8 months old

I’m continually amazed at how much J looks like a little boy now. He’s grown up so much in the past few months, and every day he seems bigger and more mature. It’s so hard to believe that he used to be this tiny…

8 days:

baby boy, 8 days old8 months:

baby boy, 8 months old

J’s vocalizations continue to change almost week-by-week, but he’s still not “babbling” yet. He’s sticking primarily to vowel sounds, but he manages to “talk” in a way, with different grunts, volumes, tones, etc. I’m a little concerned about the fact that he’s not using consonants. (The way I understand it, babies at his age are typically saying “mamama,” etc. even though the words have no meaning yet.) But I’m confident that he’ll get there eventually. I know his hearing is fine — he responds to his name and kisses and hugs on command (as long as he’s in the mood to do it).

Speaking of kisses, there are times when J just loves giving kisses! He’ll kiss my face over and over (with his wide open mouth) when he’s really happy. It’s super sweet. And when I tell him what a sweet boy he is for kissing his momma, he looks at me and smiles as though he’s happy that I understood what he was doing.

As for movement, J is still immobile. I’m a little concerned about that, too, but he seems to be getting closer. I think he’s got such a laid back personality that he just doesn’t have the motivation yet to figure out how to crawl. If a ball rolls out of his reach, he’ll sit and look at it for a few seconds, as though he’s considering whether it’s worth it for him to try to get it… and then he turns and finds another toy to play with. He loves to be held (always has), and that may have something to do with it, too… He’s just not a super independent little baby, but he’s a big cuddle bug. Still, I’m expecting him to figure out the crawling thing any day now. He’s getting to where he can get his legs and arms up under him at the same time — it’s just that he doesn’t know how to move in that position yet. I suspect we’ll be babyproofing the house very soon…

baby boy, 8 months old

As you can see, everything within his reach goes directly into his mouth — even more than before, which is saying something. I couldn’t get him to sit still for a picture with his blocks without this happening every time I tried to snap a picture.

But at least now there’s a reason for everything going into his mouth — he’s teething! J got his first two teeth over the past week: his left, then right central incisors. I’ve tried to take pictures, but he hates it when we try to open his mouth. This is the only picture we have that shows both his little teeth! It looks way more violent than it actually was…

central incisors baby teeth

With the teething comes a bit of sleep trouble. He’s had a few rough nights (tonight being one of them) where it’s hard to get him to go to sleep (and stay asleep). I resorted to giving him baby Tylenol one night, and it helped tremendously, but I would rather not medicate him unless it’s really necessary.

We’re still working on solid foods, but he’s only eating them once a day. I introduced puffs last week, but he gets bored after a while of trying (unsuccessfully) to get them into his mouth. And when he succeeds, he looks confused by the fact that there’s a solid object in his mouth. He’s still enjoying his purees (usually). He’s even able to feed himself a puree pouch (and he’ll often eat a whole one in one sitting)!

  • Next doctor’s appointment: Next month!
  • Teeth: 2 (lower central incisors)
  • New foods: Sweet potato puffs, veggie/fruit combo pouches (all yummy, apparently)
  • Breastfeeding: 5 times a day
  • Clothing size: 9 to 12 months
  • Sleeping: 12 hours at night; 3 one- to two-hour naps during the day (about 16 hours total)
  • Favorite toy: stuffed Tigger; Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
  • Likes: Having his tummy and toes kissed or “eaten”; being tickled (especially under the arms); being sung to; pattycake (especially when I clap his hands for him since he can’t do it on his own yet); being held (especially by me)
  • Dislikes: Having his mouth forcibly opened; dirty diapers
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7 Months Old

My baby is 7 months old today!

7 weeks:

7 weeks old

7 months:

7 months old

Look at all that hair! And he looks so much more like a little boy now — and less like an alien-esque baby. (But he was a beautiful alien-esque baby!)

No major milestones this month, other than our discovery that he does, in fact, know how to flip over, despite my concerns last month. I think now he’s working on the crawling thing… He’s starting to “swim” — he balances on his tummy (or gets stuck there) and kicks and waves his arms around, trying to move. Obviously, he’s been unsuccessful. But as soon as he figures out how to get his knees and hands under him at the same time, we’re in trouble. Still, there’s no way of knowing how soon that will be.

