Fiona : 7 Months

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Stats: Not sure. We haven’t weighed her since her 6 mo doctor’s appointment. She doesn’t seem to have put on much chub though, so I’d guess not that much. Maybe 16.5 pounds.

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Clothing Size: Same! She needs 6-9 and 9 month clothes for length in the smaller brands of onesies and in pretty much all sleepers, but she still easily fits into 6 mo pants and some of the larger 6 mo onesies. Still in size 2 diapers.

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Sleep: Big changes here! Right at 6 months we had a r-o-u-g-h few nights where Fiona decided that since I was rocking her throughout all of her naps, she’d really rather I just rock her all. night. long. too. Seriously every time I’d put her down for bed she’d cry. If I rocked her to sleep and put her down she’d stay asleep for maybe 30 minutes or so then wake up crying. The first night I just sat up all night rocking her and B stayed home from work so I could sleep the next day. The second night I sat up until 4am, and decided to do what I said I’d never do– cosleep with her (in our guest bed that I totally stripped down because I was so paranoid). She slept some, I didn’t. Night 3 we started cosleeping about 2am and I slept a little bit more but still not very well and it still made me nervous. Thats when we decided it was time to do some legit sleep training. I had really REALLY wanted to avoid any sort of “cry it out” sleep training because Fiona crying just breaks my heart, but realistically it was our only option. I could not go on not getting any sleep all night. We waited two more sleepless nights (because I wanted to wait until after Fiona had her 6 month shots) and started Ferber training. The first night was pretty rough at bed time, but after that she slept almost all night long without waking up, holy cow! In the last month, I haven’t rocked her to sleep once. I haven’t rocked her in the middle of the night once (although after 5am all bets are off, and some mornings I do still rock her if she gets up early so that she’ll sleep a little bit more). It has been amazing. At this point she almost always goes to sleep at night within a few minutes and with zero crying, and she wakes at night maybe 1-3 times for her paci (which she finds by herself about half the time). Totally totally worth sleep training! Since that went so well, and since I was still rocking her for all naps, we started nap training at 6.5 months. That was a little bit longer process. It took a full week before things started to get pretty good, but at this point I’m really pleased with how naps are going. She is on three naps per day and almost always she falls asleep super fast and with no crying for naps 1 and 2. Sometimes she has a hard time falling asleep for nap 3 and I do still rock her for that nap if necessary.

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Eating: Fiona is doing AWESOME. The last two weeks we have moved to doing four 8 oz bottles per day and she is actually EXCITED to eat. Like she smiles so big when she sees us shaking up her bottle– it is amazing to see her excited about bottles, and she finishes almost all of them! She’s still doing great eating pretty much anywhere in our house and any time (when she’s hungry) regardless of nap schedule. Also she is doing so well eating from other people! She will eat for B for any meal, and when B’s mom was with us this past week she ate great for her too! She does still need a quiet distraction free room and a warm bottle, but we can totally roll with those requirements! As for solids, things are about the same. We’ve tried more foods in the past month. She’s now had (off the top of my head): Avocado, sweet potato, butternut squash, snow peas, carrots, oatmeal, blueberry, raspberry, pears, apples, bananas, kiwi. She still isn’t really into consuming a ton of food, but she does great at tasting things and is getting better at chewing them up. The only things she seems moderately excited to eat are pears, bananas, and avocado.

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Milestones: She is still working on the sitting up thing. She is certainly capable of sitting up for extended periods of time and balances really well, but doesn’t seem to understand that when she wants to lay down she needs to get down carefully or risk smacking herself in the head. So…. for now we still only let her sit up with help because she doesn’t actually like sitting up all that much and so she still frequently flops over and then gets angry if there isn’t something soft for her to land on. The big news though is that little girl is trying to get on the move! About a week ago I walked into her bedroom after getting her bath ready and she was up on hands and feet with her little booty in the air! The next day she started regularly getting up on hands/knees and rocking. She hasn’t successfully crawled yet but she is practicing her crawling and bear crawling every day and I am betting she’ll do it before my next monthly update!

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Things I Want to Remember: How fun she is! She’s starting to anticipate things and remember games. When we do peekaboo she starts laughing before we even get to “boo” and if she’s close enough to your face she tries to pull your hands away for you. She gets excited when we get a bottle ready. She gives me the biggest smiles every morning when I first get up and say good morning to her (B usually gets up with her and I get up about an hour later) and gives her dad the biggest smiles ever every night when he comes home from work. Also she started doing this thing where she sticks her tongue out when she’s happy and it’s really really cute.

