People tell you that by 12 weeks everything will get better bit by bit, and I think it's becoming true in our case, too - Charis is 11 weeks old. Sleep has been getting better in miniscule increments, but it is getting better. She is now waking up one or two times a night - usually around 10 pm-midnight (depending on when she goes down) and then again around 3 or 4 am.
|Getting my artsy photography on|
Since the beginning, Charis has taken quite a bit of soothing to get to sleep. The process is getting shorter because I'm beginning to recognize when she's just getting tired and starting the process when she's ready to be soothed, as opposed to her getting overly tired and crying longer. I'm also finding out how important the white noise machine is! When it's not on and she's not swaddled, she wakes up every 20 minutes. She hates being swaddled, but she'll wake herself up frequently if she isn't swaddled.
She's not much of a cuddler, which I thought she might be. But she is usually fussy right up until she nodds off - or she likes to look around until she gets fussy and then nods off! Every now and then she'll cuddle up to me and I can't really put her down then. Then we sit in the glider and I spend 20 minutes or more just rocking and holding her. It's by far the best part of the job!
All that said, I still have to do quite a bit of pacing or bouncing to get her to fully sleep - she prefers the bouncing motion to rocking. Which leaves me pacing in the back room for 15 or 20 minutes each time she wakes up at night. Early on I wondered what I could possibly do while I paced back and forth. So I decided to pray for everyone who has told me about something that is hurtful or confusing or wonderful or that they want prayer for. I pray for the marriages around us: our parents', our siblings' and our friends'. I pray for family and friends who have chronic illnesses and pray for miraculous healing. I pray for broken hearts and exciting new wedding plans. I pray for friends that have been told they are infertile, and I pray for all my friends that have new babies around Charis' age. Because I know they are awake about that time, too!
Charis' personality has begun to come out - and she has quite a lot of her mom in her, according to Adam. She seems to be pretty extroverted. She's happy to watch everything around her, until she gets overly tired and then melts down a bit. She is certainly smiley (especially when she's just awakened and has just been fed) and usually hands the smiles out pretty freely.
|Of course I choose the photos of her smiling!|
Charis is not patient, especially when she's tired and wants to eat and go to sleep. Her cries have become a bit more differentiated, and funny enough, her most high pitched squeal is usually when she is uncomfortable and needs to be burped. She has a meltdown cry that she employs more and more, which (unfortuanately for her) both Adam and I have become accustomed to and don't quite panic the way we did in the early weeks. Usually she's just tired. (I sound like a mom!)
She really likes baths - once the initial shock of being put in water wears off! She usually fusses a bit but then seems to really like the feel of water. I think bathtime will be something she enjoys a lot when she's a toddler.
She's started batting at objects, and I think she's starting to understand that when she bats one of the toys it will light up and play a short song. She has always kicked pretty vigorously, but lately she's started to kick and make excited sounds along with it, which is pretty hilarious for me. During that past two weeks she's begun to blow bubbles (I think most everyone else calls it "blowing raspberries") and smiles really big when I laugh at her little show. She also has a way of looking that already seems as though she's charming you.
The last 11 weeks have flown by, even as the nights have each seemed neverending. But we're coming to know each other better and better. I'm looking forward to the next months, and yet I wish she'd stay little forever!