DECEMBER: J was basically sleeping or crying this first month and I spent most of it guilty that I wanted him to sleep a lot, since he was so fussy when he was awake. He’d sleep anywhere, but his favorite sleep spots were in my arms and on T’s chest. He had his days and nights all mixed up so he was at his most alert and fussiest at night, when he’d only sleep in hour and a half increments. We had him in a bassinet co-sleeper attached to our bed, where he would either cry because he was awake or squirm and make snorting and sniffling noises as he slept. He did his best sleeping in his swing downstairs. T and I had a schedule where I’d go to bed at nine and he would hang out with J downstairs until midnight or one, then we’d switch and I’d have him while T slept. I must have been running on mommy hormones because, despite the lack of sleep, I was only moderately tired. We have a few videos of J crying and are now astonished at how quiet his cries were this first month. They seemed piercing at the time!
JANUARY: By January, J had already developed super strong neck muscles and could already hold his head up for long periods of time. T went back to work in January and I was on my own with J during the days. I was scared at first but we quickly settled into a routine. Fortunately, J was getting his days and nights sorted so he would sleep at night (although he still got up every 2-3 hours to eat). We transitioned him to the nursery, although I often spent the night there because J was still getting up so often. During the day, he wouldn’t nap unless I held him, so I spent most of my day holding him. When he was awake, I’d wear him in a Moby or his Ergo carrier and walked the dog, set him on his activity gym, try to read to him, or just danced around the room with him listening to country music (my secret shame). I usually wouldn’t get to shower until T came home because I couldn’t figure out how to set J down without him crying. Occasionally, our wonderful friend S came over to feed me and watch J while I showered. Those days seem so long ago now!
FEBRUARY: It was like a switch came on in February. J became so much more awake, alert, and interactive. He started smiling and even laughing occasionally, although it took us a while to realize that his little “huh huh” noises was laughter. We took our first flight to San Jose for my sister B’s bridal shower and J did really well on the plane. He was fascinated by everything. Unfortunately, he was overstimulated by all the attention when we arrived in SJ and we had a rough night the first night away from home. He cried and fussed for hours and hours before finally falling asleep. Towards the end of the month, I decided I needed to start swaddling him for his naps because it wasn’t possible to hold him while he napped forever, especially since I’d be going back to work in a little over a month. It took a little work, but I was eventually free to take showers once again!
MARCH: J discovered his fingers this month and liked nothing better than to suck on them all day. He also became a champion napper and started to sleep in much longer chunks at night and nights were no longer a nightmare, although it was really difficult to get him to fall asleep some nights. I started putting him to sleep groggy but awake and creating positive sleep associations for him. It gradually got easier and he started sleeping through the night or only getting up once. Of course, I had to rock the boat as I tried to ween him away from the swaddle. He was trying so hard to roll onto his stomach and I knew we’d have to stop swaddling him soon. We switched to the Woombie, which allowed him to move his hands to some extent. Then I tried swaddling him with one hand out entirely but he didn’t nap well at all. Towards the end of the month he mastered rolling over onto his stomach (although he showed no interest in sitting on the few occasions we put him in his Bumbo) and we had to stop swaddling him cold turkey. It turned out much better than I expected and he slept fine with his sleep sack the very first night he was unswaddled! This month also included a visit to T’s family in Fresno. J was a champ and slept during most of the drive and was lovely during the visit.
APRIL: We flew up to SJ again for my sister B’s wedding this month. Thankfully, because they had a separate room where we were able to put J to sleep in his stroller and J had his devoted grandparents to hold him when he wasn’t sleeping T and I were able to stay and actually enjoy some of the wedding. I also went back to work this month and J went on a temporary bottle strike. He only ate enough to take the edge off and waited until I got home to eat. Unfortunately, he also started waking up consistently twice a night to be fed. Gone were the days of sleeping through the night. We can’t keep him on his back for the life of us. As soon as we put him down, he flips over. Rather than sucking on his fingers, J started sucking on any and everything around him. He started trying to crawl, but hasn’t quite manage it yet, which caused him untold frustration. We bought some foam mats and created a larger play space for him to practice in.
MAY: J is super adorable these days. He’s full of laughs and smiles. His favorite activity is being held upright so he can jump (I sing the “Jumpy Jump” song to him to the tune of the Humpty Dance). We can’t wait to see what the month of May brings!
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