Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Little Things: Ada, Six Months

Ada is six months old today!

I don't want to jinx it, but I feel like we are past the really tough time with two small children. The big questions right now are (1) when Ada will start sleeping better at night (so that I can get more sleep) and (2) when/how we are going to wean her from nursing. I'd like to have a little more independence and also be able to alternate middle-of-the-night duty, but it is also very convenient for me to be able to nurse Ada when I am the one taking care of her. Plus, she really loves it, so that makes it even harder to stop.

I know that this is going to be my last time nursing a baby, which also makes me inclined to stick it out a little bit longer, but I am just. so. tired. It's hard to explain how difficult it is to never get an uninterrupted night of sleep for six+ months in a row unless you've been through it at some point. I think we'll probably end up continuing for another few months, although we may start doing bottles at night sometime soon. With Jude, once we cut back from exclusive nursing, I very quickly stopped producing much milk at all, and I'm afraid this will happen again, otherwise I'd be happy to continue with about half-and-half formula and breast milk for the foreseeable future.

I love this age. Ada is so cute, interactive, and cannot yet talk back...:) Here are a few things to remember about Ada at six months:
  • Drinking: Ada still loves to nurse, but she has finally (as of about two weeks ago) started taking a bottle. This was a huge relief to all of her caregivers. She is currently drinking 8-10 ounces a day while I'm at work. My milk supply seems to have gone down in the ~8 weeks that I've been back at work, and I'm no longer able to pump as much as she wants to drink, so Ada also has a bottle of formula most days. On the weekends, she'll nurse more than usual, and if I'm away for a couple of hours she'll also have a bottle of formula to stay satisfied.
  • Eating: Ada really enjoys her food. She has tried rice cereal, sweet potato, butternut squash, banana, prunes, avocado, and pears. Her favorites so far seems to be sweet potato and pears (which were also two of Jude's favorites), and she really does not like rice cereal now that she's tried some other foods. She's currently eating twice a day, and the amount really varies from meal to meal, depending on what we offer and how hungry she is at the time. We usually feed her in the Bumbo seat, and lately she has been grabbing for the spoon, so I usually give her one to hold during mealtime.
  • Sleeping: After sleeping through the night twice in a row at five months of age, Ada has regressed somewhat and is now up 1-2 times every night (for a while it was 2-3 times). I think that it is because she is hungry and also possibly teething. She's been doing better since we moved her up from one meal to two meals a day. Also, I've been giving her a half dose of Tylenol before bedtime if she seems to be in some tooth pain. This has been helping a little bit, but her nights are still very unpredictable. Ada is also an early riser, usually up for the day sometime between 5:30 and 6:30. With an ~8pm bedtime, this is a lot less than the 12 hours of night-time sleep that babies her age are "supposed" to need. I do think that Ada just needs less sleep than average, because she is perfectly pleasant while she is awake and doesn't seem tired. She is taking 2-3 naps a day. Sometimes she'll take three short naps, and other days she'll take one long nap (2+ hours) and one short one (~30 minutes). We rarely get two good naps out of her (meaning over an hour). Ada falls asleep pretty easily if she's tired. If she's not tired, it takes a lot more work to get her asleep and we often don't even bother trying.
  • Teething: I have not seen any teeth yet, but Ada does seem to be experiencing some pain in her mouth, she's biting a lot more than usual, and I can feel some bumps protruding from her lower gums. Jude didn't get his first tooth until he was almost 8 months old, so I wouldn't be surprised if it took a few more weeks/months for Ada's first to show up.
  • Sitting: Ada can sit independently for a few minutes, and with a small amount of support (like a Boppy or pillow behind her) for a long time (like 20 minutes). She likes to sit up on the couch or the bed with a few toys in front of her. She will examine the toys and especially the tags with great concentration. She also loves to watch Jude as he plays nearby.
