Nolan: Four months old

Rolling over, reaching for and grasping objects, sitting up in his Bumbo chair, and cutting his first tooth...

Where did my "baby" go?!?


Nolan is getting so big so fast. He rolled from his tummy to his back twice in a row while my mom was visiting back on the 15th. His own face was more shocked than ours! He can almost get from his back to his stomach now, too, though he normally stops once he rolls to one side as he just loves to watch television and to see his reflection in his mirror on his play mat. We catch him "talking" to the animals hanging from his play mat, too. No more leaving him on his changing pad or couch for a few seconds as he could literally roll right off!

In the last week, we've all noticed Nolan focusing on objects and reaching out both hands towards them, grasping them and bringing them to his mouth at times. He even rolls and scoots while on his play mat towards the toys hanging down over him.

Other milestones include him wanting to sit up ALL.THE.TIME. If he is on his back and grabs onto your hands, he will use his stomach muscles and neck to pull himself up to sitting, it's so crazy! Because he likes to be sitting up so much, we use the vibrating chair with the seat belt (photo below) and Bumbo chair we had when Emily was an infant daily, mainly in the kitchen so he can be in there with me and can be safe. I have a friend giving me an ExerSaucer next week and I just know he's going to LOVE it. Next month we will be purchasing a stationary jumper for him to sit up in as well.

Nolan's personality is really starting to solidify; he is my very serious, studious, observant baby. Always studying faces and reactions. Focusing on you, looking you in the eye. He can be stingy with the smiles and coos but when he does give one of his dimple-framed grins, it's a heart melting, joyous moment. He is super easy-going, happy to just be anywhere we are. He stares mostly at Emily while in the car, she sings to him and holds toys up to him, but has discovered that turning his head to the right will allow him to see outside. Speaking of being in the car, it seems it's one of Nolan's favorite places to be and sleep! Shocker! He falls off to sleep quickly in his car seat (in the car or stroller) and once awake, he just looks around quietly. He will even willingly get in his car seat when it's not his nap time and when in between feedings so we can get somewhere, normally to school to pick up Emily. He is also a Baby Bjorn-a-holic, loving being worn facing outward so he can see the world go by and interact with everyone that approaches him to tell him how cute he is. :) During the day, he's happy to lay on his play mat, he enjoys tummy time on Emily's bed (which is super firm and safe) while she and I play or I'm cleaning up, and is content to chill out on his changing pad or in his bouncy seat.

We are still doing pretty much everything on-demand at this point as Nolan has yet to show any real, solid day-to-day consistency and still needs to be held/rocked to sleep (unless in his car seat or in the Ergo); however, with Emily in Kindergarten and on a rigid schedule herself, we all are on a schedule whether we like it or not!

We are up with an alarm at 6:00am and David pretty much gets Emily up, dressed, fed and out the door by himself (I just have to fix her hair) as Nolan has been waking up around 5:45-6:30am every day and is only awake about an hour to nurse and have his diaper changed before being ready to go right back to sleep. After nursing him and changing his diaper, I change into workout clothes so that after nursing him a second time, I can get him into his car seat and we can take our daily 2-3 mile walk while he takes his first nap of the day. With Emily at school, Nolan and I have a relaxed, unstructured first half of every day to nurse, change into an outfit, play on his play mat and take naps. While he's napping and playing, I eat a snack and then, lunch, shower and get dressed for the day and, if there's time, I do a few chores and get online to blog and check email. I have really loved the 4-5 hours Emily is at school to just spend time with Nolan, it's so special to have that one-on-one time and it's getting easier to get out and run an errand. This past week I was able to get to Target and get the month's shopping done. It was heavenly!

We pick up Emily at 12:45pm or 1:40pm (depending on the day) and either head to the pool for swim lessons until 3:00pm (through the month of October) or come home and go on a walk to the park for an hour. The late afternoons and early evenings are fairly unstructured as well; I tote Nolan from room to room as I prepare dinner, get Emily a snack and help her with homework, pack Emily's lunch and backpack for the next day, play games with Emily, and do some chores. Emily has friends over a few times a week and is happy to play in her room alone other days and Nolan is happy to sit in his bouncy chair and in his Bumbo chair in between nursing and napping.

