My wee man is three months old today.
Will is so much like his dad.
When Will was born he was a replica of H. As he gets older his face is changing a little but the consensus is still that he’s his father’s child, with the exception of his colouring. H is quite fair with blue/green eyes but Will seems slightly olive and his eyes are starting to turn brown. So far that seems to be my only genetic contribution!
Whenever Will gets sunlight in his eyes he sneezes – something H has done as long as I have known him! My mother-in-law informs me that H used to sleep with one eye partially open; Will does too. My boys both snore when they’re very tired – of course, it’s cute when Will does it but rather irritating when it is H!
Will is a great eater (another trait he has probably inherited from Dad!). At one hour old he knew just what to do and latched on with gusto. I could just see the joy and relief on his little face when my milk came in three days after he was born, and over these first three months his pleasure in his food has not diminished. I’ve been lucky to have no issues with supply and I haven’t had a hint of a cracked nipple, thrush, or mastitis. After all my prenatal angst about breastfeeding, Will and I have turned out to be brilliant at it! Who would have known? While we were in the hospital I took several trips to the breast-feeding room which was staffed 14 hours a day by a lactation consultant. I would walk down there thinking to myself “breast feeding is hard, I need to ask some advice” but I’d arrive and I never had any issues to ask about! I’d sit there stupidly and just say “Am I doing this right?” which was invariably answered with a yes, sometimes followed by some small piece of advice about slightly moving my arm or tilting Will’s head. I just couldn’t believe that it was truly this easy – I thought I must be missing something. Trust me, I appreciate how lucky I am in this regard!
While I feed him he tends to have his upper hand resting on my breast or sternum, and his lower hand curled around my side while he tickles me with his little fingers. It warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes. (Occassionally in the middle of a wriggle he catches my nipple with one of his sharp little nails. That also brings tears to my eyes).
Will has had no trace of nappy rash, no reflux, and little trouble with wind. He takes bottles of expressed milk with ease (which will make my return to work part-time in March much less stressful). For weeks now he has been practising his chewing, almost as though he knows solid food isn’t far away. I cannot wait to see what reaction he has to food, although I have had a few little ‘tastes’ of his reaction already. He simply guzzled down his oral polio vaccine, and the Panadol syrup I gave him afterwards. H and I went out for ice-cream while we were on holiday. At one point I noticed what looked like milk around the Wee Man’s face, and I wiped it off with a burp cloth saying “oh, poor boy, did you have a little sickie?” only to be informed by H that he had, while my back was turned, given the babe a lick of his ice cream off his finger! H was suitably chastised, but I must say the look of surprise and pleasure on the babe’s face was wonderful!
Will certainly seems to be getting all the nourishment he needs, judging by his growth. He was measured and weighed yesterday at his check-up and is 6.56 Kg (14 pounds 8 ounces) which is the 75th percentile, and is 65 cm (25.6 inches) long, which puts him at the 97th percentile for height. I must say that I thought he’d weigh a little more, but he was born at the 75th percentile so it’s great that he’s had steady gains despite his increase in height.
Our only real issue is day time sleep. Will is a pretty happy boy generally, but he tends to get grumpy when he’s tired (who doesn’t?). Since he was a few weeks of age he has really resisted day time sleeps, and only cat naps, which means he tends to get more and more exhausted as the day goes on (even as a newborn he wouldn’t sleep when put down within an hour of waking as most advice suggests doing). He usually wakes from sleep after 25 to 40 minutes (sometimes less) and then it is nigh-on impossible to resettle him. I’ve tried just about everything – firm swaddling, white noise, longer periods between naps, and at the moment I’m trying the wake-to-sleep method. None of my efforts seem to have made a significant difference, so I’m left with waiting for him to grow out of it. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that there are three categories of cat-nappers: those who start early tend to grow out of it at 3 to 4 months of age, those who start cat-napping at around 3 months and seem to outgrow it at 6 months, and a smaller group of children who do it until they no longer need naps. Please let Will be in the first group rather than the last! I really hate seeing an exhausted little boy and not being able to help him sleep. He gets tired, and I get nothing done all day because it’s hard to achieve anything in the odd half-hour of sleep I eek out of Will.
When he does wake up from a nap the look on his face is priceless. He always looks surprised and slightly confused. “What… oh I’m waking up? Okay, I can handle waking up. Oh, hang on, if I’m waking up that means I fell asleep. Damn it! Day time sleep is for babies!”
The saving grace in this situation is that Will is a great night-time sleeper. If I had to choose, I’d obviously prefer this to a baby who napped properly during the day but slept poorly at night. He started sleeping through the night at eleven weeks, although it’s not consistent. He goes to bed at 7pm, and ideally wakes at 7am (although it may be earlier). When he does wake during the night it’s not until 4 or 5am so assuming I get to bed promptly after the dream feed I always get a decent block of sleep. When I first started dream feeding the wee man it used to take 15 or 20 frustrating minutes to rouse him enough that he would latch and suck. Once I had to change his nappy and his pyjamas just to wake him up a little. These days he starts sucking as soon as I pick him up! It’s much quicker and means I get into bed a little earlier. (Plus it’s adorable to watch his little cupid’s bow pursing).
So much has happened in these last three months. Our lives have changed and grown in ways we couldn’t have predicted. Our hearts are about to burst with love for this little man we have, and we love each other all the more for being Will’s parents.
When he was brand new I loved how warm and snuggly he was. He was a very relaxed, content baby in his first few weeks and I used to watch him while he slept, just waiting for him to wake up so I could cuddle him. He has developed such an amazing amount since then and there are new things to love about him every day. I love the way he puts his head down on my shoulder when he’s relaxed. He wraps his little arm around me and it really seems like he feels perfectly safe in my arms. He started vocalising at 6 or 7 weeks but it has really picked up now and we spend most of our day talking to each other. He seems just as interested in what I have to say as I am in listening to him. He watches me as I cross the room and he turns to me when I speak. It feels fantastic every single time. When I smile at him he returns the favour with a huge gummy grin.
I love this child; this little boy who loves bath time, the ocean, and watching Dad water the garden; this little boy who doesn’t get upset by the cold or a dirty nappy and who loves being naked but hates having his clothes taken off.
I’m looking forward to learning even more about this gorgeous wee man in the next three months…. and for the rest of my life.