Jake turned 4 months old on April 10. I feel like maybe the end is in sight as far as sleepless nights. He's had some good nights lately, where I'm only up with him once or twice, and then last night wasn't as good. Last week I decided that I can't continue to plug him in every time he makes a peep, but since I'm also not ready to let him just cry it out, I compromised. First of all, since Jake has gone without needing to eat from bedtime (about 7:30-8:00) until 4:00 in the morning before, I decided I would not nurse him unless it was after 3:00. Feeding him is the easiest way to get him back to sleep, but I know it's not a good habit to get into if he doesn't actually need to eat. Plus, one of the many sleep books I'd checked out said you should take the longest stretch your baby has ever done, and base your sleep plan on that. So I started on Wednesday night, I think. When Jake started crying at 1:00, I went in and gave him his pacifier. As I got back to my own bed, he was crying again. So I decided I'd let him go 10 minutes, and then I'd go back. Well, I only made it 7 minutes, so that has become my standard waiting period now. So every 7 minutes I went in and plugged him in and helped calm him without picking him up or holding his hands (something that usually worked pretty well). This whole process lasted an hour and a half, so by 2:30, I was pretty exhausted with the whole thing. However, that last time, he fussed a little (less than 7 minutes, I guess) and fell asleep. Then he didn't get up again until 6:20! The next night he woke up at 2:00 and I did the 7 minute thing until he fell asleep again around 2:30. The next night was about the same. Then the next couple of nights are a blur, but I'm trying to stay consistent, which is the hardest part. However, Jake is doing really well with putting himself to sleep when he first goes to bed, so I'm hopeful that that will help with the nighttime wakings.
Naps are still another issue. I can usually get him down for an easy 35-45 minute nap in his crib most mornings around 9:00 or so. Many mornings he'd like it to be earlier, but it's just not possible because I've got to take Zach to school. In a typical day, I'd say he takes about 2-3 35 minute naps in his crib, and then a big, 1.5-2 hour nap in my arms in the afternoon. That big nap generally takes place while Zach and Drew have quiet time/nap time, which means I don't get anything done that I can't do one-handed. I'm typing this post one-handed right now while Jake sleeps on me. It's sweet to hold him and snuggle him, but I think it's really starting to give me some neck/shoulder/wrist pain on my left side. Plus, I'd like to be able to get a little something done now and then. Everything instead gets put off until all the boys are in bed, so that means that from about 8:20-10:00, I get to clean the house, wash dishes, fold laundry, paint my toe nails, etc. By that point I don't have much energy or motivation to do much of that stuff. So please don't come to my house anytime soon and expect it to be clean, because it won't be!
Jake is definitely becoming more and more social. He loves to watch his brothers and talk to them. He is starting to laugh at more and more things, including peek-a-boo. A few days ago I saw him watching Maggie with big eyes, and yesterday I caught him smiling at Foudy, which of course warms my heart to no end. In the picture below, in fact, he was looking at Foudy.
Those dogs are so sweet to Jake, too. They accepted him as part of their pack with no trouble. Foudy often lays in Jake's room with me when I'm nursing him, and she likes to be near him. Maggie mostly likes him because he has neat toys. You'd never guess she's 11 years old, the way she loves baby toys.
Jake is starting to be more and more interested in getting his toes, and he still rolls over every time I lay him down, basically. I think he sleeps on his tummy all night, too. He recently started getting his arms and legs stuck between the slats of his crib, which is a problem Drew had as a baby, too. So the other day I put up the mesh bumper we bought when Drew was a baby to prevent just that. Hopefully it helps.
Today Jake had his 4 month well-baby visit. Overall it was fine, but he didn't gain as much weight as I'd hoped he had. At 2 months Jake weighed 12 lbs. 13 oz., and today, at 4 months 3 days, he weighed 14 lbs. 6 oz. That means he dropped from the 75th percentile to the 39th percentile. And, there go my hopes for having a baby that stays at or above the 50th percentile. The interesting thing is that Zach weighed 14 lbs. 6 oz. at 4 months 3 days as well. And at 3 months 19 days, Drew weighed 15 lbs. 3 oz., so he was the biggest weight-wise. So my big baby (remember, he was a whole pound more at birth than Drew, and almost a pound more than Zach) is no longer so big. Hopefully he's getting enough to eat; he seems happy enough, so I don't think that's the issue. I hope not, anyway. However, on the plus side, Jake was 26 inches long, which is an inch and an inch and a half longer than Zach and Drew were at the same age, respectively. I do feel like the height measurement is never perfectly accurate on an infant, though. So aside from the weight issue and the shots, of course, the doctor's appointment was really good.
A couple of days ago after Drew's nap and Zach's quiet time, the boys asked to play computer games. Lately Drew messes around when I first put him down for a nap around 2:00, and when Zach has his quiet time starting around 3:00, I have to go in and tell Drew to go to sleep. Then I end up waking him up around 4:30 because he's still sleeping. I hate waking him up because he's usually crabby then, but I also don't want him sleeping too late and messing up his bedtime. Anyway, on this particular day, I had woken Drew up, and he was in a funk. He asked if he could hold Jake, so I let him. Then I had to snap some pictures. I like this first one because I feel like the family resemblance is so noticeable.
After the first one, I decided I should try to get a good picture of all three boys smiling. Zach and Jake were happy to comply, but Drew just kept telling me, "I didn't get a good nap, so I can't smile!" And if you know Drew well, you can probably hear/picture him telling me this, with his little eyebrow raise and subtle head shake to go with his sort of snotty tone,like you're an idiot for thinking he'd be able to smile. So please enjoy Drew's face in the next few pictures.
And now, I leave you with this- a short video of me trying to get Jake to laugh. Not the best clip, but you get a little taste of his sweet giggle.