Every day, it seems, my little baby boy gets bigger. Learns something new. Outgrows something else from his babyhood, whether it’s the shirt he wore to Thanksgiving or something as basic as breastfeeding.
Mommy’s milk supply had been dropping for a while, ever since we had to start supplementing with formula at four months, but the final straw coincided with a week of training in Ann Arbor. Mommy wasn’t able to take her proper morning and afternoon pump breaks for four days straight, and things were never the same after that. Mommy used to pump about three ounces every time; this month, it dropped down to just one ounce, and then even less.
A couple of weeks ago, you started crying for a bottle after nursing in the mornings before Mommy went to work, and that (combined with the half-ounce pumping sessions) was when Mommy knew it was time to finish weaning you from the breast. You weaned yourself, really — if nothing comes out, you’re not going to stick around just for the comfort-suck. You want food, and if Mommy’s boob won’t provide it, you know the bottle will.
Mommy had planned to pump in the evenings before bed, to get you a full four-ounce bottle to eat one last time, but I think we’re done. Maybe you can eat the last couple of ounces as a snack, or mixed in with some solid food. The nursing bras are already in a bag to be donated to Goodwill, and there’s something wrong with the AC adapter on the breast pump, anyway. It’s just so sad to bid this part of our relationship goodbye.
But as one phase ends, another begins: you’re getting used to eating purees and mushy foods for dinner. Sometimes Mommy is lazy and doesn’t feed you your solid dinner, but she’s getting better with it. And so are you! You’re learning how to eat the food off of the spoon without Mommy having to cajole you into opening your mouth, then pretty much wiping the food off onto your palate. No, now you open your mouth like a little baby bird, and sometimes you even close your mouth a little too soon, because you’re so excited to get the food in.
This month, you’ve tried green beans, peas, bananas, sweet potatoes, and avocado. You’re never a fan of the veggies right off the bat, but everything is good when it’s mixed with just a little fruit. Mommy’s still making all your food herself, milling it with the food mill (or, with the banana and avocado, mooshing it with a fork).
We’ve got some acorn and butternut squash hanging out at home, so you might get to try those soon. And chicken! Mommy and Daddy rarely cook meat at home anymore, so we bought some frozen chicken tenders especially for you, although you’re supposed to try a few more fruits and vegetables before we introduce meat.
Between the formula and the solid foods, you’re gaining plenty of weight. At seven months, you weigh 18 pounds even! You’re wearing sleepers in size 9 months, and are quickly outgrowing all your six-month clothes. We’re pulling out all the clothes we’ve been saving for when you get bigger, just to be sure we don’t miss out on the narrow window when you can wear them.
Mommy and Daddy bought you a Jumperoo, and you love it. It’s nice to let you occupy yourself for a few minutes — sometimes for up to an hour! — so we can get some grown-up things done, like cleaning the house. Now, when Mommy stands you up on her lap, you like to jump instead of just standing there.
You’re also much more likely to just chill out in your Pack-N-Play for more than five minutes before you get fussy. Now that you can grab stuff that’s around you, and now that you can roll around a bit, you can keep yourself busy for a good fifteen or twenty minutes in the playpen if we need to leave you there.
You’re getting to be a mobile little guy! You roll from your back to your tummy every time we put you on the floor (or in your crib), and you’ve only just figured out how to roll from your tummy onto your back. You used to be super upset about waking up on your belly in the middle of the night, but you don’t seem to mind as much now. In fact, Mommy finds you sleeping on your tummy most of the time now — either that, or on your left side, facing your crib mirror.
Your bedtime routine looks a little something like this:
5:45pm – Daddy leaves for work. Mommy feeds Mei Kitty.
6:00pm – Mommy puts you on the floor and makes herself dinner during the local news.
6:30pm – Mommy puts you in your Bumbo on the floor and feeds you dinner during the national news.
7:00pm – Chill/play time. Jumperoo or floor time.
7:30pm – Mommy will read you a book and give you one last bottle.
8:00pm – Time to rock Connor until he falls asleep. Sometimes Mommy watches a TV show while she rocks you.
9:00pm – Time to put Connor into his crib for the night.
We still don’t bathe you very often — about once a week, usually on Fridays — but when we do, you’ve been tolerating it a lot better than you used to. You’re usually pretty keen on it until the water starts to get chilly, and then you get upset.
Sometimes you’ll wake up in the middle of the night, especially when Daddy comes home early from work. Mommy needs to make sure you’re fed and changed before she leaves for work in the morning, or you’ll wake Daddy bright and early as soon as Mommy shuts the door behind her. As long as you take a nice, long morning nap, Daddy doesn’t mind too much. If you don’t, though, Daddy goes crazy from sleep deprivation, and that’s not good for anybody. Especially Daddy.
You’ve discovered your feet: they’re fun to grab and fun to gnaw on. In fact, you have a tendency to lean all the way forward and grab them when we’re trying to get you to sit up on your own.
Just in the past week or so, you’ve started mimicking Mommy and Daddy’s noises, which is super cute. One of us will cluck our tongue at you, or blow a raspberry, and you’ll try to do it back. You can usually do it pretty well. If we make a letter noise, though, like da-da-da or ba-ba-ba, you stare at our mouth. Sometimes you’ll try to make the sound back at us, but usually you just laugh at the funny sound.
Sadly, you got to go to your second funeral this month. Your Great-Aunt Elaine passed away after several years with dementia. She hadn’t been well enough to come to holidays in Cleveland for some time, and you never got to meet her. I guess the positive side is that you got to be the happy, smiling baby at the funeral, which always helps people to remember that life goes on.
As always, there’s so much more I could tell you about this month: you laugh when I sing and sign the ABCs to you, and you love being outside in the sunshine and the breeze, and you’re getting better about going to sleep at night, and you still have a big gummy toothless grin.
You’re growing so fast, and learning so much, that I’m afraid all this will slip by before I know it.