You are 5 months old! Well really, you are closer to 6 months old now because I’m a few weeks late in writing this...but better late than never is what I always say! :)
This was quite a big month for you, little man! Several major accomplishments and firsts this month – including starting to sit in your highchair during mealtime, outgrowing your infant car seat and taking naps on your own (mostly while swaddled). There were other firsts, too, but we’ll get to those in a minute.
During month 5 you really started to explore your voice and you went through a few phases with that. For about a week you constantly had your tongue sticking out and you would blow raspberries all the time. Then you really upped the amount of chatter and babble you were doing. We also realized that you’ve started mimicking some of our mannerisms. You were sucking in your lower lip a lot, and that seemed so funny to me and I wondered where it came from...until I realized that I do that exact same thing when I’m concentrating on something! Such a smart little doppelganger you are. :)
You officially discovered your feet this month, and more importantly you discovered that you are flexible enough to get those delicious toes into your mouth! So during bath time and diaper changes especially, the toes are in your mouth. Makes for a longer diaper change, especially, but you have so much fun with it that we don’t mind the extra time.
Lots of increased fine motor skills development this month. For example, you are reaching for toys, looking where we point, anticipating our next moves and interacting with objects a lot more. One particularly amusing development is that if you are looking at me in the mirror and I turn to look at you in real life (instead of in the mirror), you now turn from the mirror to me at the same time! You are so very smart, my love, and it is fun to see your awareness of the world developing.
On December 1, you started going to daycare in preparation for me starting back to work on December 6. I have to say, that first day was a very hard one for me. I’d been with you pretty much 100% of the time from the moment I got pregnant last year up until December 1, and dropping you off at daycare for the first time was really emotional for me. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I started crying when they took you from me, and then I sat in the daycare parking lot and cried for about 30 more minutes before I felt stable enough to drive home. Once home, I tried to distract myself for a few hours before going back to get you. I had grand plans of cooking and sewing and shopping during my “me time” while you got used to being at daycare, but really I just had a serious pity party and counted down the minutes until I could go pick you up and bring you home! When I arrived at daycare that first afternoon you were crying on the floor by yourself, and that just about did me in. I could hear your loud wails from down the hall, and it broke my heart that you weren’t being comforted by anyone. I went all Mama Bear and marched into the room to pick you up, and you were instantly happy again. We went home and both of us took over a 2 hour nap that evening because we were so drained. I’m happy to say though, that you seem to really love daycare and it’s helped to make my transition back to the workplace much easier (and you haven’t been crying unattended any other time when I’ve come to pick you up after that first day). You are thriving in daycare, in fact, and I am happy to report that I haven’t cried over leaving you there since that first traumatic morning! :) Your teachers – Taylor, Svetlana and Francesca – all seem to love you a lot and your happy, smiling nature makes you very popular with everyone there. I come to visit you every day during lunch, so that I can nurse you and play with you for a bit, and I think we both benefit from that tremendously. It makes it much easier for me to be a happy and productive employee knowing that you are less than 5 minutes away from me and that we’re going to have our lunch date every afternoon. Those few minutes of love fill me up and keep me going for the rest of the day!
Not sure if you were just ready, or if it was the influence of being around slightly older babies, but your biggest milestone this month is that you started sitting unassisted during your first full week at daycare! You’d sat up for us for 30-60 seconds at a time at home before toppling over, but within 2 to 3 days at daycare you were going for 3-5 minutes at a time and loving it! You also, within your first several days at daycare, put yourself to sleep during tummy time (another big first!). Speaking of tummy time, you are an official tummy time fan now and you just love doing baby push-ups from the floor.
You were still exclusively breastfed during your 5th month, and we are still co-sleeping and loving it. You pretty consistently go to bed at 9pm and you sleep through the night. When I wake up and have to shift positions (which happens one to three times a night), you start to stir a bit so you nurse for a few minutes without really waking up before settling back into a deep sleep. I love co-sleeping, and I can’t imagine having you sleep away from me yet! We both sleep much better, and the fact that we can nurse in bed without ever having to get up during the night means that we are both getting more rest. Once I started back at work, you started waking up around 6:30am on most weekdays but you sleep a little longer on the weekends still. You are a great napper, just like mommy, and you take 3-4 naps a day ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours. We are still cloth diapering and loving it, but we have switched to using a disposable diaper at night so that we don’t have to worry about nighttime diaper changes. One diaper a day going into the landfill is worth it to us, to have a good night’s rest!
We don’t have any official stats for you this month, but we don’t think you grew too much in height or weight from month 4 to month 5 (has the growth train finally slowed down a bit?!?). You ended the month around 17.5 pounds or so, and I think you were still around 27 inches tall. You are wearing 9-12 month clothes now, your hair is still reddish orange and your eyes are still beautifully blue. You are wonderfully giggly and smiley and you have such a sweet and happy disposition. Sometimes you look like such a big boy, and I feel like I need to figure out how to slow down the passage of time because you are growing up way too fast. But then other times, like the day we went out in the rain for lunch and I was watching from the door of the café while Karl got you out of the car seat, you still look like such a little baby to me. Your papa and I love you more than words could ever say, Baby Bear, and I hope you always know that you are our greatest accomplishment.
As always, here is a link to your continuing Flickr album. I could watch this slideshow all day!
XOXOXO, I love you to bits and pieces.