David is home at 6:30pm to take over getting Emily ready for bed: getting her a bath, into her PJs, brushing her teeth and reading books and takes Nolan for me so I can finish our dinner. Once Emily's lights are out at 7:30pm and Nolan is down for a nap, David and I eat dinner, clean up, get everything ready for the next day and just try and relax a bit. Once Nolan is up from his last evening nap, I bath him, typically around 8:00pm. Then, all the lights go off, the television volume goes down, his sound machine goes on and I nurse him one last time before putting him down for the night around 9:00-10:00pm.

Of course, this isn't a predictable schedule, it's just a pattern we've noticed in the past two weeks that we are going with.

Naps... I try to just take the naps as they come, happy to have each one I get! He's only awake about 1.5-2 hours between each nap but there have been days with 4-6 hours of awake time. Naps still range anywhere from 25 minutes to 2 hours but are about 45 minutes long the majority of the time. Most days, he takes 5 naps around 7:30am, 10:30am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, and 7pm. He falls asleep on his own in his car seat but for all other naps he wants to be held and bounced/rocked until he's asleep and then laid down in his swing or bouncy chair. He still loves to be held in and falls asleep when I wear him in the Ergo and of course when snuggled in my arms. Lately, he's been falling asleep in my arms while at the pool where Emily is taking swim lessons and I just lay him down in the stroller (it reclines flat). It's great that he seems to be able to sleep just about anywhere!

I'm reading up on Ferber and Sleep-training to determine when to start with Nolan, but I think I remember it being around the 5 month old mark.

He nurses 5-7 times a day for about 2-5 minutes on each side and nurses on both sides at each feeding. He won't take a bottle (and still refuses a pacifier, though his Wubbanub is acting as a great teething toy!) and I have made peace with this. We have yet to start solids but are starting to read up on it and may consider it next month. We think he's beginning to cut his first tooth as he's chewing on everything, drooling 24/7, has a constant drippy nose, and is doing what I call comfort nursing where he will nurse and nap for up to 40 minutes at one time. Thankfully, I have the time to sit around snuggling my baby most days. While he can handle indigestion and an upset stomach well (no more inconsolable crying, screaming nor drawing back his legs and being up all night!), he can be gassy and spit up a bit, I am still being very careful with what I eat. No fast food of any kind (too much grease and fat for him), few servings of dairy each day, small servings 1-2 times a week of lush green vegetables, no beans, no spicy or heavily spiced foods, small servings of tomatoes and limited oils, butter and other fats like avocado.

He's been fairly consistent this past month sleeping 8-10 hours through the night but has had several nights sprinkled throughout where he's woken up 2-3 times to nurse and go right back to sleep. Could be a growth spurt, could be an upset tummy, could even be the tooth we think he's cutting. Who knows. We try not to rationalize it too much as that just drives everyone crazy. :) He's now sleeping in the bassinet-hammock thingy of our Pack 'n Play next to our bed because he's too long for his bassinet (see photo below) but it has a 15lb weight limit so, he'll be moving either down to the bottom of the Pack 'n Play or to a mini crib, we haven't decided. We have a sound machine and a window A/C unit in our room that drowns out most of Nolan's grunting and snorting that he does in his sleep so we all sleep very soundly.

At 25" long and 14lbs, Nolan has moved up to Huggie's Lil Snuggler's Size 2 diapers though they seem huge. The Pampers Baby Dry Size 1-2 were getting snug and poop was leaking out so, we took the plunge and went up a size and went with Huggie's because we have always liked those best. We may have to try the Pampers Swaddlers Size 2. Two weeks ago we had to pack up all of Nolan's 0-3 month pajamas as he was just too long to wear the one-piece footed outfits. He is now wearing all his 3-6 month one-piece Sleep 'n Plays at night. He is still wearing his 0-3 month clothes; onesie and matching pants outfits though we've noticed the pants are becoming high-waters. It will be time to move him up into his 3-6 month clothes in the coming weeks I'm sure.

His dreaded cradle is finally gone, hopefully for good, and his skin is clear from all the baby acne and rashes that seemed to hang around forever. His eyes are a gorgeous, electric blue and he has very light blond hair. His little finger nails grow so rapidly I have to cut them at least twice a week and he has the cutest chub around his thighs. He loves to play airplane, where I lift him up in the air up over my head and I get big smiles when I blow raspberries on his belly and his cheeks. We have yet to hear any laughing but you can see how much he wants to when he gets to "talking".


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