6 Months with baby June
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1/2 a year….it’s weird to say! My baby is 6 months old. The newborn days seem both so far away and just like yesterday. I have mentioned in a previous post how much easier it has been this time around with baby number 2. I think it’s party because I’m a second time mom, but also I think she is just a different baby than my son. My son had reflux, cried a lot more, and didn’t sleep well for a good majority of the first year. But even with those difficulties, some of his physical development happened before June. He was sitting independently sooner, LOVED to eat, and babbled more. This just goes to show that all babies develop on their own timeline. And guess what? It’s ok! Make sure you are getting scheduled check ups with your doctor, but some babies may hit a milestone 2 weeks late or even a month late! I am only saying this, because I remember as a first time mom I was anxious about these milestones. I would compare my baby boy to other babies his age, and think to myself “Why isn’t he crawling yet or sitting up on his own yet?” There is such a wide range of normal and trust me, when they are in that “competitive” mode in high school, they won’t be talking about who crawled first, slept through the night first, or had rice cereal or avocado first.
Anyways, here is where June is at being earthside for 6 months!
Ah, isn’t that what we are all reading this for anyways? I know you have fallen into the Google rabbit hole of “how to get your baby to sleep through the night” or "how to wean night feedings.” Am I right? Of course! And don’t let others make you feel bad because you want your baby to sleep through the night! I think that’s more normal than the opposite. I’m sorry, but I don’t know many moms or adults for that matter that love waking up multiple times a night! That doesn’t mean I love my child less or my children will have attachment issues. Quite the opposite! We sleep-trained my son and he is about as attached as it gets! He is loving and compassionate and loves us to pieces. I was at the point with him that I needed to sleep more, so that I could be a loving mother during the day.
I’ve been asked “when are the sleep regressions?” My answer: every month!
Anyways, June has been lightyears ahead of Jack in terms of sleep since she was a newborn. By 3 months she was sleeping from 7 or 8 until 4 or 5, and then a quick feed and back to sleep until 7. She even slept through 11 hours a couple of times. Then, out of nowhere, Daylight Savings Time hit us like a MACK truck. That and the dreaded 4 month sleep regression! Again, still nowhere near the atrocity that was Jack’s night sleeping, but it is difficult to go from waking up one time to 3 or 4 times! It was a long two months and when you are in it, it doesn’t feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel. And to add to the difficulties, we were transitioning out of the swaddle, then using the Merlin Magicsuit (for a few weeks), and then to a sleep sack. By 5.5 months she was pretty consistently waking up 2 times a night still, with the occasional one time a night. She had been going to sleep initially on her own with little to no tears since she was 3 months old. We were not having to resolve that issue. It was the middle of the night waking. She just wouldn’t settle without feeding. I felt like she didn’t need to feed during those wake ups, because she wasn’t taking very much and then her morning feed wasn’t all that great. So, we tried gradual weaning the first wakeup feed using a bottle of pumped milk my husband would give her. We would decrease the volume every couple of days. 2 ounces down to 1.75 to 1.5 to 1 over the course of 2 weeks. This seemed to help and she eventually dropped that first feed and I would go in and feed her when she woke up around 3 or 4. And just when you feel like you have a new normal, something else comes up or they will have a bad night. I have to continually remind myself that this stage is always one step forward, two steps back. With every developmental leap or teething episode, sleep usually suffers. So, we still aren’t making it through the whole night, but right now I can live with one wakeup in the 3 to 5 AM time frame. Most recently, I am trying to nurse her before bed and top her up with a bottle of pumped milk in hopes to send her to bed with a full tummy. (It’s all trial and error, and maybe it won’t help, but we’ll see!)
Don’t you always hear nap time is glorious? HA! I guess if you have a baby that takes consistent naps everyday. I love all the websites and sleep schedules that have your baby taking a 2 hour nap in the morning, then a one hour nap in the afternoon, and a sweet cat nap in the evening. Then they leave no suggestions as to what to do when it’s NOT THAT! Around 5 months, I felt like June finally fell into a somewhat predictable schedule. Even more so now at 6 months. While the time of day that the naps occur rarely changes the length varies.
Here is our schedule currently:
6:30-7:30: Morning wake-up window
Between 9 and 9:30: 1st nap
Between 12:30 and 1:00: 2nd nap
Between 4 and 4:30: 3rd nap
Between 7 and 7:30: Bedtime
And this is flexible, that’s why I put between times. And then you throw normal life in there. Jack has swim lessons one day a week, so that changes things sometimes. On the weekend, we do things during the day so sometimes these naps are on the go in the carseat or in the carrier. I try to do at least one nap in the crib a day, and most days she takes all naps in the crib. Sometimes if the 2nd nap is longer, there is no 3rd nap. Like I said, the length of her naps are still not consistent and again, that is ok! Naps can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours still.
We started her on solids the week she turned 6 months old. With my son we started with rice cereal, but I didn’t feel like I needed or wanted to do that this time. We went right ahead and started avocado. Next, bananas and then sweet potatoes. I make most of her baby food by baking, steaming, or mashing and then blend. Put the puree into food trays and freeze. It is super easy! I am a stay at home mom right now, so I feel like I have the time to do this and I enjoy doing it! I am in no way saying this is the only way to do it or that you have to be doing this. I think it tastes better, I think it saves a little money, I love doing it, and I think it’s pretty easy. If I was working full time, things might be different. But, if you are a working mom and want to do it, it really is so easy and you could make batch food on the weekend and have enough for the whole week. I share lots of ideas and how-to’s on Instagram stories, be sure to check those out and my Instagram highlights “baby food.”
I will say June is definitely not as crazy about food as my son was at 6 months. Some days she might not want anything, and others she gobbles it right up. I will say I have found if I wait a little bit (an hour maybe) after she has nursed, she will eat a bit more.
Currently, I am making purees and feeding it to her. I will try to hand her the spoon for her to feed herself, but if she doesn’t I will help her. Baby-led weaning is all the rage right now, and once her pincer grasp and fine motor skills develop more we will try more self-feeding. I just want all you parents to know that there isn’t just one way to feed your baby, just do what you feels works for your baby! And what works for one baby might not work for another.
Play & Development
Finally, more independent play! YAY! By 6 months, mama, you get to feel a little more freedom (hopefully)! She loves her toys and will just roll and roll and roll all over to get to them. She’s starting to push up with straight arms and pushed up to her knees a few times. She is sitting up almost independently. I still sit close in case she topples. These stacking cups are a fave and has started banging them together and on the floor. She still loves her bouncy seat (unfortunately, the one she has is no longer made, but this one is also similar). She loves to watch her brother and he is just so entertaining (I share more of our day to day in Instagram stories). Looking in mirrors is always a good time, and she still loves this little play mirror. If you have a baby this age, you know teething all too well. We haven’t had the best luck with teethers, but she does like the banana and carrot teethers!
She is just a quiet and content little baby and we are over the moon in love with her!