I wrote this last week, on his actual 2-month birthday, 1/11. Even though quite a bit has changed since – babies are amazing! – I’m going to post anyway. Hopefully I’ll put out a quicker post this week about all the new, recent developments.
Let’s start with the 6-week growth spurt. Wow, could have used a warning on that one. The first day ended with a 3-hour marathon feeding session. Seriously. His frustration and hunger eventually overpowered the movie and we never did finish The Fisher King. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any bottles on reserve so it was a long night.
It did motivate us to do some reading on milk production, and apparently the emptier you are, the more you’ll produce. Whenever there was time in between feedings, I pumped. That meant for about a week I was tethered, either to the baby or a machine. Even temporarily saturated, Milo was still fussy. We were all feeling his growing pains.
But he did put my milk to use: at his two month check-up yesterday, he weighed 11.5 lbs, moving up from last month’s 8th percentile to 46th. That’s averaging a daily 1.5 oz weight gain. At this rate, he’ll be 25 lbs by summer; in two years, he’ll hit 100 lbs. Ben started a plot of his weight over time. Surely the graph will curve but currently, it’s perfectly linear. He’s in the 76th percentile for height and 10th for head circumference, so in other words, he’s relatively tall, thin, and has a small head. Sound familiar?
We estimate he’s drinking 4-5 oz at each feeding, two hours apart. Ben read somewhere that’s the equivalent to us eating 2.5 lbs per meal. No wonder babies need so many diaper changes! I use a timer to keep track of the feedings, but I don’t need to: Milo’s internal hunger clock is inexplicably prompt.
Milo looks like an actual baby now: his cheeks are adorably fuller, body no longer wrinkly or frail, even his eyelashes are growing out (I didn’t realize they come later!). Each stage of his growth is novel and exciting, but at the same time I’m already feeling nostalgic. I reluctantly retired all the newborn size clothing. I look back at the early photos and remember stroking the peach fuzz on the side of his face. Now I understand how precious and brief the infant stage is.
Ben’s parents arrived right before Christmas, and around this time, seven weeks, he started to be a happy and alert baby. His life was no longer eat, sleep, cry. He makes faces while awake. Everyone has witnessed a smile, one which we decided is going to be a gorgeous one. But as each of us wants to believe he loves us the most, it’s questionable at whom or what he flashed that grin. It’s certainly not repeatable on demand, or more likely our funny faces are actually rather boring. My favorite are the sounds, his first “coos” and “gahs”. They’re typical of a baby, but it’s so cute to watch him work on getting the sound out (takes a few minutes) and to at last hear his sweet voice. I have yet to get it on video.
Though Milo isn’t quite making strong eye contact or obviously responding to our voices yet, he really has begun to soak in the world around him. He listens and turns his head to new lights and sounds and follows objects, that is, of interest. The digital frame from Ben’s parents and a few NYT magazine ads have turned the diaper changing table from misery to a hang out station. Ben has taken him on many tours of the house, which include reading the bookshelves, learning some art history, and compiling a list of things we’ve never noticed before and ought to fix. And like father like son, Milo loves watching the fire.
He’s very active, almost restless at times. Again, sound familiar? Sometimes we have to put him down so he can do his leg and arm “exercises” at his leisure. Last week, around eight weeks, he started to find his hands to his mouth, grasp things that pass through his fingers, and taste anything that tempts his lips. He doesn’t detest tummy time but gets bored of it pretty quickly. Still, we need to do more because he continues to prefer resting his head to the right. I don’t want to deal with a helmet!
Now on to the sleep. This really deserves a post on its own, so I’ll try to be brief and to the point: Milo is a terrible sleeper at night. We’ve tried many, many set ups. The cosleeper was short lived, the bouncy seat gave false hopes, do we really have to listen to a sound file of a dishwasher all night, how many times must we learn that swaddled is best, and he’s not fooled by the pinky or pacifier.
We reluctantly put him in our bed. Even though I sometimes lay awake watching him sleep next to me, you’d be surprised how much space a 23″ person can take. The feedings were still two to three hours apart and he slept poorly, grunting, squirming, waking himself up. He was grumpy from his lack of rest; I was so sleep deprived that I’d have almost-fainting spells while standing.
Finally, we gave into the failproof position: sleeping on us. The first five hour stretch was unheard of. I didn’t know what to do! Really. I was very uncomfortable, wishing I had planned the pillow support better, but not enough to adjust my position, and my breasts were too full of milk. But no complaints; it was a sign that this baby wasn’t starving and *could* go longer than two hours! A few more experiments and it was clear Milo prefers being on his tummy. We didn’t have the courage to ask our doctor for an OK to go back to the 70s, so we’re sticking with “back is best”. Sigh.
The other adjustment we’ve been working on is his day and night schedule. As he became more awake, he’d start at 8pm and go strong for five hours. While he was a ringer for NYE, we aren’t ready to party every night of 2012. Slowly and gently we’re pulling the schedule back, but what a conundrum to wake a sleeping baby!
Overall, Milo is generally an easily readable baby. Either he wants food, a diaper change, or is tired. When he’s extra fussy, the bouncy ball only lasts so long. Sometimes he just wants to be held. That’s ok; Ben gets a workout from his “speed-skating” and I’m practicing my Waltz. Sigh. What wouldn’t we do for this irresistible face?
More pictures on FlickR.