Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mary: 6 months + 7 months

Mary had her first real cold this past month and it was a real doozy. She lost her voice, didn't want to nurse, and needing help sleeping for every nap and overnight. We took turns sleeping with her and both secretly enjoyed all the snuggles, even if we were dog-tired. I am so glad she's back on the mend now! She back to eating and sleeping well, and she's got her voice back. Just a happy little girl again!

Mary is sitting up on her own now, and only occasionally tips over forward or backward. The other day she actually pulled herself up to standing using one of the walls of the activity center (the same exact place Drew learned to pull himself up to standing!). She rolls over both ways, but doesn't spend a lot of time on her tummy or back now that she can sit up.

Her naps have been solid since she got over her cold: two 2-hour naps and one short cat nap each day. Some naps I don't hear from her the entire 2 hours, other naps she needs help with her paci at some point. She's so close to getting it into her mouth on her own! Her overnight sleep is back to how it was before her cold: she sleeps well but needs help with her paci 2-3 times a night.

She's still nursing 5 times a day, but we've started solids so I'm considering removing a nursing session in the early evening. I made it to my initial goal of 6 months breastfeeding, and I'm not entirely sure where I am going with it from here. I do want to keep going (maybe to 9 months?) but when she was nursing less because of her cold my supply feels like it took a hit and is having trouble recovering. I'm not sure how hard I want to fight to keep my supply up at this point, knowing that I met my initial goal (and have a ton of frozen milk in the freezer!). I also have been getting killer headaches the past few months and am wondering if those will relent once I stop breastfeeding and my hormones adapt to that change.

Before Mary was born, I was planning on moving Drew into Mary's room for sleeping sometime soon after the holidays. But I'm postponing that plan for now for several reasons: Mary still squawks at night and I don't want Drew waking up from that, Drew is on the verge of potty training and I want to deal with that hurdle before making any other changes to his life, and I just want some down time after the holidays to catch my breath before any more hubbub. So we'll revisit that idea in a few months!


Mary's sleep has finally gotten better! I dropped her late afternoon cat nap from her schedule and she is now - praise the sweet Lord - sleeping through the night and making it all the way until 7am. The very first night I dropped her nap we let her cry in the middle of the night and she cried off and on for an hour or so before putting herself back to sleep, and we haven't had any problems since. I've tossed 4-5 pacis into her crib and she is getting good about finding one and getting it into her mouth. Other times she sucks on her lovie. We are SO HAPPY to be getting uninterrupted sleep again! 

Because she has a long stretch of awake time from after her second nap (around 3pm) to bedtime at 7, I feed her after her nap at 3, again at 5, and again at 6:30 right before bed. This cluster feeding seems to keep her happy - and we can always count on a bath to break her out of any bad mood she might be in. She's still nursing once in the morning, but I am officially in the process of weaning her so I don't know how much longer we'll hold on to that feeding. All the rest of her feedings are bottles of breast milk from my freezer stash or of formula. Solids are going well - she doesn't love them but she tolerates them and so we're making progress with trying different foods. 

She's mastered sitting up, and pulling up to standing. She's even started to cruise just a little. I can tell she's working on crawling next - oh my! That girl never slows down! 

She is in a phase where she doesn't like to be set down and left alone, and I remember this with Drew and that it does pass. Having Drew does help to distract her, so I find this phase is easier with her than it was with just Drew. I'm also forced to just let her complain sometimes, whereas with Drew I would respond to every whimper. To make up for that, I give her extra long cuddles before her naps - maybe it means nothing to her, but I just adore that sweet girl so much that I'll think of any reason to give her some extra cuddles!

No teeth yet, but she has started some serious babbling. And screaming. Oh joy! I don't know what is about her but even her crying has a sweetness to it. I can't wait to hear her first words! I remember with Drew that 8 months old is when he really started to show his personality and seemed to "get" things more quickly. That age is nearing with Mary and while I can hardly believe it, I am so excited for the months to come!

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