My little guy is growing so fast! He loves to coo and laugh and cuddle. He will give a smile to anyone who smiles at him. Even when he is hungry or tired he can still squeeze out a little grin. He is so patient with me, when I have to split my time between the other boys, housework and cooking. He happily trudges along with the rest of us to appointments and playdates and activities. Although he doesn't generally fall asleep while we're out, he's happy to be sitting with me. He is at that cooing stage where he'll tell you little stories in a soft, light baby voice.
He's starting to sleep better for naps. He goes down for at least an hour at a time, and a few occasions has even slept for two hours. He also goes to sleep on his own, so I don't always have to lay down with him to get him to sleep. As along as I catch him before he gets overtired (which is a real science and art!) I can just swaddle him up, lay him down in the co-sleeper and walk out. He doesn't need any extended cuddling or singing to or rocking; in fact, that often has the opposite effect. The more you coddle him, the less likely he is to fall asleep without crying and needing repeated attention! I admit that I miss a little cuddling time with him before bed, but I know that it's detrimental to his sleep process, and so I have to make do with getting my cuddles in during the day. More than once I've been caught by a friend as I close my eyes, snuggle him into me, smell his hair, wrap my arms around him a little snugger. It's a little like having a first baby all over again, the way I dote on him.
He's still growing and growing. 16 pounds and counting... He into 6-9 month clothing already. It was only a few weeks back that I packed away and pulled out a set of clothes, and I think I'm going to have to do it again! He doesn't look like a huge 3 month old, he really just looks a lot bigger and older than he is. Most people guess he's about 6 months (still has that baby face!)
He still has red hair, so I'm pretty sure it's here to stay. And big blue laughing eyes. He also seems gentle. Perhaps it's just because he's a baby, calmer than his older brothers, and he can't run around or vocalize much yet, but he seems to be a gentle soul. James has taken to calling him our "Gentle Ben."
There is a magic connection that I believe is created from nursing a baby. I wasn't able to nurse Colin (due to his sensitivity to breast milk), and although I love all my children, there is definitely a connection that happens when you have a baby at your breast so often when they are young. I was speaking with a new friend the other day, and her mother nursed her until she was four and a half. She spoke very tenderly of her memories of nursing as a child, as she has vivid recollections of the experience. Something about a literally sharing yourself with your baby, something natural and primal, creates a unique bond not developed in any other way.
And so I continue to watch Benjamin as the days slip by faster and faster. He'll be walking and talking before I know it. Maybe that's one reason my patience is a little longer these days: I know they will be gone, unable to be recaptured, before long.