Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Update from Seven Months

Hey baby, wanna come back to my place and check out my record
collection? Don't mind my effortlessly cool bandmate over here. 

Seven months is a great age!

Even though she's of course getting heavier, she's also easier to carry. She curls herself around my side like a little monkey and totally unlike the sack of flour her earlier self resembled.

She loves to stand up. She protests diaper changes, but as soon as I stand her up, back to me, facing the animal postcards on the wall by her changing table, she's thrilled. We do a lot of getting dressed this way!

She's not crawling yet, and can't get onto all fours on her own, but she can stay there for a few seconds if put there. And when she gets put down in the crib on her stomach (I started doing this once she started rolling over from back to stomach in her sleep, and waking herself in the process), she makes her body like a board, with all four limbs up off the surface of the mattress, and frantically "swimming" said limbs. I think is work towards eventual crawling.

Mostly, she's just so darn happy and interested in everything around her. The nanny can put Eleanor on the counter next to her to watch while she washes bottles, but Calliope couldn't be trusted with this -- she'd twist around and start unloading the drying rack of bottles and nipples, or removing wooden spoons from their container by the stove, or lunging for the dish soap. She is thrilled to explore anything I'm willing to share. Today, I gave her our first birthday party invite (for a two year old) and she curiously explored the unique textures and sounds it made while manipulating it before settling down to gum the green paper until took Mommy notice of its increasingly soggy state.  

She's delighted each morning when the nanny magically appears, and thrilled when I come home at the end of the day... until I make her wait while I wash my hands before I pick her up. Then she starts to whine. Literally. She doesn't cry, she makes this drawn out whiny noise while she waits for me. Then I scoop her up and she's all smiles as she melts her body against mine and relaxes against my hip. Then we relax into the glider and she whines again as I unhook my bra. It's funny how she basically never fusses to eat until I am already in the process of unholstering everything.


Calliope's bottle consumption dropped dramatically about three weeks ago. She had been taking 8-10 ounces over the 10 hour period I was gone at work. I feed her at 7 am before I leave, and again at 5 pm when I get home. So she would take a bottle at 11 am and 3 pm. Typically 4-5 ounces per feeding. Not a huge amount for an infant of her age, but I was used to that.


She dropped down to a total of 7 ounces per day, then by the end of the week, decreased further to 5 ounces per day.

She's now holding steady between 5-7 ounces per 10 hour day.

Some of this can be attributed to taking solids during the day. I asked the nanny to start giving her lunch because I thought they would enjoy it -- something to do each day -- and also because sometimes it's hard to fit in dinner between nursing when I get home, bathtime, and the second nursing, and still accommodate a 6:30 pm bedtime.

Well, she's taken off with the solids with the nanny -- mainly homemade raw yogurt, or actually, now only yogurt, she's lost interest in everything else -- and cut way down on bottles, while simultaneously decreasing the solids she will take with me. The number of nursings we do hasn't changed.

Ladies Who Lunch

Today when I got home, I found out that she only took one ounce of milk from the bottle this afternoon at 3 pm! This was two hours after her lunchtime yogurt! I don't get home to nurse her until 5 pm.

I took her to the doctor last week after her second five ounce day. She has continued to gain weight perfectly along her 25% curve, and was up to 15 pounds 10 ounces, so I decided to stop worrying.

So I think she is figuring out how to make her stomach wait for me.

She's mostly refusing solids from me in the evening as well as all this past weekend. The only thing she wants is some kefir from my glass. She looks up at me with this look of fascinated intent, then leans forward and opens her mouth. I tip the glass towards her mouth and she gulps, two tiny teeth clinking against the glass. Today she did this about four times. That was it for dinner.


Happily, she has suddenly moved her bedtime a bit later. Six thirty felt really rushed. Tonight she stayed up until seven. This allows me to get a few things done while still spending time with her, which is so nice. I don't like the feeling of having to be 100% focused on her while we rush through one thing to the next. This feels much more like a natural flow to a family evening.

Sleep continues to be a work in progress, but a pretty good one. We are down, slowly, to two minutes of nursing again, as of two nights ago. She woke the first time at 4 am; I nursed her for two minutes, then popped her off and slid her sleepy body back into the crib. Luckily, she doesn't protest this. Unfortunately, she woke up again a half an hour later, wailing! And she's not a wailing sort of baby, so I knew she was hungry. So I fed her two more minutes, and put her back in the crib again.

However, last night she didn't wake up until 4:30 am! A half an hour later than the previous night! Which is what the sleep book said would happen. This time I fed her for two minutes, put her back in her crib, and she didn't wake up again until 7 am! Perfect!

I'm going to stay with the two minute feedings for two more nights, and see what happens. I'm really, really hoping that she will just naturally delay the feeding some more on her own. If she could get to 6 am, I could stop trying to shorten the feeding and give her a full feeding at 6 am, and then gradually start trying to delay it by a few minutes each day.

It's always so stressful to think about having to further shorten her feedings -- I always get scared that she will protest, the thought of which makes me feel horrible. If she cried after I put her back in her crib, I wouldn't be able to stand the thought of my hungry baby, alone in her crib. I could do Cry It Out for other things, I think -- I have put up with the some protesting in the past -- but not for hunger. No way. Luckily she never cries anymore when I put her down. She squirms around, and talks to herself a little, but she doesn't cry. I am so grateful for this.

I finally invested in a video monitor this week, because a) I wanted to know how long it took for her to go to sleep, and b) I feel guilty sometimes because she will wake up and I will have no idea because she doesn't complain. And then I would go check on her and find her obviously wide awake and had been for some time, just playing in her crib. I'm lucky to have a baby that can entertain herself so well -- seriously, she can play with her toys for 45 minutes without assistance -- but I don't like the idea of it so much. Though I think everyone needs some alone time now and then. Oh, also, the nanny goes in to check on her very frequently, and I think it may actually wake Calliope up. And the episode where she vomited three times the one night I went out without her, and how scared I was that I wouldn't have gone in to check on her and would never have known. All good reasons, right?

Anyway, I love watching the video! It's endlessly entertaining! My favorite channel -- Calliope TV. I can see her breathing, even in pitch darkness, which is reassuring. And watching her when awake is hilarious. She peers up at the camera in the cutest way. It's like she knows the camera is there, and what it's doing.

 Elimination (Communication)

I finally asked the nanny point blank if she would be willing to put Calliope on the potty. We had discussed this in the interview, and she indicated interest, but she kept not doing it. Well, last week Calliope had a terrible diaper rash (after what was either a very mild stomach bug/diarrhea or else a reaction to carrots), so I asked if she would put her on the potty so that we could try to keep poop off the raw spot on her labia.

The nanny agreed and lo and behold, Calliope started going on the potty much more often than she does for me! (She pees for me sporadically, once every couple or three days.)

And now the other baby, Eleanor, had a stomach bug yesterday and pooped fourteen times in one day! Poor baby and poor nanny, changing all those diapers! So this morning I suggested the nanny put both babies on the potty. I don't know if Eleanor "performed" or not, but from the looks of it, they had a good time hanging out on their respective potties! Who knew you could play the piano while on the potty?


  1. The girls are too cute together, like built in best friends! I hope that friendship continues well into adulthood! How is the nanny sharing going with Eleanor's family?

  2. OMG, the photo of the girls on the potty is priceless!! Great update!