This past month has been really fun and really trying at the same time. The first two weeks, Stella was happier than she had ever been. There was minimal fussing, she slept 10-11 hours with only 1 wake up and she seemed to be getting over the colicky hump. She hit several important milestones and I was feeling somewhat accomplished as a mom. I could finally make my baby smile…and even laugh! The second two weeks, however, I felt like we took a pretty large slide backwards. Stella entered into her “4 month sleep regression,” which meant that for several nights she woke up every 1-2 hours. On top of that, she was even fussier than normal, which on the scale of 1-10, her crying, out of control behavior reached about a 12. No matter what we did – fed her, put her in the swing, played with her – she cried. The only thing that seemed to calm her down was taking walks, which was very similar to her behavior in her first 8 weeks of life. I will say I’m really happy that we witnessed that Stella could in fact be a happy baby, although it made the bad days seem that much worse.
One of the most special milestones this month was Stella’s high-pitched, squealing giggle. She giggles when mom and dad dance, play with her feet or when someone makes funny faces at her. She can imitate faces pretty well now too, especially when you stick out your tongue.
She also had some rather interesting mouth developments. Stella does this strange clicking sound with her tongue.
She also attempts to suck on a bottle, even in her sleep!
In the last few days, Stella has been able to grab her feet as well. She likes to bring them up to her belly while she’s laying on her back, especially when I’m changing her diaper. She can grab onto them now, although she hasn’t tried to put them in her mouth yet. (I’m waiting on that one!)
Her coordination on her play mat has come along too. She has gone from only being able to hit the toys with her hands to using her hands and her feet one at a time to using both feet at the same time.
On her play mat, she hits with her left hand, but I’m pretty sure she’ll be right handed. She has really started to grab at toys when they are presented to her, particularly her light-up rattle. Stella will only grasp the rattle in her right hand as of now. In the next month or so, I’ll look forward to seeing if she can transfer the rattle between hands.
Stella absolutely loves having a blanket on her, even when it’s 80 degrees outside. She doesn’t want it covering her hands (unless she’s eating) or feet though. She just likes to have it on her belly so she can hold on and rub it to her face. She’s our own little Linus.
Stella had some other “firsts” this month. She went to her first squadron function and was the youngest person by about 24 years. She got to see her first fire as well!
Stella saw her first plane close up, although it didn’t move.
Stella got to fly with dad for the first time though. That was more fun.
Stella made some Korean military friends. The Koreans continue to love her red hair.
Stella also wore her first pair of thigh highs (haha)!
Even through the last two weeks of crying, Stella has had some bright spots and continues to show me her smile. At the end of the day, it’s what gets me through.
Stella has officially been on this earth for 1/3 of one year. I can say, without a doubt, that these have been the longest four months of my life, but also the most rewarding. I just need to remind myself of all the small steps forward she is making when times get tough. I have been reading The Wonder Weeks, which explains various fussy periods in a child’s life, what he/she is learning and why that makes him/her upset. The “why” part has really helped me because I know it’s not all for naught.
At her doc’s appointment at roughly 3.5 months, Stella continued to climb the growth charts. She weighed 6kg (13.2 lbs), which was in the 42nd percentile. She was 62 cm (24.4 in.) long, which is the 65th percentile and had a head circumference of 43 cm (16.9 in), which makes her head in the 98th (!!) percentile. It may take her a bit to gain full neck strength with that noggin’!