Wednesday, May 17, 2017

rook holden // one month

Dear Rook,

Yesterday you turned one month old. There is definitely one thing I have a lot more of with you than I did with your sister. And that is confidence. This time around, I have a better idea of what I'm doing, which sometimes means I'm more precise and strict about things like sleep training, and in other cases, I'm more relaxed like not washing the binky every time it falls on the floor.

So far you have been a very good baby. Do you have the "Angel baby" personality that baby whisperer, Tracy Hogg, wrote about? The kind of baby that takes to the bath water right away, rarely cries, or when it's time for sleep, lies peacefully in his crib and then drifts off to sleep? No... But do I have a baby that I feel confident in taking care of and a baby that brings me so much joy? Absolutely! You might not be the easiest baby, but you are certainly not the most difficult baby.

I thought I'd start off with your milestones. Don't worry, you're right where you need to be. According to What to Expect the First Year, a newborn to 1 month will reach the following developmental milestones:

Most babies will probably be able to:
  • Lift head briefly when on the tummy
  • Focus on a face
  • Bring hands to face
  • Suck well
Half of all babies will be able to:
  • Respond to a loud noise in some way, such as startling, crying, quieting
Some babies will be able to:
  • Lift head 45 degrees when on tummy
  • Vocalize in ways other than crying
  • Smile in response to a smile (a "social" smile)
A few babies will be able to:
  • Lift head 90 degrees when on tummy 
  • Hold head steady when upright
  • Bring both hands together
  • Smile spontaneously
When looking at this list, you are off to a great start! You are fairly good at lifting your head during tummy time and very good at it when held upright. I haven't done tummy time with you a lot because you usually start crying right away. But the few times I have caught you at a good time, you can hold your head up for a brief moment. However, when you are held upright (like when I burp you), that head of yours stays steadily upright the whole time.

You occasionally respond to loud noises. It usually happens when you're asleep. A few nights ago we went to your Grandma and Grandpa Holden's house for a Mother's Day dinner. As you were sleeping in your dad's arms and there was an uproar of laughter, you would startle in your sleep.

As for smiling, you don't do it super often, but when you do it is ADORABLE! Your smile takes up your whole face and is incredibly contagious. You definitely smile spontaneously. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason for when you smile. There is one thing we have discovered that gets you to smile and that is kissing you gently on the lips, or brushing our finger softly against your lips. This, of course, only works if you're already in a good mood. Unfortunately, I can't just kiss you while you're in the middle of a crying bout and get a big smile. If that were the case, then we would be kissing you even more than we already do! Most of your smiling is done in your sleep-the half-smile, twitching kind. By the way, your dad is especially good at getting you to smile.

Crying. Ah, crying...Let's just say you do it a lot. And if it isn't attended to right away, it quickly escalates into what I like to call your "panic mode," where your wails are incredibly loud for someone so small and they are high pitched and frequent. It sounds like it's the end of the world and you're dying. It's not a bad skill... I come running immediately.

If you aren't crying, you're usually grunting. You grunt ALL the time. You do it while you're awake and you even do it in your sleep. One of your nicknames is Grunts because of this.

Binky. It is difficult to describe the relationship between you and your binky. You almost always need it to fall asleep, but you have a hard time keeping it in your mouth. We are constantly having to pick it up off the ground and put it back in your mouth. You typically don't want your binky when you're in a content mood, you just spit it right back out. When you're crying or upset, you usually take the binky, but sometimes you make a horrific gagging noise when given the binky because you don't want it. I've learned that the best way to get you to take your binky is by holding you close or by patting your side if you're in your bed. Luckily, once you're in a deep sleep, you don't rely on your binky.

Sleep. I've decided that sleep is one of the most discussed topics when it comes to parenting little children. If a newborn isn't sleeping well, then mom and dad are most likely suffering. Thank goodness you're doing pretty good. And that's with having a month-long stuffy nose! What you lack in moodiness you make up for with your sleeping pattern at night. You sleep best when swaddled up nice and tight. Most nights you sleep in your bed until you're hungry. Then you cry, we nurse, and then you go right back down.  That's most nights. Of course we've had some nights where you didn't fall asleep easily and I was so desperate to get you to fall asleep that I brought you into bed with us. You LOVE our bed. Sometimes you'll toss and turn in your own bed, while I'm maneuvering the binky in your mouth, patting your side, and trying to comfort you. I'll do that for 15 minutes, but it's in the middle of the night so I'll give up and bring you in the bed and bam! The second you hit our bed, you're out. And you'll stay out until the next feeding. I don't blame you... our bed is incredibly comfy. I'm very partial to it as well.

Nursing is going fairly well. So far I haven't had to use the nipple shield like I did with your sister. Things were pretty painful at first because your latch wasn't good. So I started becoming more picky with your latch and would delatch you until we got a good latch. You are THE LOUDEST nurser in the world. You grunt, snort, gasp, and coo during every feeding session. The most frustrating thing about nursing you is that between and during all the noises you make, you constantly latch and delatch. You especially do this at the start of a nursing session. I have an overactive letdown and so when my letdown happens (which I can feel very strongly, by the way), it typically results in a big mess as you try and guzzle it. I equate it to trying to drink from a fire hydrant. There were quite a few times where you tried to nurse, but then my letdown came in so strongly that you delatched, tilted your head back, and then the milk attacked your face as you closed your eyes and complained. When this happens, I just laugh, clean up the mess, and then we try again. I love when nursing does go well. You usually just stare at me and I stare back and my heart gets all warm. I'm glad I know about mastitis this time around because there were a couple times I got clogged ducts, but I massaged them vigorously and frequently and they went away. I had mastitis with your sister and never ever want to get it again. I'm pretty paranoid about it.

You and Lily will become kindred friends. I just know it. While Lily hardly cares to notice you, she has been so patient with your crying, will go across the house to find your binky, carefully and lovingly touches your little toes and hands, gives you kisses, and knows you are part of our family. Every once in a while she will say, "Rook swing" while I'm holding you. This means she wants me to put you in your swing so the attention is more on her. But she really loves you and I'm excited to watch you two grow up together.

She has also been really patient with knowing that some things are yours and not hers. She loves playing with your carseat and your bumbo chair, but if you need one of them, she doesn't complain. I've been really impressed with that because she is a terrible sharer with anyone else.

Size of clothes you're wearing right now: the 0-3 months clothes. You are just big enough to pack away most of the newborn clothes! What the what!?
Diaper size: size 1

Being held
Being rocked
Being patted
Listening to classical music
Kisses and gentle touches on your lips
Staring at the blue elephant hanging above your swing
The Great British Baking Show
Being swaddled nice and tight
Trying to get your arms out of the swaddle
Sucking on your hands when the binky has fallen out
Mom's face
Dad's voice
Mom and dad's bed
Having one arm in the air
Sitting in the bumbo chair

Having the binky shoved in your mouth when you're not ready for it
Having a stuffy nose
Having mom's milk come in too fast
Having saline drops put in your nose
Getting your diaper changed
Being gassy

Things you occasionally like:
Tummy time
Riding in the car
Being in your carseat
Your binky

Nicknames: Sonnito Burrito (my favorite), son, little man (ammon's fave), Rookus, Rookie, Rookster, Grunts,

I love you so much my little Sonnito Burrito! I love watching you get bigger and watching you become more aware of your surroundings. I hope you grow to be a gentleman, a momma's boy, and an imaginative little brother.



  1. Beautiful letter Leah! Rook and Lily are lucky to have you as their mama. :)

  2. This is so great! You got some great pictures and you are an awesome mama.


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