Winter’s 9 Month Update

9monthsoldBABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 9 months old

(All as of July 10, 2014)

Baby’s Age: 9 months old

Height: 27 inches

Weight: 18 lbs 8 oz

Head:

Diaper Size: Size 3

Clothes Size: 9 months

Here is a look back at the past few months:

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 Here is Winter in her Bumbo:

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July 2014 – This baby has gone through some ch-ch-changes… (Tooth, Crawling and Sleeping Through the Night Again)

(Written July 20, 2014) Looking back over the past month, from eight months till nine months, I’d say we have hit some big developments.  First of all, the “teething” that Winter has been going through for the past 3 months finally produced a tooth!  About a week before she turned 9 months, I started to see/feel the developments of the two bottom center teeth.  On the day she turned 9 months (July 10), her bottom right tooth finally began to cut through the gums.  It continues to make more and more of an appearance as the days go on.  Her bottom left tooth is on it’s way next, but has yet to cut through at this point.  It’s exciting for her to finally have her first tooth!  Took 9 months to achieve that goal, but by golly, it has finally happened.  Perhaps it’s better that it took until she was 9 months old to cut a tooth for the sake of breastfeeding and having yet to get a nipple gnawed off.  🙂  My friends said that biting during breastfeeding only became an issue once the top teeth made an appearance….  So at this rate, Winter might not have any top teeth until she is 12 months, and then she will be going through the weaning process anyway!

Another big development since last month: Winter is officially on the MOVE!  She was on the cusp of crawling for the past several months, getting on all fours and even rocking.  But finally, on July 3rd (a week before turning 9 months old), she finally took things to the next level and began arming crawling.  Not even a week later, on July 9, she upgraded from army crawling to regular crawling!  Just one day before turning 9 months old.  The more she crawls, the quicker and more efficient she has gotten.  No longer can I sit her down on the floor to play with toys and expect her to stay there…no, no.  She crawls all over the place, making me have to watch her like a hawk!  As exhausting as it is chasing her around, there is such a magic feeling to watch your child learn to do a huge new milestone!  Eric and I feel so proud of Winter!  It’s overwhelming how much joy she brings us.

In last month’s update, I remember I spent a fair share of time complaining about our sleep issues.  For about 7-8 continuous weeks, Winter went through a major sleep regression.  She went from previously sleeping through the night (12 hours), to waking 2-3 times every night.  I was beginning to feel desperate that my sleep filled nights were never going to resume.  At Winter’s 9 month pediatrician appointment, I explained our situation to her doc and hoped for some positive feedback.  Well, the doctor explained that by this point, Winter was in pattern of night waking and she was in a trained routine.  The best way to break her of this routine was to cut her off, cold turkey.  Oh boy!  I never thought I’d have to implement the “cry it out” method on Winter, as she was always a good sleeper.  But here we were, at a crossroads.  If we wanted to get our household back to a good sleeping routine, then it was time to give a new approach a whirl.  The doc said that it would take 3-5 continuous nights of letting her cry without going in to rescue and nurse her until she resumed a healthy nighttime sleep ritual.  Knowing myself, I knew that if I had to listen to her cry, I would cave and go get her.  So, we decided that it would be best to create a sound barrier so that it didn’t allow me the opportunity to cave in.  Night one, we made sure both her nursery door and our bedroom door were both closed.  We plugged in a huge (and very LOUD) boxfan in our room and turned it on the highest level.  That first night, she did wake up around her usual first wakeup (midnight), and we watched her on the monitor.  After approximately 15 minutes of crying, she went back to sleep.  That was the last we knew of her waking up!  I’m sure she has woken up and cried several times in those first few nights of sleep training, but we never heard her.  And that was wonderful.  She has always been happy in the morning, so obviously she was fine.  We have now gone 10 nights where all 3 of us have slept through the night and woken up refreshed, happy and healthy in the morning.  SCORE!!  Praise God that Winter is back on track in regards to sleep.  We went nearly 2 months with sleepless nights, and boy am I glad those are (hopefully) behind us.

