Well hello there, my adorable FIVE-MONTH-OLD! I know I say this every month (and I’ll probably STILL be saying it when you are old and gray, provided I live that long), but you are growing up WAY too fast! It’s true what they say about raising a child: the days are long, but the years (and months and even weeks) are far too short. I am blessed by every minute I get to spend watching you grow!
This past month with you has felt very transitional as we move further beyond the newborn stage and closer to toddlerhood. Your bouts of crying have become far less frequent, and you have grown much more independent, able to entertain yourself in your swing, your play mat, or even just your bassinet for extended periods of time. We still do quite a bit of baby wearing when I run errands or go on walks; I mostly let you face outward (unless you seem sleepy, and then I face you towards me) and you are content to snuggle close to Mama and just take in what’s going on around you. I can no longer wear you when we go out to eat because you have gotten so big that your head gets in the way of my food, but you usually seem okay with spending our meal times in your stroller or on our laps. Your dad and I often comment on what an easy baby you’ve become! I know life will get a lot more challenging once you become mobile so we are embracing this easy stage while it lasts.
It has been such a joy to see more of your personality emerge this month. You are quick to smile and giggle, and we love finding new ways to make you laugh. You are mostly a calm baby but you do have a bit of a temper that comes out when you have to wait to eat or be changed, or when you are bored and need a change of scenery.
You are incredibly curious about the world around you, always absorbing your surroundings. Sometimes you will fixate on an object, like a ceiling fan or a child playing, and I wonder what is going on in that mind of yours. Other times, you turn your head from side to side, trying to take in everything at once. We discovered that you REALLY like to look at screens. You never get to see the TV when it’s on at home (your dad and I only watch television once you’re asleep), but when we are out at a restaurant with a television, we can’t get you to look away! You are also very intrigued by glimpses of our phone screens and the iPad. We might have a little techie on our hands (your daddy would love that!)!
Play time with you has gotten a lot more interactive and fun! We read books together, tickle you, and fly you above our heads. You really like it when I lie you down on a blanket and make train noises as I pull you through the house; that always brings a laugh! You also love watching us sing or dance, and you giggle like crazy when Daddy sings Veggie Tales songs to you. You aren’t super chatty, but I treasure those moments when you coo and babble back at me when I talk to you, and it’s hilarious to hear you talking to yourself in the mirror when we are driving. You are finally showing interest in toys and love to shake rattles, swat at the toys hanging from your play mat, and snuggle with your stuffed monkey. You are quite the cuddler and your favorite comfort item is a blanket or (more often) a burp cloth. It’s adorable how you cling to those cloths like they are the most precious items in the world.
You are incredibly active, always moving your hands and feet. I call you my squirmy wormy because the minute I put you down, you flail your limbs and wriggle around to your side. You can roll over both ways and rotate your body 360 degrees, and it’s funny to watch you scooch your way across the floor—you move downward, and even when I watch you I’m not sure how you are doing it! You like it when we let you stand, and your legs have gotten incredibly strong: you can even push yourself to a standing position when we hold your hands. We’re still working on arm strength, but you are getting better at pushing yourself up to you elbows when you’re on your tummy. You have good neck support, but aren’t quite sitting up on your own yet; you do like to hang out in your Bumbo, though, and you love sitting propped up in the corner of a couch or on our laps.
Sleeping continues to be a challenge. Your naps are very unpredictable: some days you will go the entire day without napping, and sometimes it seems like you sleep all day long. Most days, you take several catnaps, usually in the swing or the wrap. If there are any distractions at all, you would rather be watching than sleeping, so we’re trying to spend more time at home so that I can put you down in a quiet room. We do have our nighttime routine nailed: at around 7:00 I swaddle you up and feed you before putting you down in your bassinet (or sometimes your crib, if you are already sleeping or in a good mood). You generally fall asleep within a few minutes, and sleep soundly until 11:00 or even midnight. But after that, you are up every couple of hours and sometimes more often than that. We’ve tried shifting your bedtime to earlier or later, but that doesn’t seem to help: you still like to be awake from midnight on. Most nights I end up bringing you into bed with me and letting you nurse throughout the night because it’s the only way I’m able to get any sleep. It’s not an ideal solution, but it’s what seems to be working for us right now.
You are still all about the mouth, always sucking on a finger, fist, thumb, or any item we hand you. Your drooling is out of control but no signs of teeth yet! And speaking of your mouth, you continue to be an enthusiastic eater, but our nursing sessions are different now: longer, and a bit less frequent. You are also VERY easily distracted when you nurse, which makes it hard to feed you in public, or even at home when your dad is in the room. We are planning on taking a baby led weaning approach to introducing solids, and are watching for signs of readiness, but you don’t seem to have any interest in food yet, so I think it will be at least another month before we start with the real food.
Your four-month checkup went great, and even though you are very small for your age, your doctor is pleased with how you are growing. You have no more signs of jaundice and are meeting all of your developmental milestones. You received your second round of vaccinations and hardly cried at all! And even though your legs swelled up afterwards, you didn’t seem to be in any discomfort, which was a huge relief after having seen you in so much pain with your first shots.
You attended your first family BBQ on Memorial Day and got to meet all of your aunts, uncles, and cousins on your dad’s side of the family. You were happy to be passed around among the family members, and they were all so excited to meet you. I am thankful that you will be growing up with so many people who love you, and so many cousins to play with!
Our house hunting in Arizona this month resulted in your first (and second) trip out of state, and you got to spend your first nights in a hotel. Overall, you did pretty well with the trip. You seemed unfazed by the heat and did as well as could be expected in the hotel cribs. However, you did NOT like spending so much time in the car. You were bored and napped quite a bit, and when you got fussy I tried to entertain you with toys and silly noises. We figured out a way for me to pump on the road so that I could feed you a bottle while we were driving; I’d never given you a bottle before—we generally save those for when Mommy isn’t home and Daddy needs to feed you—so that was a new experience for both of us. It satisfied you for a little bit, but after six hours in the car we were ALL ready to be done!
I know every mom thinks here baby is the cutest, but I honestly can’t get over how stinkin’ ADORABLE you are! When you were born, I thought you were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and somehow you seem to get cuter with each day. I realize I’m
a little a lot biased, but other people seem to think you are pretty cute, too. The first thing people comment on when they see you is your big, observant eyes. I can probably count on one hand the number of times a person has commented on your cuteness and NOT said something about those amazing eyes. People also note your beautiful olive skin tone. Your skin is darker than both mine and your dad’s; we’re not sure how that happened, but it sure makes for one handsome baby!
We love you so much, Buddy Bear, and can’t wait to see what this next month brings for you! Life as your Mom is quite the adventure!
Weight: 13.2 pounds (according to our scale at home)
Length: 24.25 inches (also based on our home measurements)
Eye Color: Still dark blue/gray with brown rings around your pupils. I’m wondering if they will stay this way?
Clothes: 3-month clothing fits perfectly
Likes: playing on your play mat, facing outwards in the baby wrap, having your face touched, cuddling with your burp rags, singing silly songs with Daddy, looking at yourself in the mirror, white noise (especially the vacuum), watching ceiling fans and television screens.
Dislikes: long car rides, smiling for pictures (we’re working on that one!)