If you would have told me before I had Tom that I wouldn't have the time or energy to keep current on monthly updates, I wouldn't have believed you. But obviously I was wrong and here we are at 7 months (after missing the last 5!) So what's changed? Sleep! After months of deliberation and research I pulled the trigger on sleep training (more on that in a second) and I'm so glad I did. I'm happy to report both Tom and I are getting a full night's rest and I've emerged from my zombie state.
At Tom's 6 month check up he weighed 19 lbs., and was 28 in. long. I'm fairly certain he's packed on a few pounds since then as that appointment was in the midst of the most epic stomach bug I've ever experienced. Unfortunately Tom caught it first, and Jay and I came down with it two days later (thank God for Grandma!) It was the first time he was really sick and I have to say, it really scared the daylights out of me. Needless to say I've decided to hibernate in the comfort of our germ free home until Spring. Ever see Bubble Boy? Doesn't seem so crazy to me.
By far my biggest motherhood challenge. Until 4 months Tom's sleep patterns were not great, but they were manageable. Then the dreaded 4 month sleep regression hit and he went from sleeping 4 hours at a whack to waking every 45 minutes. I tried to persevere thinking it was just a stage, but after 2 months of very broken sleep I began to feel like I was being tortured. Things get weird when you don't sleep so after talking with one of my friends about her sleep training success, Jay and I decided to use the Sleep Sense** method to train Tom to sleep. I'm not going to sugar coat it, it was damn hard. There were a lot of tears the first two nights (not just Tom's). But by the third night he was sleeping through the night! We've since adjusted a little bit - I realized Tom was waking at 5 a.m. voraciously hungry - so I now nurse him around 2 or 3 a.m. which keeps his belly full enough to sleep until 6:30 a.m. We're still fine tuning some things, and there are random bad nights, but most nights he sleeps from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. (nurses 15 mins) back down by 3:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.
We also decided to pull the trigger on sleep training at nap time. This process took much longer to establish, but now Tom is sleeping for about an hour, three times a day.
In summary - yes it was hard but so important. As someone who was anti-sleep training (really out of ignorance) and held out as long as possible, I can tell you sometimes sleep regressions are not a phase - some babies need to be taught how to sleep. Tom was one of them. He was resolute! That boy wanted to be nursed to sleep hourly! No mother can sustain that and he wasn't getting enough sleep at night to boot. We had to break some bad sleep associations and establish a better routine so that Tom was able to sooth himself back to sleep. We are both so much happier and energetic during the day now! I'm so relieved we did it, and even happier it's over!
** I'm thinking of writing a more in depth Sleep Sense post soon, detailing what method worked for us. Spoiler alert we did the "camp out" method - aka - Jay sat next to his crib while he wailed!
Tom is still nursing, which has been going really well despite a bout of mastitis on Christmas Eve that sort of destroyed our holiday. He started to show signs of being interested in food, so we introduced solid foods at 5.5 months. His favorite foods you ask? Avocado-banana mash, sweet potatoes, pears, and squash rank high. He loves food - I can't seem to shovel it in fast enough. Peas seem to be the only food he didn't care to finish.
My friend sold us her Baby Brezza baby food maker which has been fantastic. There's a lot of satisfaction in making Tom's food for me. It's not hard of course - it's merely blending fruits and veggies - but it's a nice break in our routine and gives me a little sense of accomplishment. It's the little things when you stay home with a baby all day...trust me!
Tom eats his solid foods three times a day. Once he's finished, he loves playing in his high chair with plastic spoons, bowls, and measuring cups.
Tommy has mastered sitting up on his own and immediately flips to his belly if put on his back. He laughs A LOT which melts his mother's heart. He's very chatty (especially in the morning) and loves to sing. He has started to move his hand and wrist in a waving fashion, but I'm not so sure that's actually what he's doing. He still has a little bit of stranger danger when entering a new environment, especially if it's noisy. I don't mind though, I love the opportunity for an extra squeeze. He loves any toy that plays music, chews on Sophie constantly, and still loves to jump in his jumperoo. His new favorite thing is to pull hair - mine and Lucy's. Ow.
Tom unfortunately has inherited eczema so we've been trying every single lotion, cream, ointment, emulsion on the market to get him some relief. It doesn't seem to be getting much better. I'd love to hear your tips if you have any.
So that's it! We're looking forward to Spring and to our trip to Florida next month. That should make for a good blog post! Until then - we've been doing a lot of Snap Chatting - feel free to tune in: cemackenzie12