Thursday, September 26

Roman - Four Months

Roman is four months now. Actually, Roman is a little over four months now. I'm about a week and a half late, but that's just going to be the norm I think.

He had his four month checkup last Monday and now weighs 15 lbs (a 2.5 pound gain from his two month checkup) and is 26 inches long (a 3 inch gain). The change in length kind of shocked me because it seemed like a lot. He's growing well and, as evidenced by the pictures, is clearly getting enough to eat too.

These were some of the things that went on between the third and fourth months:
  • At about week 14, he suddenly started going down for naps and bedtime much easier. He would cry very little and sometimes not at all when we laid him down. I looked back at Brock's 4 month post and this happened the same week with him. So apparently, if you are putting them in the same place to sleep and doing the same type of routine for the first couple of months, it starts to click for them at about 14 weeks.
  • He would go down easily to sleep, but his naps were not very great from about the 12th week to the 16th week. He would wake at about 40-50 minutes into every nap, which was frustrating because then he would want to eat much sooner than the 3 hour mark, which would just kind of throw the whole day off. I struggled against it for the first couple of weeks, changing his awake time and adjusting things to try to figure out what the problem was because it felt so chaotic. Then I looked back at a sleep log I had kept for Brock for a couple of months (yes, I kept a sleep log; yes, I am that kind of person; yes, I probably do have issues), and I realized that Brock had sleep problems around the same time, waking early from naps and not sleeping like he should. I looked up some info online and found that this period is kind of a developmental shift for their brains as they become more aware and more capable of doing certain tasks, so it often affects their sleep. Realizing it was just a phase helped me mentally cope with the frustration of him not sleeping, and I decided we would just start moving him directly from his crib to the swing when he woke early because sometimes he would finish the nap out in the swing. It also taught him that it was kind of pointless to wake up early because he wasn't going to get to play yet. Everything started getting better around 16 weeks though, and even though his naps are still nowhere near as consistent or as long as Brock's were, he generally gets at least three one-hour naps and then usually a longer one in the afternoon. 
  • He can stay awake for about an hour or a little more before getting fussy and tired now.
  • At night, he's been sleeping from about 8:00-5:00 (with a dreamfeed between 10-10:30 where I feed him without really waking him up) so he goes about 6-7 hours with no feeding. Probably once or twice a week, he will still occasionally wake around 3 or 4 am, and I try to let him cry it out back to sleep but usually have to end up feeding him because he's stubborn. This is another area that is different from Brock because at this point Brock was going from about 8:00-7:00 every night and very rarely woke in the night for feedings. Brock loved sleep a lot more than the average baby, so that may be why he did so much better. Blaine says we let Brock cry more than we do Roman, which may also be true... Roman seems so much younger to me than Brock did at this age, so I'm not as concerned about making him do things that I made Brock do at the same age (sleep without a swaddle, sleep 12 hours without a feeding, etc). This is probably a significant benefit of being a second-born.
  • He can sit up with support now, like propped up on the couch or in a chair. He likes to sit in the living room with us in the evenings and just watch everything that's going on. He also tries to do sit-ups all the time, even just when he's laying flat. The pictures up above show what happens when I try to sit him up straight... he leans forward and then falls over sideways. I love the one in the top right corner. This happens all the time; he just falls over and then is stuck there until someone helps him, and most of the time he doesn't even mind; he just waits patiently on someone to notice.
  • He's chewing a lot on his fists and burp cloths and anything he can get in his mouth, which made me wonder if he is teething. It seems like I can kind of see his two little bottom teeth under the gums, but I'm sure it will probably be six more months of pain and restlessness and fussiness before they pop through. I'm convinced that teething is a torture tactic devised by Satan to make parents lose their minds. He also gags himself all the time with his fists and fingers, then looks around like, "Who just stuck their hand down my throat?!" 
  • Around about week 13, he started nursing for only 10-12 minutes total. Up until this point, it was usually an average of 15 to 20 minutes, but he just refuses to eat for very long now. I'm assuming he's getting what he needs, so I don't really stress out about it.
  • He had some projectile spit-up episodes again in week 14, and that's when I noticed that they seem to coordinate with the times that he's going through growth spurts. He usually eats more during a growth spurt, so maybe he just takes in too much and then vomits it all up. Classic binge and purge it seems (not that I would know anything about the purging part myself... I always stop after the binge step).
  • He's in 3-6 month size clothes now but by the end of the month has gotten just about too long for those. He's in size 2 diapers during the day and size 3 at night (since they hold more and prevent me having to change him before morning).
  • He's gotten a lot better with his arm control. He plays with objects hanging down from his playmat, and he can hold and play with the O-ball now (one of my favorite toys for babies). Dr. Smith acted impressed with him being able to hold a tongue depressor and move it to his mouth because apparently moving objects to their mouths is something they don't really do until closer to 6 months. I'm pretty sure if he is advanced because of that skill, it's only because he's a fatty and is trying to eat everything. Even with the better arm control, we're still swaddling him in the Woombie swaddle for now because his hands still have a mind of their own (see the gagging issue mentioned above). I watched him one day with his arms out of the swaddle, and literally, his fingers start poking him in the eyes or his hands flail around or he starts to doze off and his fist inserts itself into his mouth, and he will get so angry like someone else is doing it to him and keeping him awake. It's bizarre to me that controlling your arms is a skill we have to learn (and that it takes so long!).
  • He's taking a bottle much better now (at least once a week at church and occasionally a couple times during the week). Those contraband latex orthodontic nipples really seemed to do the trick. He still won't really take any other kind.
  • He's doing a lot of cooing and making lots of noises. He loves to talk, which surprises me with as much noise as his brother makes. But I guess he wants to contribute to the conversation too. He's also learning how to blow raspberries, which I always think is cute... until they do it for 30 minutes and get themselves all soggy with drool.
  • He can roll onto his side but not all the way over yet. He will lay on his belly for a few minutes now before getting upset, and he can hold his head and part of his chest up. I didn't make him do tummy time practically at all for like the first three months, so I'm glad to see that I didn't totally damage him, although he does have a spot on one side of his head that is flatter than the rest. Oh well, he'll just have to keep his hair long.
I think that's mostly it, and I'm sure that's mostly stuff that no one other than myself might care about. I just like having a record of it all. And now for the fun part, pictures! 

I love this face 

Always very amused by his crazy big brother

Apparently, these monthly posts will show Brock's growth too unless I start taking Roman's pictures while Brock is asleep. It was harder than it should have been to get just a few pictures of Roman by himself. 

Brock showing "Bubigi" (Luigi from Cars) to a very fascinated Roman. I'm pretty sure Brock was also in the middle of saying, "Bubigi" when I snapped the picture.

And then the monthly pictures... I can't really see much of a difference between the third and fourth month pictures. He looks like he sits better in the 3 month, but it's only because of the whole leaning forward thing that I mentioned he does now. I looked back at Brock's 4 month post, and he has almost the same issue with those two pictures. Just interesting to me :)

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