Riley was 4 months old on Saturday. I CANNOT believe it has been 4 months. It simultaneously feels like she has been a part of our family for my entire life, and feels like I was squinting at a line on a pregnancy test literally yesterday (side note: that was actually just over a year ago! Holy shit!).
The thing that is at the forefront of my mind this month (or maybe just this week? Today?) is her skin. She has always had super sensitive skin. She’s just kind of a rashy baby, and clearly would get contact dermatitis whenever someone who was wearing a fragrance or wool or anything irritating would hold her. Over the past month or so, she seems to be having more significant allergic reactions to something and I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME FIGURE OUT WHAT IT IS. I think about it all day long and my gray hair is spreading rapidly because it is all I think about and I worry all the damn time. The rashes come and go and this is a kind of dramatic picture because it is basically the worst it’s been plus I took the pic right after I rubbed lotion all over her so it’s kind of extra red.
We tested her poop for the possibility of an allergy to something I’m eating (apparently if that were the case there would be blood – possibly not visible) and it was negative. I don’t think that means that it is definitively NOT something I’m eating, but I think it is less likely. She has also been having liquid poops (like, not that “seedy” look, just the yellow color and totally absorbed into the diaper) for a full month as well. The doctor isn’t concerned about the poop given that she doesn’t seem dehydrated and she is gaining weight, etc. She has never had a fever. I think it could be the dog? But we are being super vigilant about vacuuming all the time and keeping Riley’s things off the floor etc etc etc. I also cut out dairy anyway and that hasn’t helped at all (it’s been almost 3 weeks). My working theory is that it’s the dog and we just have to get an air purifier and be even MORE vigilant, but the poop changes throw me off. Ugh. Anyway, that’s all I think about so, any theories are welcome. Of note, we have already done the following things:
- We use a free and clear detergent for her things and ours (duh)
- We use an “extra rinse” cycle on the laundry
- We bathe her twice/week and use a sensitive soap (Aquaphor baby wash)
- We hydrate her skin multiple times/day. We used to use Aquaphor but the doc said it has lanolin in it which sometimes irritates skin because it is a sheep product, so we switched to Hydrolatum at her suggestion. That actually helped for like 2 days – she totally cleared up. And then it came back. We use coconut oil on her head for cradle cap/dry skin there
- I vacuum a lot
- We got the dog groomed
- We try to only dress her in 100% cotton and only wear it ourselves.
- I cut out dairy
Sigh. Anyway I’m sure you didn’t come here for an obsessive mom waxing poetic about baby skin. So let’s talk about Riley at 4 months old.
She is at such a fun age! She’s learning so many new things
- She is WAY more aware of everything going on – and very distractible (especially when nursing)
- She can reach and grab toys and loves to play with her O-ball and little dangling animals on her play mat.
- She has her hands in her mouth all the time. She has taken to sucking on her index and middle finger and it. is. very. cute.
- She brings her toys to her mouth and tries to eat them too.
- She can almost stay in a seated position all by herself, and really likes sitting up (between our legs, in a Bumbo for a few minutes)
- She likes tummy time for about 5 minutes and then she doesn’t anymore.
- She is almost ready to roll from front to back. She can do it if I tuck her arm under and kind of coax her to start (she’ll kick her leg over and roll the rest of the way).
- She smiles and giggles and is just the most fun baby to talk to in the world.
- She has full-on conversations that are passionate and serious and full of eye contact and awesome facial expressions.
- She loves music and songs.
- She is mesmerized by sign language.
- She loves to facetime and seems to actually recognize people on video chat?? Or at least, she smiles at people on facetime despite not being the type of kid who smiles at the phone when it’s not on facetime. And she’ll have little vocalizing conversations with the phone too. GUH.
- She recognizes and prefers her moms 😍
Also, on a less exciting note, she is certainly struggling to learn how to sleep effectively as her little brain grows and grows. I hesitate to use terms like “4 mount sleep regression” because I really feel like those things are kind of made up and in general serve more to give parents anticipatory anxiety than to help describe a developmental phase but… Her sleep has suddenly taken a dive. (and she happens to be 4 months old…). She has always been such a good sleeper! And she still does an awesome job of falling asleep- I don’t have to nurse her or rock her to sleep or anything. She goes down awake and swaddled with a binky (my least favorite part but ya win some ya lose some I guess). So she’s still doing that, but now she’s waking between sleep cycles and having a hard time getting back to sleep on her own. We are kind of sort of if starting to sleep teach? We’re doing some extended waiting before going in to give her the pacifier at night. So far I can stand to listen to the fussing and crying for like 7 minutes before I cave. About 50-70% of the time she will fall back asleep in that time, but will often wake back up crying again like 20 minutes later. We’re working on it. She’s also added back in a 2am wake up which I am so not having. She was on a pretty good steak of sleeping about 6:30-10 or so, then nursing, then back down until 4 or 5, eating again, and back to bed until about 7. I know we’re lucky but also that’s our reality so this new habit of crying and walking up in the middle of the night is rough and I don’t really know what to do about it. Sigh.
So aside from my current all consuming worry about her skin (oh, and did I mention she might be coming down with something today? Her little cry is all hoarse and scratchy, her lymph nodes are swollen, and she has a low grade fever of 99.7), this is such an awesome age. She learns new things every other day and is generally so happy and playful. I’m so happy Wednesday is finally over because I get to spend the next 4 days with my little love before I have to go back to work. We are looking forward to her 4 month doctor visit tomorrow (maybe we’ll start to figure all this out) and my parents visiting this weekend! Grandma is on daycare duty next week. Any and all positive thoughts about her poor skin are appreciated! Happy hump day.