I remember counting down till each monthly milestone with Jack, waiting for his personality to come out and his crankiness to subside. I also remember when I swore off the newborn phase and fell in love with the 6month age. Things really started to change around then for Jack…he was happier and sleeping better at night (after lots of sleep training) and for me as a Mom I slowly started to get into the groove of motherhood.
Now that I’m a seasoned mother (Ha!) each milestone with Allison has been anticipated in a different way. Since I somewhat know what to expect on the development front, my anticipation and excitement is more about how Allison’s personality will shine through and what skills she will master first. The other notable difference this time around is how FAST the time seems to pass. I feel like each monthly mark hits before I even get comfortable with her being the previous month’s age. For once I find myself wishing for time to SLOW DOWN. 30yr old “New Mom Steph” would want to punch me.
Still, the 6month mark was one Lance and I both couldn’t wait to get to. I think other parents share the same feeling. It’s a sweet spot in the ever changing, ever challenging, first year of life. Personalities come out, sleep stretches increase, first teeth, first solids, first laughs, sitting up and holding toys…and the holy grail of it all…they are still IMMOBILE!! (Well unless you have a roller…neither of my kids seem to fancy rolling around outside of their crib)
In a nutshell…Allison is just a happy baby. Sure she has her phases but don’t we all? She greets us everyday with smiles that melt our hearts. The daycare ladies comment daily about how cute and sweet she is and how much they love having her there. (I’m sure they say that to all the Moms though right?!)
At 3 months Allison discovered her hands…and by 5 months she decided grabbing things was her jam. Miss “Grabby Hands” we call her. Nothing is safe from her grasp and she will do almost anything to reach whatever she has her eye on. Which usually involves several nose dives into the floor. But girl don’t care…she wants what she wants. I can’t argue with that.
Her sleep has had it’s up and downs. While she tends to be a good sleeper for the most part, we had our stretches of playing “paci police” every hour throughout the night as well. Some nights she cries a little before falling asleep…and other nights she falls asleep as I rock her a little longer than I should. Some days she takes 30min cat naps, and some days she’ll rock a 3hr nap out of nowhere. We haven’t done any strict sleep training…I think having been through it all has allowed me to chill the F out in the sleep department. But mostly I’m just grateful for any amount of sleep I can get.
We are holding steady in the breastfeeding department. Once again I’ll play the “2nd time around” card here…but with Jack I stressed about pumping and struggled to make as much as he wanted to eat. With Allison I was much more prepared for the whole pumping during work thing and have been able to maintain her needs…it also helps that I work from home so I really have no restrictions on when/where I can pump.
However that doesn’t take away from the extreme commitment that pumping/breastfeeding requires…man. So yes…I recently bought some formula that says it’s for the “breastfeeding Mom who chooses to introduce formula” or as I see it…FREEDOM!!! We haven’t given it to her yet but hopefully she takes it. I cut out one of my daily pump sessions which has been great for me…but my supply has taken a hit for sure. I’d like to continue breastfeeding her up until her 1st birthday like I did with Jack…but I see no shame in giving her formula here and there if it allows me a few hours away from her and/or the pump. My hormones have been going crazy lately as well thanks to the recent changes…but that’s for another blog post I suppose.
She now eats solids too. Once again…not nearly the stress fest that I made it out to be with Jack. I should probably get my act together and make her some homemade food but whatever…pouches from Target don’t seem to be killing her. Thanks to daycare she actually eats it consistently too.
So many feelings about this sweet little girl…I had no idea how much we needed her in our lives. Having our first child turned our world upside down… and now adding Allison has flipped it right side up. She “completes us” in the most corny Jerry Maguire way possible. Jack loves her and is so sweet to her…and Allison adores her big brother like no other. He can make her laugh like no one else. There’s a strong relationship budding…I know it will get rocky and frustrating and hard…but right now it’s just perfect.
So yep 6months…I think you win. You’ll always be a favorite.
Now if only we could freeze time and stay here a little longer.