Bella is one month old today!
In some ways it feels like the month has flown by and in others it seems like she has been with us for ages. Her physical growth in this timeframe, especially considering the weight gain issues we had for her first 3 weeks of life, seems so great. Case in point, we had to fight to squeeze her into the newborn outfit above!
We’ve been taking a picture of her each week. The first week’s picture is too zoomed in as we were still figuring out the best way to do this, but you can really see how much tighter the onesie is even between weeks three and four! I would not be surprised if we see 9 pounds on the scale at her one month appointment on Monday.
Overall, the month has been great. I think Lance and I are starting to get the hang of life as parents – understanding that obstacles will come and go, and just trying to remember that everything is a phase.
Looking back, here are a few insights into Bella’s first month.
SLEEP : We swaddle her every time she goes to sleep overnight, and almost every time we get either a single or double punch out. Lance and I like to take bets on what state we will find her in. Above, it appears she attempted a double punch out but was thwarted. Overall, she has slept great for us. I nurse her before we go to bed (between 10 and 11), and then she sleeps a four hour stretch in the bedroom with us in her Rock N’ Play. After a middle of the night feeding, she sleeps in her crib anywhere from 2-4 hours. Then I nurse her again and put her down for one more stretch. We usually end up starting our day (i.e. no more trips back to bed) between 9 and 10. I’d love to move this routine forward, but she is generally wide awake between 8 and 10 pm. We’ve decided to let this ride until six weeks and at that point we’ll see if she is ready for an earlier bedtime.
BATHING: With her cord stump finally off, Bella had her first bath this week. When we first put her in, she screamed at the top of her lungs. Once we realized that we probably didn’t have enough water in the tub and filled it up further, she settled down and actually seemed to enjoy it. I’ve read a lot about bedtime routines and how a bath is a good part of one, but at this point, I’m not sure I understand how that would work given that she screams her head off when we take her out. Do they calm down and not mind as much eventually?
TUMMY TIME: Bella actually prefers being on her tummy to being on her back. Lay her on her back unswaddled and she will typically begin screaming within minutes. Put her on her tummy, and she looks calm and happy, and as of this week, will find her hand to start sucking on. We put her on her playmat daily but she isn’t recognizing the toys or mirror yet. She did startle me by flipping from her front to back earlier this week – but I don’t think it really counts because she started with an arm tucked under. I still can’t believe she had the strength to get over! Her neck strength has also taken great strides in the past 10 days and you can really see how much steadier it is.
TITAN: Lance loves to let Bella (and any of our friends’ babies for that matter) “ride the dog”. Bella isn’t so sure about it, but she is definitely getting used to spending time with her big brother. It is not uncommon for Lance to have both of them on his lap when sitting on the couch.
FUSSINESS: I just had to include this picture from one of our weekly photo sessions. Definitely one of my favorites pictures that I’ve taken! Ever since Bella woke up and figured out how to eat, she has also become a lot more fussy. When she is asleep, she sleeps great, but when she is awake, it is hard to keep her content for more than 10-15 minutes at a time. She will go from totally happy to screaming in the blink of an eye. We’re not sure what causes it and there is really no pattern. Luckily, we’re starting to learn tricks to at least temporarily calm her, and I’m sure this is just a phase that will pass.
The first month has been a wonderful adventure. As first time parents, there is a huge learning curve, but I think we’re doing OK. We’ve started running some errands with her and even ventured to Panera for lunch the other day, I’m looking forward to being able to take her out more often and continuing to introduce her to our friends and family.