Yesterday Kaitlin turned four months old.
I know I say this every month (ok, ok - every week) but how has it been four months already? It goes by too, too fast.
Kaitlin had a big month. She learned how to (FINALLY) roll over - in fact she celebrated her four month birthday by rolling over three times yesterday! I got her first real giggle out of her last week (and have heard lots of "half" giggles since then). She is reaching for and holding toys, sitting up in her bumbo and jumping like a rockstar in the jumperoo. Her leg strength amazes me. I know every mom says this but she must be the strongest four month old around.
She found her feet and learned how to blow raspberries. The amount of drool coming out of her mouth has increased ten fold. She started sitting in the big kid stroller seat and has started "talking" a lot during the day, and not just when she's tired anymore. All of these amazing things in just one month!
Her sleep is still a bit wacky, although for the last week she has finally started sleeping 7-9 hours in a row again (it only took 6 weeks to get back on that schedule) at night, for which I am grateful. After a pep talk from our pediatrician yesterday I am going back to nap and sleep basics. Once again I had found myself doing too many things to try and get her to sleep - I have to remember less is more.
|the many faces of KLC, part 3|
Our little girl is growing up to be a tall girl! She measured in at 25" yesterday and is in the 90% for height at her age! Her weight is still on the low end, only measuring in the 20%. The doctor wasn't concerned about her height/weight ratio just yet but would like to see her pack on some more weight before she starts solids (how is she old enough for us to be having the conversation about solids?!) These days she is pretty distracted while eating - pausing to look around, give me a smile or just plain take a break. I am trying to figure out if my supply is low (one bad thing about breast feeding is you never know how much they are getting to eat) or if she is just a slow, slow eater and needs more time to get all her calories in. I am trying to increase my supply just to make sure I have enough of what she needs. I'm increasing the amount of water I drink, calories I eat (ok, ok - I'll have another cookie!), adding more pumping sessions a day and am going to try a couple old wives tales - like eating oatmeal and drinking a beer. Hopefully with all these little changes we can get our girl up to a good weight at her next check up so we can start with solids!
A few more things I have learned...
Over the last couple of months we have been getting out and visiting with friends who have babies and attending a moms group at one of the local hospitals. I never realized how important this was until I started getting out there. It is so, so important to have a network of friends and other moms in your situation who can relate and offer some advise or just an ear to listen. The moms group that I am a part of also has a Facebook page where people are constantly asking questions, venting their frustrations and offering things to do and organizing meet ups. It is such a great feeling to be part of an online community (as well as a real life one) with a bunch of people who are all in the same boat as you. I think many times we as new parents, and especially as stay at home moms (and dads), we tend to block out the outside world in search of the perfect nap schedule/feeding habits/whatever-the-problem-of-the-day-is and think that we are the only ones having these problems. In reality there are dozens, if not hundreds, of people going through the same thing. It's nice to connect with those people every once in a while - if only to confirm that no, you are not crazy :)
Write Everything Down
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I have a terrible memory. Ask me what I did yesterday and you'll probably get a blank stare. I know it involved a lot of diapers though. My memory was pretty crap before I had a baby and now you can just forget about it. So in addition to keeping track of Kaitlins eating, pooping and sleeping habits (yes, I am STILL recording all of this information) I have learned to write down as many memories as I can. That is one reason why I love having this blog. Ten years from now I won't remember exactly when she first rolled over or flashed me that first non-gas-related smile, but thanks to this blog I will. When I was pregnant I had the foresight to order a journal to help me write down these memories. This is the one I settled on because it wasn't daunting. It is so much easier to write a sentence or two each day rather than try and come up with a lengthy entry. I highly recommend it for all new moms (and dads!) and the best part is it keeps records for five years! I can't wait to have show this to Kaitlin when she is all grown up.
There is no definitive answer
In parenting there are SO many questions that I ask myself each day. Some of them are relatively easy - Does she have a dirty diaper? Is it time for a nap? Is it time to eat? Many of them though, are not. Why is she making that grunting noise all the time? Why didn't she sleep for longer than 30 minutes? Should I get rid of the swaddle? What's the best way to do x, y and z? I could go on and on. I have plenty of parenting books, am glued to parenting blogs and websites and ask my fellow mommy friends a million questions. And yet, I have found, there is no definitive answer for every question. Because each baby is so different, what works for one might not work for yours. And because each parent is different, what worked for one might not work for you. As much as I want this parenting thing to be black and white, cut and dry, I am slowly learning that it is not. Talk about 50 shades of grey. So I take the advise that I get from all the books, blogs and parents that I can get and try a few of them out. Some of them work, some of them don't. And at the end of this parenting gig (is it ever really over?) maybe I'll write my own book. But I can't guarantee it'll work for you ;)