>> Monday, December 12, 2016
It's been a while since I've written about the littlest member of our family. I think part of this has been because we were in a type of survival mode. I mean, the first six months is rough. Though we aren't entirely out of the sleepless nights, the growth spurts, and the many (many!) transitions . . . I do see some light.
And Eloise is surely showing us her unique personality.
(By the way: I'm writing this post as my cat is snoring loudly beside me. It's hilarious.)
I want to start by making a confession. I think in all the years I spent of having another baby, I idealized the experience. I got so fixated on the final result. The fact that getting there was pure hell for us. And I imagined that when that sweet babe was in my arms, nothing else would matter. The crying, the exhaustion, the fluctuating hormones.
The truth is: It still matters. I am so very thankful for our rainbow baby. There are days when I still cannot believe she is here. But -- people -- having an infant is hard. Harder than I remember. There are times when I think I'm tough on her. I keep thinking back and saying "Well ADA wasn't this way!" . . . and then I go and read my notes on Ada at this age. She was EXACTLY this way. Same challenges. Everything. My babies are high needs, spirited children. I think it's something they get from me.
Some things that are going on as we enter six months:
- We're getting ready for the big crib transition. And stopping the swaddle. At the same time. Oh, goodness. Help me. Right now, Eloise is still sleeping swaddled mostly in her swing (it all started when I read this) and Rock 'n Play. She is getting far too mobile for it all. But with the reflux, it made sense.
- We have started solids. Our pediatrician told us to wait until 6 months, but we started a couple weeks early. It's a long story, but Stephen gives Eloise a Doidy cup of formula around dinner time. She started to show an interest in what we were eating, so we delved in with purees. I think we'll mix in some Baby-Led Weaning method soon enough. We did a mix of both with Ada as well.
- Like I mentioned, Eloise is moving a lot. Rolling a lot. And I looked back through my notes -- Ada started crawling at 6.5 months. Not that the two will be the same, but it could be on the horizon. Soon!
- Teething seems to also be close to happening. The girl has been munching her fingers for months, but the drool has kicked up a notch. She hasn't reached the miserable stage yet. Poor thing. It's coming, though.
- We have the 6-month checkup on Friday. I am dreading the shots. Eloise had a pretty bad reaction to her 4-month shots (steady fever and was just plain unhappy). But I'm interested to see if she's gaining weight well. She has been on the tiny side . . . and not sticking with her curve. I'll report back.
- Eloise has started audibly laughing recently. She's giggled and you could tell she thought things were funny before. But that's something I notice in general with her -- she's kind of quiet. She's taking it all in, and she's got a sweet way of showing it. Sister Ada was just REALLY vocal and loud all the time from the very beginning.
- Nickname is firmly established as Ella. Or Ella Bella. Or Booje. Stephen started that last one shortly after she was born.
- Versus when Ada always seemed very left-dominant, Eloise seems very right-dominant with her hands. I know it's early for that -- but we could tell really early with Ada.
- Bedtime is around 7:30. We're still doing the "dream-feed" but it's more of a she-wakes-for-it feed around 10:30PM each night. Then she will nurse again between 3-5 in the morning. Then she's up for the day by 8.
- Naps are generally around 9:30, 1, and 4:30ish. The first two are usually between 1-2 hours long. The last is 30-45 minutes. We sometimes skip it if we're out and about.
- One formula feed a day is working well for us. Though she won't take a bottle, she does take 3-4 ounces in her cup, and much more readily now that we've been doing it consistently. Thinking of trying a straw cup soon. (Here's more about why I started combination feeding.)