With four months under our belts, it is amazing to think that a third of Evelyn’s first year has already gone by. Thinking back on it, I feel like that it went by really fast and slow at the same time. I think I feel this way because things ARE happening really fast, but because I am sleep deprived dealing with everything, it feels like it has relatively been slower and longer than usual.
Updates from the growth spurt
In what seems like overnight, both Helen and I think that Evelyn has grown longer by a couple of centimeters from the growth spurt. Her grip is stronger and overall, she seems sturdier than before. We won’t know what her new weight is until we visit her pediatrician later this week, but we expect that has gone up a bit too. With a stronger neck and overall posture, we have started to sit her up on our laps, lift her up into the air, and recently, we put her in the Jumperoo. She was so excited that she tired herself out and was starting to fall asleep during her bath time.
Sleep and feeding changes
Thanks for the Jumperoo, Uncle A!
The aftermath of the growth spurt feeding schedule was that Evelyn got into the habit of snacking in the middle of the night. Previously, she was able to sleep from 8:00 -8:30 pm to 8:00 am with one dream feed between 10:00 or 11:00 pm and one night feeding around 3:00 – 4:00 am. Immediately after the growth spurt, she continued to wake up every two hours until we realized that she wasn’t actually hungry. So we tried a day or two where we didn’t feed her during any of her night wakings and trying to put her back to bed with patting and gentle coaxing. This process was extremely exhausting, much worse than waking to feed her. However, it did seem to work! After about three days of this, she was well on her way back to her pre-growth spurt schedule. We even had two nights where she slept at 8:30 pm and woke at 8:00 am with only a dream feed in between. We have been trying to get her back to this state ever since. It’s like getting a hole in one and double paring every hole afterwards (I miss golf).
Tummy time success
According to our parents, both my wife and I started to roll over at around 5 months. Evelyn seems to be hitting her milestones a bit earlier than us. We think it’s because of the general push for “tummy time” that child development specialists advise nowadays. We started to put Evelyn more on her tummy which was usually before feedings. (We don’t do tummy time after feedings because she’ll likely spit up – even up to an hour or more after a feed.) When we asked our parents if we ever had tummy time, they both replied that nobody did that back in the day for fear of suffocation. These last couple of days of month three, she has started to roll onto her tummy all on her own. She has yet to master rolling back on her own, but I am sure she’ll catch on eventually. I guess the initial screaming and crying during tummy time really paid off!
The new schedule
I have said before how your schedule is no longer your own, but I didn’t realize to what extent. All I can say is that we totally understand why parents of young children have to leave dinners so early now. Sadly, we also totally understand why new parents cancel some social obligations because sometimes, between sleep deprivation, logistics, finding childcare, etc., it is just easier not to go… Our catching up with friends used to take place over dinner at a nice restaurant on a weeknight. Those nights are now just few and far between. Evelyn’s schedule is like clockwork – at around 7:30 pm, she will start fussing and complaining about still being up. This may escalate to full-blown screaming and crying unless she is either in the bath, getting fed, or being put down to bed. Given that, either we have an early 5:00 pm dinner or we have to call in the cavalry and have our parents watch her while we are out for a more “normal” 8 pm dinner. Thinking about it, it is understandable that she behaves this way… how would you like being out at a noisy restaurant and getting overstimulated when all you want to do is sleep? Also important to note here that her timely circadian rhythm is much more preferred to a confused one where day becomes night and no one gets any sleep.
Some Additional Notes:
- She no longer likes to sit in her bouncer or swing on the side lines while we eat. She lets us know that she wants to sit with us at the dining table and watch us while we all eat.
- She started to dislike her infant car seat and it was becoming heavy for us to carry her with it. She would cry every time we went to strap her into it and often wouldn’t sleep in the car at all, which she used to love to do. So we upgraded her to a 3-in-1 car seat still in the rear facing configuration. It’s a bit roomier for her and so far, she is able to fall asleep again in the car and our backs thank us for this decision.
- We have now retired about a “Banker’s Box” of infant clothes. She is now wearing clothes labeled for 6-9 months.
- She is also showing a strong preference for us and her home. When being cared for by anyone besides her parents at home, she usually does well. However, out of our apartment, she usually needs to be able to see one of us, or she will be more fussy.
- She really likes sleeping a particular way in her crib. No matter what position we put her in to start with, she manages to shimmy herself to that exact same spot without fail.
- We think that she is in the beginning stages of teething. Everything goes into the mouth, her chin is always glistening with drool, and if you put a finger in her mouth, she sometimes chomps on it! So we bought her Sophie the Giraffe and she has been om-nomming on that like a drumstick. We can see why most parents are always being given this at showers, etc. Babies seem to love it!
Evelyn meets Sophie for the first time. ‘Mmm… Chicken…’
Looking forward to more milestones in the coming weeks.
Add Oil Evelyn!
P.S. Add Oil – 加油 – A Chinese expression of encouragement, often heard during sporting events or right before exams.