Days that were once filled with marathon feeding sessions, naps and non-stop cuddles are now filled with lots of interactive playtime, goofy faces, breastfeeding that often feels like a small battle and naps that only last for a hot second.
Mothering a four month old baby has me feeling overwhelmed and exhausted but also somehow completely joyful every single day.
When I go into Chase’s nursery after a 20 minute nap that I was really hoping would be closer to 60 minutes, I often walk through the door feeling incredibly frustrated but that somehow fades when I see the big goofy grin on his face, emerging from his cozy swaddled little body.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: God made babies so darn cute as the ultimate defense mechanism against overwhelmed and frustrated parents.
Though the transition from the bassinet beside our bed into the crib in Chase’s nursery went smoothly this month, I am beginning to think we need to do something to encourage Chase to get into a routine and sleep more soundly once he goes down at night… But oh my gosh all of the different sleep training and scheduling philosophies out there leave me feeling lost, overwhelmed and clueless as to where to begin. Please help! I need a Cliffs Notes version of this stuff or something. Some days I feel like I am on the verge of tears all day long after a rough night, super-short daytime naps and little time left to try to work from home during the day.
(Sometimes the only way I get anything done at all is by wearing Chase in the Baby K’Tan as I bounce around and work on the computer from the kitchen counter or let him sleep swaddled on my lap when he refuses to nap in his crib.)
I’ve heard through the grapevine that baby sleep and sleep training is incredibly controversial but I am all for the philosophy that parents are just doing the best they can and trying to make good decisions and that best suit their baby and their family. If there is something you did that helped your baby sleep soundly and nap well, I welcome your advice and thoughts.
Right now, we’re putting Chase to bed between 7 and 7:30 p.m. after bath time (<— we’ve had MAJOR bath time progress since last month) and a big bottle of breastmilk. Chase wakes up to nurse at night between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. and again around 4 a.m. (Sometimes he falls back asleep immediately, but most of the time several rounds of Paci-Pong occur when we’re getting up to replace his pacifier before he’ll get back to sleep.) We thought this was more or less our new routine but then last night we had the worst night we’ve had in months and Chase was up at 11 p.m. to feed and then awoke again at 2 a.m. and remained awake until 4 a.m. He was wide-eyed, cooing and having a grand ol’ time while Ryan and I stared at him on the monitor, willing him to go back to sleep. I’ve read all about the four month sleep regression and if the sleep pattern we experienced over the weekend and last night is any indication, we’re smack-dab in the middle of it. Mommin’ ain’t easy and babies can totally kick your butt.
But aside from challenges related to sleep, Chase is just the coolest.
He’s playful, smiley and energetic and I never thought I’d have so much fun with a baby who cannot talk, walk or sit up.
He’s my absolute favorite.
Chase has started putting everything in his mouth and loves holding onto toys and fingers. My mommy heart explodes when he grips onto my shirt collar and fingertips. He’s much more observant these days and super interactive! He can generally entertain himself on his activity mat or in the Rock ‘n’ Play (facing a window because OUTSIDE ROCKS!) for about 10-15 minutes before he needs a buddy.
The way Chase smiles is my favorite thing in the universe. Ryan and I say that he smiles in a way that seems to overwhelm him and overtake his whole body. His face lights up, his body scrunches over and he often has to look away when he’s smiling so hard. It’s just the best thing ever and simultaneously makes me want to laugh out loud and cry big fat tears because I know this time is so fleeting.
I’ve learned to cherish cuddletime because it already feels like it’s fading. Chase would now much rather be held upright so he can look around, push off our legs with his feet, nod his head and coo away at anything and everything. He found his voice this month, that’s for sure!
Everyday, I am overwhelmed by the love I have for our sweet baby boy. I feel so blessed to be his mother and I’m pretty sure I have never smiled so much in my life, even if a lot of my smiles are sleepy ones. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for our boy and he is truly the biggest ray of sunshine in my life.
I love you, Chase!
- Playing airplane
- High-pitched voices
- His Oball
- Playing in his activity jumper
- Pushing off everything with his legs
- Reading a book with mom at bed time
- Dad’s silly faces
- Being carried like a baby (unless he’s sleepy)
- Mom singing to him at night (Oh the horror!)
- Having his ears cleaned and nose wiped
- Rubbing his back (Patting only, please!)
- Stroking his hair (So hard to resist!)
Four Month Baby Favorites
Below you will find a few of our “must have” baby items from the past month! More detailed lists of our previous favorites may be found in the monthly recaps linked at the bottom of this post.
- Baby Einstein Activity Jumper
- MyBaby Sound Spa Sound Machine (This one lasts forever and doesn’t automatically switch off after 20-45 minutes like so many others)
- Boppy Lounger
- Oball Rattling Ball (He is OBSESSED with this toy! He loves gripping all the different quadrants and putting it in his mouth. I will be giving this toy to all of my expectant friends in the future!)
- Zipper Onesies
- Baby Einstein Musical Toy
Past Baby Updates
Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut says
What a cutie! I liked Baby Wise, but The Good Sleeper was a much easier/more enjoyable read to me. My daughter is 3.5 months old and just recently started going 9,10, 11 hour stretches at night. We basically follow this schedule:
-Eat every 2.5-3 hours
-Then have “play/awake time” for 60 to 90 minutes (I start getting her ready for the nap after an hour and 15/20 min — sooner if she starts yawning)
If she wakes up from a nap way early, I try to soothe her back to sleep or just let her hang out in her crib unless she is really crying. So a day could look like:
-Wake at 7:30am – Eat
-Play until 8:45am
-Nap at 9am
Wake at 10/10:30 – Eat
You get the idea…
I know that schedules are controversial, but it is working well for us and I think that babies like predictability when possible. Plus, they have intern body “clocks” just like we do. Good luck!
Did his naps ever get better? I’m going through the exact same thing right now with my 3.5 month old and it is maddening.
I am not even sure that you will see this, but I am reading this post because I figured I would check out your monthly updates to see where chase was at around the same age my daughter is. My daughter is only 10 weeks, but this totally feels where I am at right now!! Frustrated, overwhelmed, tired, and wondering why my baby will not sleep!!! I look at her and my heart melts, but at the same time I am sooooo frustrated. She takes short naps, and only really sleeps well while I am holding her. Did you ever try a specific sleep training method? I could really use some advice or something…
remie lund says
He is gorgeous! That smile! Love reading about your journey. My little one is exactly the same age. 🙂