Happy spring! I apologize for my recent hiatus these past couple of weeks. I came down with a sinus infection that had me out of commission for a good while, which unfortunately was right after I had just recovered from a two week sickness. I’m not sure if this winter was particularly bad, or if I was just catching everything because I wasn’t sleeping and had a weakened immune system, but I’m very thankful for FINALLY feeling better. Taking care of a baby with a fever is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Just awful.
Anyways, while I was away my little boy turned six months! How is this possible?! I can’t believe I’ve been a mom to this amazing little guy for this long already. I’m sure all mothers feel this way, but I just can’t get over how incredibly blessed I feel to have him in my life. His personality keeps getting bigger and crazier, he’s always smiling and giggling and this month he started crawling so he’s just moving everywhere, which I thought would be scary but it’s been a lot of fun watching him progress, explore and get more of his energy out this way.
Six months is definitely a stage of a lot of growth and development so I wanted to update my mom must-haves for this milestone and let you know some tips I’ve learned along the way. I’ll also give some quick updates on Thomas in case you’re interested! Ready? Here we go!
Let’s start off with the big one. Sleep! By six months babies have the ability to self-soothe and most can go through the night without feedings. The past couple of days Thomas has been sleeping very well and it’s because of a few things:
- We moved up his bedtime. In the past we would wait to put him down until he was pretty much exhausted. It seemed like the only thing that would keep him asleep for more than a couple of hours. We switched that when he turned six months and he now goes to bed around 7:30pm (instead of 9-9:30pm). Maybe a little later if his last nap was long. Moving up his bedtime to a consistent time each night has helped him fall asleep much easier.
- I stopped feeding him in the middle of the night. The first few nights of this were hard, but when he woke up crying I would wait a few minutes to see if he would fall back asleep and if not I went in and just gave him his pacifier. I didn’t take him out of the crib unless it had been more than 5 or 6 hours since he last ate.
- I say the same thing when I put him to sleep each night. This was part of a sleep training method I read online. When you say the phrase it helps to let them know it’s time to go to sleep. So after we do Thomas’s bedtime routine, I give him a kiss, put him in the crib and say, “Goodnight Thomas, I love you and I’ll be right outside if you need me.” Then I turn out the lights and leave. He used to fuss a little bit and would need me to go back in and say it again. Now, he just wiggles around for a few minutes and then falls right to sleep.
- Finally, I started tracking how much I was feeding him during the day and making sure he was getting enough. We started solid food and have slowly increased it as he’s grown more accustomed to it. I’ve also started supplementing a little bit more since this month he seems to be going through another growth spurt. Making sure he’s getting enough food has helped him from getting up at night hungry.
Speaking of solid foods, this has been a really fun, big change! I’m very passionate about nutrition so I was excited to get started making my own baby food. My must-have for this stage is to get a baby food maker! I read a lot of articles that said you don’t need to spend the money on this but it makes life so much easier. And as a busy mom who doesn’t want that? My favorite one has been this one by Cuisinart. You can steam & puree in the same bowl, making clean-up incredibly easy, and it can even heat up bottles if needed. I also love that it gives you the exact measurements needed for each food item so it’s perfectly prepared each time. Once the food is ready I just throw it in ice cube trays (that are BPA free) so they’re pre-measured for the rest of the week. I know making your own baby food may seem time consuming but it only takes about 30 minutes tops to make 3 or 4 different food items, which will last Thomas for weeks. Plus the savings are great on your wallet. Just be sure to choose organic and use filtered water when steaming.
This month is particularly fun because he’s really getting into his toys! We introduced blocks, which will fascinate him for a long time, along with some fun light-up toys because he enjoys pressing the buttons. Activity mats are a must and anything that gets him moving like a bouncer. Since most babies enjoy music we also have a lot of fun playing instruments together and letting him dance along with songs on our playlist. When your little one gets into six months, definitely introduce some fun toys to keep their mind moving and growing. Plus it gives you a little bit of a break! My favorite toy is this one and I love this one for an activity center.
Thomas doesn’t have teeth yet but he’s really starting to chomp down on everything we give him. He’s been teething for a few months but hasn’t really enjoyed any teething toy. This month, however, he’s enjoyed a few teething rings here and there. His favorite one is a stuffed animal that has a few rings on the side for him to suck on. I definitely suggest getting some teething rings at this stage so it helps them from chomping down on you! These are really easy to just throw in your diaper bag.
Finally, I know it seems early but at six months it’s definitely a good idea to start baby proofing your home! Even if your baby isn’t crawling yet they’re still grabbing everything and rolling around like crazy. Sometimes I’ll just be looking away for a second and then there’s Thomas reaching for my glass of water or taking the batteries out of the remote! These things happen in a blink of an eye, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re a stay-at-home mom like myself it’s also hard to always be in the same room as your baby. Sometimes I’ll walk away for a second to grab something and when I’m back he’s across the room! So baby proofing early will give you peace of mind that they’re in a safe environment. You can’t protect them from everything but this is a good start.
Anyways, I hope that helps you moms out there who are tackling the six month mark! This is such a fun time and there’s still so many firsts left to experience. We’re heading out of town for our first outing this weekend (and maybe our first visit to the pool!), and I can’t wait until he says those first words. If my persistence pays off, it’ll probably start with an “M”!!