Given that we are almost halfway through his seventh month now, I HAVE to do Jackson’s six-month update. I am already starting to forget what things happened in his six month versus his seventh month. I won’t get so behind again.
It’s been a pretty rough month, actually. I wrote last time that it was too early to crow about successful sleep training, and I was right. Jackson slept through the night (until about 5:30AM) a few times, and then started waking up around 4:30, and then at 2:00 and then 4:30. It wasn’t long before we realized the sleep training just hadn’t taken and that we needed to hit the reset button on it. But in the meantime, he started having some gastrointestinal problems of unknown origin—lots of details that no one really wants to hear about here, but suffice it to say that not only did it have us pretty worried, but it seemed to be making him pretty uncomfortable and fussy, too. So the last thing we wanted was to cause him any more stress by trying to get him to fall back to sleep without help. We went back to our regular routine of nursing him whenever he woke up. And this would have been OK, except that after not too long, he started having trouble going back to sleep even after nursing. And then he was back up to waking 3 times in the middle of the night. And then we went to North Carolina for a few visits and he wouldn’t sleep in the Pack-n-Play anymore, so he was up even more frequently than that and Ed had to sleep in another bed so that Jackson could sleep in the bed with me. It was a rough patch that hasn’t really ended. We’re feeling a little bit lost on that front—the sleep deprivation doesn’t help much. And it’s hard to know if his fussiness during the day (which is not constant by any means, but he’s definitely not as laid back as he used to be) is a result of too little sleep or of his tummy troubles.
So at his 6-month well visit, he was only up to 18lbs, 10.5oz, meaning he’d only gained about 9 oz since his 4-month visit. Obviously, while he couldn’t be expected to keep growing as rapidly as he did the first four months, this is not a lot of weight to put on in two whole months. The pediatrician sent us to a pediatric GI specialist, and the first one we saw was awful. She treated Jackson for c. diff. without even knowing for sure whether he had it, meaning that he had to take this REALLY terrible-tasting antibiotic for ten days for NOTHING. And I say “for nothing” because the GI doc that we saw for the follow-up (because I insisted on a different doctor) told us that his chances of having c. diff. were pretty much zero. She thinks that the slower weight gain may just be due to the natural plateau that breastfed babies start to hit, combined with a possible drop in my milk supply that’s keeping him hungrier all the time (this could certainly explain the increased night-waking, if he’s reverse-cycling and trying to eat more at night than during the day). We’re still working on resolving all that, but I feel better knowing that there doesn’t appear to be anything serious wrong with him. And even though he only gained 9 oz in the last two months, he’s still a pretty hefty, healthy guy. So hefty that I had to install his toddler seat this month because it was getting too hard to buckle the straps in the infant car seat and forget about trying to carry him around in it anymore!
Which brings me to some new tricks. He started sitting unsupported soon after he turned five months, but for a while, I still kept lots of pillows around him because he was still prone to falling over. But as the month wore on, he got significantly better at it and now does a pretty good job keeping himself upright.
He sat in his highchair for the first time, and once again, we were blown away by how much he looks like his sister in the photos we took of him there.
We started helping him learn to drink from a cup, putting just a tiny amount of breastmilk into one of the plastic caps for his bottles (about the size of a shot glass). He took to it pretty quickly, and figured out how to close his lips and sip, but he still probably got more on his bib than in his mouth. We’ll keep practicing, though. I learned my lesson last time with Hudson—we need to offer milk in a cup EVERY day. When we tried to get her to start drinking milk in a cup instead of a bottle, she balked. She was only used to drinking water from a cup and did NOT want to drink milk out of anything but the bottle. So we’ll be doing that one differently this go round.
He’s also rolling all over the place now and sleeps mostly on his tummy (and now that he’s six months old, I worry about this much less than I did before).
And what a precious personality he’s developing. Fussy, yes, but when he’s not fussing, he’s delightful. Everywhere we go, people comment about how smiley he is. Whatever stranger anxiety he was going through earlier seems to have dissipated. He’ll smile at anyone who smiles at him. One of his favorite things to do now is to touch people’s faces. He loves to put each of his chubby little hands on each of my cheeks and just hold them. On one of the rough nights in North Carolina when we were having such a hard time getting him to sleep in the night, I laid down on the floor with him (we’d taken the mattress out of the Pack-n-Play because it was just too hard trying to lay him down in the bottom of that thing and he hated it anyway) and he fell asleep in that exact position, his little hands on either side of my face. Oh, so sweet. He also loves to pat your face and hands and anything else that will stand still for him to pat. And he’s very giggly. It’s so easy to make him laugh. It is such a gift, because I so often need to hear it—that happy laughter is such a balm on this mama’s broken heart.
My precious, precious boy. It’s hard to believe that his little tiny infant stage is already over. He’s about to start eating solids and crawling and then he’ll be on his way to being a little boy. So I’m going to keep squeezing him tight as much as he’ll let me and keep taking pictures left and right. Here are a few more from Month Number Six.