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