Someone found his thumb this week. After trying to chew on his whole hand for the past month, he finally figured out how to separate thumb from fingers and start sucking on it–a loud, slobbery sound that makes us laugh.
Also this week, Theo gave us his first full-fledged laugh, from one of Elie’s shenanigans where he wrapped Theo’s hands and feet around his arm and picked him up like a koala bear hanging from a tree. Now Theo starts laughing in anticipation of the trick, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more beautiful sound. It’s evidence of why a child needs two parents (or other caring adults) in his life–because that’s something I would never think to do with Theo, and he loves it.
As parents, Elie and I balance each other out. I make sure he’s always covered with a blanket when we go outside and ensure he gets a bath every night. I read him stories and practice tummy time, and I make him giggle with kisses on his neck. Elie puts Theo on his shoulders, makes up games, and plays guitar and sings to him for hours. Elie takes him to breakfast with friends or puts him in the Baby Bjorn to take him for a walk, knowing he’ll probably stop crying and learn to like it eventually. Elie is more fearless, but we both shower him with love.
Officially, Theo transitioned from newborn to infant when he hit three months, and we can see it. His eyes light up when he sees us, and he turns his head toward our voices. When he’s nursing, he’ll turn and look up at me with a big grin, which makes me laugh and melts my heart. Nursing sometimes takes a while, not because it’s difficult, but because now he gets so distracted looking at the world around him.
It’s amazing how quickly he changes at this stage. Just over the past few weeks Theo started reaching out to grab for toys, and he’s become attached to his lovey, which he chews on and talks to. He loves to practice sitting up. I’ll hold his hands and pull him to a seated position and he keeps his head straight and usually ends with a grin, and then pushes his feet against the floor to tell me he wants to stand. The determination on his face makes me laugh. He also loves to ‘read.’ Before nap time or bedtime, we read book after book. He sits in my or Elie’s lap and chews on his lovey, sometime talking to the pictures as we read. Just this week, he started to change from just vowel sounds to consonants, starting with mmmaaaaaaa. When Elie plays guitar, Theo becomes still and gets a big smile on his face, and he will stare at Elie in rapt attention when Elie sings in Hebrew to him. He loves the Israeli national anthem.
For better or worse, I’m obsessed with Theo’s sleep habits and patterns, mostly because when he gets enough sleep he’s a smiley, happy, energetic little boy, and when he doesn’t get enough sleep…he’s not. I never knew a three month-old could be whiney, but that’s the best way to describe him when he avoids naps. Just like a three year-old or a fifty-three year old, we’re all better with more sleep.
I use the Sprout app to track Theo’s sleep (and I loved using it during the first weeks, to record feedings and diapers, too). About three weeks ago (right about when he turned 3 months old), he went from taking fairly regular naps in his ‘Snuggle’ or in his crib, to refusing to stay asleep for naps. Unfortunately, this change coincided when Elie was out of town for a few days. I would nurse him to sleep, and then when I put him down in his crib, his eyes would pop open and he would be wide awake. We’d have to go through a whole cycle again, before he would go back to sleep. Finally, I gave in, and for the past few weeks, he’s either been napping in the car (he’ll fall asleep after crying for about 15 or 20 minutes) or he’ll nap in my arms or on my chest. I decided to just embrace it, because I know it won’t last forever, and I’m going to just enjoy these cuddles while he’s little and still wants to be close to me. Nighttime sleep is still good, and he almost always goes for six to eight hour stretches before waking to eat, typically only waking once during the night. So, I really can’t complain.
We are completely and totally smitten with this little one. I have decided not to go back to work, so my new career is raising our son, spending my days kissing his belly and tickling his chest, practicing tummy time and encouraging him to stand, reading books and holding him for hours and hours so he can sleep. And I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. These past three months have been the best.
Post written at 15 weeks, so technically 3 1/2 months, which will only mean something to us later, as we look back on these milestone moments.