**This post is 3 months late!!! It’s been sitting in my “drafts” box fully written from 3 months ago, but has been without photos. So in an effort to just post it and move on, I gathered these images from my Instagram. Sorry if you’ve already seen these, but hey, it’s been months so you’ve probably forgotten all about them. So basically they’re new.**
Margo’s 6th month can be summarized with one word: teething.
If you’ve parented a teething baby, that’s pretty much all I need to say. If you haven’t, well it’s just an ugly phase that I wish I could somehow Uber my way out of. It’s the pits! At least it can be for some. Mia (my now 3 year old) was hardly phased by teething. I remember her having a snotty nose and maybe being just a bit more cranky than usual. Margo is quite the opposite.
It wasn’t long into her 6th month when we noticed she was very congested. Her nose was stuffy and runny at the same time and she had trouble breathing while napping and sleeping at night. She takes a pacifier only when she sleeps, and she couldn’t use it because she just couldn’t breathe with it in. Getting her to sleep much throughout her days and nights was a true struggle, filled with tears and fighting and exhaustion between both of us. I had a 3-day stretch where I only had 12 hours of total sleep! I was a hot mess.
I don’t know how long this phase is supposed to last, but I’m soooooo over it! Just last night, I tried getting into bed at 10:30pm. Margo had been asleep since 8pm. Of course, as I get comfy in bed, Margo wakes up fussing and then cries. I spent one and a half hours trying to get her to go back to sleep! I tried the paci, I tried rocking her back to sleep multiple times. I’d be successful, but as soon as I laid her back in the crib she’d awaken within minutes and it started over again. I was losing my patience and by midnight, I stuck the paci in and left the room (her crib is in my room, currently) to sleep on the couch. I just let her cry it out. She was back asleep on her own after probably 30 minutes of crying/screaming and then didn’t wake up again until 6:20am. I really do hate to say this, but this is my new plan of attack.
During the last few weeks, I hated letting Margo cry because I worried she was uncomfortable or in pain and I felt it my duty, no matter how exhausted I was, to soothe her the best I could through it. Even if that meant going to her each time she cried during naps and at night. But now, she seems to be feeling better but her sleep isn’t reflecting that. I wonder if she’s now used to getting my attention with each cry. As much as I hate to do this (honestly, I do), I’m going to try sleep training. I mean, I have to! It’s extremely difficult for me to function properly everyday on such minimal sleep. So, when I put her down for the night, I’m not going to her at all until her usual feeding time (which is anywhere between 2am-3am). And then again, I won’t go to her until no earlier than 6am. I know this sounds harsh, but I’m trying everything else and nothing is helping. Her waking every 15 minutes to 30 minutes to every hour is not normal and just doesn’t support healthy sleep for anyone. We’ll see how it goes. My hope is that we’ll only have a really stressful few days to power through, and will have a better sleeping baby at the end of that. What we’re dealing with now has been going on for almost a month, so something’s got to change.
Other milestones and happenings worth mentioning:
- She began rolling last month, and that skill has really improved. She’s like a tumbleweed in the wind. She’s even napped on her tummy a few times this month, which is new for her.
- I thought her spit-up was decreasing last month. Nope. False hope. It’s still going strong. We have our good and bad days. Just the other day she had spit up 90% of the times I picked her up. It literally covers the side of my shirt, flows down my shorts and completely down my leg, on my feet and more on the floor. I really don’t get it. I wish this would stop, it’s just awful.
- We’ve switched formulas from Enfamil’s Soy formula to Gerber Gentle. I’m hoping this change helps her spit-up. I wondered if maybe Soy was harder for her to digest. It’s possible, we’ll see.
- She’s transitioning out of size 6 month clothing and into 9 month.
- She can sit up unassisted for about a minute at a time before teetering over. I work with her daily on strengthening this skill. She’s almost got it.
- She takes 2 naps, daily. On a good day, her first nap averages 1.5 hours and her second nap averages 2 hours. She’s usually in bed for the night between 7:15pm and 8pm, depending on when she woke up from her last nap.
- Dad gets the best laughs out of her. Sometimes all it takes is a silly face to get her cracking up.
- Speaking of Dad, she still loves to be near him (unlike Mia at this time), but gives him a lot of trouble when he tries to put her down for naps and for bed. She won’t let him soothe her back to sleep either, when she wakes up. Mama has the magic touch.
- She’s still doing well with her solid foods. The only new foods I’ve introduced to her this last month are bananas and pureed apples. She likes it all.
- Her appetite has improved since last month. She’s back at eating 5-6 oz per bottle feeding.
- She officially has her two bottom, front teeth cutting through.
- She’s down to taking only one bottle feeding each night.
- We’ve stopped the use of her beloved Zipadee -Zip. It wasn’t hard to transition out of, which I worried it would be. She was outgrowing it and wasn’t able to stretch her arms and legs out much anymore. She doesn’t wear any kind of sleep sac or gown, just her jammies at night.
- She had her visit to the LA County Fair. It’s been an annual tradition for Dominic since he was a kid.
- I started giving Margo Probiotics through her formula. I’ve read so many great benefits of ingesting it daily and for including Probiotic-rich foods into our daily diet. For us, I started buying Kefir, supplements and more plain, Greek yogurt. A healthy gut means a healthy life.
- She’s nearly impossible to change (diapers and clothes). She’s constantly kicking her feet and trying to flip over. It’s like I’m wrestling an alligator.
- Margo grunts and growls like a true animal. It’s the funniest thing. Growling is like, her noise. She does it all of the time. I’m currently calling her “Monster Margo”.
I think that covers most of her 6th month. I remember with Mia thinking that as each month passed, it was better than the last. With Margo, unfortunately, I can’t say that. Each month continues to bring us new challenges. Sure, one might improve but it gets replaced with another. I love my baby completely, but, there are days when I’m smitten with her and days when I’m wishing she was a year old already. I don’t like feeling this way, but it’s the truth. Every day I have to dig deep to find patience, understanding, sympathy, strength, calm, perspective and grace. It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure.
I really hope that Margo’s 7th month brings us both more sleep. Even if it’s just one extra hour a night. I’ll take it! I’d love for her to officially learn to sit up unassisted. And again, I’m wishing that the nasty spit-up will end.
Margo, you’re making us work. I still love you, always. Just like I tell Mia, I love you every second of every day, even when I’m frustrated or mad or sad. I may not like your behavior, but I LOVE YOU…no matter what. Mama’s here, baby girl.