Friday, May 2, 2014

Six months old

Dear Annika,

Today you are six months old. It's your half birthday!

You continue to be the most delightful baby. You are mellow and happy basically all the time. You have a huge grin that you offer up constantly, and an adorable baby belly laugh, which your brother is especially good at producing. You have plumped up and have that classic-baby look of arm and leg rolls, cherubic face, big blue eyes, and gummy smile.

This month has been all about gross motor skills for you. You are now rolling very consistently from your back to your belly, and sometimes over again onto your back, though that direction is harder for you. The most you've achieved so far is three consecutive rolls in the same direction, making me wonder if you're going to follow in your brother's footsteps by learning to roll as a mode of transportation. When you're on your belly, you push your whole chest off the floor while flailing your legs in a manner that looks distinctly like pre-crawling. You're still a ways away from actually crawling, however, so I'll accept it. You've also learned how to sit up this month, and can do it unsupported for many minutes at a time, though you're still a little wobbly and jerky and therefore require spotting and/or soft pillows around you when you sit. You've also discovered your feet for real this month, and just last night managed to get your toes into your mouth, a trick you proceeded to repeat for the rest of the evening.

You continue to be very chatty, and make all sorts of coos and babbling noises. You make lots of consonant sounds by now, and you get very excited and wave your arms and legs while babbling when you catch sight of us. When you're angry or want something, you often yell or babble angrily instead of crying, which I consider a step in the right direction.

photo 3 (4)

Now that you're six months old, the solid foods can begin! We cheated by a couple days by handing you a couple of bread crusts and bagel chunks to gnaw on (this is the curse/delight of being the second child, compared to Callum where we developed a carefully curated program of organic whole grain cereal, followed by pureed veggies and then fruits), and you were delighted. Soon we will begin solid foods in earnest, and our plan is to skip the purees altogether. Somehow I suspect that you will be delighted, if your reaction to your first finger foods is anything to go on. You're still eating tons of formula--you actually bumped up your intake significantly this month, possibly during a growth spurt? You end up taking somewhere in the vicinity of about 34 ounces of formula most days.

Possibly related to this growth spurt, your size continues to be... well, large. You wear exclusively size 6-12 month clothing, and my extremely amateur at-home measurements put you somewhere around 28 inches long (99th percentile) and 19.5 pounds (94th percentile). Your baby chub is quite impressive by now.

You're still sleeping great. We weaned you off the swaddle this month with no issues, and now you often roll onto your belly to sleep, though not always. You've been futzing with your routine for awhile and you seem to have landed on something that works for all of us, at least for the time being. The exact schedule varies from day to day, but generally speaking you sleep for about 11 hours at night with no wakeups, from 9-8. You've scaled down to one nap daily, which is usually about 2-3 hours long, for total sleep of about 13-14 hours per day. I'm sure you'll totally change things up again soon, but in the meantime, we are liking this current schedule.

You've become really into toys this month, and seem to be developing a sense of object permanence, as one of your favorite games is to drop your toys and then peer down after them expectantly. This is where it's convenient that you have a brother, as he will stop whatever he's doing to come fish your toys up off the floor and hand them back to you. And speaking of your brother, you totally adore him--you clearly think that he hung the moon, which I wasn't expecting to occur so young, but it's delightful. I also wasn't expecting you two to actually play together so early, but there we have it--he crawls around on the floor with you, plays with toys with you, and bounces you in your jumperoo, all while you stare at him adoringly and chortle delightedly every time he moves.

You do seem to have a sensitive streak (which I can relate to so closely, I wonder why?), especially when you're tired. You can roll with pretty much everything when you're well-rested, but if you're getting close to needing sleep, you do not like strangers or unexpected loud noises. You also do not appreciate sensory overload when you're tired--you prefer not to be touched or looked at when you're trying to go to sleep. This is something that's exclusive to your tired moods--when you're rested you aren't picky about these things at all. You are also kind of a pukey baby--not spitty but legitimate barf, the kind that comes up with force and goes out your mouth AND your nose. You don't do it all the time; it seems to come in cycles where you do it a lot for many days in a row and then go many more days without doing it at all. I don't know if you just have a sensitive gag reflex or what, but since you're growing fine I assume it's basically fine, though I'll probably mention it to your pediatrician at your well-visit next week. Sadly you were in a barfy stage when we flew to North Carolina this week, making you three for three on flights featuring extended screaming followed by barfing all over yourself and me. Alas.

Barfing aside, however, you remain a positively adorable and delightful baby. Even though you're still so little, you're already such a companion for all of us. Your presence is so important to our family, and I couldn't imagine having it any other way.



  1. She is just gorgeous! Such a beautiful family :-)

  2. Such a sweet sweet little girl, and a beautiful post.

    Happy Half, Annika!


  3. What a cutie. I love that your kids are already playing together!

  4. Happy 6 months Annika!

    Thank you for sharing these Jess. My son is going to be 5 months on the 12th and I love using these posts as a little glimpse into our future. (Although I cop to total jealousy on getting good sleepers!)