You are three months old now, which means that you’re out of the fourth trimester, at least in theory. This month we’ve started to settle into a bit of a routine. It’s dictated by your brother’s school schedule, but it still brings some order to our days. We haven’t been even close to late for school once, and the morning routine has carried on whether you a) sleep through all of it and have to be woken up in order to get out the door, b) wake up really early and want a nap before we’ve even finished breakfast, which means you are very very fussy or c) wake up when E. does and spend breakfast generally cheerful. I can never predict which baby I’m going to get on any given morning, but I’m learning to roll with whatever you offer (although I really need to start making E’s lunch the night before).
Right before we have to leave I sit down to nurse you and read E. a story. Then we walk your brother to school and you usually fall asleep in the carrier on the way there or while I’m chatting to the other mothers after your brother has gone inside. We often run errands during that first nap as it’s still pretty hot in the middle of the day. Then we come back home and spend some time together. We work on house projects, like sorting out the basement storage cupboards or weeding the front garden, even if you only have the patience to sit in the bouncy seat for ten minutes at a time. You do some tummy time (and end it as fast as you can by rolling over). I sit you on my legs and sing songs and tell rhymes- your favourites are “This little piggy”, “Old MacDonald” and “This is the way the gentlemen ride” (you especially love the great big bounces when it’s your turn to ride). Most of the time I eat lunch. You’ll have one or two naps in the bassinet and then, right about when I’m starting to wonder what on earth to do next, it’s time to go back in the carrier to go and pick up your brother. You’re usually happy to lie on the floor and watch him run around when we get home, or sit in the bouncy seat (or be held) while I prep dinner. You take a brief catnap in the very late afternoon in the carrier while I’m making dinner, and then you sit on my lap or on Daddy’s while we eat (staring at your brother the entire time- you remain utterly fascinated by him). After supper it’s time to get ready for bed, and then the next day we start all over again. The only fixed points in our day are 8:35 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.- the times when we need to leave for school to either drop E. off or pick him up. Otherwise the day unfolds in a loose pattern of nursing, playing, and sleeping.
On the sleep front, you made some great progress this month with learning how to nap in the bassinet rather than a carrier. Unless we’re having a really busy day you always take two naps in the bassinet and it’s rare that it takes me more than ten minutes to get you down. You’re still not sleeping for longer than 45 minutes, but I know that will come in time. I’ve been known to take you out of the bassinet after one of the naps, lie you down on the bed, and then let you nurse and sleep for another hour (or sometimes even another hour and a half). You’re so happy during those naps- you rest one little hand on the breast and you make happy noises even when fast asleep. I read a book and enjoy the snuggles and the quiet time. I would never have been able to do this with your brother, as I would have been convinced it would instill terrible habits, but with you it is one of my favourite times of the day. I know that you will be little for only a short time and I don’t want to miss it.
Night sleep is no longer something I brag about. Right around the two month mark we got your bedtime back to 8:00 p.m., and you promptly responded by waking up at 3:00 a.m. most nights. A good night means you get through until 4:00, and a bad one has you asking to nurse at 1:00 or even earlier. If you’re up before 3:00 that means you’ll have a second night feed as you almost never go longer than three hours once you’ve woken up the first time. I haven’t had to pump much in the last couple of weeks because you’ve been up so much. I’m definitely now more tired than I was when you were a month old and sleeping nine hour stretches starting at 10:00 p.m., but I also know you need the earlier bedtime and that eventually you will sleep longer stretches again. The next challenge is going to be adjusting to sleeping in the crib. You’ve clearly outgrown the bassinet so the night before you turned three months your Daddy set up the crib in our room. I’m sure you’ll like having all the extra space once you’re used to it.
When you’re not yet over-tired you’re a very happy, chatty baby. You have a whole range of cheerful shrieks and squawks and a cough that is almost a giggle. You have huge gummy smiles and a little dimple in your left cheek. If I pretend to chew on your neck and ear I get the biggest smile, but your favourite person is still clearly your brother. You spend all of supper trying to get his attention. You wave your arms, kick your legs, shriek and squawk and smile and coo, all with your eyes locked on him. If you’re upset in the car, he can calm you down by holding your hand and singing the “We’re ok, P.” song that we invented. If you’re doing tummy time, you’ll actually stay on your tummy and look around if he’s somewhere close by. When you have the occasional bath, it’s because E.’s in the tub, and I put you in with him (holding on to you the entire time of course). You will kick your legs and flail with your arms and generally have a wonderful time watching him while I float you around. E. is very excited for you to be big enough to properly sit up in the bath with him.
You have a very strong neck and upper body- everyone comments on it, including your paediatrician. That’s probably why you rolled over (tummy to back) so early (at 9w3d!). You want to try to sit upright as much as you can and you prefer if we just hold on to your hands and let you balance yourself. The number one comment I get when out with you is still “She’s very alert!”, followed by “She’s so calm/easy going!” I wouldn’t call you an easy baby, but you are definitely calm and easy going, as long as we’re doing what you want. You still absolutely hate feeling left out and you’re still quick to cry if I have to put you down when you’ve decided you’re all done with being put down.
You’ve started grasping objects and spend many happy minutes trying to get them into your mouth. We first realized you were doing this when your Daddy said that you were intentionally pushing and pulling at his hand when sitting on his lap at dinner, only settling down once you could chew on his thumb. Your favourite thing to play with right now is a tag blanket that a friend made for your brother when he was a baby. I think it’s big enough that you don’t have to be precise with either your grip or your aim to get positive results. You will occasionally grasp other toys, like Sophie the giraffe, but they’re still a major challenge. You talk to anything that dangles from the bars of your playmat, but you haven’t yet succeeded in reaching them. You’ve also become quite adept at sucking your fingers- usually the index finger.
This month I cut all dairy and soy out of my diet to see if that would help your tummy. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I’m positive it’s helping- you are down to two or three dirty diapers a day (instead of eight or nine), you’re much less gassy and fussy in the wee hours, and there’s no longer any sign of blood. It has made it a challenge for me, as I’ve had to remember to pack snacks whenever we’re out, but I know it’s the right thing to do, and hopefully you’ll outgrow this by your first birthday, just like your brother did.
We’ve determined that the only way to get any sort of happy quiet driving time with you is to leave as early as possible in the morning. We had to do another set of long drives this month to go to your Grandpa’s funeral and both times we were able to get in two solid hours of driving while you slept by leaving at 7:00 a.m. I can’t say that there wasn’t crying on either trip, but things were definitely improving and our drive home only took about forty minutes longer than it used to (the first time we did that trip with you, you added a full two hours to the journey by requiring many, many stops). Driving around in the city still produces a lot of crying, especially if you’re not tired.
You are clearly thriving. At your three month appointment you were 11 lb, 14.5 oz and 63 cm long, with a head circumference of 42 cm. You’re in the 50th percentile for weight but the 95th percentile for height. I knew you were a bit of a beanpole before the appointment because I’ve had to shift you into six month sleepers so you have room for your feet and your legs, but they’re still much too big in the body. You look absolutely giant in the bassinet, but when we set up the crib and put you in it you looked impossibly tiny.
It is so much fun to watch your personality emerge. You are both deeply serious and filled with glee. I never, ever get tired of seeing you smile and I love the conversations we’re starting to have. I love your funny little whorl on the crown of your head and your dark brown eyes. I love your perfect baby scent. I love how soft your hair is when I kiss your head when you’re asleep in the carrier, and I love how you like to fall asleep in the carrier with your face pressed hard up against my chest.
I am grateful, every day, that you are here.