It’s hard to believe that our little guy is now 4 months old! I truly cannot believe how quickly the time is whizzing by. I am trying to really soak it all in, as I know that all to soon this tiny, cuddly baby will be a moving toddler and these blissful days with a beautiful sleepy baby in my arms will be gone forever, boohoo. It makes me sad to think about, so we will move on!! 4 months on and he is just the most gorgeous little boy, he is a very happy, smiley and content little baby, and I am truly completely obsessed with him, I just love every inch of him to bits.
Everything has really settled down now and we are in a pretty good routine. He is more confident in his surroundings now so is happy to lie on his play mat for longer lengths of time, or kick away in his bouncer without making a fuss. He is still happiest in someone’s arms, but definitely better at spending some time on his own then he was even a month ago.
Here’s the little man at 4 months :
Height/weight : At his last Plunket appointment when he was 15 weeks he weighed 6.87kgs and 64cm.
Sleeping : He is sleeping pretty well and predictably at the moment. He naps for a total of around 3 – 3.5 hours during the day over three naps. Night time he is generally waking up around 9.30-10pm, and between 2-3am, and then between 6-7am.
Eating/feeding : He is still breastfeeding exclusively and it is going really well. We gave him a bottle at nighttime a couple of weeks ago of expressed breast milk for the first time and he took it happily. Toby was able to give it to him at his 10pm feed. So it is good to know he will take a bottle when needed. He feeds around 5 times a day and some days has little top up feeds if needed. He is going around 3-4 hourly between feeds.
Sizes : Still in size 2 Huggies nappies although I think we will be changing him out of these pretty soon. I have also just cleared his drawers out of the majority of his 0-3 month clothes and now mainly in size 3-6 months, but he still squeezes in to some 0-3 tops.
Routine : Over the years since becoming a Mum, I have heard about a book The New Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford. From what I had read about it, she was all about a really rigid feeding and sleeping schedule for babies, and it personally never appealed to me. However, now that we have three little ones, I was more interested in getting Connor onto a routine, so I thought I would give the book a read. I downloaded it on to my kindle and after reading it I realised that we were almost doing what she had recommended anyway, so I thought that I would give it a try at implementing her routines more strictly. Her method is that basically a baby should be sleeping at night from 7pm – 7am and be able to sleep through from quite an early age, with a structured sleeping pattern during the day of no more than 3-3.5 hours and scheduled feeding times. I personally think that tiny newborn babies are too little to be in schedules and routines, but now that Connor is 4 months I think that he is at a stage where he is ready for it. Following her routines, it says that they can can relieve a baby of the discomforts of hunger and tiredness before they even start, which in turn leads to a contented baby who sleeps well, which in turn will lead to a parent that keeps their sanity in check from getting some sleep! I totally agree with that reasoning!
I know that her methods are somewhat controversial, with people believing that they are too rigid and can cause more stress then not. After reading the book, I can see how following it to a T could be quite restrictive to your day, but it also makes sense to me what she has written about. So I personally have picked and chosen things from her routine and have applied them to suit us. I am not a Mum that will not leave the house at nap times, or go to Birthday parties etc because of naps, I think it is good for babies to learn to sleep in other places other than just their bassinets/cots. However, I have introduced the basics of her routine and it has worked really well. I also loosely follow her scheduled feeding times, but if he is hungry before a scheduled feed then I am going to feed him! So I don’t follow this strictly. Since introducing the routine, Connor has learnt to settle himself to sleep without any issues and he is sleeping well for his naps, and at night he is still waking between 1-2 times (technically 3 if I count his 9.30/10ish wake up, but I am normally awake then so that’s not really a problem), but I am happy with his sleep – it is predictable and I know what to expect from my day and night. Probably 5 out of 7 days he will mainly be in the below routine and I will try to stick to it pretty strictly, however weekends are a bit different, although I do try to follow the no more then 3.5 hours daytime sleep as much as possible. We also now do the wake/feed/play/sleep routine. He is also now totally content to have all his naps in his bassinet and no longer needs to be held as much or rocked or fed to sleep, so the routine has worked for us. There are still the occasional days though that I will let him have a nap on me, mainly because I love the snuggles!! A typical day will be as follows (usually Monday to Friday).
- 6-7am : Usually wakes up, change his nappy and give him a full feed.
- 9am : he tends to start getting sleepy again around 8.15-8.30am which is right when I need to leave to take Neve to school, so I try to keep him awake, but sometimes he will fall asleep and have a little catnap in his bouncer. We drop Neve to school and then if we walked for the drop off I will go for a walk/jog with him in the stroller and he will have a little 30 – 45 minute nap, or we come home and he has a 45 minute nap in his bassinet.
- 9.45 – 10am : If he hasn’t woken up, I will wake him, change his nappy and get him dressed then he has a play on his play mat while I get some chores done, or we go and do some errands or supermarket shop or something out of the house.
- 11am : He has a full feed (sometimes earlier depending on if he seems hungry or not, if he is looking for milk I will feed him before 11, and if he seems happy then I will wait till 11 to offer it).
- 11.45 – 12 noon : Change his nappy, and settle him in his bassinet for a nap which is normally for 2 – 2 1/4 hours (this is part of the Gina Ford routine and it works perfectly for us at the moment with school pick up).
- 2.15pm : I will wake him up if he isn’t awake already, change his nappy and give him a full feed.