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Outings/Adventures: Nothing too terribly adventurous this month, although we’re doing better and better about getting back to life as usual. Fiona really does great going out to restaurants now (although we still always aim for mid-afternoon to avoid long waits) and we can run errands as needed. I took her out for some Christmas shopping at the mall with a friend and she did great, and we went to see Santa. She didn’t love him, but she didn’t cry either so I consider that a win. We also had a bit of chaos in our house this month with Thanksgiving and my MIL staying with us for 10 days, capped off by “Christmas” with B’s whole family at our house. We had a few missed naps but she was a trooper throughout!

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Favorites: Stew continues to be Fiona’s favorite thing ever. Also anything that she can chew on, of course. She’s also l-o-v-i-n-g her jumper. She’s really gotten the hang of jumping and loves working out some energy a few times per day. My favorite is just her. She’s so fun. I love her smiles and giggles and how hard she works at learning new things. She is just awesome.

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What I’ve Learned: Babies are fun. And babies who eat without drama and nap without a ridiculous amount of work are sort of… (knock on wood?)… easy? Maybe it is just in contrast to what we’ve been dealing with the last several months, but I almost don’t know what to do with myself now that I’m not spending most of my day planning and working towards Fiona eating and sleeping. I’m sure that there are new challenges coming down the line but for right now, life seems comparatively easy and it is pretty great.

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Fiona : 6 months

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Stats: Well I guess that I was wrong with my guess on weight at 5 months, because at her 6 month appointment Fiona was only 15 lbs 13 oz, but 26 inches long! So, she hasn’t gained a ton in the last two months, but the doctor isn’t worried. She’s been eating well but she is such an active baby I think she just burns a lot of calories. And she’s still got the great baby chub, so it’s all good.

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Clothing Size: Not much change from 4 months. She’s longer but hasn’t really gained any chub in the belly so she is still solidly in 6 month and 6-9 month clothes. Some of the smaller 9 month stuff fits too (mostly sleepers, she needs the length).

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Sleep: As of 6 months, the big development was moving Fiona to her room! She did great with the move and was still being put down awake almost every night. She would wake up 2-4 times throughout the night for her paci, and often needed me to rock her after about 4:30am, but over all it was not too bad. As for naps… eh. Right around 5 months she decided that I couldn’t put her down. Ever. It used to be that I could rock her to sleep and set her down and walk away. Well once we moved her into her Merlin suit, she just couldn’t stay asleep for naps on her own. So I got really used to rocking her for every nap, the whole time. And she sleeps. A lot. So I was spending 4-5 hours every day just rocking her. On one hand, it was really hard to spend that much time doing that, and to have zero free time from the moment I woke up until she went to bed. Especially because that meant that I really couldn’t EVER leave the house for more than an hour because there was no “put her down for a nap and leave her with daddy.” On the other hand, does anyone ever look back at their life and wish they had spent less time rocking their baby? I sort of doubt it. And I think that all that cuddle time is something I’m going to look back on fondly. We also moved from 4 to 3 naps this month.

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Eating: Big huge developments here! As of 5 months Fiona was eating pretty well but still had lots of requirements (she would only eat right before a nap, swaddled, in our bedroom with the fan and white noise going, and mostly only from me). It was hard. Really hard. We had to go to my parents’ house for a weekend because I had to shoot a wedding for my cousin, which I had committed to before I even knew I was pregnant. I was gone for 8 hours and Fiona didn’t eat or sleep that whole time because she refused to eat or sleep for my mom or for B. Sigh. But after we moved her to her new room it was like a switch flipped and she realized hey… I can eat somewhere OTHER than in mom and dad’s room! And we worked with that progress on a daily basis to the point we are at now: She will eat anywhere in our home, and she will eat every 4 hours regardless of her nap schedule!!! (This is particularly huge, not being reliant on naps for eating). She doesn’t need to be swaddled, she doesn’t need a fan or white noise. She does need a quiet distraction-free environment, but I don’t think that is all that terribly uncommon for this age anyways. Also, she will eat for B! He gives her her first bottle every day, and she eats great. She’ll also usually often eat from him for her next two bottles (still a bit hit or miss, but getting more consistently good). She won’t usually eat for him before bed still, but we’re working on it! Also, she started solids this month! We are doing babyled weaning and things are moving along pretty well I think. She likes playing with food and while she doesn’t actually EAT a ton, she does a good job of gnawing and gumming things. Her favorites are avocado (her first food), banana, and pear. She also l-o-v-e-s her straw cup! She doesn’t quite understand swallowing the water she sucks up, but she thinks sucking it up and spitting it out is the best game ever.

