How on earth is Noah six months old? Our sweet Noah James officially turned six months old last week and I’m still in disbelief that he’s halfway to one! It feels like it was yesterday that we were two new parents bringing our baby home from the hospital and now he’s six months old! These past six months have been some of the best, hardest, most rewarding months of my entire life. He has completed our lives in a way we didn’t even know was possible and each day gets better with him. Every single day he is growing and changing right in front of my eyes. I’m doing my best to savor this time with him and soak in all of these memories and milestones. I haven’t done an updated post since Noah was one month old, so let’s catch up on the last few months.
I’m also answering some questions I received when I opened up my Instagram Stories a few weeks ago about Noah’s six month update! It’s been really great connecting with fellow moms & moms-to-be through my blog and IG over the past year. As a first time mom, it’s so nice to have that community to chat with & know you’re not alone, especially on those tough days. Thank you for allowing me to share my journey as a first time mom with you all and for being so supportive along the way! I appreciate it more than you know!
Noah’s six month update
Now that we’re six months in, I feel like we have a pretty good rhythm and routine going as a family. Those first weeks and months that seemed chaotic and like a sleepless blur feel like a distant memory now. I have been so pleasantly surprised at how naturally Nick and I have fallen into the role of parents. I remember us both being so scared and overwhelmed at first, but now it feels like second nature. It’s so true what everyone says about parenting… you just figure it out as you go! I always try to remember that there is no better mom and dad for Noah than us and that helps me feel confident in my parenting abilities and the decisions we make for him! I absolutely loved the newborn stage (I mean, newborn snuggles are the best!) but this stage is so much fun! Noah loves to laugh, is such a happy baby & now that he’s more mobile we get to play a lot! We start off each morning by going into his room to get him up and there’s truly nothing better than seeing him light up when he sees us and giving us a big smile! It starts off our day in the best, most positive way! I’m really looking forward to the next six months as he begins crawling and walking!
likes & dislikes
Noah is such a happy baby and we feel so lucky. He is such a fun age right now where his personality is showing through and you can really tell when he likes something. He loves teething toys and basically everything goes into his mouth – his hands, his feet, and every toy he can get his hands on ha! He also loves bath time. We have a bath time song we sing and he gets so excited when we start singing it and laughs nonstop. He is very ticklish and giggles whenever we tickle him. The thing he likes most though? Avett! He loves Avett so much and is always wanting to get kisses from Avett, pet him & laugh at him when he gets the zoomies. I love that he gets to grow up with a dog.
Truthfully there’s not much that he doesn’t like though. Well, unless we’re trying to use the NoseFrida – he is NOT a fan! He also doesn’t like being burped – but once it’s out he’s good! He’s starting to get a bit of separation anxiety (which typically happens around this age) so when we leave the room he doesn’t like it and sometimes will cry out, which breaks my heart, but other than that he’s a pretty happy baby.
We have Noah’s six month wellness check appointment later this week, but he’s roughly 16 pounds and about to move up to 6-9 month clothing. Noah has been rolling from his back to belly (and belly to back) since he was about 9 weeks or so. I was not expecting him to roll that early, but now he loves sleeping on his belly! He’s sleeping through the night in his crib from about 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. He is starting to sit up – he’s still little wobbly, but I think he will be sitting without assistance in no time! He started eating solids and so far, so good! As of now he has tried over 10 different foods. His favorites are butternut squash and bananas. His least favorite (for now at least) are eggs and avocados. I think he is also close to getting his first two teeth!
six month Q&A
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SURPRISING PART OF PARENTING FOR YOU BOTH?
Emily: There have been so many aspects of parenting that have surprised me over the last six months, I feel like I could write a book on “things no one told you about parenting!” Perhaps the most surprising part of parenting for me has been just how quickly Noah changes and develops before our eyes. One day he will show no indication of doing something and the next day he’s doing it! Sometimes Nick and I look at each other like “uhhh he definitely wasn’t doing that yesterday!” Babies don’t keep and it’s truly amazing how much they change on a weekly basis. As a parent each moment feels so fleeting because you know when you wake up tomorrow they’re going to be different than they were the day before.
