TD is now a three-month old baby. Here are some reflections on the first 90 days:
The Negative Feedback Loop is Over
The first six to eight weeks were some of the most challenging for me because a newborn doesn’t really have the capability to give positive feedback. This is all, of course, a developmental necessity, but it’s very frustrating when the only reaction you get 1 is crying. But now, TD has big Muppet smiles. She coos and oohs and aahs in faux conversation. She even squeals in delight on occasion2.
More Awareness Means More Interaction
While newborns are effectively just crying baked potatoes, in general they don’t require a lot of interaction beyond holding them. But as TD rounds the corner out of the 4th Trimester and into actual personhood, she is way more aware of the world around her. She recognizes Kathleen and me as were coming to pick her up from a nap. She has a preference for facing out so she can see what you’re seeing when you’re carrying her. She requires a lot more active interaction on a moment to moment basis in order to keep her from losing her mind. The problem is she’s still not really old enough to enjoy playing with kids her age3, so adults are the source of her amusement.
Soon, a Schedule
Slowly, slowly TD is developing a pattern, and there’s nothing I appreciate more than a predictable routine. A day-to-day nap time and playtime schedule–complete with regular bedtime– is coming, I can feel it. But the imminence of it is driving me bats. Right now, we try to stick to a general template rather than the rigidity of a schedule, but in the coming months TD will have two to three regularly-scheduled naps and will be able to make it through the night without an overnight feeding.
Sensitivity to Changes
Conversely, TD is extremely sensitive to even minor changes in the general daily template. Just the other day, I ran some errands with TD in anticipation that she would take a nap in the car/stroller. She did… for about 25 minutes. Then she was awake for a looooooong time and didn’t really get back into a nap groove for the rest of the day. It took us 90 minutes to get her down to sleep at night, and she. Was. Grouchy. It’s a domino effect, one change throws her entire day off.
Ticking Off Milestones
Development milestones are coming fast and furious now that we’re into Month Three4. As banal as this minutiae is to hear about, I gotta say, it’s fun to see a new your little one unlock a new achievement5. Just the other day, TD rolled over from stomach to back for the first time and I reacted as if she just won some sort of State Championship of Rolling Over. Soon she’ll be reaching for things with purpose, rolling over back to front, and being too cool to give me a hug.
My Own Dadness
I still don’t feel completely like a dad quite yet, though after three months of having a tiny person in the house I’m more used to the situation than I was. It’s strange to refer to myself as “dad,” but there’s no certification board that bestows paperwork upon you when you make the grade, so there you have it. It’s in development, though. Every time TD does something a little more human-like and little less gourd-with-arms-and-legs-like I feel a bit more like a dad. This is a role I will have for the rest of my life, and I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but for now the adjustment continues.
- Aside from sleeping.
- A personal favorite of mine.
- Hell, she can’t even sit up on her own, how much mileage is she going to get by lying next to another three-month old?
- It seems like the answer to every initial stepping stone for babies do such-and-such is “Three months.”
- It’s a lot like hear about somebody else’s dreams or fantasy football team in that way. Totally compelling to them, suicidally boring to everyone else.