Baby Theo, breastfeeding, friends & family, health & body, monthly updates

Six months old.

What a fun age. Everyone says that about six months, but it’s so true. Theo has become less cranky and whiny almost overnight, smiles and laughs all the time, and is almost CRAWLING. Dear God, help us. I am so not ready for a mobile baby.

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Stats: I’d guess around 17 lbs. I dropped the ball on making his six-month appointment and wasn’t able to get him in until next week and he’ll be almost seven months old by then. But when we took him in for an ear infection a few weeks ago and they weighed him, he was around 16 lbs.

Sleeping: Sleeping is finally getting better. I finally broke down and we started sleep training a little over a week ago (“Ferberizing”). I read two sleep books with opposing views: one – the Ferber method – is more traditional on letting them cry it out a bit, and the other one bills itself the “no cry sleep solution,” which is more in-line with attachment parenting style. I consider my parenting style to be somewhere in the middle. Since I was morally conflicted about how I felt about letting him cry (I didn’t want him to feel abandoned), I tried the no sleep version first. As I mentioned last month, I picked up some good pointers, but in the end, I wasn’t seeing the results we needed. So as painful as it was to listen to him cry, we embarked on a stricter sleep plan. At the end of the day, it’s important for his health to get more sleep.

We had two primary issues to deal with: teaching him to self-soothe, and getting him to eat less during the night. He’s old enough now that he shouldn’t have a physical need to eat during the night, but he had gotten used to it and so it was hard to break that. To teach self-soothing, Ferber recommends responding to his cries at increasing intervals of time, without picking him up. The idea is to let him know you’re there (shush him, pat his back, talk to him, etc.), but he should ultimately soothe himself without you and fall asleep on his own. So the first night you go in after 3 minutes, then 5 minutes, then every 10 minutes until he falls asleep. The second night starts at 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 12 minutes… and so on. Simultaneously, to reduce night nursing, we made him wait at least 2 hours before nursing the first night, 2 1/2 the second night, 3 hours the third night, and so on. So according to our sleep plan, if he woke and it had been enough time to nurse, I would. If not, we’d do the waiting intervals. Most nights he falls asleep again after only crying for 10-20 minutes, so we usually only have to go in once before he puts himself back to sleep. By the time he wakes the second time, it’s usually been enough time that I can nurse him. So we’ve been averaging two wakeups per night — one where we let him cry and put himself back to sleep, and one where I feed him. Oh, and did I mention we decided to put him in his own room/crib when we started this process? We figured it would be easiest to make the transition all at once.

We still have a ways to go before he’s sleeping through the night, but at just two wakeups per night, we’re in a much better place than we were just a couple weeks ago, and it really is nice to have our room back to ourselves.

Eating: Theo is really enjoying “solid” food (read: mush). We’ve been introducing one new food per week in order to keep an eye out for allergies or sensitivities. So far he’s had baby oatmeal cereal, avocado, carrots, sweet potato and peas. We may break our “one food per week” rule this Thursday on Thanksgiving and let him sample a few of the softer things from our plates. We’ve also introduced a sippy cup of water, just for practice. He still gets the hydration he needs from breastmilk, but the sippy cup is fun for him to learn on now, even if he’s not getting a lot out of it. He really loves it though! Nursing is still going well, though now that we’re trying to shift some of his caloric intake from the night to the daytime and sending him with more in his daycare bottles, I’m finding I’m having a harder time keeping up with demand when I’m pumping. I’m working to try to increase my supply, but in the meantime, I’m thankful I’ve been able to rebuild my freezer stash so we can dip into that as needed.

Likes/Dislikes: He is quite the social butterfly and loves anything where people are paying attention to him. Trips to the grocery store are essentially giant flirt-fests for him. He’ll stare at people until they look at him, and then crack a huge smile, which usually gets people cooing at him. He just eats it up. What a ham. Not crazy about his car seat or going on car rides these days. I don’t think he likes not being able to see us. Unfortunately, he’ll be rear-facing for quite a while longer, due to car safety guidelines. He fusses a lot when we first get in the car, but then he usually calms down after a while.

Mama: Not a lot is new with me. Doing well with my weight, but still soft around the middle. I have a crazy appetite these days. I’m way hungrier breastfeeding than I was pregnant. Thankfully breastfeeding burns so many calories. I’ll really miss being able to eat whatever I want once we wean! Still hoping to make it to a year breastfeeding, though if I can keep up my freezer supply, I’d love to give up pumping if my stash could carry me to the year mark and just nurse in the evenings and on weekends. I really do enjoy nursing for the most part, but would like to take my pump out into a field somewhere and beat it, Office Space style.

Here are some photos from the past month, including some professional family photos we had taken last weekend.

Avocado face
Avocado face
Feeding himself with his mesh feeder.
Feeding himself with his mesh feeder.
Watching the Seahawks win.
Watching the Seahawks win.
Sippy cup.
Sippy cup.
Trying to feed himself with a spoon. Needs practice...
Trying to feed himself with a spoon. Needs practice…
Mmmm... peas!
Mmmm… peas!

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