12 Weeks came far too quickly! Not only does that mean baby is growing up, but also it means the return to work for mommy. Surprisingly, this first day didn’t go nearly as badly as I anticipated. I think working the last four weeks from home with Matt keeping Jack in the other room really helped wean me back into work. It would have been much more difficult to return if I was still used to all day every day spent with my Jack.
Feeding: Jack still fluctuates between 2-4 hours between feedings. Thankfully, he is a fast eater so it isn’t like we have an hour feeding and then there really is only 1-3 hours between. He generally takes between 7-12 minutes to eat when he’s nursing and slightly longer when he takes a bottle. He has been doing excellent with transitioning between nursing and bottle feeding. We began feeding him 2-3 bottles a day this week to prepare him for my return to work. The first two days were horrible. He cried for 2 hours straight the first day when we gave him the first bottle. He was not interested in it at all. We knew he would get hungry enough eventually and sure enough, when he took the bottle he drank 4 oz. no problem. I knew he wasn’t starving, but it was still difficult to hear him crying from the other room. Matt put his foot down and said that Jack needed to get used to eating with Daddy with a bottle or we’d be in real trouble. He was right and now Jack does fine with a bottle. We are still feeding him exclusively on breastmilk. He isn’t such a sloppy eater any longer. He continues to learn and build technique… just in time for us to introduce solid foods! I’m not sure if I’ll introduce them when he’s 4 months. I was planning to wait until 6 months. We’ll see what happens!
Sleep: Jack continues to sleep in 4 hour intervals. I don’t mind this one bit. Especially now that I am at work it gives me a little more time with him. He usually naps several times throughout the day and then settles down at night between 7-10. I started a bedtime routine, but it hasn’t been too consistent yet since he settles down at different times. When I notice him winding down I try to give him a bath, lotion, snuggle in a fuzzy blanket, read a book, jammies, rock and sing, place in sleeper. He’s still sleeping in his sleeper next to my bed and will continue to do this until he outgrows the sleeper.
Bath time: Bath time is touch and go. There are certain things that just set him off. If he doesn’t want a certain part of his body washed at a particular time then he screams. Once that body part is done being washed sometimes he calms down, sometimes he fusses until bath time is over. Sometimes it’s his face, sometimes it’s his back, sometimes it’s his hair. There isn’t one set trigger that sets him off, which makes having a peaceful bath difficult. He strongly dislikes getting out of the bath either way. Normally I’ll wash him and splash him and if he fusses try to settle him down so he can enjoy the bath. Splashing his feet in the warm water seems to help. I have been spraying him with a spray bottle and he tries to kick the stream with him feet. He doesn’t like it near his head, but loves it down by his feet. I began using Yes to Baby Carrots wash and lotion this week. Monday night he scratched his face with his fingernails and it flared up real red after I put his normal Johnson’s lotion on his face. I put some Yes to Baby Carrots lotion on and by his mid-night feeding it was halfway gone. By morning it was 95% gone! I began using both of these products daily and his rashes healed quickly as well. Now I bathe him every other day and he doesn’t seem to be breaking out in rashes as often. My friend, Erin, gave me these items for a shower. I am so thankful for it since I never would have known about these products otherwise. This week I also nipped his finger and toe while trimming his nails. This made Mommy and Baby very sad. Up until this point I have clipped his nails at least once a week, sometimes more. They grow so fast! For the first time Momma nipped a toe and finger so there was a little drop of blood. Baby quickly got over it but it was still sad. Thankfully, baby skin appears to heal super quickly.
Learning: Sometimes I’ll place Jack in the middle of the bed while I’m working on something. He’ll look around the room and play with his fingers. This week I noticed that he was rolling from his back to his side… and then onto his tummy! He likes to be on his tummy and he was perfectly content lying there like that. I wasn’t sure if he was actually rolling because of my weight on the bed so I set him there and got off the bed. Sure enough, he rolled over on his own until he was comfortable! He hasn’t done it on the ground yet, but I am going to start working with him. He also is able to “scootch” on the bed. When he is sleepy I lay him in the middle of the bed and he’ll wiggle his way over until he is against me. One day I noticed he was lying completely against my leg and I remembered placing him in the middle of the bed. The next time I lay him there to take a nap I watched as he wiggled back and forth until he was against me. He then stopped wiggling and settled in for a nap. So adorable! He also has been making good use of his tummy time. He now lies there on his elbows looking all around. He can hold his head up for several minutes at a time and can look in all directions. While he’s doing this he is constantly kicking his feet and sometimes lifts his legs way up in the air. He’ll be crawling before we know it! One other trait he has picked up: punching. I tapped the palms of my hands against his little fists several times in a row, then waited and held them in the air above his fists. I did this about three times and then he slowly “punched” my palms like I had been doing! I made a big fuss to reinforce this behavior and he continued to do it. We need to work up to it to jog his memory, but he is learning! Jack has also learned that if he can’t reach his hanging animals with his hands he can kick them! I watched him flap his arms at his animals, but they were just out of reach. He stopped, stared at them, and slowly lifted his leg and kicked the animal. He cooed then and waved his arms real fast again! He kept kicking it and it was with deliberate kicks, not just his legs aimlessly flailing.
