|Doesn't she look so proud of herself holding a toy?|
Brinley got MUCH faster at eating this week. She also got much more annoyed if I tried to get her to eat longer than she wanted to. It is very hard to go from a baby who eats for 20 minutes per side to your baby refusing to eat longer than 10 minutes per side. I knew it was coming, though. I distinctly remember it happening to every one of my other children at 3 months old and I have told many of you that it is "totally normal." I know it is normal. And still it is hard for me to fully accept initially. I believe her now, though, when she is done. It is a great thing for your baby to be able to communicate done (you know, by scowling, arching her back away from you, and skwacking when you try to make her eat--how to you spell scwacking? I cannot remember right now. Oh! Squaking? Squawking! There I remembered. I think my brain will fully return to me someday.).
There is something I do when feeding her that makes her eat more contently. I had to do this with at least Brayden--maybe McKenna too. I can't remember for sure. Kaitlyn was just a speedy gal so I barely had time to sit down, but I needed this with Brayden for sure. I have to hold the hand that is up while nursing. So when I am nursing her on my right side, I hold her right hand with my left hand. She is much more content to eat when I do that for some reason.
A great thing about the baby getting faster at eating at this age is the baby is also starting to really play at this age. Then you have more play time. Cuddle time while eating is fun, but I really enjoy playing and watching babies learn. They are so smart and such fast learners.
This week I remembered that I give my kids toys at three months old, so I gave her a toy. She was very excited about this. She isn't capable of just reaching out and grabbing them yet. She can reach out and fist-bump toys and bat toys, but she isn't grabbing. She can take hold if I put it right at her hand and she holds on for dear life. When choosing a first toy for your baby, keep it skinny and light. Don't do like I did for Brayden. I did a rather heavy rattle (heavy for a baby) and he totally smacked himself in the head with it.
I tried the one-arm swaddle again this week. She was not having it. I did it for the first nap of the day so I would know for sure if it was the swaddle or just evening fussiness. It was the swaddle. I watched her on the monitor and her free arm was just flailing all over the place. After about 10 minutes, I went in. She looked distressed! I put her arm in the swaddle and she cooed at me and looked relieved. It was really like she was thanking me. She then went right to sleep. So she isn't ready. That doesn't mean your baby won't be at this age--many babies this age have been sleeping swaddle-free for a month. She just isn't ready for it. If your baby isn't ready for it either, don't stress about it. Your baby will not be "addicted" to the swaddle. Don't stress.
4 HOUR SCHEDULE?
Here is my problem. I always hang on to the dreamfeed up until the baby really needs either the dreamfeed dropped or the four hour schedule One day, I totally lost track of time and she ended up on a four hour schedule that day. She then slept through the night as normal. So it further points me to her being about ready to drop the dreamfeed. However, it isn't hurting anyone and I like it. And I want to keep it until she is four months old. And I don't want a four hour schedule yet all day because she can't have a long enough waketime for her to be up enough in the day.
Oh yes. Here it comes. The worst wonder week of them all. Wonder Week "19," which I put in quotes because really, it lasts from about 14 weeks until 19-22 weeks. Really? Okay, so in my experience, it isn't just solid 5 weeks of fussiness and poor sleeping. You might have off naps, off days, or an off run of days, but hopefully not a solid five weeks of it.
The most obvious sign of this wonder week is poor sleep. Some babies revert to waking in the night (or waking more often in the night), some have short naps...
Brinley had several days of shorter naps. Where I often am waking her for feedings at 3-4 hour intervals, she was waking at 2.5 hour intervals. My policy is to just feed her if she wakes earlier than normal in case of a growth spurt. But then she wasn't eating because she just wasn't hungry at those times. So by day three I decided to try my old swing trick I used with Kaitlyn. Since Kaitlyn had reflux, I never knew if she was waking early because of reflux issues or hunger. So I would put her in the swing if she woke early. If she fell asleep, I let her stay and sleep. If she didn't fall asleep after 10 minutes, I fed her. I did this with Brinley and she fell asleep every time. So she was having a rough time with a sleep transition. I am so glad she will sleep in a swing. McKenna did not. So if you find your baby is waking early and not hungry during this age range, try a swing, rocking back to sleep, sleeping in a baby carrier...something to help baby. Don't worry about swing dependence. Kaitlyn spent a lot of time sleeping in a swing and she is a great sleeper today.
After her day of finishing naps in the swing she went back to normal the next day. I am telling you, this wonder "week" can be very disruptive. Just don't freak out about the short naps that are likely to come along during this time.
This is our daily schedule.
2:00 or 2:30--feed
3:00--nap (one hour after waking)
5:00 or 5:30--feed
6:30--nap (one hour after waking--sometimes she does one hour ten minutes here)
7:30--feed, then bedtime
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