Matilda at Twelve Weeks (or: Surviving the Fourth Trimester)

Baby Rooftops smiling

How has this happened? My tiny baby is twelve weeks old already!

Twelve weeks is one of those big milestones. When you're in the midst of newborn sleep deprivation, colic and self-doubt, people promise you that by twelve weeks it's all going to be okay - the difficult stuff will have largely passed, parenting will be making sense and the baby will be fun. They talk about the fourth trimester - about what a hard adjustment it is for the baby, coming from the safe, cosy womb into the great big real world. They tell you the first twelve weeks are about surviving and everything gets easier from there.

As it happens, most of my parent friends and I found eight weeks the suddenly-so-much-easier point. That's when our babies were smiley and interactive, we had done all the scary stuff (leaving the house! in the rain! having to feed the baby in a cafe! recognising when to move up a nappy size! trusting our instincts!) at least once and we felt much more in control.

Nevertheless: twelve weeks is the marker. And here we are.

It's hard to believe it's only been twelve weeks. It feels like Matilda has always been a part of our lives. It also seems implausible that the tiny newborn we brought home from the hospital has turned into a highly active, extremely alert baby in such a short space of time.

She really is an active baby. She's all about movement. When she's on her playmat, all four limbs are waving. She can roll from her front to her back already. She can roll from her back to her side and from her side to her front but hasn't yet figured out how to combine the two.

She coos and gurgles and squeals and shouts. She says "hi" although so completely out of context that we can't really count it as a word. She loves to be sung to. She's fiercely independent but she finds new people exciting. She does the hugest smiles.

She's not that interested in toys or textures at the moment but she has some colourful plastic rings which she likes to cling onto. She sometimes looks at pictures in books. She likes to sit and stand (although she needs supported for both). She's fascinated by people eating.

I've always thought babies become more interesting the older and the more alert they are and every day that belief grows stronger. Every single day having Matilda in my life becomes more and more rewarding.

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