On March 24th, 2013, Alice celebrated her third month! Three months spent with our first daughter. We’re gradually getting used to our new life, pleasures and constraints with this little being that depends on us for nearly everything… But still, feeling like a parent is not that obvious, I do not know if there is a clear moment when you become a parent, or if just having children running around progressively put you in this category…
Alice mumbled her first sound, different from a cry, during her second month, but the third month witnessed improved vocabulary with “Ah-reu”, “Ziii”, “beuleubeulebeuleu”, “aaah”. When solicited, her reactions were very various, depending on her attention, but she was especially reactive to certain voices. Her grand-mother Mamidou, for instance, quite immediately led her to heated discussions… Most frequently, seeing a face, a smile or hearing a voice made her produce little sounds. However, she did not seem to recognize faces further than about 50 cm (20 inches). And she perfectly started strong conversations with her small blue toilet pouch, the one near her when we change her diapers since her birth. She likes it very much, grabs its little strings as soon as we put her on the changing table, and is very reluctant to let them go…
The recommended position for a baby is on her back. With this position suffocation risks are greatly reduced. This is the number one cause of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Indeed, even if a three-month baby knows how to turn her head, some baby lacks the awakening reflex (due to a genetic condition), and if the baby happens to suffocate, she will not wake up and turn her head to take her breath. So be very careful! Never let a baby alone on her belly on a soft surface which could block her breathing! Baby could perfectly be let alone on a hard surface, however, on the ground on top of a thin blanket (you can easily test the blanket trying to breathe through it). Tummy time is good for the baby because it helps her to develop mobility, and most babies do not really care if the surface is not as cozy as we would like. We put Alice on her belly on a daily basis, to help her learning how to move and in her third month she started pushing on her arms, moving her head up and looking around. We were preoccupied the month before because she never seemed to turn her head to the left side when on her tummy. We went to see an osteopath, and she confirmed our fears. Alice has something between her head and her first vertebrae preventing her from turning her head to the left. Once fixed, she could move her head to this side from time to time, even if she still had a very strong preference for the right. This is generally a good idea to bring a baby to an osteopath in the first six months. It is usual for babies to have small trauma from the delivery or their position in the womb. And the earlier the baby is cured, the less likely any sequel would persist. You need to be quite thorough, though, because Alice was turning her head to the left when she was on her back, but apparently she was “cheating” by moving her body instead of turning her neck, something that she was unable to do when on her belly.
In Alice’s third month, we still hadn’t bought a stroller for Alice. Most of the time we try not to buy anything before confirming the need fro something. So we decided to wait and see if a stroller would be necessary. Alice is a winter baby, so in her first months the weather was not very adequate to walk her outside, even if we had some lovely neighborhoods in Gif-sur-Yvette, France. We bought two baby carriers, though. We own a Manduca, which does not seem to be available in the USA, but it looks like Babybjörn have similar models. This Manduca is quite expensive but it’s very convenient when we take Alice with us for errands at the grocery store or for a walk. However, a small baby is really completely wrapped in a Manduca, and cannot see anything; moreover the backbone may be a bit too straight for a very young baby. So Celine wanted to buy a baby wrap, as it seems to be more fitted to a small baby’s backbone, but she was afraid it was too complicated to use, so we bought a Storchenwiege Sling. It’s a kind of baby wrap “for dummies”, and in this sling Alice can see around her, and be we us when we are housekeeping, or doing various small errands. The price of strollers could really be exorbitant, and except for a intensive daily usage, I am perplex in the need to spend several hundreds of dollars in some high-end models to use then once every fortnights. This money could preferably go into some Montessori developing toys to help baby learn and become more autonomous. But we must admit that going on some walks in La Rochelle with the stroller Alice’s grandma Claudie bought was really nice and enjoyable, and except for the creaking sound which became annoying after some time, the 5 dollars this stroller costed on a flea market were very well spent!