Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Few of Mommy's Favorite Things: 3-6 Months

It's time for a quick run down of Mommy's (that's me) favorite items for our 3-6 month old. I said this on the 0-3 month list, please keep in mind that we've had one child and of course all kiddos are different. What worked for Claire may not for other babies, including ours in the years to come! These are just a few things that have been lifesavers or loves of mine over the past three months.

A few milestones that we have embraced and worked through during this time have been rolling (this happened right at 3 months), teething, seasonal allergies and introducing solid foods. This time around it seems like we have a lot more of the little things that we love. Not a lot of gimmicky stuff, just the simple things that made a difference with whatever we were going through at the time.

This list could be summed up into the following categories: Things That Keep Our Baby Safe, Things That Make Our Baby Happy and Things That Help Us All Get a Good Night's Sleep.

Soft Sheets
A little after three months and following Claire learning to roll over, she would only sleep on her tummy. Besides freaking us out on several levels by face planting while sleeping, she would rub her face over and over on the sheets. Her little cheeks began to chafe to the point that I thought they were going to bleed in places. We had what felt like soft flannel sheets, but obviously they were not as soft as we needed. We swapped these out for Sateen Sheets from Babies 'R Us and her cheeks healed in no time. Pottery Barn sheets are great too! Good crib sheets are apparently worth the investment. Lesson learned.

Aden and Anais Sleep Sack
We have two of these and I absolutely love them. At three months we had to swaddle wean because of the little roller. I can't say that the Sleep Sack helped with the weaning process although I suppose it may have to an extent. She wears it for warmth and comfort. We love it because it's lightweight, breathable and made of the same muslin material as her other blankets. Some of the other sleep sacks are made of heavier material. With the unpredictable weather around here, this can be too much. We put her in footy pajamas at night and a onesie during the day to sleep in under the sleep sack. She will usually grab a corner of the bottom material as a comfort while soothing herself to sleep. They're cute too!

Zipper Pajamas
Oh snap! Anyone else feel like PJ's with snaps can be like putting a puzzle together? It feels like calf roping (I have never calf roped a day in my life) and then trying to put pajamas on it. If I miss a snap, Claire will wake up in the morning with a leg completely out. This is why we like pajamas that zip up for this stage. I've heard this is also great when baby learns how to unsnap their PJ's. Thank goodness we are not there yet!

Breathable Mesh Bumper
Bumpers are a controversial topic for many. We had to ask our pediatrcian because Claire would roll and knock her head pretty hard against the side of the crib. Because she rolled early, she didn't have the head control yet to keep her head from going overboard with momentum. Our pedi said we could try a thin bumper and that it would be better than her hitting her head. Plus, at this point she did have enough head control to keep her head up. We opted for the breathable mesh bumpers. No more Noggin Knock Outs. In our case, this was a good solution. We are about to lower her crib mattress and now that she has more head control, we'll either go bumperless or get thinly padded bumpers. Depending on your point of view, either of those could be shocking to you!


Angel Care Monitor
Remember the whole face planting following rolling over I mentioned before? Well, she would face plant in the corner of the crib and go to sleep. Mommy and Daddy did not sleep. I even tried it out myself as a test and I couldn't breathe (not in the corner of the crib, just the face planting part)! We begged and pleaded with her to turn her little head - nope. Have I told you that she's strong willed? 

We decided on getting the Angel Care Monitor that goes underneath the mattress and will sound an alarm that will wake both baby and parents if baby's heart rate doesn't register after 15-20 seconds. It signals a false alarm every once in a while, but it helped us to rest easier. She turns her head now. We sleep. Life is good.

Can you tell that the whole rolling at three months rocked our world a little? Ha!


Nose Frieda
I admit that when you first look at this product it looks absolutely disgusting. "No way I'm doing that!" you might say. And then your baby's nose gets stopped up completely due to a cold or in our case, allergies. You suck it up (literally, I suppose) and you just do it. Claire doesn't love it, but who would like anything stuck up their nose? This worked so much better than the nasal aspirators for us. Along with saline drops, this helped us get through the few weeks of allergies.

Non-scratchy Bibs
I guess it's true what people say: "a good bib is hard to find". What? You don't know anyone who says that? Oh well.During the 3-6 month timeframe we have gone through a lot of bibs. I would say on average that we go through about 5-6 bibs each day, but in the days of major teething we would go through a lot more.

Some of her bibs lost their velcro-ness after a few washes and the corners peeled up and scratched her face or neck. Our favorite bibs are the cheap bibs from Target that come in packs of 12 or so. The velcro continues to work through many washes and although the liner can come undone (did I mention they're cheap?), they do the trick. I also like the ones that snap. Those aren't as cheap, therefore I don't have as many.

Teething toys
Fact: everything becomes a teething toy in the hands of a 3-6 month old. But...toys like Sophie, the Melissa and Doug fish that are mentioned in the previous post and old fashioned teething rings that you can freeze are awesome! It's true. I have genuinely thanked God for Sophie the Giraffe. It's catnip for babies.
Activity mat squares
The majority of the floors in our house are tiled which I have always loved. I'm not a fan of carpet. Then Claire was born. Now I feel like our floor is made of bruises and hospital visits disguised as tile. Thank goodness a friend of ours let us borrow their foam floor tiles. I plan on getting a set of our own as well. We do most of our sitting up in this area. It's all set up for her stunts.

