Thursday, 18 September 2014

Quinn at Six Weeks

Quinn is six weeks old already! Everyone told us that life went very quickly with a new baby, and that babies grow up so fast, but we didn't entirely believe them. We've been focusing on just taking each day as it comes, but the days have passed very quickly. And now our baby is six weeks (and three days) old!

Six weeks doesn't seem like a terribly massive milestone, but it hit me the other day that he's already halfway to being three months old. And that means it isn't too long until he'll be fitting into his 3-6 month clothing--which right now, looks enormous.

That said, Quinn has already grown out of most of his newborn clothing. All of his newborn vests and sleepsuits are packed away, and we're on the verge of doing the same with his tops and trousers. At the moment, he seems to be putting on about a pound every fortnight, making him 10lbs 3oz at his last check on Tuesday. And although it's incredibly difficult to get a baby to stay still long enough to measure his height, he's gained about 6cm since he was born, putting him at 58cm.

It's really strange looking at pictures of newborn Quinn, since he's changed so much since then. In addition to stretching out and chunking up, his hair is definitely lighter, and it has a sort of auburn/blonde tint to it. I'm convinced his eyes are a little lighter as well (they were almost navy blue when he was born) but it'll be a while before we know exactly what colour they end up.

As well as growing out (really, you should see his little belly) and up, Quinn has been making some exciting (well, to us) developments in terms of movement. If you lie him on your chest he can lift his head up for a few seconds at a time; we've tried lying him on his belly on his playmat to see if he'll enjoy doing the same thing there, but he's not such a big fan of the "tummy time" every leaflet and website insists is essential to his development. He prefers to practice lifting his head when he's lying on us, not a mat.

Quinn doesn't like being carried or held like a baby, except when he's feeding or very sleepy. His favourite positions are sitting up on our laps, facing out so he can see everything, or lying along your forearm, with his head at the crook of your elbow. I really need to get a picture of this as it's impossible to explain, but we call it "Flying Baby" as we often walk around the room holding him like this when he's being fussy.

Talking of being fussy, Quinn has graduated from the stage where he's happy to just sit in your lap and be played with (allowing for much time in which mummy can eat her lunch, watch TV, read books or just rest) and now prefers to be walked around the house during the times when he's not feeding, sleeping or playing with his toys. He will still last about 20 minutes just sitting up on your lap (and it's entirely possible to type emails around him, honest) but this baby likes to be on the move.

Quinn has started to figure out how to hit the toys hanging from his bouncy seat and playmat, but he'll only play with them for 5-10 minutes at a time before he gets upset. We've determined that the reasons for him becoming upset are generally due to him a) forgetting how to hit the toys, b) deciding that he wants to hit one that he can see but is entirely out of his reach and not understanding why he can't hit it, or c) focusing on something that is not attached to his mat or chair in any way (for example, a door handle on the cabinet next to him, or the ceiling light) and getting similarly frustrated that he can't reach it. If you move him to reach said object, he will get even more upset because he must do it himself. When he does get upset about his inability to reach said toy/doorhandle/ceiling light, he lets out the saddest little noises that aren't entirely cries, and honestly sound like he's arguing with his toys. And then it takes a while to calm him down again after he's argued with his toys. But still, it's worth it to see the concentration on his little face as he reaches up to hit one of them. Sometimes we just sit and watch him.

Aside from hitting his toys, Quinn also likes being tickled--unless he's upset, in which case he hates it. He doesn't laugh yet, but he smiles a lot, and I think he tries to laugh as he makes some very amusing noises.

He's become a very smiley baby, and sometimes we discover that he's woken up from a nap and is just looking at the patterns on his moses basket and smiling at them. Better than that, he's started obviously smiling at us, as if he's happy to see us. Sometimes he still smiles at entirely random things (like a blank wall, or a lamp) but we're definitely getting deliberate smiles now, which is fun.

Other things Quinn likes? He likes to look at anything shiny or reflective, including a picture of a penguin that we have propped up on his changing table. We put it there temporarily, but it provides an excellent distraction when he's being changed. He doesn't mind his nappy being changed, but he hates having anything pulled over his head, or getting his arms in and out of tops.

Quinn likes being carried around in his carrier, although he often screams when he's being strapped into it. He's undecided about his pram--he'll spend some time looking around himself quite merrily, then go to sleep, and as long as he stays asleep, he's happy. On several occasions, however, he has woken up and decided he no longer wants to be in the pram (a good twenty minute walk from home) and he'll just scream all the way home, no matter how quickly we walk. Sometimes his unhappiness isn't even because he's hungry--he just doesn't want to be lying down any longer.

Quinn loves bath time, perhaps because we have a Tummy Tub that allows him to sit up and look at things. After all, that is one of his favourite activities! He hates being taken out of the bath, naturally.

Quinn does not like being undressed, but if you catch him in a good mood, he won't make too much fuss. If you wake him up in a strange location and take all of his clothes off and lay him on a set of scales or press a stethoscope on to his chest, he'll probably scream and pee everywhere. So far, Quinn has peed on every item of clothing possible, several changing mats, two sets of scales, a muslin, two walls, a couple of towels, the living room carpet, and a medical student. And us, of course, but that's a given. He's quite prolific at this hobby.

We've recently discovered that music seems to calm Quinn, to the extent that we played some Apocalyptica to him the other day and he stopped crying for a full four minutes. (I tried this in the pram the other day and it did not work, so it's a bit hit and miss). Mostly we just sing nonsense songs to him.

I'd like to say that Quinn has a routine now, but every time I verbalise that thought, he changes his routine. For the most part, Quinn goes to sleep in his basket sometime between 9-11pm each night after I've fed him. Typically he wakes up once, around 5am, and comes into our bed to feed, before falling asleep again. He then usually feeds around the time Simon leaves for work, about 8am, but he doesn't always go back to sleep again. He normally has a morning nap of about 30 minutes sometime between 10 and 12 which allows me to shower, get dressed and do a couple of chores. He's usually pretty alert until the afternoon, where he often goes down for a longer nap, lasting between 1-2 hours, any time between 1 and 5pm. Unless he's skipped his afternoon nap, he'll normally be awake all evening until bedtime.

Given that I've used the words typically, normally and usually a lot in that paragraph, Quinn isn't exactly predictable. He's had days where he's refused to nap for more than 15 minutes, or days when he's stayed awake for seven hours straight. If I take him out in the pram or the carrier, he'll often stay asleep the entire time he's in that, resulting in a nap at a really odd time of day. On days like today, his afternoon nap has only lasted 30 minutes.

A woman from our antenatal class told me that her baby feeds every three hours, on the dot. It made me realise that I really don't know how often Quinn feeds. Maybe every two hours? Sometimes it feels like it's more frequent than that, maybe because I don't get much done between feeds. He typically feeds less at night (unless he's gone to bed early, or not fed much that evening, or he's just being fussy), and I guess he feeds for 30 minutes at a time? He's growing, so I figure whatever he's doing, it's working for him.