Emilia, your birth story is beautiful and unique, just as all birth stories are, and just as you are. I was due June 11, 2015. I thought this was a perfect day, as it was one day before your Grandma’s … Continue reading
Holy bananas.. where do I even start to begin my little love. Month 4 was a CRAZY month, a crazy month of development for you, of growth, exploration, of firsts. I debated splitting this post into TWO because it is so insanely hard to keep up with you and your rapid growth these days! Okay, here we go….
Eating-wise, not much has changed. You nurse approximately 6 times a day, every 2 1/2 hours during the day, and at night, we can almost count on you getting an initial 4 or 5 hour stretch, after which you continue to wake every 2 1/2 to 3 hours to be fed. We have been seriously considering introducing you to some veggies in the VERY near future, as you have shown such an interest in what Mum and Dad have on their plates and are even reaching for our food when it is about to enter our mouths. All signs point to you being ready, it’s just up to us to now settle on a real plan of action (baby-led weaning or otherwise).
Things have been a-changin’ in the sleeping department, that’s for sure. And for the better! We started off the first half of the month with you waking every 2 hours… for comfort, for your paci, and sometimes to eat. Your nighttime schedule goes like this: Daddy gives you a bath every second day at approximately 6:45. At 7:15, you crawl into bed with Mama who reads you two cuddly bedtime stories (sometimes Daddy reads one too – always Green Eggs and Ham, I’m sure you will be able to recite this by your second birthday if things keep up this way) and then I nurse you. Once you are almost asleep, I give you either Nugget or your taggie blankie, say our little goodnight poem, and you close your eyes and drift off peacefully. I can’t remember the last time you fought going to bed at night. Mama then turns in for the night between 10:30 – 11, at which point I dream feed you (dream feeding is a LIFESAVER, post to come soon) and then you sleep until 3 or 4am :). After that initial stretch, we generally go back to wake ups every 2 1/2 hours until you are up for the day between 8:30 & 9. We are loving this schedule and will not be changing it anytime soon! Unless of course, you’d like to sleep a little longer for your Mama – I wouldn’t complain Baby Roo :).
Looks-wise, you are turning into more and more of a little lady every single day. I am happy to announce your eyes are still as big as marbles and as blue as the ocean. You now weigh 15.5 lbs (as of yesterday when I went and weighed you) and have just recently moved into size 3 diapers. You are quite short still, only 23 inches, but great things come in small packages :). You wear size 3-6 months in most of your clothing but you fit some 6 month stuff juuuust fine.
Your physical development is where we have seen the BIGGEST of changes this month. You can pre-occupy yourself for up to an hour at a time, sometimes longer. You still love your playmat, but Mama had to rearrange some toys and add some new.. as you were getting a little bored with the same toys all the time. Smart little girl. You now LOVE your exer-saucer, and squeal and play and keep yourself entertained and busy for long periods of time. When you are finished, you let me know by moaning and groaning, and I come over to you and ask “up?” to which you now respond by lifting your arms up towards me. Siiiiigh. Be still my Mama heart <3.
You love being outside, which is lucky for me because we spend a fair amount of time walking these days (makes for a veryyy happy puppy dog). You always nap better on the days we are on the go. With the weather growing warmer I have a lot planned for us, and I am happy you are such a content little traveller. You love your carrier most of all, and are perfectly content being pressed against my chest and looking at the big world surrounding you.
You love to grab your feet, with both hands. You do it when you’re awake, falling asleep, and when you are completely asleep. Silly bum.
You haven’t quite completely rolled over, but I can leave you on your playmat on one side and in another ten minutes you have wiggled your way to the other side, and sometimes off the mat completely. This is why safety straps – in your stroller even when walking, in your swing – are now a necessity. You love to wiggle. You still love tummy time for 5 minute periods and then you get frustrated, flailing your little legs and not quite getting anywhere, yet. Soon baby, soon.
You love to stand so much that I am afraid you may bypass crawling altogether (I only say afraid because geeze kid, slow down with the growing already!) and just start motoring around this place on those two adorable feet. You are curious and reach and grab for everything in sight (toys, glasses, noses, hair, lips, chins… whatever), and it then promptly goes into your mouth. You have taken a huge interest in the zoo as of late, and we have been reinforcing how to pet the puppy and kitties nicely, versus grabbing hold of their fur and not letting go. I think you are getting it 🙂 (and I sure am happy to have such chill pets who take it all in stride).