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Milestones: This has been a big month for little miss! A couple days after 5 months she learned how to roll back to front. Then a few days after that, she rolled front to back… but it was sort of by accident. The problem was that for the next 2 weeks or so, she was rocking the back-to-front rolling but still didn’t know how to roll front-to-back consistently. She COULD do it, she just didn’t know she could. So we went through a few weeks of reverse-turtling where she would roll to her belly, get stuck, and scream every few minutes. Silly baby. By 6 months though she was rolling back and froth on her own just fine. She’s also sitting up (sort of) unassisted. Once again it appears to be a matter of desire rather than ability. When she’s motivated, she can sit up on her own with no support, reach and grab for things and keep her balance, etc just fine. She totally skipped the tripod-ing thing and just started sitting up on her own. But, she doesn’t really want to sit up that often. She can’t get into the position herself, and when I sit her up she usually lasts anywhere from 10 seconds to 5 minutes before she decides to throw herself backwards dramatically. So… we’re calling this milestone a SORTA milestone because she is definitely not to the place where I can sit her up and walk away, we still make sure she has something soft behind her at all times! She also seems to be getting better about men and strangers. We are still careful with her about them, but as long as we go slow and stay in the area she is doing much better about being okay with other people holding her.

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Things I want to remember: All the rocking. Rocking for hours. When I think back on Fiona’s babyhood, I think I’ll remember the glider, my kindle, and the rocking my sweet baby asleep. Also just her being a baby. We started solids this month and she got a straw cup for the first time… these are the first steps towards her becoming a KID. I want to savor these last bits of babyness before I wake up and find a toddler running around my house.

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Outings/Adventures: We went out and about a decent amount this month. As I mentioned above, our big trip was to my parents’ for the weekend because I had to shoot my cousin’s wedding. That was… not a good trip. I mean, the visiting with family was fun but Fiona did not handle the change well (but this was before we had our breakthrough with eating). Later in the month my birthday came and went and we had a nice weekend with lots of fall loveliness, including picking pumpkins at the fruit stand we go to every year. We also went out to eat quite a bit this month and Fiona did really well!

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Favorites: Fiona’s favorite continues to be Stew. Stew + Fiona 4Ever. She’s also noticed Milo now, and is a big fan. As for toys, her favorite seems to be her purple octopus teether. My favorite is anything that makes Fiona giggle, because it is the bestest thing ever. I think B would agree.

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What I’ve Learned: My baby is awesome. And challenging. And adorable and perfect and I love her so much. I mean.. I knew all those things before.. but it just grows all the time. ❤

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Fiona : 5 months

Wow… I’m later than usual! Life just got hard. Fiona decided she’d only sleep on me after I wrote this post, which basically killed all of my free time for two months. But, this was written right at 5 months (just never got around to adding pics and posting) so it is all accurate. I’m going to try to catch up this week because I really want to remember all of these milestones!

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Stats: Fiona didn’t have a doctor’s appointment this month (woot! First time we’ve gone a whole month without seeing a doctor! knock on wood… hah) so I don’t actually know how big she is! Seems like she is definitely growing though! My best guess is that she’s maybe around 16 lbs and 25 inches.

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Clothing size: Nothing in the 3-6 month group fits her anymore, at least not when she’s wearing a cloth diaper. 6 month stuff fits her really well, as does a lot of the 6-9 month stuff, although depending on the brand some of the 6-9 stuff is still a bit baggy.

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Sleep: This month was a roller coaster but sleep right now is… okay. She still pretty much only wants me to put her to sleep, although occasionally she’ll let B or my mom put her down. At least she (usually) goes down pretty easily for naps now so long as I rock her. The big news of the month is that a few days ago Fiona decided to learn how to roll over swaddled. Which means no more swaddle at night when I can’t keep an eye on her! The first night unswaddled was r-o-u-g-h but I ordered a Merlin Sleep Suit overnighted and it has made a lot of difference. She’s been in it three nights now and her sleep is definitely improving. Right before removing the swaddle, and now again last night, the norm seems to be for her to sleep pretty much through the night until 630 or so in the morning, waking up somewhere between 2-4 times needing me to put her paci back in. So definitely not too bad!  Which is not to say we haven’t had some rough nights in the last few weeks, but I think that those are pretty few and far between at this point luckily. Also, we started trying to sleep train LO to put herself to sleep again. She used to be great with that and pretty much stopped being able to after we had to hold her up 20 min after each meal due to reflux (because she’d fall asleep during that time and then got used to falling asleep while held). Right now we’re just doing nights and not really letting her cry– but luckily for the most part it seems if we put her down tired at night she falls asleep on her own in somewhere between 15-25 minutes and we just have to run up and put her paci back in a few times until she falls asleep. I’m hoping as she gets more used to this she’ll go down faster like she used to.

