Some people will say that the newborn stage is the hardest. I never agreed. Now, since my daughter has turned 4 months old I am reminded why I believe one of the hardest stages (with in the first year) is between the months of 3 and 6. I am feeling flashbacks these days of when my son was this age. It was at this point that I stopped going out to dinner, and I remember feeling frustrated by the end of the day thinking “what else can I do with this kid to make him happy!?” Now, I am doing it again, and all the feelings are the same. My wonderfully pleasant daughter is occupied by NOTHING for more than 5 minutes…sometimes that can be rough.
Starting at 3 months your child begins the “wakeful time’. That means they are more alert and wake during more of the day. As fun as it is that my daughter is getting more of a personality day by day that also means that so is awake and needs my attention more. She is a cat napper. She hates sleeping for more than 20 minutes, and if she does fall asleep it usually happens right before it’s time for me to take her to someplace my son needs to be. I feel bad because it’s never quiet when she sleeps and thus far naps in the crib have been a no go. I successfully got her to sleep in the crib yesterday, but that was after 15 minutes of her crying and me rocking to her and singing to her. I got her transferred into the crib (yay!) only to have her wake 7 minutes later (fail).
We have a few apparatuses that she goes in. We just added the excersaucer. If I put her on the floor she immediately rolls to her belly…plays with a toy for a minute or 2 then fusses. If I get 5 minutes on the floor I am lucky. So then I move her to the excersaucer. So much to see! She plays and moves around…I may get 7 minutes here and then she fusses. So we walk around for a bit, or I sit on the floor with her and shake a toy and she eats it. Then we go to the play mat, and she kicks and plays…another 5 minutes, then it’s back to the beginning of the cycle. All of this is well and good, but I also have a 4 year old that wants to play and get attention. So if she is content I then play with him, and vice versa. These days nothing gets done around the house….pretty much nothing.
As lucky as I am that my son napped for so long, is how hard it has been to adjust to not having that down time. So my day is in constant “make a kid happy” mode. It can be exhausting. It all comes to the end of the day when my daughter hits her fussy period around 6:00. This is when we walk…and walk…and walk…until it’s bath and bed time. Lucky for me she is happy going to bed at 6:45 for the night. So as much as I complain, I am thankful for my nights. I am so excited to put my kids down to bed, but then miss them…and are happy to see them in the morning. Then repeat…and repeat and repeat!
The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I remember the months of 6-12 being some of my favorites. I know we will be there very soon! The journey continues!