Fiona : 4 months

Late, as per usual, but this is accurate for Fiona at 4 months! 

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Stats: Fiona is 14 lbs 8oz (54%) and 24 inches long (28%). Weight has stayed right on track but our little girl is getting short! The doc says that babies grow in weird spurts and we won’t know if she’ll stay short(ish) or not… but we’re not concerned about it.

Clothing Size: She is mostly in 6 month clothes. Some 3-6 fit her still though.

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Sleep: This has been a real challenge for the first time in her life. It is pretty much changing almost daily but we’ve dealt with some crazy rough nights resulting in a level of sleep deprivation I haven’t seen since the newborn days. Naps also got iffy, first requiring we rock her to sleep, then making a habit of waking after only 30 min (unrested), then deciding that only I can put her to sleep and screaming whenever B tried to put her down. And now in the last week her latest “trick” is screaaaaming every time either of us try to put her down to sleep. She is clearly tired, she will start to drift off, then screams. And screams and screams. It’s the craziest thing. But, we knew 4 months is notorious for being horrible for sleep so aren’t shocked it happened (although we’re maybe a little shocked at how bad it is, since this is the worst sleep she’s ever had– worse even than her first few weeks of life). We have learned that singing to her seems to calm her down usually, so that was a happy discovery. Our pediatrician suggested we both swaddle wean and sleep train now, at the same time. I’m hesitant because it seems like a lot for her to deal with all at once… but we’re still discussing it.

Eating: Eating is…… okay. Which feels like a victory. Fia does have reflux AND is allergic to both dairy and soy. That seems to be the definite cause of our food refusal issues. At this point she will eat awake, willingly, and without fussing– but only when she is tired, immediately before a nap. She needs to be tired, swaddled, and rocked in the glider in our room so she can stare at the fan. Oh, and she only wants me to feed her. So eating isn’t what I would call EASY. But, it is sustainable (for now), and I don’t wake up every day fearful of trying to feed her– so it is a huge huge improvement. Oh also, we switched her to all formula this month. Between her allergies, her sleep issues stealing my pumping time, and my lack of sleep (and stress?) causing my already-low supply to plummet… it was just time. I knew when I gave up breastfeeding that I wasn’t going to make it long-term pumping, although I’d hoped to make it a little longer. But it was just not sustainable anymore and I’m so happy to be done pumping now!

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Milestones: This was a big month for little miss! She found her toes and thinks they are awesome. With that, she started rolling from her back onto her sides while playing with her feet. She hasn’t rolled over yet, but when on her belly she is getting really close to being able to roll to her back. She also figured out how to support herself on her arms when laying on her belly, although she doesn’t do it often. She’s also just seeming much more aware of her surroundings. Anything within her swing-zone is fair play to get chewed on, and boy does she love to chew. We’re not sure if she is teething or not (since we can’t see any teeth nubs), but she has gone from mouthing things to legit gnawing on them. Her favorite things to chew on are her Sophie, and our fingers. She is also getting a lot more stable sitting up. She can spend a LONG time sitting in her bumbo now (really, she is only limited by her boredom, not by her ability to stay upright), and when we prop her up against the couch she rarely falls over anymore. She actually tries to sit up from laying down all the time, and we had a rough few days when every single time we laid her down she strained to sit up. It’s funny and a bit sad because she’s still a ways off from pulling that maneuver off! She’s also able to stand up now while holding onto our fingers, rather than us having to hold onto her body, and she can pull herself up from laying down to standing up just by us holding her hands. Strong little girl!

Things I want to remember: Her giggles. I love her laugh so much. It’s like a lightbulb went on for her this month. She was aware of us before and we had gotten smiles and some giggles, but these things really ramped up this month. She watches us all the time and the smiles come so much more easily now (unless she’s in a mood). She is also starting to get some of that quintessential baby wonderment. There is a cow hanging from her jumper and every time I spin it she just makes the biggest surprised-face look ever, and it cracks me up. And this has also been a good month for brief trips out. She is predictably happy for 60-90 minutes after she wakes up (and really even a bit longer if we’re out and about) and has really gotten to liking my putting her in my ring sling. I wear her on my hip now so she can look around and she’s always so content to just stare at our surroundings and smile at people. She’s my little sidekick and I love her so!

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Outings/Adventures: We really didn’t take Fiona out anywhere this month other than the usual places to run errands or do a little shopping. It felt like we had sort of a busy month with my parents in town twice, B out of town once, and my having photo shoots almost every weekend. Plus with her challenging sleep we sort of just holed up and did a lot of hanging out this month.

