Monday, November 1, 2010

6 Months

6 month stats: 21lb 4oz (90%), 28in (92%)

(Caleb is technically 7 months now but only by a few days, so I'm posting as if he's still 6.)

Six months old. Half a year. Six beautiful months with the most incredible baby boy. I cannot express enough how much I love being this little six month old boy's momma! This month has been a full one.

Solids. This is the biggest change this month! Up until now, Caleb has been exclusively breastfed. Well, he gets a bottle from Daddy every night before bed, but it's milk that I pumped, so I consider him exclusively breastfed. Part of me was sad that he already reached this stage, but a bigger part was excited to see what he thought of all the new flavors and textures. He gets a meal of cereal in the morning and another of fruits or veggies in the evening. We started out with rice cereal per his pediatrician's recommendation. Lowest risk of allergy, easiest on the tummy for the first food.

(first time with cereal)

So far, we've discovered that he likes carrots and avocados, loves butternut squash and peas, hates sweet potatoes, and is starting to like bananas.

(yucky sweet potatoes)

(yummy avocado)

Limited mobility. Caleb can't crawl yet, but he's working on the tools to get there. (Not that Momma is complaining; I'm relishing the ease of life with a mostly immobile baby.) This month he started doing big push-ups. Then he learned how to get his knees up underneath him, then got up on his knees and elbows at the same time, and now occasionally gets up on all fours. He stays in place during all this. However, he can really get around by spinning around on his tummy. He uses his arms to twist himself around. After enough 360's he is able to get to the place he was reaching for. I suspect he'll be army crawling in another week or two.

"Talking." We aren't to the point yet where Caleb makes distinguishable syllables, but he loves to "talk" and exercise his vocal chords. He has quite the range, from squeals that only dogs could hear to low gutteral grunts. He mostly uses vowel combinations but also favors soft consonants; "ffffff", "bbbbbb", "pppppp." Jonathan and I especially get a kick out of his latest trick, a motorboat sound by exhaling and rolling a "b" with his lips. I often hear him after he wakes up or when he's supposed to be falling asleep, rolling around and playing in his crib, doing his motorboat impression.

Caleb perfected his whine this month. The first few times I thought it was cute, but it got old really fast. He also uses his voice to express himself through yelling. If you take away a toy he's enjoying, you may well be shouted at. If he's having lots of fun during playtime on his blanket, he might let out a happy holler. Within the last few weeks especially, he is really letting loose with the vocals.

Lately I've been working with him on "Mama" and "Dada." Jonathan and I use these names around him frequently. When I say them to Caleb, he usually gets a big grin, kicking and flailing with excitement. He sometimes focuses on my mouth as I slowly say them, touching my lips and moving his along with me. I've also started baby sign language. The two we're practicing first are "more" and "all done." He hasn't tried to mimic me yet, but loves it when I sign. (Well, really, he loves it when we do anything with our hands.)

Other developments. We've had Caleb on a schedule since he was 5 weeks old. He thrives on his schedule (definitely takes after his momma!), and I love the predictability and stability it brings to my days. We have flexibility within our schedule and never make Caleb suffer for the sake of the clock. He has gradually been able to go longer between feedings. In the last week or two he's transitioned to a four hour schedule. This is the outline of what our days look like:

8am - Wake, eat, play
9am - Solids (cereal)
9:30am - Bathtime
10am - Nap
12pm - Wake, eat, play
2pm - Nap
4pm - Wake, eat, play
5:30/6pm - Catnap if needed
7pm - Solids (veggies or fruit)
7:30pm - Begin getting ready for bed
7:45pm - Bottle with Daddy
8pm - Bedtime

We are not blind to how blessed we are by Caleb's ability to sleep through the night. He started sleeping 5 hour stretches at 2 weeks old. By 5 weeks he was sleeping 8 hours at night. By 4-5 months he was at 11 consecutive hours. Then we went on vacation for a week at the end of September. Since then, he's been waking up in the night. We're trying a few different things to get him back to his 12 hour nights.

We heard Caleb laugh for the first time around 3 months. Month 6 has brought more laughing and, if possible, even more smiles. Tickling him is usually a surefire way to get him to laugh, but sometimes all it takes is a funny face or silly noise. I gotta say, he has a wonderfully contagious laugh. (I'm working on getting a video of it to upload.)

There is plenty more I could say. Caleb will reach for us now when we're picking him up or taking him from someone else. He's learning about playing games (his favorite is peekaboo, he loves it when I hide and pop up from behind the couch or his crib). He's figuring out the concept of cause-and-effect. He understands object permanence, which leads to the occasional separation anxiety. He sits extremely well unassisted (though eventually topples over, and laughs about it). He isn't very into standing but we're working on that. He grabs his feet as soon as I lay him down for a diaper change. He reaches out to feel everything he sees. He loves bathtime and splashes water all over the bathroom with his vigorous kicking. When we clap he holds onto our hands so he can clap with us.

All in all, he is a thriving, happy, intelligent, incredibly amusing six month old baby boy. He brings unending joy to our lives. Somehow, it just seems to get better every month. My predictions for month 7 include crawling, clapping, assisted standing, possibly his first tooth, and maybe even "Mama" and/or "Dada."

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