The Four Month Perfect Storm
We’re going to need more coffee
So the fourth trimester is over, you’ve settled in to a nice routine. You know what time to feed your baby, change your baby, pop your baby down for a nap. You are getting housework done, you are brushing your hair and enjoying hot coffee. You’re contemplating updating that yoga app on your iPad and you have even started a craft project… but guess what… don’t get too comfortable…welcome to the four-month perfect storm; let me give you a rundown of all the things that will upset the day to day bliss of a happy home
- Leap 4, Wonder Weeks developmental stage
List of signs includes;
Becoming shy with strangers
Demanding more attention
Head may need more support than before
May be clingy
May lose appetite
May be moody
May be less vocal
May be less lively and sucks his thumb or fingers more often than before.
- Teething; symptoms, drooling, irritable, chewing fists, chewing anything, red cheeks, crying, cranky, sad and cuddly. Which leads to confusing mum doubt…What product should I use? granules? Tinctures? Should I use gel or Anbesol? Should I use Calpol? When should I use Calpol? Is okay to use Calpol?
- Sleep regression; I thought this wouldn’t effect me as he doesn’t sleep through the night and wakes for a few night feeds still, but what I hadn’t considered was that those awesome 2 hour lunch time naps would go out the window and be replaced with 20 cat naps that means by the time you have got them to sleep, made a cup of tea and scrolled aimlessly through Instagram, they are stirring again. Only to wake up crankier than when they went down for a nap, but insistent that they do not want to go back to sleep.
- The cross over symptoms; lack of naps means they are more cranky, cranky babies wont feed, hungry babies get cranky, cranky babies cry, crying babies get tired, tired babies get more teething symptoms, teething symptoms could just be wonder weeks symptoms, wonder weeks symptoms could just be tiredness and tiredness is because they wont bloody nap!
As you can see, this is a joyful time. It is a time where you doubt yourself, where you second guess yourself and where your husband will turn to you dumbfounded one day and ask ‘what does he want’? Good question Mr B… what does he want.
I wish I had the answers for you, I wish I had some wisdom to pass to you that is the key to all things a 4 month old can throw at you – but I don’t. You just have to weather the storm, baton down the hatches, buy a bottle of gin, get stocked up on chocolate and hold on tight.
Top tips for this stage;
- Crank up the white noise – we found that he liked it loud! Like newborn loud, it soothed him and really helped him nap.
- Everyone has teething tips… listen to them all. Ask everyone you know what their tips are, because if they have been there and done it, they have probably worked out the best ways to deal with it.
- Talk to people with babies the same age, because nothing beats chatting to someone and they say ‘me too!’
- Talk to your partner… make them aware that this is a transitional time and that neither of you are doing anything ‘wrong’.
- Seek support; this is a culmination of points 3 and 4 because you do not have to try and ‘cope’ with this stage. Ask for help, explain to friends/family/random strangers, that baby is going through a tough time and that its OK that you too are finding it hard.
- Keep your eyes on the prize because once your out the other side there are some awesome new skills that your baby can show off!
The calm after the storm.
A few of the wonderful milestones that they start to hit;
- Sitting – it might be a bit wibbly wobbly but its a whole new world for them
- Grabbing – watch out because this can back fire (mind your coffee or gin!)
- Seeing everything – it makes such a huge difference when you walk into a room and from the other side they see you and smile a huge smile just for you
- Coordination – With their new grabbing skills and perfect sight now they can grab their favorite toys or facial feature to play with
I write this as we are nearing the end of this ‘fun’ stage. At times it has made me want to tear my hair out, at times I have found my inner zen. Sometimes I think its me, sometimes I think its him, sometimes I feel like I’ve got it right and sometimes I think its all gone wrong. But that has been the story of motherhood so far. What I have learnt now is that you have to ride things out, you have to talk to people and be open, if we are open and we let people in we can support each other and get through these little battles…