As Elodie approaches her four-month birthday (later this week!), I thought I’d share some highlights from the rest of July.
At three months (July 3), Elodie weighed 10 lbs 15 oz.
Three weeks later, I had her weighed again and she was only 11 lbs 12 oz. Both times, she was still tracking on the 9th percentile, which the health visitors assured me was good; she is gaining steadily. Everyone says babies grow out of their clothes so fast, but she is still solidly in 0-3 month size clothing. That’s fine with me since her clothes are getting plenty of wear, and although I do worry about her size I know there really is nothing to worry about. She still eats well and pretty frequently (every 2-3 hours) and I’m happy to let her eat as often as she needs to.
According to The Wonder Weeks, Elodie is going through a major leap right now developmentally. I don’t have a great gauge of what is typical, but I get the sense from other mums I know that Elodie is on the more fussy side. I really like Dr. Sears approach to attachment parenting, and like how he characterises babies like Elodie as “high needs”. That is how I would describe her, as she just likes to be held and interacted with a lot. I don’t think it’s a problem; I love that she is so engaged and active. It’s just exhausting!
Relatedly, Elodie is definitely going through the three/four month sleep regression. The days of sleeping 5 or so hours at night are over, as she often wakes every two or three hours. My mum friends are going through the same thing with their babies at this age which I find reassuring.
On the plus side, we’ve gotten into a good routine with me feeding her and putting her down for bed in the evening. Many of the baby books/sleep experts discourage feeding them to sleep, but attachment parenting experts point out that breastmilk is designed to help babies sleep, and if it makes them happy, why mess with it? Definitely the approach we are taking.
One day a few weeks ago when I had nothing on the agenda for the day we went to the National Gallery! It was great fun – Elodie slept the whole time, I wandered around and looked at the paintings, and afterwards I got a sandwich at Pret and sat with her in St. James Park to feed both her and me.
It was really fun and felt great to get out of the neighborhood and do something different.
We also spent a Saturday recently at the coast, visiting the village of Whitstable. It was an easy train ride there and I really enjoyed being by the sea (down the shore, as we’d say in New Jersey).
It was kind of a stressful day though, as I was quite tired and Elodie had some fussy times, and it was all compounded by the fact that it was a gray day and rained a bit – typical British seaside in July I suppose.
The oysters and fish and chips were fabulous though.
Elodie continues to enjoy her various toys, especially her brightly coloured rings, and putting everything in her mouth. Last weekend, at 16 weeks old, we noticed her first tooth coming in so that explains the drool and chewing on everything!
Elodie has also been making much louder noises lately as she tests her vocal range. She shouts with excitement while playing and she is starting to really giggle!
We also read to her all the time; if she’s in the right mood, it can be a good way of settling her down.
And this month we started swim lessons! We are going to our local leisure centre (like a YMCA) for adult/infant classes on Monday mornings; so far we’ve been to three classes and I’m really glad we are doing it. It’s important to me that Elodie learns to enjoy the water, and it’s just a fun thing to do together.
I was quite nervous about the logistics of getting in and out of the water and changing us both, plus holding her safely in the water. It all has gone really well! At first I think Elodie was just too shocked by the whole experience to cry, but seemed to enjoy it, and by week three she started to get really into it. We do lots of bouncing and swishing them around in the water, singing songs and playing and just getting the babies comfortable, and pouring handfuls of water over their face and even dunking them under!
Three weeks in, I’m very comfortable in the water with her but I have to say the logistics are still a pain. It is not easy to get a wet wriggly baby dry and clean and happy when about 15 other mums and babies are all trying to do the same thing at once in the cramped changing room after class – plus dry and dress ourselves – but we manage.
Last Friday we did our first baby and mum yoga class and I loved it! I went to Stretch, where I used to go for prenatal yoga, and really enjoyed the class and Elodie seemed to as well. During class Elodie began to grab her feet for the first time, like she first realised they were hers! So cute!
Last week, I took Elodie into my office to meet my co-workers and chat with my boss about my return to work. I was pretty stressed out about it, nervous about how Elodie would react and if she’d be in a happy mood. She was at first but then got quite overwhelmed being passed around to a lot of new people, so I retreated to a quiet room to feed and change her. It was really lovely to see my co-workers and it was nice that everyone pointed out the designated room that I could use for feeding; it was good for me to know I can use that for pumping too when I return. It was also good to talk about work stuff and get my head back in the game. In some ways I am looking forward to returning to work and that part of my life. I love my job and I like working on things that interest me with smart, interesting people. And my boss was very cool about my having a part-time schedule when I return. I am really lucky to have such a great workplace. Nothing is definite yet, but aiming to return some time in October.
On Thursday, I visited her nursery again, to be sure I still liked it and ask some more questions. The nursery still seems like a great place and I think we will be happy there. It will be so hard to go back to work and leave Elodie with someone else, and I can’t really imagine it happening for real. But at the same time, I think I will be ready when the time comes. Does that make me a bad mum???
The week before last we hit a real snag in our routine when I contracted a stomach virus. It was the worst! I was sick for about three days and basically couldn’t do anything by lie on the floor next to Elodie and watch her play. It was absolutely awful. I felt so exhausted and weak and couldn’t eat a thing, and I was worried about how I could keep up my milk supply. Luckily that didn’t seem to be impacted, but I felt awful that I couldn’t take Elodie anywhere or engage with her much. We survived and Elodie was a champ but I was really miserable.
And last week Elodie had her 16-week vaccinations, and initially did fine with them; there were three jabs and she didn’t even cry after the first one! She didn’t react too badly to the 8- or 12-week shots so I figured we were in the clear.
But that afternoon she had a major meltdown, like nothing I had ever seen her do. She was inconsolably screaming and sobbing for hours, and nothing would settle her, and she refused to eat. The spots on her legs where the needles went in were red and swollen and probably painful. I tried to give her CalPol (liquid baby paracetemol) and she choked, which was so scary! I also thought she was twitching and became scared she was having a seizure. I ended up calling the GP and took her into the office, where the GP assured me everything was normal. What a relief but it was all so scary. So glad she was okay, and this was a wakeup call that I need to learn more baby first aid!
Then a few days later I accidentally cut Elodie’s fingertip while clipping her nails, resulting in blood and crying and me feeling terrible. 😦 Not a good few weeks for us medically!
But on a more positive note, on Saturday I went for my longest run since last year. I did over three miles and felt fabulous, and came home to hug my smiley baby. Such a good feeling!
I love my little cute baby so much. She is still so tiny and lovable. I still can’t believe she is mine, and still feel so lucky every day.