Raven: 5 Months

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Quick Stats
Weight: about 15 pounds
Height: a little more than 25″
Clothing Size: still 3-6 month size, although some of the onesies are getting a little too snug
This is now the fifth time I’ve done one of these little “photo sessions” of Raven, and after last time, I was feeling pretty confident about the whole thing.
Well today (and all this last month, really), Raven has let it be known that she likes to be pretty independent (and loves to be as mobile as her body will allow her to be), which made this photo session quite a bit more challenging than the last because she was either doing this (aka, eating her dress):
 Or this (aka, trying to roll off the bed):
 
And thus pretty much sums up life with a 5-month-old: you get the joy of seeing their burgeoning personality and their growing list of tricks, and you get the challenge of having to watch them like a hawk 24/7.
I can only imagine how much she’ll be able to get into by the time next month rolls around!
(Her insistence on trying to eat her dress and roll off the bed is the main reason why in the top picture, the 5-month sticker is next to her instead of on her. I have a feeling that will have to be the norm in the months to come.)

Milestones Reached:
*Can easily roll over both ways, and now rolls across the room the second your back is turned
*Rotates her body all the way around while on her stomach (which I hereby dub “the clock walk” because she’s like the big hand on a clock, just going ’round and ’round)
*Has much more control reaching for objects and can grab them quickly on the first attempt (instead of doing the little spastic motions of before)
*Ate solids for the first time (and has currently tried rice cereal, bananas, applesauce, green beans, sweet potatoes, and carrots). She likes everything as of now except the applesauce (which we’ll keep working on.)
*Can sit up for very brief periods of time by herself (maybe 10-15 seconds)

Physical Appearance

Not much seems to have changed between last month and this month except her hair is getting longer, which means it doesn’t stick up quite as much (cue sad face). We were worried a few weeks ago that she was going to start losing weight because she wasn’t eating well when I went back to work, but she’s been making up for it the last week or so and has seemingly almost doubled how much she eats, ensuring that she keeps her chubs.

Thank goodness.

What I Love About This Stage

Even though her increased mobility requires extra vigilance on our part to make sure she stays safe and relatively free of mischief, I love seeing her growing sense of independence at work. She is starting to reach the stage where she sometimes prefers to be on the floor (instead of in someone’s arms) so that she can move around. She also likes to hold her own bottle about half the time when we feed her, which was a bit of a shock for me (since she started doing it on about day 2 after I stopped nursing her).

It’s also been fun to see more of her personality come out the past month–she’s always been a pretty happy baby, but now she’s starting laughing at funny sounds or at mommy dancing, and she’s starting figuring a lot more stuff out, like how to rake her fingers across the carpet to pick up hair (gross) or how to pull on the owl on her floor playground so that he plays music. She’s also become increasingly vocal, doing everything from cooing to blowing raspberries to babbling  loudly to growling. I think my favorite thing is to watch her excitement as we mimic the sounds she’s making because she starts talking like crazy once she knows that we’re “speaking her language.”

Challenges

The biggest challenge this last month was getting her adjusted to a new schedule once I went back to work. She had a really rough couple of days at the beginning, and the transition was hard on everyone involved because she was only eating really well for me (and basically going on a hunger strike for anyone else). I’m happy to report though that she seems to be more or less fully adjusted to things, and I think the interaction with more people than just me during the day is a good thing for her.

Having to stop breastfeeding was also both more challenging and less challenging than I thought it would be—more challenging because I got a lot more emotional over it than I thought I would, and less challenging because my body handled the transition really well, and I only had mild discomfort for about two days.

One last thing that’s also been a little challenging is that Raven has been pretty congested the last couple days, whether due to possible teething or me bringing home more germs from work, I don’t know. I do know this now though—she sure hates that nose-sucker thing, and I’ve been pretty frustrated because it doesn’t seem to be working super well. Our sitter recommended FridaBaby for helping with her congestion, so I ordered one off of Amazon to see how it works for us. I hope it works out well because I feel so bad for her–I can tell she’s way stuffed up and has trouble eating and sleeping because of it, and I’m already so worried about her at night anyway because she’s taken to rolling over on her stomach and staying there. (I know the SIDS risk goes down after they can roll over, but I’m still a paranoid parent about it, especially because sometimes she literally plants her face straight down into her mattress and falls asleep like that.)

Things I Don’t Want to Forget:

  • The faces she made when she tried solids for the first time. They were so great, they deserved their own post.
  • Speaking of solids, I gave her applesauce for the first time today thinking that I was giving her a real treat (since we’ve been focusing much more on giving her various vegetables). Well wouldn’t you know, she hated it! Hopefully I’ll be able to change her mind though with repeated tries (which is what happened with green beans).
  • The afternoon when she was finally able suck on her toes. There is simply nothing cuter than a baby sucking on her toes.
  • The full belly laugh she gave me when I pretended to eat her ear. She’s always smiling and blowing bubbles or raspberries, but the past week or so, she’s really been giving us some full-on laughs, which has been a lot of fun. Matt was more successful with this earlier on (when he tried to make her laugh by blowing on her stomach and “eating” her feet). She used to not react at all really to us making noises on her or trying to do funny things, but now she seems to really “get” that we’re trying to play with her and make her laugh, and she obliges us with lots of adorable little giggles.
  • Watching her try to keep rolling when she’s hit a roadblock (like her Bumbo chair). For awhile, she’s content to just explore the roadblock with her fingers and mouth, but after awhile, she’ll start fussing because she wants to keep rolling and her way is blocked (and she definitely prefers rolling one direction over the other, although she is capable of going either way if she’s motivated).
  • How much she loves getting dressed now (or maybe it’s just because she likes to be naked). She used to despise it whenever we undressed or dressed her, but now she laughs and smiles like it’s her favorite thing in the world.

I’m curious to see what the next month brings because she’s close to a lot of big milestones (like being able to sit up completely by herself for as long as she chooses and being able to stand by herself while just holding onto something for balance). I have a feeling that there will be a lot of milestones to report next time.

And I’m already getting sad to think that it might be close to the end of the fuzz:

Happy 5 months, Baby Girl!

 (Raven letting me know that it’s definitely time for this photo shoot–and post–to be over with)

Past posts of Raven Stats:
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