I remember thinking when Hudson was this little that clichés are clichés because they are true: they just grow so fast at this age. Jackson is two months old today, and it’s unbelievable how much he is growing and changing right before our very eyes. At his one-month checkup, he weighed 11 pounds and 14 ounces—this is 5 more ounces than Hudson weighed at her TWO-month checkup. Granted, he had a one-pound head start on her at birth, but there is no doubt that he is growing at a much faster clip than she did. Just from a rough guess based on our scale here at home, he probably weighs about 14 pounds and change now, so he may have slowed down just a tiny bit from the pound-a-week rate he was growing at before, but not by much. Already, much like his big sister, he seems to much prefer standing with his weight on his legs to sitting down—anytime he is in the bouncy seat, I see him planting his feet at the bottom and stretching out his legs like he is standing up. His hair is too cute and most of the time, it stands up on his head like a little faux-hawk. His poor little face is suffering from a little bit of yucky acne, but only around his mouth and chin—he is a bit of a messy eater and is also a master of gastrointestinal pyrotechnics, so a lot of milk hangs out around his mouth, even though we try to clean his face regularly. I hate for anything to mar his beautiful little face.
It’s been another wonderful month with our boy. We took Jackson for his first trip to the National Mall, where he saw ducks for the first time. Then his Grandma and Grandpa came to visit and we ventured out to the National Harbor, where he saw Peeps for the first time. We think he was slightly more enthralled with the Peeps this go round, because they are much more colorful, but give him a few more months and I’m sure the scales will tip the other way. We also took him to Lake Artemesia in Maryland, where we saw some turtles gnawing on lilypads in the water.
Eating and sleeping are still adventures. He is a champion nurser, but he tends to gorge, so he eats really fast and hungrily, often choking and spluttering, and frequently gulping down air bubbles that I can hear on the way down. I usually burp him two or three times during a feeding, and every time I turn him upright, I close my eyes and hold my breath—I know there will be spit-up, and it’s always just a question of how much. We go through burp cloths and outfits (for us both) like water around here. The grunting and writhing during sleep does seem to have settled down at least a little bit, but at this point, he’s already acclimated to sleeping in his crib, so it seems silly to bring him back into our room only to move him back to the crib in another month or two. But I do still miss having him sleep close to me.
He is getting more and more stubborn about going to sleep, but I keep having to remind myself that he is only 2 months old—he’s got plenty of time still to learn to fall asleep on his own. But we still work on it. Usually for naps, I swaddle him and bounce him gently on the exercise ball until his eyes get heavy. About half the time, I can then lay him down in the crib with the pacifier and he’ll nod on off to sleep. The other half the time, I have to go back in two or three or four times and put the pacifier back in (this is why I HATE pacifiers, but both my kids have had major sucking reflexes and had no trouble going back and forth from the pacifier to the breast—I only hope that we’re as lucky with Jackson as we were with Hudson and are able to get rid of the darn thing by 5 months or so). Lately, he has finally begun to notice when we leave the room and has started to follow us with his eyes as we do, so that complicates things. A few times a week, he still naps on my belly after he’s finished eating, and I get to stare at his sweet little sleeping face for an hour or so. His nighttime sleep seems to be headed in a good direction. He usually sleeps for a solid six hours from about 8PM until around 2AM. On a few good nights, he’s slept a straight ten hours. We’re getting ready to start a “dream feed” with him, where we give him a bottle of breast milk in his sleep right before we go to bed to see if that can tide him over until morning on a regular basis.
Just like Hudson, his baby fussiness seemed to peak right around six weeks and then he really turned a corner. Now he spends most of his days happily staring at my face, the toys hanging from his bouncy seat, the colorful sea animals on his activity mat, or the ceiling fan. He fusses only when hungry or tired, and we can finally easily distinguish between the two cries. His favorite spot is the changing table. He loves to look at our faces, and particularly loves when we razz at him. He’s razzed back at us a few times, but not on purpose. We sing a lot: “The Wheels on the Bus,” “Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” and pattycake—all songs that require a lot of movement, so we do a lot of clapping, rolling and throwing our cake in the pan, rowing our boat, and opening and closing the bus doors. We sing a lot of other stuff, too, everything from showtunes to Prince to Coldplay. Every day when Ed gets home around 6, he dances around the kitchen with Jackson in his arms, staring raptly up into his face—it is so very precious to watch.
He is smiling more and more. He has even laughed a few times, but not regularly yet. His breath quickens whenever he gets excited. We spend a lot of time talking back and forth to each other—I respond to every smiley “Aaaoooooo!” of his with my own “Aaaoooooo!” and lots of other words and noises. He is already a big fan of peek-a-boo, too.
The car seat is still hit or miss—he has not yet fully learned that it is indeed a happy place for dreamy sleeping, not a torture chamber for endless screaming. But he is coming around, especially now that he notices the Very Hungry Caterpillar hanging from the handle and the big mirror in front of him where a little baby mimics his every move. I am sure it won’t be long before the car seat becomes our napping fail-safe, just like it was for Hudson—if all else failed, we could always get her to nap in the car.
It’s never easy, as every month that passes is yet one month farther away from the time Hudson was with us. But it amazes me how much Jackson manages both to be his own unique little person and also to help us keep Hudson so close in such special ways. I can only hope that I am doing all I can to help him feel unconditionally loved for just who he is, by me, by his daddy, and by his big sister.
Jackson at One Month