Though the snuggly days were very special to me in their own way, I must admit that this phase is my favorite so far. Of course I miss Chase’s little piglet baby grunts and the way he’d doze off in my arms, but his contagious giggles, constant flirty smiles, excitable kicks and high-pitched squeals of excitement are way more fun. (We call him “DinoBaby” because his screeches sounds like some kind of a pterodactyl.)
Chase is so animated and lively that when he finally calms down enough to sleep or nurse, I can practically feel my heart stop and eyes get teary as I look at my peaceful baby and know that these days are so darn fleeting. It’s cheesy and likely eye-roll inducing to read, but it’s also so, so true. I can only imagine that the next six months will pass as quickly as these last six months and before I know it my squishy little baby will be a toddler. Ah!
At six months, Chase has such personality and is so engaged during playtime. We feel like we’re really able to play with him at this age and I love watching his determination as he attempts new skills. He stiffens his whole body and grunts up a storm! Chase also smiles so much which is so rewarding to me as a mother. It feels wonderful to have positive feedback from my tiny little guy and when he smiles and giggles while we play, there’s nothing better!
Slowly but surely, sleep seems to be improving! I think I stressed myself out WAY too much in the beginning by reading tons of sleep books that had me absolutely convinced that my baby should be sleeping through the night at an early age and napping for hours and hours on end. Once I let that feeling go, I relaxed a bit and started rolling with the punches.
Chase still nurses roughly two times in the middle of the night. He’s very tall but also a very lightweight little dude and in the past my mama instincts told me to keep feeding him at night because his nighttime nursing sessions continue to be some of his longest and best feeding sessions. (I’ll get a good night’s sleep eventually, right!?)
At yesterday’s 6-month pediatric visit, our doctor encouraged me to work toward dropping his nighttime feedings to make our life easier in the future, since now is apparently when babies begin establishing habits and start to learn to expect food in the middle of the night if they continue to be fed every time they cry out. Wish me luck on working toward this one!
I’ve also started to try NOT to get Chase out of his crib in the morning unless he wakes up happy. When Chase wakes up crying before 6 a.m. he usually just needs more sleep. Once I realized that taking a fussy baby out of his crib to start the day never seemed to work well (he’d end up going down for a much-needed nap 30 – 45 minutes later), it dawned on me that I was probably interrupting what was likely a continuation of his nighttime sleep.
Now if Chase wakes up fussy before 6 a.m., I’ll try to let him fuss a little and he’ll typically grab his paci and go back to sleep or if he’s really fussing, I’ll go in and nurse him and put him back in his crib and he’ll often return to sleep for another hour. This is AMAZING for my morning productivity! This mama is FINALLY able to finish a full cup of coffee in the mornings on occasion and the ability to begin some work before Chase is up for the day is fantastic. It still doesn’t happen all the time, but even if it only happens a few mornings a week, it feels like a small victory.
We’re in a bit of a groove with breastfeeding right now which is great. There are still days when it feels like a battle (mainly if I’m trying to feed him on the go and not in the quiet calm of his nursery), but I feel fortunate to feel like we’re hitting a bit of a stride right now. Chase is still extremely distractible and everyone close to me knows that they basically cannot speak to me if I’m feeding Chase around them because the minute I begin talking, he’ll come off my breast, start cooing and immediately want to play.
Chase has also started doing some hilariously adorable things during our feeding sessions that I made sure to write down in his baby book because I want to remember them forever since they make me smile so big. (Side note: I just started Chase’s baby book this month. Oops. Hopefully the past monthly recaps I’ve shared on this blog will help me fill in the blanks for the first five months of his life.)
When Chase is feeding, the hand that is closest to my face will often start exploring my neck, face, nose, lips and mouth. Chase will remain latched but his tiny hand is all over the place which cracks me up! He’ll also start pounding his little fist while he’s eating sometimes which is way too amusing.
And here are a few random things I’ve noticed related to my body’s response to breastfeeding this month:
- When I eat a lot of oatmeal, I truly do notice an increase in the amount of milk my body produces.
