Raven turned 8 months old over a week ago, and here I am, still trying to pull off another monthly update. At least I actually took the photos this time on the actual day, eh?
- Got her first two teeth (both of them are on the bottom)
- Crawls on hands and knees
- Has started to pull herself up to standing (mostly just when she’s trying to get closer to Mom)
- Has started to feed herself finger food
- We *think* she’s starting to understand the word “no”
- Distinguishes between “dada” and “mama” more frequently (not 100% of the time, but she definitely says the one more depending on which parent she’s with or which parent has just arrived home)
- Can get over/between/under most obstacles in her path, including parents’ legs, piano bench, kitchen chairs, etc.
She hadn’t seemed to grow too much before we took her to her 6-month appointment (which was closer to 7 months, really), but she seems to be making up for it in spades now. She has visibly gotten bigger in the past several weeks, and her hair is almost long enough to put into pigtails. (In fact, if we got it wet first, we probably could.) She now has a toothy grin every time she smiles, and we’ve had quite a few people comment on her defined eyebrows, courtesy of her daddy’s genes since my own mother tells me I was basically hairless for at least 12 months.
What I Love About This Stage
I love that she is getting pretty good at entertaining herself through exploring, and even though it means more constant vigilance on our part, it’s been a lot of fun to watch her excitement and curiosity as she bangs her toys against hard surfaces to hear the noise, pulls on things to see what happens (pulling out the DVDs makes for lots of things to chew on, pulling on the Christmas tree gets a strong “no,” which she sometimes heeds and sometimes laughs about). And it’s positively delightful how many things simply make her laugh and laugh and laugh, like Daddy creeping up on her and nuzzling his face in her belly, or Mama making funny noises and getting really close to her face.
She’s also started to show excitement when we pull out books to read to her. We’ve been reading to her since the beginning, but she often would lose interest after about ten words or try to escape. Now, she makes excited noises when I bring out a book, and she tries to participate by grabbing the pages and trying to eat the cover like a little sweetie. Seeing as how her daddy and I are both bibliophiles, it just tickles our hearts to no end that she’s starting to show interest in something we both love so much.
With increased mobility also comes the need to watch Raven more closely, especially as we’ve had our Christmas tree up. She usually does pretty good to stop when we say no or at least stop once she’s been redirected, but it does require a pretty diligent amount of monitoring. She also has the sharpest nails you’ve ever felt, and she especially likes to grab her little claws into your chest when she’s trying to climb up you to see over your shoulder. We’re trying to teach her to “be soft,” but it’s a work in progress.
Although I initially had worried about this stage when she could really start getting into everything, I’ve been surprised at how fun I think it is overall. I’m probably more comfortable than I should be with a little bit of mess and clutter, so her getting into stuff doesn’t phase me that much, and I usually redirect her before it can get too bad anyway.
Most of her diaper rash problems have disappeared thanks to us starting to use Calmoseptine, which was recommended by our pediatrician. She’s had the sniffles and some major congestion lately though, and she positively HATES getting her nose sucked out and will scream and scream and scream whenever we try. It’s just the saddest thing ever.
Things I Don’t Want to Forget
- The way she starts talking and babbling so enthusiastically every time we sit her in her high chair to give her solids. She LOVES solids, and she’d probably exclusively just eat solids if we gave her the chance. Right now, she just eats two 4-oz. jars of baby food a day (we usually try to do at least one fruit and one vegetable, or some combination of both) and some finger food, like the little Gerber bites or Cheerios (with lots of supervision) or mashed up bits of banana.
- When Matt shuffles towards her with his hands reaching towards her and a mischievous little gleam in his eye, she’ll scream and bury her face into me, laughing and squealing, then peek back to make sure he’s still coming to “get” her.
- The fact that she’s developed a fake cough, which is utterly hilarious. The funniest is when we’ll try and tell her no, and she’ll just look at us and fake cough.
- Her crazy “yoga” poses when she’s on her hands and knees–she’ll stick one of her legs way up in the air or go into downward dog or turn over into a kind of sideways plank thing. It’s both impressive and adorable.
- The fact that it seems like she’s starting to prefer me to cuddle and comfort her rather than her daddy 🙂 (For awhile, especially the couple months after I’d initially returned to work, she seemed to prefer Matt for most things. Now, she loves to play with her daddy and loves to snuggle with me. It’s a good mix.)
- How she finally splashes in her bath, and it isn’t small splashes either–we’re talking all-out waves of water coming out of the side (since we still don’t feel comfortable bathing her in the normal tub yet because she tries to crawl around in the water rather than sit still, and we’re worried about her falling and hitting her head).
- The pleasure of knowing that we’re basically the funniest people in the world right now to her. Anything we do, whether it’s dancing or bouncing her on our bed or singing funny little made-up songs, we are rewarded with loud giggling and ample smiles (which are often interspersed with a fake cough or two). And the funniest part is, it’s the anticipation of what we’re about to do that seems to get the most laughs of all rather than the actual event or action.
Other Notes (mostly for myself)
She was, up to a few weeks ago, in a pretty predictable routine when it came to napping patterns. Lately, those patterns have been all over the place, and she’s gone from taking 3-4 naps to taking just 2-3 (although they do seem to be a bit longer in general than before). She used to be very dependable when it came to taking a nap at our sitters’ houses, but now she sometimes won’t if she took a late and longer morning nap. The glorious thing that easily makes up for this unpredictable napping routine is that she has been sleeping 12+ hours at night for months now, and she will very predictably go to bed between 6:30 and 7:00 every night and sleep until at least 7 or 8 the next morning almost 90% of the time probably.