Sunday, June 3, 2012

Reagan: Months 7-9

Month Seven

In a Nutshell- This month Reagan rolled over from back to belly.  She also started sitting on her own.  Sitting up brought with it some new challenges- at any point she could topple over without warning and I freaked over every little bump and fall (and so did Reagan!).  It also made bath time more challenging, and more fun though, once Reagan was sitting on her own (um, do I just dump the water over her head to rinse the shampoo out? the answer was yes, and she loved it, haha!).  This month brought Reagan's first Christmas, which was so much fun.  Even though she obviously didn't know what was going on she loved opening and playing with her new gifts.  And the best part was Ben was home for the holidays!  It was mine and Ben's first new year's eve as parents and we went to bed before midnight.  With the end of the year also brought the end of Reagan's baby yoga classes.  We had been going every week since she was 6 weeks old, but now that she was rolling across the room, it was hard to keep her still for even two minutes of baby yoga.

I mentioned in the previous post that Reagan wasn't going down easily for naps and was up every couple hours at least wanting us to come in and giver her the pacifier, which she had lost.  Nobody was sleeping well and I decided something had to be done.  I knew part of the problem was that when I went back to work, sometimes the only time I saw Reagan was right before bed so I would rock her until she fell asleep and hold her for hours (and a lot of the time fall asleep myself) just so I could spend some time with her.  But now I decided we needed to teach her to self-soothe, instead of her crying for Ben or I in the middle of the night to help her get back to sleep.  I really did not want to let her cry it out (CIO).  I spent the first six months doing everything I could to keep her from crying!  But I went online and downloaded some $40 book with some woman's method of CIO and I was convinced.  Ben was convinced I was crazy for spending $40 on this.  So I had it all planned out exactly how it was going to go.  The first night Ben and I were supposed to take turns sitting by Reagan's crib while she fell asleep and reassure her if she cried, but not pick her up.  Well I went first and sat there for 20 minutes and she wasn't too upset.  Then Ben had a 20 minute turn.  By the end of his turn, she was raging.  I was supposed to sit there for another 20 minutes, but then she was so upset she threw up twice and that was the end of it for me.  I picked her up and lied down with her on the spare bedroom bed and cuddled her until she fell asleep.  It was a total fail!  Ben was not happy I had spent $40 on that book.  After that, I experimented with letting her cry a few minutes more each night at bedtime before going in to calm her down, but that didn't seem to be getting us anywhere.  Then our pediatrician recommended only going in the room 5-10 minutes after she went down to check on her but not to pick her up and then not to go in again and let her cry for up to an hour total.  She said almost all babies fall asleep within one hour.  I REALLY did not want to do this but I was desperate for everyone to get some sleep.  So one night when Ben was away I did just this.  It was torture as she cried and it seemed like forever.  I cleaned the house because I couldn't sit still, but I knew the longest it would last was one hour.  After 40 minutes, she was out and after that one night she slept like a champ!  She didn't even hold it against me in the morning like I was afraid she might!  I understood why people advocate the CIO method.  Reagan slept really well until she got her first cold a couple weeks later.  I was too worried about her to let her cry so the training we had done was out the window.  Her sleep has been up and down since then- pretty good but not exactly a solid 12 hours night after night.  And she has never been a really solid napper, but not bad.  We haven't really needed to fully sleep train again though- thank god!

This month I also got another bout of mastitis.  I missed a little work and had to go back on antibiotics.  After this second infection, I decided to wean from all the pumping I had been doing, and by Reagan's 7 month birthday I was done.  Not how I ever thought it would go- but at least she had my milk for a solid 7 months.

Most Memorable-  Reagan's first Christmas dress.  Reagan was eating her fruits and veggies like a champ by now and her absolute favorite food this month was prunes.  There was a period where all she really would eat was prunes- it made for double clean up- from the prunes and the huge mess in her diaper about an hour later.

Biggest Lesson Learned- Letting a baby cry it out to learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep on their own can actually be the healthiest thing for a baby who isn't sleeping well (not to mention for the parents) and they won't even hate your for it in the morning (they might even thank you for the good night's sleep!), but any little cold or teething can put you back almost at square one.

Month Seven Pics

 Reagan was so happy by now!  She just loves to laugh!

 Last baby yoga class.

I guess that's one way to open gifts.

Month Eight

In a Nutshell- This month Reagan got her first two teeth!  I would miss the gummy smile but the two front bottom teeth were so cute!  And it was a relief that teething was over (at least for a little bit).  I was loving my new part time work schedule now.  Ben was away quite a bit still but no more than 2-3 weeks at a time and since there was no ice this winter, a few times he surprised us by coming home early which was the best.  Reagan started practicing with a sippy cup this month and it took several tries but she started catching on fairly quickly.  We also tried a few finger foods but Reagan would just squish the food in her hands and throw it on the floor- Meatball loved it!  Best of all, by this time Reagan had quite the personality!  Her very fussy days were long gone.  She would laugh so easily and now she also loved to try to make us laugh, which was so much fun!  She loved listening to music and started bopping along to the beat!

Most Memorable- Reagan was playing peek-a-boo with us now, not the other way around!

Biggest Lesson Learned- Again, babies will master certain skills like drinking from a cup and eating finger foods when they're ready.  I started this early and it might've literally taken hundreds of tries before she mastered these skills- but eventually she did.  It's helpful to sometimes remind myself that no child goes to college not drinking from a cup, or not sleeping through the night, or not walking, etc.  Eventually it will happen!

Month Eight Pics

Out for a walk with Mom...on a Tuesday!

She's got rhythm!

Month Nine

In a Nutshell- This month marked Reagan's first Pats Super Bowl, although unfortunately not the first Pats Super Bowl win.  Ben was home a lot more this month so we hit the road for a couple family trips- we went to NYC for a weekend to visit Ben's parents and Anne and Colby.  Then we went to Vermont to visit Andrew and Justina and finally meet our new little cousin, Avery.  Reagan started eating finger foods for real this month.  One day, instead of spitting her Puff out, she chewed and swallowed and all of a sudden she caught on.  We spent Reagan's first Valentine's Day having dinner at my dad and Claire's since Ben was away then.  She was in such a good mood that night and so much fun!  Reagan and I started using the jogging stroller, which has become a favorite activity for us.  She loves our runs and it's good for me!  By the end of this month Reagan was really chatty!  She was just making sounds not words yet, but we already knew she's going to be a talker!  Also, by the end of this month Reagan was in the 50th percentile for height and the 75th for weight, and her head size was off the charts (she can thank her dad for that one)!

Most Memorable- Brunch in Brooklyn when Reagan leaned forward without warning and smashed her forehead into the wood table.  She barely even flinched and didn't cry, but I was crying inside for hours.  I can recall several bumps and falls this month as both of us were getting used to Reagan becoming more mobile and they all killed me!  

Biggest Lesson Learned- Once again, babies are pretty durable (see Most Memorable above).

Month Nine Pics

 My sweet little Valentine

 First subway ride in NYC!

Open gym in Vermont

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