I intended to share this update when James turned 6 months old but every time I sat down to write it, I’d get three sentences in and end up a puddle of nostalgic tears. The truth is I can’t even talk about James without beaming, getting weepy, rattling off a list of ways that he’s the sweetest, nicest, cuddliest, best best best best best. I could explode just thinking of him. He’s the light of my life, the happiest little sunbeam I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
They said motherhood would just keep getting better and better and they were right. Every day is more fun, the flow is more natural, and parenting is more fulfilling. I love him more and more, to a truly frightening point. And the older he grows, the more dramatic the changes we see in him.
How He’s Changing
He went from cooing at 3 months to screeching at 4, to making these purposeful consonant sounds now (ba ba ba is a favorite). He went from rolling all over at 4 months to a full-on army crawl at 6 months. He gets up on all fours and, though he can’t quite get the hang of pulling one knee in front of the other, he sort of throws his arms out in front of him and pulls/drags himself forward. We have a giant play mat taking up one half of our family room (goodbye beautiful home) and if I leave him for even 30 seconds, I’ll come back and find he’s inched his way across the room and into the hallway. He likes to chase his soccer ball around the most, and will crawl to his ring toy the moment he sees it.
These days he picks up his pacifier and just pops it in his mouth when he wants. He has two teeth! And he laughs. Oh my gosh his laugh. It’s really, really fitting that my son has a big, funny, kinda weird laugh because I did too growing up. I remember people always commented on the way I laughed and it makes me sad in a way to say that it’s gone now. I guess over time enough people pointed it out that it made me, I don’t know, subconsciously? work on normalizing it. I hope he keeps his because it’s the happiest sound I’ve ever heard.
What He’s Eating
A couple of times a day, in between bottles, we’ll sit him in his high chair or his Ingenuity seat on the counter and give him solids— mashed, roasted or steamed (we’re doing a mix of baby-led weaning and homemade purées). He’s tried avocado, sweet potato, broccoli, peas, carrots, banana, mango, egg yolks, oatmeal, and salmon. There hasn’t been a food yet that he hasn’t liked, although he does make a sour face when we give him anything cold.
As for sleep, we’re getting there. He sleeps on his own in his crib from 6:30pm to around 6am, which is great, and gets up twice in the night to eat—around midnight and 4am. He used to get up three times during the night before daylight savings, so two is a nice improvement for all of us. We’ve tried moving his bedtime to 7 to see if maybe he’d sleep a little later in the morning (since he’ll sometimes start fussing as early as 5:15), but it doesn’t seem to affect his wake time at all. One good thing is that when your baby isn’t the best sleeper, the four-month sleep regression doesn’t knock you sideways.
As for naps, I’m still holding him for all of them (Daniel actually holds him for his last nap of the day, around 3), but I don’t mind. If he isn’t held for his entire nap, he will sleep for less than 15 minutes and won’t go back down (and then be pretty upset while he’s awake). Our policy has been that sleep is so crucial to development that we just want to support him to maximize his sleep, even if it’s inconvenient to hold him for five hours a day. We’ve considered some type of gentle sleep training, but ultimately decided against it, and that’s with zero judgment on those who sleep train because who knows what we’ll do with the next baby. We felt like since both of us have flexible schedules, we could tolerate the mild inconvenience more than people with traditional day jobs and we take comfort knowing that everyone grows up and learns to sleep on their own (nothing lasts forever). And truthfully, I don’t mind holding him for those hours. I’m still thinking to myself, I’ll miss this time when it’s over.