Rooney, 6 Months
If you've figured out how to keep a baby from growing up so fast, please let me know. Moving on...
Happy half birthday, little Roo!
I never want to forget Rooney as she is right now.
- cheeks for days
- beautiful big brown eyes
- rolls on the back of her neck that get lots of kisses
- dimples on her knuckles
- chubby knees
- squishy, square feet
- curious and innocent and trusting
- oh, and I freaking LOVE her birthmark
After gaining two pounds from 4 months to 5 months, Rooney only gained a half pound in the past month. She weighs 19 lbs. now (91st percentile). We were actually both shocked that she isn't over 20 lbs, but I guess a slow in growth is totally normal at six months. (And, I'm glad to know she hasn't outgrown her carrier car seat already. Mamas, any tips on a convertible car seat?)
We had her 6-month appointment last week and she is 27 ¼ inches long. This puts her at 94th percentile for length.
Her head measured at 17", which is in the 75th percentile.
She is wearing mostly 9M separates and 9-12M one-pieces, and size 3 diapers. I finally packed up most of her 6M stuff this past weekend. She was still wearing some of it, but it was getting tight.
Rooney still takes four 8 oz. bottles a day (32 oz. total). The times of her bottle vary depending on what time she wakes up in the morning, but it's usually around 6, 10, 2 and 5:30. She has been on the same four-hour eating schedule for 2.5 months now, so I'm starting to wonder when that will change. It makes sense that her growth has slowed if you think about it, because obviously she can't continue to gain weight at such a rapid pace if she doesn't increase her intake.
We started homemade purees last week (avocado). She gets most of it down but seems to get bored quickly. Doing purees has made me want to try baby-led weaning instead. It just seems more natural. So tomorrow we're going to see how she does with a banana. A real one. I'll take a bite, she'll take a bite, and then Eric will take a bite. And then she'll take a bath. :) Should be interesting.
- Roo is sleeping 11-12 hours a night. Most nights we do have to go in her room and replace her pacifier a couple times. Usually she is up on all fours practicing crawling, but goes right back to sleep with the pacifier.
- She sleeps in a sleep sack (the swaddle picture at the top of this post was just for fun), and we've also started to let her sleep with her little tag blanket. She rarely falls asleep without her pacifier. I am sad to say it is a sleep prop. She loves that thing. We are looking forward to the day she can put it back in her mouth by herself. Eric has been working hard at teaching her that trick already, and she can do it if you put it in her hand the right way.
- We've stopped using the monitor during the evening (until we go to bed). This makes it so we don't hear every little noise and we don't feel like we have to run in there at the first sound. This change alone has made me relax so much. We are making her figure things out on her own, within what we think is reasonable. If she starts to get really worked up then we go give her the pacifier. She is getting so good at putting herself to sleep. We are learning that she likes to sleep with her head in the corner and she will wrestle herself until she gets there. Sometimes she also sleeps with her little arm hanging down the side of the mattress.
- My favorite favorite favorite thing is sneaking in to watch her sleep. We've also started praying over her, silently. We pray that she would know her spiritual gifts, that she would be healthy and safe, and for her future spouse.
Rooney sleeps a lot. We try to respect her naps during the day and she takes four of them if we let her. Most babies drop the fourth nap before they are 5 months old, but Rooney is just finally showing signs of being ready for that. We are planning to wean her off of it and maybe move up her bedtime to accommodate. I just think she will be a kid who needs a lot of sleep to function well. But she sleeps so well that honestly we kind of go crazy with not seeing her or being able to leave the house. And I've had to not get offended when I read (like this blog post) that babies should be at three naps by 5 months of age. But my baby is not a textbook, and her doctor said I should be proud and that it is great for her.
We have bath night twice a week (Sundays and Wednesdays). It's one of our favorite nights! I have only given her three baths total--it is one of Eric's special things that he does with her, but I told him he needed to teach me just in case. I freaked out when she almost rolled over in the bath, though, so I think I'll let Eric do it from now on.
