Eli - Four Month Update

Naps: Same as lasts month. Two, 2.5 hour naps and one cat nap (about 45 minutes) in the evening before bed.
Feeding: Both nursing and bottle feeding breast milk. Eats four times a day, 7-9 oz at each feeding
Clothing: 3-6 month - but just about to move up. 
Bedtime: 8 p.m. Sleeps 12 hours consistently each night.

This month, we finally dropped the fifth feeding! He actually slept through the night on his own when he was 13 weeks and one day old, dropping his 5 a.m. feeding in the process. Eli now eats four meals each day and they are huge. This kid is pounding anywhere from 7 - 9 oz. at each feeding, sometimes even 10 oz. We've also moved his schedule back an hour, so he eats at at 8 a.m., Noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. He is still both breastfed and bottle fed. Breastfeeding has been frustrating this month, as Eli started refusing to nurse when he was about 14 weeks old. It's not that he's distracted, it's more that he truly doesn't want to nurse. He cries and pushes me away - frankly, it's a bit offensive - but we're working through it and I think it's getting better? I'm trying everything I can think of - some days are good, some days are bad, but I'm hopeful we'll get through it.

Because Eli is eating so much, I'm having trouble keeping my supply up for him. Last month he was eating 5.5 oz. at each feeding and it was great - I was able to store about a bag of milk a day while still meeting his demands. Now that he's averaging 8 or 9 oz. each feeding and only eating four times a day my body is struggling to keep up. I've had to dip into my freezer stash a few times this month and it terrifies me every time. I'm not against formula at all, but I would really like to nurse for about a year (because it's F.R.E.E.) so I'm doing everything I can to protect my supply. I feel like it's all I think about these days.

HE'S SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT PEOPLE. And not just 8 hours, 12 BLISSFUL HOURS OF ELI-SLEEPING TIME IN A ROW. It's amazing. As I mentioned above, he slept through the night for the first time at 13 weeks. Mike and I woke up in shock and I ran into Eli's room to make sure he was still alive. At first, it wasn't consistent. Every once in a while he'd still wake up at 5 or 6 a.m. because he got out of his swaddle. I knew he wasn't hungry at 5 a.m. since I'd just re-wrap him and give him a pacifier and he'd immediately go back down. We tried all different sorts of swaddle brands and methods, but none of them could keep his arms in. I kept wanting to try and drop the swaddle and actually attempted it at 14 and 15 weeks during naps, but he'd just lay there and cry the entire time. Everything I read online said you'd "just know in your gut" when to take it away and I kept wondering what all those crazy people were talking about. I didn't know when to take it away! But finally, just about when he turned four months last week, I was so fed up, I was ready to endure a few nights of pain and get rid of it. After consulting with about eight other veteran mothers at my nephew's first birthday party, they all agreed it was probably time for me to do it soon.

I was so jazzed from talking with them, that Mike and I took it away that night. It was awful. He woke up 10, 15, 20 times? I lost track after 10 wake ups. But I had braced myself for something like that to happen and was prepped for at least a week of nights like this. The next night? One wake up. Night three? None. Amazing. I can't even believe it was that easy. I was so frustrated for three or four weeks because he kept busting out of his swaddle - even during naps - and now it's bliss. I'm glad we did it when we did and not earlier - I wasn't ready, and well, I have no idea if Eli was, but I think I just needed to get to a point where I wasn't wondering, "Is he ready?" and questioning my decision. The night we took it away, I knew it was time.

Now it's way easier to put him down, we just put him in a sleep sack and he's set to go.

The biggest thing I've noticed this month with Eli is how interactive and alert he is. He always smiles, but every once in a while he'll give me a laugh when I play with him and it basically makes my year - everything I do is to try and get another laugh out of him, but they're pretty few and far between right now. He has just started taking everything he touches and put it in his mouth. It's cute to watch him figure out how to get it there - his hand-eye coordination needs some improvement of course - but one way or another he can usually get it there. He's still not rolling over, but lays on his side all the time and rolls back and forth. It's amazing how much he can move, even without rolling over. Because he rolls from side to side, he can kind of scoot around over time - especially since he lost the swaddle, we'll often find him in his crib laying the opposite direction we put him in.

He still likes his play yard, this month he's pulling the animals into his mouth to chew on them. He loves going out for walks to look around and often he and I will go outside to wait for Mike to get home and we watch the leaves on the trees in our backyard. He loves chewing on things, even his tongue if there's nothing else around. As always, he's big into standing up and finally - to Mike's delight - is starting to like being tossed in the air. His new thing is fake coughing. I don't know if he just likes the feeling in the back of his throat or what, but it's ridiculously fake sounding and hilarious.

Tummy time is still a major dislike - are you even surprised? But he truly is getting better. He rarely cries anymore, but grunts and yells around so much he might as well be crying. Here's an outtake from our monthly photoshoot of him during tummy-time, just imagine him grunting and yelling around at me at the same time.

New This Month
Not a lot new this month. Removing the swaddle I suppose. He went to the zoo for the first time at the beginning of the month and basically slept right through everything. I enjoyed it though. We traveled a lot so he met lots of new people. I'm so thankful he's such a laid back baby, he did great whether we were traveling in the car for six hours or he was surrounded by tons of little kids that love poking his eyeballs out. He still does get overstimulated easily and it can be hard to find time to give him a break when we're with family and friends for a few days straight, but overall he's a trooper and does really well.

Mommy/Daddy Update
While this month was easier in a lot of ways - Eli sleeping through the night, being more predictable, etc. - but it was also a little hard on me. The honeymoon phase is over and while I'm settling into a routine, I'm trying to figure out if it's the routine I want. I know that sounds cryptic, but I'm still trying to sort it out myself and am not ready to talk about it here on the blog too much yet. Contrary to past months, I'm definitely getting enough sleep, and don't feel like the walking-dead any more. As I've said above, breast feeding has been frustrating - but hey - I'm a SAHM - what else am I supposed to do all day than try to get my kid to nurse?

Don't get me wrong, I am still loving this mom-thing. Eli gives me so much joy each and every day and I wouldn't trade being home with him for anything. I think what I'm working through is probably common with a lot of SAHMs after they make the switch from working out of the house full-time to being home full-time.

Mike says this month, he and Eli started feeling like "buddies." As I mentioned above, Eli's starting to give us giggles and is enjoying being interacted with more than ever, so it's been fun to feel like he actually enjoys spending time with us. Along with that, Mike says he's feeling more comfortable than ever being a dad - understanding Eli's routine, being able to read him and basically, "Not being freaked out when mom's not around."

Eli - Two Month Update
Eli - Three Month Update


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