Friday, January 21, 2011

Four Months

Lily Rae is four months old today!

I used to say that six months was my favorite age for a baby. I always loved that age because they were playful, smiley, and chunky, and they usually could stay put in one spot. I'm sure I'll love it when Lily gets there, but right now it's hard to imagine any age cuter than three to four months. I've been enjoying this stage so much. Besides, all the things I love about the six month stage are true about her now!

Right now my girl weighs just under 13 pounds. Her four-month checkup isn't scheduled until February 1, so I'll know her exact weight and height then. We did have to see her doctor last week because she wasn't feeling well. It's so sad when you do your very best to keep your baby protected and healthy but something manages to creep in. I'd noticed for a day or two that her poopy diapers didn't look quite right. The color was different and I thought I noticed some mucus in them as well. On the third day I called to check with the nurse. Lily hadn't been running a fever (I'd been checking), so they told me to just watch her for another day and save the next diaper if it looked the same. That was the plan, until later that afternoon she refused to nurse. I couldn't get her to eat for the life of me. She would just cry and cry when I tried to feed her. I called the doctor's office back and they said to bring her in. After listening to her symptoms, he said it sounded like she had a little intestinal infection that was causing her pain when she tried to eat. He wanted me to try again to see if she would nurse, and he left the room to give us some privacy. She did eat, poor thing. At that point she had not eaten for about 7 hours (which sounds bad, but I guess she had really missed only one feeding).

The doctor said we did the right thing to call and come in before she got dehydrated. Of course, I would have kept trying to feed her at home too, but I was glad we went because he checked her ears and throat and all of that and said they all looked great. It is always reassuring to know that she's gaining weight, and she weighed 12 lbs, 13.8 oz. He did not give any medicine to treat her, because the virus would just have to run its course. He said the best thing to do was feed her as often as she would eat. This is what we did for the next couple of days. For a sick baby, she did remarkably well. At least once a day, though, she would refuse to eat and we would wait a while and give her a bottle of breastmilk, which she seemed to take a bit better. After two or three days of this she was eating normally again, and after about a week her diapers were looking normal. I'm so glad that now she is feeling better. It's amazing what you can tell just from looking at a baby's poop!

Aside from that little tummy ache, Lily is doing really well. She normally eats about every 3-4 hours. Nursing is going great, which I still consider a blessing each and every day. I remember in the first month, a dear friend of mine told me that one day nursing would be a relaxing and enjoyable time for baby and for me. She said I could just kick back and watch a movie, but I couldn't imagine having a free hand to hold a remote at that time! It seemed like I would never get to a place where breastfeeding wasn't stressful or painful, but now what she said is exactly true. I look forward to taking a break to sit and nurse my baby 4 or 5 times a day (and once during the night). I use the time, usually about 40 minutes total, to catch up on TV shows on my DVR or read a book, which is easier to do on my new Kindle that I got for Christmas! Sometimes, though, I just sit and look at Lily, stroking her sweet head (which has less and less hair on it every day), or holding her busy, constantly-moving hands. Now, nursing is a good time for me to sit quietly and thank the Lord for giving me the desire of my heart.

Lily's sleeping habits are pretty good for this age, I think. During the day she usually wants a nap about 2 hours after she eats. Her naps are usually pretty short, though, between 30 minutes and an hour. Sometimes she will nap for almost 2 hours, but she doesn't do this every day. At night she will sleep for about 7 hours straight, waking up to eat around 5 AM, and then she will sleep for 2 or 3 more hours before getting up for the day. I would love for her to have a slightly earlier bed time and to take longer naps (she usually gets fussy after a couple of those little cat-naps in a row), but this schedule is very livable and such a relief after those tough newborn days! Lily is still sleeping in her bassinet in our bedroom. Pretty soon I know I'll need to move her to her crib in her own room, but I'm just not ready for her to be that far away.

Lately Lily is becoming more and more interested in her toys and books. It's fun to watch her discover new things. Just about everything that she gets her hands on goes straight into her mouth. When I'm bathing her these days, I have to wash her hands and hold them tightly before I hurry up and rinse them so she won't eat soapy fingers. Still her favorite thing to look at or play with is people. All it takes to get her to smile or laugh is just a look in her direction. She absolutely loves it when her daddy and I make her "fly" above our heads. This gets a laugh almost every time. I try to do tummy time with her most days, but she doesn't care for it very much at all. Her head control is really good, though, and she has started enjoying time in her Bumbo seat.

I can't believe that four months have passed already. Suddenly the time seems to be flying by while we try to cherish every moment. Yesterday, January 20th, it was a whole year since we had the positive pregnancy test that brought us our beautiful daughter. What a year it was! She's finally here and we absolutely love being her parents.


