June 25, 2013

4 months

I can't believe our little man is almost 5 months old! Alden has been growing and developing so much in the past few weeks that sometimes it feels like we'll never keep up! 

As you can see in his 4 month picture, he's SO close to sitting up on his own and he is a master at controlling his head. I really feel like if he wanted, he could sit up but all he wants to do is stand! Any time you try to sit him down he stretches himself out and wiggles until you stand him up. He can even pull himself into a standing position from laying down if you give him your hands to hold on to! It's so funny! He even stood at his crib the other day and held himself up on the railing...this kid is crazy strong. His pediatrician marvels at how strong he is and tells us that his motor development is pretty advanced for his age. He can almost completely roll from his back to his stomach but he hasn't figured out how to get his arm out from under himself to be able to get all the way over. Hopefully, he'll figure it out soon and we can be on our way to crawling! Alden is such a curious, interested little guy and we know he's going to be so happy when he can get around by himself. He gets frustrated if he can't see what's going on and he is so squirmy- this boy is ready to go!

He's found his tongue recently and likes to stick it out while he's "talking" to us and he also found his feet! Some of the other babies we know that are Alden's age had been playing with their feet for weeks and he still hadn't expressed any interest in his so we wondered when he was going to discover them :) Turns out he only cared about them for a couple days and has since moved on to other things, like grabbing my hair and touching our faces whenever we're close to him. He reaches out and feels our face while intently looking at us, it's so cute and funny! 

We went for his 4 month doctor's appointment a couple weeks ago and he weighed 13 pounds 14 ounces, was 26 inches long and his head circumference was 16.5 inches! He's somewhere around the 85th percentile for height, but only the 25th for weight. Our pediatrician says, "He's long and lean, exactly what the rest of us wish for!" I used to call him butter bean, but I guess I'll have to switch to string bean, haha :) He got all checked out and had his second round of vaccinations. He did really well, just like the first time, and was perfectly fine as soon as I picked him up to cuddle. He was especially happy when he got to nurse right after and was his usual happy self by the time we left the office! 

Alden definitely still loves to talk and he's started to babble in the mornings when he wakes up. He used to cry every time he woke up for us to come get him but a lot of the time now, he just lays there and babbles and coos to himself until we wake up. Some mornings I just lay in bed and listen to him for a few minutes :) He sounds so happy and content. On the other side of the coin, we definitely had some rough patches (and are maybe still going through one or two) that began right around the 16-17 week mark...

It's commonly known as the 4-month regression (read here, here, and for a little laugh, here) and, let me tell ya, it is not pretty :( We went from an easily put down, sleeping through the night baby to a screaming every time you lay him down, waking up 3 or 4 times a night, fussy and unhappy baby. He was clingy and easily upset during the day, never wanting to be away from us and it seemed like nothing would chill him out. We seriously got to the point where he would wail every single time we put him in his crib or bassinet. It was pretty obvious that we had to figure something out fast and we have since started the sleep training journey. (More about this later...) So far, it's going pretty well and I feel like we're on the right track. 

On top of the nighttime sleep challenges, our pediatrician told us that we really need to get him on a more consistent nap schedule because he is naturally a cat-napper and he needs to learn to get better, more lengthy daytime sleep. We have had a couple home-bound weekends while we try to get Alden in the habit of taking a morning and afternoon nap and, so far, he's done remarkably well. We're still swaddling him to sleep at home but once we feel his routine is well established, we'll begin the process of weaning him out of the swaddle (he already sleeps without one at daycare, so this may not be as complicated as we're expecting). I never thought I would be this concerned with someone else's sleeping habits, but such is the world of the Mama :) 

This month, we've been to the Farmer's Market for the first time with Alden and he loved it! He sat in the Boba carrier the whole time and just watched everything happen around him. We went to a "Traveling with your Baby" seminar at a local mama-baby shop, reBlossom, and he was so well behaved. We're always happy when he seems at ease while we're out in the world! We also took the dogs for a morning of dog park fun at Sandy Creek Park in one of their private, rentable dog parks. We felt like we had been asking the dogs to take a backseat to the baby recently, so we rewarded them with a nice morning in a GIANT fenced in dog park. Buster ran like a maniac, played fetch with Nick and generally enjoyed himself while Brinkley explored the wooded area and chased squirrels. Maverick stuck with me pretty much the whole time but he did venture out a little and I think he enjoyed it also.

I'm so glad that Alden is old enough to be out and about during these summer months because he loves to be outside! Plenty of times he'll be upset and the ONLY thing that calms him down is going outside on the deck. He has really started to pay attention to the dogs and gets excited when he watches Buster play fetch with Nick in the afternoons. I think we're going to have a little outdoorsman on our hands in a few years :)

watching the boys run

little baby, big tree :)

so much space, all to ourselves! *that tiny dot of black you can see up near the tree is little Maverick, just hanging out :)

enjoying his morning!

so busy exploring that I couldn't even get a good picture

tiny Maverick in the huge field

Otherwise, we are loving watching Alden grow and change. He is turning into such a wonderful little person and his personality is shining brighter every day. He is happy, playful, observant and intelligent. He has already figured out that drinking glasses and the head of the toothbrush should go in his mouth. (Stay tuned for a video of him trying to steal Daddy's Coke!) I think he is a bright, interesting fella and I can't wait to see what he's going to do next! 

wearing his new sunglasses! they'll be great for the beach in a couple weeks!

on our way to Alden's first Terrapin Brewery night

Chip Monster like his Daddy :)

attitude. love it. 

he loves the bath now! he splashes and lays there for as long as we let him :)

We went to visit a friend who just had her baby and I snapped a picture of the room we stayed in when Alden was born. This was where you spent your first night, baby boy!

On my new play mat! 

Chewing on bath toys. When he's not trying to eat them, he stares at the ones on the wall.

a boy and his toys.

sweet sleepy baby.

playing on the bed in the morning!

hanging out with Daddy in his Bumbo

"helping" Mama fold towels...

which really means chewing on them :)

Alden, we LOVE watching you grow up! You make us happy every day and there is nothing better than a smile from you every morning and some cuddles every night. 

much love, L&N

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