Nick: Just how natural it feels to be a dad. I am the youngest of three children, so I never spent any part of my life taking care of or being around babies. I never even changed a diaper until we were in the hospital with Noah. I didn’t have a clue what babies ate, when they slept, or what they did all day (if anyone tells you they sleep all day, they are lying!). I read one book on becoming a dad, and really, that was more about taking care of pregnant Emily than teaching me about babies. Truthfully, I didn’t know what to expect or what to do when Noah came, but when the nurse handed him to me in the hospital, all of that went out the window. Natural instincts kick in and you quickly learn your child’s behavior and what they need. It’s amazing how quickly you can go from feeling totally unprepared to feeling like you’ve been a dad for years
ARE HIS NAPS CONSOLIDATED AND PREDICTABLE? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN FOR YOU?
Noah takes 2-3 naps a day and they are relatively predictable. He has been a pretty good sleeper since he was born. I go into more detail below about our daily schedule, but he gets 2-3 good naps a day. His naps improved around the 4 month mark. Our “sleep regression” showed up in the form of naps around 3.5 months and his naps were all over the place. But after a few weeks they went back to normal but we did notice that he really didn’t want that fourth nap anymore, so we went down to three. Now we follow his cues for needing two or three naps.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY FOR YOU & NOAH LOOK LIKE?
This is what a “typical” day looks like for us. I am still working full-time and working from home, and while I’m grateful for that, it’s been a lot to juggle. Trying to find a good work-life balance (during a pandemic no less!) has been one of the toughest parts so far. Some days I feel like I’m failing at my job, but in this season of life Noah needs me a lot and so I give myself grace and do the best I can!
I do want to mention that some days we follow this schedule pretty well and other days we’re WAY off schedule. In reality, it’s never perfect… so please don’t compare! Some days he doesn’t want to nap for very long, other days things run smoothly. I just try to follow his cues and get back on schedule when we can. I have found that our household runs much more smoothly with structure and a schedule. It helps me know when I can get expect to get work done and when I need to be in “mom mode.”
Wake up, feed and diaper change. Noah typically wakes up anywhere between 7:00 and 7:30 and that’s when I get up to feed him. Right now he’s eating 7oz. every time he feeds.
Play time. After he eats, I usually put him in his 4moms Mamaroo for about 10 minutes so I can make coffee and eat breakfast. The Mamaroo used to be really hit or miss for him (especially in the early days) but he loves it. I can’t believe he’s going to be outgrowing it here soon. After I eat breakfast, we have “floor time” where I let him play with all of his toys in the living room. He usually plays with Avett during this time too! At 9:00 we typically go to his playroom and do tummy time before he begins his nap.
Down for a nap. This is his first nap and it’s usually his best nap of the day. He naps in his crib in a sleep sack and the sound machine on for about 1.5 hr. This is when I typically try to get the majority of my work done because his other naps are a bit unpredictable!
Feed, Diaper change & play. During this time I feed him downstairs, change his diaper, and afterwards we play for a bit!
solids. After his bottle has been digested a bit we do a bit of solids. Noah loves to eat and gets so excited for this!
12:45 – 1:00 p.m. // 3:30 p.m.
Down for a nap.The remainder of the day kind of varies on how long this nap lasts. If it lasts 30 minutes I try to get one more nap in for him around 3:30, if it’s longer then I try to put him down for a shorter nap around 4:00. Regardless, he’s up by 4:30 or 4:45 until he goes to bed at 7:00.
Feed, diaper change & solids. This is usually the most chaotic part of the day because I’m trying to finish up work stuff, Nick is getting home around 5:15 p.m. and we’re trying to catch up on everything! Nick typically takes over when he gets home so I can have some time to just sit ha!
bath, lotion & PJ time. We do a bath every single night as part of his bedtime routine. Noah LOVES bath time and we really enjoy this time with him. We found that his skin was getting really dry if we used soap every night, so we only use soap every other night to prevent that! We also only wash his hair 1-2x a week right now.
