Thursday, November 11, 2010

My 4 Month Old...

...smiles and babbles and still loves, loves, loves her swing. Actually, I think I've created a bit of a monster by using it so much. As in, we're going to buy a travel (folding) swing to take up to the condo and to other destinations since it is still the most reliable way to encourage her to nap. She is starting to enjoy laying on her back in the pack and play and playing with a chime I've attached to the overhanging edge of the changer, but she still loathes tummy time with a passion. That said, when we do do it (I find it's the hardest thing to remember to fit into the day) she is getting better at lifting her head up. I figure once she starts reaching for things, tummy time will be much more interesting for her. She test drove a bumbo seat this week and had no problems sitting in it, so some more of the BRU gift card money may head that direction.

She's also started to suck on her hands and fingers, though no true thumb sucking yet. (In hand related thought, why didn't anyone tell me about the hand and toe lint collections? Seriously...she collects more lint, cat fur, blanket fluff...and who knows what else in those locations. Between her continuing tenacious grip and wiggles, if I haven't been vigilant sometimes getting it out takes a small bulldozer and a commercial size dumpster.) With this development, she's becoming less reliant on the pacifier and has actually refused it at times in favor of her hand, so I'm thinking that I may follow the recommended guidelines and attempt to remove the pacifier entirely around the suggested age of 6 months.

At around 13 1/2 pounds, she has now tripled her birth weight and is comfortable in 6 month clothing. Of course, there are still a few trailing items of 3 month, but most of those have now been set aside, including her adorable pumpkin Halloween costume. Unfortunately, DH and I were the only ones to get to see her in it live as we had NOT ONE trick-or-treater. (Can you tell this bugs me? Because it does. Muchly.) It's not that she's round so much as she's just gotten longer so her legs aren't able to stretch out in the sleepers. Based on a very rough measurement involving a wiggling child and a metal tape measure, she's pushing 23". She also made the transition into size 2 diapers shortly after reaching 12 pounds. After trying several brands in size 1, we're still a Huggies family.

Next week is the dreaded(?) 4 month doctor's appointment, and of course I have a list of items to ask about, including what might be one of the most significant questions: can we switch off the preemie formula? At 2 6ish ounce bottles a day (everything else is either milk direct from me or pumped and from a bottle), that's a max of 24 extra calories daily. At this point with her weight gain, I'm not really sure she needs them any longer. (Speaking of breast milk, I managed to squirt myself directly in the eye today. You may laugh now.) Even with coupons, not being able to purchase formula in larger cans really adds up!

As for sleep, I barely dare to mention it, but she has recently had a few nights where she didn't want to eat again after her 6:30-7pm feeding until almost 6AM. And at least one of those nights she may have been content to sleep longer but since I've started to breast feed her first thing (1. because it's the fullest I am all day, so I know she's getting a good amount, and 2. it means I don't have to deal with a bottle and pumping at 4-6am), I had to wake her before I exploded. And that's with pumping between 9-11pm before DH and I go to bed.

Mostly I am getting enough sleep - not always as much as I'd like but enough to survive - but I did hit a wall one morning a couple weeks back after Little One had been up every hour from 3:30am or so. Of course, after I handed her off to DH so I could get another 30-45 minutes of sleep before he left for work, he put her in the swing and she went right out. Figures.

She usually gets 5, sometimes 6, feedings a day, usually 2 of which as I previously mentioned are formula; the first feeding of the day is a direct breast feed, the second may be bf or bottle (formula or breast milk) depending on when the first occurred, and then it generally alternates between breast milk and formula from there every 3 hours. According to the rule of thumb of 2.5 oz per pound she should be getting almost 34oz per day. With 5 feedings, that would be over 6 oz per feeding, and there is no way that's going to happen. I'm just going by what her hunger and spitting up seems to be telling me - that 5 oz is usually the preferred amount but sometimes 6 oz stays fully down even though it's generally a recipe for a larger volume of spit-up than if she had just stopped at 5.

What else? Hmm, she's moved into a pattern of going poo about every other day, sometimes longer. This means there is always a lot of it when she decides to open the flood gates. After a particularly eventful visit to the hairdressers, I realized that it would be a good idea to keep an extra pair of pants for me along with the extra shirt I had already stored in the car. A clean sleeper and two gallon size ziplock bags live in the diaper bag for these moments (one bag is for the dirty clothing, the other is for the diaper and multitudes of wipes needed for cleanup). The diaper rash which we had struggled with for so long seems to be defeated for the moment, though I do keep an eye out and apply preventative measures if it seems necessary.

I started back to work, very very very part-time a couple of weeks back. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I go in somewhere between 10 and 11am, and leave between 12 and 2pm. Little One comes with me, so I don't always get as much accomplished as I hope to depending on her mood of the day. Some days are fine, and others, well, I probably need to buy my boss earplugs for Christmas. As she gets more active, I'm not sure that it's going to be satisfactory for either of us to keep working but we'll see how it goes.

My social life is busier now than before Little One's arrival...On Monday mornings I still attend the hospital sponsored breastfeeding group, mostly now to track Little One's weight gain and my production, but occasionally I have a question. Wednesday mornings find me either at the local library infant story time or meeting up with some other mothers from the BF group at Starbucks. Friday mornings are more varied - Starbucks if we didn't go Wednesday, occasionally lunch with my Grandmother (attends church with my boss and gets the scoop from him since he sees Little One more than she does), tomorrow lunch with a non-mother friend. Basically, I'm out of the house most mornings during the week. I also try to run one long or two quick errands after each activity, always depending on whether I need to get home to pump* or Little One's mood to determine if it can happen or not.

Little One has somewhat settled into one or two morning naps depending on when she gets up and the activities of the day, and one good afternoon nap. Heaven help us if that afternoon nap gets messed with! Then we have one cranky baby (and mommy, since I need that down time too!) who screams inconsolably until she winds down and can finally relax enough to get to sleep. It's not much fun for either of us.

So, that's where we are. I'm very happily surprised that I'm really loving being a mommy. One of my biggest fears pre- and during pregnancy was that I would slip into some post-partum depression based on an earlier depression caused by a different major transition, but so far I seem to have avoided that fate. I really hope it continues!

*I'm still pumping as I'm not making enough except at the first morning feeding to fill Little One up properly - it generally takes at least 2 pumping sessions, if not 3, to produce enough milk for one 6 ounce bottle. That's also why she gets a couple of formula bottles. I've also started to drink a lot more water every day, which is helping with production since "a lot more water" means going from a couple of glasses during the day to 2 to 4 fillings of this really cool bottle I was introduced to by my brother-in-law. I highly recommend it!


  1. Wow, very detailed update! I'm so glad your little one loves the swing, I swear atht swing was my reason for living for MONTHS when Aidan was wee.

  2. The hand lint eventually goes away, but is replaced by general stickiness. As for toe lint? It's here to stay!

    So glad you are all doing so well and enjoying parenthood!

  3. The cherry on the top of lint are the forever dirty nails, no matter how much I try to keep them clean and short trimmed. You'd think he works the land from morn' till dusk!

    Anyway, it's good to hear from you. We are still in the trenches with the sleep training and it is killing me. I haven't been so tired in my life. Gimme newborn days any day, I can deal with those...

  4. I have been following your blg for awhile and also have a 6 month old! I started taking an herb that was recommended to me by my lactation consultanat and it has really helped my supply. It can be found at