Okay. I had never even heard of the 4-month wakeful until I had my baby. In fact, I didn't hear about it until I started visiting the 3-6 month board on the Bump. When I jumped from 0-3 to 3-6 months, I secretly thought, These ladies are losing their minds. Four-month what? I just thought they were suffering the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation.
So, I didn't worry about it, which is extremely unlike me. I'm a worrier of the first order. But then I noticed that my wonderful, sweet-natured, sleeping-through-the-night-since-7-weeks baby had turned into someone else. This wasn't my baby.
THIS baby, she was....well, I can only say difficult, since I'm trying to be nice and she might read this one day. Suddenly, I couldn't put Audrey down for any length of time. And what I mean by that is, there were times when she lay there for maybe two whole minutes before she started screaming. I know for a fact that there was one day, a really horrible day, when she was only out of my arms for ten minutes (and I'm not talking a consecutive ten minutes, either).
I thought I was going to lose my mind. The child would. not. nap. She's never been a great napper, meaning she's never really slept more than 30-45 minutes at a time, maybe three times a day. During the wakeful, though, there were days when she only napped once. ONCE. For 30 MINUTES. She also started waking up during the night.
I went on the message boards, begging for advice from the very people whom I thought were a little nuts just a short time before. And really, the ladies were very sympathetic. They'd been there and knew exactly what I was dealing with, but they didn't have much advice. Some light-heartedly told me to drink extra coffee, eat more ice cream, etc. to survive.
Needless to say, I didn't find much amusing about it at all. All those people who told me that Matt and I would have a calm baby, relaxed and chilled-out? Yeah, I could've clawed their eyes out.
With lots of awake time, I also had some time (with Audrey in my lap, of course), to read about what goes on in a baby's brain during the 4th month. And I learned that it is a HUGE month for cognitive development, which is one reason some babies just don't like to sleep. Their minds are going 500 miles a minute, and they don't want to miss any of it.
Well, Audrey didn't miss any of it. And when she finally started to sleep again, I noticed some amazing things. One day, she rolled over. The very next day, she giggled for the first time. Her development was so rapid that Matt called from work that week and said, "How are you guys doing? Did Audrey crawl today?"
So now, I have the baby that I brought home from the hospital. Thank God, since we would not have survived my recent convalescence with that OTHER baby.
Now I'm one of those ladies on the message boards who sympathize and tell other mothers it will pass. In fact--dare I say this--Audrey took so many naps yesterday that I lost count. She's asleep right now. All is right with our world again.