  • Moving: Ada is still not moving much, but I feel like she is starting to get tired of her immobile state. She will spin around while lying on the floor on either her back or tummy if there is something behind her that she wants to see. She also seems much more restless lately. She is kicking all the time while I nurse her and she has also started whacking me with her fist unless I hold her hand. Jude was like this from the time he was very young (just could not stay still) but Ada has been more placid until recently. Now, I would describe her as "antsy".
  • Swaddling: We are still swaddling Ada for bedtime and most naps. She seems to fall asleep much more quickly when swaddled and stays asleep longer. I don't know how much longer we will continue to swaddle her (with Jude we didn't stop until he was ~11 months old) but I don't anticipate stopping anytime soon since it works so well.
  • Books: Ada is starting to show some interest in books. She usually gets a double dose of books, since she watches while we read books to Jude and also gets a few of her own. I've added Goodnight Moon to her bedtime routine and she appears to like the pictures and the rhythm of the words. It's hard to tell for sure, though, because she likes pretty much everything!
  • Size: I took Ada in to be weighed a couple of weeks ago and she was just over 15 pounds. We'll find out her length as well as percentiles when we go in for her six-month appointment with Dr. Jack next week. Ada is wearing six-month size clothes and they are starting to get a little bit small. We'll probably move on to the nine-month size soon. We're using up the last package of size 2 diapers and moving on to size 3 in the next few days.
  • Outings: Ada is very social, and loves to see new faces and people. She really enjoys being out and about, and gets a little crabby if she's home with just the immediate family for a whole day. Daddy takes Ada out for shopping, lunch, and walks almost every day, since he also needs some action. Ada likes the stroller, but she prefers to be carried. She's grown out of the Bjorn, and we now carry her in the Ergo most of the time. So far, we've mostly worn her on the front, but she also does fine on the back, and we'll probably start doing that more often in the next few months. It is hard to get her on our backs without help, though, so the front is more convenient for now.
  • Talking: Ada can be quite loud when she wants attention. She shrieks and calls out if she feels like she's being ignored. She does a lot of cooing and razzing her lips, and loves back-and-forth conversations. She is not saying any words or sounds consistently, but she does vocalize a lot and seems interested in making noise.
  • Toys: Ada has just started grabbing and manipulating objects in the past week or so. She likes anything with tags and with a lot of different shapes and colors, as well as toys which make noise. Ada likes soft toys and stuffed animals much more than Jude ever did, so the plush toy collection is now hers...:) She also likes to hang out in the Exersaucer sometimes or play with the dangling toys in the Gymini, but there are also times when she just wants to be held and nothing else will do.
  • Loving: Ada is very attached to Mommy and always wants to nurse immediately after any kind of separation (even though sometimes she is not hungry). I think it is more for reassurance than food at this point. She also loves her big brother (cannot keep her eyes off of him) and her Daddy (he gets the biggest smiles of all). Nini spends every Thursday morning with Ada (while Jude and Daddy are at school), and those two are starting to form a nice bond as well. Ada is friendly and will let anyone hold her, but when she is upset, only those she knows well can calm her easily.
  • Coloring: Ada's eyes are still very blue and her hair seems to be pretty light (although also very short so far). As of now, I'm sticking with my guess that she will have blue eyes and blond hair.
Here are a few photos from the past couple of weeks:

Ada's big smile for Daddy...

Hanging out with Danel.

Deep in thought while sitting.

Watching the cooking show in the kitchen (this happens a lot).

Jude feeds Ada a bottle. No, the car is not in motion...:)

Jude took this photo. He LOVES taking photos, especially of Ada.

Our two lovebugs.

Happy half-year birthday, Ada!


Amber said...

Fun to read a 6-month update on Ada! She and Nia are so much alike... yet certainly have differences too. I love that big smile picture of Ada - so cute! Oh, as for nighttime sleep, these two girls seem to be on the same page. I too am looking forward to full nights of sleep in the (hopefully) near future!

Natalie said...

Adorable! Thanks for the update on the little cutie.