Favorites: Fiona’s favorites are her hands, her Sophie, and our hands. My favorites are her giggling, getting surprised, and when she stands up holding our hands (we call her hula baby because she shakes her hips haha). B’s favorites are when she laughs at him and when she chills happily on the couch with him while he watches football.

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What I’ve learned: Nothing lasts. This month was a little mentally tough because my awesome sleeping baby took such a nosedive into horrible sleeping and the one thing I thought I could count on with her (good sleeping!) was taken away. But every time we hit a really really bad day, a good day was just around the corner. And every time we had a fabulous day, a worse day would follow.

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Day in the life : 4 months

I have been meaning to do another one of these for about a month, but I kept waiting for us to have a new “normal.” But the truth is… there is no normal! Sure, we have some general routines… but every day is different. I have an idea in my head of what our “normal day” should look like, but I don’t know if we’ve ever achieved that magical day of perfect eating and perfect sleeping and perfect happiness all day. Apparently babies are not tomogatchis where you can just do the right stuff in the right order and have a predictable outcome! Who knew? (And really, I DID know.. but knowing and giving up the quest for that perfect day are two very different things).

So anyways. This was today. It was moderately normal. I’d classify it as a great eating day. A good sleeping day. And really a pretty generally good day start to finish!

12:05am- she’s up, put paci in. she spits it out, put paci in. repeat repeat. rock her bassinet. She finally falls asleep about 12:30.

3:15am- she’s up, put paci in.

4:40am- she’s up, put paci in.

5:15am- she’s up, put paci in. she spits it out, put paci in. repeat repeat. rock her bassinet. I think she’s asleep….? nope. get up and use the bathroom because once I get stuck under her, sometimes I’m there a while! In the 2 minutes it takes me, she starts screaming and wakes b up. Mix up a bottle to see if she’ll eat.  pick her up at 5:45, check her diaper, and carry her to the glider to rock her. She eats 1.5oz and doesn’t want anymore. Start rocking her. She’s out immediately, but somewhat restlessly. Finally set her back down 6:15 and crawl into bed. Try to fall back asleep but at this point I’ve been up an hour so I just toss and turn.

7:05am- She’s up and I hear her fill her diaper. B hears her too and wakes up. He gets up with her and I finally fall back asleep. He changes her diaper, gives her her prevacid, and gets her dressed, then plays with her on her playmat.

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7:45- I wake up and can’t sleep so I throw on some clothes and head downstairs. I take over “play” duty and B feeds the pets then heads up to shower.

8:30- she’s sleepy so I get her bottles ready and take her upstairs. Diaper change, swaddle, and feed her. She eats great– 5.25 oz. It takes her about 10 minutes to fall asleep and she’s down about 9, there isn’t any crying and I consider that a major victory.

9:15- I set her down gently in her bassinet and do a silent victory dance that she didn’t wake up. She almost always does the first time when I set her down in the morning. We’re off to a great start! I head downstairs and make myself some oatmeal and coffee while staring at the monitor to make sure she doesn’t wake up. She wakes once, spitting out her paci– I run up and replace it and she falls back asleep. victory!

9:30- I eat breakfast, send a couple emails, make a couple of phone calls, and then veg online for a little bit. Days when I get a little free time in the morning do wonders for my mental health!

11:00- She’s been kicking around (with eyes closed) for a little bit so I know she’s about ready to get up. I want to run to Target when she gets up so I quietly go into our bedroom to put on some jeans and brush my teeth. She wakes up and starts smiling at me. I get her up and we chat a few minutes on the bed while she wakes up, she likes to ease into her day after each nap (I can relate). I change her and check my diaper bag to make sure I’m stocked with essentials.

11:20- We’re off to target! I love running errands with Fia now, so long as she is well rested. On the way, we drop a package at UPS. We get to Target and I wear her in my sling and she loves looking around, smiling at people, and coo’ing at stuff. We have some fun shopping to do, because in addition to the basics we get to pick out a birthday present for Fia’s future friend who is turning 1 (daughter of a friend having a party this weekend). We check out and I call over to Max and Ermas and order some soup for curbside pickup. We swing by and I pick up my soup, which I’ll have for lunch (I love curbside pickup with a baby, seriously).

12:20- We’re home again and the car is unloaded. I put Fia on what I’ve deemed our “play quilt” on the floor. She kicks around a bit and practicing rolling side to side.

12:35- she’s tired! Diaper changed, bottles made, and upstairs to nap. I swaddle her up and feed her, she eats 6.5 oz– awesome! She falls asleep pretty fast, and is out at about 1pm. I rock her until 1:20 and head downstairs, doing another victory dance that I was able to set her down successfully again. Seriously, this never happens.