He’s definitely a great sitter at this point. He can’t pull himself to a sitting position on his own yet, but if you set him up, he’ll stay there indefinitely. So we’ve started using high chairs at restaurants and cart seats at the grocery store. It’s a huge help to not have to lug that heavy car seat around everywhere! And it’s fun having another dinner companion at the table when we eat out.

Sleeping is still going extremely well! I’m getting much better at reading his signals and predicting his sleep patterns. He goes to bed for the night usually around 7 or 8 p.m. and doesn’t wake up until 7 or 8 the next morning. We are so very lucky. (Sometimes he’ll wake up momentarily in the middle of the night, but pop the pacifier back in and he’s contented and falls back to sleep.) During the day, he takes 3 or 4 naps, each between 45 minutes and 2 hours long.

We’ve been working on introducing solid foods this month. So far, he’s a fan of sweet potatoes and squash… And I finally let him taste some fruits, and he likes them, too — though not as much as I feared he would. I’ve been giving him purees — some in the jar, others steamed and pureed by hand — but I’ve also let him try his hand at eating pieces of banana off his high chair. So far, no success — he is able to get the pieces into his fist, but can’t figure out how to get the pieces from inside his fist to inside his mouth. But we’ll keep on practicing! At least he doesn’t get frustrated — just bored after a while.

7 months in the high chair

Verbally, he’s stopped screaming all the time (though he still does from time to time…), and lately he’s been talking a bit like E.T. — it’s a weird, back-of-the-throat grunt that he uses all the time. Just another one of his vocalizations, I suppose.

J is displaying his personality more and more as he gets older. He’s not super smiley like a lot of babies seem to be — he rarely laughs (I mean big belly laughs, which only seem to occur when I kiss his tummy. Weird, huh?) and absolutely refuses (most of the time) to smile for the camera. He does smile, though, especially when he looks up and sees me sitting nearby. He definitely loves his momma, and those sweet, open-mouth, gummy smiles warm my heart every time!

When he plays, he looks like he is in deep thought, really studying his toys and what happens when he touches, grabs, shakes, or bangs them. Earlier today, for instance, I watched him shake a rattle vigorously, then stop and study it, then shake it again — he obviously understood that he was causing the noise. Then he repeated the experiment with another toy that made a different sound. He looked so proud of himself, too.

7 months looking at block

So contemplative.

I have to admit, though, I’m feeling a little worried lately. When I read the books, they say he should be saying “ma-ma-ma” or “ga-ga-ga,” and that he should be crawling and sprouting teeth. He’s not doing any of that. And shouldn’t he be smiling and laughing more often? To make matters worse, according to my mom’s diary, I was pulling up on furniture at 7 months (and walking at 9), and had 3 teeth, with another on the way. I know it’s wrong to compare babies — they are all unique and develop at different rates, even if they’re related. But I can’t help but think that my child is behind and that I’m doing something (or not doing something) that is causing him to develop more slowly than he should. My concerns are totally unfounded, I’m sure… but I think they’re also somewhat natural for a parent.

  • Next doctor visit: 9 months
  • Teeth: none
  • Favorite foods: peaches, sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, applesauce with blueberries. Oh, and his favorite — sucking on lemons at restaurants!
  • Least favorite foods: green beans (but I’m going to try again…), rice cereal, oatmeal cereal
  • Breastfeeds: 5 times a day
  • Sleeping: 16 hours a day
  • Favorite toy: teething ring, rattle
  • Clothing size: 9-12 months (long and lean!)
  • Sounds he makes: raspberries, E.T. grunts, occasional vowel/consonant mixes (it often sounds like he’s replying “Yeah” or “Hello” when we say something to him)
  • Likes: being held, getting kissed on the tummy, funny noises, being sung to (You Are My Sunshine is “our song”), playing pattycake (though he can’t clap yet, even assisted…), playing with toys
  • Dislikes: new foods (always accompanied by a yucky face), having his diaper changed when he’s hungry

Date Night Success!

D’s parents came to visit this weekend. It was a nice visit — always nice to have grandparents in town to love on my little boy! Plus, they graciously volunteered to babysit while D and I went out for a date night on Saturday! (Thank you!)

