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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tess Summary of Month 6

Tess turned 5 months old on Dec 31st so her 6th month of life was from December 31st - January 30th. 

Nursing: Nursing is going so well. I wish all moms who struggle in the early days of nursing could have a magic ball to see the future and what it'll be like once they get through the tough stage. I'm SO thankful that I've always pushed through because at this point nursing is only wonderful :) 

Tess is eating much faster...typically around 20 minutes total for a nursing session. She started making this funny puff sound thing while nursing? It's like she blows air rather than sucking. 

At this age she should be drinking 25-32 ounces a day of breastmilk. I noticed my supply dipped some in December so I started following these tips and could really tell a positive change! When we went to Disney I pumped exactly 25 ounces each day. I think Kye and Britt always drank the top end of the spectrum. And they were both pretty big babies, always in the higher percentiles. Tess is just little! So it makes sense that she'd be drinking the lower end amounts, and that's okay :) I also started on my "24 day challenge" this month and really noticed an increase in my supply from that too! 

Van life comes in handy when I need to pump ;) 
My favorite moments with Tess are right when she's done nursing. We snuggle and cuddle! I LOVE IT!



I noticed this month that she has a little vein across her nose the same spot where Kye does. You can kinda see it here. It's lighter than his was which is good!


Schedule: 6:45-7:10: Up for the day, nurse
8:45-9:00: down for nap
10:45-11:15: up from nap, nurse
12:45-1:00: down for nap
2:45-3:15: up from nap, nurse
4:45-5:00: down for nap
6:00: wake from nap, spend time with family
6:30ish: bath routine
6:45;7:00: last nursing session then straight to bed for the night

Sleep: So thankful to have the 4 month sleep regression behind us! On a typical day Tess sleep solid for the first nap of the day, she rarely wakes and never really needs the paci for it. For the 2nd nap she usually does wake and need the paci towards the end of the nap. Then she will go back to sleep and I'll have to wake her up to eat. For the cat nap she sometimes takes awhile to fall asleep and then she's dead asleep and we have to wake her.

We wake her at 6 from the cat nap to help her sleep more solid at night and it works!

She is at the age now where she will wake earlier in the mornings (always in the 6am hour though) and will just be happy and "talk" and "play" until we get her up.

She is starting not to be as sleepy for the last feeding of the day and is often wide awake still when I put her to bed for the night. She is also taking longer to fall asleep at the start of naps. Usually around 15 min. She's happy the whole time, not really fussy or anything.

If she wakes mid-nap we still let her fuss for about 15 min before giving the paci. It's the ONLY time we use a paci. Not outside the crib and never at night. IF she wakes in the night we just leave her be and she goes back to sleep on her own.

In the middle of this month (1/19) Tess had a stuffy nose and wouldn't take the paci when I offered it to her. She kept pushing my hand away. She cried and criedI tried everything I could to get her back to sleep that nap but finally gave up and just let her fuss. She fussed for 20 min and fell back to sleep and slept for 40 min. She woke up super happy and then had a HUGE poop diaper while nursing.

I learned that if she has a bad nap that it usually means she's "working" on some poop! Poop does disrupt her sleep. She doesn't usually poop during sleep times (actually now that I think about it I don't think she's ever had a poop diaper after naps or nights?) but she works on the poop during naps sometimes. If she has a bad nap then it's almost guaranteed that she'll have a massive poop afterwards.


After the paci issue on the 19th I just stopped offering it. She didn't want it and it didn't seem to be helping anymore so we just dropped the paci and went to CIO mid-naps. I've always tended to follow Valerie's advice (from Chronicles of a Babywise Mom) and she always recommends waiting until 5 months old for cry it out mid-nap. I now see why! Tess is 5 months old and it was time for her to handle the mid-nap wakings on her own rather than having a prop (paci). She RARELY cries mid-nap but if she does it's only for 15-20 min and then she settles back to sleep. It's been a VERY smooth transition from the paci and I'm REALLY proud of myself for how I did the paci with Tess. I feel like I handled it the best "babywise friendly" way possible. It wasn't a sleep prop for her. It was only used to help her with mid-nap wakings and it worked! And as soon as she no longer needed it, we dropped it without any issues :)

