Okay, so technically, he would be six months on February 29, but that’s not happening this year, so whatever.
I know I can be a bit whiny on this blog; as my outlet for venting, it just happens that way sometimes. But let’s just take a moment to celebrate. I’ve successfully kept my kid alive for six months! And he’s awesome! No doubt, there have been rough patches along the way (and perhaps one or two tough moments every day). But for the most part, he’s a hilarious, adorable little lump, and I can’t wait to see what he’ll turn into as he keeps growing.
I know they call the first years with babies the “longest shortest time,” but I’m definitely still on the “longest” end. How has it only been six months? I feel like Tommy’s been around for so long! He’s changed so much already, but he still has a long way to go before I really think of him as an actual person. I mean, yes, I know he’s a real live baby and all, but I don’t really think I’ll be able to think of him as another person until his communication skills advance a bit. Like when he can understand at least as much as the dog. So, what, another few months, maybe?
Here are some basic updates about what’s going on with the kiddo at the half-year mark.
The little chunker is about 19 lbs, nothing astonishing there, but he definitely feels like a sturdy little boy. And he seems to be getting longer and slimmer. Every once in a while, he’ll look so much more like a little boy than a baby that it’s astonishing. And sometimes he looks like a little old man, but that’s probably because he’s toothless and has very little hair.
He’s just growing out of his 6-month clothes (the fronts of his onesies tend to pull down so that he has a little too much baby-cleavage showing), which is sad, because I had a huge stockpile of clothes in that size, and his wardrobe is about to be depleted by about three-quarters.
Tommy has four 9-ounce bottles a day (at 7, 11, 3, and 7; I love simple schedules). For a while he was eating six 6-ounce bottles, and when we cut out the nighttime feedings it took a while to regulate, since his little stomach couldn’t quite handle so much liquid at once, but he’s pretty consistent now. We’ve just started playing with first foods, trying to get Tommy to understand that not everything tastes like formula, and that he will, eventually, be eating other things. So far I just give him one or two mouthfuls of pureed banana or squash or whatever, and he acts like I’m trying to poison him, then he squishes his hands in the food for a while until I give him his bottle. He gets better at every attempt, though, and may eventually learn that he can get food into his mouth if he squishes it in his fingers and then sucks on his hind. We will eventually move towards more solid foods, and then food from our own plates, in an attempt at something vaguely resembling baby-led weaning.
This has improved dramatically over the past few weeks. We were having so much trouble with swaddling and the pacifier that we just sleep-trained him without them both cold turkey. It was rough, y’all. But we made it through to the other side and are all happier for it. Tommy started sleeping through the night (insert Southern gospel choir singing here) and now sleeps from roughly 7:30pm to 6-ish in the morning when he starts babbling to himself, and I usually let him lie in the crib until 6:30 or 7am. His napping has also improved with the change, and he’ll sleep almost two hours at a time for his morning and afternoon naps (around 8:30 and noon) and then goes down for another hour around 4:30. He’s sort of cyclical in his sleeping habits, going from awesome to terrible and back again. Since he’s doing awesome right now, I fully expect him to regress when his teeth start coming in.
We’re still using the cloth diapers. Now that he’s a heavier wetter, I’ll usually put two cotton prefold cloths (folded in thirds, lengthwise) in a cover or I’ll use a Bum Genius or Fuzzibuns pocket diaper with both inserts. Cloth diapering has been such a money saver! The key is having your own washer so that you can just always have diapers in some stage of washing or drying; this would NOT work if we were in an apartment with shared machines. I don’t think we’ll be able to keep up with cloth if he starts wetting through the current double-stuffed diapers, and that’s okay, we’ll just put them away for the next kid. If we put any more padding in his diapers he’d have such a huge diaper-butt he wouldn’t fit into any clothes. His butt is pretty ginormous in the current system, but it’s cute. (In case you were wondering, when we travel or when someone else is watching him, we use disposables.)
Skills and Development
Tommy can roll over and play with his toes (making changing him more of an athletic event). He gets stuck on his tummy, which he hates, but he doesn’t try to crawl yet. He’s working on sitting up, which he can do for a few moments at a time, but he doesn’t balance terribly well. His coordination is getting much better, and he can grab objects and move them from one hand to the other. I gotta say, regardless of how long the past six months have seemed, it is AMAZING how quickly babies develop skills. He’s finally gotten around to sucking his thumb in a normal manner rather than chewing on it or jamming the whole side of his fist into his mouth. And sometimes it is the sweetest thing when he’s sleepy and curled up in my lap sucking his thumb. Oh, and he’s found out how to make noises with his mouth. He fake-coughs all the time, blows raspberries (fairly gross with the amount of drool he produces), and has just started screaming. What a treat. He’s like, “I CAN MAKE NOISES AND THIS IS AWESOME, SO I WILL DO IT ALL THE TIME. I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU’RE SHUSHING ME OR WHAT THAT MEANS. OH, WE’RE LEAVING THE RESTAURANT NOW? COOL.” This was terrible for a couple of days, but is now mostly limited to when he’s jumping his face off in his jumperoo.
Jumping, screaming, drooling, farting, preferably all at the same time. Chewing on his giraffe. Sticking his fingers in my mouth. Reaching for whatever touch-screen he can get his hands on (resulting in some very interesting text messages). Hanging his head so far back he’s upside down. Grabbing his toes and socks. Stella; he adores Stella and thinks she’s hilarious, and she’s really good about letting him grab her ears and stuff.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that I’m the mommy now. When did this adult thing happen? Who authorized this? The winter boredom and cabin fever have just about driven me crazy, so I’ve been applying to jobs like a maniac, but it looks like I might just end up staying at home and having babies for the next few years. That could be okay, too. I’m really looking forward to spring (come ooooon, summer!), and although I know it’s still a while off, March is here, and that feels like a big step in the right direction.