Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Five months old

Dear Annika,

Today you are five months old. This is a prime chunky baby age, and it is delightful.

You have become an extremely vocal baby this month. You are figuring out your vocal cords in earnest, and the results have been... squawky. You light up and let out a string of delighted babbling when you catch sight of us. You "talk" back to us when we talk to you. When you hear voices or noises around you, you crane your neck to see what's going on. You shriek when you're displeased or when you're playing with toys, and you have become quite ear-piercing. You're also babbling and talking generally more, and the beginnings of a few consonant sounds, particularly "ma," have started to make occasional appearances in your repertoire.

Like your brother before you, you've taken a bit of a break from rolling over after doing it regularly for a couple months. Unlike your brother, however, you are very focused at this point on learning how to sit and on bearing weight on your legs as much as possible. You adore your jumperoo, and if we put you in a standing position holding on to a piece of furniture, you can support yourself without anyone's help for an impressively long time. You desperately want to sit up, but you haven't figured out the tripod sit yet and just lean further and further forward until you're basically folded in half when we try. By now your core is strong enough that you can be carried on our hips, and I love walking around with you like that, as you look all around while clinging to my arm with one pudgy hand.

You continue to sleep great at night, usually around 11 hours straight, but you've been futzing with your nap schedule this month. It seems that, again like your brother before you, you are trying to drop your second nap very early. This would be fine except that you don't always sleep as long as you need to during your first nap, and are then an exhausted wreck by the evening. You've been giving us very clear signals that you'd like to go to bed earlier, and we've been resisting because we're afraid of you waking up too early, but last night we gave in and put you to bed before 8 because you were so clearly exhausted and cranky, and--you slept 12.5 hours straight. Fine, then. We'll keep following your cues if that's going to be the result. And if you keep doing that, then maybe this one-nap thing will actually work out. You are still sleeping swaddled, and I'm starting to get the impression that you don't need to be anymore, but we're also transitioning you from napping in the swing to napping in the crib, and between that and your shift in nap schedules, I want to hold off on weaning you from the swaddle until the other sleep stuff has settled down.

You continue to grow right along your same curves. My at-home measurements from this morning put you at 17 pounds, 7 ounces (87th percentile) and 27 inches (98th percentile). You wear mostly size 6-12 month clothing, though I still occasionally stuff you in some of my favorites from your 3-6 month wardrobe. You are still eating about 30 ounces of formula daily, give or take a few ounces. We haven't started you on solid food yet, and I think we'll hold off another month. You aren't displaying a specific interest--you do watch while we eat, but you watch everything we do, so I don't think that's specific to a solid food interest so much as a general curiosity about what is going on around you.

You continue to adore your brother. You smile and laugh whenever you catch sight of him, and if he's near you, you refuse to take your eyes off him. You chortle gleefully whenever he comes close. It's amazing to me how quickly you seem to have figured out that he's your guy, your special person, the one who will share your childhood like nobody else.

You really like toys by now, and have gotten quite good at reaching out and picking things up, passing them back and forth between your hands, and stuffing them in your mouth. You are very drooly and you suck your thumb sometimes, but not regularly. Your brother got his first tooth shortly before six months old, so I'm wondering if you'll follow in his footsteps in the next month or so, but so far your gums are smooth and we've seen no signs of teething.

By now it feels like we're all in a great rhythm. Things are humming along, we are all feeling content, and as the weather gets warmer we're starting to enjoy lots more family walks and outings, which is lovely for everyone. It's amazing how seamlessly you fit into our lives. I already can't imagine life without you. And that's exactly the way I always hoped it would be.


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