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Monday, 23 May 2005

three is a magic number


Jack turned three months old yesterday. It's amazing how much he changes day to day, and how he's becoming far more aware and "interactive". My friend TonyF was right, the first three months are tough because you don't get a lot of "return" for what you put into your baby (unless you count dirty nappies). You spend 24 hours a day doing something to or for the baby, while he stares at light fixtures above your head, cracks a slight smile when he's gassy, and screams the house down through the night. Then one day, he starts staring intently at you, captivated by your every word and silly facial expressions. A huge smile spreads across his face, and you know, without a doubt, that it's not gas. He giggles when you blow raspberries on his belly, he coos, blurbles, and gurgles at you. When you peer over his cot first thing in the morning, he looks at you in recognition and grins with pure delight, his little fists and feet flapping about. And this is what makes you think that maybe the first three months weren't so tough and next time, you'll certainly do much better.

You know all those books that say that babies start sleeping through at three months? What utter nonsense. Jack's sleep schedule has no rhyme nor reason at the moment, and seems to be getting more random as he gets older. He's sleeping far less during the day now, and still wakes through the night. He will have one long stretch between feeds in a 24 hour period, however this never seems to coincide with any overnight hours. For example, he'll go from 8pm until 2am without a feed, and then "cluster feed" every 2-3 hours or so to make up for that long stretch. We are still feeding on demand because I don't believe in forcing a bottle down Jack according to the clock rather than when he's hungry. The downside is that maybe this is why his eating pattern is all over the place. Incidentally, we are now convinced that the formula for "hungrier babies" actually makes babies hungrier, not that it's for babies with bigger appetites. Jack's been guzzling the stuff down with the same gusto as the regular formula. Of course with our genes, it's not surprising that we've got a kid who likes to eat.

I remember feeling such relief when I passed the first trimester. I had a sense of confidence and felt that I could now simply enjoy being pregnant without stressing about every twitch and niggle. It's a similar feeling after the baby comes. Now that we're beyond the three month point, I am feeling far more confident and capable with Jack. I thoroughly enjoy every moment I have with him and when we put him up to bed in the evening, I miss him.

Mind you, as much as I love being with him, I am still not enthusiastic about spending quality time with him at 2-4:00 in the morning. Oh and if anyone ever says to you that you get used to the broken sleep, you are legally permitted to fling dirty nappies at them.

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