In a Nutshell- Everybody says around the three month mark is when things really turn around with a baby. A baby by this time is better able to cope with their surroundings and begin to interact with the world. The evening "witching hour" that can be a baby's fussy time of day begins to subside. I remember thinking there didn't seem to be any huge change when Reagan hit this mark, but her personality was definitely emerging. I remember thinking it was unfair that I had to go back to work just as things were starting to get much more fun! But that's what I did, and the first day I had mixed feelings. We haven't done any daycare. My parents have very graciously done all the babysitting. When it was time for me to go back to work, I typed up about 4 pages of instructions for my own parents, who obviously raised me just fine, but they needed to know everything there was about MY little girl! I was really upset the night before I had to go back, but when the day came I was excited to be dressed nice and out of the house, talking to other adults. There was no question I was going to shower and have time to eat lunch. I was determined to leave by 5 everyday. Very quickly, I became swamped though. Between meetings and pumping, there was no time to do real work. On top of that, Ben was now starting to go away a lot of the time so I was basically a single mom when he was gone- thank god I had my parents around to help- but this was tough. I will say, the best part of going back to work was that it made me appreciate my time with Reagan more than ever. Weekends had so much more meaning and I looked forward to them with so much excitement and I cherished every minute I had with my baby girl that much more. I snuggled her every night before bed- sometimes for hours.
I turned 30 this month. Ben was away for my birthday but my mom and Bobby took me out to a nice dinner and Reagan again didn't make a peep. Ben threw me a party when he came back. We also had Reagan's Christening this month.
Most Memorable- I thought it would be good idea before we left for the church for Reagan's Christening for Ben to cut Reagan's nails so she didn't scratch herself for pictures. I was too afraid to do it myself- I still haven't to this day. Of course this one time, Ben cut a little too close to the skin (ok, to be honest, he clipped a little piece of skin right off) and there was blood all over the place- even a little on her white gown and now we had a fussy baby! I didn't know who to feel worse for Reagan or Ben. But we all pulled ourselves together relatively quickly and made it through the rest of the day remarkably well.
Biggest Lesson Learned - I had a taste of what a working single mother feels like, and honestly I don't know how anyone does it. Oh, and don't cut your baby's nails right before her Christening!
Month Four Pics
All dressed up for mom's birthday dinner at Siena!
Below is from my 30th bday party - I don't know how Reagan later slept in her swing during a very loud and rowdy game of Catchphrase, haha!
In a Nutshell- Most exciting this month was that Reagan started eating solid foods. She started with rice cereal at 4 and a half months. The first few feedings, the cereal would just dribble back out but after a few tries, Reagan started to catch on. This month Reagan also started to stay awake for more of the day- taking 3 scheduled naps a day now. Although Reagan is not a baby who keeps to a schedule to the minute or even to the hour- but I desperately tried to develop some sort of schedule. We established an 8:00 bedtime this month which gave Ben and I some much needed down time at night (until then Reagan would sleep in her swing until about 11, we would give her a bottle and and put her in her crib right before we went to bed for the night). Reagan was still sleeping pretty well at night but we started trying to transition her from napping in her swing to napping in her crib this month, after all she wasn't going to fit in her swing much longer. This led to a battle at naptime and me dancing Reagan around seemingly forever and often to some Michael Jackson to keep me going until she drifted off and then I'd put her in her crib and hope for the best. This was a weird transition time where Reagan was awake more but she still was unable to hold a rattle or toy for more than a few seconds- so what do you possibly do with a baby that age all day? It's tough- you can only go for so many walks. We brought out the amazing inventions that are the Bumbo seat and doorway jumper this month, although really Reagan just tried to eat the jumper instead of doing any actual jumping.
This month was also mine and Ben's first real night out without Reagan. She stayed at my mom's and we made a big deal out of it. We stayed at the Westin in Providence. I had a spa day during the day, we went to Hemenway's for dinner and then to Trinity Brewhouse for drinks. It was REALLY hard leaving for the night but I had such a fun night out with my husband! We couldn't get back to Reagan fast enough in the morning though.
Most Memorable- Reagan's 1st Halloween - she was a cow!
Biggest Lesson Learned- I was so excited for Reagan's first taste of solid food just to have her spit it back out at me. Babies will learn and grow on their own schedule- not one you develop for them. All you can do is keep trying new things and when they're ready they'll take to it- maybe on the 1st try, maybe on the 101st. This has been the case with many things and all you can do is be patient and supportive.
Month Five Pics
Bumbo + Plug + Sophie = One Happy Girl
Bald and Beautiful
My little cow!
No a lot of jumping going on in the jumper
This was an exciting month!! At 5 months and 2 days Reagan rolled over from belly to back and Ben and I were both home to see it. Up until then, Reagan just cried non-stop during tummy time, but once she figured out she could roll on her back whenever she wanted, she was much better with it. Reagan also started to belly laugh this month, and it was the best sound in the world. This month was also Reagan's first taste of vegetables- carrots! The faces she made when she tried them for the first time were absolutely priceless! Reagan went on her first plane ride and took her first trip to Ohio this month for Thanksgiving and got to meet a lot of her Ohio relatives for the very first time. She was a perfect little traveler. Naps continued to be a battle this month and Reagan trained Ben and I to get up every couple hours at night (at least!) to put her pacifier back in her mouth. She was able to play with some toys and entertain herself a little during the day by now though and she was starting to get chatty! At Thanksgiving, we actually were convinced she was telling the whole family her name was Reagan. By the end of this month Reagan was in the 75th percentile for height and weight and 90th for head size. What happened to my tiny little peanut?? Surely she is going to tower over me someday!
By this month, my new job was really not working out for me. Ben was away quite a bit, my job was so demanding, and there were nights when Ben was away that I would just crash after Reagan went to bed without eating dinner and I would get up early to wash bottles, finish laundry, and clean up the house before I had to go back to work. I had no trouble losing the baby weight because often I was too busy or too tired to eat, but it wasn't healthy, and I was finally learning that the best mom for Reagan is a healthy mom. Worst of all, I felt I was missing out on so much during this exciting time when Reagan was growing by leaps and bounds. Seeing her only a couple hours a day during the week and weekends wasn't enough for me. There were nights I came home after Reagan's bedtime no matter how hard I had convinced myself I would be home earlier and just cried and cried. Ben didn't care what I did for work- he just wanted me to be happier than this. One Friday night when I was leaving work at 9pm (and my mom had been at our house with Reagan since 7am), I told my boss I couldn't do it anymore. I didn't know if this meant I'd be completely out of a job but I didn't care. I asked if I could cut back to part time, which would mean giving up my current position and my promotion, and my boss said he thought that could work out. In the end, it did. This was November and I had a lot of December off for the holidays and started a new part time schedule working 3 days a week in January. For me, this was the best decision I ever made.
Most Memorable- The excitement when Reagan first rolled over and her faces eating her first carrots. Her first flight ever being delayed so long we would've missed our connection so we had to get off- after we sat on the plane for two hours.
Biggest Lesson Learned- If you're unhappy in a situation, do something about it! You don't know what you can get until you ask for it. Asking to go part time was one of the bravest and best things I've ever done!
Month Six Pics
Happier on her belly now that she can roll onto her back.
Reagan rolls over!
The contagious laugh
Not so sure about these carrots!