She has really not extended her waketime much in the past few months. The longest she has ever been up is three hours, but that is not ideal at all. Day care keeps her up for a couple hours (or just under) once a day. We typically don't let her go that long on the weekends. She usually can only go about an hour. You can tell when waketime is optimal if she doesn't cry much or at all while falling asleep. We make sure she gets two good naps (the morning one is most critical) and then we'll try to venture out of the house to church or errands in the afternoon. If she doesn't get her first full nap (2+ hours), she is a bear.
Rooney has a chronic runny nose, which is kind of a pain, but it doesn't seem to bother her too much. Boogie Wipes and the bulb syringe from the hospital are our saving grace. She seems to have a cold right now, too. She has been coughing quite a bit but luckily she is sleeping pretty well and sleeps right through her coughs.
We have been so fortunate with her health (especially since we weren't able to breastfeed). She has never had a fever!
- I am biased, but I think she is pretty advanced for her age. She can sit without support, and she can also get up on her hands and knees, and then her hands and feet. She needs to figure out how to move her arms, and then she will be off.
- She is starting to care about books and actually looking at them when we read them! For some reason lately we have been reading Belly Button Book a lot.
- She has started reaching for things, which is adorable and we love to cheer her on (most of the time, unless she is reaching for my hair or glasses or necklace).
- She is to the point where we put her on her blanket on the floor and she rarely stays on. She can mostly get where she wants to go even though she isn't crawling yet.
- Still no teeth. I had teeth at 5 months (I actually got my first tooth the same day Eric was born...which is kind of weird), but Eric didn't get his first tooth until 9 months. I think Rooney is working on them, but I have been saying that for months.
- I was going to write about her favorite toys, but it seems like she is loving almost everything right now. Especially if it fits in her mouth. She is so much more aware. She also loves to play with our faces - grabbing our eyes, mouths, hair, etc.
- You have to be some sort of magician to get her to lay still while changing her diaper or clothes. She is very squirmy on the changing table. She is always flipping over, so we are learning how to change a diaper upside down. She almost dove off the other day. Nightmare. I've tried giving her a special toy that she only gets at the changing table (like her hair brush) and that helps a little, but she is always rolling over and kicking things off the changing table and reaching for her wipe warmer. Goodness sakes.
- One day Rooney woke up without pants! It was so alarming to me. There is no way she can take them off with her hands on purpose, so I know she must have been very active that night for them to wiggle off.
- Her burps are seriously like adult male burps. So loud and proud.
- We laugh at her voice all the time. It is so darn cute.
I feel like Rooney's days as a baby are slipping by, and I try with all my might to hang on to her. But I am really trying to be more laid back in my mothering. When I am making a decision about something I try to ask myself if it will matter in one year (like what food we start with, or whether we do baby-led weaning instead of purees, or if we should make her cry it out). Usually the answer is No, it won't matter in a year. We'll be on to other things. I do think our daily decisions matter on some level (like we should be intentional about our choices, and be careful to avoid accidental parenting), but I'm trying not to obsess about it. You can certainly make yourself go crazy with all the decisions that need to be made. Luckily I feel confident with my instincts most of the time. It's then communicating those instincts with Eric and other people. It's hard to be confident in your mothering when you're so new, but you have to be, otherwise people's opinions come from all sides and it is so overwhelming. Eric and I have to make our own mistakes and learn as we go. Some people don't get that, and they make comments that make us feel like they think they'd be better parents for her.
I think baby proofing and discipline (guiding and correcting) will be new things we focus on in the coming months. Rooney will pull my hair (she is fascinated by my hair!) and eat my necklaces so we are trying to figure out what we will say to correct her. I am sure soon she will also be crawling and reaching for things she shouldn't touch. She doesn't understand right now, but I want to respond with calm and correcting words. Basically I don't want to yell no at her. More like, "No, thank you" or "Nice touches." Luckily I already have most of these reflexes from being around my sister and her kids.
We are a happy family...trying to enjoy this season of our lives. Definitely still figuring things out...but together. I love it so much.
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