Avery’s 6th Month

My baby is no longer an infant. I don’t actually know if there is a scientific cut-off point for this, but I’m calling it. She’s a movin’ and shakin’ baby and she’s showing me that she’s not so delicate anymore as she tries to drag herself over my lap and faceplants. Or as she smacks herself in the face repeatedly with the toy she is whipping and throwing around. Good thing she’s not so delicate anymore, because I dropped my phone on her head and gave her her first goose egg. #mommyfail
We had her 6 month well-baby visit (Dr. appt) today and she did really well. She waited for the doctor for an hour, half of that was spent naked in the cold exam room. She was also way overdue for a nap. So proud of her. If you recall, the last two times she had vaccines I asked the nurse if I could hold her and both nurses said no. This time the nurse told me to hold her, and it went SO. MUCH. BETTER. Considering Avery was already crying a bit when the nurse came in the room, she only cried for a few seconds after getting her shot and it was a lot less heart wrenching. This nurse is my new best friend. 

Weight: 17lb

Length: 25 3/4″

New this month

  • First solid food, Feb 8th, 2017 
  • First water out of a sippy cup. Not her first water consumption though – the real firsts came from the bathtub and swimming pool where she laps it up like a dog. 
  • Started brushing her teeth at night (no toothpaste, just water)
  • Hair is starting to grow. Its finally getting thicker and actually looks messy when its not brushed. From a distance, though, she still looks pretty bald.
  • Playing the drop-and-pickup game. She started to realize the pattern of “drop this, and it comes back”, so I guess this is her learning object permanence.
  • So many new sounds, including the lip vibrating thing where they blow out through pursed lips. What’s that called? Blowing raspberries?
  • Two teeth!
  •  
  • Rolling over from back to front. 
  • Sitting up on her own. She used to topple forward when she reached for her toes, but now she can sit pretty and play with her toes.
  • Outgrew her skip-hop playmat. The little dangling animals that she’s supposed to reach for now rest on her body (all four corners at once), and she only spends about 60 seconds on the mat before scooting or rolling onto the floor. So we upgraded to one of those big interlocking foam play mats. Our house is really starting to look like a kid lives here. My wife wants to sell our dining table that seats 12 and buy a small one so we will have more room for Avery to run around. I’m not quite ready to give up my canvas for seasonal tablescapes yet though…
  • Also outgrew the bassinet configuration on our stroller. Its time to let down the foot rest that has been velcroed up as one wall of the bassinet and let her feet dangle.
  • First time in the jolly jumper (and of course the best picture I captured has a pack of toilet paper in the background) 
  • And finally, first goose egg / bruise. And it was my fault. She only cried for a few seconds before I got her distracted though, so it went about as well as it could have.

      Likes

      • Being tickled. Mo gets her worked up into a fit of giggles by tickling her.
      • Bath toys. In swimming class she learned how fun it can be to chase a toy through the water, and now she has taken an interest in toys in the bathtub. Mo bought her a pack of little boats for bath time. We also can’t keep her in the little baby bath chair anymore – she just wants to splash and be free.
      • Being cuddled in the Moby wrap when she’s tired but not ready to go to sleep. We’ve extended her bedtime a little by doing this (5pm was just too early for us even though that’s when she seemed to naturally crash). 
      • The jolly jumper

      Dislikes

      • vaccines…
      • The sun… We have a little vampire baby. This is her face literally every time she goes out in the sun. 

            When Avery exited newborn-hood I took notes on what I wanted to remember about those precious early days. Now that she’s half a year and sitting up on her own and starting to understand the world around her on a whole new level of complexity, I want to take note of how she is right now. I love the way her face lights up when she wakes up and sees that I’m there with her. I love the way she burrows her little body into me while we sleep (even though it pushes me to the edge of the bed and is kind of uncomfortable…). I love the way she plays with my necklace while she nurses, and how she feels my face with her tiny hand as if she’s learning every feature. I love the sound of her laugh, her yawn, and even her shrieks. She is growing and learning so much every day, and I always want to cherish the connection we have – we are still the whole world to each other.

