I'm always about two weeks late with these posts haha but that's okay. I am consistently off.
What's new at six months for the Whippers (her nicknames are ever evolving. She fittingly gained the title of Whipoorwill a few days after being born and singing us her hysterical little newborn song every night. This turned into Whips, which occasionally becomes Whippers. And that's the story of that)? Well! Reading back on my five month post, OF COURSE, sleep is a totally new game now.
First of all, we can put Willow in her crib for nap time now and just WALK AWAY. It is a beautiful, magical thing. We don't have a video monitor, and I would love to watch her to see how long it takes, but she is consistently putting herself to sleep, often without a peep at all. From my obsessive sleep research and talks with other mommys online, I've always heard that this is much easier to accomplish at nighttime and naps continue to be a bit of a struggle. I feel like we're having the opposite journey and naps have gotten much easier, but nighttime is still a little rough.
However, I picked a wonderful day to write this blog post because sleep was awesome yesterday and last night. Here's the nitty gritty for those who care: Yesterday, she woke up at 7:30 and then napped 9:30-11, 1:30-3:30, 5:30-6:30, and went to bed at 7:15. She woke up to nurse at 11:30pm and 4:45am (Can you tell I am keeping a sleep log at the moment? haha #researchjunkie #noidonothaveaproblembackupoffme) and then was up for the day at 8am. WHAT ANCIENT SORCERY IS THIS!?
Now that I have definitely jinxed this Christmas miracle into oblivion, let's leave the sleep discussion.
We've been giving Willow one of those awesome 360 cups to drink water from. She thinks it's fun, but not quite as fun as stealing my glass and drinking from that. As soon as we give her solid food, she's going to be so psyched. We're waiting until she can sit up on her own before we head down that path (sitting up reduces risk of choking and makes it easier for baby to feed herself finger foods, which is what I'd like her to do first before spoon feeding!). Babies don't nutritionally need anything but milk for the first year, so I'm really in no rush to start worrying about foods to give her and relearning how to clean her cloth diapers haha.
Thanksgiving was last month and Willow was an absolute CHAMP for all the routine switch ups. We had a very busy weekend and she handled it all so well. On Thanksgiving day we went to my parents house for lunch, rushed home for a nap, and then went to my aunt's house for dinner with the extended family, before rushing home for bedtime. Sidenote, people must think we're insane with our sleep obsession. Other sidenote, they don't have to experience the beast's protests when she misses her sleep haha. Triple sidenote, yes we call her "the beast" when she's angry and scares us.
Then that weekend we drove up to northern Virginia for Thanksgiving with Erik's family. Willow is always great in the car. She's good at playing independently in her car seat and then drifting off for a little nap, waking up and playing with her toys all over again. It's a little strange feeling to me because the car seat is rear facing and Erik and I are up front, so we can't even see her for two hours. We just hear her playing or hear nothing while she sleeps. Erik's car needs a handy dandy mirror in it like mine where we can at least see what she's up to!
But anyway, I think everyone was eager to see how Willow would handle the combination of traveling, tons of people, and a new place all at once. As usual, my only worry was sleep haha. Our pack and play has a sleeper attachment that creates a little hammock to sleep in, but it seemed designed more for a newborn than a rolly polly six month old. But Willow decided to show off her new put herself to sleep skills and had hardly any issues falling asleep. She did seem a little freaked out at nighttime, waking up every couple hours or so, and I eventually just tucked her into bed with us and then she slept fine. My friend Andrea (who also has a new baby) and I often discuss how much easier life is when we just let our babies sleep with us haha.
Favorite toys right now are pretty much anything that can be chewed on. She still loves Sophie the giraffe (of course). She likes her early Christmas gift, her exersaucer activity center (pictured above since no one ever knows what I'm talking about when I say exersaucer) but doesn't want me to leave her sight or leave her in it for too long. This past week has actually been a very clingy week for Willow. I'm pretty sure she hit a growth spurt because all week long, sleep was suddenly a disaster again and all she wanted was to be held. It was really rough. But yesterday, things seemed much better and sweet, happy Willow was back.
I share so many pictures of Willow smiling and giggling (they're my favorite obviously) that people think that she's just the happiest baby ever. And she IS, but generally, Willow looks pretty serious. You can tell she's cataloging all sorts of information constantly. Hand her a new object and she will turn it over in her hands, scrupulously studying it, and then stick it in her mouth for further investigation haha. If I had to pick one personality trait that I know she has for sure, it's this inquisitive, curious nature. I'm sure all babies have it to some degree, but investigating is definitely the theme of month six for our curious little monkey!