5 1/2 months Old
I’ve been so busy lately that I have not had time to sit down and record all of Nathan’s developmental milestones: He can stand up unaided for quite awhile. He can sit up well although he still tumbles over if he moves his head to quickly in one direction or another. He grabs at absolutely everything and it is hard to get his grip loosened most of the time. I offered him a swallow of watered down tea from my glass ONE TIME and now he wants to taste every single thing anyone drinks. He says Momma, Whoa, Oh, and pfffth (not quite perfected- more like a hard “p-th!” sound-slobbery though=). He has been able to take his pacifier out of his mouth, switch hands, look at it, and put it back into his mouth for about a week now. He can turn the pages of his foam books although it is not a very smooth process. He still hates long belly times. I’ve heard that if I don’t put him on his belly the will not learn to crawl, which is just silly. (I can see it now: I wheel him into his first day of kindergarden and his teacher asks, “What is wrong with him?” I reply, “Oh, I didn’t put him on his belly enough so he never learned to crawl or walk or anything.” Same thing goes for the pacifier and talking-lol.) He splashes in the water and plays with bath balls and foam toys. He has a boon frog that he really likes:
Personality: It seems like his personality has really blossomed over the last few weeks. He gets giddy when I tell him, “let’s go take a bath with mommy!” He LOVES sitting outside watching the cars and people go by and will strain his neck to watch them disappear from view. When I say, “I LOOOOVES you!” he smiles from ear to ear. His laugh is a sweet combination of “heeeh” followed by a chuckle and occasionally a squeak or high-pitched squeal. He “sings” to himself in the car and makes the funniest, semi-serious expressions whilst he does so.
When he is nursing, if I speak, he will stop and look at me like, “do you mind?!?” and refuses to resume until I have stopped speaking. Every. Single. Time. Also while nursing, he sometimes swings his free arm wildly about in search for some random facial feature to poke and prod. He packs quite a punch for a little guy. Sometimes he just randomly sucker-punches me while I am talking to C and of course C finds it shamelessly hilarious. I have since learned to hold his arm down in an attempt at self-preservation. Putting a small toy on my chest helps as well by keeping his “Roman hand” occupied.
He loves watching the animals and petting lil Man, our dog. He once pet lil man and then I noticed that he had pulled out a huge chunk of lil’ man’s hair out, roots and all. Lil man didn’t bat an eye. He’s an awesome dog to have with a baby around.
Sleeping: His sleep schedule has also become more predictable. He takes 5 good naps each day, with each nap lasting 15-45 minutes. He naps at 9:30am, noon, 3pm, 6pm, and a very short nap around 8:30pm. He usually goes to bed around 11:30pm and wakes up to nurse around 6am, plus or minus an hour.
Nursing/feeding: He nurses on demand, but I typically try to get him to nurse at least 6 times per day, lasting about 5-10 minutes each. Nursing really shines around this age because whereas in the beginning bottle-feeding was easier, now nursing is 10 times easier. For one thing, he can finish nursing 2-3 times faster than a bottle. I also do not have to hassle with cleaning and preparing bottles, buying formula, or worrying about if I have enough formula or not. We’ve never had to make an emergency stop to pick up formula and that is just great. Also, nursing is a sure-fire way to put him down for a nap. If he is cranky, all I have to do is offer him the breast and he quiets down instantly. You cannot do that with a bottle. It’s just not the same.
Pacifier: I really debated over this one. Nathan all but refused the pacifier up until a few weeks ago when I offered it to him to help with his pre-teething pain. It turned out to be quite a handy device. Three points made me decide to give it to him: 1) As my neighbor pointed out, it is easier to wean off of than the thumb because you cannot take the thumb away. (Thumbs are orthodontic nightmares). 2) It helps reduce the risk of SIDS, and 3) I have noticed a huge reduction in his frequency of spitting up! The 3rd fact alone is enough for me to give it to him. I can nurse him, feed him solids, and as long as he has the pacifier- almost ZERO spitting up. This makes sense because the natural sucking patterns of the pacifier helps coordinate the smooth muscles of his GI system. He almost doesn’t even need a bib while using it. Unfortunately, though, the moment it is out of his mouth he starts spitting up again.
Crib: He spent his first night in the crib last night. I was so nervous because I cannot check on him as easily as I can with him in the co-sleeper. I am happy with the transition, and so is he. There was absolutely nothing traumatizing about it and not one tear was shed over it (for either of us). I kept him in the co-sleeper until he: 1) Is able to put himself back to sleep on his own (NOT by crying – which is a sign that he is not ready yet); 2) goes to bed earlier and/or wakes up later than us (so we do not wake him up); 3) outgrew the co-sleeper. Seriously he is too big for it now and him sleeping in our actual bed is not an option cause daddy flops like a unconscious fish and it’s too dangerous.
Play yard: I finally got him one so that I can put him down to play without worrying about him getting bitten by our (other) dog or getting into mischief. I also got it because we will be traveling a lot this summer and I want him to have a familiar place to play and sleep. I think it is important as deaf parents to have a safe place for them to play because we may miss important auditory cues. (I can hear him extremely well with my cochlear implants, but I may not always have them on for various, practical reasons). I settled on the Joovy Room 2 (in yellow) because it is the biggest (10sq feet), has extra-high sides so he can’t climb out, has one of the highest weight limits which means that he can play in it longer and have his buddies join him in it; has wider mesh holes while still within safety limits so that he has a better, unrestricted view while in it; it is made of extremely durable materials for transporting (even through airports); one of the highest consumer ratings, and it has a extremely sturdy and level floor which helps the little ones trying to stand and crawl keep from falling over. I chose yellow because it is stimulating and also because it makes it easier to spot at the airport’s baggage claim than a black one would.