Between today and tomorrow, since there is no 29th of February (as someone with an affinity for numbers and days passed, it’s hard for me to imagine being or having a leap year baby). It’s also hard right now for me to imagine have a SEVEN MONTH OLD… we’re creeping toward a year so so quickly, it’s mind boggling.
- Describe what and how your child eats: We have added broccoli, peas, spinach, and applesauce to her repertoire and she has also tried pickles when we have been out to eat. As long as she isn’t too hungry (which leads her to prefer milk), she loves eating. She likes being in her high chair, playing with her toys and then eating, and when she wants more food, she bangs the high chair with her right hand (we’ll have to break her of that eventually). If we go out to eat and there is not food for her, she is constantly trying to get our food (even when there are distracting toys or other things with which she could be playing – she wants the food). She can feed herself (and is getting better at using her thumb to grasp items) but she often prefers being spoon fed because, as it has all along, it provides her with more food at a faster rate. We are still only feeding her one meal a day to have fun with solids… they have not become replacements for milk just yet.
Nursing continues to go pretty well. I have been able to keep up with K’s demands and she seems to have evened out a bit in terms of how much milk she takes each day. Some weeks, I am able to get a little into the freezer stash (last week was a banner week for that) and others, I’m just getting by. The weekend after I was sick (and did not pump for three straight days while getting up and hoping not to get sick on the baby while feeding her), I pretty much decimated my meager freezer supply, so I have been pretty diligent about trying to get it back up (though I’m still “lazy” sometimes). K is adorable while she nurses and if she hears anything, she’s pulling off my breast to look at it, flinging her body backwards so she can look and see and then using all of her momentum to fling herself back at my chest. Despite two teeth, she is managing well not biting (we’ve had a couple close calls); her bigger issue is that she likes to grab the skin on my breast and on my arm, which can be painful enough and becomes even more so when she has claws for nails. We’ve been working on the phrase “gentle” to help with that and she seems to be getting that “gentle” at least means unclench your little hands 🙂
- Where and how much does your child sleep? In the crib, though for a solid couple of weeks this month she was very congested and we had her sleep in the rocker, which is inclined and also a little more cozy. We transitioned her back to the crib recently and she has been doing well. K does not roll around and will sleep on her back all night, but the other night we went ahead and tried stomach sleeping and, while she is still up once a night, she is so. much. better. at going back to sleep and self-soothing (including kicking one foot up and down on the mattress to get herself back to sleep… we hear a gentle thud. thud. thud. coming from her room). I am still nursing her right at bedtime, though I am able to put her down semi-awake with a fair amount of success and don’t feel like she requires the breast at bedtime.
- Does your child have any sleep problems? We still don’t have a ton of predicitability. K will generally go down between 9 and 9:30, but is sometimes up again at midnight and sometimes not, sometimes wakes up at 1 or 2 or 3 and sometimes not. She does sleep in a fair amount (it’s almost 7:40 and she’s still asleep), but not so much when you consider 12 hours would be 9 am. She does seem to require (or demand) the breast in the middle of the night and if she has been wimpering and C goes to soothe her, she begins to scream angrily. Fortunately, she goes back to sleep quickly most night with nursing. She is doing better at her naps at daycare and sleeps in the crib. She has not used the swing to go to sleep at home and – that I’m aware of – at daycare for a while.
Physical Development and Health
- What is your child’s current size/weight: She was 24 inches long and almost 17 lbs at her 6 month check-up in the beginning of February. It seems to us that she’s lengthened since then, but who knows.
- What about pee and poop? With more solids, we’ve gotten more solid poop, which has been fantastic because it means less diaper spraying and more just dumping into the toilet. The most fascinating poop so far was after she ate spinach – it came out looking a lot like clumps of spinach. We are working now on finding a good cloth naptime diaper as she seems to leak every day with longer naps.
- How many teeth? TWO! The first came in in the beginning of February and the second was right behind it. They are coming in more by the day and are super adorable!
- What, if any, health issues are apparent: Ongoing congestion which she kicks for a while and then has again.
