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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