Somehow and someway, Cora is three months old today! The past three months have been so fast and so monumentally life altering, it’s hard to describe. Becoming a mom has been the coolest thing (and totally the hardest thing) I’ve ever done. To quote Gretchin Rubin, “the days are long but the years are short.” Watching Cora grow and learn new things everyday is truly amazing — I could watch her kick, grab, and blow bubbles for hours. Seriously. And on the REALLY tough days, the ones with diaper blowouts, nap protests, and a lot of tears, I remember that it’s all so freaking worth it. One night, about two weeks ago, I was particularly exhausted and Cora was going through a growth spurt. That meant almost constant breastfeeding and irregular (almost nonexistent) naps. Basically, a battle all day long. I couldn’t wait for Zach to come home and give me just 10 minutes to lie on my bed. But then, of course, she wanted to eat. I was feeding her before bed (for a solid 50 minutes), and when she finally fell asleep, I just held her and watched her. Where had my tiny, sleepy, newborn gone? Suddenly I had this precious, chunky, alert, smiley, and funny baby. Now that she was asleep, I wanted her to wake up. She was changing so fast it brought me to tears.

While she is admittedly way more fun, the emotions that come with her growing up are hard to handle. Those first few days were so hard, and I was in such a haze, but I want to hold on to them forever.

I thought it would be fun to stop and reflect on Cora at three months. Because God knows, she’ll be totally different again in another month (although she’s shown her personality pretty clearly from day one).

Loving and Hating

Cora loves her little “loveys” these days! She is putting everything in her mouth, and she is a big fan of the soft, fluffy texture. She is starting to love and react more to games like peek-a-boo, patty-cake, and “so big!” It’s so fun and we are DYING for that first laugh. Like, we’ll do anything for it. She is finally enjoying tummy time a bit more, although she does get frustrated after a few minutes. She has rolled from tummy to back a few times accidentally, but is getting closer every day. She is all about her Fisher-Price Kick & Play Piano. She also loves to hang in her mamaRoo and to stare at herself in the mirror. So vain. She is drooling all over the place (is it too soon for teething?), and loves blowing bubbles. It’s the cutest. She is chatting and cooing, and she adores her daddy. Who wouldn’t? Her personality is the best, and it gets bigger and brighter every day.

Now, if Cora does NOT like something, she is not afraid to tell us! This is hard some days, but it will serve her well in the future. She prefers being held facing out so she can see everything going on around her. She does not love getting into her car seat, and needs the car to be moving at all times. Cora hates the feeling of getting out of the bath — being cold and exposed. I guess I don’t blame her! Cora is a little nervous around new people, but now that flu season is over we hope to get her out much more often. She is also not yet a fan of taking a bottle.

Sleep and Waketime

While I knew that having a newborn meant that everyone would get very little sleep, I don’t think there is really a way prepare yourself for that sort of sleep deprivation while also recovering from birth. The first few weeks were rough. My husband’s cousin, a pediatrician and an amazing resource, recommended a book that she recommends to all of her patient families – Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Once I started reading that and making even small changes in Cora’s routine, we all started to sleep a little better. About a month ago, Cora was sleeping about 7 hour stretches, from about 8pm-3am. I would feed her and change her, which took about an hour, and put her back down. Then she slept until about 8am again. It was glorious, and I almost didn’t want to tell anyone. I knew we had it pretty good.

So of course, a couple of weeks ago, Cora started with some more night wakings. She goes to bed between 7pm and 8pm after a bath, pj’s, possibly a book, and a feeding. We swaddle her in the HALO SleepSack Swaddle, and she goes down very easily in her HALO Bassinest. Once and awhile she gives us a hard time, but it is usually during a growth spurt or mental leap.

She is now occasionally waking around 12:30am for a quick feed, then again around 2am or 3am. Sometimes she makes it to about 6:30am-7am. Other times she wakes around 5am. I was feeling SO well rested a few weeks ago, but now I’m sleep deprived again. I don’t know if this is an early showing of the “four-month sleep regression,” but I’m sort of at a loss. We might try pushing bed time back an hour and doing a dream feed around 10pm when I go to bed. She might also be outgrowing her bassinet. I’m not ready to put her in her own room quite yet (next month!), so we might switch to the Pack n’ Play. If anyone has any suggestions on the night sleep front, hit me up. Please. (Although, again, I know for a breastfed baby she is doing pretty well – she never really gives us a hard time at night, she just wants to eat).

Those beautiful, glorious, 2-3 hour naps of her first month are long gone. I know baby naps can be irregular until about six months, but I’m looking for a break here! Cora’s first nap is around 9am (no longer than 2 hours after she wakes up — learned this from the book!). She sleeps for about 25-40 minutes. I try to bridge the nap with some soothing and rocking, but most of the time she is wide-eyed and ready to party.

We change for the day, eat, and play. Then she’s ready for her next nap between 11am and 12pm, although again she likes to eat first. I’m not sure how to break this cycle — I have a snacker on my hands. Any tips?

Again, this nap is about 25-40 minutes. We go through the same cycle and she naps again around 2 or 3 pm. This nap she usually fights. And she always fights her last nap of the day, which lately hasn’t been happening unless she falls asleep on our afternoon walk. So her final wake time of the day ends up being very long (too long), which is why we try for an early bedtime.

This is my first baby, so I’m not sure when and if to force a schedule that she doesn’t really seem ready for. At the same time, I go back to work mid-May and it’d be nice to know what to expect. And she’s not a bad sleeper by any means, so I don’t feel obliged to do sleep training. But seriously. Any tips and advice — send them to this clueless mama.

Being a mom is hard, but so truly awesome. I wish I could freeze these days and put them in a bottle to visit later. I can’t yet imagine Cora as a little kid running around and going to school, but I know that will happen far too fast. For now, I’m holding on to all the baby snuggles.

What does or did your baby love at 3 months? How is he or she sleeping? What wisdom can you pass on, or what questions do you have? Talk to me!

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