            Avery’s 5th month

            Length: 26″
            Weight: 16 lb

            New this month:

            • Started swimming lessons
            • Became interested in petting the cats – coincidentally we’re teaching her the sign language for “gentle”…
            • CUT HER FIRST TOOTH! On Sunday Jan 22nd we first felt it during an evening gum massage (since she has been teething she needs intermittent gum massages while nursing). I interrupted a half-complete bedtime routine to call my wife in to feel it and shine a bright light in her face to see it. Worth it. I was so proud all night.
            • Sitting up with minimal support – she can now sit up in the bumbo and her booster seat but when she sees something on the ground that she wants she will fold over sideways and not be able to hoist herself back up straight.
            • Spins 360° while lying on her back. I often find her laying in the opposite direction than I put her down in in her crib.
            • Scoots/inches down while on her back. She can move a couple of feet while I have my back turned, which just means she ends up on the hard floor instead of on her play mat.
            • Sleep regression
            • Personality trait: shy. She’s a goofy, noisy, adventurous hooligan at home, and a quiet, observant, clingy baby when we’re anywhere else. Just like me.

              Likes:

              • The cats – she gets really excited when she sees one, she reaches for them, smiles a big open-mouth smile when she pets them, and loves to watch the kitten play with her toys…
              • Her wubbanub pacifier (but just as a teething chew toy…)
              • Her activity bouncer – new for her this month now that her neck is strong enough)
              • Bath time
              • Books and being read to – but we started noticing papercuts from trying to play with the pages. Its too bad cloth and cardboard books aren’t as fun for the adults to read…
              • Swimming lessons – she LOVES the water. No fears, no tears.
              • Outings, getting out of the house and going on short car trips. I’m thinking my hermit personality may not have been inherited by my daughter. 

              Dislikes:

              • Teething (although it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated – she’s quite happy chewing the shit out of things to take the pressure off. I think its the upcoming molars that parents curse…)
              • The bottle – as soon as she realizes that we expect her to drink from it instead of just chew on it, she screams. Literally, screams like an enraged newborn until she gets the boob, even if she has to wait an hour for it.
              • The sleep regression definitely isn’t her favorite experience… Makes her an overtired Cranky Pants McGee.

                I know I say this every month, but I can’t believe I have a 5 month old. I’ve watched my sister-in-law with her baby who is 5 months older than Avery, and when we hit each new month I think about how her cousin was at that age and it feels so old. It almost feels like she is catching up to him…

                *we plan to take the monthly staged picture today but we’ll see how the day goes… Balancing our religious obsession with getting naps and my need to do work means there’s little time for fun 😐

                Avery’s 4th month

                I kind of can’t believe I’m writing about Avery’s 4th month. She is 4 months old… Mind blowing. Through all of the peak fussiness, colic, immature bowels – whatever it was that made the first 3 months so hard, I kept looking toward 4 months like a light at the end of the tunnel – and it is!

                Length: 26″

                Weight: 15lb 4oz 

                She can now…

                • Sit up on her own from a reclined position and hold herself up for a minute
                • Coordinate putting things in her mouth with ease
                • Do push-ups during tummy time
                • Roll over from back to front if she is motivated by something (food or toy)
                • Shriek, scream, roar, sweetly sigh, and laugh. Oh the laughter! Melt my heart!
                • Grab her toes
                • Teething has begun!

                Likes

                • Her moms. We feel really special right now.
                • Bath time. Because of the eczema we’ve been giving her daily oatmeal baths. I get in the big bath tub with her every morning right after waking up and we talk and float and splash. I hope she will love swimming lessons as much as bath time!
                • Her play mat. The dangling toys are finally entertaining for her, and she can do all sorts of kicking and rolling on the mat.
                • Watching TV. Mostly we watch nature documentaries and Harry Potter. She sits on my lap facing out and we are couch potatoes together. Teaching my daughter some great habits…

                Dislikes

                • Not much! She has become a really happy baby. The only things that upset her now are being overtired, gassy, or having a really itchy eczema flare up.

