Rooney is 12 weeks old tomorrow! Which means the "fourth trimester" is over.
It definitely feels like she is becoming a little person rather than a baby. It seems that around 10-11 weeks we were going through a transition where I had a lot of questions, but it was hard to find a lot of information out there for that age. She was outgrowing the newborn stage but was not quite a 3-month-old. Still, she always seems to be a little ahead of the game, so I usually just round up with her age to see what we should be working toward. I'm learning that it's best to have goals but not worry if things don't go right...we can just try again tomorrow!
- Routine. We started her on a clock schedule as a result of me going back to work, because we needed to get her to day care around the same time every day. Maybe, even if I was staying home, we would have been ready for a timed schedule at this age anyway. She has settled into it very nicely. She eats at approximately 6:30, 9:30, 12:30, 3:30 and 6:30 every day. Her feeding times vary but are usually very close to this. After she eats she is usually awake for one hour, followed by a two-hour nap (until after the 3:30 p.m. feeding, when she is awake for an hour and a half and then only naps for one hour).
- Eating. We are using Up and Up (Target brand) sensitive formula. Rooney will take 6-7 ounces per feeding and eat five times per day. I thought this was just a growth spurt, but she's been eating that much for two weeks now. From what I hear, I think it's safe to say that she is a big eater. We give her 7 ounces in the morning (after she's gone 12 hours without) and prepare 6 for the rest of the feedings. One tip we learned was to always make sure there is a little bit left in the bottle. If she is sucking it dry, make one more ounce and offer it to her. Most of the time she won't take it, but sometimes she will. The longest she has gone without eating is 13 hours (yes, you read that right), but she typically goes 12. I have read to not let her go more than 11 hours between feedings...but we do it every day and she wakes up happy and we even play for a little bit before eating.
- Night sleeping. Sleeping has always been one of Rooney's strengths. We got lucky with this girl. She has been sleeping in her crib in her own room for three weeks now and falls asleep on her own. Sometimes we have to replace the pacifier once or a few times, and other times we put her down and don't hear a single sound. However, since starting day care she has had sleep disruptions at night. I think she is trying to practice her new skill of putting her hands in her mouth, but she will take the pacifier and then go back to sleep. Still, we are having to walk across the house to replace the pacifier about five times per night so I am wondering if we should stop swaddling her so she can just suck on her fist. I am afraid, though, that she will get frustrated and/or play too long. Two days ago we decided we are going to try to let her settle herself down for five minutes to see if she can get through the transition on her own rather than jump up at the first sound and give her the pacifier. And I am thinking we just need to get used to this, as she will be learning a lot of new things in the coming months. She has been sleeping through the night since about 6 weeks and I think this has mostly to do with her size (87-99th percentiles at 2-month checkup). One thing we definitely want to purchase for her soon is a room-darkening shade.
- Day sleeping. When I look at sleep charts, it seems that Rooney always falls at the higher end of the average amounts of sleep needed, even during the day. I ask day care that she gets about five or six hours of sleep while she's there. It's a lot, but I think she needs it! Sleep is so vital for her right now. And she seems to be overtired/overstimulated if she is awake much more than an hour at a time.
- Health. Besides torticollis, there have been no real health concerns. However, she has been fighting her first cold this week and, as a result, her appetite did go down (5 ounces) for a few days. I feel lucky that this is her first illness. Unfortunately, I caught the bug, too. Another thing we just have to get used to. We have been using Boogie Wipes on her and elevating her mattress so she can sleep better, and she's been responding quite well.
- Day care. Rooney started at an in-home day care at 9 weeks. It is a few blocks from our house and there are two wonderful ladies there who watch seven kids. Rooney is the youngest but another baby starts in June. The day care transition took us all a couple weeks to get used to, and I'm sure there will be ongoing adjustments forever. The only issue we saw immediately was that she was getting overtired during the day, which caused her to have trouble falling asleep for us at night. Sometimes we had to wake her up to bring her to day care and then she wouldn't go back to sleep once she got there. (I hate waking a sleeping baby! It is my least favorite thing. I usually make Eric do it because it just feels so wrong!) A couple times after I picked her up from day care, she would crash immediately when I put her in the car and then go to sleep for the night around 4 p.m. (which was not OK considering Eric didn't even get to see her one day). That is why we started her on a schedule. We worked with our day care ladies to discuss what was going on at home and get it figured out. A huge plus of day care was that she got on a better routine. They were immediately able to get her to drink more ounces at each feeding and stay awake a little longer between feedings than what I was able to do when she was home with me. I think Rooney needed some more stimulation but it was a big jump from what she was used to at home.
- Clothing. She is wearing size 2 diapers and 6M clothing.
- Social. Rooney is a very happy, laid-back baby and loves watching the other kids at day care. They call her baby princess because they think she looks like Jasmine. She loves to smile and coo, which melts our hearts every time. She loves pulling her head and legs up, and her recent fascination is rolling onto her left side. Our social lives are improving as well. Tonight we are having some friends over for supper! And for the past month we have been attending life group again. We try to not affect her schedule too much and just try to find the darkest room available to lay her down around 7 p.m. with the monitor. She usually wakes up when we drive home but then goes back to sleep just fine.
- Reading. I google everything and read for hours about what she needs right now. I have found the blog Chronicles of a Baby Wise Mom very helpful as of late, although I did not read the Baby Wise book or even know too much about it. We go with our guts on most things, but her resources have been great.
Gosh...I could talk about my kid for hours... :)