Things are feeling good right now, which probably means change is on its way… so I’ll savor this moment!
For starters, Milo’s sleep has improved so much. He’s not sleeping through the night (that is, 12 hrs straight) but we went from waking every two hours to a hard-earned nine hour stretch and only one feeding that we’ve been slowly pushing out. Currently it’s around 4:30-5am but one day we’ll make it to 7am! He’s falling asleep on his own, usually within less then ten minutes of moaning and crying. And last night he didn’t even cry: I lay him down, sang a few songs, left, and he just closed his eyes and fell asleep. Amazing!
He goes down for naps on his own too, but the duration isn’t consistent yet. We’re aiming for 9-11am and 1-3pm. Some days it works like a charm, like this past weekend where he napped for eight hours total. We took advantage of the baby-free time and sunshine to attend to some overdue gardening. One nap was nearing 2 1/2 hours and I almost wanted him to wake so I could take a break from weeding. Almost. Other days, like yesterday, he regresses to 40 minute cat naps and needs a third one around 5-6pm.
Part of his waking back up is breaking out of his swaddle. I’m experimenting with him sleeping unswaddled for naps, but only if I can afford to sacrifice a nap. At least the days of last-resort stroller walks are becoming a distant memory.
Milo is a charmer during his waking hours. He makes these silly expressions with his mouth, tucking in his lower lip and puffing up the cheeks, or pursing his lips and pretending to suck. His latest babble is with his mouth closed, but his grin is always wide and bright-eyed. Milo is still most interested in faces and people.
We’re incorporating more “independent play time”. This is partly because the daycare Milo will be going to does not use any contraptions (like the Bumbo chair or Johnny Jumper he adores). They won’t put him in any position he can’t get himself into, for example, propping up to sit or tummy time. And here we have Milo, who insists on standing any time his feet find “ground” (often our thighs).
So we’ve been laying him on his back more, and sure enough, Milo immediately learned to roll from back to tummy. We caught the first one on video (from afar because he learns better on his own). Now I’m lucky if he’ll stay on his back for more than 30 seconds. Often I put him down, leave the room to get something, and voila, he’s doing tummy time.
However, Milo seems to have forgotten how to roll back or maybe is really focused on crawling. He pushes his chest up high enough his hips almost leave the ground but his legs don’t quite tuck in. Or he’ll do this swimming, all limbs in the air, motion until he gets so exhausted and face plants. I guess he’ll eventually learn.
Milo now enjoys turning the pages of books. So far he’s been pretty patient, waiting for us to finish reading the page, but there are occasional speed reads. We do a lot of reading, usually before naps and bedtime, so this past weekend we walked to Powell’s and treated ourselves to some new baby literature. Of course Milo still prefers the regulars; his favorite is “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?”
We’re all benefiting from this recently developed regular sleep and feed schedule. Milo is noticeably happier with the routine and the predictability is great. We take turns putting him to bed, while the other goes out, to dragon boat practice, Dads’ or moms’ night out, girls’ night, tennis… I love the freedom of not having to leave early to go back and nurse. We do stay in more but it’s been lovely to have evenings at home. So what if we spend it watching our latest TV addictions Castle and Breaking Bad? 🙂
We’re enjoying it while we can because in two weeks everything will be different. I go back to work and Milo starts daycare. I’m resigned and very sad. We’re just starting to get into a rhythm, the weather is shaping up, and Milo gets cuter by the day!
When I go back to work, we’ll have to figure out a whole new morning schedule to get us out the door. I have to pump at work. Just after Milo started taking the bottle again, he went on a brief nursing strike. It might have been due to my getting sick, but for a few days I panicked as my milk supply decreased and I had to go into the freezer reserves. I started pumping every 1-2 hours and drinking the fenugreek tea. Fortunately, it seems to have passed now but every night I pump to stock up for when I go back to work. It’ll also be around Milo’s six-month birthday (already?!) when we’ll start incorporating solids, so that’ll change up his feeding schedule too.
But again, I’ll try not to think about it yet. We are excited for the next two weeks. This Saturday, my sister from France, her husband, and our nephew arrive. Milo’s going to meet his cousin! Then my parents come in one week so it’s going to be a full house. Expect lots of pictures and videos!