Ever since I started writing “Life With My Baby” updates every fortnight I find myself scratching my head, trying to remember the past two weeks with Maria. Things change so quickly with her that my memories are quite blurry. It scares me how fast we forget, but I see why nature is working this way. If we remembered each and every detail we would never have more than one child!
Not that having a baby is so horrendous, but I do think the first few months are pretty overwhelming. Perhaps I should write a post about how nothing and no one can prepare you for having your first baby.
Anyways, let’s go back to the present facts: Next week, Maria will be four months old. That’s one third of a year or almost half pregnancy! I can’t keep up and continue thinking she will graduate from college before I realize I’m a mom!
For the last month or so, we sort of came into a routine with her. We had introduced a bedtime routine already a while ago, and slowly got more organized during the day as well. Maria wakes up between 7 and 7:30 a.m., goes down for her first nap around 9 in the morning and has a second nap around 12:30 p.m. The afternoons are less predictable, because she doesn’t sleep very well at that time. On many days, she is awake from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., when she goes down for the night. That’s way too long for her, and the result is a cranky baby when we are busy cooking and eating while also feeding and entertaining Maria in addition to getting her ready to go to sleep.
Back to the lovely nighttime routine we had. It was indeed wonderful until Maria decided one night to wake up nearly every hour! I gave her her last feed at 10:30 p.m., but instead of waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. she was wide awake at 1! I fed her and went back to sleep, only to be woken up again at 2 a.m.! Fed her, back to sleep, woken up again at 3! What was wrong with her? I read about the four-month sleep regression before and started thinking it could be that. Fortunately, after a few turbulent nights (and fussy days) Maria only woke up once for a feed last night, so let’s keep our fingers crossed sleep will continue this way.
Following these nights, our daytime routines were also shattered. Maria just refused to have her first nap at 9 a.m.! Of course when sleep battles happen she is usually the winner, and so I took her back to the living room and played with her for a while. At some point, she was exhausted and finally ready for bed. I am thinking we may never get into a routine at all during the day, but that’s okay. I wouldn’t want to plan my day around Maria’s nap schedule. As long as she has at least one daytime nap in her bassinet I am fine with the others being in the pram or sling, or even on my lap in a coffeeshop while I’m catching up with a friend.
And to bridge those late wakeful afternoons, I now go more often for a walk at that time, ensuring Maria gets some shut-eye before I start cooking and Ahmed is home from uni. It usually makes our evening a whole lot more relaxed.
The cutest thing ever these days is hearing Maria coo and babble. She does this mostly in the mornings when she wakes up – just when turned around to have another 30 minutes of snoozing – and in the late afternoon, especially if we are talking a lot as well. As soon as we stop our conversation she is quiet too.
Last Monday, I went with Maria to the second session of a six-week course about “My Growing Baby”. While a guest speaker was trying to tell us something about baby massage Maria was “talking” non-stop! A few moments later she got hungry and started screaming! While enjoying her meal, she was constantly groaning and moaning. Here I was with my very expressive child, while the other babies were all peacefully asleep or quietly feeding. However, I stealthily enjoyed Maria’s passionate way of communicating, except the screaming bit of course. Later, when I told Ahmed what had happened, he joked he was happy Maria doesn’t have a “cold, European character”. She definitely has the temperament of a true Arab!
To conclude this update, here is a little compilation of Maria made by Ahmed. The Arabic writing in the beginning simply says “Moments with Maria”. I am falling in love with her more and more each time I watch it (and of course every day I spend with my precious girl).