Activity and Motor Development
- Describe your child’s gross and fine motor skills (how she moves around, grabs things, etc.): Still sitting and sitting well enough to be able to lean over and grab things and get back to a sitting position. She also will lean over enough to get onto her tummy and seems to be doing that more purposefully (rather than just falling into that position). She can maneuver herself backwards and around in a circle but has not done a whole lot of forward motion (though she has done a lot of forward reaching). If there were rings tied to the ground that she could grab and use to pull herself forward, I’m sure she would do that (and would be great at it). She rolls from front to back when she finishes with time on her tummy but does not often roll from back to front. She can feed herself much of the time (and tries to use the spoon to do it as well) and is getting better at using her thumb to grasp items. She has learned the sign for “milk” (responding enthusiastically when I make it and/or say milk) and has started to make attempts to sign it herself (opening and closing her little hands) when she wants some. She can grasp your hands and pull herself to a standing position and she will put all of her weight on her feet.
- What can your child do for himself? Feed herself, grab items that she wants, manuever herself to get items, bend over and sit back up.
Language and Communication
- Describe your child’s language abilities: New this month: sign language! She knows the sign for milk (as mentioned above) and has started signing it to us in a more simplistic manner. She has also made the sound “mi-” when she is wanting milk but it’s hard to tell if that’s intentional or my wishful thinking. She says occasional consonant/vowel sounds but has also very determinedly been trying to blow raspberries when you blow them at her, making a bvvvbvbvvv sound after scrunching up her face and putting her lips together. Super adorable. I am trying to translate that to MMMMAAAAAAA but no luck yet 😉 K does continue to sing in the car from time to time.
Social Development and Environment
- Can your child follow simple directions? No, but she does respond to her name. And to the word “milk” 🙂
- How does your child react to family outings and visitors? She still likes everyone and she smiles super big at anyone at the store who gives her attention. That being said, she also often looks to C or I for affirmation before engaging with many people. She will be held by anyone still with little problem (though she has more preference for C or me)
- Does your child play with other children? Yes, with the other children at daycare.
- In what ways, if any, does your child behave aggressively toward you, his siblings, his playmates, or others? Not applicable (yet)
- Does your child have a strong preference for one parent? She prefers me in the middle of the night, hands down, and will scream angrily if C tries to take care of her. She also prefers me anytime she wants milk (obviously). And maybe other times, too, as tonight, when she showed clear preference for C, there was a lot of exictement (from C)
Toys and Play
- List your child’s favorite toys and describe how she plays with them: She likes her shape sorter – picking up the shapes and shoving them in her mouth, putting them in the sorter (without the sorter part), putting them in the sorter (with the sorter part) with support. She likes tags and strings on sweatshirts. She likes the metal bowl that she and I “play drums” on. She also likes her ocean friends toy (which signs some truly obnoxious songs), her books, and the little penguin that we often sit on her high chair. She enjoys the top ring of her ring stacker still, as well and the spice jar that I have in a box I made for her.
- What are your child’s favorite games? Peek-a-boo and “Where is Thumbkin” are two favorites (she begins looking for Thumbkin as soon as you start singing the song). She likes any kind of “parents repeat after me” games, like squealing and us squealing back or banging and us banging back. She likes hitting her hand on her high chair tray.
- Does your child have a lovey? Not a particular one, though she does have a stuffed monkey that she really likes to play with.
Feelings and Moods
- Describe your child’s range of feelings (comfort, discomfort, pleasure, joy, anger, affection, fear, hostility, depression/sadness) and how she expresses them: Lots of joy and excitement (as evidenced by smiles, squeals of laughter, and foot kicking). She screams when she is upset, moans when she is bored, screams differently if she is hurt or negatively surprised.
- What is likely to upset your child? Sometimes when I walk out of the room. When C tries to soothe her first in the middle of the night. When she’s hungry and doesn’t get her food right away.
- Describe how your child copes with discomfort, frustration, or other distress: Crying, moaning, nursing.
- What makes her feel better? Being picked up, talked to, distracted; nursing
What books does your child enjoy? All of them still! She has some sing-songy rhyme ones that she seems especially fond of, but mostly whatever we like, she likes.
Highlight of the Month
I love that she is responding to the word milk and trying to sign it herself – communication will open a new world to us (even as it makes our world more complicated). I love how enthusiastic she is at different times throughout the day and how happy she often is in the morning, hanging out in bed talking to herself and beaming from ear to ear when one us enters the room. Her fierce determination to get what she wants makes me proud and her snuggling up to me melts my heart. I like when she bangs on her high chair – the first couple times she did it, she seemed surprised by herself and now she seems so certain. I like that she is becoming more of who she is and I love spending each day with her helping her discover just who that might be 🙂