Six Months With Otis

Half. A. Year. Oh my! How is that possible? Probably a new baby, a big move, a huge transition and adapting to a new country sped things up a bit? Haha that’s probably an understatement. What a season, though, and to realize that we are already at this halfway point is mind-blowing.

Six months feels like that point where everything starts rapidly changing in a baby’s life. I remember this with Eleanor. It happened when we got back from holidays in the States. We left the day after she turned five months, and we returned six weeks later with such a different child. From that point forward, it felt like there was something new and exactly almost weekly. I remember making note of that – the rapid development I noticed in her!

Highlights & Milestones

I don’t know if this is a highlight or milestone necessarily, but it’s worth mentioning. Otis had his first appointment with our new pediatrician this month. It was technically his four month checkup, but because we just moved and it takes awhile to get in for an appointment as a new patient, it was done at five months. His next appointment will be closer to seven months as well because we had to space out the vaccines. After that, he should be on track with all future appointments. He did really well during that appointment, especially considering it wasn’t a short appointment per say. There was a lot to discuss and determine since we are new. I was really happy with the pediatrician overall, and I felt like it eased a bit of my fear in coming back to the US healthcare system. She’s been practicing for 30 years, and she seems to be very reasonable and not the type to rush to prescribe antibiotics every two seconds.

Otis is actually proving to be a little guy, just like his sister, despite arriving 2.5 lbs heavier! I was actually nervous when we saw his weight, and it calculated at the 6th percentile. I was expecting her to tell me to supplement or that he wasn’t healthy because that’s the “stereotype” I’ve heard here. She said the same thing our doctor in Newie said about Eleanor, though – “as long as he rides along that line then I am happy! Keep breastfeeding!”

A milestone this month was that he started rolling from back to belly (he actually did it for the first time at his doctor’s appointment.) He’s gotten quite good at it over the month. The only trouble is if he does it in his crib and gets stuck. This week I noticed he finished his morning sleep on his belly, though, and he seemed pretty content like that. He seemed a little confused when he woke up, though.

Otis is laughing a lot more and so much more talkative. I love when babies this age “talk” to you – so expressive. He loves watching his sister, whether she is interacting with him or just doing her own thing. He’ll find her in the room in two seconds! Almost every morning as he finishes his first feed, I’ll sit him up, and he’ll find my mom or dad in the room and get the biggest grin. It’s very sweet.

He loves playing in his jumparoo, and he gets really excited when people interact with him while he’s there, even if they’re on the other side of the room. He is interacting with his toys a lot more now, and I think it’s only a matter of time before he figures out how to scoot and eventually crawl. When he’s on his belly, he does a swimming-type move, so excited to get somewhere.

He cut his second tooth, and he now proudly grins with his two bottom teeth. It’s so cute! He is still a drooling machine, and I’ve had to buy some drool bibs for him so his clothes aren’t soaked all day, every day. It’s funny how different kids can be because I never had to do this with Eleanor.

We’ve given him a few purees at this point, but I’ve taken it pretty slow so far. He’s tried apples and pears, and he loved them both. I couldn’t get them in his mouth quick enough. This last week, I made some butternut squash puree, and he’s not quite sure about that one yet. The next one on my list is sweet potato, and now that he is officially six months, I will be actively trying new ones with him and eventually combining some.

I was waiting for all the teething pain to calm down before we worked on sleep training again. We’ve focused on it this week a bit more as he seems totally healthy and ready for it. Overall, he’s been quite a bit easier in this department than Eleanor. He seems to sooth himself rather quickly, especially now with his little elephant soother that he really loves. I’m still dreaming of a full night’s sleep, but I don’t think it’s too far off. Even though he does decently at night, his naps have gone downhill for some reason. He was taking 1.5-2 hour naps twice a day and a catnap later in the afternoon, and this past week or so, he’s gone down to the 45 minute naps that were Eleanor’s game. Hopefully we can figure that one out because 45 minute naps and me are NOT friends! (Especially when big sister is transitioning out of naps completely!)

Overall, he’s doing really well, and he’s a pretty easy, laid-back baby. His personality has been showing more and more, and we are loving getting to know our little Otis on new levels!

Photo below – “What is this white thing? I’m just gonna check it out…going…going…gone!”

Likes

  • Toys: elephant crinkle toy, rattles, Sofie the Giraffe, his grey giraffe, jumparoo
  • Foods: apples and pears are definitely his favorite (of the four that he’s tried)
  • Bathtime
  • Being raised high in the air
  • High pitched noises
  • Being tickled – first giggles!
  • Walks outside (Come on Spring!)
  • His carseat toy that sings and lights up
  • Big Sister!
  • Chewing on everything (fingers, toys, his shirt sleeve)
  • Medicine – we gave him baby Tylenol for the first time when his teeth were hurting him, and he loved it!

Dislikes

  • Having to wait, even a minute, for milk
  • Being cold (after bath time)
  • Cold purees

How Am I Doing?

I am doing pretty well. Otis’s sleep is starting to improve, and that majorly affects me and my day. It’s so easy to underestimate the need for good, quality sleep each night. I think God gives us grace to deal with all the middle of the night feedings, but I think that grace can wear thin if it lasts for too long. Both of my kids seem to have improved a lot around the six month mark, but I think that has a lot to do with our own patterns and routines. All that to say, I am dreaming about the night I go to bed at 9 and wake up at 7! I am really wanting to get into a routine of waking before the kids, and it actually seems possible now. We got the light up clock for Eleanor, and she now wakes up at 7 or later, which is A-MAZING after 2.5 years of 6am wake up calls! I’ve tried to be very diligent about feeding Otis at 7am each morning as well, and it seems his body has gotten into that rhythm. Once I am getting more quality sleep, I am planning to wake early and get a good morning routine down. All these things are so helpful!

We are still adjusting to life back in the States. Robbie is working on the job thing, we are loving our church and small group, and we are catching up with new and old friends often. Now, if the weather could just catch up with the season, I think we would all be loving life. I can’t wait for the warmer weather here!!

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