Things Mommy Loves: Mommy loves his two dimples in his elbows and his one dimple in each knee. He is such a little chub, but he seems to be right on track with his growth. While he is chubby, Mommy don’t have any trouble holding him with one arm. Mommy loves that Jackson loves to snuggle. He loves to snuggle when he’s awake, he loves to snuggle when he’s asleep, he loves to snuggle during playtime. Mommy loves stripey clothes! Those are some of her favorite onesies of Jack’s. Jack wore a plaid shirt this week which was also very cute- it was his first shirt that was not a onesie! He looked like such a big boy. Mommy loves his little nicknames: Booger, squirtle my turtle, wug-a-bug.
Personality: Jack loves to watch TV or the computer screen. We try to face him away from them, but he’ll try to crane his head around to see the screen if possible. I let him watch some videos on himself and he was intrigued. I also let him watch videos of his cousin Waverly. Jack does not like pools yet! We went to his friend Carter’s first birthday party and there was a kiddie pool there. The water was not cold but he didn’t like his feet being dipped in it at all! Granted, he was just waking up from a nap when Mommy dipped his feet, but he was so startled! His feet shot up quickly and he didn’t want to stay in the water at all. That’s ok, he’s too young to really appreciate pools anyways. He loves to look at pictures in books. He stares at the pictures as Mommy or Daddy read to him. I love watching him follow the pages turning. Jack is not afraid of new people. He smiles at practically anyone who smiles at him (which of course wins over everyone he comes in contact with). He doesn’t mind being held by new people as long as he can still see Mommy and Daddy. Hopefully this will keep up as he gets older. Jack is generally very happy in the morning when he first wakes up. He curls up against Mommy as I carry him to his room to get changed. When I lay him on the changing table he gives me a big smile and a few laughs. He continues to smile the whole time he and I are getting ready. This will be a refreshing wake-me-up when I know I’m just going to be leaving soon to go to the office. Jack is also a gassy baby, which isn’t really personality, but it is so funny! Ever since he was a newborn he has had very adult sounding gas. He is gassy when he’s awake, when he’s eating and when he’s asleep. He doesn’t generally get too fussy when he’s gassy but you can normally tell when he’s working on something.
Mommy: I must be blessed with some super amazing genes! Not only was I back to my pre-preggo weight before Jack was 2 months old, but I have continued to drop weight and am 1 pound away from my target weight! I decided to lower that target weight by 5 more pounds since I still have some work to do. I had planned to order three pairs of new jeans for my birthday. I went through my closet while pregnant and got rid of a lot of clothes, including jeans. My favorite pair wore a hole in the knee during pregnancy so I need something new. I wanted a pair of dark bootcut, medium bootcut, and dark skinnies. I ordered the dark skinnies since I had some money my mom had given me for a pair of shoes I ended up not buying. I ordered them in my regular size, but in petite since the inseam was shorter. I only wear pants from The Gap because the fit is perfect. I own some petite sized pants and knew I may have to widdle my middle a little more to fit into these new jeans. They arrived, I tried them on… and they fit perfectly! A little loose actually. This caused me to go back to my closet and try on my other pants, all which fit as well. Talk about a confidence booster. Thank you, Jackson, for taking the pounds off me and onto you! I’m a walking advertisement for nursing for weight loss post-pregnancy. At this point the number on the scale is lower than pre-preggo, my arms, abs, butt, thighs, and calves are all slimmer than pre-preggo, and I am feeling pretty positive. Besides the obvious blessing of Jackson himself, having a baby has been a blessing in all the areas of my life!
A post on Father’s Day is coming soon. We had his baby dedication at church and I am waiting on the pictures from the church. We took a couple on our own, but the church took some of us with Pastor.
It has been such a wonderful 12 weeks. I am so thankful for my baby!