Sunday, March 23, 2014

6 Months!

Six months feels like a giant milestone to me. Over the last couple of weeks they've exploded in their development. I started giving them some oatmeal (has not gone over well, but we've only tried twice). We moved the crib out of our room and have begun putting them each in their own crib for sleeping (They started rolling into each other and waking one another up). Just so many things happened over the last several weeks that made me pause and think "Gosh! They're changing so fast!" I've definitely had to remember to stop and appreciate the cute things they do because they're moving on to bigger and better things so fast (and I mean that in a good way!).

Both girls are rolling proficiently in both directions. They're talking more and making more noises. They're rolling to get places and to reach toys. They LOVE to just be laid down on their quilt and having free reign to roll and explore all the toys.

A Word About Sleep Training: Admittedly, the babies are not sleeping as well as I would hope, but it seems to be their pattern when they're growing. With every growth spurt and jump in development they regress in their sleeping, partly because they need to eat more, but partly just because they need help learning to go to sleep. We've started implementing some of the No Cry Sleep Solution, but truth be told the strategies in the book aren't anything I wasn't already doing. It is not an overnight fix to our sleep problems, but I think as they grow and get bigger the night waking will end. Many people have suggested that we just let them cry it out because it worked for them. For us, though, crying it out means one twin is waking the other. Then we have two tired and screaming babies. Not fun. Eleanor especially gets VERY worked up when she's upset and all that does is promote stress in her and is not restful. The No Cry Sleep Solution book is big on creating positive sleep associations, unlike cry it out which promotes the association of "I go to sleep by getting very upset". I, personally, feel that the method is not for us. It does work for others and I'm not saying it's a terrible method of sleep training-- it's just not for us and doesn't fit into my philosophy of parenting. And that's ok. What I've learned about any "method" of parenting is simply that you have to do what fits your personality and style of parenting. For me, that's rocking my babies to sleep still. They're still little. :)

Miss Eleanor Jane took a little longer to master rolling from belly to back, but she has gotten quite proficient. Sometimes she still gets stuck on her tummy, but not usually. She loves to roll to reach and grab toys-- even if Amelia is playing with it! Folks, it starts young.

Sophie the Giraffe is one of Eleanor's favorite toys. She isn't teething quite yet, but she is in the stage where everything goes in her mouth. Sophie seems to be what she grabs first and sticks with the longest. She also likes to play with anything she can shake and make noise with. And her feet. She loves to take her socks off and eat them, or in the absence of socks she eats her whole foot.

Ellie Jane (I'm starting to see her as an Ellie. Before now, I just couldn't call her Ellie. It didn't seem to fit but now she's growing into it!) is 12lbs 9ozs and successfully doubled her birth weight by the 6 month mark. yay! She primarily nurses but gets a couple of small supplemental bottles a day. I'll talk more about feeding when we get to Amelia. Eleanor HATES oatmeal. We tried for her first taste on Saturday morning. Sunday morning at the mere sight of the spoon she started crying. Poor girl. I've traumatized her. ;) We'll keep trying until they learn what to do with it. I'm introducing avocado next weekend.

We finally got Eleanor to laugh! It took a lot of work but she finally chuckled. It wasn't ever something I was concerned about but became a challenge that needed to be accomplished, haha. She finally chuckled at her daddy being silly.

Amelia Claire's big update is probably about how we feed her. Nursing increasingly became a big battle ending in tears for us both, even with the supplemental nursing system. When I accidentally dropped the SNS and shattered the bottle, I decided that I wasn't going to fight her any more. I know all the lactivists say babies don't self wean before a year old...blah blah blah. But you know what? I tried to keep going and it just was not the nurturing relationship breastfeeding is supposed to be. It was a battle. I felt like I was wrestling my baby and she wasn't eating enough to grow. I know my supply issues stem from a shallow latch from her that we could never get corrected and I know I fell into some booby traps in the beginning. But I did everything I could to try to salvage the breastfeeding relationship and we just couldn't. I've rented a hospital grade pump and am able to pump about half of her feedings and the other half is formula. I was very upset about this at first and had some big feelings about continuing to nurse Eleanor and not Amelia, but ultimately this is best for her growth and my sanity. 5.5 months is a pretty good run all things considered.
Miss Amelia is 11lbs 6ozs and has been gaining like a champ since we started bottle feeding her. She also doubled her birth weight, but it was technically a few days after the 6 month mark. But it's close enough I say she doubled. ;) Unfortunately, since we began full time bottles she also spits up a lot and has some significant reflux showing up. We're taking her to a GI specialist in April and in the mean time having an Upper GI test done tomorrow. No one thinks there's anything concerning going on, but just wanting to make sure we've ruled out all possibilities. The spitting up has gotten better over the last few days, so I think we're moving past that soon. Please. Baby puke is gross, haha.
Amelia figured out how to roll both directions first and figured out she can roll to get to places first. She likes to wave all sorts of toys around and is also in the stage of eating everything. She likes Sophie, but her FAVORITE things to play with are cloth wipes and burp cloths. I don't know why. But she loves them.

Amelia has also started napping pretty well. She rarely wakes up and needs to be rocked back to sleep and will sometimes sleep for two hours. I do wake her up after it's been 3 hours since she's eaten but I think soon I can start letting her just sleep. She rarely goes over that three hour mark, so it's not really an issue. I'm so happy that she's started napping. Night sleep, though, is another story. She wakes up every three to four hours, but that's probably due to her 6 month growth spurt.

I feel like this update was so long! So much has happened in the last month. If you want to see more pics of the girls, I share a lot of them on instagram. Follow me: zilydal.


Anonymous said...

It Is A Huge Milestone,They Are So

Anonymous said...

I always feel like 6 months is when you get your first real breath of fresh air. This just keep getting better after this!

I know the feeding decisions are tough to make. It sounds like Amelia is doing great with it though and she's still getting the good stuff mixed in with formula. With her spitting up, have you tried different formulas to see if she does better with soy or something like that?

Did you mean booby trap as a pun? I totally chuckled.

Sleep training is hard. It takes time to find a routine that works, but then you have normal every day changes that mess it up, then baby's own growth spurts and who knows what all messing up the routine too. You're right though, it's all about finding what works best for everyone in the house. It may take time, but I'm sure you'll find a way for everyone to get good sleep!

Liz Boyce said...

I did mean booby trap as a pun. Hehehe.

She spits up regardless of feeding her formula or breastmilk so I don't think that's the issue. I'm not a big fan of soy and that's really the only other option. We've switched brands of formula a couple times but she always just spits it up a lot. She's been spitty since birth, but it just got a lot worse after we started bottle feeding her.