granddaddy, on your 4 month birthday.

Another challenge is getting you to sleep.  MIDDLE!  PLEASE SLEEP!  I realized when you were about 2 months old that I was going to have to use a different approach with you.  Your sister was fairly easy to sleep train, but you have managed to stump me.  First I tried the Babywise schedule, which worked so beautifully for Poppyseed.  Then I just tried to wing it for a while, and that didn’t seem to work either.  Eventually I was doing something different every few nights and felt completely inconsistent, so I called an online sleep expert!  We Skyped for 45 minutes and she told me to follow a schedule and feed you twice during the night.  I’ve been doing my best to do that, but honestly it hasn’t helped much.  On a good night you only wake up 2-3 times.  On an average night you wake up 4-5 times, and on a really bad night it seems like you’re up every thirty minutes!  Thankfully, I have another Skype consultation scheduled in the morning.  The “sleep expert” claims that 4 months of age is an ideal time to begin more formal sleep training, so my fingers are crossed that we turn a corner soon.  I’m tired!

Don't be fooled...

Don’t be fooled…

Your typical day goes something like this….

  • You begin your days around 5:30am-6am, when I bring you into our bed and you nurse/snooze until 7am.
  • Your feeding schedule is 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 5pm cluster feed if needed, and then one more feeding right before bed.
  • You take 4 naps a day.  Your first nap occurs only 1 hour after you wake up, is usually 50 minutes long.  Your second and third naps of the day are unpredictable.  Sometimes you sleep for 25 minutes and sometimes nearly two hours.  Your fourth nap of the day is in the early evening and is almost always only 25-30 minutes long.
  • You currently sleep swaddled in your swing.  Sometimes we turn it on and sometimes it just stays still.
  • Bedtime was supposed to be 7:30pm for the last month, but because you nap so briefly during the day I have been putting you down between 6:30-7pm.  You take a bath, then nurse, and then Oatmeal tops you off with a bottle.  You go right to bed in your swing.  Sometimes we have to give you your paci once or twice, but getting you down is fairly simple.  The challenge is keeping you that way.  I will feed you at 12am and again at 4am, but if you wake up at other times I just return your pacifier or rock you.

I can’t finish this post without mentioning the bond that is developing between you and your sister.  Poppyseed adores you.  She truly does love you more than anything in the world.  She wants to kiss you all the time.  She is always asking to hold you.  She loves the feeling of her cheek pressed against yours and goes to great lengths to satisfy that craving!  I used to worry about leaving her alone with you for even a moment, but lately I find that I can leave the room for a few moments at time and trust that she is going to be gentle.  She would never hurt you intentionally, but sometimes she doesn’t realize her own weight or strength.  I am soaking all of this up because I know that one day you will be typical bickering siblings, arguing over toys and such.  But for now, you are in such a sweet spot!

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Well, Middle, I have to cut this short because (go figure) you’re awake, and you need your mama.  I love you so much, you little bear.

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