River at three months:
Feeding: River is nursing every 2-3 hours during the day. I don't time him: he nurses for as long as he wants to on one side and then, if he is still hungry, he nurses for as long as he wants to on the other side. His first morning feeding is the longest feeding of the day. I went back to work this month and River got his first bottle of pumped breast milk. We started a whole new routine with me going back to work: I feed River at 7 am right before I leave, he gets a bottle of pumped breast milk some time between 10-11, and then I nurse him when I get home from work around 1. River did not like his bottle for the first week or so and only drank a few ounces of milk while I was gone. It took about a week or two for him to adjust but he is now taking his bottle just fine. Shawn really enjoys participating in the feeding process. I am so thankful that I only have to be away from home for about 6 hours each day because that means I only have to pump one time during my work day. I am currently pumping about twice the amount of milk that River actually needs thanks to my morning bowl of oatmeal and a mid morning snack of lactation cookies. Our freezer is filling up with milk stores and I feel confident that we will be able to continue this journey for a good long time despite the fact that I work outside the home.
Sleep: This was a REALLY bad month for sleep. When I went back to work, it completely threw River's sleep cycle off track. He reverted back to his newborn pattern of sleeping all day and staying up all night. He LITERALLY woke up around 10 pm and then stayed awake until 4 am. Shawn and I were walking zombies for the first half of this month, taking turns rocking and holding the baby all through the night, begging him to fall asleep. We went on a sleep revision mission: during the day, Shawn woke River up from his naps rather than waiting for him to wake up on his own, not letting him sleep for longer than 3 hours at a time during the day. We kept the curtains open in our room during the day to let light in, all in an effort to teach his body the difference between day and night. At night, we started winding down around 6 pm with a feeding, bath time, reading and prayers with the girls, and then bed at 7. We kept the lights dim and the room very quiet at night, putting him straight to bed after his night feedings. After about a week of this routine, River's body clock regulated and he started sleeping at night again, waking up only once or twice a night to nurse. He is still sleeping in our room: he spends most of the night in his bassinet next to our bed as he has outgrown his cosleeper. He loves to be rocked to sleep, my favorite time of the day still.
Milestones: This month, River attended his first LSU game, celebrated his first Halloween, became an official thumb sucker, and took his first trip to the children's museum. He is by far the most mobile and easy going of any of our babies, most likely because he is the third child and has no other option but to go with the flow.
Health: River has been taking probiotics for a full month now and I can not sing their praises enough. I wish so much that I had known about the benefits of infant probiotics with my older kids! Any and all colic symptoms, reflux, gas pains: it's all gone. His gastrointestinal system is much more regulated and he is, as a result, such a happy baby. He has regular bowel movements and rarely spits up. Probiotics are a serious God send!!
Personality: River laughs and smiles and coos constantly. He loves to watch his sisters play, mostly from the comfort of his sling or the Ergo. He loves to be held and cuddled and rocked. He loves to take a bath and kicks his little legs in the water. River "talks" a lot and is VERY loud. On the rare occasions that he cries, there's no ignoring it. This baby boy has a voice and knows how to use it!
This month was a big adjustment for all of us with my return to work. I am so thankful that Shawn is now in a position in life to stay home with our younger two children. Leaving home to go to work is a thousand times easier when you are leaving your children with their father. Shawn has taken on his role as a stay at home dad with great pride and determination and I am so incredibly proud of him. Our son is a very lucky boy to have such an amazing father to guide him through life.