- Breastfeeding hunger is REAL. I can tell when Chase is eating more or going through a growth spurt because all of the sudden I will feel ravenous for a few days. I’ve noticed a need to constantly snack all the time while breastfeeding anyway, but sometimes my hunger is so intense that I’ll find myself eating peanut butter or something else in the middle of the night because nursing makes me so hungry!
- Sugar is a beast… and I want it all the time. Nursing mamas, do you feel like your sweet tooth is even more intense when you’re breastfeeding? This could also be my diet (I’ve never been one to shy away from sweets…) and I’m wondering if I need to be better about saying no to sugar-laden foods since I know eating sugar makes me crave sugar. It’s a vicious cycle. Whyyy is sugar so darn delicious? #GimmeAllTheCookies
A few of you asked if we are starting to introduce Chase to solids and the answer is yes! Right when Chase hit six months, we started introducing organic whole grain rice cereal and he’s done really well with it so far! He doesn’t eat a ton of it at one time (maybe four spoonfuls?), but he opens his mouth, mushes it around and swallows, so I consider that a victory! He also really wants to touch the cereal and play with it while he eats which makes feeding quite the messy experience.
- Sticking out his tongue
- People (He is such a little flirt and smiles up a storm at anyone and everyone these days!)
- Bath time with Dad (Chase cracks us up during bath time. He doesn’t smile during his nightly baths but has the most serious look of concentration on his face as he kicks up a storm and splashes in his tiny tub!)
- When someone jiggles toys over his head
- Watching Sadie
- Cold soda cans and water bottles (Every time I drink a can of LaCroix around Chase, he reaches for it and wants to mouth it!)
- My sweatshirt hoodie strings (He loves pulling on them and putting them in his mouth.)
- Playing around in his activity jumper
- Standing up (Supported, obviously)
- Outside/Anywhere NEW
- Petting things/New fabrics
- The 5 o’clock hour (Always a battle…)
- Getting dressed (BLESS YOU, zipper onesies!)
- Any one activity for more than 15 minutes (This boy needs variety)
- Having his nose and face wiped
Six Month Favorites
We’ve had some new toy discoveries this month that Chase seems to love! Here are a few of his new favorites:
- Manhattan Toy Color Burst Rattle (Three of my friends have this toy for their little ones and gave it rave reviews. We ordered it on Amazon and it was an instant hit!)
- Jelly Strands Baby Teething Necklace
- Nuby Icybite Teether (This was a gift from my friend Leah and Chase LOVES it when we put it in the freezer and he has something cold to chew on!)
And here are some tried and true favorites from the past few months:
- Tagies Monkey
- Baby Einstein Octoplush
- Skip Hop Activity Mat
- Baby Einstein Activity Jumper
- Baby Einstein Take Along Musical Toy
- Chicco TRE Stroller
- Chicco Bravo Stroller
- Pottery Barn Stroller Blanket
SLEEP + EAT
Past favorites we still adore:
- SkipHop Portable Changing Station (Great for travel!)
- Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit
- myBaby Sound Machine
- Motorola Baby Monitor
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.
- Hands Free Pumping Bra
- Nipple Shield
Past Baby Updates
Chase is just the cutest 🙂 His little smile is so adorable! I’m also a nursing mom and I too want ALL the sugar ALL the time! But, unlike you, I see no need to resist and am fully embracing it 😉
I think you’ll find that Chase will make up for the night feedings by eating more during the day 🙂
What a cutie pie! I don’t like oatmeal but I started eating it because a nurse told me it would help increase my milk supply, and it sure did! I am looking forward to the days when my 5 week old will sleep through the night but I still have quite a way to go! lol
Heather @ Polyglot Jot says
Awww I love how his hair is like a little bit fuzzy—its sooo cute!!
Happy half birthday, Chase! Fiona turns 6 months onnthe 17th. I just love reading about your experiences. We have some of the same struggles and delights that you’ve shared and it helps not to feel like the only one. Thank you!!
Ps those sweet cravings are real!
Hey Julie! I’ve got a quick tip for you! It might help Chase sleep longer, we started doing this to get more sleep out of our daughter! She’s almost 6mo & has been sleeping 12 hrs recently. After I b.f. her at bedtime, we give her a bottle of earth’s best organic formula. I realized my supply is really low, in the evenings. So we top her off! Formula is not a bad thing when 95% of the food he’s getting is from you!
