Oh, it feels like I was just writing Noam's three month update. But it's been a month. A whole month. Noam's lived a third of his first year of life already, and it feels like that shouldn't be possible yet. This past month has been the best yet but I have a hunch it just keeps getting better and better. And, now that he's four months old, I can start planning his first birthday party, right?
Anyway, below is how Noam's doing today. (And I'm only half-joking about the birthday party planning.)
Noam had his four-month check-up earlier this week and did really well. He weighed 16 lb 8.5 oz. (75th percentile) and measured 26" long (75th-90th percentile) and he received his second round of vaccines. I have to admit something here, and I plan on writing more about it when I get a chance: I get an incredible amount of satisfaction from watching Noam grow, and I view his weigh-ins as affirmations that I'm doing a good job. Since he's exclusively breastfed (something that was a non-negotiable for me and something that requires overcoming obstacles to do and something I'm very proud to say), I've found that I'm using his weight as a proxy for how successful I am as a mom. Obviously so much can affect the way a baby grows, so I know this isn't really fair to me or him to do this, but it's a tough habit to break. I'm working on it, though.
Since Noam is particularly long, I'm currently packing up most of his 3-6 months clothing for storage and working on getting some 6-9 month clothing (I did not expect to need this size so soon)! He's also now in size 3 diapers but seems to be outgrowing diapers at warp speed so we'll see how long that lasts.
Nursing is Noam's absolute favorite activity. He eats about every 3 hours, though sometimes more often depending on the time of day. I love the way he grabs my shirt or bra and holds my breast and touches my hair when he nurses. I love the way his eyes roll into the back of his head and he makes little moans and sounds out of sheer delight to nurse. I love the way he crinkles his Noam while nursing and has since day 1. I love that he falls asleep while nursing and hugs me so tight that he leaves imprints of his tiny fingers on my body. Nursing Noam is my absolute favorite activity too, and I hope to do it for years to come. My goal, if you're curious, is to breastfeed for two years (or longer, if he still wants it).
Noam will be starting solids around 6 months, and I look forward to learning which types of foods he enjoys and which he chooses to spit out or throw on the floor. But I'm not eager to rush into solids. For now, I take a lot of comfort and pride in knowing I'm his one and only source of sustenance.
I considered doing away with this section because baby sleep can be a contentious topic, I've found. As Noam ages, I become more and more aware of my parenting beliefs and I learn more and more about how to be Noam's mom. Up until about 12 or 13 weeks, Noam was sleeping 'pretty well.' I defined that as waking up minimally throughout the night. And then, as if a switch had been hit, he began to wake up 4,5,6 sometimes 7 times a night to nurse. 'Who was this baby?,' I thought. But I started reading more about normal baby sleep and became a part of a few very supportive parenting groups and learned that there's no real such thing as normal baby sleep. Your baby wakes up 10 times a night? Normal. Your baby sleeps 12 hours at 6 weeks. Normal. Babies ultimately do what they need to do, and it's a futile and dangerous battle to attempt to change that, I think. Until Noam no longer wants to nurse this often at night, I'm here, lying next to him, boob at the ready.
But aside from this overnight sleep, Noam has put himself into a sort of eat, sleep, play, repeat routine throughout the day that's predictability has me giddy. Until it changes, that is.
Activity and Development
I'm not sure where to begin here. So much changes from day-to-day with Noam, and he's been developing so many new skills it's difficult to keep track. Suffice it to say: he's becoming more and more of a little human, of a child than a newborn with every minute that passes. It makes me wonder, where is my baby? I find myself nostalgic for last week, last month, but then I watch him discover his toes or his tongue (luckily, his tongue hasn't discovered his toes yet), and I couldn't be more content that he's growing as he is.
Some things he enjoys: screaming, rolling from side-to-side, music, sticking out his tongue, putting everything in his mouth (favorites include his fingers and my fingers) , smiling, giggling, watching everything around him,nicking up his toys, waking up in the morning, talking to us and talking to strangers (we'll work on that one), white noise, discovering his surroundings and limits (he recently started reaching out to find the ends of things around him and it makes me feel like he's beginning to understand where he is and his relationship to what's around him).
Some things he doesn't enjoy: when mommy doesn't give him 100% of her attention, super loud & sudden noises, hitting himself in the face with his toys.
Noam's personality is really beginning to show. He's sensitive, hyper-aware of his surroundings and has a high need for attention, cuddles and communication. He's very vocal and loves to be a part of what's going on around him. If he's not, he'll let you know. His eyes are big and deep and they feel much older than four months sometimes. He's so sweet and has this smile that spreads across his face and takes over his body and it infects everyone it lands on. He has his fussy moments that typically arrive when he's tired, but overall he's so happy and content as long as he's with his people (me too, Noam, me too).
Being a mom is full of challenges - it is not simple or predictable or clear sometimes - but it is so, so easy to be his mom.
Happy four months, Noam!