Eating Time!

I feel like I haven’t posted an update in forever. This month has really gone fast. We’ve had a lot of social events that have kept our evenings and weekends packed! Luckily, Bella is in a really happy stage where it is fairly easy to bring her out – especially if she isn’t confined to her carseat.

Anyway – an update on her first month of solids.

During her first week of solids, before her doctor’s appointment, we were giving her one ounce of food once per day. Her doctor suggested that we go up to three solid meals per day. Each meal is generally somewhere between one and two ounces.

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She gets baby oatmeal (we’ve been using the Happy Baby Happy Bellies brand) once per day, and then fruit or veggie purees twice a day.

So far, she has had butternut squash, sweet potatoes, peas, and bananas. We just pureed some carrots today so that will be next for her to try. Thankfully, she is not a picky eater at this point. She is pretty open to whatever we give her and eats everything enthusiastically.

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What is she not enthusiastic about? Water. We’ve tried giving it to her in a sippy cup with no success. We even tried putting it in her bottle and she didn’t like it that way either. So we’ll keep trying with the water and hopefully she’ll drink it eventually. Her doctor told us that it was time to start with water but it is definitely slow going.

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oh…this isn’t food?

We are still going strong with nursing. She nurses six times per day in addition to her new solid routine. She may be on the small end, but I guess when you’re only 2 feet tall, you only have room for so much food.

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Splash Time!

Bella’s teachers love to tell us how much she enjoys splash time. And given her happiness in the bathtub, it is not a surprise. For the past few weekends, we have been hoping to bring Bella to our neighborhood pool. However, Mother Nature decided not to cooperate until this Sunday, when we finally had a rain-free weekend day and were able to take a nice walk to the pool and get her in the water. Bella’s grandpa Steve and grandma Beth were even on hand to watch the fun unfold.

It was early in the morning, which was nice because the pool was empty, but difficult because the water was a bit chilly. Lance slowly made his way down the pool stairs, bringing Bella in feet first.

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The pictures may not look like she was miserable, but after a few early cries, she actually seemed curious about the sensation and enjoying herself.

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I swear she was having more fun than this looks!

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It also appears that she thought she was back in the womb, as evidenced by this whole-body-in-the-water pose.

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We lasted about seven or eight minutes in the pool and decided that we could try again another day.

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It was a fun way to spend a Sunday morning, and I’m glad Bella was finally able to have her first pool experience! Definitely something we’d like to do more often.

Another six month post

We’re still celebrating Bella’s half birthday over here. Sunday morning, we headed to our front yard for a little six month old photo shoot.

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This is what happened when we squeezed Sophie to try and get her to smile. IMG_7029

And this is what happened when Titan decided he wanted to join the picture party. IMG_7013

So like any good model, Bella changed outfits and we took a few more photos. I love this first one. She put her arm around him on her own, and then started playing with this strand of yarn right as I took the picture. Totally an accident and one of my favorite images I’ve ever captured.

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In this next picture, I love how it looks like she is playing with him and he could care less. IMG_7061

Titan is showing Bella what total relaxation looks like. IMG_7057

Switching gears from photography, yesterday she had her six month doctor’s appointment, and as we predicted, she is still a peanut. Bella is 23.2″ long, good enough to still be off the charts short. She is 13 lbs 6 oz, which is the 7th percentile. Her head is in the 68th percentile though! She received another three vaccines, and I had a good conversation with her doctor about solids (she is increasing the amount that we started her on last week). Other than some eczema, which is pretty common in babies, she seems to be in great health.

So, one week later, we can stop celebrating her half birthday. At this rate, I can’t wait to see how long her first birthday celebration lasts!

Our favorites: Birth to six months

Being on bed rest for nine weeks really gives you some time to read up on everything baby. Blogs, amazon reviews, you name it – I was researching the heck out of everything to get ready for Bella’s arrival. Now that she is six months old, I figure it is a good time to share some of our favorite products.

birth to six month faves

1. Fisher Price Rock and Play – For the first three months of Bella’s life, I don’t know what we would have done without this thing. She slept in it for her first few weeks home, and took all of her naps it it for several months. We love how it folded up and was light and easy to carry around the house (even with her in it!). If she fell asleep in the living room and I wanted to shower, I could carry it into the bedroom to have her nearby.

2. Ergo Carrier – We didn’t really get into our Ergo groove until she was around 4.5 months because she was so tiny, but once we did, wow, did it make life easier. I love being able to strap her on to go grocery shopping, and when we went on vacation to the Outer Banks, we didn’t even bring the stroller. Yes, Bella is still really light, but I feel no back strain using this carrier.

hiking with the ergo

hiking with the ergo

3. Fisher Price Kick and Play Piano – We have been laying Bella on this toy mat since her first day home from the hospital. At first, she wouldn’t do anything besides look up at herself in the mirror. Soon, she’d start reflexively kicking the keys. Eventually, she started reaching for (but not grabbing) the toys dangling above. Now, this thing is a blast, and she grabs the toys, purposely hits the piano keys, and generally just loves spending time on the mat. Now, she is big enough that we’ll be converting it into a toy for a sitting baby, where she’ll be able to play the piano with her hands!

newborn Bella on her kick and play mat

newborn Bella on her kick and play mat

4. Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair – Storage space is definitely something that we are short of in our house. So we really weren’t in position to buy a separate high chair. We’ve been putting Bella in this high chair since she was three months old, once we realized that she just wanted to be as close to us as possible (before that we’d put her into the swing or rock and play next to the table). Now that she is bigger and eating, we’ve tilted the chair upright. Eventually, it can just become a booster seat for her to sit at the table with us.

we love hanging out in the high chair to play!

we love hanging out in the high chair to play!

