Monday, June 4, 2012

James at one month (and two weeks)

At the doctor on Thursday, James weighed in at 9 pounds, 1 ounce and measured 23 inches. Since he came home from the hospital at 6 pounds, 1 ounce, that's a gain of three pounds in a month. Not too shabby. It's good to know all that nursing is doing some good. In other physical developments, he's lost all of the hair on top of his head, giving him the same hairline that his great-grandfather had, and has developed a raging case of baby acne. This isn't the most attractive phase of infancy, but he's still cute.

What can you say about the developmental accomplishments of a one-month-old? He's having more alert periods where he's awake without wanting to eat. He's fascinated with the contrast between light and dark, which makes him enjoy staring at the woodwork, our hairlines and ceiling fans. He's making eye contact more often and has given me a couple smiles (although he gave his best one yet today to the ceiling fan. I guess the person who gave him life just can't compete). He's taking interest in dangling toys and has started trying to hit them. He's pretty good at holding his head up. All just about exactly where our other two babies were at at one month.

One thing that distinguishes him from his predecessors (and I have to touch wood, cross all my extremities and spit to ward off curses when I say this), is that I think this one is a sleeper. He usually sleeps for a 6-8 hour stretch every day, and at least one long nap, usually more. Mind you, the long stretch isn't always at the most convenient time, like 4pm to midnight, but the fact that he's capable of sleeping that long bodes well for when he's more clear on the difference between night and day. I've actually had to decide to break my cardinal rule of not waking a sleeping baby and not let him sleep more than three hours during the day. Trust me, that's a decision I never had to even think about making with his brother and sister. We can also put him down when he's asleep. At this age, his siblings were living in the sling, because it was the only place they would sleep. We use the sling with him, but it's not essential. We actually forget it sometimes when we go out, and it's never a disaster.

Another thing I hesitate to say is that breastfeeding is really going very well. He's obviously gaining well, and it's entirely on breastmilk. We've introduced bottles, although he's not a huge fan, but it hasn't even been one a day. He generally gets one to give me a break in the evening, but because he sleeps so well in the evening, it's often not necessary. We're still using a nipple shield, but today, in about hour 7 of cluster feeding (hurrah for the six week growth spurt. Blargh), I experimentally offered him the breast without a shield and he latched right on. I can't say breastfeeding a newborn is easy, but I can see a day in the future when breastfeeding will be the convenient experience everyone touts, as opposed to the draining, all-day-on-the-couch experience it is now.

So that's James so far: easygoing, loves his food, loves his sleep. I really can't complain (except during all-day cluster feeding days like today. I reserve the right to complain bitterly about those).


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