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6 months! (and 5 days)

6 months!

Aiden has been an independent being on this planet for an entire half a year. Relative to the sun, he is as far from his birthplace as he will ever be (barring extraplanetary travel, which I wouldn't put past him). The mind boggles.

He had his 6-month pediatrician appt yesterday: 20lbs 9oz, 28.5 inches long, 44cm head circumference: 91st, 98th, and 70th percentiles respectively. Even though he's getting over a cold, his ears and lungs were completely clear. The doctor was impressed by how well he's sitting, and commented that he may be an early walker (doom doom DOOM!). The things to watch for by 9 months, according to him, are more consonant babbling (da-da-da, ba-ba-ba-ba, etc), more fine motor control, and very solid sitting (which he already has, really, except when he's tired).

More vaccines this month, which he barely noticed except for the last one, which only caused about a 4-second wail before he was back to smiles.

Object permanence *may* be starting to show here and there (8 months is the typical point for this, I gather). He was playing with a spoon at dinner the other day and got deeply upset when he dropped it, rather than just looking for something new to play with as he has been. I've also started playing peekaboo with him, to gales of infectious laughter.

His favorite things this month: my phoenix pendant (or any shiny pendant, really), playing with the cat, trying to latch onto my chin, getting his cheeks kissed over and over, banging on things, and crinkly paper (he tore the paper covering the exam table at the doctor's to shreds). Oh, and baths! He loves the water! We're going to have to get him a swim diaper and introduce him to the pool at OLOTEAS soon.

Aiden's sounds include baby pterodactyl, owl, and a scary imitation of Nuit getting her tail stepped on.

He is bare millimeters away from crawling. He can get up on his hands and knees and wobble back and forth, and when he's on the bed rather than the floor he can scootch* forwards at a slow but steady pace. On the floor the scootching is only backwards so far - but all the pieces are there. I have a feeling he may be full-on crawling before 7 months.

*scootch: technical term for a baby pulling himself along with his limbs without lifting his trunk off the ground

Aiden sleeps through the night regularly, and naps well on his own; though it's certainly a slowly shifting average with a large standard deviation. Usually he still needs to be walked or nursed to sleep, but a couple of times I've put him down and sung to him, and he's gone to sleep on his own! We don't have him on a firm schedule. I've made a couple of half-hearted attempts at that, and it seems to lead mostly to frustration for everyone. He lets us know when he's tired, and about a half hour after that he's actually ready to go to sleep. There's sufficient pattern that I still have a rough idea of when I will have some time to myself, and it also seems to make him more tolerant of times when we're out and about and can't put him to bed at the usual time. He's also gotten much better at soothing himself back to sleep - time was, if he moved at all and I didn't get to him within 10 seconds, he was awake and there was nothing we could do. Now he'll wiggle, scrabble, roll over, and go back to sleep with no intervention at all.

Maybe we lucked out - but I can't help but feel that co-sleeping plus letting him direct his sleep patterns has contributed greatly to how well Aiden sleeps compared to other babies I hear/read about. He has come so far in only six months, with minimal stress - that I have no fears whatsoever that he will "never get out of our bed" or "never fall asleep on his own" or any of the other things people have warned me about. He's obviously smart and has a drive to independence, which we wholeheartedly support - these things will take care of themselves in time.

Yesterday I also had a strange new thought enter my head - I enjoy being a mother. These first six months, while strange and wonderful at times, have also been incredibly difficult for me as my entire self-image was trampled and disintegrated and rearranged. I went into it knowingly, with the belief that this was what I needed to do, and that's the only thing that got me through it. Now, though, I think the corner has been turned.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 8th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
my entire self-image was trampled and disintegrated and rearranged. I went into it knowingly, with the belief that this was what I needed to do, and that's the only thing that got me through it.

Helluva initiation, eh?
Mar. 9th, 2007 05:28 am (UTC)
You got that right! It's the best one I've had, bar none.
Mar. 8th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
opinions ahead
Re cosleeping: I suspect that the combination of being aware of his needs and cycles and encouraging him to his patterns while gently adapting him to yours are what has contributed to him being a great sleeper. Many babies I know of with sleep problems get that way due to being smothered, pushed away, given too free a rein, or in some other way have parents with poor boundaries.

Babies have a natural progression rate of growing into their own person and separating from mother, and that goes for sleeping, nursing, diapers, and other forms of attachment. I believe the primary way he would "never get out of your bed" is if you didn't give him secure enough attachment for him to feel safe leaving, be it in the bed or elsewhere.

The specifics of how you raise your child are never black and white right or wrong; the mental and emotional process and awareness behind it is the important part.
Mar. 9th, 2007 02:00 am (UTC)
good update. Thanks again so much for sharing your thoughts about the whole process of becoming a parent, it's been neat to read. Is there anything you'd tell yourself of a year and a half ago?

btw, ace job on having a baby with a good sleep cycle, that's impressive. If i ever reproduce, I will be contacting you for your trade secrets ;)
Mar. 9th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
Yay! 6 months is so great. 7 months is even better.

Just so you're aware, some states have regulations about swim diapering, so either check out your state's regulations or just do this:

Pampers or Huggies swim diapers
vinyl diaper cover that you get in the cloth diapering section (don't spend the extra money on the ones with cartoon characters.
swim suit over all of it.

In that case you'll be covered anywhere (Virginia is one of the most stringent so if the babes are missing one of the 3 above you can't go in). I suggest getting the swim suit one size bigger because of all of the diapering underneath! We have Micah in the 9-12 month size.

Have fun!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


firesea: self-portrait
Heather Keith Freeman
Fire Sea Studios

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