Tuesday, January 24, 2012
4 Months Old
Today, Ben turned 4 months old. Every Saturday, I think back to Ben's birth day and I'm amazed at how many weeks it has been. (As of last Saturday, it was 17 weeks). But when we celebrate another whole month that has gone by, it seems surreal.
Ben is such a joyful baby. He has a way of making people feel so wonderful by just looking at them and flashing the most adorable smile out of the blue. This is one of my favorite things about him - the amount of joy he brings to us, our family and friends! It is crazy how much he has changed in the past month:
Ben really seems to have sharpened his eye-hand coordination skills. He now will reach out for something specific and grab hold of it, (whereas he used to just grab onto whatever happened to be near his fingers). I notice now that when I hold my hand out in front of him, he will very carefully and purposefully grab my hand with both of his and guide it straight into his mouth. He also is a hair grabber. Apparently it's common for mamas to lose hair after having a baby (hormonal changes after pregnancy), but I'm almost convinced this is due to babies learning how to yank it out themselves!
Another new development is that he seems to almost "hug" me when I pick him up. I don't think this is intentional, but there is nothing better than when I feel him pull me close to him. I am pretty sure that he is just trying to get closer to my shoulder - to gnaw on it.
Ben is 100% a thumb sucker. This explains his complete refusal of pacifiers, as he seems to prefer his thumb to everything else. He started with just putting his whole hand in his mouth, but lately has been isolating his thumb. I often look over to see him sucking his left thumb as he scratches the back of his head with his right hand. I still swaddle Ben at night, and at some point in the middle of the night he will fight to just get his hand up and out so that he can put it in his mouth. It's like a magnet!
Ben is not sitting up on his own yet, but I can tell that he is becoming so much stronger when we practice with him on our laps. He takes very little support and just needs to be held so that he doesn't fall to the side. He also is not rolling over. I have yet to put him down on his back and see him roll to his tummy - however, he will roll to the side on occasion, so I'm thinking he may be close? When on his back, Ben generally seems to enjoy kicking....and kicking...and kicking! I have to admit, for my own selfishness, it's nice that Ben isn't mobile yet!
Ben is starting to grow into his activity station/jumper now, which is awesome. We have to boost him up as he feet still do not quite touch the ground, and we prop a pillow behind him to keep him in place, but he will spend a good 20-30 minutes at a time playing in it. He seems SO curious about everything there is to look at.
His sleeping patterns seem to be changing a little, in that he is not napping quite as much during the day as he used to. He still seems to get tired approximately 1.5 hours after eating, but at times he will only go down for a 20 minute nap. Most naps take place in his swing - which makes me nervous for the day when he no longer fits in it! As far as at night, we always put him to bed between 8pm and 8:30, he routinely sleeps until 3-4 am before waking to eat, and then back to sleep until 7 am. I would say that every 3-4 days, he skips his middle of the night feeding and sleeps all the way through.
In terms of laughter, we have not had another full on giggle-fest since the one I caught on camera a month ago! We get the occasional laugh here and there, but I am waiting for the day when I can regularly hear him cracking up!
We were/are back to having a serious struggle with the bottle. After I went back to work, he took the bottle just fine that first week with zero problems! Granted, he only takes 2 bottles/day, 3 days/week - and sometimes only 1 on Fridays if I make it home early enough. The following Monday, he went into serious meltdown mode when my mom tried to give him a bottle. Crying, screaming, totally freaking out. He eventually just fell asleep and I came home to feed him at lunch. That afternoon, seemingly in protest, Ben took the longest nap he has ever had and went 5 hours without eating. He woke up just a few minutes before I was home for the day. He was not happy at all. Greg's mom has been staying with us, and eventually got him to take his bottles last Wednesday and Friday, (it was still a challenge) but I am nervous each and every morning and afternoon when I know it's feeding time and I'm away from him.
Yesterday, he took both of his bottles very well. I had Marcia drape an unwashed shirt of mine over herself (so he would smell something familiar - me - while he ate) as she fed him, and apparently that worked very well.
Back to happier news - I weighed Ben at my parent's house on Sunday evening (I really need to invest in a digital scale) and Ben now weighs 16.2 lbs! I am eager to get his "official" weight and measurements at his 4 month appointment, which due to my work schedule and my doctor's availability, is not until February 7th. I have zero problem with this delay, however, as the appointment comes with more vaccinations.
We have retired all of Ben's 3 month and 3-6 month sleepers and he is now in 6 month clothing for the most part. Some of his pants and T-shirts (and "fancier" clothes, aka button ups, vests, jeans, etc.) are still 3-6 month, so I plan to get some use out of them in the upcoming months.
We could not possibly love this kid more, and continue to be so thankful for such a happy, healthy, hilarious little boy!