Dear little E.,
Today you are three months old. We’ve officially made it through the ‘fourth trimester’. I feel like you are a poster child for advocates of this idea- that babies have to come into the world before they are truly ready, as otherwise their heads would get too big, and that what they want most of all for those first three months is to have their environment mimic the womb. For the last three months you have needed to be held/carried/swayed/rocked, basically all the time. But I can see the beginnings of more independence in the ever-increasing amounts of time you will sit in your bouncy seat, or in those (admittedly still rare) moments when I can get you into your crib when you are sleepy but still awake, and you manage to drift off.
Speaking of the crib, our routine took a bit of a hit this month when Mummy and Daddy decided it was time to start encouraging you to take some naps in your crib. We’re making progress- you still take four naps a day, but usually two of them are now in the crib, and sometimes we even manage three. The crib naps are MUCH shorter than your naps in the carrier. I still keep the first nap in the Moby, to try to set your day up well, and it’s often an hour and forty-five minutes, or even two hours. I wander around the house, occasionally kissing the top of your head (when I know you are in deep sleep and I won’t wake you up!) while I read my book. Crib naps? At the most they’re forty-five minutes (one sleep cycle) and if I miss your sleep window and you end up over-tired, they’re often cut off at thirty. It can take as long as an hour to get you in the crib, but sometimes it only takes five or ten minutes. I’m still learning to read your sleep cues- you yawn a lot, but it doesn’t always seem to indicate that you’re truly ready to go to sleep. We’ll get there.
Nights are becoming more consistent. We’ve started to push back bathtime, in the hope of moving bedtime earlier, and it is working. You’re nearly always asleep by 9 pm these days, and sometimes even earlier. You go absolutely crazy in the bath- flailing around madly and splashing and kicking non-stop. We do think it’s a sign of approval, and it seems to tire you out and help get you ready for the night. When you do fall asleep, you usually wake to feed around 3 or 4 am, and then go back down easily until somewhere between 6 and 7. Your record for non-stop sleeping was 9:10 pm to 4:40 am! You haven’t repeated that feat, but we do often get six hour stretches, so you are now ‘sleeping through the night’ more often than not, and it’s a rare night with two feedings. You do tend to get a gassy tummy in the very early morning, so Mummy is sometimes woken up by your squeaking and kicking and fussing in your sleep around 5. I think it’s because you no longer need a diaper change overnight- you save everything up until after your first feed of the day, and I guess that sometimes makes you uncomfortable.
We had a busy month. You went to your first wedding, and to your Grandpa’s 60th birthday party, as well as an impromptu family reunion on my paternal side. Sadly you’re not a huge fan of the car. Your Daddy and I were hoping that because it has motion and white noise you’d love it and would sleep for ages. You do like being in the car when you’re awake and happy- you look out the window and coo repeatedly at what you see- but once you’re tired and want to go to sleep, the carseat represents another device of those wicked baby torturers. I learned how to nurse in the car while your Daddy drove on our first extended roadtrip in order to try to avoid a meltdown when we were stuck in a traffic jam on a major highway with no exit nearby.
You remain quite the adaptable baby. I lost count of how many relatives and friends wanted to hold you and fuss over you and entertain you on our trips. You took it all in your stride. I’m never afraid to go somewhere new with you- I’m confident that if you’re in the carrier you’ll have a sleep if you’re tired, and if you’re awake and alert you’re usually content to just look at everything around you. You are still incredibly alert and aware of your surroundings, and you’ve become very vocal this month as well. We had a potluck dinner the other night with the other couples and babies from our childbirth classes, and you were far and away the chattiest of the babies, talking to everyone and anything (including the ceiling fan).
Your head control is getting better by the day, so much so that I’m sometimes a bit cavalier with holding onto you, which means I occasionally have to make a frantic grasp as you go sliding off to one side or the other. You ‘flail with intent’ as your Daddy and I like to say at various objects, and you’ll grasp anything that comes within your reach. And once it’s in your hands, there’s only one place for it- straight to your mouth! Your fists uncurled at the start of the month and you started sucking on your fingers and thumbs. Thus far the index finger, on either hand, is the clear favourite. You can ‘stand’ for quite a long time as long as someone supports your upper body. When you get fussy in the evening you love to be carried around in the sling we bought for the wedding- it lets you see out so you don’t miss anything.
You have the biggest smiles, but you’re not laughing yet. You’ll open your mouth wide, but no sound comes out. I can’t wait until those giggles start! Your eyes light up when your Daddy comes home at the end of every day, and even if you were starting to get tired and fussy, you immediately perk up and chat to him about your day. You’re starting to notice the cats, but they haven’t made much of an impact on your life just yet (you have certainly turned their world upside down!).
You’re still growing like a weed. At your three month appointment you were up to 14 lb, 4 oz. You were 62.5 cm long and had a head circumference of 42 cm, which put you in the 75th percentile for everything. If I needed more confirmation of your ever-increasing size, this month I had a physio appointment to get some strategies to cope with my sore wrists- I’m developing ‘new moms’ tendonitis’, but I’ve caught it early enough that it shouldn’t become a chronic problem.
It’s still too early to say that we’re settling into a routine, and we definitely still need to work on the nap issue, but I do feel that we’re developing a bit more of a groove. The extra sleep is helping- six hours is the new normal for me- sometimes I even get that much in a row!- as is having an hour or so alone in the evening with your Daddy. It helps too that you’re so much more interactive than just a few short weeks ago- I love tickling your feet, or surprising you with stealth kisses or raspberries. You never fail to beam at me in response, and that always, always melts my heart.
You are so clearly meant to be here. You are the one we were waiting for, and we love you so very very much.