5. Jenny Lind Crib – We did a lot of research on picking a crib. We knew that we couldn’t have one of those fancy cribs from Babies R Us due to the lack of space in her room. We needed something compact, and ideally convertible for future growth. The price tag on the Jenny Lind didn’t hurt either. I love the look and that I was able to customize it with the DIY crib skirt. Definitely a purchase we didn’t regret.

Jenny Lind crib

Jenny Lind crib

6. Aden and Anais Bamboo Swaddles – Everyone raves about Aden and Anais swaddles. They are definitely the nicest, softest swaddles that she has. But their bamboo line is even another level above! They are so soft, and back when we were actually swaddling her, rather than just using them as blankets, these also provided the tightest wrap.

so soft

so soft

7. Sensible Lines Milk Trays – These were one of the few items that we registered for that I totally found on my own (i.e. not recommended by a blog or friend). The idea is that you pour your milk into these trays (the pack comes with 2 trays that hold 8 ounces each) in one ounce portions to freeze. Once frozen, we remove the “milk sticks” as we call them, stick them in a ziploc with the date written on the baggie, and store them. Once Bella started solids, we also began to freeze her homemade purees into one ounce portions using the same method. Definitely a solution that has worked well for us.

8. Sophie Giraffe – I don’t know what it is about Sophie, but like so many babies before her, Bella is enamored with this rubber giraffe. She loves sucking on Sophie, grabbing Sophie, clinging to Sophie, and now at six months, can finally squeeze her hard enough to have Sophie squeak. Bella has been smiling at Sophie almost since she learned to smile. This is one of those toys that I thought was over-priced when registering, but for all of the entertainment and comfort Sophie has provided to Bella, she is worth every penny!

every baby loves Sophie

every baby loves Sophie

I haven’t even listed everything that we’ve been impressed with! She also loves her swing and her bathtub. What are your favorite baby items? What should we be looking forward to between 6-12 months?

Weekly growth

I totally forgot to put Bella’s 6 month weekly growth collage in the post yesterday. So I figure this is a good opportunity to take a look back at all of her collage’s thus far!

You’ll find the 6 month collage at the bottom. Our little girl is growing so fast!

weeks 1-4 collage

Bella 5-8

Bella 9-12

Bella 13-16

Bella 17-21

Bella 22-25

 

 

There you have it. Half a year of Bella’s growth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 months

Our baby girl is 6 months (i.e. half a year!!!) old!

6 months

I’ve really been looking forward to this day. One, my goal since day one was to exclusively breastfeed until Bella was at least six months old, and I can now check that off. My ultimate goal is to be at 9 months or a year, but this was the big original goal. Two, I was soooo excited to feed her solid foods for the first time. Let’s face it, babies make really cute faces, and I couldn’t wait to see how Bella would react to her first taste of food.

Lucky for you, we were a little impatient and may have given her her first solids on July 1 instead of July 2. Not my fault! The food defrosted quicker than I’d thought and was just calling her name from the fridge. So without further adieu, Bella’s first solids!

We have a ton of pictures from that fun little event, so I’ll be sure to do a follow-up post with all of that cuteness.

Now onto the rest of our six month post.

SLEEP: This started out as a really rough month for sleep. There was one short patch where she was even waking up four times a night. We had no idea why. Thought she had to be teething but no teeth ever appeared. And gradually it got better, to one-two times a night. And now, over the past week or so, she is back to sleeping through! Everyone warns you about sleep regressions, but the still totally stink. The good news? They eventually end :-).

not asleep, but looking awfully cute in mommy and daddy's bed

not asleep, but looking awfully cute in mommy and daddy’s bed

MOTOR SKILLS MILESTONES: By six months, babies should be sitting up and rolling front to back. I think Bella is pretty much where she should be with sitting up. She enjoys it and does a good job, but after a minute or so she loses back strength and gradually falls forward. She is quickly improving though. As for rolling over, she is definitely behind. We were so excited when she finally rolled front to back a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, she hasn’t done it for us since! She even fights to not roll when we try and put her half way. It’ll come in time I guess, although I’m sure it’ll be a discussion point during her pediatrician visit next week.

look at me sit!

look at me sit!

DAYCARE: We are so fortunate that Bella seems to really like daycare. Now that they are in “summer camp”, she has splash time twice a week. Her teachers are always telling us how much she enjoys the water, and that she is always smiling. Given her love of bath time, including when we dump water on her head, I believe it!

splash time photo from daycare!

splash time photo from daycare!

She has also started “speaking spanish” as we call it. A few weeks ago Bella started making this funny noise when she is crying. Her teachers think it is hilarious and so do we. Even another parent at daycare commented on it. Yesterday I was finally able to capture it on video.

FOOD: As I mentioned earlier in this post, we gave Bella her first solids yesterday. She is nursing/having a bottle 6 times per day (more if she wakes up overnight) and now we will be introducing an ounce or two of puree at dinnertime. At some point we’ll start a second solid meal while she is at daycare, but we aren’t quite sure when the best time to do that is.

yummmm butternut squash!

yummmm butternut squash!

GROWTH: Bella’s six month doctor’s visit isn’t until next week, so I can’t really update this yet. We are expecting her to be at less than 10th percentile in height and weight, just from looking at her versus her classmates that are close in age, but I’ll definitely provide a little update once we get the data.

i can play!

i can play!

Life with Bella gets more and more fun all the time now. I love how she smiles and interacts, and watching her joyful expressions makes me so happy.