They may say babies start smiling when they’re six to eight weeks old, but we are pretty sure Maria smiled already in her first week! Perhaps that was not a conscious gesture though – as in “Hey, I’m having a good time”, but itdefinitely was a smile.
Now, during the fourth week, Maria is getting more and more generous with her smiles, melting all of us. One of my favourite moments with her is in the morning, when I feed her and put her straight afterwards to burp her. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to capture her face on a photo yet, but the smile she pulls is adorable! She seems to enjoy sitting upright and makes the funniest sounds – as if she really tries to communicate with us. Apparently, she also enjoys hearing me talking and singing to her, so I do that as much as I can.
Unfortunately, Maria is not always a happy girl. During the day, she often has difficulty falling asleep – especially when we’re at home; she sleeps better on the move – making it hard to get anything done, like cleaning the house, taking a shower, or writing a blog post. My mum thought she might be happier sleeping on her tummy. Apart from the daily ‘tummy time’, putting babies on their tummies is generally discouraged because of an increased risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), but Maria is quite strong and I figured we could at least try during the day, when we keep an eye on her all the time. Yesterday I put her in her bassinet on her tummy after trying to get her to sleep for ages and miraculously it worked! I felt we had found a magic formula, but today the same trick did not work.
This is something I have been noticing: One day a certain strategy works, the next day (or even just one hour after) it does not at all and something else is the solution. While I am seeing some patterns – Maria likes to be upright, lie on her tummy, or be held and walked with – we often just need to try different things to see what works that particular time.
Last week I wrote that Maria was starting to have some sort of a routine, being more quiet during the day and fussier in the evenings. This week, we had a few very difficult nights, during which she did not want to sleep at all and was crying uncontrollably. One night she kept crying and crying and nothing soothed her, until Ahmed decided we should take her to a clinic to see if anything is wrong. I put her in bed for a moment to get dressed and from one moment to another she was completely silent and asleep! The rest of the night went fine.
Last week I also wrote that I felt Maria’s stomach was growing, as feeding intervals were increasing. Well, this week they most certainly went back to every two hours or even less, especially at night. Luckily, this lasted only a few nights and the past two nights there were two and even one three-hour interval from 3 to 6 a.m. According to what I learned and read, this cluster feeding is normal and happens whenever baby has a growth spurt. By asking for the breast more often she is telling my body to produce more milk.
I can’t believe Maria has been with us for four weeks already. She is almost a month! Time really does fly by, and this scares me quite a bit. Before we realise it we will be attending her graduation!
Now that Maria is nearly one month it is also time to start thinking about getting back in shape! I will soon write a post about how I’m doing.