It was a monumental weekend for us –
The bassinet, which has cradled our tiny little baby every night and every nap, since the second day of her short little life, has been retired. We noticed last week that whenever Camden stretched, the top of her head reached one end of the bassinet and the soles of her feet extended to touch the opposite – it was becoming a little too Alice in Wonderland with the Eat Me cake; So, it was time to buy a mattress for the big girl crib and make the transition. Last night she had her first sleep in it – and all of a sudden she looks tiny again – hurray!
Speaking of sleep, we continue to be blessed with a little one who loves to sleep… at night. During the day is a completely Other story, but for now, let me focus on the positive. Since night #3, Camden has slept at least 3hrs at a time overnight, it grew to about 5-6 hours in one chunk by about 10 weeks, now at 13 weeks, she steadily sleeps for about 7-8 hours overnight, wakes up for one feeding, then goes straight back to sleep for another 2-3 hours. Now, in an ideal world (for me) the 7-8 hour chunk would begin at about 11pm (when I fall asleep myself) but that’s pushing it a bit. When we hear stories of babies who are still waking up every 2 hrs overnight, I am definitely happy with the sleep we have been getting. Now let’s just hope it stays that way. (I’ve heard that sleep patterns can be disrupted again when teething starts, and Camden is definitely showing early teething signs: lots of drooling and finger chewing. and stuffed bunny chewing. and mummy’s hair chewing. and blanket chewing.)
Like clockwork, Camden is also growing out of her 0-3 month clothes, and now wearing 3-6month. At last measurement, she was 64cm and 13.1 pounds (grown 11cm and gained 6 pounds since birth. Wow!)
There are things that we are finding that work… sometimes…
1. Bathtime as bonding time: Our little one is one of the, apparently, rare ones who hates baths. And I mean HATES. Vocally, shrilly, intensely hates. As a result, we were developing a carefully constructed schedule of (not) bathing that had Camden at serious risk of being The Smelly Kid at school one day. Her toes had major jam. Gross, but true. What we have recently discovered is that she will submit to, and even smile during, a bath with either Ken or I. As a result, we are all much cleaner people.
2. Early morning time with Daddy. As I mentioned, Camden generally sleeps from about 8pm to about 6am. But mummy often gets to sleep at about 11pm, wakes at 3am or 4am for the feeding, is up for 30-50 minutes (depending on how much baby eats and how quickly I can coax myself back to sleep) and is generally not as ready to start the day at 6am as Camden is. Luckily, Ken is Very Much a morning person and has been great at scooping Camden up and out of her bed when she has her morning restlessness and hanging out with her for an hour or so – giving me time for a few extra winks of sleep before morning feeding time.
3. Walks. Daily strolls with the stroller or carrier continue to be a staple of sanity for both me and Camden. No matter how rotten her mood is indoors, or how tumultuous it is to wrangle her into the car seat and rig her to the stroller, as soon as we are outside all is forgiven. She looks around in amazement at every tree and truck, smiles sweetly at each stranger who stops for a peek, and inevitably falls asleep for a nice long nap. Hallelujah. For me, it’s a great stress reliever, feels good to be in the fresh air, and is nice to see other humans.
4. Socializing. We go to groups… as many as we can find. Baby song groups, baby story time, baby information meet ups, baby groups organized by the public health nurse. And we all know who really benefits from these “baby” groups… the mummies. Frankly, I was hesitant to join into any of these groups at first, because I felt embarrassed that Camden seemed to just cry ALL the time. But let me tell you: when You think that Your baby is the cryiest one out there, I don’t think there as anything as reassuring as going to a public baby group and seeing with your own eyes that Every baby cries. Really. Whew. Also, in the 6-8 weeks that we’ve been attending some of these groups, Our baby has gone from being the tiny newborn, to one of the “bigger” babies. Constantly seeing the newer, younger, tinier babies is a great reminder of how fast it’s all, really, going by.
<<PS: my mum knitted that hoodie… how cute is that??
As an extra opportunity to socialize, we are volunteering with the Roots of Empathy program. Camden and I will be visiting a grade one class every month for this school year (we had our first visit at the end of October) . It’s really a great program – check out the link!
5. Being honest. Oddly, this was a really tough one for me… There is a fine line between Thinking Positively that Everything is Okay, and isolating yourself and others into a depressing vicious circle with what are pretty much lies about Being Fine. I wanted, very much to be perfect at this whole first-time-mom thing and prove that we could handle this on our own without disruption or drama. As a result, we turned down some genuine offers of help, overextended ourselves, and felt pretty lonely and overwhelmed.
I’m taking baby steps… letting people know that we don’t have any family in town, so we haven’t had the opportunity for many visits and much in-person support feels a bit scary and awkward at first; but, it’s wonderful when people do invite us to spend time, or come over to share a meal. Frankly, every day Isn’t awesome. Most days i’m not sure whether we’re doing everything – or anything – right. Some days I don’t have time to brush my teeth, or shower, let alone do my hair or put on make-up. Our apartment is in a steady state of chaos (though, I must admit and celebrate, we are taking HUGE strides forward in that area).
For me, the title says it all: “The days are long, but the months are so short!” My biggest challenge now is filling the times, during the day, when Camden and I are home alone… I’m genuinely concerned that she is bored. Or maybe that’s just my projection. I know, I know – that’s one of those things that we Aren’t Supposed to Say – but at this stage, she is awake and alert for longer periods during the day, but not coordinated or strong enough to entertain herself for too long. So I spend a lot of time Trying to Entertain Baby. And, with the aforementioned lack of family in town, the only people Trying to Entertain Baby are Ken and I – let’s be honest… it gets boring. (Why do I feel like lightening is going to strike me down for saying that?). I’d LOVE to hear tips and stories about how people are keeping it interesting for themselves and baby at this stage.
The days are definitely long… but the three months have gone by in the blink of an eye.