Can you believe Ryder is (almost) SEVEN months old? Insanity, I’m tellin’ ya. I figured it was time for a little check-in around here since it’s been a hot second and I want to make sure I document some of these baby days with my sweet boy so I don’t forget them. I can barely remember what happened two days ago right now so I hope you don’t mind me writing way too many words about our little guy so my mom brain doesn’t forget just how much I love squeezing and kissing Ryder’s chunky little thighs or how much I can’t get enough of the way he smiles with his whole face and body when I coo his name or kiss his belly.
Since the day we brought Ryder home from the hospital, I’ve said he somehow has a peaceful presence in our house which I know – I know – is a really strange thing to say about a baby, but this little guy is just a roly poly ball of joy and contentment. I’ve repeatedly said how much I hope and pray Ryder’s demeanor sticks with him his whole life because right now he’s just so darn happy and excited about everything. If only we all bobbed through life with a smile on our face and a peaceful air of joy around us! Ryder is laid back in the best way and his go-with-the-flow personality feels like a blessing to our family.
We joke that Ryder is a baby with a serious case of “FOMO” (fear of missing out) because he is a big-time observer and wants to watch and be involved in everything. He never seemed to take to baby wearing when I wore him facing in, but the moment we switched to facing out, he was all about it! Ryder wants to see the world and be a part of it all!
As far as physical changes, Ryder’s baby mohawk has morphed into some kind of a crazy baby combover. His dark brown hair fell out and was replaced by fuzzy light brown/dark blonde hair with the exception of his mohawk which simply grew out into a wavy, flowing combover that cracks us up. He has one tooth (bottom middle left) and loves to put anything and everything in his mouth. By growth chart standards, he’s a small little guy but seems to carry all of his weight in his chunky thighs and little baby bubble butt which I think is just the cutest thing in the world. (I told Ryan that Ryder has my body type. He’s a total “pear.” Ha!)
Ryder’s eye color still perplexes us and we’re not sure what color his eyes are to be totally honest! He has dark eyes that we’re currently deeming “hazel” because they’re mostly brown but they do have flecks of green and even some deep blue. I’m curious to see if they change at all because right now we’re not sure where his dark eyes came from since almost everyone on both my side of the family and Ryan’s side of the family has light eyes.
A quick note: In today’s post I’m mainly focusing on Ryder but if you guys are interested in a postpartum update from my side of things let me know. I initially started to include that in this post but it got incredibly lengthy and kind of overtook this post so I cut it out. I’m happy to dive into all that good stuff (navigating life with two kids, post baby body stuff, etc.) in a separate blog post if you are interested!
Nighttime sleep took a dramatic turn for the better when two things happened last month: We transitioned Ryder into the crib in his nursery and began sleep training after the four-month sleep regression hit us hard. Ever since then, nighttime sleep has been a billion times better and Ryder seems happier and is eating better during the day, too. Clearly we all needed some decent sleep around here!
I kind of feel bad that I didn’t share a baby update when we were in the middle of horrible sleep and wake ups every 2 to 3 hours for two months but it pretty much would’ve read like this: “We’re up a million times a night and if you’re wondering how things are going, I’ve caught myself putting dirty diapers in the laundry machine. The end.”
Now that we’re on the other side of the four-month sleep regression, Ryder will generally go to bed between 6 and 7:30 p.m. and sleep until anywhere between 6 and 7 a.m. Of course there exceptions to this — like when his first tooth came in and I wasn’t sure what was up — but we can usually get back on track with sleep within two days after a rough night. I said this in my post about sleep training last week and I’ll say it again — I know baby sleep ebbs and flows so I’m not expecting sleep to be this great around here forever but right now I am soaking it up and hoping it lasts!
When it comes to nap time, we’re just now beginning to see longer and more predictable naps emerge. I remember this happening around six months with Chase as well and I’m both excited for more of a schedule and kind of scared of one at the same time since we have two kids to cater to this time around. To those with kids napping at different times: Are you just home a lot more? Does one child nap on the go a lot? How do you navigate nap time with more than one child? I’m still definitely learning over here!
Ryder is still a pretty great on-the-go napper and will fall asleep easily in his car seat or stroller which has been a big-time blessing these past few months. However, now that longer naps are kicking in, as of last week I’ve been trying to be home more often for his naps — at least for his morning nap since that’s his best one — so he can sleep in his crib. This can be tricky with Chase and preschool drop-off in the mix since Ryder seems to naturally want to sleep when we need to leave the house for preschool. One thing that helps: A morning cat nap! Lately he started naturally slipping into a morning cat nap routine where he’ll fall asleep for a 30-45 minute nap within an hour of waking and that seems to carry him through to his longer morning nap which is working well so far.
Ryder’s morning nap is usually between one and two hours but more often than not, it’s much, much closer to an hour. He’ll then be up in the middle of the day for preschool pickup and playtime at home with Chase and then I try my hardest to get him to nap at the same time as Chase in the afternoons. The trickiest time of day for Ryder is anytime after 4 p.m. This is when I feel like it’s “all hands on deck” to keep him entertained and happy and he’s much less likely to be his content little self in the early evening. The witching hour still seems to happen over here and it’s definitely the most draining time of day for me as a mom, too, since Chase seems to be his neediest then as well.
I waited until Ryder was around 6 months old to begin introducing solids to him because I was waiting for him to achieve certain developmental milestones. (See this post for more detail on this!)