After our last somewhat failed date night, we decided that this time we would wait until after squirt was in bed before going out. We all went out for Mexican, where we learned that he loves lemon! Crazy, huh? I’d take it away and he would cry until I gave it back to him. I hope lemon is safe for babies to suck on…

After dinner, I put the baby through his bedtime routine — book, breast, bed — before D and I headed out. It helped tremendously to get him settled before leaving — I was much less worried about getting back at a reasonable hour for J’s sake since he was already asleep for the night (at least, as far as I knew).

Since the baby had had his bedtime meal, I knew he wouldn’t be eating again until 7:30 a.m. so I felt comfortable having a drink. D and I went to a nearby pub before heading over to the theatre. We sat out on the porch as the sun began to set and had a nice, relaxing conversation over a delicious cocktail. And we didn’t even talk about the baby very much!

Then we went to see Brave — Pixar’s newest film. It was very cute and the animation gorgeous (as always), though I wouldn’t rate it as highly as many of their other films. Not to go off on too much of a tangent, but I felt like this one was a little less easy to identify with — and it has nothing to do with the lead character being female. I kept thinking throughout the film that “if I were the mother of a teenage girl, this would really resonate” — or even “if I were still a teenage girl, this would resonate” — but why did I feel the need to be in the exact same situation as these characters in order to identify with them, whereas I’ve never had any trouble identifying with Andy in Toy Story, the old man in Up, or even the robot Wall-E, to name a few? Seems like Brave captured fewer universal truths and tapped the heart of human emotion less than Pixar films usually do. At least for me.

Anyway, after the movie, we headed back home and arrived at about 11:45. D’s parents reported that the baby had woken up and they had a lot of trouble getting him back to sleep. I was sorry to hear that — I had really hoped he’d stay down for the night. But I appreciate that they allowed us an undisturbed night out as a couple. Besides, they were able to get him back down eventually, so I wasn’t worried about the fact that I wasn’t here to comfort him. J and I are very attached to each other, but I think it’s good to have some time away as well.

All that to say, I feel like last night was a major success (at least for me and D — sorry, grandparents!). I hope that we’re able to have a post-bedtime date night again in the near future. We’re definitely planning to go see The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX if we can find a sitter (any takers?), and I think it might be fun to go see an improv show in town some time. Any other date night ideas we might consider?

6 Months Old

Sunday was J’s six month birthday! It’s amazing how much he has changed in so little time.

5 days old:

Photo Credit: Photos by Brooke

3 months:

6 months:

Look at that precious smile! It’s becoming easier and easier to capture it in pictures… it used to be such a challenge.

(My photography skills have also greatly improved! I now know what the ISO wheel does. Kind of.)

J’s six-month check-up was yesterday, and the pediatrician helped ease my worries over his lack of interest in solid food. She suggested that I just keep trying… And last night we had some success with sweet potatoes — he swallowed almost all of it and even smiled a bit!

He also got his six-month vaccinations — but we’re done with those until 12 months. So glad! It’s no fun to watch him scream when they stick him in his legs, and he tends to be fussy for the next couple of days. It makes me feel so bad — but I know it’s what’s best for him, and I’d rather deal with some temporary fussiness than a terrible illness!

He’s in great shape developmentally, it seems. Still long and lean! No sign of teeth yet, but the doctor said not to worry.

  • Length: 27 inches (75%)
  • Weight: 16 pounds, 4 ounces (25-50%)
  • Head circumference: 42.5 cm (25-50%)
  • Teeth: none
  • Breastfeeds: 5 times a day
  • Solid foods we’ve tried: rice cereal, avocado, sweet potatoes
  • Rolling over: one way (front to back)
  • Sounds he makes: mostly vowels, with a few consonants thrown in; musical raspberries; loud, high-pitched squeals of joy
  • Favorite toy: plush cube by Lamaze
  • Sleeping: 8-11 hours a night (usually); three 1 to 2-hour naps during the day
  • Likes: having his fingers and toes eaten; having mom’s hair on his face; pulling mom’s hair
  • Dislikes: loud noises; being hungry or tired

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?