Aiden’s four month update

Last Friday we hit the four-month mark with Aiden. He’s picking up weight well but is a small little fellow, clocking in at the lower end of the growth chart. Perhaps the Goodwin genes are stronger in this one; perhaps he’s just a late bloomer. Time will tell.

At 11 weeks old (14 December to be precise) he started smiling, and this time round I was the lucky recipient of his first grin. He’s gurgling delightfully and his level of interaction grows each day. He’s generally a very easy baby and, as non-first children must, has learnt to be fairly adaptable. He loves being in both the sling and wrap, neither of which I got right with Cam.

The only thing blighting our existence right now is Aidy’s reflux. Just when I think it’s getting better it seems to get worse again. He’s also struggling with wind and those pesky ones that I don’t manage to get out during the day, build up and come back to haunt us at 3am. It’s for this reason that I chose ‘ickle grunion’ (little someone who moans) as the Roald Dahl phrase for this month’s photo – the soundtrack to our wee hours is the poor mite complaining about wind-related discomfort.

We are nearly at the three-month mark in terms of his corrected age, and I mention this with a mixture of trepidation and hope. Hope, because at three months some things usually get easier – winding, longer stretches between feeds, more interaction to fill one’s heart. But trepidation too because at four months Cameron started cutting his first tooth and The Dark Days (which lasted for the next five months) began.

In some ways the last four months have flown by, in others I feel like my entire life has become a never ending loop of feeding, burping, rocking … Do it all again. But from our previous flip on this ride I know how many changes come about in the months ahead – solid food, more sleep, mobility! So at the risk of having to eat my words, I’m going to say that it feels like we are through the hardest bit. The very fact I have written this post after months of silence seems proof of that. We live in hope!

2015/02/img_4245.jpg

Nearly four months old

I’m so behind on my blog I’m not even sure where to start with the catching up. The problem with a blog is that if you don’t post things as they happen, there’s often not much point doing so later. So some of the items on my ‘To blog about list’ will have to be scrapped I suppose. However, there are a few that are still worth writing about so I’ll work on those when I can, but for now I think an update on Cameron is the most pertinent report to make.

Our little man is a few days shy of four months old. I took him for his second round of immunisations on Monday (I opted for the eight week schedule instead of the six week one) and he clocked in at 6.6 kilograms. He is 61 centimetres tall, putting him in the 90th percentile for height (so taking after his dad in that regard). His early arrival means that he is quite a small baby for four months (he is still comfortable in 0-3 month clothing), but in all other respects he is doing marvellously well.

Cam’s personality is starting to really shine through and Colin and I are just utterly enthralled! He remains an incredibly calm and contented little boy. When faced with new people and environments he absorbs it all with an expression of solemn concentration of his little face. However, when in familiar environments he has really started to relax and has become delightfully vocal. When lying on his play mat (or Play Station as we’ve taken to calling it), he will have long conversations with himself, and has even started to chuckle.

Lately I keep hearing about these babies who are sleeping through the night, but Cam isn’t one of them and usually wakes at 1 am and again at 4 am. Whether this is because I’m still exclusively breastfeeding I’m not sure, but as he is still feeding well at night I don’t think it’s just routine. Having Colin on holiday at the moment is great as he’s been helping me with the night feedings, giving me a bit of a break for the first time since September. Oddly I am finding that the more sleep I get the more I want, so instead of feeling more rested on my increased sleep hours, I am feeling more weary. Go figure!

While we generally have a pretty good routine going, we are finding that things change often so we have to be flexible. For example, last week we were really getting concerned as we were rocking Cameron to sleep for every nap and at night. I borrowed the Sleep Sense book from a friend and started keeping a sleep diary with the view of correcting bad habits. And then all of a sudden it was no longer necessary. On Wednesday night Col and I were both too tired to rock Cam, so we put him in his crib and decided to leave him until he started crying. Only he fell asleep all by himself instead and since then complains when rocked. (Bewildered gratitude is how I would describe my response.) With slightly less enthusiasm I must report that his other latest trick is to just start screaming for no apparent reason. There is no build-up of discontent, merely a split-second warning as his bottom lip drops and then he lets rip with an ear piercing wail! My suspicion is that these outbreaks are related to the level of stimulation he is receiving as they often occur after a bath or when we are somewhere new. Overstimulation is nothing new to us, but to keep us on our toes his response to it seems to have become less gradual.

At this time of year I tend to get overly reflective and have spent two days trying to end this post off. Various attempts at describing the joy Cam has already brought into our lives have floundered and failed in the murky waters of incomplete thought. So to avoid getting all maudlin at this happy time of year, I will rather just sum up by saying that life in the Rip household at the moment is generally peaceful, fairly routine, occasionally deafening and utterly underpinned by gratitude, love and contentment. From our little family to all of you, have a wonderful Christmas!

DSC_0019