You are getting pretty creative with the sounds that come out of your mouth. Your obsession with squeaking last month has now turned into an assortment of moans and groans that last upwards of a minute. I like to joke with your Daddy that you are auditioning to be a zombie in The Walking Dead. You love babbling, and love it most when Mama copies and babbles back at you. We are working on a few key signs – “Mama” “Daddy” “Milk” and “Baby” – and everytime I sign to you, you look at me with such a look of thought that I think it’ll be no time before you are signing all over the place.
You love bathtime with Daddy. You used to scowl quite a bit and have such a serious expression during bathtime, as if you weren’t quite sure whether you liked it or not.. now it is official, you love the bath. Daddy likes to let you “swim” and you look so relaxed while you float around in the tub. You also love when Mama sometimes crawls in there and has a bath with you. We have a lot of fun when we do that.
You still smile a thousand times a day.. and I’ve said it before, it lights up the entire room. You are just such a happy little girl. We can literally go days and days without crying (not fussing, crying.. important to mention!). As previously mentioned, you let out your first, real genuine laugh last week. You have done it one more time since. I think it shocks you when the noise comes out of your mouth, so you have yet to master this skill. By the end of May I am counting on having a giggly, happy little girl on my hands.
You are a little uneasy around people other than Mama and Daddy these days, which I think is just a phase. You are happiest with people when Mum and Dad are close by… and not too fond of when we leave the room. It’s just a phase baby, it will pass. I want you to be comfortable with other people than your parents, as it is an important life skill to have, to be resilient to new situations. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t flattered, however.
This post is a little late, due to the fact we were on the road much of yesterday. A post on our first road trip together as a family is coming up tomorrow!
My Darling McKenna,
I can hardly believe that you are 4 months already. Time sure speeds up once you have children! You are growing so much, so fast, every single day.
Here’s a little peek as to what you have been up to this month:
You are still nursing like a champ. We barely even use the pump anymore; as a mother I have become more comfortable with feeding you whenever, wherever necessary. I still do pump the occasional bottle when I know nursing in public will be an inconvenience; but you have made it clear you much prefer the breast these days. The only difficulty we have had with regards to our nursing relationship this month, is that in the past week or so, you have begun the process of teething. I expect your bottom two teeth will make an appearance some time later this month. As a result, sometimes the process of suckling can be painful for you, causing you to have shorter feeds and more often. This doesn’t bother me so much – one of the most amazing things I love about nursing is the ability it gives me to steal cuddles from you, my little love, several times a day, so as a result, I am just getting even MORE bonding time than usual! Lucky, lucky me!
We still intend to go a minimum of a year, which is A-MAZING, because before you were even born, I always said I would do it for the first 6 months. Then we had our issues, and I almost quit altogether. Now things are just going so great, and you are so HEALTHY, that I have changed my goal to a year, and am even looking into the benefits of extended nursing past one year. I just LOVE the bond we have from our nursing sessions, how I get to steal cuddles multiple times a day, the way you look into my eyes with such love, and knowing that I am doing the absolute best thing I can for you. It is truly the best feeling in the world.
We are not ready to start solids yet although your pedi said we can make that decision at anytime. But as mentioned, you are thriving so we see no reason to rush this process!
Your sleeping habits have also changed quite a bit this month. Sometime around the middle of March, I made the decision to take a step back from trying to establish a bed time with you. This turned out to be a great idea, as you have now set a bed time for yourself. I usually wait for signs that you are tired, which tends to be anywhere between 7:30 and 8:30, then Daddy will give you a quick bath every 2 or 3 days. After that I cuddle you close while we read a story, and I nurse you to sleep. Works like charm, almost every night. We still have the occasional night where you do NOT want to go to sleep like, ever, even if we can tell you are completely exhausted. These nights usually end with you having a fussy period before finally falling asleep.