Ryder has a serious interest in food and wants to grab basically anything I’m eating if I’m holding him in my arms as I’m snacking away. Gone are the days when I could sip a smoothie or eat a sandwich with him on my hip because he’ll grab and grab at my food and immediately start whining if I don’t share the goods. This is such a stark contrast to our experience feeding solids to Chase and I’m double crossing my fingers that maybe — just maybe — Ryder will be a naturally good eater. Who knows!?
So far we’re feeding Ryder a mix of real food and purees and he definitely prefers purees. (Carrots, sweet potatoes and apples are his current favorites.) When it comes to putting food in front of Ryder, he loves to smack it around on his high chair tray and smear it all over the place. Sometimes a little bit will actually make it into his mouth!
At Ryder’s 6-month appointment, we had our pediatrician’s blessing to let him try peanut butter and I think we discovered his new favorite food. At first Ryder looked confused by the thick, sticky texture and then it was almost like we could see the moment he realized the glorious flavor of peanut butter because his eyes lit up and he was all about it! He smiled and got all grabby when the spoon would come near his mouth so we just let him gnaw on his lightly coated peanut butter spoon and he was in baby heaven.
When it comes to nursing, we’ve definitely hit our stride. I’ve basically been feeding on demand since Ryder was born and this continues to work well for us. During the day, I’m nursing every two to three hours which may seem like a lot but Ryder is an incredibly efficient eater so I’m not nursing for hours on end. (A nursing session rarely lasts longer than 7 minutes over here.) Chase was the same way so I am kind of used to a lot of relatively fast nursing sessions during the day and it seems to work well for us.
One obstacle related to nursing has been Ryder’s need for a distraction-free environment during nursing sessions. To get Ryder to nurse for an extended period of time, I try my best to nurse him away from people and excessive noise. (Yes, this can be complicated with Chase in the mix, but Chase now knows that when Mom is feeding Ryder, he needs to play quietly by himself for a bit. Does this work like a charm every time? Nope. But he mostly listens and gives us a little space.) I’ve also found that I can NOT talk when I’m nursing. The minute I say anything, Ryder will pop off my breast and stare at me with his big gummy smiles and getting him to latch again can be a bit of a process because he now just wants to be involved in conversation and play.
Oh and we’ve officially entered the phase of breastfeeding where Ryder’s hands like to explore and grab at my face, hair, neck and nose as he nurses. It’s adorable and so sweet to watch his little hands move about but if I’m not paying attention, his little grip will hurt when he finds my cheek or nose and grabs on tight! Seven-month-old baby strength is legit!
And now let’s move on into some of Ryder’s current baby favs…
Seven Month Baby Favorites
- Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit (My go-to for dropping the swaddle)
- Chicco 360 Hook On High Chair (The best for feeding Ryder at our kitchen counter top. I also have him sit in this and play with a toy or two when I’m prepping dinner because he likes to be in the action.)
- Rock ‘n’ Play (Ryder still takes his morning “cat nap” in this)
- White Noise Machine
- Wubbanub Pacifiers (Bless these things! The little animals attached to the pacifiers are especially great for helping Ryder find his pacifiers in his crib during nighttime sleep.)
- OXO Perfect Pull Wipe Dispenser (Hands down the best wipe dispenser out there. Makes it easy to get wipes out with one hand which is especially handy when babies get extra wiggly!)
ON THE GO
- BOB Duallie Stroller (Our absolute favorite for long walks around the neighborhood and walks without perfectly paved sidewalks. This stroller glides like a DREAM for its large size and is incredibly easy to steer.)
- BOB Duallie Stroller Organizer (If you get a double BOB, get this handlebar organizer! It’s amazing and huge and holds tons of stuff without getting in the way.)
- Chicco Bravo for 2 Double Stroller (Perfect for travel. Folds up easily and Chase LOVES the standing platform/fold-down seat! Great if your older kid likes to hop on/off the stroller a lot.)
- Stick On Sun Shades (Love these because they’re easy to move and adjust as the sun changes in the car.)
- JuJuBe Be Quick Wristlet (I swear by this thing for making it easy to change diaper bags or just grab the essentials — diapers, wipes, a spare onesie — before heading out the door)
- Stroller Blanket (An underrated necessity during winter months. We tuck this all around Ryder both in the stroller and in his car seat!)
Most of the below favorites were hits with Chase, too, (hand-me-down toys for the win!) but we have a few new-for-Ryder toys he is loving as well!
- Sassy Wonder Wheel (The perfect $7 high chair entertainment toy! Suctions on and doesn’t budge!)
- Baby Einstein Activity Jumper (Just as big of a hit with Ryder as it was with Chase!)
- SmartNoggin Development Light-Up Rattle (Is it just me or is this the new “it” baby toy right now? I see this thing everywhere! Ryder lovesss it!)
- Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Music Toy
- Sophie Teether
- VTech Sit-to-Stand Walker (Ryder cannot use this as a walker yet but loves sitting in front of it and banging on it right now)
- Baby Einstein Octoplush Toy
- Nuby Ice Gel Teether (Put this one in the freezer and then the cold parts feel good on baby gums!)
- Fisher-Price Rattle ‘n’ Rock Maracas
- Topsy Turtle (I get this as a baby shower gift for almost all of my friends. It somehow seems to absolutely captivate little ones in their car seats!)