New Baby Stage
He’s not a newborn anymore. Those days of teeny-tiny newness and snuggling a curled-up ball of sweet-smelling infant on the top half of my chest are gone, and probably for the last time. I love that newborn time, when they sleep most of the day away, only to wake up, snuggle, nurse, and fall back to sleep. The cries are those sweet little quiet newborn cries, the clothes are adorably tiny, and for the most part, the poos aren’t terribly atrocious. Yep, the newborn days are definitely gone!
Zachary is 3 1/2 months old now, and he’s now a “baby” rather than a newborn. He spends most of the day awake now, and during that time he’s eager to interact with everyone. He’s even showing interest in his toys now, reaching for them as he lays on his play mat, and reacting when his brothers show him things. His cry is no longer quiet, and his poos, well, lately they ARE terribly atrocious. I consider terribly ironic that my baby laundry has doubled at the same time his naptime has drastically decreased. So not fair!
The boy is growing like a weed, and our unscientific estimates (weighing ourselves holding him, then not, then subtracting) place his weight in the neighborhood of 18 lbs. I put away all the 3-to-6 month clothes and pulled out the 6-to-9 month and 12-month clothes at the same time. He has a really long torso, so the 12-month shirts, onesies, and sleepers actually fit him pretty well. Even though he started out over a pound smaller than Jack, he seems to be close to catching him sizewise at this stage. Looks like we have another FLB (freakishly large baby, a nickname I use with love!) on our hands. I was indeed not destined to be the mother of petite boys.
Zach hasn’t rolled over yet, which I know from the other boys is not unusual when babies are big. Gravity is working against them, and it just takes more strength to haul over that much mass. But he’s starting to be interested in the idea, and his interest in toys, people, and, I’m ashamed to admit, the TV, is giving him the motivation to turn himself for a better view. I’d guess that he’ll be rolling within a few weeks; he’s so close, but just can’t close the deal yet.
My little guy isn’t much for sleeping during the day, but he does pretty well at night. Our night time schedule varies from great nights where he sleeps from 11 p.m.-5:30 a.m., to nights like last night when he went down around 10 and was up at 11:45, 2, 4, and 6. I feel a little guilty that my reaction at the third feeding was a frustrated “Seriously?!” but Mama needs her rest too! Most nights it’s a happy medium, just one feeding in the 3 to 4 a.m. range, and that’s totally doable. On the bright side, no matter when he wakes up, he eats and goes right back down, so it usually only takes 15 to 20 minutes. I’m getting better at falling back to sleep fairly quickly, so I can’t really complain too much.
I want to try to do better at getting Zachary on a daily routine, but just as I found it challenging with Jack, it continues to be tricky. Gracie was such a schedule baby. It was easy to do that because she was the only one. Her needs were able to dictate my day, and I could usually work my stuff around whatever she needed to do. With my fourth baby…not so much. We were in a great routine for a few weeks when Zach would sleep in till about 8:15, enough time for me to get everyone breakfast, pack Gracie’s lunch, and get her on the bus without worrying about him. Now he’s usually up with everyone at 7:00, and usually wants to be fed somewhere in the midst of our crazy morning routine. Definitely not as convenient. If we need to do any errands, we usually do them in the mid-late morning, which would probably be a good time to establish a routine nap for the baby, but we need to get out and back home before the big boys need lunch and their own naps. The closest thing we have to a routine is the fact that if Zach falls asleep on our way home from errands, he’ll usually stay asleep in his car seat for 2 to 3 hours. If only he’d nap like that in his crib on our stay-home days!
The best part of this stage is that we’re starting to see Zachary’s personality develop. He’s an easygoing baby, as if a fourth child has much choice in the matter! He greets his family members with a smile that lights up his whole face, and soaks in attention from his siblings, daddy, and me. He loves having “conversations,” where he goos at me and I mimic him back. I don’t know if it’s the one-on-one attention, or whether he thinks I’m speaking his language, but it seems to make him really happy. He seems to be really observant too, and always watches his older siblings at play. Sometimes he looks like he can’t wait to join them. As fast as the past few months have gone, I know that will be here before I know it.