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Relishing my final baby’s firsts!

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I’ve heard from others (and found it to be true myself) that there’s something magical about reaching the three-month milestone. Making that transition from newborn to baby – from a squalling bundle of constant neediness to a tiny little person who smiles, gurgles, and even exercises intermittent control of his limbs – it’s exhausting but rewarding.

We’re closing in on that milestone; my son Oliver will be three months old at the end of this month. Perhaps I’ve got the perspective that comes with having been through this before, or maybe he’s just a much easier baby than my other two, but it hasn’t been as much of a struggle. Conversely, this milestone doesn’t seem like as much of a milestone with him as it did with the girls.

He really is surprisingly portable. I’ve written before about how I’ve taken him out many places where I’d normally be reticent to take a newborn (and where I’d never try to take my three year-old). Last weekend he spent a good three hours at Chuck E. Cheese and didn’t cry once. I, on the other hand, was ready to cry “Take me home!” after the first hour.

He gurgles and coos so much it’s as if we’re having a conversation. I don’t remember either of the girls “talking” like this at the same age.

And he’s remarkably sanguine where it comes to being dressed and undressed, bathed and changed. Of course he doesn’t like to be cold, and he wails when he bobs his head into my fingernail or against my jaw, but he rarely protests otherwise.

I do wish that he’d figure out how to wedge his thumb into his mouth. He’s not interested in a pacifier, but he clumsily bats at his face with his hands and occasionally gets a fist lined up with his mouth so that he can slurp at it a bit.

No, I don’t look forward to breaking a thumbsucking habit (although it might not become a habit – my younger daughter sucked her thumb for a few months and then gave it up entirely), but I do want both of us to start sleeping through the night. A little self-soothing on his part might just do the trick. As it is, I won’t complain about the four-hour stretches that I regularly get, since I know plenty of mothers of older babies who don’t even get four hours at a time.

And I wish he was more receptive to the bottle. With both girls, I went back to work when they were nine weeks old, so they started taking bottles when they were around six weeks old. This little guy wants nothing to do with it. I’ve even tried a high-end bottle that looks just like a breast, but with no luck so far.

But overwhelmingly I feel grateful to have the opportunity to experience all of these firsts one last time. I may not be documenting them as carefully in a baby book as I did the first time (and even the second time), but I’m appreciating them far more than I ever did before.

-Julie Marsh

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Comments
  • comment avatar Mommy Needs Her Coffee April 23, 2008

    I really enjoyed reading your entry this morning. My daughter is 8 months old and I am ready for baby number two. Not knowing if it will be my last or not, I keep thinking about how sad I’m going to be when I am done having babies and my youngest hits those milestones. You seem to be handling it well! Good for you. 🙂

  • comment avatar Karen April 23, 2008

    My problem was I never knew when my first would be my last so I tried to relish every stage!

  • comment avatar Karen April 23, 2008

    P.S. What a cute little guy!

  • comment avatar Jody April 23, 2008

    So, so sweet. My second baby was so much more “easy” than my first (or maybe I was just more laidback…?). My second is about 10 months old now – and I’m thinking there may just be baby #3 and possibly baby #4 in our future! But – who knows? It’s just fun to think about…
    http://milehighmommy.blogspot.com

  • comment avatar Dena April 23, 2008

    Ohhh! He’s adorable. When was he born? My Rylan was born on January 22nd, 2008. I know exactly what you are saying about the milestones and noticing more with this one (he’s baby #4) Everything you wrote seems so familiar right down to the bottle issue…
    Thanks for writing!

    Dena

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