4 Months Update

Filed under: baby's progress,doctor,thoughts — by Lauren on February 19th, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

Anya had her 4 months appointment at the pediatrician today. She’s a whopping 15 lbs, 12 oz (90th percentile) and 26 inches (97th – ! – percentile). Aside from a pesky rash that just won’t quit (normal for some babies, unfortunately) and a touch of laryngitis (which makes her cries sound so sad and pitiful), she’s big, beautiful, and healthy as can be.

That paragraph had a lot of parenthetical comments.

Some of the things we discussed today were Anya’s sleeping and eating habits. Unlike several of her friends, Anya still sleeps swaddled in her Co-Sleeper in our room, and although she slept from 11-4 last night, she’s not showing signs of being able to sleep through the night. She’s a pro at falling asleep, but not staying asleep. We’re going to work on helping her give up being swaddled first, and we’re using a cold turkey approach. As I am writing this, she is taking her first nap in the era of no swaddling. It took 30+ minutes for her to truly fall asleep. We had at least 15 minutes of crying, at which point I pinned her arms down just so she’d calm down enough to start working on falling asleep. Then we had a long period of falling asleep for 5 seconds, startling herself awake as soon as her arms dropped, waking up to cry, lather-rinse-repeat.

I’m VERY uncomfortable with letting her cry herself to sleep at this age, but that’s basically what I did, though I was there to put the pacifier back in her mouth and be a comforting presence. I feel SO guilty about it. She trusts me to take care of her, and though I know I’m doing something good for her in the long run, it feels like right now I’m letting her down. I’m definitely not ready to let her cry it out on her own, and therefore I’m not sure how we’re going to approach getting her to sleep through the night. I know we have to get her to learn that she doesn’t need to eat when she wakes up, since the doctor says that there’s no physical need for her to eat in the middle of the night – it’s just a comfort for her. We are going to work on helping her give up the extra feedings once she’s mastered sleeping unswaddled. One suggestion the doctor had was for Lex to be the one to comfort her back to sleep instead of me. The advantage of this approach is that Anya won’t be able to smell me/the breastmilk, and the bonus is that I would get to sleep more, though I know if I can hear her cry I won’t sleep. I’ll either have to wear earplugs or leave the country or something.

We plan to transition her out of our room to her crib at around 5 months – we don’t want to move her before then because some research has suggested that keeping the baby in the parents’ room decreases the risk of SIDS, and the highest risk period is between 2 and 4 months. I don’t think she’ll have too much trouble since she takes naps in her crib during the day with no problems, and it may even help her sleep through the night more easily since I won’t be able to hear every peep she makes. I think it will be tough on me when we move her out, though. I love having her so close by; it’s so amazing to have a baby in the first place, and I can’t describe the joy and comfort I get out of hearing her breathe and watching her sleep. She’s only going to be little like this for such a short time, and I don’t want to miss a second of it.

Anya still nurses every 3 hours during the day, which is fine, and now that she’s 4 months old we can think about introducing solids. I’m inclined to wait as long as possible, but Lex wants to start them sooner. Aside from avoiding the stinkier poops that come with solids, there’s some evidence that delaying foods decreases the chance of allergic reactions, and the doctor suggested that with Anya’s tendency to have a rash, waiting until at least 6 months might be good for her. However, Anya is showing a definite interest in people food whenever she watches us eat. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get a clearer answer about how to proceed once we start (rice cereal vs. veggies, etc.), but I understand – there’s no “right way” to do it.

In other news, Anya’s really got her head under control, and she’s trying to push up on her hands. She’s so close to rolling from her tummy to her back, though right now she ends up spinning herself in a circle from the way she brings her knees up to her chest. She can scoot on her back if you let her push off your hands with her feet. She grabs at anything you dangle in front of her, and if she’s able to grasp it, it goes in the mouth. And, if there’s nothing available to put in her mouth, she’s a pro at getting her hands in there. She coos, blows bubbles, smiles, and laughs. She’s become a real little person, and we love her.

One Response to “4 Months Update”

  1. Mommy aka Grammy Says:

    Sometimes solid foods help a child sleep through the night better since they take longer to digest or make the child feel fuller and more saisfied. Of course some experts say that this is just nonsense!

    Together you and Anya will decide how to proceed: she’ll clearly convey her likes and dislikes; unless you like screams and messes on you, her, the highchair, and the floor, you’ll feed her mainly the things she likes.

    My personal recommendation is baby rice cereal first and pureed fresh bananas second.

    I think the articles pointed to below are good; you;ll find that they share most of the same ideas, but differ on some points. There is no right answer, so you try one thing and also another, and see what feels most comfortable for you and your daughter.