Ben and Nora are so fun right now. Their personalities are coming out more than ever. I’m going to split this post up into different categories, and maybe I’ll assume this format for all my monthly updates from here out.
This month was the first we’ve seen them really get separation anxiety. Over Christmas break they were nervous at first with all the family members they haven’t been around much, and they were extra clingy to me and Klane. Let’s be honest, I loved the extra snuggles. Then they warmed up to everyone after a few days. Both of them have been snuggling more when they’re seeking comfort.
They have developed their dexterity even more this month, the most notable thing being their pincer grasp. They can now grab tiny things like cheerios or raisins between their thumb and forefinger. They have also become interested in making noise, by hitting toys together or smacking the table or wall.
They still are not crawling but they seem like they’re getting closer. They have started to scoot around on their bellies a little more (especially Ben), and sometimes they’ll dive from a sitting position to being on their belly if they want to reach something far away (especially Nora). I am about to have my hands VERY full once they are mobile. Time to baby-proof the house! I used to worry they weren’t picking up crawling fast enough but now I’m just appreciating it! I’ll enjoy their immobile phase as long as possible.
They eat three meals of solid foods each day and nurse 4-5 times a day. Over Christmas break they started being able to do just 4 nursing sessions a day. But they still do 5 quite often. They both like solid foods and both have improved significantly over the last month with being able to grab things with their hands and fingers and put them in their mouth. They have gotten so much more precise and skilled with their little fingers. It’s so fun to watch them. Nora LOVES solid food, she grabs it and shoves it in her mouth at lightning speed. Then grabs the next piece before she finishes swallowing the first. Ben prefers to explore his food a little more, squish it and feel it and touch it before he eats it (or decides to drop it on his tray or the floor). Ben does not like when we put food in his mouth, he’ll make a face and spit it right back out. He’ll swallow it sometimes but for the most part he wants to feed himself. Nora does both.
Sleep has still been disturbed this month, though I *think* it might be getting better…? It’s hard to say because the two weeks of vacation were just weird. We shared a room much of the time, so naturally everyone slept worse. I’m sure I interfere more when I’m in the room with them, my tolerance for their noises or crying is much lower. They were sick a lot of the trip with bad colds, so they’d wake up coughing or having a hard time breathing through their noses, and a few times we’d put them down at someone’s house and then wake them and load them into carseats to go home later on. They slept in separate pack n plays at the Hardings or on a shared bed we made for them on the floor at the Grafs. All things considered, they did pretty great.
Despite the sleep disturbances from sickness or crib sharing, they are generally pretty good sleepers. They go to sleep on their own SO well. We read a story, put them in their sleep sacks, give them a hug and lay them down with their bears and they go to sleep on their own. Sometimes we sing a song or rock them just because we want to, but they don’t need it. Bedtime is so easy and there are rarely tears. Right before Christmas break they transitioned down to two naps, and have done really well with it. They sleep about 11-11.5 hours at night from 7 pm to 6-6:30 am, and nap around 9 am and 1 pm. Their naps vary but the first one is usually 45-75 minutes, the second one is anywhere between 75 minutes to up to two hours. Maybe once or twice a week we get a two hour nap. I hear of other babies taking longer naps, like 90 minutes and 2 hours… I have just come to accept that my babies don’t nap as long. It’s annoying and for the longest time I was frustrated by it and felt like there was something wrong. I had so much anxiety when they’d wake up after just 45 minutes, and I’d try to wait it out hoping they’d go back to sleep. But I’ve now realized that’s just how it is for us, and it’s okay. I let them get up after just 45 minutes and know that their next nap will probably be longer to make up for it. It’s pretty rare that we have two short naps in one day, usually the other will run longer if the first is short.
They have both gotten way more comfortable sleeping on their tummies this month. Nora started into the tummy rolling/waking up phase after Ben. They still have times when one of them wakes up on their tummy and cries and doesn’t settle down after a minute or two, so we go flip them. And then lately, I have been getting up at least once almost every night to separate them, because one will roll over and disturb the other, or Nora will steal Ben’s teddy bear, or Ben will kick Nora’s head, and I’ll have to go in and rearrange them with their heads on opposite ends of the crib. We are just going to have to get a second crib and separate them. I was hopeful they could share a crib longer, but they haven’t settled into it ever since we took them out of the sleep suits and allowed them more mobility. And it’s been two months since then. I’d say we’ve given it a fair shot. So I am ordering another crib and hopefully we’ll be getting uninterrupted nights again very soon!
They both love bath time! They’re learning how to splash. They both love playing peekaboo – I have been doing extreme peekaboo, where they’re sitting in their chairs or jumpers and I hide behind the wall and then jump out and shout peekaboo. They think it is hilarious and it gets big laughs. They also love it when I hide under the table and peek out. Their favorite toys are the tube from the snot sucker, their toothbrushes, a set of measuring cups, and a set of balls that rattle or light up. Also, anything they can chew on. They get bored with the toys we have, so it can be a struggle to entertain them. They still love to jump in their door jumpers. And grandma Sharla got them this walker with a panel on it that plays music and lights up when they push the buttons, which they love. Their favorite books are Mr Tiger Goes Wild, In a Blue Room, Where the Wild Things Are, Touch and Feel Farm, Brown Bear Brown Bear and Polar Bear Polar Bear, and Peek-a-Who. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They hate being laid on their backs to have their diapers changed, but they get over it quickly.
Nora loves when you hold her and dance around, she giggles and wiggles her arms. I love how excited she gets. She loves when you read books to her, as soon as you open the book she puts her fingers in her mouth and pays close attention. She seems to enjoy having mom clip her nails, she allows me to do it and watches the whole time, and rarely tries to wiggle her hand away. It’s like we’re having a little girl moment doing a manicure. She is expert at changing outfits and pushes her arms through the sleeves really easily. She loves baths and especially loves to watch water pour out of a bottle in a small stream. She gets excited, puts her hand under it and tries to drink it. She’ll notice droplets of water on the sides of the tub and touch them. She doesn’t get that messy at mealtime because she is so precise about picking up food at putting it in her mouth. Nora has also been snuggling a little more, or at least wanting to sit on my lap or for me to pick her up when she’s sad. She has been doing this thing where she puts her forehead on yours and sort of nuzzles you. It’s adorable.
Ben is so sweet. He has become a real snuggler this month, and has started snuggling for comfort when he’s sad or tired or scared. He’ll bury his face into my shoulder while he sucks his thumb. I LOVE it! He seems to get a little more anxious in certain situations, like at the park if the school kids come out during recess and start yelling a lot, he gets really somber and seems wary of them, while Nora is still her happy self. Ben also loves books, especially Mr. Tiger Goes Wild and his new favorite is Peek-a-Who? He gets this huge smile on his face when you read that book to him, he gets a kick out of each page. It’s so so cute. Ben doesn’t like getting dressed but he has gotten way better at pushing his arms through the sleeves, which is fantastic. Ben loves the bath and he has discovered splashing! He also always wants to suck on the washcloth. He loves looking in the mirror at you/himself. He’s been scooting around on his tummy a lot more. Loves jumping in the jumper. He loves squishing food in his hands and hair. He has learned how to clap his hands and also seems fascinated by his hands, he will look at them and wave them or move his fingers.