Sunday, January 19, 2014

sixth month

Bridgette hit the half a year mark the day after Thanksgiving. I was waiting until six months to do a couple of things. One of those things was introducing her to solid foods. Even though her pediatrician said I could start her on baby cereal and some level one fruits and vegetables around four months, I wanted to wait and go with the American Association of Pediatricians' current recommendation, which is to give them only breastmilk for the first six months of life. We did go with her doctor's advice about offering the same food for 3 or 4 days in a row before moving on to anything else. This just makes it easier to notice and pinpoint any food allergies. We have a couple of nieces with some  food allergies (one has life threatening food allergies), so that has made me decide to be extremely careful with Bridgette and introducing foods. So far she hasn't had any issues with food allergies.

By six months, Bridgette was sitting up on her own very well. She appeared to be interested in what we were eating. She even reached out for the food on our plates on occasion. We figured she had reached a stage where she was ready to learn about solid food.

Feeding Bridgette solids is something that Chris and I were very excited and eager to begin with her, but as most people say, it quickly became more of a chore and less of a "fun" experience after a couple of weeks. Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy watching her expressions as she tries different foods for the first time. It's fun to try to read her face to see whether or not she likes a certain kind of food. On the other hand, it's a mess. It takes time. She tries to pull the spoon out of our hands. It doesn't all go in her mouth. Sometimes the baby food just ends up splattered across the feeding tray, her bib, the floor, her clothes, her hair, in the dog's mouth, and the list goes on. When it doesn't go in her mouth, I remind myself that this is just for learning. The goal here is teaching her how to eat food. We're getting her used to new textures. She doesn't need it for nutritional value at this point because "food before one is just for fun"- or for "not always fun" in my opinion!

Here are some photos of her trying some of her first few foods!
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The second thing we were waiting for Bridgette to turn six months old do was kicking her out of our room. From the time we brought her home from the hospital, she always slept in our room in the pack n' play. We had even had to drop down the bassinet attachment in it to let her sleep just in the play yard for a month or so because she had grown to over 15 pounds and became too heavy for it per manufacturer's warning label. At six months the risk of SIDS goes way down. One of the ways to reduce the risk is letting the baby sleep in your room- not in your bed, but in the same room. I guess the thought is that if they were to struggle in their sleep with breathing or something, you could hear it and help them to safety. I am not really sure, but by six months she hadn't been swaddled in months. She could roll completely over in both directions. She actually rolled over a lot to sleep on her stomach at this point. We had been letting her nap in her crib during the day and evening for about a month to get her used to the crib. We felt pretty safe with moving her into her own big girl crib for the night. We enjoyed finally being freed from have to hear every sound she made through the night! Honestly, I think the only reason we made it with her in our room as long as we did is because she's a relatively good sleeper at night. Once she went down for the night, you really couldn't disturb her very easily.

She had her six month well visit at the beginning of December just a couple of days after she turned six months. She had grown to be 16 pounds and 7 oz. She was 26" long. Her head was 42 cm. That's 55 percentile for weight, 51 percentile for length and 53 percentile for head circumference according to her doctor. She had two standard immunizations that day, and I opted to have a third one done on her. She was 6 months old, so she was eligible for the flu shot. I thought we should go ahead and have her take that one just because she's always around people. I wanted to protect her during flu season. We have a big family. She goes to a daycare. She's handled a lot at church.  She only had half a flu shot that day because they split it up the first time you get it- at least they do for babies- to help build immunity. Her doctor told me to bring her back in at the end of December for the other half of the flu shot.

She didn't care much for the shots. In fact, her face was so sad that I decided just to show her legs here. Don't worry, I offered her lots of love and comfort after the shots. She was back to her normal smiling self before we left the doctor's office.

