I continue to be surprised by how much joy such a tiny little person brings into my life and how much joy I derive from being his mom. I tell Ryan all the time I totally underestimated how much I would love our baby and genuinely enjoy being with him.
A few months ago, I asked my mom if, whenever she looks at me, she still sees me as a baby. She said no, she sees me for who I am now but has wonderful memories of me as a baby. This is to be expected but also makes me a little sad since the baby I know Chase to be right now will not be my little baby boy for long.
Without a doubt, the advice Ryan and I have received the most from fellow parents is to cherish every moment with your child because the time goes by so fast. I have almost made this my new mama mantra and am truly taking it to heart. I have never in my life felt more present than I do now that I have a baby to care for and I’ve also never seen time fly as quickly! Every day I try to notice moments and focus on Chase and the way he is in the present because I’ve already seen him change so much. He’s so different today than he was when he was a newborn and that was only eight short months ago!
Now Chase is full of excited energy. He chats up a storm full of baby babble every day, wiggles around like crazy, yells out to Sadie and has started to demand attention if we start to walk away from him when he wants a playmate. He’s also incredibly strong with one heck of a grip and some serious little pincher fingers that often find their way to my face when he’s nursing.
Chase flashes smiles our way liberally and his giggle is, without a doubt, my favorite sound in the entire world. I’ll do anything over and over (and over!) again just to keep that boy laughing!
A BIG thing happened on the sleep front for us a week ago. We finally transitioned Chase out of the Magic Sleepsuit. You guys probably know by now that the Magic Sleepsuit absolutely saved us when our pediatrician told us it was time to drop the swaddle. Chase simply could not settle himself when we tried to have him sleep unswaddled but the moment we slipped him into the Magic Sleepsuit, all was right again in Chase’s world.
I dreaded transitioning Chase out of the sleepsuit but knew it was something we were going to have to do sooner rather than later. Though Chase has been rolling from his belly to his back for ages, he did not roll from his back onto his belly until this month, so keeping him in the sleepsuit was a no-brainer for us for quite a a while. Once babies can roll from their back to their front, the sleepsuit should no longer be used and Chase achieved that particular milestone this month, so the sleepsuit had to go.
After one horrible sleepsuit-free attempt that involved hysterical crying, I rushed off to Target and picked up a Halo Sleepsack. We used them for Chase when he was a newborn and I thought that we could use a bigger one to help ease him into sleepsuit-free sleep by very lightly wrapping his chest and leaving his hands free. This worked like a charm and my plan is now to wrap his chest lighter and lighter until he no longer needs it and can simply sleep in a sleepsack without the chest-swaddle component. I just wanted to share a little bit about our transition out of the Magic Sleepsuit on the blog because I’ve received a lot of questions about it!
As for other aspects of baby sleep, we’re still doing well during the night, with the exception of our travels to Florida. During our travels, I kept up with Chase’s nightly dream feed between 10 and 11 p.m. but he woke up around 3:30 a.m. crying and since we were staying with others, I didn’t feel comfortable letting him fuss for long, so I fed him at 3:30 a.m. for four days in a row. That was enough for my breasts to get used to producing more milk at that time, so when we made it home, I experienced slight engorgement as we worked back to no feedings from 11 p.m. through 6 a.m. (It truly amazes me how my body responds to even the slightest change in Chase’s feedings. The boobs know!)
Naps are also continuing to improve. Chase’s morning nap is still his absolute best one of the day and I can almost always count on two hours of solid work time every morning from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. His afternoon nap isn’t nearly as predictable, but he will usually sleep for at least and hour (two hours if we’re lucky) every afternoon, but the timing of his afternoon nap is something I’m still trying to figure out.
Bedtime happens between 6 and 7 p.m. and his nightly bathtime ritual with Ryan is something I think he really enjoys!
Oh feeding! I don’t know why, but I tend to let feeding Chase solids stress me out a bit. Whenever I feel myself stressing over Chase not eating enough or anything else related to new food experimentation, I try to remind myself of the saying, “Under one, just for fun.” I know he’s getting his real nourishment from nursing right now, but it’s also hard not to want your baby to be a good eater and immediately love and enjoy all the healthy foods you put in front of him. It’s challenging sometimes when I feel like Chase has zero interest in eating real food at all. This is when it’s super tempting to feed him food I know he’ll eat and enjoy (like pureed butternut squash or sweet potatoes – and even those won’t appeal to him on certain days) but I am trying to incorporate a variety of food and bites of soft real food as well.
