It’s just occurred to me today that I no longer have a newborn baby.
Sienna certainly doesn’t look newborn any more. In fact, I think she only really looked newborn for around the first week of her life, as she is a big girl! And she no longer acts like a newborn either.
I’ve not really acknowledged it happening, but the traits of that newborn stage are long gone too. They say the first few months of a baby’s life should be classed as the fourth trimester. They favour the conditions they are used to in the womb – white noise, being held close, their mother’s heartbeat. Looking back over my Instagram pictures, so many of them are with Sienna fast asleep in my arms. She wouldn’t be put down. She wanted the comfort, and typically that comfort had to be me.
Now she’s nearing four months old, I’ve realised she’s not fallen asleep in my arms in a while. At the time, I was half desperate to put her down, to be able to get on with stuff. Stuff that didn’t really matter, because now she will sleep happily in her cot, and I have lots of time to do that stuff and no snuggly baby in my arms! She’ll also settle herself to sleep. I spent so long patting her back, shushing her, swaying side to side in the newborn days/daze. Now I can put her in her cot and walk away with her eyes wide open, for her to fall asleep naturally on her own! Madness!!! I know some of this is definitely down to her moving off the breast and on to anti reflux formula and becoming a more content baby as a result. But certainly another big factor is her development. She is finding her own ways to self sooth, one in particular being snuggling a muslin, which she also likes to pull over her face.
Last night, she had her longest stretch of sleep. She went to bed at 7pm, I gave her a dreamfeed without her waking at 10pm, and she then slept til 3.30am!!! I was shocked when I heard her cry and saw the time! She is now in her own room, as she had outgrown the crib, waking herself by hitting and kicking the sides. With no room for a cot in our room, we decided to move her over, and she’s sleeping so much better as a result. I don’t jump up the minute she stirs, as I only wake when she cries. And she’s not woken by us tossing and turning in our sleep.
She’s also napping brilliantly, having a couple of naps a day that near 2 hours, and a couple of shorter cat naps. This means I am getting far more one-on-one time with Ella, and some time to myself when Ella is at nursery or her nanna’s, or is napping herself.
Her waking hours are spent playing. I can no longer put her in the pram and expect her to be content. She wants entertaining. She plays in her play gym or giggles at Ella jumping and prancing around, and she loves being out and about.
When you’re in the throes of the newborn stage, it really can feel like it will never end. I remember thinking Ella would never sleep through, and then she just suddenly did. I had the same feelings about Sienna. Though Ella was sleeping through by this age, Sienna has never been as good a sleeper, and I thought I’d forever be giving her two feeds in the night. The last two nights have seen only one feed, and I know she’ll soon drop that too. And I might start to remember what sleep is once more (if Ella shakes off the sleep regression she’s currently going through!!).
I’ve got to admit, I do prefer this stage. Having a snuggly newborn is amazing. But a more confident baby suits me better. One that can happily play. That can go to sleep on her own. That gives giggles and smiles, and generally seems far more content. And that will still snuggle in to their mummy for a little comfort now and again too, but with the added bonus of being bigger and even more snuggly!!!!