Nolan: six months old

Has half of Nolan's first year really gone by already?

The time has truly flown and it has been so joyful, what a blessing Nolan has been to our family! Especially to Emily who seems to be just itching for him to grow up faster so they can play together. She's always singing him all the silly little songs she learned in school, sharing her favorite toys (except for when he has "wet hands" from sucking them), encouraging him to roll and crawl, and entertaining him with puppet shows and her dance moves. :) The love between siblings is just amazing!

Nolan is growing like a weed! At his 5 month well-visit on November 22nd he weighed in at just under 16lbs and was 27 inches tall, both put him in the 50th percentile. We moved him up to a size 3 Pampers Swaddlers diaper last week and his 3-6 month sized one-piece pajamas are looking snug. He's filling out his 3-6 month sized clothes perfectly and is just recently wearing 3 month sized hats (he has a tiny little noggin!). His hair is getting really long on top, too, you can get it into a little baby mokawk with a little water. So cute!

Nolan has reached a few milestones in the last month, most notably sleeping through the night 10-12 hours straight... finally! It's been amazing to get a great night's rest again and it's all due to our consistent efforts in helping him self-soothe (a.k.a. Sleep-training). I am still tracking all of his naps and feedings on my iPhone, which has helped us see his sleeping patterns clearly; he naps and is ready for bed every 1.5-2.0 hours. As soon as he wakes up from a nap and in the morning, I change his diaper and nurse him, which takes about 30 minutes then, I keep him stimulated with outings, walks, play dates, music, and play time for an hour. Once 1 1/2 hours has gone by, I quiet things down and get him in the Ergo for his nap. Yep, both (sometimes three) of his naps are in the Ergo these days. After many failed attempts to put him in his car seat, swing, and crib, I gave up and just wear him, which is actually fine by me because he gets his rest and I can be mobile (I can walk to school to pick Emily up) and hands-free (to eat). After his last nap of the day, we start our bed time routine: Nolan gets solids, a bath, and I take him upstairs in dim light with lulabies playing to slather him with Excema cream, put on his Pjs, read books, and nurse him. Once I've burped him really well I kiss him, tell him to have sweet dreams and put him in his crib drowsy but awake, usually around 7:00pm. The room is completely dark and he sleeps with his sound machine on (white noise). Most of the time he doesn't cry or fuss at all and falls asleep within minutes; however, there have been a few nights over the last three weeks since we started sleep training where he has cried/fussed anywhere from 4 to 40 minutes before falling asleep. He sleeps all night long, rarely waking to cry/fuss back to sleep and is up for the day around 6:00am.

Another milestone is his acceptance of solids every single day around dinner time. He is eager to eat and knows real food is coming once he's in his little high chair! He plays with some toys, kicks his feet, bangs on his tray, and watches my every move as I warm up his food. I feed Emily dinner at the same time and am packing tomorrow's lunches as well as prepping David and my dinner at the same time. Nolan has had apples, pears, bananas, peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, oatmeal, and white beans. The only thing he didn't absolutely love and gobble up was the banana, he actually spit it out and clamped his mouth shut the next two feedings where I offered banana. ha! Oh well, I'll wait a few weeks and try it again. Next up for Nolan to try is avocado and then, perhaps cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini, and green beans. I actually started roasting and pureeing my own baby food this last weekend after seeing which foods Nolan accepted, with butternut squash being the first. I made all of Emily's baby food and really enjoyed it and am excited to build up my freezer full of food for Nolan. In addition to feeding him pureed foods, I have put small chunks of food in his mesh feeders to try, which he seems to really enjoy! He reaches for the mesh feeder, grasps it tightly, and chews and sucks until there's nothing left. Very cute. I'm still breast-feeding him (he won't take a bottle at all!) about five times a day: first thing in the morning, after each of his three naps, and just before bed time. We are going to introduce a second feeding of solids after his first nap of the day this week.

Gran (my mom) shipped Nolan a jumperoo last week and oh boy, does he love to jump! He really gets to going, catching some air even.

Nolan is pushing up onto his hands and even getting up on his knees for a few seconds before his legs slip out from under him when doing tummy time and he's sitting up with very little assistance! I bet he's going to be crawling and/or pulling up to standing before we know it!

Nolan is also "talking" more and more these days. Little coos and squeeks and even a slight giggle, though no real, full-blown laugh just yet.

He reaches for toys and tries to scoot towards them when on his tummy. He loves to swat at the toy bar on his car seat, is always reaching for my phone, grabs his toes and tries to yank off his socks and suck his toes when on his back and in his car seat, and reaches for faces when they get close to him. I don't wear any jewelry and always have my hair back in a ponytail because of this!

Nolan is perfectly content to just hang out in his car seat, ergo, and baby bjorn during his one hour of awake time between naps which has completely changed how we get out and about these days. No more waiting to go somewhere until he was ready to take a nap so he would nap in the car/stroller on the way somewhere. Now, once he's awake, changed, and fed, we are out the door anywhere we need to go for about an hour. I can stay gone longer with him but I have realized very quickly that he NEEDS his calm, quiet, nap time or he gets overtired and hysterical so, I don't mess around with nap time! :) He should be able to sit up in a shopping cart soon, which is going to be great as the bjorn kills my shoulders but it's his favorite way to shop as he loves to look out.

Nolan really enjoys bath time, slapping at the water and grabbing for his mirror but because of his recent Excema diagnosis, he only gets a bath every third day. He will hang out in his swing for a few minutes but doesn't seem to like being in a laid-down position much these days so, the swing is stored for the time being. He's happiest in his exersaucer and jumperoo.

Nolan's personality is really blossoming. He gives huge gummy grins to all of us often and appears to be ticklish on his rib cage, under both arms. He is very calm, observant, patient, quiet, and serious and very cautious around strangers. It's easy to forget he's even there! He's such a snuggler, too, happiest when I'm holding him, nursing him, and wearing him around in the ergo.

No teeth just yet and no real signs of teething and he sleeps flat on his back, he has yet to flip over at night. Oh! Because he rubs and scratches his head and face as well as pulls his hair when he's tired, we put mittens on him overnight. Also, he has recently discovered his tongue so he hands are in his mouth more than usual, touching it and even pulling on it. He has gotten his hand in too far and gagged himself to the point of throwing up a few times.

Gosh, the time is really flying, we'll be planning his first birthday party before we know it!


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