Thursday, July 28, 2011

6 months...Part 2!

Sleeping: We still haven’t mastered what seems to be the mark of successful parenting—sleeping through the night. The second question I get when someone sees Ben after “How old?” is “Is he sleeping through the night?” When I say that he isn’t sleeping through the night yet everyone seems very enthusiastic about giving their advice on the matter. (My thoughts on this could fill another blog post.) He started giving us five hours at a time right before we moved but once we arrived in Fredonia we were up every two to three hours again. We had some very sleepy days and nights but slowly he has started to sleep for longer stretches. A few nights ago he slept for over six hours and both Andrew and I checked on him to make sure he was okay. He sleeps on his tummy now which seems more comfortable but is occasionally problematic because he will wake himself up bumping into the crib rails. (We removed the bumper because it has been so warm!) As he falls asleep it is fun to listen to him squirm and make sweet little baby noises. He snuggles into his mattress with his pacifier either in his mouth or in his hand with him arm tucked under his chin. It is truly one of the sweetest things to see in the world. He typically takes a morning and an afternoon nap. His day starts around 7 or 7:30 unless I wake him up earlier.

Eating: Ben still nurses “on-demand.” He gets really excited about the prospect of a meal and will grab at my shirt with a big smile on his face when he wants to eat. About two weeks into his fifth month he started wanting to eat every two hours. (We were solidly on a three/three and a half hour schedule.) This need to eat, combined with frequent night waking and getting the stare down from my baby at meal times led me to give solids a shot. I wanted to breastfeed exclusively until 6 months, but my big kid thought otherwise. Our first taste of solid food was banana and rice cereal. Rather than spitting it out and making a mess Ben dive bombed the spoon and let me shovel it right in. Ever since his first bite, we haven’t looked back. He eats one solid meal per day and so far he likes peaches, bananas and rice cereal. He does not like applesauce and baby food pears. I prepare all of his food at the moment and we are feeding him a local/organic diet. Instead of a high chair, on the recommendation of several friends we purchased a fisher price booster seat which Ben loves to sit in. The booster seat and baby bjorn soft bib have made the solid switch a breeze.

Diapering: With solids in the system, the moment of cloth diapering that I dreaded arrived: stinky solid poop. For those of you that don’t cloth diaper, breast milk poop simply dissolves in the wash so no dunking or swishing in the toilet is necessary. Solid food poop however means another step in the diapering process. We have found two things to make this transition easier: a diaper sprayer for the toilet and bumkins flushable liners for on the go. Our local hardware store helped me with the diaper sprayer (which is simply a sprayer that attaches to the water line on the toilet so I can spray off the diapers.) The flushable liners sit on top of the cloth diapers so I can simply peel them off my boy and put them in the toilet. The mess is minimal! For long trips we are using 7th Generation disposables because they keep Ben’s bum rash free.

Everyday Ben becomes more a little boy and less of a little baby. It is a blessing to watch him grow and grow and grow. Andrew and I both love every second of parenthood as we embrace all the changes Ben has brought. He is the sweetest baby and we feel honored to be his parents.

Six Months Part 1

Ben has drooled on this earth for six entire months! It is incredible to think that in just six more months he will be an entire ear old. The past six months have flown by and it is such a joy to watch Ben grow and change. Ben moved three days into his fifth month of life from the country roads of West Virginia to the grape orchards of Fredonia, New York. He will always be a mountaineer and wore a WV onesie to commemorate the move. It took a little while for Ben to settle into his new life. His nursery is a different color, we had to leave the giraffe above his crib behind and his room is at least three times as big. Every day he looks around with his bright blue eyes as he embraces his new surroundings.


Weight: (unofficial) 18.5 lbs.

Height: (unofficial) 27 inches

*we don’t go to the doctor for another two weeks due to the move and change in pediatricians so these stats are a rough estimate.

Teeth: 0

Clothing size: 6-9 months, mostly 9 months—clothes that are just six months make our darling boy look a little like a stuffed sausage.

Motor development: Ben touches his fingers together individually, grabs blocks, balls, toys, the dogs, people, etc. with both hands. He also grabs things with his feet and loves to chill out on his changing table in the happy baby pose. His hands are of great interest and he has started opening and closing his fingers in what looks like a baby wave. He scratches everything with both of his hands to feel different textures. As he is falling asleep you can hear him scratching the sheets. He has also started to nod his head. It almost looks like he is saying “What’s up?” Ben is a roller! At four months he rolled from tummy to back but now we have mastered both directions. What started out on July 2nd as surprise roll from his back to his tummy turned into a new favorite activity. (Andrew thought he would never roll again after the first time because I was so excited.) A week or so after his first roll he did it again while I had the camera out and we have a six minute video of watching him try and finally succeed. Ever since that incredible effort, Ben hasn’t looked back as he rolls through life. The second you put him on his back on the floor he flips right to his tummy to hold his head up high. While on his tummy he “supermans,” has mastered the “updog” and digs his feet into the ground. We have even witnessed a few backwards crawls. He is working so hard to figure out how to move forward that we expect to see him scooting around soon. He has also lost his “startle reflex” and no longer jumps when I open his wipes.

Language development: Ben laughs, giggles, grunts, moans, and uses several sounds. He often wakes up saying “ha-ha-ha” and likes to give great shrieks when he sees himself in the mirror. He continues to say “ah” and loves to blow bubbles and raspberries with and without his fingers in his mouth.

Loves: Ben loves life. He is such a peaceful, easygoing, giggly boy and we are truly blessed to have him. He loves to look around at the world around his with his bright blue eyes. He loves to go on walks/runs in the BOB and is totally relaxed as he looks around. He also loves his baby carrier and we have started carrying him on our back.

Both the stroller and the baby carrier put him to sleep if we are out long enough. Moving to Fredonia has greatly increased the amount of time we walk around outside as we walk to the hardware store, grandmom and granddad’s house, the hardware store, daddy’s office, the farmer’s market, the playground, and did I mention the hardware store for house supplies?

In the house he loves talking to himself in front of a mirror, playing with his toys, bouncing his bouncy seat and jumping in his jumperoo. He enjoys splashing around in the tub and in the pool. His eyes light up when he is talked to and he loves listening to books whether they are baby books, Bill Bryson, Harry Potter or Bar Exam review books. In his crib he still enjoys his mobile made by Aunt Joanna. He is increasingly interested in the dogs and if they are nearby he reaches out his chubby little arms to grab them. Chopper has had his tail pulled at least once and Tessa has felt his firm grip on her fur. The dogs are tolerating his interest in them and are finding it harder and harder to resist giving him a lick. He likes his pacifier but isn’t dependent on it. He also likes frozen teething toys, wet washcloths, and toys that make music. He loves the baby swing at the playground and looks completely at peace in it.

To be continued…