Jessica An says
Hi! First of all, I love your blog 🙂 Thanks for sharing your life with us.
I’m sure you are up to your eyeballs in parenting advice, but have you tried the dream feed? It worked wonders for us. Basically we would put the baby to bed at his normal bed time and then wake him for another feeding before we went to bed, which for us was generally around 10 or 10:30. The idea is not to really wake him, wake him — just enough to let him eat. In the nursery where it’s dark and quiet might be best. We also discovered that just because he was waking in the middle of the night, didn’t always mean he was hungry. So we tried different things to eliminate the feeding in the middle of the night. Sending my husband in worked best because then he wasn’t automatically expecting to be fed. It took a couple of nights of rocking him back to sleep but he eventually stopped waking at all.
The dream feed is from a book my pediatrician recommended called the Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. While I didn’t necessarily love the book (it seemed a little harsh at times but that could’ve just been because I read it a few weeks postpartum and was tired, cranky and emotional), it had a lot of good concepts that worked well for us. The dream feed being one and the idea of establishing a eat, play, sleep routine which helped our kiddo sleep better significantly! All babies are different though. If nothing else works, just embrace the wonderful alone with you sweet baby 🙂
Sorry for the excessive information 😉
Hi! Are you still using The Honest Company Diapers?
Yes!! We use their diapers the vast majority of the time but we’ve also used Pampers Swaddlers and like them as well!
If you’re looking to save some money, Target diapers are AWESOME! I had been using Pampers Swaddlers and loved them, but a mom friend said Target dipes work great and are much cheaper. I’m a convert!
Hi Julie! I am a nursing mother of a 13 month old and I am a huge overproducer! It might be because I eat oatmeal everyday but I am able to pump out ALOT of milk when I am at work. My daughter started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks and I think it’s because my husband or I would give her a bottle before she went to sleep rather than me nursing her. I never thought she got enough milk when I would nurse and it is hard to tell how much she is actually drinking. Giving a bottle as the last feeding of the day kind of forces them to eat more! Just an idea! Your little man is adorable… I’m sure those night time feedings are worth it for the extra cuddle time:)
oh, and those sugar cravings are intense!
Chase is the cutest! So cool seeing his transitions with each phase!
Just a piece of advice as I wa elite rally in the exact same boat as you with night time feedings. Our Ped told me to drop the nighttime feedings at our 6 month too. I tried the Cry it out method to get rid of night time feeds and it just didn’t work..my kiddo is long and lean like Chase, so after a few nights of failed attempts, I just kind of let it go and continued the night time feedings. Magically at 8 months, she just started sleeping from 7:30-6:30. I do go in and give her a night feeding at 9pm, but I’m getting to the point where I’m not sure she even needs that at this point either. Just know that sometimes your kiddo knows best (plus no night feedings affect your supply initially) even though it’s hard to not listen to the Ped (I struggled with that a little) . Good luck, as a mommy that is 4 weeks into getting 8-9 straight hours of sleep again (after 8 months without), it will come again!
Dawn Kitley says
We used to say my son was a pterodactyl, too!! It must just be a common sound kids at that age make. 🙂
Britani S says
re: breastfeeding and sugar cravings: holy cow! I have a 4.5 week old..and i was about 95% paleo through out my pregnancy…ie: no sugars of any kind, except for fruit and starchy veggies…and ever since I started nursing, I literally can’t get enough chocolate…cookies…dates…ice cream..whatever. I want it! So crazy, I was just raging about this to my friend the other day and then read your post 🙂 i’m glad to know i’m not alone!
I’m nursing too – 8 1/2 months now and the sugar cravings are out of control. I can detect the baby growth spurts too when I feel like I can’t eat enough food and I’m always starving! I found a great lactation cookie recipe on Pinterest that incorporates oats and chocolate chips – these are seriously the best cookies ever: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/02/lactation-cookies/
Andrea Porath says
Do you mind sharing what baby book you are filling out for Chase? I have been searching for one that I ‘love’ and haven’t found it yet. There are so many to choose from! Our little boy is going to be six months in just over a week so I always love catching up on your updates because we are following right behind!