Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Aven Hope - 6 months

My baby girl is half a year old! This month was my favorite so far - things just seemed to click and she was SO SO HAPPY! Plus we had no sleep issues this month. A well rested baby = a well rested and happy momma.

6 month Stats:
Weight: 18 1/4 lbs - 88%
Length: - 28 inches - 95%
Head: - 17 inches - 75%

Hello, blue eyes!

Feeding - Nursing is still going strong, and I made it to my original "goal" of 6 months! I can't imagine stopping at this point and now hope to make it to one year. I had a dramatic dip in supply midway through the month that lasted a few days and it made me really sad as I thought I was done - made me realize how much I enjoy nursing and wasn't ready to stop. Turns out I was just dehydrated and it's all back to normal now. We're still doing five liquid feedings a day, though we may drop to four once we fully introduce solids. Now that she's 6 months we plan to do a combination of purees and Baby Led Weaning I think - she doesn't seem fully ready for BLW. Next month's post will be full of our adventures in solids, I'm sure!

So we have two nursing sessions and three bottles a day - she has two while I'm at work and I've been doing a pumped bottle before bed. She nurses in the morning and when I get home around 5:30 or 6 PM but I want her to take a full meal again at bedtime and a bottle seems to work better for that. She's taking 6-7 oz. bottles now  (downing them in 5 minutes!) and nurses for 7ish minutes per side. Again, this has to be in her nursery with nothing else going on or she gets distracted! She still goes between bottle and nursing so easily which is great. She is spitting up much less these days and doesn't need to burp midway through a bottle like she used to - she'll usually have one good burp when she's done (on her own, I don't have to pat her) and that's it!

Holds her own bottle! For a few seconds anyway :) **

We moved to size 3 diapers midway through the month and she's still mostly in 6 month clothing, some 9 month jammies and pants for length.

Awake time - Her max waketime seems to be 1.5ish hours during the day and 2-2.5 hours in the evening. We still try to get her down before she hits her wall, but once she's hit it she lets us know that it's time to nap! The newest thing this month is baby girl found her voice! She LOVES to squeal and screech and sing, exploring all the different ranges in her voice box. There's no better sound! She is also rolling all over the place - still mostly back to front, but has gone front to back a few times. Doesn't mind being on her tummy anymore and often puts her feet and hands up at the same time, like she's superbaby. She loves to stand and jump so her jumperoo is her favorite thing right now. And if you're holding her in your lap she'll jump up and down over and over again while squealing - it's the cutest thing! She is grabbing for toys now then puts them right in  her mouth. She's got quite the grasp! She loves her puppy Keely and her eyes follow wherever she goes. She also likes to pet (aka grab fur) her, and thankfully Keely girl is very patient.

Laughing at mommy in the jumperoo

Playing with Keely

Sleeping - This was the best month sleeping wise! After she got sick last month and was up every hour for two weeks, we had to start sleep training all over again once she was feeling better. Thankfully, she only cried a little bit then was right back on track with sleeping through the night once again! Right at the beginning of the month we started a new schedule where we took out the 4th catnap and started keeping her awake between the two evening feedings. At first, it was hard for her to stay happily awake but she quickly got used to it. She's now sleeping 11-12 hours a night, uninterrupted, which is amazing. Sometimes she'll cry out but only for a few moments then she quickly settles herself back down.

She's down to two big naps a day and one catnap. Her morning and afternoon nap are 2-2.5 hours and her evening nap is now a catnap lasting 30-45 minutes, but she's really been fighting that one lately. I still want her to take that one, otherwise she'd need to go to bed a few hours after her last nap which would put bedtime around 5:30 and I get home from work then! So the catnap is for her to get a little rest so she can be up and happy for a few hours in the evening. I know she'll drop it soon and we'll need to move bedtime even earlier, but not just yet.

So we are still swaddling and I can't see stopping anytime soon...she is rolling all over the place now but still hasn't rolled over in her swaddle, so I'm not willing to mess with a good thing! This girl LOVES being swaddled and will coo and get a HUGE grin on her face when I wrap her up. I had this 6 month mark in my mind about having to stop and was starting to get stressed about it but came to the realization that if that's what she needs to sleep, so be it. She'll let me know when she's ready to drop it! That being said, she outgrew all her sleepsacks by length so we're using the Miracle Blanket adjusted for her length (sometimes with an A&A blanket over for warmth).

So happy in her swaddle!

