Our tiny defenseless newborn is turning into a skilled self-sufficient infant! MAKE IT STOP! She keeps growing despite our efforts to keep her in tiny little baby land! :)
Stats: We think she weighs about 15 pounds and is probably around 25.5 inches long! That's based on weighing her on our home scale and the way she is filling out her clothes length-wise. That means she has already gained about 2 pounds and grown an inch since her 4 month check up! Solid foods will do that to a kid, I suppose!
Schedule: As noted in an earlier post, Maleah is now eating on a 3.5 hour schedule. We are hoping she will stretch to 4 hours sometime in the coming month. The 3.5 thing is tough! Right now, a day looks like this (with naps in between feedings):
7am - Feed 2-3 tbsp oatmeal mixed with 1/2-1 container fruit, 4-ish ounces of formula; finish the rest of bottle around 7:45
10:30 - Feed 5-6 oz formula
2:00 - Feed 5-6 oz formula
4:45 - Feed 3-4 oz formula
7:00 - Feed 1 container fruit or vegetable, 3-4 oz of formula; finish the rest of bottle right before bed
Do you see anything missing? How about THE DREAM FEED! No more 10:15 p.m. dream feed. More on that in a moment.
Eating: This past week, Maleah had a growth spurt. She was hungry (and we fed her, obviously!) around 10:00 and 1:20 and 4:00 for a few days instead of 10:30/2/4:45. We upped her bottle to have 6 ounces, as well. She has taken 5.5-6 ounces the past few days and gone back to the "regular" schedule. Hooray! She also dropped the dreamfeed. We have skipped it a few times in recent weeks to just see how she would do, and she always woke up around 3/4 am hungry. So she wasn't ready. Well, last Tuesday, Blake didn't get home from watching the NBA Final game until after 11 and I was already in bed. He thought I had done the dreamfeed; I thought he did it when he came in. Neither of us did it - but she slept through until 7am. So, we didn't do it the next night or the next or the next. The past couple of days she has woken up early (between 5-6am) hungry, but we think it's because she isn't finishing her 7pm bottle. So, we have to work on that this week!
Solids: Solids foods are... eh. I keep reminding myself that this point in their life is just practice for solid foods. Not that I'm eager for her to chomp down on some solids, but it's difficult sometimes to balance the solids with the formula. Too much solids and she won't take the milk. Too little solids and she doesn't get full enough. We're all still learning and just figuring out what works. So far, she has eaten squash, sweet potato, carrots, peas, banana, and pears! We just experiemented with everything - some we put in the oatmeal, some she ate without, thinner, thicker, with formula, no formula. I feel like I'm on Chopped trying to figure out a new recipe at each meal time! I am planning on making some homemade baby food this weekend, but am waiting to make any big batches until we move into the new house so we don't have to worry about transferring frozen food.
Activity: Maleah has recently started purposefully grabbing and holding on to toys placed within reach. And of course, once she's grasped the toy, it goes directly into her mouth. Babies are like sharks in that way - they need to nibble at everything to see if it's good to eat! It's so fun to watch her see something and then reach for it. At first, her arms were robot-like, as if she was having to tell her brain, "Move up, okay over a little bit this way; no, no, too far; okay now up..." It was so cute. Now she's a little more fluid, but still you can see that her brain is working hard to get those little arms in the right place. She is also doing well at grasping objects. She doesn't seem to get too frustrated easily, so she'll keep grabbing until she gets ahold of what she wants. She's also starting to be able to put her pacifier in her mouth!
Sleeping: Nap story is same-old, same-old. They're all over the place while she's at daycare but it's all good! At home, she naps like a champ. Shows signs of sleepiness, gets cuddled for a few minutes, and BOOM - she's in the crib and headed off to dreamland. And she will sleep around 1.5 hours total at home. Nighttime sleep is great. After her bath, we read a book to her and let her finish her bottle (if she'll take it!). She's usually totally ready to go to sleep by 7:45. She used to let me rock her to sleep, but now she fights me so I rock her for a few minutes and put her down awake. She sleeps from 7:45 until 7 most days which is great and sad all at the same time.
For a while, she would cry around 3/4 am because she wanted her pacifier. Now it's about 5:15 that she lets out a cry, we give her the paci, and she's back to sleep. I wake up at 5:20 so it's not a big deal. I think she'll eventually stop doing that but for now it's not a problem for us. Since she is at daycare all day long, I kinda treasure those moments in the wee hours of the morning!
Personality: Maleah seems to be a really sweet, content little girl. She doesn't fuss too much unless she needs something. She seems to really like people, although she is not quick to laugh! It seems like she's got to be in the right mood to crack up at something! She is also a little studier. She does really well to sit and look at a book or stare at your face or at a toy. Like all babies, she is figuring out the world and she is so interested in everything she sees!
Misc: This is random, but at the suggestion of a mom-friend, we no longer use the baby monitor. Maleah is just in the next room and we can definitely hear her when she cries. With the monitor - even on its lowest setting - we could hear EVERYTHING. And it would drive me nuts! Plus we were running in to calm her for the tiniest of whimpers. Babies make noise in their sleep - some (like Maleah) even let out little cries - but they don't actually need anything. They may be dreaming or moving from one sleep cycle to the next. So, we haven't used the monitor in weeks and everyone is getting good sleep at our house!
Me: Being the mom of a 5-month-old is A LOT easier than being a mom of a 2-month-old! Maleah is so much more predictable now and we have a much easier time figuring out what's wrong when disruptions happen. And, now that we aren't doing the dream feed anymore, I can go to bed earlier which is really helping my mood! I am not a night-owl, that's for sure!!! Blake and I are working on finding ways for me to be able to fit in exercise again, but it's really hard. I want to be home so badly with her that I don't like going or doing anything without her until she's in bed - that's 8pm. By 8pm, I am exhuasted! And I already wake up at 5:20 a.m. and am running out the door at 7:45. I can't imagine getting up any earlier! But, this is just a short season and soon I'll be able to take her with me to exercise!
We are so happy to be parents of this sweet little baby girl! It won't be long before she is moving around and finds her independence, so we are treasuring these moments of infancy!