August 4, 2013

5 months!

Alden's 5th month was a pretty busy one. From the Fourth of July, to my parents' house in Alabama, to a week in Tampa with Nick's parents, plus some sleep training and some serious developmental milestones thrown in there, our little man was a busy dude!

I keep feeling like I'm late with this post, and I guess I'm about a week behind where the other monthly updates have been, but there is controversy in our house over how to count the months in the first place, so I'm cutting myself some slack :)

speaking do y'all count your baby's age? by weeks or by the date on the calendar? Nick thinks it should be by the calendar (which makes sense) but I get confused because if there are 4 weeks in a month, then 20 weeks should be 5 months, 24 weeks, 6 months, etc...Since not every calendar month actually has 4 full weeks, I realize that this is a flawed system as well. Most baby books, etc. use weeks as the developmental "markers" so using the calendar months can be confusing...just a glimpse at the things we talk about in our house now...I also realize that this really doesn't matter, just something we're wondering :)

We're getting ready for Alden's 6 month well-check and vaccines next week and I am super excited to see how tall he is. It feels like he's grown 6 inches in the past couple weeks (hyperbole, but, you know) so I'm definitely expecting some height changes. I never really know about his weight, he's such a long and lean kid that sometimes it feels like he's not gaining weight when really he is.

This past month we had some rough weeks. Alden essentially stopped sleeping for a few weeks; very few naps, waking up every 3 hours or so at night, asking to eat all the time., etc. Looking back, I think we can attribute most of it to a perfect storm of variables, but I think at the core, a lot of it is just growing pains. From 4-5 months there is a HUGE period of brain growth and our little babies are just trying to deal with their worlds changing so quickly and so dramatically. I wouldn't sleep well, either ;)

We were working the sleep training pretty well and then we went on vacation. twice. We knew that changing up his routine would mess with the sleep training accomplishments we had already notched into our belts so in the two or three weeks surrounding our trips, we essentially did whatever we had to do to get him to sleep. We were at my parents' house for a weekend (which wasn't that bad. he didn't really nap but the nights weren't horrible) and then back home for a week, then on the road to Florida for a whole week. While we were in Tampa, there were a couple days with bad naps and a night that was pretty rough (like screaming for an hour, even while being held, absolutely refusing to go to sleep kind of night). Most of the issues were in the first couple days and I think the new environment plus the higher-than-usual stimulation during the day was the main culprit. By the middle of the week we happened to figure out the morning nap sweet spot. I never expected vacation to lead to a sleep breakthrough, but Alden not being at daycare during the days really gave us a chance to reset his system and to figure out what type of schedule worked best for him. Turns out, this kid is a serious morning napper! If we catch him when he's tired in the morning, he'll sleep for a good hour and a half and one morning, he slept for 2 and a half solid hours. Crazytown.

Since we've been home, (knocking on wood) he's been sleeping AMAZINGLY! We made some adjustments and it seems like we may have found our groove. These are the things we changed:

-No more sleep sack. *this was a semi-contentious issue. I thought he should be out a long time ago, Nick thought it was still helping him sleep...I will, officially, say, "I was right," and my husband would agree :)

-Earlier bedtime. Moved it up to 7:00 instead of 7:30 (which had been moved up from 8:00), really and seriously has made a much bigger difference than I ever thought it would.

-A carved-in-stone nighttime routine. We had been letting life dictate our nights sometimes (errands, playtime, etc.) and once we finally sucked it up and forced ourselves to respect a strict schedule, everything has been much smoother. There are nights where we feel rushed after getting home from work late but having a well-rested baby is worth an hour or so of craziness in the evening. *this is something that I realize is completely our fault. It took us too long to recognize that our baby needs a distinct schedule, not all babies do and maybe we were subconsciously hoping that Alden was one of those I'll-sleep-anywhere-take-me-to-restaurants-at-9-pm kind of babies. I'm glad we learned our lesson...

-Blanket in his crib. I know, I know. The recommendation is for no blankets, pillows, etc. in the crib until they're older but my kid really likes sleeping with a blanket, so he got a blanket. I did force Nick to keep them out of the crib until he could confidently turn over in both directions and I was comfortable that he could move himself if his face got covered. But, we really think this has made a huge difference in how well he falls asleep on his own.

Some milestones this month:

Sitting up on my own!

First solid food

Alden has also really found his voice lately and has decided it's super fun to scream at the top of his lungs pretty much all the time. He does have a cute little Tarzan yell, though, so we forgive him ;) He has, in just the past couple of weeks, started eating solid food, starting sitting up on his own, been transitioned out of his sleep sack, is much more coordinated with his toys and pacifier (he essentially moves stuff around wherever and whenever he wants), and has very obviously grown taller. It's been a big couple of weeks!

All of the major changes have made us feel like we all of a sudden have a little boy instead of a baby. Even Alden's teachers at school have mentioned how much he's grown up in the past few weeks. It is just such a joy to watch how he changes and grows into his own little person :) He makes us laugh every day and we literally can't stop talking about how awesome he is. Maybe we're a little biased ;)

Some photos from the past month:

reading with Daddy

holding my own bottle

Happy 4th of July!

always chewing on my hands :)

watching horseshoe crabs at the aquarium

swimming for the first time!

checking out Adalynn at the aquarium

watching the fish!

Good Morning! 

playing at school

making his wish list at IKEA :)

in the pool with Daddy

playing with my cousin, Adalynn

sitting up in the cart like a big boy!

first solid food

loving outside time at school :)

modeling his sweet new outfit

playing with his new GloWorm

We're starting off month 6 pretty fantastically and we're excited to see what's in store for our little man next month!

much love, L&N


  1. He is so cute- the ones of him at school make him look like a grown up boy :)

    Technically there are something like 4.3 weeks in a month or something weird like that, so weeks don't equal months usually. I quit keeping track of weeks, so I just go by the calendar date- so on the 1st of every month is B's monthly birthday :)

    Oh man, consistency is definitely the key with babies and sleep. Once we started having a set nighttime routine things got so much easier. And babies love early bedtimes- B is usually in bed by 6:30 every night and it has made a huge difference in how he sleeps at night and his mood during the day. And of course, once you figure out what works for them they change things up on you all over again :)

    1. Thanks, Emily! I'm switching over to just keeping track of months, too. Seems WAY easier :) You are totally right about the routine!! I swear it's like magic now, even if Alden is wide awake and playing, the second we start bedtime routine he's ready to sleep. It's a nice change of pace after a couple months of craziness, that's for sure :)