It’s getting harder and harder to keep her still for these photo shoots!
So, I blinked, and all of a sudden Little B is six months old.
The past month has been one of the best so far. It is so much fun to watch her learn new things and notice different aspects of her personality developing.
Still, there are times when I feel so sad that she is moving full speed ahead to becoming her own little person. I secretly (well, not so secretly anymore, I guess) love that she’s been a bit clingy with me these days, because I know that there will come I time when all she wants to do is get the heck away from me.
I am doing the best I can to take in everything about her and remember all of the details from this time in our lives. But, seriously, can someone come up with a way to bottle this stuff up so that we can save it for later.
Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot
Anyway, enough about me. Let’s talk about the B. Or, Tigger, as I have taken to calling her, since she loves to bounce! We thought about buying her a jumperoo, but she is perfectly content to bounce her bottom around while sitting on laps or to jump up and down when we hold her under her arms and let her stand on the floor. Are you guys familiar with the Geico commercial, where the pig is listening to club music and thinks that the baseline sounds like “boots and pants?” Last week, we discovered that this refrain makes her particularly bouncy (if you watched that video, I wish you the best of luck in getting “boots and pants” out of your head).
We spend a lot of time playing on the floor lately, particularly since Little B is now able to sit upright for extended periods of time. She is rarely happy laying down these days, and she will reach for our hands to pull herself up if we lay her back. Her balance is pretty good, but we have had a few spills. No matter how many blankets or foam mats we put on the floor, she always seems to find that one bit of uncovered hardwood to topple onto (I’ve lost count as to how many times I have consulted Dr. Google about these kinds of incidents).
Baths are one of her favorite things lately. So is soap.
B has always been pretty nosy, but lately she seems even more curious about what the people around her are doing. We spend a lot of time letting her watch us, while we provide a running commentary about what we are doing. From the mundane tasks, like getting her bottles ready in the morning, to the more fun activities, like learning how to put her stack rings on the peg, she always seems totally engaged. She’s starting to imitate the sounds we make at her and I think she may even be starting understand waving. We wave bye-bye to her when we leave for work every morning and she’ll lift up her hand, open and close her fingers, smile at us. I love to watch her learn new things and make connections about how things work.
As the months go by, more of her personality shines through. Generally, she is very sweet natured, but she definitely wants what she wants, when she wants it (who do you think she takes after?). She laughs easily, particularly at Tracy (the dog doesn’t even have to do anything. Just the sight of her alone is enough.), Chester’s goofy facial expressions and my high pitched voice and silly, made-up songs. She isn’t a fan of strangers at the moment, but continues to be very affectionate with us. It makes my day when I come home from work and stretches out her arms to let me know that she wants me to pick her up.
Told you that she is a bit of a diva.
During the past month, we continued introducing solid foods. Of course, she is still at the stage where more of it ends up in her hair, on her face and hands, and splattered on the high chair tray, but we are getting a kick out of the crazy facial expressions that she makes when she tries something new. She was indifferent to the oatmeal, loved the bananas, apples and sweet potatoes acted like we were trying to murder her with green beans. So far, she is just eating one solid meal in the evening and we have been making all of the purees ourselves. I hope we can keep up with that when she starts eating more.
On the sleep front, our troubles seem to be lessening. I attribute this turn of events to the fact that I did the one thing that I said I would never do: I let her cry it out.
You might recall that I was trying to go the “no tears” route after we moved her to her crib at the end of December. But, after nearly two months, progress seemed to reach a standstill, mostly because the night-wakings were still pretty frequent and it was taking more and more time each night to get her back to sleep during them. I tried to be patient and kept telling myself she would sleep on her own “when she was ready,” but I could not stop envisioning all kinds of worst case scenarios, involving none of us sleeping through the night until she was a teenager.
I reached my breaking point after one rough night a couple of weeks ago. Chester and I had gone out for dinner, and she was particularly clingy with me when we got home. I had a heck of a time putting her down to sleep in her crib. Whenever I managed to sneak away, she was up again within 30 minutes. I gave up around 2 a.m. and just brought her into our room, thinking that the next night, when we would be back to our regular routine, would set her straight.
Well, the next night was even worse. After several trips upstairs within the space of an hour, I put her down in her crib and let her cry. For the next fifteen minutes, I went to check on her periodically until she fell asleep.
I would not have been comfortable letting her cry it out after we had just moved her to her crib around four months. But, as she approached six months, I knew that she knew how to self-soothe and that my going into her room in the middle of the night was just something we were both relying on out of habit. In spite of these rational thoughts, those 15 minutes felt like an eternity and I felt like the worst mother ever. But, I was encouraged by the fact that she ended up sleeping straight through to 5:30 a.m. The next two nights, she cried for about five minutes each. By the fourth night, she was out in less than five minutes. And, that’s pretty much the way it’s been ever since. There are still times when she wakes up in the middle of the night, but she can fall back to sleep on her own almost immediately. I know that there are probably still some sleep regressions ahead of us, but I think we are on the right track at this point, particularly because all of us have been sleeping a bit better these last few weeks.
The older Little B gets, the more I fall in love with her. The more she is able to do, the more I get excited for all the experiences that I want to share with her as she grows up. I can’t wait to see what the second half of the year has in store for us!