People say that the first 3 months of a newborn baby are the most difficult ones. For the baby and for the parents, because everybody is adapting to the new life, getting to know each other, etc. Yes, it was a very difficult period, especially because there’s also a lot of theories on how to raise a baby – feed on demand, every 3 hours, sleep in your room, sleep in their cot, don’t let them cry, let them cry, don’t go out with them, go out with them, etc. In the end, you have to follow your instincts most of the time, but sometimes your instincts say “I don’t know what to do”.
You go through all the difficulties of the first 3 months thinking that it will get better, it has to get better. I personally don’t think it did. She got cuter, smarter, funnier, which is great and helps a lot. But she also got more active, which made simple tasks like changing nappies, feeding and giving a bath really hard. She wants to play all the time, she rolls over with the butt full of poo, she stretches herself when I’m getting the soap to wash her – meaning I only have one hand to hold her, she pays attention to everything around her BUT the breast when she is eating outdoors. I have to say that sometimes it’s really cute to see her doing these things, because she went from a static crying baby from month 1 to an extremely active smiley baby at month 5. And you know what? I think it will get worse (and better at the same time).
So here is a quick list of things that have gone better and worse, for my future reference:
Feeding – she drinks a lot in a short period of time, which is great. In her first weeks, she used to feed for an hour…
Sleeping – she has been waking up more often and eating more at night. I thought it would be the opposite. I’m not the type of person that jumps out of bed at the first baby noise, so I give her the chance to go back to sleep on her own. Lately this is not happening and she’s been eating everytime she wakes up. This evening she woke up 5 times! The average here in California is 3 times (as opposed to 2 in London). It has been normally easier to put her to bed, but yesterday she had one of the worst crying crisis ever before going to bed.
Naps – same old same old. Here is the US, because of the time difference, she has been taking a looooong nap around 4.30pm – 1 hour long, sometimes more. And she still goes to bed at 7-8pm! She is still not sleeping entirely on her own, but most of the times, she falls asleep while eating or with me cuddling her in bed – no need to hold her in my arms (please note that we still have to do that, but not as often).
Bath – she is enjoying it even more, but it gets harder for me. I’m sure it will be all fun and games when she starts sitting on her own. She enjoys showers as well, but it’s easier when Mr. C is around to help.
Nappy changing – it used to be one of my favourite tasks, but now it’s becoming a mission, harder and taking longer to accomplish. Oh, and her new thing is to pee every time we take the nappy off – sometimes when we put the new clean nappy on, sometimes in between nappy replacements. I know this is quite normal for babies to do, but until 3, 4 months, Laura wouldn’t do that. She started in Brazil.
Dressing – I think it’s easier now, because she is not so wobbly and delicate. I used to hate putting anything on via her head as I thought I was going to damage it.
Colics – It pratically inexists, thank goodness. It was the worst part of the newborn’s life, in my opinion.
Playing – it’s a huge improvement. She can play on her own, with some little interferences from my side. Of course there are times that she wants to play with me, but normally I can just be around, chat a bit, give her new toys, and she will be happy to play on her own.
Going out – she enjoys being out and about, but she gets bored (at least it’s what we think). So from time to time we need to take her off the pram and carry her around, so she can see everything. The worst bit for me is feeding her when we are out, because she doesn’t eat as much and needs to eat more often. Not to mention that she gets tired and sleepy but doesn’t want to or can’t sleep, so she gets very grumpy and complains a lot.
Talking and smiling – she is now a pro. Everybody says she is such a happy chatty baby. She cries very little, just complains, so when she cries it’s because something is really bothering her. Most of the times she is talking/making baby noises and smiling. She also stares at lot at people, paying attention to what they are doing.
I can’t wait to start the weaning stage, but I know it will get even harder by then.