Feed, read a book & bed. Once he’s dressed and ready for bed I take him into his nursery for his last feed of the night. This is typically when Nick goes downstairs and starts dinner (thank goodness he loves to cook & is really good at it!) He will usually pop back upstairs to read a book to him before we put him down for the night. Then it’s lights out, sound machine on & bed time.
WHAT SELF-CARE ARE YOU ABLE TO WEAVE IN TO THE DAY?
It’s been tough to make time for self-care, especially in Covid times. I would *love* to go get a massage, get a mani/pedi, or just go sit in a coffee shop, but those aren’t things I can do (or feel comfortable doing!) right now! I personally feel much better when I’m able to shower and put on a little bit of makeup, so I try to do that a few times a week. I usually will put Noah in his bouncer or sit-me-up seat so I can do this! I really enjoy reading, so sometimes I will read while I feed him. One thing I do almost very single night is take a bath. It’s so nice to light a candle, grab my kindle and soak in the tub to unwind before bed. WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR MOST USED ITEMS SO FAR?
A few months ago I shared our favorite baby products for 0-3 months and all of those items are still used, with the addition of a few other items! I will share an updated post with our favorite products for 3-6 months soon!
WHAT DID YOU REGISTER FOR THAT YOU *HAVEN’T* USED OR WISH YOU DIDN’T PUT ON YOUR REGISTRY?
I had to go back and reference my baby registry blog post for this one! Every baby has their own preferences and is so different, so this is just what *we* didn’t end up using!
–baby mittens: Noah didn’t like mitts at all. He would pull them off constantly so we never really used them.
–pacifiers: We got a few different brands of pacifiers but he never took to any of them. We used them on occasion the first few weeks, but he didn’t keep them in often or cry out when they popped out of his mouth, so we didn’t push it! One less thing we have to break him of in the future! He self-soothes with his hands mostly.
–dock-a-tot: I have heard babies either love the Dock-a-Tot or hate it and Noah didn’t care for it at all. It’s not considered safe for sleep and we never ever tried to use it for sleeping or naps, but he was never even content in it just lounging!
–bumbo seat: we registered for this but didn’t receive it. I was going to order it, but after doing more research I’m glad I didn’t because it can hinder development (like learning to sit on their own). I’ve also heard that babies who have chunky legs have a hard time fitting in the seat. Instead we have used his highchair & we have a table chair.
–wipes dispenser: We received a wipes dispenser, but honestly it’s one of those things that’s just not necessary for us! Our wipes are resealable and have never had a problem with water wipes or the Honest wipes drying out! We had one in Noah’s nursery but don’t have one downstairs!
–halo bassinet: I’ve briefly chatted about this in this post, but I took this item back within 3 days of using it because it wasn’t level and Noah kept rolling to the mesh sides. As a FTM that freaked me out and he would wake up every.single.time. he moved towards the mesh. We returned this and ended up using the UPPAbaby bassinet in our room before moving him to his crib at 3 weeks.
–baby brezza sterilizer: We received this and honestly used it ONCE. I used it initially to sterilize our bottles and breast pump parts, but haven’t used it since. I find it so much more efficient to quickly wash the bottles by hand myself or toss them in the dishwasher. You can easily boil water on the stove top to sterilize bottles without needing a device that takes up a ton of space! I ended up using the Medela quick clean bags for sterilizing my pump parts.
–boon “lawn” drying rack: We received this and while I think it’s a great idea, we ended up buying the OXO drying rack instead because it functioned a little better for us! The OXO rack is a bit more organized and has space for things like spoons, plates, and up to 8 bottles.
WHAT STROLLER AND CAR SEAT DO YOU USE? HOW ARE YOU LIKING THEM SO FAR?
We have the UPPAbaby Mesa car seat and Vista v2 stroller system! This is one of the baby items that so many friends said was a “must” and I have to agree with them after using it for 6 months! I love the ease of being able to attach the car seat to the stroller for errands. I also really love the bassinet attachment. I originally thought we wouldn’t be able to use the bassinet for long, but we’ve used it for six months for walks! It was really nice in the summer and now in the winter it’s nice to be able to block the wind from him in the bassinet. We are about to transition him from the bassinet to the infant seat and I think he’s going to love it! If you’re on the fence about getting this travel system, I highly recommend it! I was worried about it being heavy but I don’t find it heavy or bulky at all – I am 5’2″ and am easily able to break it down, pick it up & fit it in my Volvo XC90!DID YOU SLEEP TRAIN? WHEN DID YOU START & WHAT METHOD DID YOU USE?
