Audrey is four months old now and definitely getting bigger. At her last appointment I learned she had grown four inches in the last month. Talk about a growth spurt. No wonder last month was so terrible with sleeping. She's now 16 lbs. and 26 in. tall. Daddy's hoping she'll be a basketball player, and softball, and soccer player. Or, she'll be a creative writer/crafter like her momma.... only time will tell.
As I mentioned last month I had gotten the "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" book to try and see what I can do about Audrey's sleep. This past month has been the worst with that. Her naps were either short or not happening and she was waking up multiple times in the night. I tried to implement a few things to try and help her. First I tried the "Ferber" method which basically just means you let them cry for a few minutes then go in and sooth and keep increasing the time you let them cry though you don't go more than 10 minutes. I must say, that was a very traumatic experience. After a few days of that I did everything I could to make sure she didn't cry and I didn't have to get to ten minutes. (This is where I started using the pacifier during naps) It's such a heartbreaking thing to hear your baby cry the way she did. She cried so hard her face turned red and tears ran all over her cheeks. I would sit in the bathroom with the fan on crying. This was not working for me and it didn't seem to help her either. Since that didn't work out I knew "crying it out" was also not going to be an option. So instead I tried to just be consistent in how I put her down for naps and tried to watch for signs of sleepiness and put her down drowsy but awake. I don't always do it perfectly consistent but things seem to be getting better. I learned I need to put her right back down in the morning after she eats. I change her first, then feed, then put her down and she usually falls asleep after a few minutes. What is also helping is that is has started to suck her thumb and sometimes uses that to soothe herself to sleep. The first nap is usually the best though the time can vary still anywhere from 1 hour to 2 1/2 but I'll take it. The other naps vary more and are not always great but I see light at the end of this tunnel. She wakes up less at night. We also moved her bedtime so that her last feeding is at 8 and she's in bed by 8:30. We usually give her a bath before her last feeding and have a sound machine in her room. I'm proud to say that the last three nights in a row she has slept through the night from 8:30 to 7am. I'm trying to prepare myself that she may still wake up again but so far I've enjoyed the past few nights.
This past month has been such a challenging one and has taught me quite a bit about what being a mother means. I've had to let go of many expectations and understand that with children, things keep changing. I don't like change and prefer consistency and that has not been the case with Audrey. I know God is working in me to shape me into the woman He wants me to be and He's definitely using motherhood to do that. All I can do is lean on Him to be my strength for every day.
I'll end on a good note. Audrey has also started to play with toys. She can grasp them more easily though not for too long. She holds her head up very well and can sit in her Bumbo for short periods. And even though it's hard many times, she is such a joy in my life! Thank you Lord for this gift.