Did you blink and miss the first eight months? Sometimes we think we did.
The big news is that Owlet is Sleeping Through the Night. In casual medical parlance that means five or six hours between eleven PM and six AM. Well, she was doing that, with two wakeups… and then suddenly she wasn’t. She was sleeping ten or eleven hours straight. Which is just fine with us, thank you! Sleep maturity is a wonderful thing, and it happens differently for every child. It’s also not permanent; it will fluctuate and shift according to developmental stages and external circumstances and stresses. But for now, we are very, very happy. At the moment I’m still sleeping in her room, because when she does wake up after those ten or eleven hours, hoo boy, she is hungry and cranky and has a very wet diaper that she detests and wants out of right now. The extra time it would take me to wake up enough to hear her over the monitor, stumble out of bed, get up the stairs and into her room just isn’t worth the screaming right now. Roughly, the night goes like this: She sleeps about ten hours a night, from six-thirty or seven to fourish AM. She feeds somewhere between three and five, then goes back to sleep till six or seven. We’ve had our hiccoughs, of course, like the night where she was up every two hours, or the other night where she refused to go to sleep for two hours and insisted on nursing sessions and cuddles and rocking, but as a rule, this is the new normal (for now).
She’s been sleeping on her tummy, though we do put her down on her back. We put her down drowsy or only in a light sleep most of the time, and she can usually fall asleep on her own. Other times she hyperextends in a stretch backwards while being put down and wakes herself up completely and is not happy about it, or knocks about in her crib for a while, wiggling around and babbling to her stuffed animals or her blankets before falling asleep on her tummy. Sometimes she squirms while she’s asleep and wakes herself up because she’s gotten herself stuck across her crib. (Which is kind of funny, although not at all from her point of view.) Unlike Sparky, who needed to be rocked and soothed to sleep for pretty much every nap and night, but was fine once he was asleep, Owlet falls asleep relatively easily, but wakes up a lot more often than her brother did. Naps are still tricky, although they’re starting to resolve into one nap both morning and afternoon, anywhere from an hour to ninety minutes long. (Except when they’re not.)
She’s made some great physical leaps forward, too. I woke up one night to feed her and found her raising herself up onto hands and knees, then lowering herself back down to her tummy, then lifting herself up again and rocking back and forth on all fours. In other words, she was prepping for crawling. She’s been slow getting that lovely round tummy off the ground, and really, we shouldn’t be surprised. She’s become very stable when sitting up, too, and can reach in all directions to grab things. It’s so much easier to get her dressed to go out then sit her on the floor by the front door while I put my own coat and shoes on, instead of lying her flat on a blanket somewhere. She’s also been working hard on pulling herself up to standing position using the arm of the settee or someone’s fingers (not being pulled up, using them as leverage). She loves to stand, and has been doing it with flat feet some of the time instead of on tippy-toe. She pulled herself up using the bottom bar of her crib a few days ago. I had to take off her socks and roll up her pants so she had a better grip with her feet, but she did it. She bounced on her feet, looking very pleased with herself, considered cruising, got as far as moving her hands over, then decided that maybe that was enough and let go with one hand. She swung down and pivoted because she was still holding on with the other hand, and sat down on her bum, boom! She was very pleased. And then she was immediately overwhelmed by the experience and begged to nurse and nap.
Teething has begun again. This past week has been rather cranky on that front, although she’s still one of the most tolerant children I’ve encountered regarding teething pain. She’s generally her usual happy self just quicker to grizzle, but sometimes she just can’t be happy any more because things hurt too much, and then she cries in frustration because she doesn’t feel like she usually does. She caught my finger in her mouth today and I could feel her upper incisors like pencil erasers stuck on the front of her upper jawbone, the poor thing, so we are desperately hoping that it cuts soon.
New foods this past month include peaches, pear slices, shredded roast chicken, Greek yoghurt, peas (again), carrots (also again), fried tofu, pizza crusts, spaghetti, and, oh my, yes, CHEERIOS. Cheerios are the gods’ gift to babies, and she adores them. We introduced the sippy cup, too, which is a wonderful toy. I’d forgotten how hard it is to teach a baby to lift it up high enough to get the liquid inside to reach the mouth. She got to taste a slice of smoked turkey from the deli, too, which she gobbled up, though sliced meats aren’t high on my list of good things to feed tiny persons just yet; they’re too high in sodium and nitrates.
The new section we can add to this month’s report is words. Owlet starting saying “Mahm’a” last week, and she has a very similar sound that’s more of a “meh” that I think means milk (she’s back to sticking her tongue out and lapping like a little cat when she wants to nurse, too, which is when she usually says it). Sometimes she stuffs her hand in her mouth when I think she gets hungry, which may be a version of the fingers to the mouth sign that means “food,” but I can’t tell if that’s associated with hunger or the teething at this point. Yesterday she very clearly said “MOE!” at lunch, when I was too slow loading rice and squash on a spoon and handing it to her. I got excited and kept asking, “Do you want more?” when I got the spoon back, but all I got was impatient hand banging on the tray or big grins because yay, she was eating, and oh goodness she loves to eat. I listened to her quietly say, “Mama, Mama, Mama” over and over to herself via the intercom while she wiggled about the other night, and it was a wonderful feeling.
Playing peek-a-boo continues. And she made up a game in which she puts things on top of her head. Bibs, washcloths, small toys, socks… it wasn’t a game at first, just something she did matter of factly. Then she noticed us laughing, and now she does it with a smile and a peek at us if she knows we’re watching. She sometimes still does it matter of factly on her own, though, as if she’s testing something.
We’ve given up on any clothes marked 12 months or smaller. However, most of the 12-18 month size clothes we have are summer dresses, mainly sundresses at that. So I think I’m going to need to find a few long- and short-sleeve basic t-shirts to wear under them. And that way we don’t have to worry about wiggling pants that are too long and too narrow over her cloth diapers, either. Bless stretchy leggings, for they have been our salvation…