At 20 weeks, Bea is a nifty little person. I know she’s still tiny and unskilled in the grand scheme of life, but compared to the sleepy newborn from just a few months ago, Andy and I think she’s a supersized ball of energy.
So, what’s this phase like for Bea? For starters, she sleeps all night, and then some. We’re very lucky in that department. But because of all that shuteye between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., she’s turned into a cruddy napper. She doesn’t want to miss a thing. She thinks that everything, from her toes to the TV remote, is worth investigating. Naptime is just an interruption to her exploration.
Her newfound interest in all things other than daytime sleeping means I have a lot less time to take care of the non-baby things in my life like work, laundry and eating lunch. I’m staying up later and waking earlier to tackle my to-dos. But there’s a bright side: All of this alertness is glorious! Getting behind on mundane chores or sitting down for dinner at 9 p.m. is absolutely worth it when the alternative is hanging out with a giggly, cuddly and curious 4-month-old.
Our new routine goes a little something like this:
- Nurse for 15 minutes.
- Play excitedly for 30 minutes.
- Play contently for 30 minutes.
- Play grumpily for 15 minutes.
- Scream and thrash wildly at the idea of a nap for 10 minutes.
- Slumber peacefully for 20 minutes.
- Wake up happy!
As you can see from our schedule, we have a lot of playtime to fill—which can pose a challenge because my playmate has the attention span of a goldfish. But coming up with new activities (or finding clean things for her to gnaw on) is half the fun.
We spend a lot of time on the floor since she rolls all over the place, working to grab her feet and reach for toys. Walks are also great because she watches everything intently—cars driving by, Georgia sauntering at the end of her leash, the sun beaming through the trees. And, when all else fails, pushing her up in the air while shouting “Super Bea!” will keep her entertained for a solid five minutes.
The best part is that no matter what we’re doing, she’s so engaging. She looks at us and smiles and makes crazy noises—the newest of which is a loud, high-pitched shriek we call the “Beasaurus.”
All of this loving interaction makes this my most favorite stage yet. I have a feeling this is a designation I’ll bestow on every stage (you’ve been warned!), but for now nothing beats the anti-napping/pro-smiling entertainment of our 4-month-old.