We did sleep train and we started around 4 weeks. I know there are many differing opinions of when to start sleep training, but we did what worked for us after talking to our pediatrician and working with his natural cues. We loosely follow Moms on Call and reference Taking Cara Babies for things like nap strikes, etc. We took the Moms on Call course and realized Noah was close to naturally following their 2 week schedule, so we slowly started following it more closely. We found that he does really well on a schedule and for us it’s nice to know his wake windows and nap times so we can plan our days (and our jobs!) around that! We have continued to follow their schedules as he has gotten older and it’s worked really well for us. Obviously, as I said above, no day is perfect and some days are just chaos but it’s really nice to have that “eat, play, sleep” guide! One thing to note that I feel like I have to mention is that Moms on Call can feel very “rigid” at times and as a FTM I very much felt like I needed to stick to the exact schedule for a while and it led to a lot of stress for me if the day wasn’t going as planned. Now if he isn’t on schedule we do our best to either get back on it when we can or just follow his cues! Another thing I want to mention is a lot of people think sleep training = cry it out method. We do NOT do the “Cry It Out” method and never have. We have never let Noah cry in his crib for longer than 15 minutes (and that’s been when we’re trying to see if he will self soothe or preparing to feed him.).
DID NOAH EXPERIENCE THE 4 MONTH SLEEP REGRESSION & IF SO, HOW DID HIS SLEEP CHANGE? WHAT ARE YOU USING FOR SLEEP SACKS?
We experienced the 4 month sleep regression right at daylight savings time and his 4 month shots….and it was ROUGH! We mostly experienced the regression during nap time. He would wake up almost exactly 35 minutes after putting him down every single nap for about 2 weeks. It was exhausting and nothing we did seemed to help the situation, we just kind of had to ride it out! At 4 months old he had been sleeping through the night for a while, so those random middle of the night wake ups were tough! Those days felt looooong and never ending, but I am so happy to be on the other side of them haha. I always tried to remind myself during those sleep deprived days that it’s just a phase and tried to power through even when it felt like I was living my day in 30 minute increments. For sleep sacks we use a mix of brands but really love Kyte Baby, ergoPouch, Burt’s Bees Baby, and the Ollie with his arms out.
HOW DO YOU KEEP HIM ENTERTAINED? SOME DAYS I’M SO TIRED AND RUN OUT OF STUFF TO DO WITH MY BABY!
You are not alone! There are many times where I have asked myself “how am I supposed to keep him entertained?” especially when they’re young and you’re trying to keep them awake! Now that he’s alert and more mobile it’s much easier to keep him entertained during his 2-2.5 hour wake windows. We have a lovevery play kit subscription and he loves the toys from the play kits. I really appreciate that every kit comes with a play guide full of ideas on how to play with your baby at that certain stage! We keep baskets of toys in the living room, his play room & his nursery so he can have different toys throughout the day. We also do different tummy time exercises daily too! I try to keep him out of “containers” (i.e. swing, sit-me-up seat etc.) as much as I can but some days it’s necessary! If all else fails and he’s not wanting to play with toys, I put him in the Baby Bjorn carrier and bring him around the house with me as I straighten up!
ARE YOU STILL BREASTFEEDING? DID YOU SUPPLEMENT WITH FORMULA?
