Brandt, you’re eight months old!
By the numbers: 8 months old, 6 months adjusted age. 6-8 oz per bottle x 5 bottles per day. 1-2 servings of solid foods x 3 meals per day. 2 naps per day. 2 doses of reflux medication per day. size 2 diapers during the day, size 3 overnight. size 3-6 months clothes. 15 lb 5 oz (as of a week and a half ago).
Look at that last number again. You’ve quintupled your birthweight! That’s something most kids don’t do until they’re 4 years old or so, you overachiever.
For your 7 month post, I mentioned that we were about to move you out of the bassinet and into your crib in your own room upstairs for nighttime sleep. That we did. We also moved ourselves temporarily to the guest room next door to your nursery, so that we could help you through the first night or two. Well, your daddy and I just last night returned to our own room on the first floor. And you’re still not sleeping through the night.*
You’ve been sick twice in the past month (which certainly impeded your progress towards solid nighttime sleep). First, you had a little cold, complete with stuffy nose and cough. Then last week, you had roseola. It was sad to see you sick, but you recovered pretty quickly from both illnesses. Your mama does wonder, though, what happened to the touted disease-preventative benefits of all this breastmilk she’s pumping for you…
You’ve started digging into solid foods in the last couple weeks. After you gradually got accustomed to rice cereal, we started offering you other foods. First, you ate acorn squash. You initially disapproved, offering a quizzical look after the first bite and pursing your lips against the second. But at the next meal, you ate it all. You’ve enjoyed the other foods we’ve introduced since: avocado and green beans. You open your mouth when you see the spoon approach, and sometimes you smack your lips or make “mmm” sounds. And now you reach for everything, including the food on my plate.
All these new foods must build your muscles, because recently you’ve gotten so strong! You can’t quite sit up on your own, but boy are you close. When we balance you like a tripod, you stay upright for longer and longer periods before you topple sideways or fold in half. You love it when we sit you up in your changing tray; you hold onto the sides and beam proudly at us [beaming not pictured above]. You can also support your weight on your legs now. When we hold your hands or lean you against some kind of support, you stand and enjoy looking around from a new, higher perspective. You’ll be on the move soon.
You’ll cut teeth soon, too, I think. You chew on EVERYTHING. My fingers, your fingers (so much so that the knuckle on your left middle finger is chapped and chafed). Your bottle, with fingers in your mouth simultaneously. Your toys and books. Your spoon, if I give you the chance. You sometimes would rather chew on your pacifier than suck on it. You’re most content with some sort of teether. Your little gums are a hard mass waiting to erupt.
It fills me with awed gratitude that you’re growing and thriving. But you’re growing so fast that it makes me ache a little, too. About to get teeth, about to sit and crawl and stand — you’re leaving the truly little baby stage behind.
But whether you’re little or big, you’re my Suga’ Ooga-booga Bittle Baby.
*Some random sleeping habits of yours that I couldn’t work into this letter but wanted to record so I don’t forget: At the start of this month, you always went through a process I dubbed “the storm before the calm” to fall asleep. You’d fidget relentlessly, so that it seemed you couldn’t possibly doze off. You’d hold one of my fingers and move your fist in circles, as if my finger were a spoon you used to stir a pot. Then, just like that, you would still, and sleep. Now, it seems you’ve outgrown those habits. You’re also outgrowing snuggles when I rock you before a nap or bed; you still cuddle lots, but you prefer to be rocked in a cradle hold rather than nestled upright against my chest.