Wow. 6 Months down. I cannot believe Whitlee is 6 months old. It was so crazy all day on the 25th to look at the clock and think “6 months ago today at this time, I was driving to my doctor’s appointment, not knowing she would be born that day” or “6 months ago today at this time, I was being prepped for surgery.” Nolan even kept looking at her saying, “6 months old… man, 6 months old..” I think 6 months is such a major milestone! She has suddenly become less infant like almost overnight it seems!
I waited to post this because we went back for Whitlee’s 6 month appointment on the 26th. She is now 14 lbs 6 oz and 25 inches. I think she said she’s in like the 15th percentile for her weight and 16th percentile for her height and 14th for her head circumference. So she’s proportional at least! But really they said she’s doing good, just still a little small overall for her age, which is to be expected as a preemie. Nolan and I both aren’t very big people anyway, so we never expected to have a huge baby. But her size did lead to some changes in eating.
So with bottles, she is kind of all over the place. She keeps getting this weird cough that her pediatrician technically refuses to treat because if they stop her from coughing, she could get pneumonia. So we treat with breathing treatments and a humidifier, but every time she gets this cough, her appetite gets weird. To sum it up though, she eats anywhere from 3.5 to 6 ounces about every 4 hours, sometimes it’s 3.5 hours, sometimes it’s 5. We’ve relaxed a lot and as long as she seems satisfied after eating, we don’t push the issue too much on how much she ate. If she only ate a little, I usually try to give her a little more about an hour later just to top her off for a while. We’ll also give her like an ounce to two ounces as a snack throughout the day if she’s really fussy and acts hungry.
Originally I mentioned in her 4 month post and 5 month post that we were going to do Baby Led Weaning, where you start them on soft solids at 6 months and allow them to feed themselves at their own pace. While I still think BLW is a wonderful idea, and would love to try it, with Whitlee being premature and still slightly underweight, we’re having to go about it a little differently than planned. I had a long (well, long for a doctor) talk with her pediatrician, who isn’t fully familiar with BLW and I had to explain the logistics of it, and she addressed some key points and told me her concerns. We chose this specific pediatrician because she is slightly younger than most and would be more open to newer ideas, which she is, but we also chose her because her education is top notch and she did her residency at Texas Children’s in Houston. I am 100% confident in her education and opinion as a doctor, so I trust the path she has us on with Whitlee.
Her main concern was the fact that with BLW, they learn to chew before they learn to swallow and depending on the baby it can take a little while, even months, before they start to actually swallow and digest food. She said she really needs to be actually getting some food into her belly, like now. She actually intended for us to start food at 5 months but knew we were waiting for BLW at 6 months. She said if I could get Whitlee to eat soft solids now by way of BLW, to go ahead and start that day and if it went great, then proceed. If she didn’t take off with it, we may need to reevaluate the situation, because she really does need to be eating a little at this point to help with her weight.
A little while back, she choked on a teething biscuit. Like her face turned blue and I had to yank her out of the high chair and whack her on the back and make her throw it up, so I was a little gun shy about solids. I’m weary of every little gag now and I worried that with her being premature, that maybe she wasn’t ready yet. But we tried avocado and bananas, which are recommended as the first foods to try. She had the concept down of grabbing it and putting it to her mouth, but man, she HATED the taste of both avocados and bananas. She’d barely touch it to her tongue, then she’d make horrible faces and spit it out and throw it back down on the tray. I mean this girl ate a lemon without even a smirk and you’d have thought we were feeding her Warheads candy with the faces she was making. We tried over and over again and a few times she actually made it into her mouth and immediately gagged and spit it out. She was literally gagging at the taste of it. It wasn’t making it far enough into her mouth for her to be gagging at the back of her mouth. Then she gagged hard enough that she threw up a bunch of milk. So not only was she totally not into eating the food, but she was losing milk on top of it. I’d hardly call that a success. So Nolan and I talked it over and decided to try some applesauce on a spoon, fed the way of traditional baby food. And lo and behold, she LOVED it. She kept opening her mouth so perfectly for each bite, and didn’t make any bad faces. I tried to sneak in some really mashed up banana and bam – the face was back. She really doesn’t like bananas.