Her schedule didn't change much from five months, but we did add solid foods once per day. This is what her schedule looked like around six months:
  • Sometime between 6:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. nurse before we leave for work/day care
  • 9:30 a.m. bottle at day care
  • 12:30 p.m. I leave work to nurse at day care on my lunch break
  • 3:30 p.m. bottle at day care
  • Sometime between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. nurse
  • Sometime between 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. offer solids (not every day, but we did if there was time!)
  • After 7:30 she would fall asleep for the evening until I would wake her up to nurse one more time and get her ready for bed
  • Sometime between 8:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. nurse for the last time of the day
  • 10:00 or 10:30 p.m. get ready for bed, read with Daddy, bed for the night!
 Some special memories for the sixth month were:
  • Trying food for the first time! She loved her first food, sweet potatoes. Aside from bananas, it's probably her favorite so far. Her second food was squash, which was also tolerated. Some foods that she does not like are avocado or turkey. Who would like pureed turkey though, really?!
  • Sleeping all night in her big girl bed!
  • Learning how to jump in her Jumperoo, a big toy she sits in to jump and it has toys attached all the way around it. 
  • She learned how to get someone to bounce her- she would bounce when Grandma Lolo (Chris' stepmom, Lori) would bounce her up and down while holding her.
  • She loved hearing herself "talk."
  • She started learning how to sit up at five months, but at six months she could do it really well for long periods of time unassisted.
  • We visited Elizabethtown to see grandparents and her Aunt Niki who traveled in for Thanksgiving. We all rode in a caravan to Lexington from Elizabethtown to spend Thanksgiving with Lori's family, so she got to meet Grandma Masters, Lori's mom.
  • Looking at all the beautiful Christmas decorations and lights as they went up! Moving the advent calendar each day! I am not sure she cared so much about Christmas this year. Maybe she will next year! 

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Friday, January 3, 2014

fifth month

This is my last official day of Christmas break. These past three weeks have flown by! It's Friday. I go back on Monday, so the weekend is all I really have left.  One of my goals over break was to attempt to catch up on the posts about Bridgette on this blog. I know some of my family ganders at this and appreciates updates on our little one since we don't all live in the same town or even the same state as some of them!

I need to remember back to end of October/early November to be able to tell you about Bridgette at five months. Good thing I have kept up with her baby book better than this blog!

We didn't have a well doctor visit at five months, so I couldn't tell you how big she was exactly. My guess is that she was between 15 and 16 pounds during this time.

By five months, Bridgette was still on a pretty good schedule due to daycare, and she was finally sleeping in until after 6:00 a.m.! Woo! Hoo! No more 4 or 5 a.m. feedings! I know we had already come a long way from feeding every three hours through the night, but this stretch to me mean't that I finally got a full night's sleep! Praise the Lord. What a blessing this was for me! I could finally function more normally at work. This brought her down to only 6 feedings a day. I just had to increase her daycare bottles by an ounce or so to make sure she was still staying satisfied, getting enough milk. She was good to go!

This is what her schedule looked like around five months:
  • Sometime between 6:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. nurse before we leave for work/day care
  • 9:30 a.m. bottle at day care
  • 12:30 p.m. I leave work to nurse at day care on my lunch break
  • 3:30 p.m. bottle at day care
  • Sometime between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. nurse
  • After 6:30 p.m. or 7:00 she would fall asleep for the evening until I would wake her up to nurse one more time and get her ready for bed
  • Sometime between 8:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. nurse for the last time of the day
  • 10:00 or 10:30 p.m. get ready for bed, read with Daddy, bed for the night!

Some special memories for the fifth month were:

  • She began to study and recognize faces. She would get really excited if she would recognize you and babble/smile. 
  • She started cracking up at people were cracking up at her. By this point, she was giving really good belly laughs! 
  • She spent her last month sleeping in the pack n play in our room! The risk for SIDS goes way down at 6 months, so we kept her close until then! We were ready to kick her butt out of our room at this point.
  • She mastered rolling from back to belly. She began learning at four months, but got very efficient at five months. She was finally able to really get her arm completely out of the way to accomplish this task.
  • She learned how to put her pacifier back into her mouth unassisted.
  • Began to practice sitting up unassisted for short periods of time before falling over.
  • She made several visits with grandparents in Elizabethtown and Henderson.
  • She had some adorable pictures taken with photographer Jenniel Harbert, and! (See below)
  • She enjoyed the WKU Homecoming parade and overnight visit from her Aunt Jamie, Uncle Kenny and cousins: Genevieve, Lola and Fiona.
  • She went as an adorable leopard (her Aunt Elizabeth's costume from when she was a baby nearly 17 years ago that Grandma Lolo let her borrow) to our friend's, the Bailey's Harvest Fest Halloween Party!   
Little witch dress my friend, Beth Ann gave me at my baby shower! So cute!

Bridgette with her daddy at the Halloween party! Yes, Chris did a repeat of his Die Hard Bruce Willis costume from last year. He is silly!

Photos by Jenneil Harbert:

This little girl is such a good baby! She really is a treasure to both her father and I!