Ruby Jo, 13-16 Weeks

(click to enlarge and see Ruby's growth progress!)
Height/Weight: We just went in for Ruby's 4-month checkup and she's turning out to be a total chunk! She's 24 in. long (45th percentile), 15 lbs., 11 oz. (90th percentile!), and her head is measuring in the 50th percentile. All as average as can be--except for her weight! Pretty remarkable considering she was a whole month early. The doctor says this will be the peak of her weight gain, as she'll only get more and more physically active from here and will start to thin out. 

Routine: The biggest change to her routine is the addition of naps in her own room! I'll talk about the actual sleep training in a second, but it has been amazing to actually have a bit of a schedule worked out. We definitely went baby-led on the "scheduling", letting Ruby determine how long she could play and needed to sleep. For the most part, our day looks like this: 

6:00-6:30-Wake up, eat, get dressed, help Daddy make his lunch and mommy get dressed
7:15-Walk on the trails in Riverside Park for around 6 miles; stop for a coffee for mommy; nap in the stroller
10:00- Eat, Nap
12:00- Play (mostly physical stuff since she has energy and a good attitude)
1:00- Eat, Nap
2:00- Play (alone on floor and in high chair so mommy can do chores)
3:00- Eat, Nap
4:00- Play 
5:00- Eat, Nap (sometimes--sometimes we insist on staying up and being fussy)
6:00-Play (dancing, pointing stuff in house out, sitting on mom's lap since she's fussy)
6:45-Daddy gets home, plays some more with Ruby
8:00-Eat, Sleep (fussy and need binkie/soothing around 3, more fussing around 5, then wake up)

*Playtime favorites include: Kicking/hitting rings on overhead gym, hitting buttons/bouncing in exersaucer, tummy time, practicing rolling, holding and throwing ball, holding and chewing on stuffed veggies and fruits, feeling sensory folder mommy made, kicking baby piano, dancing, sit-ups and stand ups, touching crinkle book, being read to, playing "Is This My Hat"--a game in which mom puts stuff on her head and says "Is this my hat?" in a terrible British accent, talking to mom, getting tickled, etc.)

Sleeping: Grandpa Randy and Grandma Gail came to visit and we had so much fun. I thought I'd wait until they left to do the sleep training (which I suspected with have to include crying in out), and the next week we went for it. The first day was... rough. I fed her, made sure she was calm, made the room as dark as possible (newly purchased blackout curtains helped with this), and put her down in her bassinet. She was fully awake. And she was pissed. She started wailing and wouldn't let up. The first day I went in there every 5 minutes, calmed her, and walked back out. After 30 minutes of this I could no longer calm her just by shushing and rubbing her tummy. I had to pick her up, get her calm and put her back into the bassinet. She screamed for over an hour, I played with her for an hour, and we tried again. This time in an attempt to recreate the conditions of her amazing night sleeps, I put her in her sleep sack. Whether because of exhaustion or the signal to sleep, it only took couple soothing sessions and she was out. I continued like this for the remainder of the day, then repeated the next day, but left her screaming for 10 minutes at a time. There was less crying the second day, but the third day (in which I let her cry for 15 minutes without going in) she mostly soothed herself to sleep without me even having to go in. She's been doing that ever since and I am so, so, so proud of my little girl. I do miss her though, and often spend large chunks of her naps ignoring my responsibilities and instead watching videos of her because I miss her. 

Eating/Feeding: I feed her before she goes down for a sleep every time. Is this a crutch? Probably. Is this working? Absolutely. She usually finishes close to a whole bottle before she goes to sleep at night and after she wakes up (sleeping for 10 hours straight is hard work) and around 5 ounces every other feeding. We've been cleared to start introducing food into her diet (cereal puffs and pureed veggies), but I'd like for her to be able to roll over and sit up on her own before we do this. 

Sizes: We've officially retired the 0-3 month clothes and probably have a week, maybe two, of 3 month clothes left. Six moth sizes have been moved into her drawer and I cannot believe how totally huge she is. 

Milestones: Ruby's been talking like crazy. She does on and on all day, but she's most vocal when she's upset about something--just like mommy. I know I should mostly be tending to her needs, but when she does this I can't help but laugh at her a little. She sounds like she's cry-ranting about some great injustice that she's been done. In actuality she's just mad about playing alone in a room for too long. She's obsessed with her hands and can't keep them out of her mouth, constantly sucking on (and choking herself with) her fingers. When they're not in her mouth, her hands are attempting to grab anything in her sight--and bring it to her mouth. In order to strengthen her neck, we did a lot of "sit-ups", where we pulled her arms up while she was laying on her back and brought her into a sitting position. One day while I attempted to do this, her legs were bent and her feet were flat on the ground--and she came up to a full standing position! The look on her face was one of total wonder... this is a baby who has wanted to be walking since the moment she was born. Ever since then it's very hard to get her to do a sit-up, and instead we practice standing. Daddy even lets her stand unassisted and she's able to balance herself for a second or two. I do a lot of sitting practice with her. She can use her core to lift herself from a  reclined position to a sitting one, then use her arms to hold herself up while sitting. She can only balance for a second or two before falling over, but it's a start! Ruby is also on the road to rolling over. She was much more interested in kicking than hitting, so I moved her ring gym down on day. While she was lifting her bottom half to hit the rings she started turning onto her side. Now every night she practices rolling to her side and I think it will be a matter of weeks before she's gone all the way over. 

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