The first book I read after John Patrick’s arrival was The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. It definitely helped me survive at least the first six weeks of his life. I started to understand the phenomenon of the “fourth trimester” and my life contained only of swaddling, shhshhing, swinging, and sucking. Just yesterday I looked at my bright-eyed baby boy hanging out in his bouncy seat and I realized that the fourth trimester had ended.
Here’s how I know.
- John Patrick now hates being swaddled. Instead, he relishes having his arms stretched up above his head while he sleeps.
- While the pacifier is still a favorite of John Patrick, he no longer needs it to soothe himself when crying. Instead he prefers it when he’s just hanging out with the family.
- Instead of the swing, John Patrick now prefers his activity gym where he can kick and talk and look at bright colors.
- During the fourth trimester, John Patrick’s life involved three activities only – crying, eating, sleeping. Now he has lots of activities. He babbles, kicks his legs, swings his arms, looks at new colors and shapes, and studies the faces of his parents.
- Instead of needing to be held 24/7, John Patrick now sleeps in his co-sleeper by himself and will even take naps in his crib instead of on my chest.
I realized that he’s getting more and more ready for the world and that my pregnancy is really finally over with the end of the “fourth trimester”. Every new stage is a new adventure. I’m ready for this one. 🙂