Naps: 3 naps throughout the day (1 morning and 2 afternoon naps), about 2 hours in length; 1 evening “cat nap” about 30-45 minutes in length
Feeding: Breastfeeding 4 times throughout the day along with 1 bottle of breast milk in the evening
Clothing: mostly 6-month clothes, some 3-6 months
Bedtime: 9:00 to 9:45pm
Eating: Henry breastfeeds every 3-4 hours during the day. He went through a growth spurt during week 11 where he needed to eat every 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
In the evening, the time between feedings shortens to about 2 hours; he really likes his belly to be full before going to bed. He typically is starting his last “round” of milk at 8:30pm.
Henry typically eats at 6:30am, 10:30am, 2:30pm, and 5:30pm. He cluster feeds between 7:00 and 9:00pm. Since week 11, Henry has been able to go without the middle of the night feeding.
Sleeping: Henry continues to be an excellent sleeper. Although his growth spurt altered his daytime feeding and napping schedule, it thankfully had no negative effects on his nighttime sleeping. Since week 11, he sleeps about 9 hours straight at night with three 1-2 hour naps throughout the day. Occasionally his morning nap ends up being an extension of his overnight sleep where he naps for another 4 hours or so after waking up and being fed at 6:30am.
He typically goes to bed fairly easily, but seems to be developing some separation anxiety. He has been getting fussy when we first lay him in his crib. Picking him up and snuggling with him almost instantly solves the problem, but that just restarts the cycle. He shows the same sort of fussiness when we turn off the nightlight. (If we leave it on, he ends up looking around the room for hours.) Lately we’ve been gently rocking his body when he’s swaddled in his crib, and giving him time to get his wiggles out while we read him his bedtime story to help him calm down.
Henry certainly has a “window of opportunity” when it comes to putting him down for a nap; you have to catch him at the right time otherwise he battles you and tantrums. He typically is awake for 2 hours before going down for a nap. As those 2 hours start to expire, you’ve got to be on the lookout for yawns and eye rubbing. As soon as he’s yawned and rubbed his eyes a few times, it’s time to go to bed. He doesn’t show these sorts of signs at bedtime though. At night he’s very alert and enjoys looking at everything.
Development: Henry is able to support his head on his own almost all of the time. He still gets wobbly when he’s very excited or sleepy.
Henry discovered his left hand at the end of week 11, and seems to be just discovering his right hand (the start of week 13). He’s been working on reaching and grabbing, and coordinating opening and closing his fingers. Right now his left hand is for reaching and grabbing, while his right hand is for pinching his shirt.
Henry has also become very chatty in the past month. He loves to coo and gurgle, and seems to have added new vowel sounds to his repertoire. He also seems to be “speaking” more in phrases and sentences rather than single sounds.
Likes and Dislikes: Henry continues to enjoy playing at his play gym. The toys dangling from it became so much more interesting to him once he realized that he could try grabbing them with his new-found hand.
Henry has started sucking on his fist as a means of comfort. He does this a lot when he is starting to get tired. You can hear him sucking from several rooms over as he tries to get a latch on his knuckles.
Since adding new sounds to his vocabulary, Henry loves to sit and chat. He’s especially chatty right after being fed or when his diaper is being changed. His favorite thing to talk to is a group of pictures hanging on his nursery wall. He’s quite the flirt with them. It seems like he could sit all day and smile, coo, and giggle at those pictures.
Henry does not like to be set down when he is tired. He would much rather snuggle with you and be held. He’s had some difficult times getting to sleep because of this.
New This Month: We took Henry to the Minnesota State Fair (a.k.a. The Great Minnesota Get-Together) not once, not twice, but three times. He slept through most of each of these visits, and was perfectly content to chill in his stroller.
We also started cloth diapering during the day at the beginning of this month. We have not yet tried using cloth for overnights, but that will come with time. It was a lot easier of a transition than I was expecting. The biggest challenge so far has been sticking to the laundry schedule of washing diapers every other day. We’ve also had to do some trouble-shooting with liners and ointments to prevent redness on his bottom but we seem to have found a solution. The redness is not new, but we had to adjust how we treated it so as not to ruin the absorbency of the cloth.
We’ve made Thursday nights be our library night. No, Henry does not have his own library card (yet), but we have been able to check out quite a few board books to read together throughout the week.
Other Notes: By keeping a closer eye on Henry’s sleep signs during the day, we seem to have almost eliminated the “cycle of rage” that was happening last month. Occasionally Henry will rage but that is typically due to having a lot of gas in his belly.
For now we’re fine with Henry’s fist sucking, but we want to keep a watch on it so that he doesn’t become a serious thumbsucker.
We also will be keeping an eye on his “handedness”. He seems to greatly prefer his left side over his right. He prefers to reach and swipe with his left hand, and also rolls more smoothly from his left side.
During week 12, we started having Henry practice falling asleep without having his arms wrapped in his sleep sack during naps. He’s able to fall asleep like this, and can usually stay asleep for 30-60 minutes before he startles himself back awake. Once he does startle himself awake, he is too tired and frustrated to continue trying so we have to re-wrap him with his arms back in the swaddle.
Mama and Papa Update: I officially decided to stay home with Henry for this school year. I was going back and forth all summer long, and even applied to a few positions. It felt very strange to not be heading back to school to hang bulletin boards, organize school supplies and plan lessons. I really miss my students, but am incredibly thankful to even have the option to stay home and care for Henry. I know many moms wish they could stay home but can’t for a variety of reasons.
Both of us are really enjoying seeing the emergence of Henry’s personality. He’s really starting to become his own person who can share his preferences and communicate with us. We really love being able to “chat” with him and watch him learn about the world around him.