1:20- downstairs. I put away the stuff we got at target, wash bottles, and tidy up the kitchen a bit. I’m glued to the monitor thinking she’ll wake up– but she doesn’t! I heat up my soup and head downstairs to eat at about 1:45. I surf online a bit while I eat and watch a show.

2:30- My mom is leaving for vacation tomorrow so I give her a call to chat. While we’re chatting I straighten up the great room and unload the dishwasher.

2:55- She’s up! I put her on the bed and unswaddle her and we chat a minute. I get her some toys and put the monitor on her, then hop in the shower. We have a nice ledge behind glass that I can set her monitor on so I can keep an eye on her, and she hangs out happily playing with her toys while I shower. I usually try to shower while she is asleep, but lately she’s been waking up when I turn the shower on so I have to do it while she’s awake.

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3:15- I’m done showering and I’m dressed and Fia and I head downstairs. I change her and get her dressed in outfit 2 for the day because it’s hotter now than it was in the morning. We head down and I put her in her jumper for a bit. I love watching her hop around and play with all the toys! Then we move to her playmat and she kicks and bats at the hanging toys. Then we move to her quilt and she starts rolling around a bit but at 4pm she starts rubbing her eyes. Nooo! I was hoping to keep her up until 5 because the 4-5 hour is a really awkward time to put her down for a nap (because it leaves not enough time for a 4th nap, but too much time then before bed after she wakes up). I try to distract her with toys and rolling, but at 4:15 she is inconsolably tired so I give up and take her upstairs. Change her. Bottles made. Swaddle her up.

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4:20: attempt to feed. She takes 1 oz and starts crying. Uh oh. I let her get too tired and now she’s hungry but too tired to eat. I spend the next 20 minutes rocking her while she cries and whines, until she calms down and is very sleepy but still awake. I offer a bottle again and she takes 2 more oz– good enough. She falls immediately asleep.

5:10: I attempt to set her down and she wakes up. damn. I try to get her back to sleep but at 5:25 I give up and take her back downstairs. She’s happy and we play on the floor a bit.

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5:45: she’s rubbing her eyes again so I take her back upstairs. I offer another bottle and she takes 3.75 oz (awesome!). But then she starts crying. And whining. B gets home at 6:10 and she’s still crying. I tell him to start dinner because it will take 45 min and surely she’ll be asleep by then. ha-ha-ha. I try all my best tricks. Various rocking speeds, shushing, singing, bouncing, head rubbing….

6:45: B comes up to check progress. I hand her off and let him try. He rocks her 5 minutes and she fills her diaper. Damn. I get her changed and take her back to keep rocking her while he heads back down to work on dinner.

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7:15: I give up on the nap. This is generally a bad situation because usually when she misses a nap she is super duper cranky the rest of the night, but she’s actually pretty happy! We watch daddy grill and head downstairs to play with some toys.

7:45: dinner is ready so I put her in her jumper and B and I eat while she hops around and plays with the jumper toys.

8:00: B takes Fia back to the floor to play a bit more while I throw diapers in the wash and clean up dinner. Then I head back downstairs and we get 15 minutes to all lay on the floor together and hang out– best 15 min of the day!

8:25: She’s sleepy so B takes her upstairs while I make her bottles. B was planning to try to put her down tonight but usually when she misses her last nap she goes into epic meltdown mode at bed time, and he has a much harder time feeding her and putting her down than I do anyways– so he opts out of the nightly routine. He changes her and gets her onesie off. I swaddle her up and sit down with her. B hangs on our bed with his iPad because we expect a rough night and I handle the screaming better when I have company. I’m shocked that she eats 4.75oz! I expected she’d refuse to eat due to being overtired– this is a huge win. She spends about 10 min looking around the room while I rock her and she’s asleep! Seriously the easiest bedtime ever, and after our failed last nap I am so surprised and grateful!

9:00: B and I head downstairs. He feeds the pets while I wash bottles and turn diapers on for their second cycle. We’re almost never done this early (usually it’s closer to 9:30) so I decide on a victory beverage of hot chocolate and baileys. We head downstairs to watch some DVR’d shows and hang out!

10:45: We head up to bed. B let’s stew out and goes upstairs to hang the diapers to dry. I get the early-morning bottles ready and head upstairs.

11:00: Bed!

Like I said– over all today was pretty great. It was a little odd in that usually we have 4 naps and today we really only had two super long ones (and one tiny stalled one). But Fiona ate great and was pretty happy all day, I actually got a great amount of time to myself, and we got a little time to just chill as a family, so I am happy!