Dear Jude, Month Two

by Kevin Hill


Dear Jude,
This letter is supposed to begin, “Today you are two months old.” But in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a few weeks late. You actually turned two months old August 26th, but here we are in September. I’m hoping that since you don’t know how to tell time yet, you won’t mind. Have I told you today how much I love you? Your father and I just fall more and more in love with you as the days and weeks go by. And speaking of those days and weeks, they are going by quite too quickly, mister. Why are you growing up so fast? You are now (more than) twice as old as you were when I wrote my last letter, and you have matured in oh so many ways. Quit growing so fast… I feel like I’m missing it!


This month you have gotten better and better at eating, but we have met a new demon. And that demon is called gas. You see, really it all started with your pacifier. After you were done eating, and sometimes toward the end of a feeding session, you’d pull off crying. I had already burped you throughout the session, and had really thought I’d gotten the gas out. So I assumed that you really just needed to suck more but you were full, so I gave you your pacifier. I started giving you that pacifier more and more, and I will be the first to admit that your father and I thought we’d created an addict in you. And we will also be the first to admit that we perhaps enabled this habit, using that pacifier anytime you seemed fussy but you were fed, dry, and (we thought) burped. It soon seemed that you were not content without that pacifier in your mouth. To make matters worse, you started dropping it more and more and didn’t seem to need to suck as much, but still cried until we put it back into your mouth. You would drop the pacifier while you were dozing off to nap and snap awake, crying for the pacifier. Sometimes, you’d even be seemingly asleep, but once that pacifier fell from your mouth, you’d wake back up again crying for the pacifier. I watched you nap once and realized that you weren’t sleeping for longer than 15 minutes at a time (at best) before crying for the pacifier again. After asking all our friends, going back and forth with our own feelings, and actually quite a bit of prayer about it, we decided to break you from the pacifier a little earlier than most people do.


And the most amazing thing happened; first, you started actually sleeping through your whole naps, second, you were much happier most of the time when you were awake, and third, we discovered that the pacifier had been masking other issues going on, namely the dreaded gas. You weren’t crying after meals because you were fussy or because you were addicted to that pacifier. You were crying because your tummy hurt and the binky was the only thing that would mask the pain. I’m so sorry that we didn’t realize sooner baby! So, now you still down your meal in about 10 minutes, but then we spend the next hour and a half sometimes trying to get all that gas out. I’ve tried everything, mylicon drops (baby gas relief), putting you on the bouncy seat (the incline is supposed to be soothing to the tummy) and just walking you back and forth, holding you in various positions. We’ve had mixed success with all these tactics, and were just starting to think we’d just have to wait it out until your tummy matures a little bit more.


But you were so stiff so much of the day, your little legs stretched out and your arms held tight with fists clenched. I knew you were in pain and it broke my heart! Since dairy in the nursing mother’s diet is the most common diet-related cause of gas in babies, I decided to cut out dairy for a bit and see if it made a difference. And oh, what a difference it’s made! You are like a different baby! It’s only been a few days, but now, after you eat, you lay back, satiated, and smile at me. You smile at me! And then you coo at me! You are happy! And relaxed! You are a happy, relaxed, floppy little baby, instead of a tense as a rod, crying, unhappy little man. Let me tell you, giving up milk is a very hard thing for me to do. I love to drink a few glasses of milk a day, and I’m embarrassed to admit, I’ve had lucky charms with milk for more than one meal a day many days. But if I made you give up the pacifier crack, then I can give up the dairy crack. If it makes you like this, then I’ll give it up as long as we need, oh what a happy baby you are!


You have become such a good sleeper as well! Since you were four weeks old, you’ve been sleeping through the night. I didn’t mention it in your last letter, because I didn’t want to jinx anything. To say we are proud of you is the understatement of the world. I know, proud of sleeping, big deal. But for us, this has meant a return to sanity. Now, you eat your final meal of the day at about 8:30 and you don’t wake up until 7AM. What a change from every hour and a half! And now that we’ve broken the pacifier habit, you are napping so well, too. You are able to put yourself to sleep with so little fuss. We just swaddle you up, get things nice and dark in your room, turn on the white noise on your ipod, and after rocking for a few minutes, you are out like a light. Great job little man!


Did I mention that you’ve started talking to us? These little coos and gurgles of your just light up my days. To see you happy and relaxed and hear what you have to say, it is just pure joy. I have videotaped you cooing many many times, because it is such a sweet sound, and I will treasure looking back on those videos for years to come.

The morning coo, extended version from Rachel and Kevin Hill on Vimeo.

Nearly as good as your coos have been your smiles. When you are not struggling with the demon gas, you are so happy and smiley. In fact, you will smile for just about anyone, make you a delight to show off, if I do say so myself.

You have also been much more active this month, involved in playing between your sleeping and eating. We play with you on the floor and you love to look at rattles and listen to music boxes. You’ve even started to hang onto your rattles, though I’m sure once you realize you can wave it around, you’ll bonk yourself in the head with it. Look out! You also LOVE your baby gym. Who would have thought that you would be so enamored of it, but you are a serious little guy, pumping iron in your gym, all the while cooing and telling us about your progress along the way. We give you a little alone time every day and you just love spending it at the gym!

This past month we had lot’s of excitement with your Aunt Sarah, Uncle Johnny, and cousin Will coming to visit. I’m writing a separate post about that coming soon, but needless to say, you had a great time getting to know your cousin and the rest of the fam. We took our first trip to the pool, to the beach, and even to the school buses that I drive at school! You were mostly just along for the ride, but I’m pretty sure you were having fun. It was so wonderful for you to be able to get to know more of your family. I can’t wait for Christmas when you will get to see them all again and to finally meet your Uncle Joshy and Auntie Jen!


Your father and I are just loving getting to see you grow up and watching your personality come out more and more every day. Moment by moment things get more amazing with you. I love watching you take in the world on our morning walks or seeing you fixating on the ceiling fan in the living room, or watching you talk to your Daddy and tell him all about your day. We love you and can’t wait to see what this next month holds. I love you baby boy.



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