Alyssa said...

I know you didn't ask for advice, but I'm going to share anyway; I hope you don't mind :S

Here's my suggestion on getting her to nap for longer than 30 minutes:

Try putting your LO down awake to fall asleep on their own after an ideal / appropriate amount of awake time.

In regards to the ideal awake time, it can be different for every baby, but here are two guidelines I've found to be quite accurate for my DD. Note that the first one was more accurate when DD was 0-5 months, and the second one was more accurate at 5+ months.

Don't forget that "awake time" includes all things "awake", like diaper changes, feeding, playing, and the amount of time it takes the baby to fall asleep! Also, typically it takes babies 20 minutes to fall asleep, so include this in your awake time (i.e. if their awake time is good at 90 minutes, but them down at 70 minutes.) It seems short, but it works. Here is a post about "optimal awake time":

First Guideline for Awake time for babies
Newborn 50-60 mins
1 month 60 mins-hour and 15
2 months 1 hour and 15 - 20 mins
3 months 1 hour and 20 - 30 mins
4 months 1 hour and 45 - 2 hours
5 months 2 hours - 2.25 hours
Late 5 months/early 6 months 2.25-2.5 hours
6.5 - 7 months 2.75-3 hours. Some are getting more.
8 - 10 months 3 - 4 hours. Some are getting more.
11 - 12 months 3.5 -4.5 hours. Some are getting more if moved early to 1 nap

Second Guideline for Awake time for babies
0-4 weeks: 30-45 minutes
4-6 weeks: 40-60 minutes
6-8 weeks: 40-70 minutes
8-12 weeks: 50-80 minutes
3-4 months: 60-90 minutes
4-5 months: 1 hr to 1.5 hrs
5-6 months: 1.5 hours
6-9 months: 2 hours, give or take 15 minutes

For your little one of 3 months old, an ideal length is probably around 90 minutes or so. Don't forget that "awake time" includes all things "awake", like diaper changes, feeding, playing, and the amount of time it takes the baby to fall asleep! Also, typically it takes babies 20 minutes to fall asleep, so include this in your awake time (i.e. if their awake time is good at 90 minutes, but them down at 70 minutes); it seems short but these guidelines really worked for us. Here is a post about "optimal awake time":

And so it goes said...

Oh, she is the sweetest thing ever.

Alyssa said...

Oops, four not three months! Try putting her down about 1 hr 30-40 minutes after her last wake up time.

Kate said...

She's beautiful!

simone said...

Love the photos. She is beautiful!

andreajennine said...

She is so precious! Four months (adjusted, in our case) felt like a turning point from the newborn-survival mode to a more established routine, where mama and baby both had a better sense of how to do naps, feedings, etc. And of course, all the smiles and giggles that started at that age helped through the hard times. Enjoy that girly!

Dan & Hillary said...

Just the perfect miracle:-) Amazing what can happen in a year!

And so it goes said...

I still am in awe to see these adorable pictures of a pudgey, smiling, soft little baby- that she is here, really here! She is one cute lil' miracle.

Thanks for the blog comment the other day. Lily continues to be a source of hope for me! :)

Birdie said...

Love that smile!!!

Sharon said...

She is getting cuter by the day! And you'll see, each stage is special and as time passes and you think they couldn't possibley get in cuter somehow they do!
Enjoy her!

twondra said...

Awww, she is sooooo precious. I can't believe she's already 4 months! Wow. Such a beautiful, inspiring little girl. I hope to some day meet her in person. :)

twondra said...

A well-deserved award for you awaits on my blog. :) (((HUGS)))

And so it goes said...

Happy, Happy, birthday a bit early, Stacey! My bday is on Thursday - so I will make sure to eat two pieces of cake- one for you and one for me.:) I hope that your birthday is wonderful and that you get extra dose of quiet time snuggling Lily.

Alicia said...

Oh she's soooo gorgeous! She's just precious:)

Becky said...

It brings tears to my eyes reading this (the good kind!). It is hard to believe Lily is already 4 months. I am still thankful and amazed for the miracle the Lord brought about. I am glad she has recovered from her illness and that everything is going so well. It sounds like you are really thriving in your new role. That makes me so happy!

~ Katie ~ said...

She's just too cute!! I love the pic in her green(?) chair- she looks like a cabbage patch doll :)

So glad that everything is going great :)

Jenn said...

First of all, Happy Birthday to dear sweet mommy! Secondly, I love all the adorable pics you put of your sweet baby girl on here. They are precious!

Melody said...

Oh how precious!!!! Such a happy little girl.

Surely said...

She gets lovelier and lovelier. =) Happy Birthday!