Wednesday, July 30, 2014

six months old!

Happy 6 months, Charlotte! Mom and Dad love you so much!

Charlotte weighs about 16.5 pounds. We don't have an official height measurement but according to my measuring tape she is 28 inches long (!!!). She wears mostly cloth diapers, but in disposables she wears size three. Her six month onesies are stretched down at the neck so she mostly wears nine month clothing, like last month. Her hair is starting to grow (finally!) and she's getting some serious rolls on her legs.

Charlotte has been rolling up a storm this month! She is a total pro at going from back to tummy, to both sides (for a while it was just to the left). Going from tummy to back is rare, which means she still sometimes sqwaks for help, but most of the time she just plays happily on her belly.
She can also sit up on her own for short periods of time. It's very sweet to watch her start to tip over, but then self-correct and get back upright. Once she falls, though, she's stuck :) We are regularly impressed with her strength and coordination. Maybe every baby does this, but lately she has started leaning forward while sitting up and she puts her weight on one or both hands and tries to play. She eventually gets tired and makes noises to show she is annoyed. Ha! 

Charlotte typically wakes up between 6 and 7am. She takes her first nap about 1.25 hours later (often around 8 am). Her second nap is at roughly 11 or 11:30am and her last nap starts somewhere between 2 and 3pm. She's still eating 5 times a day, usually, and goes to bed around 6:30pm. Since I'm nursing most of the time, it's hard to measure how much she eats, but I think the first and last meals of the day are about 7 ounces while the others in between are 4 or 5 ounces. She is growing SO well-- getting some chub on her little cheeks, arms and legs :)

Like last month, Charlotte still sleeps between 11 and 12 hours straight at night, which is awesome. There have been a couple nights where she wakes up, probably in between sleep cycles, and cries because she is on her tummy. We try to flip her back over quickly and sometimes she just falls back to sleep. Sometimes, though, she's awake enough to think she's hungry and has a 2am (or 4am) snack.

For about three weeks this past month, nap time was HORRIBLE. Lots of screaming and crying and me being stressed. Then Charlotte would only sleep for 20-45 minutes. Finally, though, I decided to put her to bed sooner (usually about 1.5 hours after she last woke up- longer in the afternoon, slightly shorter in the morning) and to be consistent with my response to the crying. We have had a lot of successful naps lately (like, 1-2 hour naps!!). I can't believe how much it helps to be consistent!

Here's the routine: Change her diaper, put on her sleep sack, give her the owl, sit quietly in the rocking chair to read a book (if she's still really hyped up, I read two books), sing a quiet song, hug her, put her in the crib, say goodnight, and leave. Many times she screams or cries when I walk away, but I usually wait 5-10 minutes before going back in. When I do go back in, I don't pick her up. I smile and whisper, "I love you, Charlotte," and hold her hand or give her a couple kisses. Then I leave again. It breaks my heart if she is really crying hard, but I rarely have to go in again. She's usually asleep within 15 minutes after I go in to check the first time.

While it feels really bad to not pick up my sad baby, I really believe it works. We found that picking her up often woke her up (when she was already starting to put herself to sleep) AND made her super mad when we put her back in the crib. Every once in a while this doesn't work and she ends up taking a nap while we wear her in the Ergo, but most days she falls asleep happily on her own. I feel really proud of our sweet girl. She is getting good sleep and waking up happy and content.

Awesome stuff!
Over the last month Charlotte has ventured into solid food. She began by chewing on a watermelon rind and licking a few of the foods we eat for dinner (dill pickle, watermelon, pasta). One night a couple weeks ago she "ate" her first food- sweet red pepper! She has also eaten egg, banana, red onion (!!), strawberry, and corn on the cob! Everything (except the corn, of course!) has been sliced into long strips and she can hold them in both hands and gnaw with her little gums. She even swallowed a couple bits-- what a big girl!

She also got a taste of lime juice (hilarious!!) and some sips of water. She has two tiny shot glasses that we put on the table for her to sip water from. She often drops the glass or spills the water, but the look of pride on her face when she actually gets a little drink is PRICELESS!

Also awesome- the smiles, the giggles, the sitting up, the squeals of delight, the playing with toys, the eye contact, the way she looks around, how her beautiful eyes light up when she sees her Daddy, the grabbing, the reaching, the way she taps on books when we read and accidentally turns the pages, how wonderfully she did in the car on our big road trip(s) this month.

Not so awesome- baby's first shiner! We can't figure out how she got this black eye, but it lasted for about 2.5 days! Poor thing didn't seem a bit phased by it, but we felt so sad!

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