Archie | 0-3 Months
I never got around to writing up Archie's 1-3 month updates as I was too busy learning what it was to be a Mommy, and dealing with a screaming, eating, pooing newborn! It makes me sad that I don't have any posts from the beginning so I'm going to spend my last couple of weeks on maternity reminiscing and writing an update about those first amazing (but incredibly daunting) few months. It's going to be difficult, I feel like time has flown by so fast that I can barely remember how things were in the first few days, but here goes:
Weight: He started life on the 9th percentile (at 6Ib 9oz) and quickly put on weight, moving up into the 25th percentile at 5 weeks weighing in at 9Ib 11oz, and on to the 50th percentile at 17 weeks weighing 15Ib where he's remained ever since.
Sleep: As a newborn, Archie slept best from 7am-noon so I remember being awake most of the night, then catching up on sleep alongside him in the late morning. As the weeks went on and we got into a better routine, he'd fall asleep after a feed on my lap downstairs at around 8/9pm, wake at 3am for a feed and then at 6ish (I think!).
In the beginning, we co-slept alot, something I never thought I would do, but it became an absolute life-saver for us. Some nights, Archie would need constant feeding and the only way I was able to get any sleep was to lay him next to me (making sure he couldn't fall off of the bed) and let him breastfeed as little or as often as he wanted. Luckily, I've always been a light sleeper (even more so since having A!) so I was actually never worried that I would roll on him during the night, I also removed all pillows to prevent suffocation and I'd make sure he wasn't covered by the duvet. We never had any issues with co-sleeping, in fact, I wish we'd continued to do it for longer as it's something I miss doing.
As Archie is my first child, I don't have alot to go on as to what is 'normal' for a baby regarding sleep patterns, but I'd say that he was an average-good sleeper. We've had bad times with his sleep (hitting sleep regressions/teething etc.) but we've never had to spend nights up for hours with him because he'd refuse to sleep and want to play instead, he's always wanted to sleep, it's just been other factors that have stopped him.
I remember naps becoming a nightmare around 3-4 months, as it got harder and harder to get A to sleep during the day. Whereas rocking and being held worked before, those things became more of a nuisance to him and he began needing a quiet, dark room to sleep in. I cuddled/sang him to sleep for a while until eventually he even fought that, at which point I thought it best to start sleep training and get him to nap in his cot (which has since worked out well for us).
Food: I breastfed Archie for the first 6 weeks (exclusively) and then supplemented with formula until he was 3 months old, at which point I stopped breastfeeding, and he went onto the (milk) bottle, full-time. If you've read about my breastfeeding story, you'll know that it's something I massively regret (I had a huge lack of knowledge on the subject) and with my next child (the twin girls, as my sister-in-law suspects ๏_๏), I will try to exclusively breastfed for as long as I possibly can.
When we started supplementing with formula, we first tried Aptamil, but it made Archie sick, so we decided to try Hipp Organic (which is supposed to be easier on the tummy) and he's been drinking it ever since with no issues.
Sizes: When Archie was born, all I had with me at the hospital were newborn and 0-3 clothes, I was convinced he was going to be a huge baby (as my brother and I were both born 8Ib+), so I was shocked when he was so little and everything swamped him. We had to get him tiny baby and first size clothes for a while and he eventually went into 0-3 months at around 6-8 weeks. He must've had a huge growth spurt at this point, as he went in & out of 0-3 months in the space of about 2 weeks and since then he's always been a size ahead!
Mood: Do newborn's even have moods? Other than crying? This is a difficult one, as he's my first baby so I have nothing to compare to, but he was a normal baby as far as I can tell. He'd sleep alot, poo alot, eat alot (I never factored in breastfeeding constantly for whole days at a time). Aside from the baby blue's, my mood was pretty fantastic too. I have nothing but incredible memories of my newborn baby boy.
Appearance: I remember Archie having loads of dry skin when he was born, like a wrinkly old man, the midwife told us it was due to him being 5 days late. He had blocked tearducts (gunge) in both eyes for a couple of months before it cleared up on it's own, and he had a few mild cases of baby acne. He has and still has the most beautiful dark eyes, and he had a tiny amount of dark hair (which has since shed and he's growing back what looks like a head full of blonde hair!).
Things I don't want to forget:
- Alot of people will say having a baby on Christmas Day (or any time around it) is a bad thing, but I found it made everything even more special. He was (cliché as it sounds) the best present I have ever and will ever receive and I have the fondest memories of spending Christmas night at home in my PJ's (thank god I opted out of the epidural) with my Mum, Dad & Martin, staring in amazement at my incredible bundle of joy and scoffing turkey and stuffing rolls; knowing that I had not only received one amazing present, but I still had loads left under the tree.
- Christmas time is family-orientated anyway, but being able to have all of my family around me was so memorable. We had so many visits in those first couple of weeks (it helped that everyone was off of work), and everyone got time to enjoy Archie as much as we did. One of my favourite days was Boxing Day, when we had a visit from Martin's family in Gloucester and Archie got to meet, not only his brother, but his beautiful cousins too.
- We lost my brother a few years ago and life ever since has been strange for us all. We'll always love and miss him and no one can ever replace him, but having Archie here puts light into our lives again - I think my parents feel that especially. I believe Archie Connor Johnson brought a part of my brother back with him and he's made our lives that much better, after a difficult few years.
- On a lighter note, I miss the poo faces. This may be a weird one but every time Archie pulled that little strained face, I burst into giggles. He's so much sneakier now and does it without me knowing. I also miss that newborn twitchyness when they don't quite know what they're doing with their limbs.
Things I learnt (the hard way) about babies:
- Sleep is important. It's a given, right? Everyone tells you "Catch up on your sleep while you can" "Yeah, yeah" I'd reply. How could I sleep!? I was far too excited about Archie's impending birth to snooze, sleep deprivation can't be that bad. Wow, I had no idea, and I don't think anyone does until they have that baby in their arms! I'd never been much of a sleeper. I never struggled to sleep, I'd get my 7-8 hours a night but I've always been up at the crack of dawn and spent night after night awake until 3am before turning in. Boy, I did not realise how much I actually do appreciate a good night's sleep until I had Archie! And even when he sleeps, I don't. ●︿●
- The overwhelming love you feel is crazy. Of course, you're going to love your baby, you love them from the minute you find out that they're swimming around in there, but I had no idea how protective I would feel. I'm probably worse than most people but I never wanted to leave my child, ever. In fact, I still feel that way and have only left him (with parents/nursery) on a handful of occasions.
- They poo alot. Alot, alot. Alot, alot alot. One night, Archie pooed nine times. NINE TIMES. We were so exhausted that we were left hysterically laughing after the 8th change when he pooed again a few minutes later.
- Everything is scary. Ah, he's choking on mucus, he's choking on water, he's choking on nothing. I spent the majority of my time being terrified of my baby. I'd sleep at the bottom of the bed just so I could hear him breathing. Even when nothing was wrong, I feared that something would be wrong soon. I've relaxed a bit now that Archie is older, and bigger and not so fragile. When he 'chokes', I pat him on the back or give him a drink and pass him the next cucumber stick but at first I was so scared that something would happen to him that I lived in fear.
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