Toothless No More!

I have been planning all day to write a new blog post about how J seems to be in a sleep regression. He’s always been a great sleeper, but for the past few nights, he’s had a lot of trouble falling and staying asleep… and last night, it really came to a head. I spent hours rocking and bouncing him to sleep. He was being so stubborn and simply would not close his eyes, and as soon as I put him down in the crib and left the room, he would cry. Eventually, at 5:30 a.m. (after 2 hours), he finally fell asleep — but only while I was still in the room, lying on the bed. I originally chalked it up to separation anxiety — but it’d be strange for him to have such separation anxiety when he’s in his own bed.

Well, I now know the answer.

First tooth - left incisor - at 7.5 months

After picking him up from daycare and getting home this afternoon, I fed him, and then while we sat and played, he stuck my finger in his mouth… and what’s that? A very sharp, pointy, hard object was sticking out of his gum!

His first tooth had come in — his bottom left central incisor.

I suspect the right is not far behind. We actually noticed the little white dots of the ridges of both teeth about two weeks ago.

Side note: Today also happens to be my sister’s birthday! Happy birthday, Aunt S! 🙂

Ya know, I don’t blame him for being unable to sleep last night. I’m sure it hurts to have a tooth breaking through your gums! And I’m happy to report that he went to sleep with no trouble tonight.

I’m sure going to miss that toothless grin of his, but also excited to see what his new smile will look like!

How I Learned to Stop Partying and Love the Bedtime

It’s been an eventful week! Glad I’m finally able to post.

I worked Monday and half of Tuesday, then I was off for the Fourth of July!

We started the celebration off with a baseball game on July 3. I was very excited about it — it would be my baby boy’s first game! Plus, after the game there would be a fireworks show — something I haven’t seen in quite some time! (Maybe not since my last trip to Disney World…?) We got J dressed up in his Braves outfit and all packed in the carseat… when it started pouring down rain. We postponed our trip to Turner Field and put J back to bed. He was exhausted — and that should have been our cue to stay in.

But we didn’t.

The rain finally let up, and on the ride to the stadium, I talked to D about how we shouldn’t use the baby as an excuse not to do things that we want to do. In this case, we already had tickets and plans to meet up with friends — and the baby will be fine. Right?

Baby’s first baseball game! (I accidentally wore Cubs blue…)

We finally got to the stadium (ugh — Atlanta traffic!), and I promptly strapped J into the Ergo. He was snuggled up and content, at least for the time being. We walked around for a long time with friends, everyone ooh-ing and ahh-ing over how adorable and well-behaved he was. He really is a pretty laid back kid for the most part. But he definitely was least happy when I took him out of the Ergo and passed him around. When he’s sleepy, he just wants his momma.

We finally made our way to our seats during the sixth inning. J continued to be well-behaved for a really long time, but he started to get fussier and fussier as the game got more heated (literally and figuratively…). And then Chipper hit his first five-hit game in a decade. The crowd went wild! And so did J. But not in a good way. (Note: I know nothing about baseball — but apparently this was a big deal.)

That was the end. Hysterical crying ensued (a rarity for this child, reserved only for his most over-tired states). We left the stadium as the game ended.

I was pretty bummed to be missing the fireworks, but I also knew that I had kept J out way past his bedtime. (And fireworks probably wouldn’t have been good for him, anyway.) At least the Braves won — 10-3! And we were able to see Chipper’s big moment.

We finally got home and put the baby to bed. He quickly fell fast asleep. He was all tuckered out. We had woken him up from his nap to leave, then he missed his 7:30 p.m. bedtime. He had been awake since about 6:30, and it was almost midnight. Quite a stretch for so little a baby!

Despite my spiel about not using the baby as an excuse, I’ve learned that we need to start considering his needs along with our own. When J was just a tiny little baby, we could take him anywhere and he would simply fall asleep. Not anymore. Now, he’s easily stimulated and distracted, and the loud noises and bright lights at the game did nothing to help him nap.

The next day was the Fourth of July, and at the last minute, my parents decided to make the trip to visit for the day. We had a great time — the girls (me, my sister, and my mom) went shopping, and then we joined the boys (my dad, husband, and son) and my sister’s roommate at their house for dinner. Homemade barbecue sauce with a slow-cooked pork shoulder, macaroni salad, baked beans, and Alton Brown’s guacamole (my favorite recipe!) with tortilla chips. And for dessert, S’s roommate made a delicious (what I like to call) Pina Colada pie (similar to this recipe). All delicious!

Playing with Aunt S

J was clearly getting tired, and despite my best efforts to get him to sleep on a blanket, he refused. Eventually, I gave up, and we all played a game. We had opted not to make the trek to see fireworks — definitely a good move considering the night before. But we were still out way past his bedtime. When I finally got J in bed, he crashed. It’s nice to have him go down so easily — but I also don’t like feeling like I’ve been depriving him of sleep.

Again, I probably should have read his signs a little better and insisted that we leave earlier. It’s just so hard to give up the chance to spend time with family and friends. I admit that I haven’t yet learned to “love” the bedtime exactly, but I’m definitely learning that it’s becoming more and more important for J’s sake that we honor it (to the best of our ability). Some day, he’ll be more flexible, but for now, we need to keep with his schedule, at least to some extent, and do what we can to make sure he’s in bed at a reasonable hour.