Along with crawling has come the desire for pulling up on things.  We dropped Winter’s crib down to the lowest level after we realized we were long overdue for that.  She is so strong and she constantly tries to pull up on everything.  She is really good at getting up on her knees, but she still can’t always pull up to her feet.  She has done it a few times, but she’s still working towards that.

In mid June (June 20th to be exact), when Winter was 8.5 months, she spoke her first word.  “Mama.”  I was thrilled!  She now says “mama,” “dada,” “baba” and various other sounds mixed together.  She calls our dog, Koda, “a” (as in “ah”).  So cute.  We love hearing her speak her mind now!

Another big change in our family….we are MOVING!  When I say moving, I mean, moving out of our current house and into a new house.  We are staying in Denver, just buying a bigger home.  Mid June we officially put our house on the market, and received multiple offers within a weekend.  We accepted an offer and have been under contract, set to close soon.  Meanwhile, we had been house hunting for a while, but could officially begin putting offers on houses once our house was under contract.  After putting offers on 3 homes, we were finally able to get one of them.  Yay!  We are SO excited about our new house.  It has 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths and 2 half baths, a big back yard, and is in our desired neighborhood.  We couldn’t be happier!  These past few months of getting our house staged and ready for the market, selling, house hunting, and now buying a house have been quite the adventure, to say the least.  We are exhausted.  We can’t WAIT for closing day so that we can move and get our lives back to “normal”….whatever that means.  Let’s just say, we hope to live in this next house for at least 20 years.  We’d like to avoid buying and selling again.  🙂  But we are so happy that we found a house that we can grow into.  Winter will have more space and she’ll actually have a yard to play in!

My brother, sister in law, and their two kids spent about a week with us at the beginning of July.  It was fun to spend time with them.  Winter really enjoyed playing with her cousins, David (3 years old) and Emily (17 months old).  Emily and Winter look a lot alike and could almost be sisters.  One day, the two of them were in a stroller together, and someone asked me how old they were.  After spouting off their ages, I quickly explained that they were cousins, not sisters!  🙂

Milestones: Crawling, pulling up on things, clapping, got her first tooth, back to sleeping through the night, and learning how to wave goodbye.

Sleep: After cold turkey sleep training, Winter is back to sleeping through the night.  She goes to bed around 7:30-8:30 pm and wakes up in the morning around 7:30-8:00 am.  She takes two really good naps, usually from 9am-11am and from 2:30pm-4:30 or 5pm.

Best Moment: Watching Winter crawl for the first time.  Also hearing her speak her first word: “mama.”

Worst Moment: Feeling like our sleepless nights were never going to end (thankfully that’s better now).

Health:  Very healthy!  She’s continuing to gain weight and reach her milestones.

Eating:  Lots of changes in regards to her eating once she hit 9 months.

1. We increased to 3 times per day of solids (breakfast, lunch and dinner).  We used to do only twice per day.

2. I dropped one feeding and now we are doing 4 nursing’s a day (instead of 5 and sometimes 6).  Dropping her to 4 liquid breastfeeding’s and increasing to 3 solid feedings, she has really done well with the transition.

Maybe I was a little dumb to drop a feeding at the same time we were sleep training her, but hey—it all worked out!  She’s 9 months old and she doesn’t need to be nursing every 2-3 hours anymore.  I realized that if I was going to drop a feeding that I needed to be consistent 100% of the time with 3 solid meals per day.  When it comes to solids, she doesn’t want “baby food” anymore.  She is totally OVER the purees phase.  She wants “big people food.”  So that’s what we give her.  She eats finger foods (ex. black beans, corn, chopped fruit, cheerios, chopped turkey/chicken, etc).  In addition to finger foods, she is obsessed with yogurt.  SHE LOVES IT!  She can eat yogurt nonstop all day long.  The pediatrician said that is perfectly fine, but just make sure she is getting the full-fat, full-calorie yogurt, not the low cal Greek yogurt I eat.

Here’s her current eating schedule:

7:30am – Nurse

7:45/8:00am – Eat breakfast (ie, yogurt, cheerios, prune juice)

11:30am – Nurse upon waking from nap

11:45am – Eat lunch (ie, chopped turkey, chopped strawberries, yogurt, puffs, water)

2:30pm – Nurse before nap

6:00pm – Eat dinner (ie, black beans, corn, peas, yogurt, water)

7:30pm – Nurse before bed

Likes: Smiling, laughing at herself, crawling, getting into things, standing up.

