M at Seven Months

M’s seven month-iversary was on Saturday! This was a travel-heavy weekend for us so I’m posting about it three days late.

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Stats:

It’s a long story, but we’re still waiting on that six month check-up! All is well, though, so I’m not worried – I recently weighed M at playgroup and she was pushing 18 pounds so she’s right on track in that regard (and has possibly jumped a few percentiles). As usual I have no idea how long she is, but she’s in danger of outgrowing her infant seat very soon.

Nicknames:

I realized she doesn’t have nicknames, but she does have pet names (there’s a difference). I’ll call her bug, or buddy – not in place of her actual name, and generally not in public, just when I’m chatting to her by myself. 🙂

Temperament:

Always with the smiles, except for when she’s hungry or tired (or bored, which is a new one). However — she was just thrilled to have company this month, and when everyone went home she sunk into a cranky mood, likely helped along by an emerging top tooth and me trying to convince her to sleep in her crib for naps. Even when I took her to playgroup she was uncharacteristically quiet! I think she got used to everyone being home and then when it was just me left over, she was upset, but hopefully she’ll be back to her cheerful self soon.

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Skills:

Oh, man. This was the month of skills. Sitting turned very quickly into crawling which has in turn become pulling up on evvvverything. Bath time is stand up in the tub time. Reading time is knock over the baskets and try to stand on them time. Playgroup? Climb up the adults’ legs time. She is a literal ankle biter.

She shakes noisemaking toys, is attempting to climb up things AND sit on top of them (and has been successful a few times), and is testing her balance by hanging onto furniture with one hand while swaying. She pokes and prods and grasps and fidgets. And oh, the smacking. Especially if you give her a spoon.

Sleep:

On and off — I’m kinda used to it now. While my dad and niece were here, M was so stimulated that three times she fell asleep at 6 p.m. and would have made that her bed time if we hadn’t had to wake her for a diaper change and nursing. After they went home, though, she struggled with naps and could only get through the first, half hour long sleep cycle before waking. I’m trying to encourage crib naps so we’re all suffering through it because I know she’s capable, and she did do almost two hours in the crib, putting herself back to sleep, earlier last week!

At night, sometimes she sleeps through, and sometimes she wakes up. Lately it’s been one wakeup between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., after which she either stays in the bed with me or heads back to her crib when she’s done eating, depending on how groggy I am. I miss her guaranteed nighttime sleep but she’s working on a lot of development right now!

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Eating:

She loves, loves loves her food. Raspberries were a new treat this month and she went nuts for them. Homemade potato soup is another favourite, which is challenging because she can’t quite handle a spoon but I want to stick to baby led weaning as much as possible. We do lunches and dinners and the occasional breakfast and she’s getting very good at handling everything from tiny peas to hunks of muffin.

As for nursing, it’s just as frequent, which is fine by me (she needs the nutrients still!). With the arrival of her first top tooth she’s getting kind of bitey which is not fun, but she got over that with the bottom teeth eventually so I’m hoping she’ll get it under control soon. Still not having much luck mastering the sippy cup, but it’s not essential at all right now so I’m not concerned about it.

Clothing:

I’ve got a few 3-6 month tops hanging out in the closet but they’re getting tight! Now that she’s eating regularly we mostly keep her in two piece outfits because onesies are a pain to take off. Her 6-9 month wardrobe is full of adorable dresses and tops, and I’ve got some consignment credit headed my way soon to add some more things to the closet.

One challenge? Sunglasses. I’ve tried the regular style and the kind with a band that is allegedly supposed to keep her from removing them — nothing works.

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Loves:

Eating, chasing cats, grabbing cables and cords and paper, standing up, pulling at hair and skin (ouch!). She still smiles at strangers but isn’t often happy about being picked up or touched until she’s gotten used to someone. She will gladly divebomb defenseless babies, though.

Doesn’t Love:

She cries literally every time we put her on the change table. The only way to keep her somewhat happy is to stand her up but then she rips the picture frames off the wall (in hindsight, that was probably a silly spot to hang things). Does not like being denied food, people eating in front of her without sharing, being placed in her crib for safekeeping (even for a moment!), Matt’s Oscar the Grouch voice.

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Things to Remember:

The joy of having my niece here with M! They made quite the pair. Her first dip in the lake (just her toes — she tried to eat the sand). Her first real ride on the swings at the playground, being pushed by her daddy. That time she ate a whole banana, a strawberry muffin, and a bunch of toast all in one sitting. Her first ‘dada’, her first triumphant crawl across the room, her glee at standing — and her utter happiness at leaning out of the shopping cart in the hardware store to boing a door stopper for a solid two minutes. And Father’s Day!

Mom and Dad:

Enjoying this baby stage! The lack of sleep can be frustrating but we are so much more able to deal with it than we were when she was tiny. She is just independent enough that it doesn’t feel so daunting. I’m still losing my mind over childcare, though.

Looking Forward To:

The damn caterpillars going away so we can go back outside! Maybe some beach time one of these weekends? A few more trips upcoming, and more chances to see family.

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Dear M,

I keep telling people that I am really enjoying this stage of your life — gone are the days of shushing and rocking and worrying. We have hit more of a comfortable stride, and you are cruising right along into every next development, with glee. You want to go, and go you will. Up on the couch, on the table stretching for magazines and coasters and toys, after the cats, across the floor — you are forging your path and nothing can get in your way. Even if we redirect you (because do you really want to eat cat food?), you take it as a challenge, turn yourself around, and head right back over to your intended target. The only thing that can distract you? Something different but equally forbidden.

If you hang onto that nothing can stop me attitude and harness its power for achieving goals loftier than Whiskas — jobs, relationships, dreams — you will serve yourself well. At seven months old, you are a determined whirlwind, and I hope the same remains true at seven years old, seventeen years old — heck, seventy years old. You are going places, kid.

Behind all of your braveness and vigor you are still my sweet baby, though. I joke that you hate cuddling, and you mostly do, but sometimes you just need mama and daddy. This past weekend we went for a long drive and you were very upset to be sitting in your car seat. I moved to the back with you and you grinned at me and held my hand until you fell asleep. It made my heart swell, knowing that despite all your independence, which we celebrate and encourage, there will always be space for softness and sharing love, for holding hands.

You may be two steps ahead of me, reaching, moving — and that is wonderful, my dear. I’m here, behind you, for when you need comfort and calm.

Love always,

Mama

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Comments

    1. Shayla says:

      They are! They’re starting to become more of a hazel colour. 🙂

  1. Catherine says:

    Such a sweet post! She is getting so big, I can’t believe it. I really wish I could go back and do baby-led weaning because my boys are the pickiest eaters. I love reading your updates!

    1. Shayla says:

      It’s messy but it’s a lot of fun!

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