                As today is Christmas Eve, we will be celebrating Avery’s first Christmas tomorrow. Our family isn’t religious, but we love the lights, the food, the music, and being with our loved ones. This year there are two babies in the family where there were none last year, so we have all gone a little nuts on gifts for the kids. Too bad (or good thing) they won’t understand what’s going on yet! So much for saying we didn’t want Avery to be spoiled with toys and unnecessary possessions. It’s hard not to spoil them!
                In light of the holiday that is upon us, here are the Christmas cards we sent out this year 😉

                Avery’s 3rd month


                Weight: 14 lb

                Length: 25″

                Firsts: 

                Snow fall

                She slept through it and none of the snow stayed on the ground, but it was really special to me. I’m starting a tradition where I write the date of the first snow fall of each year of her childhood on the bottom of a cookie jar. Oct 27, 2016.

                Halloween

                Her Mo made her her first Halloween costume, sort of. We used an existing brown bunting that makes her look like a bear, and Mo made a tattered looking head scarf to go with it, making her an ewok. She didn’t enjoy one second of being dressed up and eventually, after a series of adorable photos of her crying, I rescued her from the torture and she spent Halloween evening snuggling on her moms while we took turns handing out candy.

                She can now…

                She has started rolling over from her back to her front while in our bed for cuddle time. She seems to love sleeping on her side in fetal position (when she’s not sleeping spread eagle), but rolling onto her front is more of an uncomfortable experience because she can’t quite get her arm out from under her.

                She’s getting handsy… This month she really discovered her hands and what they can do. She loves chewing on her fingers, grabbing my hair, deep tissue massaging my chest while she eats, and she has started holding and maneuvering toys. Her toys so far are Sofie and the little plush things hanging from her vibrating chair.

                She can now laugh! It’s a cough-like cackle of a laugh, but it’s definitely a laugh. She laughs in response to being tickled on the cheek, to our high pitched baby talk, and sometimes to the simple experience of seeing my face looking over her when she wakes up in the morning.

                She got a “lovie”. A friend gifted her with a little organic cotton and wool bunny lovie and after I wore it under my shirt for a day she has been incredibly attached to it.

                Sleep: AMAZING. I don’t know if it’s because we started using a sleep sack, or thanks to the comfort of her lovie, or just general development, but she now has some 6 hour stretches. For a just 3 month old exclusively breastfed baby I am counting my lucky stars. She has always been a pro-star sleeper, but a great night to me was a 4 hour stretch, then 3 hours, then 2 hours. That was our norm for the past month. Suddenly she made a leap in sleep duration. Please please please, 4 month sleep regression, go easy on us when you come.

                Likes

                • Diaper changing time. She’s all smiles while she talks to me about all the fun she is having in life so far.
                • Sleeping in our bed. We only do this at bedtime for easy and relaxing nursing, and in the morning for family cuddle time, but she looks sooo comfy.
                • Watching me from her vibrating chair as I prepare breakfast and wash dishes.
                • The love affair with the ceiling fan continues.
                • Her bunny (lovie)
                • Short car rides
                • Baths. We have started having daily oatmeal baths for her eczema and she loves the floating around. She kicks off the sides of the tub with her feet and scoots through the water (supported by my hands of course). She’s even ok with getting out of the bath and getting moisturized now.

                Dislikes

                • Missing nap time…
                • Pooping after a long night of holding it. She can now poop without even thinking about it through the day, but that first morning poop requires straining still and frustrates her a lot.

                And with this, she exits newbornhood. I want to always remember how her little tiny fingers feel wrapped around my finger. How her breath smells sweet and milky, like soy milk that has been soaking Honey Nut Cheerios, while she sleeps so innocently with her mouth wide open. I want to remember how she fit so well in between Mo and Mommy in bed for cuddle time and how we spent so much time gazing down at her peaceful, sleeping little body and each held one of her little hands. I want to remember those first smiles and early cough-like laughs, all over something as small as seeing my face, or having her cheek tickled. She grew so much over the past 3 months – her whole body used to fit along my forearm as I nursed her, and now her feet touch the couch when I hold her in my arms.

                Avery’s Second Month

                The 2nd month of Avery’s life (and my second month as a mom) has been a mixed bag. Overall she cried more and was more difficult to soothe than in her first month, but she was so much more alert and aware and we were able to bond even more closely and learn a bit about each other.
                We went on lots of fall walks, both in the stroller and the baby bjorn. She celebrated her first Thanksgiving and went to a pumpkin patch in preparation for her first Hallowe’en. She even went to her first bonfire.

