And, just like that, another month has gone by.
Since the weather here in Philly has been brutally cold and very snowy during the past several weeks, we’ve spent most of January indoors. I thought about bundling B up in her snowsuit so she could experience her first snowfall, but it has been so nasty that I can’t even stand being out there. I figure that we’ll save that fun for next year, when she actually knows what is going on. In the meantime, we have still managed to have a pretty eventful month.
At the beginning of the month, B had her four-month doctor’s appointment, where she weighed in at 14.1 pounds and measured 24 inches long. She has more than doubled her weight and grown about five inches since she was born.
I was pretty excited that we got the okay from the doctor to start introducing solid foods. She has seemed interested in food for awhile. If someone is eating something in front of her, she watches intently. And, if we let her smell food, she usually grabs for the spoon, licks her lips and drools.
We decided to start with avocado. I was particularly curious to see how she responded to it, since this was one of the few things that I could not get enough of during my pregnancy. Her reaction was priceless, as her facial expressions alternated between delighted and disgusted. Judging from the way she tried to grab the spoon and feed herself, I think she mostly enjoyed her first experience with real food. I’m hoping that we will have a little foodie on our hands.
Sitting in her high chair for the first time
“What are you guys doing to me?”
“Hey, this is kind of tasty.”
“On second thought. Maybe not…”
In less fun news, we dealt with her first cold. I learned that there really isn’t a whole lot you can do for a baby when they are a coughing, sneezing, feverish mess, except just keep them hydrated, suck the snot of their nose, and give them extra love. I was on a first name basis with the nurse at our pediatrician’s office by the end of the week, as I called every day with a new question or concern. Luckily, they were super nice about it and B was back to her old self by the end of the week. Although I’m not looking forward to the next time, at least I’ll have a better idea of what to do and what to expect when she gets sick again.
Sleep training continues to be a work in progress. About a week after moving her into her crib, we also decided to ditch the pacifier. She would spit it out throughout the night and cry until one of us put it back. Or, she would try to get it back herself by smashing her face into the mattress, which was not at all effective and just plain nerve-wracking for me. The first two or three nights were rough, but after that, she discovered that she sucking on her hand or her tongue provided the same calming effect as the pacifier. I’m kind of glad we got this over with early on, instead of waiting until later when it might have been more difficult to overcome the pacifier addiction.
This doesn’t mean that sleep has been smooth sailing. The only way she gets more than a half-hour in for naps continues to be if someone is holding her or she is dozing in her car seat. At this point, I don’t care if this is what it takes, as long as she naps. She seems to sleep so much better on the nights were she got a decent amount of rest during the day and she is so unpleasant to deal with when she is overtired.
Nights are still rough. After stories, songs and cuddles, she usually falls asleep pretty easily in her crib, but there are many nights where she wakes up every single hour (mostly because she rolls onto her back and startles herself). She seems to forget that the same techniques that help her fall asleep at the beginning of the night can also work at 3 or 4 a.m. I end up rocking her back to sleep, which can sometimes take 45 minutes to an hour, or just bringing her into our room. I know I’m probably setting up bad habits (for both of us) that will be hard to break down the line. But, sometimes I just need a couple of uninterrupted hours of sleep before I have to get ready to go to work. I’ve always been the type of person who needs a full eight hours of sleep to function properly. While I know that it’s going to get better the older B gets, the lack of consistent, quality sleep is the thing I’ve been struggling with the most lately.
When we aren’t fighting the Epic Sleep Battle, we have so much fun. B is so playful and sweet. Chester is particularly good at making goofy faces at her, which set off an endless stream of giggles. She doesn’t seem to find me as funny, but I can usually elicit a similar effect when I tickle her or blow raspberries on her belly.
I’m not sure if this is the age where it starts, but she seems particularly affectionate lately, too. She gives big, open-mouthed, slobbery kisses and when we hold her, she clings on tightly, like she is giving a hug. My favorite thing is when I lean over her and she grabs my face with her hands and makes one of her happy little coos. I like to think that maybe she’s saying that she loves me.
We’ve been working on sitting upright. She can do it unsupported for about thirty seconds or so before she topples over. When she’s on her belly, she looks like she’s trying to bring her knees up underneath her so that she can crawl. Chester keeps saying that he can’t wait for her to be more mobile, but I’m not quite ready for all of the chaos that that will bring.
The toys she seems to enjoy the most at the moment are the Poppin’ Park Giraffe, VTech Learning Walker (although she can’t use it as a walker yet. She just likes pushing all of the buttons the Dance and Learn Puppy. The latter two tells the same four songs/stories over and over again, and each time her face lights up like it’s the first time she has heard them.
(Side note: I need to find toys that come with other tapes or something. Tapes? I know, I’m dating myself here. But, you know what I mean. Why aren’t more toys like Teddy Ruxpin? I’ve already memorized every single song and story in all of the toys we have and it’s driving me a wee bit insane. I can even hear that stuff in my head when the toys aren’t on).
Like many babies, she is surprisingly into things that aren’t really toys. The rustling sound of a potato chip bag never fails to fascinate her and she loves seems to love the sound that results when she scratches her nails on the sheet in her crib or the throw pillows on our couch. Her favorite, non-toy source of entertainment seems to be her feet. She loves grabbing them and just in the last week or so has successfully been able to get her big toes in her mouth. It’s disgusting and adorable at the same time.
I love baby feet. All other feet are gross.
Next month will be B’s half-birthday, which seems particularly momentous. It will be time to plan her first birthday party before I know it (and, believe me, I’ve been thinking about it. I have a theme picked out already!). She is just growing up way too fast!