A rare treat — a bedtime meal from Daddy! (expressed breastmilk – still no formula!)

Tomorrow, D’s parents are coming — both sets of grandparents in one week! This is one very loved little boy.

Testing Out the Pitch and Volume Levels

J has discovered that his voice can do a lot more than coo. He’s starting to sound like he’s warming up for a theatre performance. (His parents were both theatre majors in college, so maybe it runs in the family.)

A few of the sounds he is likely to make these days:

  • Aaaah, Ooooh (and other vowel sounds, with some consonants thrown in occasionally)
  • Guh, Goo (and a few other accidental consonants)
  • Blowing raspberries while humming in a high-to-low pitch curve (loudly)
  • Screaming.

The screams are pretty new. A few days ago, he discovered that not only can he squeal — he can also scream. Bloody murder. Except — they’re happy screams! Despite the way they sound, he’s always (well, usually) smiling when he does it.

His favorite places to scream are restaurants (the quieter the better) and at the dinner table. What is it about food that makes my baby scream? I hope this doesn’t mean teaching table manners will be difficult…

Today when I picked him up from school, his teachers told me he “was very loud today.” I said, “You mean, he was screaming?” “Yes, screaming! Lots of screaming! But he was not upset. Just screaming and laughing.”

Typical. Should I be comforted that it’s not just around us…?

I think he’s pretty fascinated by his newfound voice. And really, who can blame him (other than the people sitting in the next booth)? It is pretty incredible what we can do with our voices. It’s so fun to watch him discover the little things about life that we take for granted.

Secretly Rolling Over

J rolled over, front to back, for the first time in February, at just 2 months old. I didn’t see him do it again for a few weeks, but pretty soon he was rolling onto his back very easily.

And we think he first rolled over, back to tummy, on May 12 at his great grandmother’s house, at 3.5 months. But we’re not sure… I had laid him on his tummy for a nap (it’s bad, I know), and when I returned, he was still on his tummy but about a foot away from where I had originally placed him. It looked as though he had rolled onto his back, and then onto his tummy again. But there was really no way to know for sure. Especially since he never did it again, at least not in front of anyone.

We knew he could do it if he wanted to. He could get his whole body turned onto the side — he would just let his arm get in the way. No matter how much we would try to coax him to roll all the way onto his tummy, he simply wouldn’t. I’ve been a bit concerned lately that he wasn’t rolling both ways yet. It wasn’t even listed in What to Expect the First Year at six months, meaning the milestone was way past due, right?

And for the past few weeks, his inability to flip over on his own has become a problem. J is a great sleeper, as long as he’s on his tummy. But recently, he’s been waking up once or twice in the middle of the night, whimpering. Not exactly crying — but definitely fussing, in a half-asleep state. To calm him down, all I have to do is go into his room and roll him onto his tummy, and he goes immediately back to sleep. (No feeding, rocking, shushing, holding, or singing necessary.)

But then! This morning, I had put the baby back down for his morning nap, when I started to hear him cooing. I looked at the video monitor and watched for a minute, as he flipped from front to back, and then… back to front!

Confirmed: He can do it after all.

Maybe he has figured out that if he flips over onto his back and cries for a bit, then I’ll come to his rescue and he’ll get to see his momma in the middle of the night.

Smart kid.

First Attempt at Solid Food

We celebrated J’s six-month birthday today by introducing solid foods!

This morning when he woke up, I nursed him. Then about an hour or so later, he was still awake and alert, so we decided to try cereal. I warmed up some expressed breastmilk and mixed it into some Gerber rice cereal — 1 Tbsp cereal to 5 Tbsp milk, per the instructions on the box. J sat in the high chair and Daddy filmed while I fed him the concoction… And it did not go over quite as I had planned. J made lots of “yucky” faces — it looked to me like he did not enjoy the taste. He kept turning away from the spoon and letting every bit of the cereal run back out of his mouth and down his chin.

So cereal was a no-go… Maybe he would like something with a different taste. Some of my facebook friends recommended avocado, which made total sense to me. It’s very nutritious, has lots of good fats, requires no cooking, and is mushy by nature… not to mention I’m a fan of it myself! D bought a few very ripe avocados (perfectly soft and tasty!), and I mashed one up for J while we were cooking our own dinner. Guess what… same reaction. Yucky faces, pushing away the spoon, spitting it all out…

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised — eating solids is a totally new experience for him, since he’s done nothing but drink from a breast or bottle all his six-month life. But I thought maybe since I was waiting until six months, he would be a little more… ready and willing.

I’ve done a little reading on baby led weaning, and I think it’s a very cool concept — but I’m honestly a bit nervous to try this method since I have such a strong gag reflex (my parents had many a choking scare when I was a kid), and I’m fairly certain that I’ve passed that on to J…

Luckily, tomorrow is J’s six-month appointment with the pediatrician, so I’m going to ask for her guidance. I’m thinking we’ll wait a few days before we try anything again. I feel certain that he’ll love the sweet fruit purees (who wouldn’t?!), but I want to make sure he’s eating his vegetables first.

Any advice on starting solids?