“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray.” And there have been quite a few gray days this month. Welcome to January in Pennsylvania, buddy. But regardless of the snow and the freezing temperatures, and no matter if we don’t leave the house, your gummy grin always lights up my days.
You started out the month with your very first cold. Poor guy. I’m sure we can blame it on almost two weeks of holiday travel — from Pennsylvania to Alabama and back again — and passing you from one set of arms to another. Daddy and I caught it, too, and between the three of us, we were sick for just over a week. You had a sniffly nose and a pathetic little cough, but, fortunately, you never got a fever. So we sucked the snot from your nose several times each day and ran the humidifier every night. Through it all, though, you never stopped smiling. You’re such a happy guy!
You also developed a mild case of cradle cap this month — at least we believe that’s what it is. The skin on your scalp is dry, which causes you to scratch it with nails that I find impossibly difficult to keep properly trimmed. We stopped washing your hair every day, and that seems to help.
You’re becoming more alert and more talkative with each day. I look forward to our daily chats and love that you’re developing intonation in your voice. Daddy thinks you might become a storyteller like your Mommy. You’re also now rolling over from belly to back and from back to belly, too. In fact, you are quite the squirmy worm. We finally had to move your bath time from our bathroom to yours for fear that you would finally roll right off the vanity and into the sink! Now you have your own tub with Thomas the Train toys and a stack of colorful cups, and you can sprawl out on a towel on the floor. You still love to splash and kick your feet in the water, especially when Daddy adds “double bubbles.”
Speaking of feet, you love yours. You are constantly kicking off your socks, so sometimes we let you go barefoot, and you are just memorized by those piggly wigglies.
You’re starting to develop eye-hand coordination and can now reach for toys — and then you proceed to put them right into your mouth. The Oball fits perfectly into those little hands of yours, and you’ve become quite intrigued by your ABC train and Leap Frog music table. But your current favorite thing is the Jumperoo. Your feet still don’t quite reach the floor, so we slid a thick board game underneath to allow you to jump. And, jump, you do! Every day we rotate between these toys — as well as the Bumbo — and you last about 10 minutes with each before you’re ready to move onto the next.
Another new activity we introduced this month: music. We set Pandora to the Family Folk station and sing and dance around the living room, typically just before nap time.
This month we’ve been working really hard to transition you into the crib for nap time (as opposed to our arms or your swing). You like to wake up 30-40 minutes into your nap and scream, which is not fun for you or for Mommy. Yes, gone are the days of deep infant sleep. Apparently your sleep patterns are maturing, and it can be difficult for you to stay settled during the “active sleep” stage. Can you tell that Mommy has been researching this topic? Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do until your baby body adjusts. And so I typically let you cry for a few minutes, but if you’re not able to drift back into sweet slumber, then I scoop you up and let you finish your nap in my arms. It’s not ideal, but it’s what works right now.
I’m happy to report, though, that you’ve had a much easier time adjusting to nighttime sleep. We had a few rough nights that required me to re-swaddle you or re-insert your pacifier as many as five times, but we survived. And you dropped your middle-of-the-night feeding (which happened anytime between 3am and 5am). We even had a few nights this month that you slept from 8pm until 7am. Way to go, little man! Our next step is to wean you off the swaddle — especially now that you’re consistently rolling over in both directions. But we’ll save that progress update for next month.
Your 4-month doctor’s appointment isn’t until next week, but we estimate that you’re about 13 pounds. Still our little Peanut! You’re still wearing size 2 diapers and are just barely fitting into your size 3-month clothes — the shirt sleeves and pants legs are becoming too short! We’re not looking forward to your shots next week, but we are looking forward to talking to the doctor about introducing solids into your diet. We think (we hope!) you will love food. Most nights you help me to prepare dinner while nestled in the Baby Bjorn. I describe each ingredient to you — crunchy orange carrots and shredded purple cabbage, onions that become sweet after you cook them, whole wheat rigatoni boiled in salted water. And sometimes I sit you in my lap while I eat, and you follow each bite from my plate to my mouth. Daddy is especially excited to watch you taste your first food. And he hopes you’ll love pistachios, pickles, and peanut butter as much as he does.
Another sign that you’re ready to eat? The drool! Yes, you are a drooling machine. In fact, we purchased new bibs with plastic lining between two layers of cotton, and you still average about four per day. But until we get the official go ahead from the doc, I’ll continue to nurse you six times per day: roughly at 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm. And you’ll continue to grow big and strong and more active by the day.
Sammy, I love how you suck in your bottom lip when you’re in a deep sleep. I love your toes that look just like Daddy’s and the little creases at your wrists. I love to kiss the spot just below your ears and listen to you giggle. And, of course, I love those big blue eyes that are so expressive and so observant. Thank you for bringing so much sunshine into our lives.