Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Growing Up

Three days ago, Sophie turned four months old.  She has changed so much over the last four months, it is hard to believe sometimes.  Where once there lay a helpless infant who could barely stay awake for more than twenty minutes, there is now a strong, capable baby, determined to begin her long journey to independence. 

Sophie does not like lying down anymore.  While taking in her surroundings, she insists on being sat up or would even rather stand (with our help of course).  I think this is why she seems to really enjoy the jolly jumper; it is something she can do all on her own.  She smiles spontaneously and squeals with delight.  However, she often wears a serious face while she examines, explores and tastes everything possible.  She will reach for things and as long as it can fit in her hand, will grasp it and bring it to her mouth.  Her aim has improved so much over the last couple weeks and she seems happier having a bit more control of her limbs.  She does still need to be swaddled at night though, because those pesky arms aren't always willing to co-operate.  I try leaving her unswaddled every once and a while and she usually ends up looking like she lost some fight.     

We did figure out a bedtime routine that seems to work for Sophie.  We start with a feeding, followed by a bath.  After, she is rubbed down with cream and put into her pyjamas.  Then we read "The Going To Bed Book."  I now know this book by heart, which is handy because she rarely wants to stay on the same page as the one I am reading.  Finally, we have another feeding, in the hopes of keeping her asleep longer.  Once she was used to this routine, we switched her bedtime from whenever Ryan and I went to bed (somewhere between 10 and 11 pm) to somewhere between 7:30 and 8 pm.  This has allowed Ryan and I to have our evenings again, without having to stand and rock her for hours on end, since she would become so fussy after 7 pm.  This has also done wonders for my back!  The downside to this change is she wakes up a lot earlier.  She once would wake somewhere between 9 and 11 am but now thinks that anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 am is a good time to start the day.  Luckily, when her dad wakes up, he takes her down and has breakfast with her.  Usually after this she is ready for a short nap which gives me a few more minutes of sleep.

 She is sleeping in a crib in her own room now.  This change happened about one week before she became three months.  I was determined to show Ryan, who warned me that we needed to make this transition when she was three months old, that I wasn't a needy, overbearing mother who needed her daughter to sleep in her room until she was five years old.  I was worried that this move would effect her sleeping and cause me to get up more during the night.  At least this is the excuse that allowed me to keep her in our room for as long as we did (we had both agreed before Sophie was born that a baby should be in her own room from the very beginning, my opinion on this matter changed the moment I became a mother).  So although my concern was mostly for my child, thinking that she would have a hard time sleeping without her mother by her side, the transition seemed hard only on her mother.  I may have snuck into her room one or two times and put my hand on her chest to make sure she was still breathing. 

Napping has also improved.  I remember, not that long ago, most of my days were spent rocking her and trying to get her down for a nap.  It could take me 40-60 minutes of walking and rocking to get her to sleep for 20 minutes.  It was a bit frustrating.  Now we sit in the rocking chair for 5-10 minutes and then I put her down in her crib.  She will sleep anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour and a half on a really good day (this is usually in the morning).  As the day goes on, it gets a bit tougher to put her down.  By the time Ryan gets home somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30 pm, it can take two or three tries before she finally settles down, and that is if Mom is feeling more stubborn than Sophie and refuses to let her stay up.  It doesn't always happen though.  Now that we have a fairly stable napping routine, Sophie seems to have trouble napping when we are out and about.  While I have heard many stories of parents taking their child for a drive to put them to sleep, Sophie rarely will sleep in the car.  Saturday, Ryan and I went furniture shopping.  We left around one and didn't get home until dinner time.  Sophie refused to nap the whole day.  She may have slept 20 minutes on the way home, only because I sat in the backseat and held the soother in her mouth.  I am hoping this will change because it is good for both of us to get out of the house.  However, even when she is overtired, she is still a fairly pleasant baby.

All in all, I would say we are pretty lucky.  Not only do we have a good strong, healthy little girl but she is a happy, calm and easygoing baby.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Nicole. She's precious and you look great. Seems like you're managing quite well, which is good news. Thinking of you and yours;