She also rolled to her belly in the bed for the firs time on Jan 8th. I knew Britt would be a tummy sleeper but I was interested to see how Tess would be. She's not a tummy sleeper. If it happens, it happens. But she doesn't sleep better on her belly nor does she choose to be on her belly for sleep. At this age if a baby can roll to their belly on their own then it's no longer a safety concern. Of course I always put Tess to sleep on her back, but if she does roll then I don't move her.

This month was also a wonder week for Tess. I was nervous after how hard the last one was for us...but I couldn't even tell she was in one! I feel like if your baby struggles with the 4 month sleep regression then you get cut a break on the 6th month one ;)

This month I fell in LOVE with the HALO SleepSack (you can see my review here!). Tess's room is a good bit colder than the rest of the house (6 degrees difference! so annoying!) and the SleepSack helps keep her warm, without the hassle of socks. She's at the age where she loves to play with her feet and will take off her socks in the crib. The SleepSack prevents her from playing with her feet which has meant more solid sleep for her as well as fewer socks to find for me!




Sock collection behind the crib from her nap time adventures! Found a paci there too :)
She often sleeps with her friend over her face. Freaks. Me. Out.
First time on belly




Hair: By the end of the month Tess had pretty much stopped playing with her hair in bed. I think sleeping with her friend helped her to stop doing that habit. It got less and less matted which I was super thankful for! She still rocks the crazy hair with the massive bald spot :) I'm glad that she has hair to cover it!



Sitting: This month the big milestone we worked on was sitting! Tess can tripod sit but not for very long. She's so funny with it b/c she just falls over and will not even try to stop herself from falling. She doesn't mind falling either. She's just my super chill baby! 




Toes: Favorite toy for this month? Her TOES. Child would chew 'em right off if I let her ;) She always finds her feet and always put them in her mouth. It's kind of adorable :)











Out and About: My goal was to be taking the kids to school and picking them up from school solo once they started back after winter break. Mrs. Charlotte was a HUGE help for me during the first half of the school year (Zach and I appreciated it SO MUCH and did make sure to get her a nice thank you gift to show our appreciation!) but by the time school started back in January I felt Tess's schedule was solid enough where we could commit to handling the outing. Many mornings Zach can take the kids to school but Tess and I always do pick up! It means a LOT of time in the car for her. And very little awake time/fun time at home. We leave the house soon after she gets done nursing in the mornings to drop off and then get back and rush her to nap. Then we leave soon after she gets done nursing at the next feeding and rush to pick them up then rush home for nap again! It's a little crazy but we make it work! 

I have a good system down where we get to the school super early before drop off and I get Tess out of her car seat in the carpool line and play with her. I know that may seem dumb but I have a LOT of guilt about her being in the car seat so much. I hate it! Then for pick up I will park and walk in with her so she gets that little bit of time out of the car seat (and it helps keep her awake!). Thankfully she is a GREAT car seat baby. She never ever ever fusses. It would be so easy to forget she's even in the car! I have to check to make sure she's back there and that I didn't accidentally forget her at home all the time haha!

I don't remember how often we took the other two kids out and about as babies. I do think with each kid we have, we become more consistent with the schedule and therefore spend more time at home with the baby. I got the chance to run Tess to the store for a few things we needed (we made it there and back within an hour!) and I had THE BEST time. It was just her and I and I walked so slowly around Publix letting all the strangers stop and look at her and comment about her adorableness. I totally want to take her out more often :) It was so fun! She was so easy and sweet and was so funny in the cart because she kept slumping over haha. 





Baby Gear: Tess is in a transition phase right now where I know the days are numbered with a lot of her baby gear. I'm surprised by how little I've used the Bumbo seat with her. I remember using it with Britt all the time but with Tess I rarely find myself using it? She also sits up so straight in it that it makes me nervous. And I think all the buzz about the safety issues with it kinda makes me avoid using it!

