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.