My Sally Grace is seven months old. Each month brings new milestones and changes in her temperament. It is truly mind-blowing how quickly this baby girl is growing and changing!
She loves being on her belly. From the time she was about five months old, she would flip onto her stomach immediately any time we set her down on the ground. I sometimes called this “stomach surfing” because she would often lift her head erect and put her arms behind her in a yoga pose. She could hold it for a surprisingly long time! She also flipped onto her stomach in her crib at night, and she is now a committed stomach sleeper. Snoogie woogie.
Because she loves being on her stomach so much, she crawled earlier than Noah did (he absolutely hated tummy time), but she doesn’t sit up nearly as solidly as he did at her age (he was sitting up by 4.5 months, and I feel like she is still wobbly when she sits). She has become a professional army-crawler in the past several weeks and can literally get anywhere in the house—and quickly too. She even climbed up onto the fireplace step today. I can’t keep up with her!
She is a complete wiggle-worm. Everyone who holds her or watches her for a few minutes comments on this. She puts everything in her mouth, grabs at anything within reach, finds all sorts of mischief, pulls my earrings out, throws my glasses, knocks plates off the table, and twists and wriggles to get free if you try to hold her still. I am truly astonished by how “busy” she is—so much so that I looked back in my blog archives to see if Noah was this way when he was her age. Maybe all babies are this busy and I have just forgotten? Nope—she’s in a league of her own. She has earned the nickname “Menace” lately because she truly gets into everything.
She eats solid foods but isn’t too interested in them yet. With Noah, I was so excited for each new stage and introduced solids right around four months, but I was too lazy with her and realized that there was no need to rush it. We started her on rice cereal around six months, and we try to give her a solid once a day during a family meal, but she’s only interested in a few bites. She’ll try anything we give her, but she doesn’t seem to have any standout favorites yet.
Well, now that I think about it, she does have some favorite foods, actually: paper, shoes, computer cords, trash cans, and plastic sacks. You know, all the things she shouldn’t suck on but makes a beeline for when I set her on the ground. And of course she has zero interest in toys and teethers. Good grief. Oh...and don't forget that her big brother Noah fed her a Fun Dip one day while I was in the shower. Yes, pure blue sugar in sour apple flavor. Awesome!
Sally’s nap schedule is…inconsistent. For a while there, she was taking long naps twice a day, and I started to think I had a “textbook” baby—one of those magical few who actually follow the schedule that the baby books say they will. Alas, that phase was short-lived, and she now prefers 30-40 minute naps three times a day. The short naps are driving me bonkers. I get her down, and then I go and help Noah with whatever he needs, and then she is up again. Seriously, can a mama rest for five minutes?? Believe me, I know all about sleep schedules and techniques/strategies for helping babies consolidate and get into a rhythm (I read every book I could about it when Noah was so hard as a baby), and I’ve tried it all with her too—it doesn’t make much of a difference. I’m starting to think those baby books are a hoax.
Fortunately, her night-time sleep is much more predictable. After getting over an eight-week long cold (more on that in a minute), she recently started sleeping through the night—often going from about 7:30 p.m. to about 5:30 a.m. I’d actually love for her to wake up and eat once before I go to bed at midnight so she could sleep all the way until 7:00 a.m., but “dream feeding” her before I go to bed only seems to make her wake up more often in the night, so 5:30 a.m. wake-up time it is! And hey, she goes back to sleep until 7:00ish, so, really, I can’t complain.
Speaking of her never-ending cold, Sally seems to have a pretty crummy immune system and has been sick a lot this winter. I wish I could have nursed her longer so maybe she could have gotten some of the health benefits. I was only able to nurse her for about six weeks because I just never made much milk—a common problem for women with my fertility issues—and she wasn’t growing or thriving, so we had to switch to formula. I felt so sad and guilty giving up breastfeeding, but now I can see that it’s no big deal. It’s more important that she is getting enough to eat. She was14 lbs 8 oz at her last appointment—still a little small for her age, still wearing clothes a size down, but healthy and growing.
Despite how the photos look, Sally isn’t nearly as content as she used to be. She is still a really good baby, but she’s usually not willing to sit in her bouncer or high chair for very long anymore because she doesn’t like to be contained; and when I put her on the ground, she army-crawls after me and whines and fusses pathetically until I pick her up. I’m not sure what that’s about, and I keep waiting for a tooth to pop through or something, but none have. Maybe she just really likes her mama—and honestly who can blame her? ;) When she was younger, her needs were so easy to decipher. If she got fussy, she needed to sleep or eat. Now, I’m somewhat at a loss for how to help her when she’s grumpy, but she likes being carried around on my hip so we do a lot of that. She also likes to be outside and out-and-about, so we try to do as much of that as we can as well (though seriously, sometimes I just need to make dinner!).
Life has become quite busy and chaotic these past two months as Sally has gotten more demanding—but I love seeing her little personality emerge. She grins at everyone and everything, and she laughs when you tickle her belly or pretend to gnaw on her hand while you are feeding her. Though she is not willing to be snuggled during the day (too busy!), she is so comfy to snuggle when I am feeding or rocking her at night. It is pretty much heaven.
She is the joy of our lives, and we all adore her! Noah even calls her “The Princess” on occasion, and it makes me laugh every time. She really is our Princess Menace.