Today, Anneliese turned 6 months old. The last month has been an explosion of development. Last month, she was just beginning to figure out how to use her hands more precisely. This month, she’s a pro at it. Everything is going into her mouth. She loves exploring different textures.
Anneliese is now rolling fluidly in both directions, and pivots around to reach things she wants.
Even more exciting though, she is sitting up. Strong and sturdily, for a long long time. This opens up tons of possibilities for new play, as she can now hold things in two hands and examine them carefully, with a more convenient vantage point than flat on her back.
These awesome fruits and veggies (except for one carrot) were made by my oldest sister, Julie. She hand-sewed and needle-felted them. How awesome is she?
Zora is starting to tolerate Anneliese more, and will sit near her for a couple minutes at a time, even letting Anneliese pet her. Anneliese LOVES our dog, so this makes her very happy.
Sleep has become an issue – probably because of a few factors.
One is because we moved, and there isn’t really a dark place in this house (yet) for her to sleep during the day. I bought light-blocking curtains from Target, but they don’t work very well. I think tomorrow I’m going to pull a Dooce and put aluminum foil over her windows. At least until I can find a solution that’s prettier. Too bad I don’t have the packaging for the Target curtains anymore… that’s $30 I sadly can’t get back.
Another is that I suspect teething, still. Sometimes she just seems like she’s in pain… and she gnaws on everything, chews her fingers, my knuckles, etc. No evidence of a tooth yet, but that doesn’t mean she can’t feel it.
The other factor is that whole, “around 5-6 months babies lose their infant sleep pattern and move to a more adult sleep pattern” thing… Some people refer to it as sleep regression, but since it’s moving form an infant pattern to an adult-like pattern, it’s actually PROgression. The crappy thing is that it means about 45 minutes after falling asleep, the baby will wake up. And if she can’t fall back asleep on her own, it means I need to help her. With my boobs.
Nursing to sleep is definitely the best (read: most consistently successful) way for me to do it. My husband can rock her to sleep or hold her and pat her back, but if it’s me, she can smell the milk (or something) and DIVES to the side, indicating that it’s time to nurse. Even if she’s not actually hungry. She won’t take her pacifier until after she’s nursed, and no amount of bouncing, rocking, singing, patting (from ME) satisfies her if what she wants to do is nurse.
Luckily, the first chunk of night is usually pretty good… she sleeps for 3 hours in her bed, nurses for maybe 20 minutes, then sleeps another 3 hours in her bed, then I bring her into my bed and she pretty much nurses the rest of the night while I sleep. But I’m a tummy-sleeper and would prefer to have her in the cosleeper, NOT nursing the entire second half of the night.
So I was reading excerpts of the “No Cry Sleep Solution” online… I’m really not a fan of the idea of letting my baby cry if there is something I can do to help her. But I also recognize that I need to teach her how to fall asleep without the need to suck (whether that is my breast or a pacifier, since pacifiers can fall out in the middle of the night). That way when she wakes up at the 45 minute mark, she will be able to fall back to sleep on her own, and will only have to alert me if she is actually hungry or has a dirty diaper (pee usually doesn’t bother her at night but poo absolutely does, and who can blame her?).
I’m not sure it’s a book I’m actually going to buy and read all of – but does anyone have experience with it? It seems to make a lot of sense, from what I’ve read, and it’s not disrespectful to mother or child (“just let the baby cry it out – she has to learn sometime!” or “This is why you don’t nurse to sleep.” or “don’t co-sleep because you’ll ruin your baby!” … Elizabeth Pantley is absolutely a proponent of nursing, cosleeping, and NOT making your baby cry if you can avoid it.)
I have to say though, this precious face is wonderful to wake up to.
Anyway, moving on… Anneliese has started sitting in her high chair while I eat breakfast or dinner (lunch is usually when I can grab some food while she’s sleeping). She plays with toys at the table (soft ones), and I recently gave her a mama’s milk popsicle, which she enjoyed thoroughly.
I’m excited to start baby-led weaning with her, and I know she will enjoy it too, but we are waiting for her papa to come home from his “work trip” before we do. He will be gone for much of the year, and if there is something the timing of which we can control so he doesn’t have to miss it, we will. This is one of those things.
Anneliese and I listen to a lot of different music during the day, and it seems she’s really in tune to it. Check this out.
This girl is hugely interested in other people, especially other babies. That’s pretty cool because I have a lot of friends with young babies, so when we get together she has a blast. (Please excuse the mess – this is when most of my stuff was still in boxes!)
This month was also the real start to our elimination communication “journey” together.
We are also missing her papa, who is away for work right now, because mama doesn’t do this very often….
Today also marks our 6-month exclusive breastfeeding date. Once I realized I COULD breastfeed after breast reduction surgery, 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding (no formula or solids or anything else) became my first BIG goal. And here we are! It’s not always easy, but what is? I absolutely love nursing my little girl though. I could write a whole big thing about it, but it’s very late so that’s all I’m going to say for now. Go us!