- 2.45pm : We leave to get Neve from school, either walking with the stroller or drive depending on timing and weather.
- 3.15pm : He has a little top up feed if he didn’t finish at his 2.15pm feed.
- 4.15 – 4.30pm : He tends to be sleepy again by this point so he will go down for a short nap in his bassinet, or depending on who is cooking dinner, he may nap on either Toby or I. This is the time I can get dinner started.
- 5pm : He is woken if asleep and given a feed from one side. We then eat dinner, aiming to eat before 6.
- 6 – 6.30pm : Between 6 and 6.30 we start the bath. Sometimes he has a little nappy free kick around while we get everything ready for the bath. Then he is given a little massage with some oil or cream and put in his PJs. (This differs from the Gina Ford routine, her routine is strictly bath at 6pm, and changed in to PJs and feeding no later then 6.15pm which just doesn’t work for us with two other kids, and the fact that we all like to eat together as a family at dinner time. I am trying to bring dinner and bath time earlier, and we sometimes do get it done earlier, but more often than not it is a bit later).
- 6.45pm : I take him in to our room and dim the lights and give him the other side for a feed and let him feed until he seems finished.
- 7 – 7.30pm : I aim to have him settled in his bassinet by 7 but sometimes it is a bit later at 7.30pm. He is put in his love to dream swaddle and put down sleepy but awake, he grizzles sometimes for about 5 minutes but then is fast asleep.
- 9.30-10pm : He has been waking up at this time for the last few weeks which is a little frustrating as he was going through to much later previously. So he gets a full feed at this point. Or we have also woken him around 10pm if asleep and given him a ‘dreamfeed’, then he is back to his bassinet and asleep.
- Approx 2am : Will wake and I give him a feed from both sides then he is back down asleep usually until 6 or 7am. He has woken a couple of times around 4am but I have been able to give the bassinet a little rock and he has fallen back to sleep until the morning. If he gets really upset and cries I take it that he is hungry, so I will get him up and give him another little feed and then back down and he usually goes back to sleep until he wakes at 6-7am.
Milestones / Changes:
- His smiles are pretty much constant these days. As soon as you make eye contact with him he basically will offer you up a gorgeous gummy grin, and they are just some of the best things in the world.
- His laugh is one of my favourite sounds and he is very ticklish which gets giggles, kisses on his neck and tummy get good laughs too. Sometimes he will lie there laughing at things that amuse him like the girls being silly or you making silly sounds to him.
- His spewiness is settling. He still spills every day but the amount that comes up isn’t as much as it was before. Some days are worse then others with it, but it is definitely improving.
- He loves sucking on his hands still and has even started sucking on his thumb sometimes. A couple of times he has managed to get a toy in his mouth to suck on as well.
- He has started grasping the toys that hang off his play mat, and he can also hold on to toys for short periods of time.
- He loves spending time on his playmat and kicking his legs out. He has also started moving while lying down, and can move around in circular directions around the mat and he also scoots down and off his mat.
- He is also looking like he is not very far off from rolling over from his back to his front. He gets almost on to his side.
- He is really strong when doing tummy time and can easily hold his head up and use his hands and arms for support. Although, to be honest I need to do more tummy time with him. He has really not liked it to date, I think with his spilliness it’s uncomfortable for him. So I need to persevere with it a bit more!
- His neck is really strong now (although he has been strong from when he was really small to be fair) and you don’t need to support him as much anymore.
- His hair is growing in even more, it has rubbed off a bit at the back of his head but the top is growing in, it is quite fair but also has bits of darker hair. I think his hairline is like Toby’s.
- I can’t quite make out what colour his eyes are going to be, some days they look a hazel colour, sometimes a really dark grey blue colour. So I’m not sure.
- One of his biggest changes is that he now can settle himself to sleep. We can put him in his swaddle and down in to the bassinet awake, and he might make some noises for about 5 minutes max and then go to sleep. Most of the time he just goes to sleep without any fuss, so that has been fab not having to rock him or anything.
- We also don’t swaddle him with his arms down anymore in the Mum2Mum swaddle. He was waking up really upset when he was swaddled in that one, and quite hot. So we changed him out to the love to dream swaddle and he has been much happier in that one. He sucks on his hands when he is in it which I think makes him self settle a bit easier. He just seems more comfortable. I tried him in a sleeping bag but he wouldn’t settle in it so I don’t think he is ready for that quite yet.
- He will turn to look for you now if you say his name.
- He had his first trip around the supermarket where he happily sat in one of the baby seats the whole way, which was a big change as previously he has only been happy to be in the baby bjorn or boba wrap.
- He absolutely loves his bath and I think would lie in there for hours if he could!
- He still loves being held closely and is quite happy to snuggle in his boba wrap and have a little sleep.
- I think his biggest developmental change to date though is the amount of time that he is now happy to relax on his own, he has finally found his ‘chill’! Before he would not settle in a bouncer or on his playmat without basically immediately crying. Now he will sit in any of these things for quite long periods of time which has been quite a change for being able to get things done!
So that’s it for four months. He is just so precious and I am so in love with him it is ridiculous. I am looking forward to what the next couple of months will bring with introducing solids, and more movement etc, however I am absolutely not wishing one second away, I want to enjoy every moment with him knowing how quickly it all goes. The longer he stays my tiny baby the better!