Toys that clip onto things
Don't you love my technical speak? I still have quite picked up the tried and true mommy lingo yet. I'm referring to toys that will clip onto the stroller, the car seat, the walker, the activity gym, etc. You never have to pick them up. It's great.

Nighttime Diapers
During this past month Claire began waking up randomly in the middle of the night with a soaking wet diaper. Two things: first, we increased the size and second, we got the super absorbent nighttime diapers. Not having nighttime diapers is probably something that we should have picked up on a little earlier. Game changer. We sleep. Life is good.

Two things we still love: Aden and Anais blankets and our sound machine.

See? I told you the list was a simple one. I am curious as to what our next list will contain as we're now out of the infant stage. So exciting!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Six Month Big Girl

I can't believe she's six months. Claire has been a part of our lives for half of a year! 'Precious' doesn't even capture how these last six months have been for our family of three. Before I go all mushy, I better give you the six month scoop:


We've come along way from the avocado of last month. So far we've tried sweet potatoes, peas, carrots and bananas. Oh, and we just tried a frozen peach in a mesh teether. Does that count? Anyway, she loves peas and carrots and is warming up to bananas. She is now actually swallowing her food - not just tasting it.

She still drinks four bottles a day, but now is more on the 5 oz. per bottle instead of the full 7 oz. Although, today as a mature six month old she has eaten 7-8 oz. bottles. Maybe she heard that she is a big girl now.

Claire also eyes and tries to reach for anything that Joey and I are eating. It's a good reminder that as her parents we've got to get our good eating habits back. Eek!


Since we last chatted there has been a time change - Spring Forward to be exact. Apparently kids are supposed to sleep "later". This was not our experience. It's not that big of a deal, but Claire wakes up between 6:15-6:30 AM instead of 7:00 AM. We have no business complaining about sleep as we get plenty for parents of a six month old, but just wanted to share the update.

She is still napping three times a day with a 1.5 hour nap in the morning and afternoon and an hour or so in the early evening. Her bedtime is still between 7:00 - 7:30 PM.

The crib mattress is however about to be lowered. She is getting a little too
curious with the railing and her strength is growing by the day.


Claire is scooting! Or rolling. Or scoot-rolling. She's on the move. She sees something she wants on the floor and figures out a way to get there. This may entail crossing treacherous toy terrain and showing a few sock monkeys and stuffed giraffes who's boss. Claire and Mommy have yet to go head-to-head on this boss business, but I see a conversation or two in the future.

She sits unassisted for almost several minutes unless she's uninterested and would rather stand. Then she just gets mad.

This girl still loves to stand. She loves her walker although we do limit the time she spends in it to make sure she's spending more on tummy time and learning to crawl. Side note - it really hurts to have ones toes run over by a baby walker.


Play time gets more and more fun! She can now pick up most toys with intent. Her favorite toys are the Melissa & Doug fish and her rings. She spins spin toys, pulls pull toys and shakes rattles. Of course, most of these toys are still going in her mouth.

Books are still a favorite. She leans over the side of the rocking chair to signal that she wants you to read another book. I have to cut her off. Bookworms still need naps.

The best thing? She laughs! Claire likes it when Mommy gives her zerberts or makes funny noises.
She is now singing. I know, I know...singing, right. Well we think she is. She has always loved us singing to her and now she makes sweet little coos and sighs musically. It's so sweet. She would rather sing talk than eat her bottle. And this girl likes to eat!

She is incredibly interested in our small dog, Bo. She scoots around in a circle as he walks around, following him with her eyes everywhere and smiling the whole time. I feel like she wants to make friends. Only, Bo is a little disinterested. She's handling the mild rejection fairly well and continues to persevere in pursuing her little friend. It's so sweet. Keep trying baby, he'll come around.


Her 6 month appointment is next week so we will get the full update at that time. A few of the things that we have noticed are that her hair is thicker, she seems to be Jolly Green Giant long all of the sudden and she has lost the infant look completely. Wheh! Insert bittersweet Mommy Tears here.

We have pulled out all of our 6-9 month gear and are in a lot of just plain 9 month. More Mommy Tears.

Also to report, we have teeth - two to be exact! I can't say those days weren't rough, but she handled it like a champ. Mommy and Daddy were not prepared for teeth quite yet, but at least we've got those first two bottom teeth under our belt.

A little sad news to report is that Claire apparently has allergies. We went for a walk on the first day that yellow pollen blanketed everything and boy did we pay for it. An hour or so after getting home her nose was so stopped upped and she would sneeze over and over again. So sad! It took her a week to get over it. But there was a silver lining! Lots of snuggles for Mommy and Daddy! We have an active little girl and those moments are
increasingly less so we'll take it!

Joey and I are having so much! Each new stage has its challenges, but there are infinitely more joys at every new turn. On the 7 month horizon (Oh, that sounds way too old!) we're looking at crawling, maybe more teeth...who knows! Whatever it is, we're ready for it!