Month 4 transitions

Some days, it feels like there’s hardly a moment to pause, breathe and even eat (!) with the constant juggling between work and family matters. But I’m thankful that at least I get to see both boys every day — something I could not do in years because of work travel.

Being home more and anticipating the leaps after reading the Wonder Weeks book, I started noticing bigger changes with #2 around 11 weeks on. From how he moves and corrects his hands/feet from one position to the next, to how he no longer bats at items but deliberately tracks and then reaches out to grasp them, to how he focuses on details and delights in surveying the world around him. I’m also thankful that he is growing so well. We followed his cues for eating, waking and sleeping in the first three months, rather than adhering to any formula milk labels or baby sleep schedules. At last week’s visit to get the second dose of 5-in-1 and oral rotavirus, he came in at 7.6 kg and 65 cm tall. This places him at around 75% of his age group … very similar to #1 at the same age, even though big bro was mostly breastfed!

Here’s what little bro has been up to:

  • Still mouths everything. Fabric, teethers, rattles, this bunny that my sis gave him with safe stitched on features… anything that’s easy to grip with his hands really! But his ultimate favourite is still his thumb and wash towel. Because of all that drool and me being away at work, my OCD has kicked in and I’ve created two separate ziplock bags by theme: Each with a set of fabric books, teethers and rattles so that we can alternate them each day while the other set is in the wash. I also finger wipe out his mouth every couple of days, and may introduce his trainer toothbrush soon.
  • Plays for longer. Sometimes he repeatedly does the same things again and again — pulling on his favourite bee/butterfly in the play gym, passing items back and forth between his hands, looking at the bright colours on his wall paper, staring out at the plants in the balcony, splashing with his bath ball. Playtime is more fun now, after weeks of just tummy time and activity bars on his bouncer. Another plus is he is distracted (or focused?) enough when he plays, that I can cut his nails now when he’s awake 👌
  • Curious about other activities. When we read, he now grabs the books to look closer (and of course, the pages usually end up in his mouth). I take him out in the stroller when I’m shopping and for our weekly outdoor walks at Botanic Gardens and nearby parks. He laughs a lot, esp. when we play a simple version of peek-a-boo with his wash towel or swaddle, and when he looks into the mirror. Since we got him the easily adjustable Oribel Cocoon chair, he’s been quite chatty with us during mealtimes. How time flies, we’ll be trying out solids in the next month!
  • Briefly sits up. Last month, he could only prop himself for a few seconds before toppling over. He’s getting more stable now, sitting up tripod style and balancing himself for a few minutes at a time, as well as leaning forward in his stroller, car seat and high chair. We keep encouraging him to sit by reading and playing together side by side; to not be afraid and laught it off if he rolls and falls, and to make sure those seat belts are on — at all times! When he’s on his tummy, we’ll put him under the play gym with hanging mobiles, or dangle objects and make faces above him so he looks up and strengthens his neck muscles even more.
  • Getting stronger. He loves it when we hold him up to stand or feel different textures with his feet (mattress, piano keys, wooden bars, sofa/bed headboard). Good luck trying to take his towel or wet wipe away when he grips them super hard, so now I just let him hold them in his hand and take out another new one during nappy changes and bottle feeding. He raises his hands and kicks his legs out to scoot forward (on his tummy) and backwards (while on his back) in order to move … but no luck yet, and he screams when he’s frustrated 😆 He turns to look for people, esp. when we call each one by name for “good night kisses” before bedtime 😘
  • Sleeps much better (!) Although J is blessed with many different hands during the day, we’ve kept a steady evening routine as parents, and try to spend as much time with both boys on weekends. Routines do help. After bath time with daddy, J then joins all of us at the dining table while we eat, mama takes over after to read, give him his last milk feed and a massage while listening to our bedtime playlist 😴 Lately, he falls asleep by 8pm-ish, may wake briefly at 4/5am for a quick feed, and gets up proper by 8am. As work can at times be always-on, I try to sleep early (by midnight latest) and start my work day super early if needed, so I can get at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. This is bliss compared to those early months, plus, there’s no need to pump every 3 hours like I did while on full EBF with #1.
  • Recognises and responds to familiar sounds. He looks at me and then laughs when either of us sneezes, and I say “bless you!” He perks up when I do action songs with him like Round the Garden, Itsy-Bitsy Spider, This Little Piggy, Daddy Finger, etc. Our little babbler is also experimenting with blowing bubbles, vocalising and recognising words. While the family speaks mostly English, I alternate between English and Chinese, and our wonderful helper speaks and sings in Malay, so we’re having a little bet as to which familiar words J will say first. It’s anyone’s guess really whether it’s “Ma” or “Da” or “Kor” or “Kong” or “Bao” or “Hi” or “Bye” or “Kiss” …. We shall see!

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