Sunday, February 12, 2012

Darwin is 6 Months Old Yay!!

The day has finally come that I can say that my little one is half way to his first birthday! I can now start feeding him solids so he can begin to experiment with the act of eating and chewing. He already seems very interested in mommy and daddy's food but I wanted to wait until the 6 month mark to start solids. I'm still breastfeeding so he is getting what he needs but a little extra nutrition will help him stay full and nap better in the day.

For solids he started with 1-2 tbsp of rice cereal mixed with 1 oz of breastmilk in the morning and evening. I soon eliminated the evening feeding as he did not poop for a day or two and I noticed that when he did poop it was thick and brown. The following week I introduced carrots at lunch and he is enjoying it. I also give him a little taste of my banana for a treat. I also give him a drop of Gaia probiotic for digestion after lunch. I recently ordered the Baby Brezza steamer/blender to make my own baby food and will be picking it up at the post office shortly. I will soon introduce pumpkin, sweet potato and squash; but one food at a time. Then fruit such as avocado, pear and banana will come next. I also introduced oats in the evenings but not sure that he loves the cereals in general. I have been looking around for a highchair but have not found one I like. I may end up buying the Mom and Co. option but it's sort of pricey.

He has also been playing with his toys and entertaining himself very easily. He loves to roll and move around on his mats and grab at his favourite toys. He's made so much progress since his first  session with the pediatric physiotherapist Mariana when he was 4 months old. All this playing and exercise makes him extra tired and so his naptime is very predictable. After his morning feeding he is out like a light after 2 hours of wake time albeit on my lap but he sleeps well nevertheless.

At about 5.5 months we decided that Darwin would need some help to sleep longer in his crib so we used the cry-it-out method with our own twist. The first night as usual he awoke 45 minutes into his sleep but we didn't get him but let him cry instead. We checked on him every 5 minutes for the first 15 minutes, the every 10 minutes. It took almost an hour before he fell asleep. He briefly awoke that night at his usual wake times of 11pm and 2pm but soothed himself to sleep after 5 minutes. I fed him at around 5am and then he slept until 7-8am. The next night it was the same but this time he did not wake until 5am. This was the case on the third night. After that he did not wake after putting him to sleep so we did not have to let him cry. Success!! Of course there have been times that he has awoke at 12-1am for a late night feeding but occasionally. I have however come to the realization that if we change his routine too much or go to him the second he cries it will encourage him to get into this habit. But I'm happy to say that we are all sleeping much better and straight through the night for the most part. I sometimes have to hold out to pump as I am not at all interested in doing so unless I need to. But sometimes it is so uncomfortable that I don't have a choice.

I have developed a strong love of breastfeeding, something that I never thought I would have such strong feelings for. Darwin exclusively breastfed until 6 months and I am so proud of myself for meeting my goal, which seemed almost impossible in the beginning. I would like to continue ideally until he is 2 years old. It's just too easy ;)

I would have to say that life has gotten easier for sure these days. Darwin is sleeping better, although still napping on me, he's less gassy, can play on his own longer, is less fussy overall and is more predictable. He's growing so fast and time seems to be going by much faster.

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