New month. New baby. Really, he’s a completely different baby than even a month ago. He puts himself to sleep, loves to watch Mom cook, is only satisfied sitting up or barrel rolling across the living room floor, and would much rather play in a bouncer than sit quietly in his swing. What happened to my baby?!
My newborn baby is gone and has been replaced with an active, talkative, busy, little 5 month old. Not only is his development changing but physical features he had as a newborn are beginning to disappear. When Chief was born he had this peach fuzz that blanketed the tops of his ears. Some spots were dark hair, others were light, but now they’re a memory. I noticed it this month. That little patch of hair that I would stare at while he was nursing is now gone. I shed a few tears once I realized it had vanished.
I’m doing my best to really study him and remember these stages. I’ve realized that I’ll never know when the last day is I’ll see or experience something with him until it’s gone. At 5 months old, I know we are on the verge of losing that big toothless smile. I’m trying to burn the image of his pink little gummy grin into my memory.
In his fifth month…
He got sick for the first time. Thankfully it was just a cold and thankfully it only lasted two days, but it was a rough couple of days. Poor guy couldn’t breathe out of his nose and had a terrible wet cough. We elevated one side of his mattress, kept the humidifiers on high, and spent play time in a steamy bathroom to help with the congestion.
He tried his first real food! Sweet potatoes and avocado. He’s a big fan. It took him a time or two to figure things out, but he quickly figured out the chew and swallow.
He went to sleep on his own. Like no bouncing, no rocking, just a lovie and a kiss on the forehead. Miracle.
Found new sounds. He’s always finding new ways to communicate with us – a coo, a howl, a belly laugh, a squeal, a grunt. This month we started calling him Baby Pterodactyl. He found that if he makes long, loud shrieks mom will come running. He also decided to start “talking” while he’s inhaling, it sounds like he’s dying. It’s terrifying.
I’ve been a weepy mess this month. It makes me so sad how quickly he changes. He changes before I’m able to soak in every little feature and every little developmental milestone. I’ve been letting him sleep on me a lot more often just so I can stare at him.
Sleep. Lets talk about sleep for a second. One of the first things I get asked when someone is meeting Chief for the first time is “How does he sleep?” “Are you getting much sleep?” “Is he sleeping through the night?” Maybe this constant reminder is why I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to try to figure out this whole sleep thing. I’ve read Baby Wise, The Baby Whisperer, and The Happiest Baby on the Block. When Chief was around 3 months old, I began incorporating Baby Wise/Baby Whisperer techniques into his schedule. While I don’t follow their schedule verbatim, it really helped me understand how much sleep my baby needs and how long he can comfortably be awake. We turned a big corner this month! I can now lay him down in his bed completely awake, give him his lovie, and he will go to sleep on his own. He might talk to himself, roll around, or play with his feet for 10 minutes, but he’ll get there! That boy makes me burst with pride. He still takes 30 minute naps but I can completely handle them since I don’t have to spend 20 minutes to soothe him to get a 30 minute breather.
Besides figuring out baby sleep, the other thing that keeps me busy is laundry. I knew my amount of laundry would increase with a baby, but I wasn’t expecting this. This guy wins at blowouts. It’s impressive. We go through on average 3 outfits a day because diapers just can’t contain him. And yes, we’ve moved up in diaper sizes about as much as possible. If there is one thing I would recommend to new moms, it’s this Keekaroo rubber changing pad. It’s been a lifesaver. I can’t imagine if I had to wash a changing pad cover everytime he filled his diaper. It’s a littler pricier than a standard foam/fabric covered pad but it’s well worth it!
I went to my first public yoga class this month. It was hard, uncomfortable, and this body just doesn’t move quite like it used to. It took me 10 months to build a human, I expect it will take about the same to feel normal again.
Month 5 of motherhood was exciting, fulfilling, and a little sad as I watched him change so quickly. I’ve loved my boy since the moment he was placed on my chest but things are now at a whole new level. I’m completely smitten with his sweet little face, his big dimples, expressive eyebrows, toothless grin, pudgy little fingers, ridiculously long lashes, and that belly laugh that only his dad can get out of him. I love that after he eats he will look me in the eyes, reach his tiny fingers toward my face and give me a little grin as he coos sweetly. As soon as I pick him up to burp him he will put his hands on either side of my face and give me a big, slobbery kiss on my nose or chin. It’s my absolute favorite time. I live for these moments. James Chief, I love being your mom.