- Teeth!: Grady got his first tooth at 4 months, which felt early to us and was confirmed when I learned they usually don’t come in until about 6. He recently popped his 3rd tooth (all teeth are on the bottom) and it looks like there is a 4th coming soon as well.
- Sleeping: We sleep trained Grady two days before he turned 5 months. We followed Taking Cara Babies and we’re so happy he picked it up in about 2 days. He goes down between 6:30-7:00 after a bath, diaper change/lotion, bottle, and lullaby (I sing him You Are My Sunshine and Colors of the Wind, Mike sings him a song he made up). We have been dealing with early morning wakings (he wakes up around 5:30 every morning) which are a bit annoying… but we’re working on it. We’ve also been working on naps. Grady has been a notoriously short napper; as in 30-minute naps are his jam. Mike and I would split the morning and afternoon nap laying with him so he would sleep longer, but since Mike goes back to work in a couple weeks that’s not feasible moving forward. I had been thinking we needed to get blackout shades for a while, so I pulled the trigger a few days ago and his naps have improved A LOT. He’s been napping for 1 hour and 70-90 minutes for the other, plus an always 30-40 minute catnap in the afternoon to bridge the gap to bedtime. We also transitioned him out of the swaddle when he started showing signs of rolling over, and I’m really proud as to how we did it. We swaddled him with one arm out for like 4 weeks, then eventually both arms out, and then transitioned him to the Nested Bean sleep sack. This method worked really well for us.
- Rolling: Grady now rolls over from back to stomach on both sides, and has started to perfect the back to stomach as well. He’s also showing signs of scooting which will be interesting!
- Solids: We started solids when he turned 5 months, and I had every intention of doing baby led weaning but it felt too soon at 5 months. So right now he’s on a diet of purées and has had avocado, sweet potato, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, beets, apricots, banana, blueberries, and apple. He’s liked pretty much everything so far, and he’s learned to bring the spoon to his mouth to feed himself. We started doing Baby Led Weaning this week, and he’s had spears of sweet potato, banana, and blueberries. He definitely loves food and it’s so fun watching him explore.
- New formula: Because of Grady’s digestion/heartburn issues, we had to have him on a hypoallergenic formula called Elecare (we’ve had to exclusively formula feed- I’ve written about this journey in previous posts). Elecare is really expensive, but luckily through a family friend we were able to get discounts because he worked at Abbott for 30+ years. At Grady’s 4 month pediatrician appointment our new doctor said we could try to wean him off, so now we’re on an organic formula that’s much more reasonably priced (as in 1/3 of the price). He seems to be doing okay with it, so we’re hoping to have him fully on it in the next month or so.
- His Simba lovey: He’s grown quite attached to his lovey over the past couple weeks and it’s really adorable to see. We chose Simba because the first song he ever really loved was “Just Can’t Wait to Be King.” All the mom blogs out there recommend getting at least 2 of the same lovey in case you lose or need to wash one, but I didn’t know if he’d like it so I only bought one. Since then it’s sold out on the Disney website, so I had to buy another off eBay haha.
- My Mom/Didi: Grady’s favorite person is definitely my mom. She is SO good with him, and gives him his bath every night. He lights up whenever he sees her and their bond is just the sweetest. It makes me so happy they have it.
- JUMPING: We got him a jumper after another friend recommended it, and it’s been one of the best purchases we’ve made. He LOVES to jump and we put him in it before bed to tucker him out.
- The Beach!: He was a little skeptical of the water at first, but when I started to put him in the sand and then have the water come up touch him so he could see it, he became a lot more comfortable.
Least Favorite things:
- His car seat
- Getting his diaper on after bath
- TEETHING (poor little guy)
- Waiting for food (understandable)
I’ve made it a goal to be honest about how the transition to parenthood has been a lot harder than we thought it would be. Even with the added difficulty from COVID, I don’t think Mike and I fully knew what was in store for us. We’re definitely in a better place than we were a couple months ago (my therapist said she thought we could be “out of the woods”), as we’ve seemed to have gotten into a rhythm that doesn’t necessarily make things easier, but more predictable.
One thing Mike has said is that he’ll never tell another parent “it get’s better at age X.” Here’s why: When you’re in the thick of it and you see other parents out on a walk, who have older babies and who seem to have their shit together, you start to have hope. Hope that your baby will eventually grow out of the crying, fussiness, etc. So when you exchange pleasantries (“how old is your baby, what’s his name etc.”) They will then tell you “it gets better at X age.” And while of course they were being nice, it felt like another arbitrary milestone we couldn’t wait to get to. Because when it didn’t get better at 3 months or 4 months when others said it would, it felt even more like we were failing. For any parents out there, this is a reminder that any advice you receive is based on someone else’s experience, with completely different circumstances, dynamics, and oh yeah, a different baby. I don’t need to tell you that not every baby is the same, but it’s easy to forget when you’re seeing another baby is already rolling over or sleeping through the night. Just like adults, all babies are unique, including in their mental and physical development and growth.
Mike has been on paternity leave for the last 8 weeks and it’s been so wonderful for all 3 of us. He goes back to work after Labor Day and I’ll admit I’m a little nervous. But we’re at my moms and I’ll still have her help which I’m really grateful for. As for my work situation, I’ve started to poke around at a few opportunities, but I don’t think it makes sense for me to start working until we find our own home. We’ll need to hire a nanny, so having another person at my mom’s on top of my stepdad, me and Mike working would be chaos.
When Grady turned 5 months, Mike’s dad asked him if he thought those months flew by. Mike truthfully answered no, and I wouldn’t say the last 6 have flown by either. They have without a doubt been the hardest months of my life. So much of myself, my identity, my marriage has changed. Some definitely for the better, and of course other changes have been more difficult. For example, I’m a very impatient person; always have been and probably always will be. But with Grady I’ve had to exercise a patience with him that I didn’t even realize was patience until my mom pointed it out and complemented me on it. In this way, I’m better. Conversely my anxiety has tripled since becoming a mom and I (admittedly) take it out on Mike and my other family and my patience has gotten so much worse.
I saw an Instagram post today that said “Question for mothers. Did any of you grieve the shift from existing in the world as your own woman and moving into your role as a mother?” And honestly, YES, I do and continue to everyday. I probably will for the rest of my life. Or maybe someday I’ll find a beautiful balance of both. Probably when he’s 18 😉
Day by day we are surviving. And at the end of the day our boy is healthy, happy, eating, sleeping, and loving his family. We are so grateful for him, his life, and what he’s already and will continue to teach us.