Miles & Motherhood: Six and Seven Months

IMG_8285Our sweet boy is seven months old and we are so in love with him!

It’s been two months since my last update. So much has changed.  In the past two months we:

  • Closed on the sale of our home in Chicago
  • Moved from Chicago to New York (I flew with the baby, Robert (<–saint) drove with our two dogs)
  • Lived with my parents for 10 days while we waited for our stuff to arrive and it was awesome
  • Moved into our new home
  • Traveled to Vermont and back TWICE
  • Celebrated our second wedding anniversary with our first date in New York

In the past two months, Miles:

  • Took his first flight and did great
  • Smiles and giggles ALL.THE.TIME.
  • Cut two bottom teeth
  • Learned to sit unassisted
  • Started eating solid foods and loves it (a baby-feeding post is currently in the works)
  • Regularly sleeps through the night
  • Attended his first wedding and wore a bowtie (swoon!)
  • Goes to daycare (when he’s not home sick with a stomach bug followed by a cold, followed by RSV…womp womp womp…)

Needless to say, it’s been a whirlwind.

IMG_8072It amazes me every day what a calm, happy, and easy-going baby Miles is. He absolutely gets that from his dad : ) My favorite part about the past two months is how interactive he’s become and how his little personality shines through more and more every day. He’s become so generous with his smiles, giggles, babbles, and squeals. The funniest things make him giggle, like tickling the air over his face, rubbing his head against a blanket, or chanting “We’re going on a bear hunt” while bouncing. He seems like such a baby to me now–not a newborn, not an infant, and not yet a little boy. A sweet, smiley, playful baby.

IMG_7234One of Miles’ favorite things right now is doing something that we call “grab bag.” We keep most of his toys in a little cloth bin in his room. We’ll put him on the floor and turn the bin (“grab bag”) on its side and let him pick out any toys he wants. It’s so cool to watch him sift through them until he finds the one that he’s looking for. (His favorites are his baby iPod, baby paper, quiet toy, wire toy, and rattle <–all names we’ve given them). Other times, he’ll take one toy out at a time, inspect it, bring it to his mouth, set it to the side, and then go in for another one. Now that he’s sitting we’ll sometimes do grab bag when he’s upright. The whole sitting this is such a game-changer and I know it’s only a matter of time before he’ll be on the move.

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Sleep has been one of the biggest shifts over the past two months. Putting Miles to bed at night was always a fairly easy process…until he turned four months old. Then it got pretty messy. He’d cry and fight it even though we knew he was tired. At about 5.5 months old, we made the difficult decision to sleep train. Now, being on the other side of it, I will say that it was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done and there were a million times when we wanted to quit, but it was absolutely worth it. We used Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child as our bible. Once we learned to put him down for naps every two hours or at the first signs of tiredness (rubbing his eyes, getting the glazed-over look, or yawning) before he has a chance to get overtired, he falls asleep much more easily. We put him to bed pretty early, too–around 6 or 6:30 p.m. most nights–and he sleeps until 7 or 7:30 a.m. It’s glorious! (Of course, when he’s sick, teething, or sleeping away from home all bets are off when it comes to sleeping through the night, but that’s to be expected.)

As awesome as his nighttime sleep is, he’s a pretty short napper (all things being relative…) and usually naps for only 50 minutes at a time. We’ve tried lots of different things to see whether they’d extend his naps (keeping him up longer, using different sleep devices, pacifier/no pacifier, etc.), but he wakes up happy and refreshed after 50 minutes so we just go with it. I like to think that eventually he’ll be down to two longer naps instead of three shorter ones, so we will see what the next few months hold! Miles still sleeps in the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit at night. He’s totally outgrown it so we either need to go up a size or transition him to a sleep sack. The few times he’s slept in a sleep sack at night didn’t go so well so he may just end up wearing his Sleep Suit until he goes to college. That’s cool, right?

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Starting daycare in early September was also a really big deal for us over the past month. If you remember from my four month update, I wasn’t ready to be apart from Miles when he was that young so we stopped doing a nanny share after one week (um…oops…) and had a wonderful babysitter care for him in our home until we moved. It was perfect. However, once we moved, Robert and I knew that we wanted to look into daycares in the area. We felt that the additional stimulation and social interaction would be really great for Miles and I needed more hours during the day to work. I think that the biggest factor in making us feel really good about the transition has been finding a daycare that we LOVE. Plus, it’s about a mile from our home, which is really comforting and a nice bonus.

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During our move, Robert had three weeks off from work and it was the greatest gift. Miles is absolutely smitten with his dad and that bond only grew stronger during that time. I’d be working upstairs in the office and hear them laughing together, heading outside to play in the grass, or swing on the swing set (we have a yard! It’s awesome!) Robert also got Miles on an incredible napping routine during that time. I’m so in awe of Robert’s patience, playfulness, curiosity, and cleverness when it comes to taking care of Miles. I think we’ve both wanted to get to a place where we could co-parent in a very equal way and thanks to that time I think we’ve absolutely reached that point.

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One of the coolest parts about raising a child is that you get to watch yourself grow up, too. This has become especially apparent to me over the past few months. I feel like we’re in a really great place right now where, although things are constantly changing, this parenting thing is starting to feel more natural for us. In the beginning, we were feeling our way around, getting to know our baby, getting to know ourselves in our new role as parents, and getting used to the huge shift in life that happens when you add a baby to your family. Now, I think it’s starting to feel more and more like second nature. I don’t think I was as aware of it until recently, but for the first six months of Miles’ life it often felt like we were Robert and Paige plus a baby…or like we were trying to fit him into our life…or like we were changing everything around to accommodate him. Now, it simply feels normal. Things are more predictable and decisions are so much easier to make. And even though we’re still settling into our new home and don’t have many routines at the moment, our day-to-day life feels so much more seamless than it did for those first six months. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think we’re finding our groove as a family and it feels pretty darn great.

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