Now that she's close to sitting solo we are also almost done with the bouncer seat stage. She's getting to where it's boring for her to sit in it and where she tries to lean up the whole time. 










She still LOVES the jumperoo. That thing is so massive but so worth the space it requires! All of my children have loved it and I love that it gives them exercise! My favorite new "gadget" is the Go-Pod...she's not quite tall enough yet to fully enjoy it but it's a great spot to set her when I need my hands free (especially while in the kitchen cooking). It love that it folds up and can be transported so easily (unlike the jumperoo!). 








More than anything I just use a blanket and lay her on the floor 90% of the time. If I'm in the kitchen I put her on the floor near the kitchen area where I can turn the corner and see her easily and hear her too. I love that she's not mobile yet and will just happily play with her toys on the blanket :) I know these days are numbered!



Bath: Tess still really enjoys bath time. She is very content in the water and it's always a happy part of the day. I love that Zach gets that quality time with just her and I enjoy that time with her too when Zach takes the older two to night services at church. 




Independent Playtime: We are still at 20 min of independent playtime about 3 times a day. She does great in the pack and play. Sometimes she will fuss and usually its at the 15 min mark. I do go ahead and get her when she fusses. I know I'll have to be more hardcore about it at some point but I'm okay with being more lenient right now. She fusses so rarely that I HATE it when she does! She can basically get whatever she wants haha spoiled ;)


Outside: I don't think you realize how much of a person's personality shows as an infant until you have multiple children. I look back at posts about Britt and can SEE how she was already Britt even as a baby. Knowing that I also look for things about Tess and kinda try to guess how she'll be in the future. I do NOT think she'll enjoy the outdoors haha. You can just see it on her face in these pics. I mean she's not fussy when we go outside, but it's def not her "happy place" either!










Friend: Tess is the youngest of our babies to sleep with an attachment item. I feel the need to say this every time but I do NOT recommend babies having attachment items in their cribs. However, I've now had a paci baby, a finger sucking baby, and a "friend" baby. And I have to say...I prefer the friend. She LOVES her bunny. Her face lights up when she sees it and she is so cute to watch on the monitor as she talks to it in the crib. We only give it to her during sleep times (these pics were just b/c I wanted to get some pics of them together!) and it's significantly improved her sleep. I don't know if she would sleep okay without it or not but I'm FINE with her being attached to it. Kye ended up becoming attached to "friends" once he dropped the paci so I'm already used to having to make sure we pack them for trips and such. I like that the friend isn't something she'll have to wean from. I slept with a friend until I got married and still will pull him out (mine is also a bunny!) if Zach is out of town or if I'm especially sad and want comfort. I especially like that the friend isn't going to cause any damage to her. The paci can cause teeth issues as can the fingers. And y'all should SEE the damage Britt has done to her fingers from all the sucking. SO thankful not to have a repeat of that mess!!! Plus let's be honest...the friend is CUTE!











Teething: Tess is for sure teething this month. She chews and chews! She really prefers either soft materials, toy rings, or squishy bath books to chew on. She's not a fan of the vibrating teethers (which Britt loved) and she doesn't drool. It's like her mouth is almost dry? The couple of times I've used teething tablets I have a hard time getting them to dissolve in her mouth! 



Clothes: Tess can wear a size 6 months but the sleeves are all super long for her. 3 months stuff still fits her great (THE smallest baby I've had for sure!) but the 3 month pants are too short. When Tess was born I was excited for her to wear all of Britt's baby clothes but then I realized they are opposite seasons! Britt was born in Dec and Tess was born in July! Luckily Tess is MUCH smaller than Britt was. Britt was already in a 6 month and close to a 9 month at this age. If the trend continues then it may work out where the seasons line up :) I try to make as much of it work as I can and I'm thankful for cardigans to make Britt's summery stuff work for winter! 

