Sunday, November 5, 2017

baby update: 6 months

I keep coming back to this one thought: how on earth can she possibly be six months old already? In the beginning, I just wanted her to grow up so she would grow out of her infant reflux. Well, she has, and now all I want is for time to slow down so this wonderful chapter of our lives in which I am home with her doesn't come to a close. 

I think that is probably just motherhood, though. 

Let's start with some great news: Ruby is off all three of the medications she was taking to manage her reflux, and she has been for 1.5 months now. I had noticed she spit up less and was much less irritable, so I weaned her, and she didn't show any of the terrible symptoms she had prior to medicating her. We have put that tough chapter behind us-- bye bye colic and bye bye reflux. 

These days, she is a lovely, sweet, beautiful, funny, determined, hungry, social, and mostly easy to care for little girl. Everywhere we go, people stop to talk to her and tell her how wonderful she is (and I think she knows it too). 

We had so much fun this past month casually introducing some solid foods. I know most American pediatricians recommend waiting until at least the six month mark before introducing solids, but ours said that solids could help reduce her reflux, and after doing copious amounts of research, we decided to try it. Our pediatrician was right on all counts! Ruby has been eating a very small amount of solid food once or twice a day just for the sake of fun and experimentation. She loves fresh bananas, carrots, avocados, sweet potatoes, and apples. So far, I have just been boiling and mashing the foods that require it, but I am going to start looking for a convenient baby food processor now that she is six months old and can begin eating in earnest. 

Ruby is still growing like a weed -- she is wearing 9 to 18 month clothing-- and has met quite a few new milestones! She can laugh, sit up by herself, and move around a lot more. While she still is not crawling, she can maneuver herself all over the floor, crib, and bed, so we have to watch her like a hawk because she pulls and drags and twists her body until she gets where she wants to go. We have so much fun talking with her too, and she started to make a few consonant sounds: the good old m and b. She has also discovered a new hobby: swimming Our nanny brought over a baby flotation device, and Ruby has so much fun splashing around the bathtub under our watchful eye. 
Ruby is really becoming quite a social butterfly, and she had her first official play date this weekend with a friend/colleague's baby girl who was born just two weeks before her. The girls were so curious about each other and loved to touch and babble. The play date did end with both girls in tears, but only because it was nap time for both of them. Next weekend, we are going to get the girls together with our other friend/colleague's baby who was born two weeks after Ruby at our school's field day. It should be interesting to say the least! 
In my last post at four months, I mentioned that we had just started sleep training. While we started it a little earlier than most, we had good reason: she was impossible to soothe to sleep and we were both completely exhausted. Ever since the first night of sleep training, she has been sleeping through the night -- a solid 11-12 hours (hallelujah). She also takes three naps every day, but she often either fight one or cuts one short, so I am starting to wonder if we need to adjust her schedule, which looks like this:

6:30 -- wake up & breastfeed
7:00 -- walk around the neighborhood & park with Bubu 
8:00 -- nap
9:30 -- wake up & breastfeed
10:00 -- eat solid
10:15 -- play time & stories
11:30 -- nap
1:00 -- wake up & breatfeed
1:30 -- walk around the lake with Bubu
2:30 -- play time & stories 
3:30 -- nap
4:30 -- wake up & breastfeed
5:00 -- daddy time!
6:00 -- bath time with dad
6:30 -- bedtime routine & sleep
10:30 -- dream feed 

I am really loving this schedule! It leaves a lot of time for fun & play, but it also ensures she doesn't become overtired and gives me baby free time each day to shower, prepare dinner, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee. And yes, I have given myself permission to drink caffeinated coffee for the first time in more than a year (can I get another hallelujah). 
I am kinda devastated that the next time I check in Ruby will be eight months old. We had such a rough start, which lasted for months and months, that I just want to freeze time now because she is so precious and being her mother is so immensely enjoyable, but I think that too is just motherhood.


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