Dislikes: Lying still while getting a diaper change.

How Mommy is doing: As I mentioned, we are feeling exhausted with all of the house stuff going on these past few months.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel!  We close on our new house in a few weeks.  I know that once we move and get settled into our new house, life will feel a little less exhausting and there will be fewer elements of stress.

Overall, life is great.  I’m beginning my half marathon training for my Denver Rock and Roll Half Marathon (Oct 19th).  The first few weeks of training are always easy as I have maintained running and the distances are what I’m used to already.  In about a month from now, I’ll be running a little longer distances that always are a little intimidating, but that is why I progressively work up to them!

If you missed her previous updates, you can check out:

1 Month Update

2 Month Update

3 Month Update

4 Month Update

5 Month Update

6 Month Update

7 Month Update

8 Month Update

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Winter’s 8 Month Update

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BABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 8 months old

Again, I am posting late this month (considering she’s nearly 9 months old), but all of this was written and the stats are as of June 10, 2014!

Baby’s Age: 8 months old

Height: 27 inches

Weight: 17 lbs 14 oz

Head: Not sure

Diaper Size: Size 3

Clothes Size: 9 months

Here is a look back at the past few months:

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Here is Winter in her Bumbo:

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June 10, 2014 – Our theme this month: NO SLEEP!  Those glorious sleep days are OVER.  I’ll explain in a minute…

Can you tell that I am a busy mom with an 8 month old to take care of 24/7??  The fact that I keep getting around to posting Winter’s monthly updates late is just a taste of how little time I have for things these days.  Especially blogging! 🙂  I made a goal to continue with monthly updates on Winter until she is 12 months old, so I’ll bust out a few more months.  I know that when Winter is grown, I will look back and appreciate the time I took to write monthly updates on her during her first year of life.

Winter is growing, growing, growing!  Between 7 and 8 months, she has grown an inch (by my amateur measuring skills, that is).  It’s amazing to see the difference in how much “taller” she looks.  She not only looks longer, but her body is thinning out a little.  Don’t get me wrong, she is still PLENTY chubby, she is just not as roly poly as she was before!  Right before she turned 8 months, we finally put away her 6 month clothes and moved into the 9 month outfits.  I notice I hold out as long as possible to keep her in smaller sized outfits because I hate saying goodbye to her clothes!  Poor thing was stuffed into some of her 6 month clothes like a stuffed sausage!

I have been swearing that we have a teething baby on our hands.  Everything has been pointing to it!  But I am still seeing no “true” evidence of it.  She has been very cranky and fussy.  I am looking forward to seeing something actually pop through at some point.

As I have written about every month, Winter has been a champion sleeper.  She started sleeping through the night at 9 weeks old, as has consistently been a fabulous sleeper (usually 12 hours at night).  That is, UNTIL THIS MONTH!  Over Memorial weekend (she was about 7.5 months old), we said “so long” to those beautiful sleeping patterns.  Her nighttime sleep and daytime nap routines went out the window!  For 3 weeks straight, Winter was waking up 2-3 times every night.  Not just once, but TWO TO THREE times!!!!  That is very, very hard on parents who have been spoiled by a baby who sleeps like a rock for 12 hours.  VERY hard.  Not only did her nighttime change drastically, she also didn’t want to take very good naps during the daytime.  She would only sleep for short periods, or sometimes not at all.  She was cranky, fussy and making mommy feel completely exhausted.  Thank goodness, we seem to have passed the worst of it.  As I said, she was doing that for 3 weeks straight, but she seems to be tapering off—she’s now only waking once per night and she’s back to doing two 2-hour naps per day.

She isn’t crawling yet, but she is very close to it.  She gets up on her hands and knees and rocks.  She can transition from sitting to moving into a crawl position.  It took her a little while to master that maneuver. She would often get “stuck” on her leg.  But now she has skillfully mastered the technique.  Part of me thinks the reason she hasn’t started crawling yet is because she can successfully roll everywhere she needs to go.  She just rolls and rolls and rolls.  🙂 We know that once she begins crawling, our lives will drastically change, so I am in no utter hurry to see her crawl just yet.

