First of all, I want to apologize to my followers for the time that’s gone between updates. This is my first blog post in December, which is a little rough. Rest assured that I am not losing interest in this blog at all—I actually have some really exciting plans for it for 2019! By way of explanation, I’ll say that I have picked up some more freelancing work, and that combined with Babyface’s increasing activity levels have limited my time for blogging. However, I do have an aunt who has agreed to watch Babyface two days a week starting in January, so that should free me up to get my work done and stay on top of my blogging.
In the meantime, I definitely wanted to do a two-month update for my baby girl. It feels like she’s changed so drastically in the past month and I’m excited to tell you guys all about it.
The biggest change we’ve seen with Babyface is in how she expresses herself: namely, that she has a much wider range of emotions than she did when she first came home. She has mastered the art of the social smile, which she plasters on her face when we blow raspberries or make funny faces at her, or whenever her daddy comes home from work. She’s also learned what it means to be frustrated—like when she can’t figure out how to make her arms do what she wants them to or can’t figure out how to blow a raspberry back at us—and she has a new, irritated whine that she makes, and you can picture that she thinks of herself as about two years old and desperately wants to be stomping a foot.
I don’t have stats on her height or weight—her 2-month appointment is tomorrow—but I can tell you that she was long and skinny when she was born, and she is now longer and just as skinny. I can tell you this because she has started outgrowing her newborn clothes, and even some of her 0-3-month clothes, because she is so long she’s busting out of them. The clothes that she fits in, length-wise, completely dwarf her in width, and she’s still in newborn-size diapers (and if we could find a size smaller than that, I’d probably take them, because the little tab things almost touch each other). I’m fairly certain that every ounce of bottle she takes goes towards length—she’s like a little Stretch Armstrong.
Babyface is still sleeping great—through the night, in fact, for the past 2-3 weeks. We’ve bumped her bedtime back to 9:30, and she sleeps until 6:30-7, then we feed her 4-6 ounces and put her back down and she sleeps again until 9. We don’t have her on a regular nap cycle, and I probably won’t try to implement one for another month or two. Right now, I notice when she rubs at her eyes and put her in the rock ‘n play, and that’s enough of a trigger to get her to nap. I usually get 2 hours first thing in the morning, and then she’s usually up for a couple of hours, and then I’ll get another half hour midday sometime, and then like three hours in the afternoon. But some days she skips a nap entirely, or all of her naps are really short. As long as she keeps sleeping through the night, I’m not letting myself worry about it too much.
Babyface is starting to have things that she likes and things that she doesn’t like, and we’re starting to be able to figure out what those are—and I’m not just talking about favorite bottles and the likes. For example, I’m already calling her my little daredevil: She likes to be in her swing, but only if it’s moving at maximum speed; she likes being bounced; she likes being spun. She thinks fart noises are hilarious, she’s fascinated by Facetime, and she gets irritated if you try to tickle her.
Babyface is working on holding her head up—she’s actually fairly decent at it—and loves to look around if you hold her in a sitting position. She’s also working on “talking,” which is to say that she makes random noises, then looks at you and waits for you to say something to her, and then makes noises in response—so she has the cadence of a conversation down, though certainly nothing close to real words. She’s not even making consonant sounds—more grunts and squeaks. (Okay, it sounded like she said “hi” once when we handed her a plushie, and GS and I exchanged these baffled looks and then burst out laughing. The phenomenon has not repeated itself).
We’re still doing tummy time with her, and she sort of moon crawls and/or lifts her head, but she has less patience with it now than she used to. Actually, she has less patience with a lot of things than she used to. She’s two months old, and I think she is very irritated with how long it’s taking her to become two years old. She very clearly wants to be playing with toys, for example, but doesn’t have the hand-eye coordination to do so successfully. And she’s licking everything and gives us these pitiful looks every time we eat near her, but she’s nowhere near being physically capable of eating, and she does not love being told, “you can try this in April, kiddo.”