As I’ve said before, we’re doing a mix of purees and bites of real food and the real food (baby led weaning – BLW) approach is definitely my favorite. (Though I prefer BLW, I will say that Chase absolutely eats more when we go the puree route.) Chase seems to think picking up food on his own and putting it in his mouth (or all over his face/on the ground/in his hair) is a lot more fun than me spoon-feeding him. Feeding time is always a very, very messy time in our house!
One thing that totally surprised us related to feeding this past month was Chase’s love for meat and fish! I placed some soft baked strips of salmon in front of him and was shocked when he seemed to love it!
So he likes things like salmon but scoffs at green beans and many of the combined food purees. It’s all a learning experience for both of us and it is fun to see him discover new foods, though his face always wrinkles up whenever he takes his first bite of anything. He’s a skeptical eater, that’s for sure!
As far as nursing is concerned, we’ve definitely hit our stride and things continue to go well. We’ve come a long way with breastfeeding and it feels so much easier than it did in the beginning. Though I still do my best to feed Chase in very low-stimulation environments (he is still extremely easily distracted), nursing him now is much less stressful than it was at four months when it often felt like a battle.
The only new thing that has started happening this month related to nursing is that Chase has started to pinch me, grab at my face and even scratch me if his nails aren’t trimmed. He’ll be peacefully eating away but his little hand is always on the move and if I don’t keep my face away, he’ll find my nose, eyes and mouth and pull, pinch and prod like a champ. Let’s just say breastfeeding is nothing like the calming experience I predicted but it has provided me with constant giggles. It’s an adventure!
How Am I Doing?
A couple of months into Chase’s life, something switched within me and I began centering a lot of my thoughts in gratitude which has truly made the BIGGEST difference for me when dealing with the challenges of motherhood. I feel like I could do an entire blog post on gratitude but the short of it is anytime I find myself feeling frustrated or challenged by something, I remind myself of the bigger picture. For example, when Chase was still waking three times a night at six months old, I reminded myself how incredibly fortunate I was that Chase’s sleep was our biggest issue. I can handle a billion sleepless nights and when I’d be up for the third time at night, nursing Chase at 3 a.m., I’d focus on how grateful I was to have a healthy, happy baby to feed. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but it has absolutely helped me keep my mind focused on what really matters.
Without family in the area or any childcare right now, there’s a big balancing act I’m working on perfecting when it comes to mothering Chase and getting anything work-related done every day, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
On days when I feel stressed and overwhelmed, I remind myself how incredibly fortunate I am to have a blog that allows me to work from home and a healthy baby who needs me and soaks up all the love I have to give him. From the beginning, my goal as a self-employed work-from-home mom (with a very non-traditional and flexible job) was to always keep Chase my top priority. Keeping Chase first seems natural and when blocking off time to work in the evenings or on the weekend is necessary, it’s something I have no problem doing if it means more quality time with my boy during the daytime. I love our play dates with friends, Gymboree time and outdoor adventures. Watching Chase discover something new or master a new skill is always a highlight for me!
- When we move our finger up and down on his lips when he’s “talking” to make silly noises
- Standing (assisted)
- Watching (and grabbing!) Sadie
- His activity jumper
- LaCroix cans (We obviously only let him touch and mouth these when we’re holding them)
- Water bottles
- Butternut squash
- Sweet potatoes
- New experiences
- High voices
- Being outside
- Getting dressed
- Green beans (They make him cry!)
- When we wipe his nose or clean his ears
- Being in one place for too long
- Low voices
- The wind
Eight Month Baby Favorites
We’ve had some new discoveries this month that Chase seems to love and I’ve added them to this list that also includes some of our tried and true favorites that continue to be our go-to items for Chase at eight months old.
- Baby Einstein Activity Jumper
- Sophie the Giraffe Teether Toy
- Jelly Strands Baby Teething
- Tagies Monkey
- Sesame Street Silly Sounds Remote
- Skip Hop Activity Mat
- Baby Einstein Take Along Musical Toy
ON THE GO
- Ju-Ju-Be Diaper Bag Backpack
- SkipHop Portable Changing Station
- Chicco TRE Stroller
- Chicco Bravo Stroller
- Pottery Barn Stroller Blanket
Past Baby Updates