Friday Julia turned 4 months old! She’s been a little sick with a cough/cold so she hasn’t been her usually smiley self lately but we still got some good pictures over the weekend with my mom in town. Friday morning we took Julia for her 4-month check-up at the doctor. She now weighs 11 lbs. 11 oz. and is 23 inches long!
The doctor was very pleased with her development… her weight is between the 10th and 25th percentile, her height is in the 10th percentile and her head circumference is in the 50th percentile. What matters is that she stays along a growth curve, and that she’s growing consistently. The doctor asked all the usual questions… how’s her sleep? How’s her eating? What exciting tricks can she do?
Sleep: Julia typically sleeps for a 6-hour stretch right when we first put her down for the night… it does range a little… sometimes it’s only 4 hours but usually it’s about 6 hours. One night she surprised us by sleeping for 8.5 hours! Last night she slept 3 hours, then woke up so I checked her diaper, which was very wet, and I put her back down and she slept for 3 more hours. After that long stretch I’ll bring her into bed with us so I can nurse her and fall back asleep while nursing. She usually also falls back to sleep in bed with us. It’s so nice waking up in the morning with her right next to us and I think Ken likes it, too! Those middle-of-the-night cuddles are pretty great, too!
Eating: On days that I’m with Julia, she nurses every 2-3 hours during the day, for a total of about 8 times each day. On days she’s at daycare, she takes 4 4-oz. bottles during the day and she nurses an additional 4-5 times, too.
Tricks: Julia still hasn’t rolled all the way over but she can get about 2/3 of the way there. It’s that bottom arm that gives her trouble and she just can’t get it out from under her. She likes to sit supported in her Bumbo seat, and if we hold her up in a standing position she’s gotten really good at holding her weight up. She loves to be sitting or standing upright so she can see the world around her! She still hasn’t started batting at toys or reaching for them, but the doctor didn’t seem concerned by that.
The doctor was happy with Julia’s weight-gain… she said that we have the option of starting solids at 4 months but that the AAP recommends exclusively breastfeeding until 6 months and then starting solids at that point. That was always what I wanted to do, so I’m glad she’s on board with that plan. We told the doctor that she’s taking 4 4-oz bottles at daycare, and then she asked if we had tried bumping her up to 5 oz. at a time. I said no, but that she spits up after she takes her bottles, so the doctor gave us the blessing to continue as we have been… no need to supplement, no need to start solid foods earlier than 6 months.
After Julia passed her 4-month checkup with such flying colors, I decided to take all of the free samples of formula that had accumulated in our house, to the New Orleans Women’s Shelter. I first called to make sure they would have a need for them, and they said that they had a 3-week old baby in the house and that another mother had just gone to the hospital that morning to deliver, so they definitely would be able to use the formula. Dropping off the formula was a very liberating experience for me… I had been holding onto those bottles of formula as a crutch, as a “just in case” backup, in case the doctor told us that Julia wasn’t gaining weight fast enough or that I didn’t have an adequate milk supply and we needed to supplement her. It was so liberating to get rid of those bottles of formula while at the same time helping other women and their babies.
Friday afternoon, we went out to the Bulldog (a great New Orleans bar) to get a drink with some friends who were visiting from out of town. Ordinarily we do not take Julia out to bars, but the Bulldog has a patio that is not smoky, so we took her with us. Apparently the bar has a “no babies” rule, so we eventually got kicked out of the bar for having a baby with us, but before that happened, I nursed her right there on the patio at the bar… it was a pretty funny experience!
So on her 4-month birthday, Julia had 3 firsts that most people don’t experience until they get to college:
– Getting kicked out of a Bar!
Way to go!