Temperament -  I am just continually in awe of how blessed we are by our sweet little baby (and slightly afraid that if we have more they'll be terrors!). She is such a happy, content little girl! We went out to lunch and dinner a few times this month and brought her along, and she was happy just to sit and chew on her toys. We also got our taxes done and refied our house so had to bring her along on those evening appointments, and both times people commented on how good she was, just sitting there chewing on Sophie. Many mornings this month she woke on her own just happy as can be - squealing in her crib for up to a half hour before I go and get her. She only really gets fussy when we've pushed her past her wall and she needs sleep. Teething was in full force this month and it didn't really seem to affect her that much! It only affected one night's sleep and a few naps here and there, but nowhere near as bad as I was anticipating. She is much more generous with her beautiful smiles this month, flashing them all the time. She is also so snuggly, which we LOVE! I know babies that are so busy and always moving and don't want to stop and snuggle, and I am so glad that Aven likes to snuggle. In the morning she'll rest her little head on my shoulder, and in the evenings she'll just sit happily on our lap. She continues to make the funniest faces and expressions - I could stare at her little face all day. :)

Funny little bald hippo!

Outings/Firsts/Other -  We started this month out by getting our precious little angel dedicated at our church. It was a nice ceremony then we had our parents, Brian/Naomi and kids, and my best friend Betsy and her husband and little boy. Aven was awake for like 5 hours straight but didn't fuss once! She did so good! We also went to a dinner party at my cousins house and put her to bed in her pack and play there and she fell fast asleep. Tyge and I got to hang out longer and enjoy ourselves while she was sleeping away, then we transferred her to her crib once we were home. She also went to her first high school basketball game (Tyge's cousin) and was very wary of all the loud noises (I thought she was gonna lose it the first time the buzzer went off!), but didn't shed a tear and did well. We've also started taking her on more errands and out of the house a bit more, and she seems to like it!

At the basketball game with Auntie Jill

First Valentine's Day

The biggest first this month is that little girl got her first tooth - no, teeth! She cut her bottom two at the same time. I first noticed them early last week and still can't believe it - she's too little to have teeth! Like I said, it didn't really affect her sleep or temperament that much, so I pray that the rest of teething is this easy. When she does get irritable, to help ease the pain we're giving her Hyland's Teething Tablets, using ice cubes and frozen bananas in the mesh feeder for gnawing, and rubbing diluted clove oil on her gums.

Look at those toothers!

As for me: Ooooh what wonders a good stretch of sleep will do. I feel so much more rested and alert and not as cranky! I'll admit I have been struggling with anxiety a bit and my need to control things - something I'm not very good at relaxing about. Still a work in progress. :) Thankfully this month hasn't been to busy commitment -wise, so it's been really nice to have evenings and weekends at home with my little one. Speaking of commitments, I stepped down from serving on the worship team at church for a little bit. It was a really hard decision, as that's something I wanted to do forever and LOVE doing, but serving this month was more stressful than normal. I've been back a few months since she's been born, but this month it hit me how much of my weekend singing takes up and with me working during the week, my weekend time with her is so precious. Plus, with still nursing it's hard to plan pumping sessions while I'm gone a good chunk of the day. My worship director so graciously and kindly gave me from April through the summer off, and even though I only served once a month, that's one more weekend free with Aven and Tyge. That being said, I can't wait to rejoin come September (when she's a year old and most likely done nursing)!
Taking a catnap with my sweet baby
Schedule - 22 weeks was a day after her 5 month birthday and she started sleeping through the night again after being sick. The first week of the month we kept the same schedule as last month, but around 23 weeks we noticed she was able to stay up longer in the evenings and didn't seem to need her 4th catnap anymore (which made me sad to lose that snuggly time of her sleeping in my arms). So we tried a few nights with this schedule and have been using it ever since:
  • 7:15-7:30 AM - Wake up and nurse followed by playtime
  • 9:00 AM - Nap
  • 11:30 AM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 1:00 PM - Nap
  • 3:00 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 4:30 or 5:00 PM - Catnap
  • 5:30 or 6:00 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 7:30 or 8:00 PM (2 hours after she got up from her catnap) - Nurse followed by bedtime routine - usually asleep by 8:15
  • And she usually makes it until morning without a peep!
Enough pictures until next month, Mom :)
**A few of these pics were snapped by our awesome nanny Stephanie, so I can't take credit for them all. Her sending me these pics often gets me through the workday!

1 comment:

  1. Happy 6 Month Birthday, Aven!

    Looks like everything is going perfect, ready for #2 now?! :) In all seriousness, she is beautiful and so happy all is going well.