Babyface’s must-have list has grown since last month. She’s still a fan of Similac Pro-Advance, Nuk Medium Flow Bottles, and her Rock ‘N Play, and her daddy and I are still loving the puppy pads for changing her and swaddlers at bedtime. But here’s what’s new to the list this month:
Rockit is the first toy we ever bought Babyface. To clarify, it’s not the first one she ever owned—we got toys at the shower and we got some hand-me-downs—but it’s the first one Ginger Snaps and I picked out together at the store with her in mind. We bought it maybe a month before she was born. On a whim, I decided to introduce it to her this month, knowing full well that she didn’t really have the coordination to play with toys yet—but also knowing that she likes lights and that it might entertain her for a few minutes if I showed it to her and pressed the buttons for her. It went way better than I could have anticipated, and Babyface actually makes a concerted effort to play with Rockit. She has figured out that the blue ball and the red lever both make him move and talk, and she gets a look of intense concentration on her face and very carefully flails one hand at him. Sometimes she’ll work and work to get her hand to rest on that ball, and then she’ll stick her tongue out and flail hard…
When it works, she’s the happiest kid on the block. When it doesn’t, her disappointment is palpable—and sometimes physically hurts this mama, who doesn’t want to step in while Babyface is developing important skills, but who also desperately wants to rescue her. Good practice for the future, I suppose. She keeps working hard at it, which is really gratifying to see.
We got a Graco Swing hand-me-down from my cousin. It doesn’t actually work (I’m hoping it just needs batteries). But I love it anyway, so if it did work, it would definitely be my #1 Baby Item. First of all, it keeps my spit-uppy baby in this really nice upright position after a feeding. It has this super secure way of holding her in place so that I don’t worry about her at all, and an infant insert so her head doesn’t loll about (again, she’s good at holding her head up anyway, so with a baby with less neck strength, your mileage there may vary). Really, my only issue with it is what I’m hoping is a battery issue, because Babyface wants that thing moving. I’m pretty sure she’d stay in it for hours if I was willing to push it that long; as it is, she’ll sit in it for exactly as long as I’m willing to keep pushing it, and the moment I stop, she’s all done.
Babyface’s head is grossly dried out. Ginger Snaps says it “looks neat,” but really, her scalp looks like a toaster strudel, all flaky and weird. I started putting Aveeno Baby Lotion on it—another one of the things I got in the “you’re having a baby” sample bag you get from online registries—and I wholly intend to buy a full-size bottle when this little one runs out. It works great, it goes on easy, my hands don’t feel greasy after I apply it, and best of all, the scent is completely inoffensive.
One day, Babyface would not stop spitting her bink out of her mouth. She kept crying about it, and I was trying to get some freelancing done and kept having to stop to re-insert her pacifier. After about the 10th time, I remembered a vlog I’d watched where a mom talked about how the Wubbanub is weighted, making it harder for babies to spit it out. We had a Wubbanub shaped like a purple monster sitting in her toy bin (no longer available online, apparently). I went and grabbed it and popped it into her mouth, and she was happy the whole rest of the day.
That was both the best and worst choice I’ve yet made as a mother.
She loves her Wubbanub. Ginger Snaps named it “Mitch” (we were recently told we’d better hope she can pronounce her Ms early on or it’s gonna get called something else—whoops!). Babyface wants Mitch whenever she can have him. We don’t offer him at bedtime, but during the day, they are best friends. Sometimes, she doesn’t even care about using him as a bink; she likes to grip his little horns and cuddle him and suck on his feet. But when she does want to use him as a bink, she gets way over excited and ends up ripping him out of her mouth over and over again in her zeal.
So. The wubbanub is great if you want your kid to have a friend. We actually bought a second one that we’re giving her for Christmas. But it does not solve the “my kid keeps spitting their bink out” dilemma. Ginger Snaps and I tried to brainstorm ways to keep the bink in her mouth, but we got to “someone should invent a pacifier with like a strap around it to hold it in” and realized that we were essentially describing gagging our child. We gave up on the thought very quickly and instead came to terms with the fact that until she figures out how to use her hands, we are going to be continually re-inserting pacifiers in her mouth.
Babyface is actually getting to an age where she pays attention when I read her a book. Currently, she has no idea what the books are about, so I read her my personal favorites, which I talk about in my vlog:
I will say three things that I didn’t know about having an infant and trying to read to them.
- The first is that board books are not necessary—yet—because she can’t hold things anyway and doesn’t really attempt to rip the pages. I assume I’ll appreciate board books more in a month or two when she’s more grab-happy, but for right now, the ones with paper are just as good.
- The second, which I should have realized but did not consider, is that infants have a very limited attention span, so if you actually want to get through the book, you need to pick ones that don’t take 20 minutes to read.
- The third is that when babies are little enough that they don’t care that much about books but you’re still trying to introduce the concept and make it fun, it makes no sense to hold them and read to them. There’s too much going on in that scenario, for both of you. Instead, hold the book over them while they’re in something like a Rock ‘n Play so that it is the stimuli of the moment—and then rock with them after if you want.