Archive for ◊ November, 2006 ◊

06 Nov 2006 The Fourth Trimester.
 |  Category: Cadence, Momdom  | Comments off

When I was pregnant with Cadence I came across some information on the idea of the fourth trimester and found myself interested in this concept now that we’re in the midst of that time.

The idea behind the fourth trimester refers to three months after birth where Mom’s body returns to “normal” and baby develops past a fetus and into a real baby. Human babies are born the least developed among mammals and gestation estimates to grow a human baby with more than just rudimentary reflexes is one full year. However, biology causes us to have our babies at nine months gestation because of the size of their big, beanie heads.

The theory is (and you can google it, if you’re interested), is that babies need to be in an environment that more closely mimics the womb. That they miss the constant stimulation and many find transitioning into the “real world” stressful (which may be a cause of infant colic…). Advocates of the fourth trimester speak about swaddling, shh’ing, swaying and rocking, holding baby so they’re on their side or stomach and giving baby plenty of opportunity to suck–something they did for comfort in the womb as well.

It’s an interesting concept, really and somehow seeks to soothe me about allowing Cadence into the bed and eschewing even the idea of a schedule. I would like a schedule, but I’ve stopped being concerned about it and, at this time she seems to need the physical closeness to us that being in our bed provides. Emily needed it too. I think that’s why both girls just slept better with us as infants/newborns. The mistake we made was not working on transitioning Emily to her own bed sooner and by six or eight months, she had no desire to make that change, so keeping with this idea of the fourth trimester we’ll begin to transition Cadence at three months, when she may be developmentally ready to make these changes instead of being stressed or worried about it happening.