Winter is very expressive.  She loves to wave her arms around and clap when she gets very excited about something.  Her little feet and hands are always moving–usually in a circular motion.  Constantly.  She also makes the most hysterical facial expressions!  She loves to scrunch up her nose a lot.

We got to see several family members recently.  At the end of May we took a trip to Hermosa Beach, CA to visit my brother Paul.  While there, we also go to visit Eric’s great aunt and uncle and cousin.  We had so much fun there!  We also had Eric’s parents here in Colorado for several days the first week of June.

Milestones: She is clapping, nearly crawling, is trying to pull herself up on things, and stands against a object.

Sleep: As I mentioned, we have experienced a rough month of sleep.  We really hit a low!  We seem to be somewhat getting back on track, as Winter is only waking up approximately once per night instead of 2-3 times.  She usually goes down around 8pm, wakes to eat anywhere from 12am-5am, and then wakes up for the day around 7 or 8am.  She is back to napping pretty well again.  Her morning nap is 2 hours and her afternoon nap is 2 hours.  The afternoon nap used to be consistently 3 hours, but oh well!

Best Moment: Getting to spend several days with her Grandma and Grandpa Lute!  She adores her grandparents.  We had a great time when they came to Colorado to visit.  We also had a wonderful time seeing Uncle Paul (my brother) in California.

Worst Moment: There have been a lot of bad moments this past month.  Lots of crying, screaming and overall fussy baby…..

Health:  She is healthy and I believe she is teething.

Eating:  Breastfeeding is still going well!  She eats 5-6 times during the day, and lately 1-3 times during the night.  We are eating at around 7-8am, 11-12pm, 2-3pm, 5-6pm and 7:30-8pm (plus any night time wakings).  She is eating 2 meals of solids (morning and evening usually).  She begs for EVERYTHING we eat, so I often feed her tiny pieces of whatever I’m eating (grapes, broccoli, chicken, peaches, banana, watermelon, etc).

Likes: Standing up, playing with her feet, the pets, swimming, eating my food, and jumping.

Dislikes: She dislikes getting her diaper changed lately.

How Mommy is doing: I am doing well.  But I’ll be honest…this lack of sleep is KILLING us.  I mean, we are so exhausted all of the time.  We are doing so many things trial and error to try to get her back to sleeping well.  I know that it’s just a phase and she will eventually get back to sleeping through the night.  But it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel (especially because as I’m posting this blog, it’s been 6 weeks since she has slept through the night, and that’s a long time!).

It probably doesn’t help that we are going through the stressful process of selling our house and house hunting to buy a new one.  That is a full time job right there!!  The good news is that our house received multiple offers within a weekend and we got under contract quickly.  Now the hard part is finding the right house to buy.  We need a bigger house, bigger yard, etc.  I know we will find it!!  It’s just stressful and very time consuming to go through this process.

As far as “post partum” goes, I am feeling great!  I haven’t had time to do a post-baby body update in a while.  I’ve been maintaining my 40 pound weight loss for the past several months.  Breastfeeding is really allowing me to eat whatever I like without much consequence.  I love that!  I still exercise 5 times per week (mostly running and some weight lifting too).  I am registered to run my next half marathon in October, but haven’t begun officially training for it yet.

***Also, I apologize if I have been less than stellar at responding to comments!  I love and appreciate all of your comments, and do plan to eventually write back!!  So sorry that I am not very good at all of this blogging stuff now! 🙂

If you missed her previous updates, you can check out:

1 Month Update

2 Month Update

3 Month Update

4 Month Update

5 Month Update

6 Month Update

7 Month Update

Photos of Winter and Our Family:

Sleeping through the night!

Well folks, Winter is 10 weeks old and she has been officially “sleeping through the night” (8-9 hours) for an entire week!  Last Thursday, at 9 weeks old on the dot, she slept through her nighttime feeding and hasn’t woken during the middle of the night since.  Wow!  I feel so blessed to have such an amazing sleeper.  She is really the best!

