The baby turned three months old last Friday.
Everyone, from friends to websites, said this is when things would finally become less crazy.
But like most of the advice or Facebook forum chatter about where you and your baby will be at a certain time, I haven’t found my experience to be exactly like any of them.
Here’s where I’m at now, three months later.
- Our baby does not sleep through the night. The longest he’s ever gone is four hours. He naps, now for longer stretches, but no two days are alike.
- Babies aren’t not always peaceful sleepers. Ours use to moan and groan while trying to digest. Now he turns himself 90 degrees in bed and often falls asleep by turning his had back and forth a thousand times.
- We have only recently been trying the “cry it out” method. I swore up and down I’d be able to do this before giving birth, but it was a lot harder than I thought. Even now, we only do it once a day and don’t let him go more than ten minutes. And yeah, we both go back and forth on whether or not we should be doing it now or later or at all. (Update: I’ve been writing this post in draft form and yesterday did some research. Apparently, most “experts” say three months is too early, so guess we won’t be doing this anymore.)
- I don’t care what he wears as long as it fits and is weather appropriate. All of my bullshit about not wanting him in super masculine outfits or those items that start with “Daddy’s…” or “Mommy’s…” has gone out the window. It’s on sale for 80% off? It’s a gently worn hand me down? Cool. He’ll take it and it’ll be fine (and thank you so much.)
- Sleep is the only way I’ve survived and it’s also the reason I haven’t had to count on things turning around at three months. Due to some latch issues, I’m not breastfeeding. Instead, I pump five times a day and that gives him enough breast milk for the day and then some. I didn’t even know this could be a thing until he was having problems. Do you know how awesome it is that anyone and everyone can feed the baby and he still gets breast milk? Not to mention, I can go upwards of eight hours not having to pump, so even though it’s inconvenient at times, it’s not terrible. I don’t assume anyone can do this, but it’s an option I didn’t know about and am thankful for it.
- Smiling is everything. The baby makes eye contact, follows our voices and even genuinely laughs at things. He is finally entertained by the activity mat and the dumb plastic mobile thing on his baby chair.
- I only now see the point of “outfits”. I honestly did not understand putting him in an outfit for the day and then changing him into pajamas at night. I suppose it helped that we didn’t really leave the house for awhile due to the weather (and possibly my paranoia over the flu and measles.) So yeah, our baby wore one outfit (unless he soiled it) that was changed every 24 hours and that worked fine for the first few months.
- Holding his neck up is also everything. We are almost at the point where we can put him in those assisted chairs and we definitely aren’t as crazy about making sure his head doesn’t flop off his body. Part of the reason to be excited is his development, but it’s also being able to put him more places. Though that’s assuming he’ll like the bouncy chair and excersaucer thingamajig.
- OK, but back to the sleeping. I give every mom who breastfeeds a huge high five. In some ways, I’m sad it didn’t work out for us and I know I missed out on a bonding experience. But I’m 100% certain the sanity that’s been mostly maintained (after the first couple of weeks where I’d cry multiple times a day and worried constantly) has made all of the difference in how I feel about my kid, my relationship with my partner and parents and my overall opinion on how the first three months have gone. Not to mention, I’m sure I have a bit more patience and rationale. Even on days when I get four hours of sleep I’m a moody beast.
- Sometimes relating to other moms is great…and sometimes it’s not. On one hand, it’s a really awesome thing to suddenly be a part of this weird club of motherhood. On the other hand, I sort of hate people. I’ll admit that I get kind of annoyed when I see some stranger on a Facebook forum post about how far along her kid is at an age younger than my own. I also have no problem admitting I think my kid is the cutest baby on the planet and obviously a genius. No, I don’t think these things are fact, but in my mind they are true. I have the double experience of viewing parenting as a nanny and now as a mom. It’s basically impossible not to be judgemental. For now, I tell myself that anything I THINK I’m going to do later is merely an unfounded hypothesis.
- The time has gone too fast and yet it’s impossible not to talk about the future “when he can do” this or that. I think sometimes we assume because our kids hit certain milestones that they become easier in some ways. But one new thing leads to a bunch of other things that have to be considered.
He’s changed so much and I’m amazed at the difference between newborns and infants (apparently they are considered “infants” at three months.) I can’t wait to see what the next three months brings.
P.S. I post a lot of smiling baby pictures on Instagram. Don’t be fooled. He can be a serious fussy face.