So after that escapade and the talk with the pediatrician, we’ve decided to do traditional baby food for now. I’ll probably do a mix of store bought and homemade. My thinking was that with full term babies and starting them at 6 months, you can stand (weight gain wise) to give them weeks or a month or so to get the hang of it and actually start to swallow the food. With Whitlee’s individual situation, we can’t afford to wait that long. We’ll start feeding her baby food once a day for a little while, then bump up to twice a day, then up to three times a day. And probably around 8 or 9 months, we’ll revisit finger foods and see how it goes. That’s when their “pincer grip” kicks in and they can pick things up like cheerios and pees and the Gerber puffs.
It seems like every time I research something to. death. it almost always doesn’t go as planned. But like I said, I trust our pediatrician and from now on, we’ll just go with her plan. Baby food for now + 22 calorie bottles, then at her 9 month appointment, we’ll reevaluate the situation. Seeing her reaction to the applesauce just felt right.
Same story. She’s still swaddled for the most part and just seems to do really well that way. She actually took a 4 hour nap one day because she was swaddled! A few times we’ve tried letting her sleep in her crib on her belly to see if she’d sleep longer, but she still didn’t make it through the night. She actually woke up earlier than she does if we swaddle her. So I guess until she’s just getting crazy with the rolling, we’ll continue to swaddle. We still do the same routine every other night (baths are every other night). We do bath time about 8, then she gets a clean diaper and lotion. Since it’s summer time now and Texas is already super hot, we let her sleep in just a diaper inside the swaddle. Then she eats a bottle, we swaddle her, give goodnight kisses and I rock her to sleep by about 9. She’ll usually sleep until about 2 or 3 in her crib, sometimes earlier, then I let her sleep in the bed with me until 5. I’ve heard that when she starts eating solids, she’ll start sleeping through the night. We shall see.
She’s still taking two pretty decent naps a day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon, then she gets a few shorter cat naps in throughout. Her newest thing is taking a short 30 minute to 1 hour nap about 7PM. I’ve tried to put her to bed at 7PM, but she still wakes back up around 9ish to eat.
-Got her ears pierced
(We were undecided about this. I thought it’d be better to do it now but Nolan wanted to wait until she asked for them. My thinking was the chances of her not ever wanting them done were slim to none. I have them, and basically everyone she knows has them. And I feel like she’d ask for them much younger than we think. She’s around Kynlee all the time and she has hers pierced, plus she’ll start preschool around 2/2.5 years old and a lot of kids there will have them. I feel like she’d ask for them around 3 and to me, that’s too young for her to take care of them by herself and at that age where she’d fight me to clean them. So we got them done and she did amazing. She barely even cried. And they turned out super cute.)
-Started “talking” to us
-Found her feet and chews on them all the time
-First trip to Nanny Kay’s house
-Momma’s First Mother’s Day
-First trip to the lake
-First Boat Ride – loved it!
-First Ride in a Side X Side – put her right to sleep
-Tries to wave “bye-bye”
She’s wearing mostly 3-6 months. She can still fit into a few 0-3 and 3 month outfits but most of them are too small. But her little swimsuit is a 6-12 month and is almost too small! We just moved up to size 2 diapers this weekend. We’d been planning on using up the rest of our size 1’s over the weekend and then moving on to size 2’s, but we went for a ride in the side x side on Memorial Day and she had a blow out mid ride and we had to go back to the house and get her (and me) cleaned up. So we’re officially in size 2’s now, using a mix of Pamper Swaddlers and Luvs. I’m not sure about the Luvs just yet. They seem to fill up really fast, resulting in changing diapers more often.
-Her daddy – has suddenly become all. about. her. daddy. Seriously. If she hears him or sees him and knows he’s there, then she either wants him to hold her or she’s got to at least be able to see him at all times. You should see me try to feed her a bottle when he’s anywhere near. It’s insane. She immediately smiles when she sees him.
-The swing at KK’s house
-Her swing at the shop
-Riding in the boat
-Waiting for a bottle
-Getting her nose wiped
And I thought I’d add this in..
-Whit-wee (the way our nephew pronounces it)
-my girl or our girl
So that’s our girl at 6 months. Things are changing, and even in the last few days since turning 6 months, she’s started doing even more stuff. Always growing and doing something new. She’s a talker and a mover for sure! Happy ½ birthday, Whitlee Alyzabeth!!
P.S. The giveaway I’ve been talking about for what seems like forever now will post next week!!