4 Month Update

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Naps: 3 naps throughout the day (1 morning and 2 afternoon naps), the morning nap is about 1 1/2 hours in length, the first afternoon nap is 45-60 minutes, and the second afternoon nap is about 30 minutes.

Henry’s morning nap is his best nap of the day. He goes to sleep easily and naps for about 90 minutes with little to no wakeful periods. He takes shorter and shorter naps as the day goes on, and it takes more and more effort to get him to calm down and close his eyes.

Feeding: Breastfeeding four times throughout the day with one bottle feeding at bedtime

Clothing: mostly 6-month, 9-month sleepers; will be sizing up to 9-month onesies soon thanks to his fluffy cloth-diapered bottom

Bedtime: 8:30-8:45pm

Eating: Henry still eats every 3-4 hours during the day. In the evening he eats more frequently, about every 2 hours. His time between meals shortens when he is going through a growth spurt.

Henry typically eats around 7:15am, 11:00am, 2:45pm, 6:00pm, and 7:45pm.

Sleeping: Early this month I tried doing an arms-out swaddle for naptime. Everything started out really well. Henry slowly drifted to sleep while playing with his hands, sucking on his fingers, and doing a little bit of “singing”. It got progressively worse as time went on though. He started getting really fussy in his crib and didn’t want to be laid down at all. He seemed to developing some sleep anxiety. It even became very difficult to get him to sleep at night. He got fussy if the room was too dark or if we weren’t close enough to him. He obviously was not developmentally ready for this big change so I put this experiment on pause for the time-being.

Since the “arms-out swaddle experiment”, Henry’s naps have gotten significantly shorter. The longest his naps have been is 2 hours, but more often than not his naps are just under an hour long. You can almost set a timer to when he will need comforting. He sleeps for about 40 minutes for his first stretch and then does a few 15 minutes chunks before officially waking up. Oddly, he only does this for naps.

Around the middle of this month, Henry started showing signs of wanting to move his bedtime up earlier. This coincided with our trip to New York. It also seems to be in response to the shortening days. We’ve had to readjust our evening schedule a little bit to make sure that we can bathe Henry and that he gets enough to eat before bed.

At night, he sleeps straight until about 5:30am before he starts to get squirmy. It usually takes about an hour before he’s actually awake. Unless he’s fussing, I don’t let him start his day until 6 at the earliest, but usually he lulls himself back to sleep until 6:45am or later.

Development: Henry has gotten really good at grabbing things hanging in his field of vision. He’s learned that he can grab a toy with one hand and then bring it to his mouth or transfer it to his other hand. He is not yet too interested in toys that are clearly out of his reach.

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Henry still loves to chat with us. He’s been experimenting quite a bit lately with his volume while chatting. Sometimes he’s quietly “whispering” while other times he’s almost yelling. He has recently added blowing raspberries to his repertoire of sounds. It’s so funny to watch him focus on sticking his tongue out and then blowing. A downside is that now he’s constantly covered in his own drool.

For most of this month Henry hated tummy time. I was lucky to get a few seconds out of him on his belly before he started tantruming. Within the past few days, that has started to recede. He’s started showing signs that he’s getting ready to roll from tummy to back. He has gotten a lot more comfortable resting on his elbows, and has been working on pivoting his hips.

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Likes and Dislikes: Henry loves his Oball toys. He has the small Oball rattle ball as well as the Oball that looks like an atom model. He loves to grab them and try to shove them in his mouth. Once he’s tried this for awhile, he starts to get frustrated and ends up spending his time yelling at the Oball.

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Henry loves to have his belly patted. Frequently he enjoys this so much that he breaks out in a full belly laugh.

Sometimes when we are reading books, Henry likes to “read” along with you. He can get quite chatty as we are reading. It seems like his favorite books to read so far are ones that have bears in the illustrations, like Bear’s Loose Tooth. He also enjoys Countablock.

Henry does not like when we turn the lights out when he is lying in his crib at night. This may be a side effect of the sleep anxiety I mentioned above, or some separation anxiety setting in. We’ve taken to keeping the hall light on as Henry is falling asleep.

New This Month: This month Henry took his first plane ride and went to New York City. We spent four days in NYC for World Maker Faire. Henry did an amazing job on the flight there, but the flight back was your classic screaming baby on an airplane scenario. Adam and I spent 2 1/2 hours lifting Henry up and down as that seemed to be the only thing that would distract him from his crying.

We went to an apple orchard and pumpkin patch with Adam’s family. It felt more like July or August instead of late September the day that we went. It was still fun to get some yummy apples, pick out own pumpkin, and get some pictures of our family, and Henry with his cousin Elliot.

Other Notes: Last month we mentioned that we were keeping a close watch on his fist and finger sucking. That habit seems to have stopped on its own once the novelty of his new-found fingers disappeared.

We’re hoping that Henry’s attitude toward sleep and napping returns to normal. He can get crabby at night if he doesn’t nap very well in the afternoon or misses his late afternoon/early evening nap altogether. Bedtime can be very difficult when Henry is overtired and a little stressed about going to bed.

Henry might have been showing the first signs of separation anxiety when Adam’s mom came to babysit him for a few hours at the end of this month. He apparently cried and screamed the whole time, to the point where she thought he was injured or sick. Once Adam got home, he stopped instantaneously. It was especially surprising because she babysits Henry at least once a week. I think we’ll be having a few playdates with her where we don’t leave so Henry gets more comfortable being babysat again.

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Mama and Papa Update: Adam has especially enjoyed seeing how excited Henry gets when he gets home from work or gets snuggle time in the morning. Henry really seems to have grown to love his Papa. This is especially welcome compared to the strong aversion Henry had to Adam last month. Even though we never found out the cause, we are thankful that it only lasted for a few days.

I know everyone says it, but I can’t believe how quickly this kid is growing! I’m really loving this stage that Henry is at; he’s got personality and he’s so interested in using his hands to grab and learn about things, especially his Oball and all things crinkly. I know there are so many developmental leaps and bounds ahead of us and lots of fun discoveries for Henry, but I’m having a hard time being ready for them. I want him to stay this age for just a little bit longer.

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