Four months has passed in the blink of an eye. Yet again I’m reminded of the difference between being a mum this time around compared to four and a half years ago. Far less time has been spent on Google, or parenting forums and far more time has been spent simply cuddling my baby and not worrying about “bad habits” or “doing it right”.
The first twelve weeks with our new baby girl were easy or, easier than I had expected. Although sleep evaded us, we had a happy baby who was proving far less dramatic than her older sister. But then, at twelve weeks, something changed. After a week or so of trying to work out was wrong, something clicked and I realised that we had a baby battling silent reflux. The constant stuffy nose that we’d assumed was a forever cold, the coughing and spluttering during feeds, the hating being placed flat on her back during the night, the slightly sour milky breath… all of this pointed to silent reflux, which the doctor and health visitor confirmed was probably the case.
Weeks thirteen to fifteen are a bit of a blur. We had some particularly bad nights where, after feeding, baby girl would be inconsolable. The worst night saw me pacing downstairs with her at 2am, desperate not to wake Frog. I put the baby in the pram in the kitchen and rocked her back and forth as I sobbed through sleep deprivation and frustration. That was a low point.
The next day looked something like this:
As with all things baby-related though, it passed. The following night was much better and, slowly, it feels like we’re passing through that tricky phase. January was not much fun, but things have been much happier and calmer over the past week or so.
I’m currently on a dairy-free diet for a month to see if it helps with the silent reflux and slight eczema baby girl has, because the doctor said there’s a possibility she may have a cows’ milk allergy. To be honest, it’s not like the silent reflux or eczema is that bad, so I suspect it’s probably just a coincidence the two have arrived hand in hand, and it’ll turn out to be something she’ll grow out of (fingers crossed).
At four months old (today!) baby girl is proving, yet again, to be a very different baby to her big sister. I don’t think I realised just how different babies can be until becoming a mum for the second time. Baby girl is physical, she LOVES being on her front. She rolled over at twelve weeks old and, just this week, has started trying to sit up from lying down flat on her back. This is all new to us. Frog is hypermobile (although we didn’t know it at the time) so was much slower to reach physical milestones. It’s an odd thing for me to put a baby down on the floor and come back to find her half way across the room, laughing.
When she was born, baby girl (still no blog name – although Bear has become her nickname at home, so we might stick with that) had wispy dark hair all over her head. Most of that promptly fell out and in the last month a new growth of thick white-blonde hair is coming through. She still has a long tuft of dark hair at the back though, which reminds me of that Christina Aguilera hairstyle that was massive in 2002 – black hair underneath and white blonde on top.
Her face is definitely changing. As a newborn she looked exactly like Frog did (to the extent that I showed the midwife a photo of a newborn Frog and she thought it was the same baby). Now, though, baby girl is starting to look much more like me. Again, this is all new to me, as my first-born looks very much like her dad.
She’s a cuddly baby and loves nothing more than to sleep curled up next to me, or on me, or in the sling (spot the theme). There’s something extremely liberating about just giving in to the babydom and enjoying these cuddles. At this point with Frog I was already panicking about “setting up bad habits” etc and stressing about getting her to nap in her cot, but this time around I realise what a waste it was spending all that time worrying. Plus, this way I get to sack off the To Do list and watch Netflix as I have the excuse of being trapped underneath a sleeping baby. Win.
At this age baby rhythms and patterns change so much that it’s difficult to point to any kind of routine. I’ve noticed that baby girl tends to fall asleep on the morning school run though and, in the past couple of weeks, has cut her first early morning nap of the day (at around 7.30am – 8am). She now snoozes on the school run and will stay asleep in the sling for an hour or so, before waking for a play and a feed and then having a longer nap for a couple of hours. Then there will be a couple more naps later in the day – often the last one on the way home from the school run. It’s quite handy that she’s happy to sleep in the sling as it means we’re not tied to the house, and don’t have to slot into some rigid routine. As long as she’s fed and cuddled she will sleep pretty much anywhere.
Anyway, there’s not really a point to this post, apart from to mark baby’s four month birthday and make a note of what she’s like now. I feel like we’re just starting to get a glimpse of her little personality. Things are just about to get interesting.