Ila is 6 and a half months old, and today (Thursday, March 19th) begins the 27th week of her life. She is still a happy, sweet, content baby girl. She is definitely the most sensitive of our children; Ila really watches your face for cues to see if you are happy or upset before she will smile or interact with you a lot. Lexie was a determined go-getter from the start; she wanted your attention and would scream across the room and be silly in order to get it. Max was much more moody, but not based on anyone else’s mood; his disposition was usually determined by how his tummy was feeling (reflux and colic), and if he had a full belly or not. Ila is going to be a sensitive, loving girl, and that is okay. =)
In the past two weeks Ila has finally started working on all those skills her past wonder weeks prepared her for- she is more smoothly reaching for things, talking, and rolling from her back to her front. She wants to sit up all the time and is not content laying down. We are working on sitting up by herself, and I have a feeling it isn’t far from happening. She also like to kick and stand.
She has recently started playing in the bathtub, which is so cute. She kicks the tub and splashed everywhere. Her little baby legs are just covered in fat rolls, and she is the happiest thing you have ever seen.
We also have two teeth, and I think she is trying to get a third on the bottom? But I am not 100% sure yet. She loves to talk when she is by herself, but when her older siblings are around she mostly just watches in wonder and awe. She think they are hilarious and they both love to sit with a book and read to her. This morning (3/25/2015) she finally reached for the toys on the bouncer and discovered one plays music when she pulls it.
Ugh. I don’t know if it is the 6 month growth spurt, the 6 month overall regression, my milk supply dropping because I am walking, Ila getting teeth, or a combination of all the above, but the last two weeks she has been on somewhat of a nursing strike. =( My perfect nursing baby is now very opinionated on when she wants to nurse and when she does not. Unfortunately the last few days it has been more of the not, than the wants to. I am not sure what to do to encourage her, so I am going to start back on my fennel oil to help increase my supply, continue pumping twice a day, and always offer to nurse before solids or a bottle. So far, if I get her up and nurse in her bedroom, with it dark and the door shut she will nurse pretty well.
As soon as Ila wakes, we nurse, then take a bottle. At her 11:00 feeding we nurse, then she gets solids (wither avocado or applesauce in oatmeal), and then she takes a bottle.
She loves avocado!
The Miss is devouring solids, so we are probably going to start offering them at her 3:00 feeding as well, for a snack. (which is also why she doesn’t get them before nursing..) She opens her mouth and really enjoys eating now, her eyes get SO big when it is time for a bite, but sometimes she can’t seem to figure out when to open her mouth- it is really funny.
Once she decides she is ready to wean, I will use our homemade formula exclusively for her bottles. Hopefully we can continue nursing until 12 months.
Ila was double swaddled until about 2 weeks ago- then my whole life changed for the better! She had been fighting the swaddle, and was getting one arm out in the middle of the night, sometimes managing to get both out (which woke up her early in the mornings). But no matter how hard I tried, she still would not sleep during the day with one arm out. So I decided to get the Love to Dream Swaddle-Up 50/50 blanket.
Do you hear that?
It is angels singing!
Oh my goodness, why did I wait so long to get this?! I wish I had bought it MONTHS ago. It is amazing. (and no one is paying me to tell you that!)
So the blanket is made of a stretchy knit material, that allows baby’s arms to be free in the swaddle, but also tight enough that they don’t wake themselves during sleep transitions! Then, on top of that, the little arms are UN-ZIPPABLE!
You read that right!
When baby is ready to roll over, or start the transition to one arm out of the swaddle, you just unzip that bad boy and there you go! A perfect transition- one arm out and one arm in, but able to move and go back to sleep at the end of a sleep cycle. It is perfect!
Yes she chews and suck on the fabric that is zipped on, but it is not problem. It is seriously the most perfect thing ever in the history of baby products. I will get one for every single person I know having a baby in the future!
I would have started her in this blanket at about 3.5-4 months old if I’d had it on hand.
Once Ila is a little bit older we will probably start to use one of the blankets that a friend who lives in Germany bought us. It was such a sweet and lovely gift. Our friend actually had a blanket custom made just for our little girl printed with photos of all of her family members so that she can always be close to them.
She told us that you can now FotoDecke mit Ihrem Foto, Text oder Design gestalten (design blankets using your own photos for those of you who do not speak German!) quickly and easily using some of the brilliant custom gift websites out there. I still cannot get over how cute this blanket is and I am so excited to put it to good use once Ila outgrows her current one.
Anyway, her sleep is usually great and I really do attribute that to the Love to Dream Swaddle.
So for now, our schedule looks like this (we JUST extended her first wake time to 1.75hrs):
- 7am wake, nurse, bottle
- 8:45 down for nap
- 11:00 wake, nurse, solids, bottle
- 12:45 down for nap (this will probably move to 1:00 soon)
- 3:00 up, nurse, begin solids here soon, bottle
- 4:45 down for cat nap (this will probably be 5:00 soon)
- 6:15pm up, nurse, bottle, bed by 7
- usually asleep by 7pm
This spring weather that started way early is amazing and Ila is really enjoying being outside. She hangs out in her bouncer, which my big helper Lexie takes outside for me. =)
As for a mama update- I am mostly good. Still working on healing my DR so I can move on to more intense workouts. I am just really taking it slow; it is hard because I want to jump right back in but I am telling you- my body feels SO MUCH BETTER since I stopped doing the wrong exercises! I cannot give enough praise for Fit2B.com- I will do a whole post on that another day.
But since starting my DR exercises, I can tell my TA (transverse abdominis) is getting stronger because my back no longer hurts as badly as it did. Your TA is the deepest ab muscle and wraps from your front to your spine; when you have back trouble and someone says you need to strengthen your core, this is the muscle you really should be working on.
Anyway, as my body heals I just feel better and better, even if I am not losing a ton of weight yet. This take priority right now. I have quite a bit of weight to lose, but don’t expect it to come off until Ila is done nursing.
I am not willing to stop nursing or go on a crazy strict diet and lose my supply while nursing, for the sake of losing weight. I figure, I am young, I won’t be fat forever and I only get to nurse my baby once. Some days I struggle with it, but I know this is what I want for both of us.
Emotionally I feel great- hormones don’t seem to be making me a crazy person right now (though that usually comes shortly after baby weans). We have been enjoying incredibly warm weather so at naps I have been laying out-Oh my goodness, REAL sunshine and vitamin D are some of God’s most wonderful gifts! I feel like a different person than I did in December just because of the sunshine.
So, that is it! Our 6.5 month update!