Little Bella is now 5 months! In some ways it seems like we just had her yesterday and in other ways it's hard for me to remember what life was like without her! =) Seems like she has changed the most this past month! Physically, emotionally and mentally she has just turned into a baby....not a newborn!
She is grabbing everything these days. She continues to love playing on her play mat on the floor and pulling at her toys while she laughs at herself in the mirror! She has started sitting in her exersaucer and thoroughly enjoys pulling at all the toys while bouncing up and down! Her little legs are still to short even when we put it on the lowest setting - so we put our biggest book....our Bible concordance under her toes! She is so strong that she will push the book away so we have to hold the book in place with a heavy weight! =) She does not miss a THING! She watches everyone and everything around her! If someone cracks a little smile at her......her little face just lights up! We always know she's being observant/processing because her eyes get really big.......then when they start to get small again.....we know she's about to give us a BIG smile!
She is rolling all around now! Tummy to back and back to tummy! She loves for us to hold her hands and let her stand up.......oh goodness, we may have an early walker! She giggles all the time......some funny quotes that make her giggle...
"Bella, you wanna get in the tub!?"
"Are you a daddy's girl!?"
So, she was all set in her little 3 hour routine the past couple months! She's always been a great sleeper at night....and a short napper during the day! Well, somewhere around 4 months everything went haywire!!! I mean she was waking up every hour at night....eating just a little and then going back to sleep. She was crying...no screaming when we would swaddle her up for naps and bedtime! We just couldn't settle her down! I tried every sleep training method I knew....except for crying it out.....the thought of it just broke my heart! After much prayer, Jer and I decided to take her to the doctor just to make sure we weren't missing something. Sure enough, her doctor noticed that her throat was a little red and she has also been spitting up. I mean...what's normal...hard to know when it's your first baby! He started her on Zantac three times a day to help with Reflux! Who knew!? I thought she may have had just a little reflux when she was a brand new baby.....so I've always propped her up after feedings and had her sleeping on an incline. But, it seemed to have solve the problem! Well, apparently some baby's reflux gets worse once they start moving around more.....signs would be crying in the sleeping position etc. All that to say, we were so glad we took her in because it has made a HUGE difference! That night we started the meds. she slept 8 hours straight......back to her normal little self!
We also started giving her just a little rice cereal (organic)...which she LOVES! I really wanted to wait til 6 months before introducing solids because I feel strongly that breastmilk meets all her nutritional needs - but I knew that the cereal may help in holding down her milk - which would help with the Reflux. So, I've enjoyed introducing her to solids a little earlier than I had planned! I am looking forward to the process of making her all natural/organic baby food very soon!
As of this week, we stopped swaddling her up for nap times and bedtime.....and she is just perfectly content! She doesn't have tons of excessive fat on her little body - so I make sure to put her in little footy PJ's so she doesn't get chilled at night........especially cause her daddy loves to set the temp. lower at night!
Well, even with all these changes, she was still fighting and I mean FIGHTING naps and bedtime! We had tried everything.....we ruled out hunger, pain and discomfort....and after much prayer and counsel of friends we knew it was time to let her cry a little bit. So, the past few days we have been under strict "Sleep Training" in our house! The teacher in me as emerged and I am patiently, lovingly and prayerfully teaching little Bella to soothe herself and fall asleep on her own! It has been amazing!!! So, here's our little plan that is working thus far!
We turn off the lights, turn on the fan, turn on the radio with static (we are hoping for a noise maker soon!) and then we read a few books to settle her down. Then, we give her big kisses and lay her in her bed....lay hands on her and pray that she will sleep peacefully and soundly. Then, we leave her! Oh, it's soo hard! Of course I plug in my video monitor so I can watch her the entire time! At first she eats her toes, wiggles around, flips a few times....then comes the crying! When she flips to her tummy or if she cries for longer than 15 min....we (usually Jer if he's home) go in.....give her the paci, flip her over, lay our hands on her and pray for her....then leave again. The first night it took 1 hour of this.....then she fell right to sleep! The second day for naps it took 45 min and 20 min to fall asleep at night. Today is the third day and it only took her 30 min to fall right to sleep! Let me just say she has taken the best naps of her life! I mean 3 hour naps! =) So, I never wanted to have to implement the crying method.......but - every baby is unique and different methods work with different babies!
Look at this sleeping angel...this is her favorite position! Notice we took out all the crib bumpers...per doctor's orders! But, I plan on putting them back in soon....once I know she's able to move away from them easily.
Here is her typical routine that we have begun this week and she has fallen right into nicely!
7:00 Wake/Feed (nurse, cereal)
8:30 Nap (usually in the stroller while I run - then finishes it inside in her stroller)
10:00 Feed (nurse)
12:00 Feed (nurse, cereal)
4:00 Feed (nurse)
6:00 Feed (cereal)
7:00 Bedtime routine (bath, pj's, book, nurse, prayers)
8:00 Snuggled up in Bed!
*She is waking once in the night to nurse - which I am fine with because she is still so little and it helps boost my milk supply!*
Here are her 5 month stats......using my measurements so they probably aren't exact! =)
Weight 12.5 lbs. 10%
Height 25.5 inches 75%
Head 17 inches 80%
I love this sweet girl.....it is a delight to have the privilege to stay home with her and be her mamma! I love each and every moment of watching her develop and I thank Jesus for blessing me with her sweet, healthy life! Being a mother has brought me to my knees as I continually realize that is the place where wisdom begins as a parent. I know that it is by His grace we will become the parents that little Bella needs to raise her to become the woman God desires her to be one day!