At 8 weeks old, she started sleeping 7 hours in a row, waking only once during the middle of the night to eat (approximately 4:30 or 5:00 am).  A week later at 9 weeks, she extended her sleep to 8-9 hours, going approximately from 10pm to 7am (though sometimes 6:30am).

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After Christmas, we plan to move Winter into her crib in the nursery since she sleeps through the night.

There is a book out there called On Becoming Baby Wise and it promises that your baby can sleep through the night around 2 months old if you follow their advice.  We do follow Baby Wise principles, which recommends “parent directed feeding” (PDF) as opposed to “demand feeding” (aka attachment parenting) or “strict schedule feeding.”  BW tends to fall more on the scheduling end of the spectrum, but using your baby’s hunger cues to see when to feed rather than being strictly stuck to the clock.  BW says that if you follow their advice, most BW babies will sleep 8 hours through the night around 8-10 weeks old.  In our case, following BW principles work!  I know some babies have a harder time sleeping through the night until an older age, but that just means “every baby is different.”

Baby Wise recommends feeding your baby on a 2.5-3 hour routine.  I usually feed Winter every 3 hours during the day, but sometimes at the 2.5 hour mark if she signals she is hungry sooner.  Rather than being on a strict schedule, it is very crucial to watch for baby to signal hunger cues.

In addition to following the timing of the routine, it is also really important to include eat time, wake time and nap/sleep time in the schedule (and in the ORDER!).  Many people reverse the wake time and nap time, letting their baby fall asleep after eating.  It’s very important to make sure the baby has playtime (wake time) after she finishes eating and then go to sleep for a nap an hour or so later.  Then the baby wakes up hungry and is not dependent on needing to nurse in order to be able to fall asleep.  Winter can fall asleep without assistance, though I usually do rock her and sing to her for a little bit to help her get drowsy.  I enjoy that bonding time with her.

I know that different methods work well for different people, but in our case, I like having the structure of a routine.  My baby seems to be very happy and she gets the gift of good sleep.  She sleeps well, eats well, plays well, grows well and is over all very HAPPY!  Her parents are happy too because she gives us the gift of her joyful temperament and also the gift of sleeping all night long!  Well rested mommy = happier mommy!

Now that Winter has dropped her night feed, I wanted to add it back in somewhere to keep her at 7 quality feedings per day.  We were on a 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm, 5(+/-)am routine, but now I’ve modified it because I don’t like having only 6 feeds per day when she is only 10 weeks old.  I want to keep her at 7 feeds until she is a little older.

Here is how our day typically looks currently (after bumping back up to 7 feeds):

6:30 am – Wake up to eat.  I pump out extra milk after she finishes nursing.  We play for a while and then she falls asleep until her next feed.

8:30 or 9:00 am – Nurse, then play, then go to sleep.

11:30 am – Nurse, play, then nap.

2:30 pm – Nurse, play, then nap.

5:00 pm – Nurse, play, then nap.

8:00 pm – Nurse (or let Daddy feed her a bottle of breast milk) then get ready for bed (no playtime).

10:30 or 11pm – Dream feed, I wake her up to get in just one more feeding since I want her at 7 feeds rather than 6.  She basically sleeps through the feed, but I usually give her a bottle at this time so I know how many ounces she ate.

I love having a great sleeper!  She rocks!  I love that Baby Wise has helped provide a good guideline for how to structure Winter’s days.  It is such a relief to be able to PREDICT when she will eat and sleep.  It allows me to be a better parent.  I am a type-A personality, and it helps me to know that I have some predictability in my life.  I love her “waketime” because we get to play and bond.  Because of her predictability of her routine, I can run errands or go places without worrying that she might need to eat at anytime.  Because of her routine, her metabolism has adjusted and it allows her to get better quality feedings (rather than snacky-type nursing sessions) as well as it allows her to get better quality sleep (rather than short cat naps where she doesn’t get into her deeper REM cycle).  Better sleep = good.  Better feedings = good. Good sleep + good feedings = a very HAPPY little baby!

CONCLUSION: One happy baby = one happy mommy! 

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Now, to end this post, here are a few photos of us with Winter this past weekend (my first few nights of getting an entire night’s rest for the first time in 2 months).  She went to her first wedding!

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