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Eating: For the first time ever I feel like we have an eating routine that is pretty reliable and not too stressful! She will still only eat swaddled, in our room, before a nap, and generally only when I feed her. But she’s getting a lot more reliable with how much she eats when so it isn’t always a guessing game of when she’ll want to eat how much, and wasting a bunch of formula. The only tricky thing is that she definitely prefers to eat about every 4 hours, but she can also only be awake about 1.5 hours. And she doesn’t usually nap long enough to get her sleeping on a 4 hour schedule rather than a 3 hour schedule. But we work with it and some days I can get her on a 3 nap schedule, which is great because it makes her eating really easy (she will then usually take four 6.75oz and generally finish most or all of the bottles). Days when she has 4 naps she usually has 3 bigger meals, and 2 smaller ones. I would obviously love if we could get her to take bottles like a normal baby– just whenever and wherever she was hungry, but for right now I’m just happy that she’s eating a good amount without any fight. We plan to start solids at some point in the next month(ish) so I’m hoping that maybe that will be a turning point for her (especially if she takes to straw cups).

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Milestones: Fiona changes so much every day! In terms of physical milestones, not a ton of change from last month. She has (finally) really figured out how to support herself on her arms when she’s doing tummy time, but she still hasn’t figured out how to roll either way! It’s so crazy because she is super strong and I think she could easily do it if she really wanted to– but she just doesn’t seem to have a ton of interest in it. The exception to this, of course, is that she figured out how to roll over while swaddled. Because of course she did lol. And that really supports my thought that she’s perfectly strong enough and capable of rolling unswaddled, she just doesn’t care to. Apparently she’s a content baby! She’s still rocking sitting up while supported against something, but isn’t stable enough to sit unsupported. Mentally though I feel she is growing leaps and bounds. She has always been aware but now she really seems to be taking EVERYTHING in. If she hears me behind her, she scoots around to look at me. If I leave the room (I’m told) she watches the door waiting for me to coming back. She also is becoming very aware of strangers. She is sort of cautious with any stranger, but is really terrified of men. Which is mostly sad but also a little bit funny because— come on kid this is a clear overreaction to the situation!

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Things I want to remember: How awesome she is. Fiona is SO funny right now. She loves being tickled or when you make faces at her, or when you do peek-a-boo. She also has a very clear understanding of routine/what’s coming. So if I just make my “tickling fingers” she starts laughing before I even touch her. This is also the month that she fell in love with Stew, and I can’t even explain how much that warms my heart. Seems obvious that we would have a kid who loved animals, but I’m so happy that it showed up so early– it seems like her love for our pets is one of the first real glimpses of her future personality that we’ve gotten. She’s probably going to be the kind of kid that brings home stray animals which will frustrate me all the while making me love her that much more.

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Outings/Adventures: This continues to be challenging for us because of her eating/sleeping preferences. It’s just really hard to leave the house for more than an hour or so at a time, and really how much of an adventure can you have in an hour? But, we did get out a bit more this month! Our big risk of the month was taking her to our friends’ daughter’s birthday party. They live 45 minutes from us, so even just getting to and from the party would exceed our usual out-of-the-house-time-limit. But we really wanted to go, and the nice thing about her eating being generally good lately is that I’m less concerned about her possibly missing a meal. Obviously I’d rather she didn’t, but when we struggled to get to 20 oz/day, each loss of a meal time seemed a lot more important than when she usually gets to 25-27 oz/day. So we packed her up and went and she did great! She didn’t sleep the whole time and we were shocked at how chipper she seemed! I think it helped that there was a ton going on there to look at and keep her occupied. So that gave us a lot more confidence to try getting out a bit more. We actually took her out to eat the last two weekends (only the 2nd and 3rd times ever!) and she did great! So I think we’ll continue trying to get out more and more coming up, and I know this will get easier too as she stretches her awake times.

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Favorites: Stew! Hands down, Fiona’s favorite thing(being?) in life is Stew. She just thinks he is the funniest ever. He can just be laying there sleeping on the couch, totally unaware, and as soon as she spots him she gets a huge smile and starts giggling. Every single time! This really comes in handy when she’s being cranky because we just call Stew over and she will go from crying to laughing in under 10 seconds. My favorite is how much she loves Stew. I love that she loves animals, it just warms my heart so much! B isn’t home to ask his favorite but I’m betting it is how she’s started to think it is really fun to feel his face. I think she likes the feel of his beard and she always makes these cute giggly faces.

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What I’ve Learned: Keep trying to get out! What failed last week might work this week. I think I’ve been searching for a “normal” or a “routine” or something and the truth is that there probably isn’t going to be a “normal” for a long time… (ever?). Every day is different. Seriously, EVERY day is different. So I just need to work against my personality to try to stay flexible and be okay with not knowing how things will turn out if I do x or y. We just try this and try that until we figure out what works (for today).

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