4 months old. Pretty hard to believe!
The last few weeks have been crazy. Lots of changes, ups and downs, new developments, and basically horrible sleep. Yeah, we'll start with that one. Sleep. How could this happy little dude have any sleep problems???
Sleep (night time): Wow, I don't even know where to begin. If you have ever had a 4 month old, then you have likely heard of "the 4 month wakeful." And if you haven't, well, you are very very lucky. This little guy is in full 4 month wakeful mode. His night time sleep has been absolutely horrible lately. As in, I went three nights in a row of getting no more than 45 minutes of consecutive sleep. And only about 3-4 hours total. Basically, this little guy is wanting to go to sleep for the night around 6pm. Sometimes he fights going to sleep (which just requires extra rocking/walking) and sometimes he goes right to sleep with just a few rocks and shushes. But then he wakes up anywhere from 10-30 minutes later SCREAMING. And all he wants is to go back to sleep. Then we get him back to sleep, and he wakes up again. And again. And again. Sometimes the only way to get him back to sleep is for me to lay with him and nurse him on the bed or on the couch, and wait until he is in a DEEP sleep to transfer him into his bed. Otherwise, he wakes again. These days, his longest stretch of sleep is MAYBE 4 hours if I'm lucky, usually no more than 3. And after that? Oh man he's pretty much up all night. Only way I can get even a little bit of sleep is to bring him in bed with me, and even that is hit or miss. I'm praying he gets through this little phase without deciding it's fun to keep waking up 10-15 times a night, or wanting to stay up for hours at a time at 3am.
Sleep (day time): Now, funny thing is... his day time sleep has seemed to improve. We're still struggling with extending naps past one sleep cycle, but that's mostly because I can't drop everything to rock him or shush him or nurse him or do whatever it takes to get him back to sleep. He is sleeping in his crib for most of his naps, except for his midday one where I usually hold him (since Riley is also sleeping) in hopes of getting in at least one good long nap during the day. In his crib, he usually naps for 30-50 minutes, with his longest nap so far being an hour. He likes to sleep on his side, snuggling a security blanket we just introduced to him. He LOVES it. Obsessed. He strokes it and clutches on to it between his arms, it's pretty darn cute. He occasionally puts himself to sleep all by himself, as long as he has his paci, his blankie, and his fisher price seahorse to look at. He's taking 3-5 naps a day, depending on what time he wakes in the morning and how long each of his naps are. (Below right... how he falls asleep for all his naps. Cutest thing ever)
Personality: Jackson is a totally easygoing little dude during the day. He is happy being held, or laying down, or sitting in his baby seat, or chilling wherever we are and doing whatever we're doing. He smiles pretty much as soon as I look at him, and loves to watch every little thing I do. He's a chatty little guy, and loves to have conversations with anyone who cares to have a chat with him. He's super ticklish on his tummy, legs, back, and sides. He loves his paci, and he gets mad when it falls just out of his reach. He also lets out little cries of frustration when he can't quite get something into his mouth due to lack of coordination. He loves his playgym and goes nuts kicking and flapping his arms and yelling at the toys while he whacks them.
He has no problem with new people holding him or talking to him, and gives out smiles pretty freely. He is pretty happy in his car seat as long as he has a paci or something fun to hold onto, and he hasn't fallen asleep in the car in quite a while. He likes being outside and riding in the stroller, but we don't get out all that often since it's just so darn cold. This little guy does not like to be cold, and like his sister, does not like the wind on his face.
Milestones: He has started really trying to roll from back to belly, although he only gets as far as his side. If he's on his side, he tries to roll onto his tummy but can't quite get his arm out of the way, and sort of gets stuck face planting into the ground. He seems to have no interest in rolling from tummy to back anymore (he only did it once). He's totally figured out he's got hands, and stares at them very intently. He's also figured out that he can grab toys AND bring them to his mouth, which has opened up a whole new world for him. His favorite thing to suck on is still blankets or any kind of cloth. He is constantly trying to grab my fingers and pull them into his mouth. He has also started sucking on his fingers, which I think at this stage, I would love for him to become a finger sucker rather than a paci-a-holic like Riley, but we'll see.
He is constantly trying to do little baby sit-ups. He can sit-up briefly all on his own, and loves to stand up and bounce with some support from us, although not for too long as his little legs buckle without warning. We introduced him to a door frame jumper (daddy's idea) and he's pretty darn cute rockin' his little body around.
Feeding: Still doing well with breastfeeding, no problems whatsoever. Mostly he's on a good eat, awake, sleep routine, but sometimes if his awake time is too long, he refuses to sleep without being fed again. And you will KNOW if he wants to be fed when he YELLS when you try to give him his paci. He's not fooled into thinking something delicious is coming out of that! He's not so good with a bottle, in fact, the most he'll really take at a time is about 2 ounces before he gets fed up and won't take any more. And I know it's not because he's not hungry, as he'll nurse for quite a while right after he's offered a bottle. But at least he'll take enough so that if I go out somewhere (which is not often), I know he won't be starving! He loves grabbing onto me and pinching me while nursing, and his little karate arm goes nuts swinging all over the place.
He still LOVES Riley, and she is enjoying having him be a little more interactive these days. He seems to like being naked, which I discovered now that I have to strip him down to keep him moisturized so frequently. His eczema is looking better now that we've switched to everything 100% cotton, but his skin still gets pretty dry and requires special care to keep the flare-ups at bay. I'm convinced his itchy skin is contributing to his horrible sleep, since he looks like he's constantly trying to scratch himself. We're still trying to figure out how to get it all under control!
Jackson likes stories and songs, and gets to hear lots of big sister's favorite stories every day- lucky little boy. He also gets to hear whatever songs Riley requests... really though, as long as someone is saying SOMETHING to him, he's happy. Even if it's Riley yelling all kinds of stuff in his face. :)
His growth seems to have slowed a little, he now weighs about 16 pounds, and is mostly in 6 or 6-9 month clothes. He still loves bath time, although not quite as much as before, since due to his eczema we make his baths quite a bit cooler than before. He splashes like crazy and kick kick kicks the whole time. He only poops once a day or every other day, but when he does poop, it gets everrryyyyywhere! He likes to suck on his bottom lip and does it all the time when there isn't a paci in there (see below right).
He's just the most precious little boy in the entire world and worth all the sleepless nights!! Happy 4 months little boo boo!