Your nighttime wake times are about the same as they were last time we wrote, with you having a long 4 hour stretch at the beginning of the night, and then having a feed every 2 hours until your wake up, at about 9:30 or 10. At your last pedi appointment, he said that we should be looking towards dropping one or two of these feedings, as you are now at the age and weight to be sleeping through the night (it is important to mention; sleeping through the night for a baby is defined as 6 hours). As such, we have made it a goal to gradually drop these nighttime feedings, and we feel the best way to do this, is to finally make the transition into your crib, as we are still co-sleeping.
Yes, we are co-sleeping. We made the decision to also stop fighting this in mid-March. Truth be told, we have yet to even attempt to put you into your crib at night, as neither your father & I are truly ready to have you be in your own room. But you have made it clear that you will not sleep, even to nap, anywhere other than our bed or your own crib. In all honesty, I have grown to LOVE co-sleeping. We are as soothed by your presence as you are by ours. But we believe one of the reasons you are waking so often to feed is the ease of the source. I am always right next to you and you simply just need to turn your head to be fed. Not only this, your father is starting a shutdown this month (a long stretch of work with no days off) and at times, we wake him during our nightly feeds. Lastly, a new development: I recently caught my first cold in almost 8 months, and you nor your father have yet to catch it. I hope to keep it this way, and I am sure that bed-sharing spreads germs much easier. Thus, we have made the decision, and will be attempting the transition soon. I would like this to be as smooth a transition as possible for both you and me. One thing you have made clear McKenna – you know what is best for you. Everything thus far in our parenting journey has been dictated by what works for you, and eventually, it begins to coincide with what works for us.
You love your playtime. Your favorite toys include your play mat, Bruin, Sophie the Giraffe, Nugget the monkey, mirrors, and your recently introduced excersaucer. You no longer enjoy your swing like you used to, or sitting in your boppy in the living room. You are truly your happiest when you can move your legs and arms around freely. You love bing put into a standing position, and as long as Daddy or I are holding you tight, you will stay upright for many, many minutes. You also love tummy time, and you are getting SO, SO strong. You have now begun to not only lift your head as high as it can possibly go, but you have also begun to flail those cute little feet of yours in an effort to move. I think you will be motoring around this house in absolutely no time, so we better get baby-proofing!
That being said, your favorite thing of all is when Daddy or I play with you. You love language, watching our lips move and trying to mimic the noises we make. You have a fascination with nursery rhymes, and are starting to enjoy when we play with you more physically, such as bouncing you on our laps or dancing around the living room. You love story time and are still perfectly content staring at the pictures. You also like to help your Mama turn the page – cutest thing EVER.
You have discovered your voice even more this month, and the cutest noises come out of you every single day. Your favorite noise these days is your high pitched squeak – video to follow shortly – that you do at least 100 times a day. Your Auntie Helen witnessed this for the first time today, and lovingly has now nicknamed you “baby donkey”. J You are the happiest baby I have ever met, and your constant smiles are such a gift to both your father and I. They light up the entire room.
Onto your looks. You are becoming such a beautiful girl McKenna. Sometimes I look at you and wonder how you can possibly be mine. You have such perfect features – features that many women pay money to have – and you have no idea how lucky you are. Your beautiful big blue eyes are what we receive the most compliments on. Multiple times a day. Besides your gorgeous blue eyes, you have stunning long eyelashes, the cutest little dimples, an absolutely perfect complexion, big red lips, and a tiny button nose. You truly are the best possible combination of your father & I, and then some!
One of the things I will clearly need to teach you early on is that although you are undoubtedly going to be a stunning girl, your looks are not everything McKenna. Brains are beautiful too. I want to teach you to be a strong, independent girl, that can stand on her own two feet and not have to rely on those incredible looks of yours. We will teach you that kindness is important, and personality contributes more to your beauty than your looks ever can.
So that’s it my dear McKenna. Another month, another 31 days of such beautiful, priceless moments. Every day is such a gift with you. You are turning into such a little character, and I am having so much fun exploring this big world with you. I cannot wait until the warm days of Spring and Summer, wherein we can have new adventures, and I can show you all the things I have been waiting for since that day you were placed into my arms that cold December morning. I love you to the moon and back, then back to the moon again, a million times over.