Friday, November 11, 2011

Month #4

I realized I should hurry up and write a blog about Gordon Lee's 4th month before it is gone.  It seems the 3rd month just FLEW by! My little boy seems to be getting so big and learning so much every day!
During the first 3 months when he had colic, it seemed like a long time! However, as soon as that started to go away, life with him started getting a lot easier and a lot more fun.  So, I think that's why it seemed like all I had to do was blink and now he is 4 months old.

I started him on rice cereal, which he just loves.  My husband was laughing last night because he couldn't believe he was so exciting about eating it! This has really helped us because before this, he wasn't sleeping as well due to digesting milk so fast.  He was eating a lot.  He was tired; I was tired and I really think I wasn't producing as much milk or as good quality milk due to this.  After the rice cereal, he started going longer between feeds, doing better while feeding, sleeping better, and I seem to be making more/better milk as a result.  He is doing great with eating from a spoon.  I tried to tape him, but he wanted to stare at the camera. HA! Here it is anyway in case you want to see his rice cereal eating skills (I don't blame you if you don't).

He is now rolling from his back to his tummy on a regular basis.  He is getting very good control of himself while on his tummy, and he pivots himself around with his arms on the floor.  Just today he realized he could support himself while grabbing for a toy on his tummy and he seemed pretty excited about that.

As far as the sleeping goes, you know, I'm starting to wonder if being able to sleep well is as much a part of development as grabbing for toys, rolling, etc.  I may have done something that lead to him learning to put himself back to sleep and nap better; however, I kind of think it's just part of him being old enough to realize he can self soothe.  I don't want to speak too soon on whether or not something is working.  But the past 2-3 days, he has been doing better and better about just going to sleep when I lay him down and putting himself back to sleep when he wakes up briefly.  He took 2 hour long naps in his crib yesterday.  This morning, he went down for 1 hour, woke up and fussed a little but then put himself back to sleep and continued napping for another hour.  I seriously do not believe this is from anything I did.  I think he just did it.  He is now on his second nap which has been going on for almost an hour.

I'm hoping this is signaling a new trend as just a week ago if  I laid him down in his crib without him being totally asleep, his eyes would pop open, he'd freak out, start crying, and nap time was an endless cycle of waking up after brief periods of sleeping.  It just happened two days ago that he suddenly was okay with me laying him down while sleepy but not asleep and drifted off to a nap without help.  So, like I said, maybe it's just one of those things that happens as they get a little older.

He is also babbling away all the time, I took him to Target today and he attracted tons of attention because he just kept babbling and talking the whole time we were in the store! Thankfully, people thought it was cute. :) 

It's just amazing how fast things have been going! I feel like he will be a year old before I know it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Expecting when You're Least Expecting

On this day last year, I found out I was pregnant. Results were inconclusive, however, as the only test that gave a positive answer was the clear blue easy digital test.  The next morning, all tests were positive.  So, I took them into the doctor who ran their own test that came back negative.  However, they took a blood sample and it confirmed what the rest of my tests had told me.

We were so shocked.  I was excited but very nervous because I wasn't really ready to have a baby yet.  But God was ready for me to have a baby.  I remember during this week last year, I was a panicked mess hoping my "little bean" was growing well.  I was also freaking out because we really hadn't planned the baby at all, so I wasn't taking prenatal vitamins, I was drinking some alcohol, drinking lots of coffee--things that I wouldn't have done if  I had thought I stood a chance of getting pregnant.  

My husband was in such shock and disbelief that he said he wouldn't believe it until the blood test came through.  After 3 blood tests with the number more than tripling each time, he STILL wasn't completely convinced.  I don't think he really believed it was true until he saw the 12 week ultrasound!

Thinking on these things today, I have to say life has changed tremendously! And we are blessed that our little boy is plenty healthy and certainly growing well!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This-a-Way or That-a-Way

I had a college professor once who said she couldn't stand it when someone said, "I like kids." Being one of those people who said that, I was somewhat offended.  However, I had to admit she had a point.  Her problem with the statement was that, to her, it was the same as saying, "I like people."  Not all kids are the same, so how can you make such a broad sweeping statement that you like them?  True True.  I still hold, however, that there is a creativity, innocence, and care-free attitude in many children that would lead to that statement.

I have found, after reading articles, books, etc. that there are many people who claim to know about babies.  And they all (for the most part) have a vast amount of experience with many babies to lead them to make their claims.  However, the stark contrast in opinions on what to do, how to do it, when to do it is pretty intriguing.  There are opinions so opposite on one topic that I almost feel there are democrats and republicans of the baby rearing world.  One camp says, "Hold the baby all the time; it makes the baby feel secure and cared for."  While the other camp says, "No, that will spoil the child and you will have more problems later on.  The child needs some independence."  Each side has its own reasons for doing things that way, and both reasons hold a lot of value.

Yet, to say, "do this with babies; it works" is to me one of the most ridiculous things a person can say.  Most of the sources that I'm starting to take information from now are the ones that admit all babies are different!
For example, take this picture of Gordon Lee and his buddy Jericho (same age).
These are their personalities in a nutshell. Gordon Lee--"Where's the action? I want to be in it!" Jericho-- "Life is good.  I think I'll nap."  My baby has a very outgoing personality and will talk to, smile at, and be held by almost anyone.  Jericho is a bit more reserved and much calmer.  These are just their personalities that were hard-wired into them before they were even born.
So something that works for our neighbor's baby might not work for ours.  And I've been reluctant to listen to advice from any source who claims to just "know" about babies.  While they may have many things in common, they will not react to the same thing.  If you have been or are a teacher, you know this just from the students in your classroom.

As for my baby, I'm finding myself somewhat in the middle of the polar opposite points of view.  I'm still figuring out a plan for getting him to nap better.  As I have said plenty of times before, I moved him into his own bassinet at night now.  The first night I was nervous because I thought he wouldn't sleep well.  But I was totally wrong.  He slept great!  It's funny because at the beginning he used to sleep better in the bed, but after about 2-3 months, he started sleeping better on his own.  I suppose it is easier when you don't have somebody else next to you squirming or moving in their sleep while you are trying to sleep.  I had thought that his poor napping habits may have been from being too used to sleeping with me.
However, after over a month of sleeping great on his own at night, he is still not napping well at all.  If I let him cry, he just wakes himself up so much that he can't go back to sleep at all.  Then, I have an overly-tired and very cranky baby to deal with.  While some people say keeping at this method for a couple of days will pay off, I just don't think it is working with him.  I've also read advice to lay him down when he is sleepy but not yet asleep so that he learns to go to sleep on his own.  When I do that, he just wakes up immediately and I can spend hours trying to get him to fall back asleep.  
So far, the best routine for getting him to nap has been to put him in as dark of a room as I possibly can during the day.  The sun rises by my bedroom window in the morning and I noticed he won't sleep more than 1-2 hours once the sun comes up (this is with dark blackout curtains on the windows).  I've started going back and forth between laying him down in his bedroom and our bedroom depending on which room is the darkest and when, which is where he will nap for the longest.  He has a fan and white noise machine going. I can't turn the house into a cave, though.  Another thing that has helped has been a mobile.  I purchased one for his crib because I noticed that when he looked at his teddy bear mobile at night, it was some kind of "reassurance" to him that helped him go back to sleep when his eyes opened.  We are only on day 2 of the crib mobile.  He really seems to enjoy looking at it, so I hope that will help him there also.
Other than that, I've been trying to go into his room before he wakes up too much to help him settle back into a nap.  I KNOW he knows how to get himself back to sleep because I hear him doing it at night.  Now, it's just a matter of figuring out how to get him to do it during the day.