For reasons outside of my control, I am no longer breastfeeding Noah. The decision to stop breastfeeding and pumping was not one that I was able to make, instead it was sort of made for me – which was a bit emotional. Around 3 months I noticed a dip in my milk supply. I went from pumping 5-6 oz. a session to pumping 1-3 oz. I tried everything to get it back, including supplements, teas, nursing on demand, upping my food/water intake, power pumping, etc. and nothing seemed to work. At one point all of my pump sessions combined wouldn’t even be enough for a single 7 oz. bottle. It was really disheartening. After weeks of exhausting all options and feeling stressed beyond belief, I began weaning. I spent countless hours discussing it with Nick and finally decided that was the best option. It had become a huge stressor for me and I was spending around 120+ minutes a day connected to a pump with not much to show for it. After talking it out I came to terms with weaning and slowly began weaning over 3 weeks to avoid any clogged ducts. After the first week of December my breastfeeding journey had come to an end. I made it 4.5 months of breastfeeding and pumping and I am grateful for every single nursing and pumping session that I was able to provide. I struggled with some mom guilt over it at first, but I am at peace with it now. While I wish this journey could have been longer for us, I’m happy that I now get to spend more time dedicated to him and not connected to a pump.
In my blog post about my breastfeeding and pumping journey, I mentioned that we had to supplement with formula at the beginning due to Noah losing some of his birth weight. We continued to supplement and looking back I am really glad that we did because it made the transition to being fully formula fed much easier. We use Enfamil Neuropro Gentlease and he has done really well with it!
DID YOU EXPERIENCE ANY PPA or PPD?
I did not experience PPD or PPA during the initial postpartum recovery. I did, however, experience postpartum anxiety after weaning from breastfeeding. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was experiencing, but after talking to my doctor and friends who had experienced the same thing, I knew I was having a bit of post-weaning anxiety. You are told so much about postpartum depression and anxiety, but never once was post-weaning anxiety mentioned to me and it’s certainly something women should be aware of and speak about more often! My symptoms originally showed up in the form of insomnia. I would wake up around 2 o’clock in the morning wide awake with a deep sense of anxiousness. It was almost debilitating – I couldn’t fall back asleep, my chest felt so heavy, and occasionally I would have heart palpitations. Some days my anxiety was so bad and the heart palpitations so frequent that I would be nauseous, feel overly hot/cold, and just all around sick to my stomach. I completely cut out drinking caffeine and alcohol because those two things seemed to exacerbate the symptoms. This lasted for about three weeks or so before I felt an overall sense of “calm” but those three weeks were incredibly hard between stressing about the anxiousness, not sleeping and not drinking caffeine. If you are experiencing these things and don’t quite understand them be sure to contact your doctor or talk to someone!
IS HE TEETHING YET? ANY TEETHING TIPS?
Noah is currently teething and I feel like his two bottom teeth could pop through in the coming days or weeks! Noah discovered his hands around 3 months and has loved putting them in his mouth ever since. Originally we thought that was a sign of teething, but realized it was just a developmental milestone. Now you can see the whites of his teeth by his gums and his gums are slightly raised, so I know he’s teething. If that didn’t give it away, the insane amount of drool gave it away too, haha! We go to the pediatrician this week for his six month visit, so I’m hoping our doctor will be able to provide some insight on timing since every baby is so different!
A few teething tricks we have used are putting some of his teething toys in the refrigerator and freezer for some cold relief on his gums. We have also put wet wash cloths in the freezer for a few minutes (you want them harder but not fully frozen!) for him to chew on. We have had to resort to infant Tylenol a few times when you could tell he was really uncomfortable. I’m sure once they start to pop through I will have more teething tips!
HAVE YOU STARTED SOLIDS? HOW DO YOU PLAN TO INTRODUCE THEM TO NOAH?
We have started solids! Right around 4 months old Noah became very interested in what we were eating, so we knew we needed to start researching food introduction. After doing a bit of research, I knew I wanted to do a mix of purees and solids, as there are developmental benefits for both. We started with HappyBaby Organics oatmeal and have slowly introduced purees over the last month or so. With both the oatmeal and purees we have done a mix of us feeding and Noah self-feeding. We purchased this book on baby self-feeding and have slowly started introducing solids to Noah in the last two weeks. It’s a little nerve-wracking but he has been loving experimenting with new foods! I have found Solid Starts to be really helpful with what foods to introduce, how to prepare/cut them and how to safely begin solids. If you’re a fellow mama who is going to be starting solids soon – I highly recommend using Solid Starts as a resource!
Whew! If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I know that was a lot of information, but I always try to be very thorough when answering these Q&As! Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments! xx