My baby has reached the ripe old age of three months, the official end of the newborn stage. His skin has gone from mottled and translucent to smooth and creamy. He's lost his werewolf pelt of dark hair on his ears and shoulders. His eyes are alert and fixate on objects and faces, no longer gazing into the mysterious world only newborns can see. He's eating larger and larger amounts at a time, which gives him the ability to go longer between feedings. His skinny little chicken legs have been replace with meaty drumsticks. He can stay awake happily for two hours at a time now, and happily entertains himself under his activity arch, grabbing at the dangling toys on his bouncy seat and investigating the myriad wonders of his new Jumperoo.
He's a very social little thing, doing his best to flirt with and charm whomever he meets. He spent Sunday at church developing a devoted fan following by smiling indiscriminately at anyone who talked to him. He demands interaction from us by cooing at us like an insistent little owl and then flashing a full-face smile when we look at him. He loves being sung to, with favorites including Alouette, Lydia the Tattooed Lady (I'm not sure why this is a favorite of my babies, but they've both loved it), Alice's Restaurant (which turns easily into Alec's Restaurant), and Union Maid (which I would turn into Union Lad, but "There once was a union lad, who never was afrad" doesn't quite work*). What do these songs have in common? They're upbeat and I can remember the lyrics. It shows exactly what sort of library geek I am that I have been known to sing to my children with an open copy of Rise Up Singing in front of me, but when it comes down to it, the things I remember are the things I've listened to all of my life, which is mostly folk music and assorted oddities like Tom Lehrer. Thus, I have a wide repertoire of union songs and gospel songs which leads to my frequently singing to my children about the death and the coming apocalypse, along with populist rabble-rousing.
Physically, he is getting quite good at reaching out and grasping, as well as starting to manipulate the toys on his Jumperoo. He has excellent head control and when held up can stiffen his legs enough to hold himself in a standing position. On his stomach, he can lift his head for a little while and he's practicing frog-like swimming motions by lifting his arms and legs and flailing.
I'm a little afraid to speak of sleep, but it's perpetually surprising to me that we just swaddle him up or pop him in the sling and he's usually asleep within a couple minutes with no fuss. He's starting to be able to sleep without being held as well, and has even started falling asleep in the car seat. In fact, he's starting to not be too bad when it comes to the car seat. If he's awake and cheerful, he'll happily sit and entertain himself in the car, and when he's tired, he can now be convinced to go to sleep. Today, he even fell asleep entirely on his own. This can't possibly be a baby of mine.
Three months is one of my favorite baby ages. They're old enough to be social but too young to fear strangers. Old enough to start developing a routine but are usually still flexible enough to be able to sleep anywhere. Able to play and entertain themselves for a while, but not in any danger of moving on their own. Quite possibly the cutest things on the face of the Earth.
More pictures here.
*Oh, the words don't have to be clever,
And it doesn't matter if you stick a couple extra syllables into a line,
It sounds more ethnic if it ain't good English,
And it don't even got to rhyme...Excuse me, rhyne.