Girl clothes are ADDICTING to buy and I'm a person who has a hard time turning down a good deal. I also hoard my kids clothing and save like everything they own to pass on to the next kid. This is Tess's 12 month clothes...and let's remember she's still only in a 3 month size. I am SUPER glad I went through all the clothes before the kids sales because I didn't let myself buy stuff for Tess. I mean child has PLENTY. She even has 22 bathing suits in the 12 month size. 22!!! How the HECK did that happen?!?! We need to add a bunch of beach trips to our summer plans so she can wear them all haha!



Siblings: I love my three sweet babies and I love their love for each other :) 



Bahaha
Tess's first tea party!




First time they all played together!




More About Tess: 
  • Tess LOVES to kick and is kicking alllll the time. She has super long adorable toes too and loves when we play with her feet.
  • Her hair is simply wild. Even if I wet it and try to "fix" it it's just a lost cause. And I love how crazy it is :)
  • Her lips are SO sweet and so kissable!
  • She is very very rarely fussy so when she is the world stops turning and we all rush to make her happy again. 
  • On 1/6 she rolled from her back to belly in the living room
  • She wears a size 2 diapers
  • She's now pooping daily
  • I LOVE this age and how she will reach for me and grab my face :)
  • Tess is almost always smiling
  • She now likes to play with/pull my hair while nursing
  • I am in total denial about her turning 6 months old and starting solids!
  • She makes a "tisssss" sound and says "mmmm" sound (c'mon "mama") as well as more consonant sounds and she's also razzing more now
  • It's so cute when she reaches for Kye!
  • She is wanting to be able to move on her own and is frustrated when she can't reach for things
  • She rolls both ways over and over and over again...all over the place!
  • She has a flat spot but it's not the same location as her bald spot. It's actually more on the side of her head. Which is where Carter had his too! I think it's because she often sleeps on her side.
  • Jan 22nd she gave me kisses on demand :)
  • I think she has Zach's ears!
  • She is a VERY happy and content and easy baby. However, she doesn't like crowds. Which can be a bit embarrassing. She gets reallllly upset when there is a lot of noise and a lot of people and doesn't like being held by people she's not super comfortable with. I'm 99% sure that I was like this as a child because I can remember not wanting to give kisses to my aunts and uncles at family gatherings. I'm FINE with her being this way. I'm great in social settings now and I think it's fine to be more reserved. In a family where everyone is always fighting for the attention, she's smart to just sit back and take it all in ;)
Videos:

This is me as a baby!!! Seeing my crazy hair gives me hope for Tess's :) 
































Post Partum Update: This month I did start my "nursing challenge." I was SUPER hardcore (post to come about the details!) and really had some great results! I felt good emotionally as well. I had my first "back to normal" period which is always awffffful and I also noticed the appearance of "baby bangs." Blech! I have noticed after the 3rd baby that I have a NEED to get out of the house more in a way I never had after the other two. I'm thankful for sweet friends, a husband who plans great dates, and my sweet babies to come home to! I do think this is the "ah-ha" month for me as a parent with EVERY child I've had. Looking back at Kye's and Britt's posts I said the same thing as I felt this month: I've adjusted, this is my "new normal", I feel confident in my parenting abilities, and I can't imagine how my life was before adding our sweet girl to our lives!



I soak up every second with this baby girl!!!



Sibling Comparisons: You can read Britt's month 6 summary here! It's crazy how much less hair she has than Tess! And reading it really does show what I was talking about earlier regarding the personalities. Something I adore about Britt is that she's got her own unique personality and has had it from birth! She def marches to the beat of her own drum and stands out in a crowd :) I'm so interested to see Tess and Britt together as they grow up as I do think they will have different personalities! 

I feel bad for Kye! He's my 1st born child but actually has the least amount of baby pictures! You can read his 6th month summary here :) It's hard for me to remember a lot about Kye as a baby which makes me SO sad. One thing I do vividly remember is how he'd lean backwards all the time at this age. It's so precious and the few times Tess has done it I instantly remember holding Kye and having him do the same thing. 

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