                She started having naps in the crib (as opposed to only in the bassinet or in my arms). She can even put herself to sleep sometimes. She also sleeps in now, until 8:30, which gives me an extra 2 hours in the morning that used to be spent trying to soothe her. She also doesn’t mind the baby swing anymore so I can get the dishes done in the time that she is content in it.

                Likes:

                • Sound of the vacuum
                • Nursing. All. The. Time. Especially side lying in bed, which works for tired old me!
                • Mommy and Mo’s (that’s what we’ve decided to call ourselves) voices and faces
                • Tummy time
                • Piano lullabies on YouTube (https://youtu.be/Wm15rvkifPc)
                • Ceiling fan in our bedroom – she stares at it for ages, and it even calms her down we hold her under it. The blades are black against a white ceiling so I think she likes the black & white pattern.
                • Car rides
                • Stroller walks
                • Floating in the bath with Mommy or Mo
                • Walking around the kitchen in my arms in the morning while I try to make coffee and breakfast with one hand. Lots of wide eyes and smiles as she surveys our kitchen from over my shoulder.
                • Being in the baby bjorn with Mo (but not with me, for some reason).

                Dislikes:

                • Evenings
                • Having to poop
                • Getting out of the bath
                • Baby massage (who doesn’t like massage?!)
                • Baby swings or chairs or mats or anything marketed toward newborn baby entertainment…

                I’m so proud of my little bug’s development and I’m loving getting to know her little personality. She is finally learning to sleep for longer stretches, too, with her first sleep “through the night” (AKA 5 hours) happening at 7 weeks. Hasn’t happened again since, but I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

                She had her 2 month doctor appointment (no more midwife visits 🙁) and she got her first vaccines (she was such a trooper only crying for a minute). At her 2 month appointment, which was 7 weeks and 5 days, she weighed 12lb 4oz, up 4 pounds from birth. Her length was still 23″.

                Avery’s First Month

                I wanted to have this posted on the 24th (her actual one-month), but our cat was really sick all weekend and it distracted us. We had him put down this morning. He was so in love with Avery… He kept close to me and purred at my belly during the entire pregnancy. After she arrived he always wanted to be close to her. When she cried he would come running and check in on her to see what was wrong. When company held her he would sit next to them as if to make sure they were gentle with her. He has always had a caring way for vulnerable people. He was at my mother-in-law’s bedside while she was sick, and he became very sick himself when she passed away. So we are very sad that Avery has lost her cat brother. They would have been close.

                On to the update…

                People say she looks like my wife. Those cheeks definitely look like my wife’s cheeks. Her tiny ears and button nose look like mine did as a baby. She really does look like her own person though, and genetics seem so irrelevant at this time.

                She weighs 10lb 2oz, so since her last weigh in almost 3 weeks ago she has put on a pound a week. She is a perfect chunky little monkey. Her adorable newborn outfits are already packed away to be passed along to the next baby in our social circle. It was very emotional for me to pack them away… some of my favourites were only worn once… She is already in 3 month clothes, and is awkwardly in between newborn and size 1 diapers. Soon I hope she will fit in our cloth diapers and we can stop filling the garbage bin to the brim every week.

                Sleeping and pooping 

                She is learning how to sleep. Learning how to poop is a big part of that, because she started out spending hours trying to poop instead of sleeping. The midwives said her bowels should be mature by 2 months, so hopefully it will just keep getting easier for her over the next 4 weeks. Her longest sleep stretch during the day was 4 hours, and at night 3 hours. Usually she goes an hour and a half to 2 hours between night feeds.

                Other developments

                She pulled my hair for the first time! Really figuring out what her hands can do. She also holds the pacifier in her mouth. We got her on the pacifier when we realized that she was doing a lot of comfort nursing when she was gassy. Now my wife can soothe her gassiness too, which is a huge help.

                She is also making eye contact and following faces and voices, and can lift and turn her head really efficiently during tummy time. First milestones met. On to the next.