Monday, October 19, 2009
Good grief, 4.5 months old already!
Amazing: no matter how much I try to slow down time, Robert keeps getting older at an astonishing rate. Despite my best efforts, he is already four and a half months old. Not a newborn anymore... not even still in the "fourth trimester". This rate of change is impossible to adapt to. As soon as I think I have "it" down, it changes. For example, Robert used to be able to sleep pretty much anywhere, any time. I didn't have to worry about whether he got enough naps because he could nap in the stroller, in the car seat, in the Mei Tei. He also slept fairly soundly, once he got to a certain point. Now, for the most part, he sleeps much more lightly and it's much harder for him to fall asleep. I didn't realize how much of what I did was dependent on that sound sleep until it changed! Our routine used to be that we'd put him down to sleep in the middle of our big bed, then (usually) move him to his bassinet when we went to bed. I used to trim his fingernails during his naps, and do the dishes. For the last week, though, he's spent every night in the bed, his nails are terribly long and scratchy, and the kitchen is a wreck.
People keep asking me "how he's sleeping", and I don't know how to answer that. He usually goes to bed around 7-8pm, and stays in bed until 8-9 in the morning. During that time, he gets up to nurse three or four times. So, he's certainly not "sleeping through the night", but it's not very disruptive, either; it's not as though I have to haul myself to the kitchen and make up a bottle four times a night. If he's in bed with me, I don't have to get up at all.
Robert learns something new practically every day. Actually, it probably is every day; most likely some of the things he's learning aren't obvious to us. He's so interested in everything around him, even stuff that seems trivial to us, like the red numbers on the alarm clock. Nursing during the day is becoming difficult as well, because he wants to stop every thirty seconds and look around. For one thing, he doesn't really "unlatch" to do this-- he stretches me to the breaking point instead and suddenly 'pops' off, which is painful. Also, this is impeding my fledging efforts to feed him outside of the house more often (to facilitate our being out and about), since it leaves me rather suddenly exposed. More importantly, though, his distractedness is keeping him from eating enough at any one time, so he's hungry again very quickly. I think I'm nursing him more often during the day now, than I was when he was a newborn.
The most obvious new things right now are his interest in his hands, and the new squeak. He's transitioned from batting impotently at interesting objects, to actually reaching for and grabbing at them. He can hold his rattle, bring it to his mouth, and only occasionally smacks himself in the head with it. He can grab our faces, to scratch us with those sharp little fingernails. He reaches for the cat and dog. The squeak is basically awful. He's replaced all of his previous noises with the new one he's discovered, which falls somewhere between 'bats leaving the cave' and 'nails on chalkboard'. Sometimes it's a happy squeak, sometimes demanding or fretful. Don and I are hoping that it's a short phase.
For the record: at his four-month doctor visit, Robert weighed 18 pounds and was 27 inches long, which puts him in the 95 percentile for weight, and "officially off the chart" for length, according to his pediatrician. She also declared him the picture of health, and was very impressed with him overall. I like her. At four and a half months post-partum, I've lost all of the 50 pounds that I gained during his pregnancy, plus an extra few. Being the sole source of nutrition for a baby this size is a better fat-burner than any workout DVD: most breastfed babies don't get to this weight until they're closer to 6-8 months old, at which point solid foods would most likely be a part of their diet. I am, however, expecting him to slow down pretty soon, based on this quote from Kellymom:
Healthy breastfed infants tend to grow more rapidly than formula-fed infants in the first 2-3 months of life and less rapidly from 3 to 12 months.
For comparison, a picture of Robert at four months, and a very early one taken on the same pillow: