Letters to Lexi: 8 Months

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No wait, wait! *Shaking head*

You’re 8 months? That can’t be.

I remember reading blogs where babies were 8 months and thinking how big they were, but you’re still so little. You can’t be 8 months.

*in shock*

An 8 months old YOU!

Where do I start? You’ve grown to be a big girl this month, yet when I look at you, you seem too small to be 8 months.

Your progress this month has been choppy. You jumped in development at the 7 month mark and then at the end of this month. The middle was spent perfecting skills. Like getting in and out of sitting position. Your favorite. You’re literally obsessed with sitting up from your back and your tummy. You will crawl 2 steps just to sit back down,  and crawl again to sit back down.

Did I say crawl?

Ah, yes! You CRAWL now. It didn’t happen the way I thought it would. You didn’t just wake up one day and started crawling. No, you practiced, and tried, each day getting a little bit better. At 7 months you could commando crawl, at 7 months and 2 weeks you started FULL ON crawling.   You’re so cute doing it, too. You don’t speed crawl (yet), you just kind of get to where you need to go and sit up. Or crawl into our lap and pull up.

Did I say pull up?

Ah, yes! 🙂 You aren’t VERY strong or good at it yet, you’re still learning, but it’s clear that your next skill will be pulling up.  {And judging from your naps as I write this, it’s exactly what is keeping you up}You pull up in your crib when I put you there to play. You pull up on anything that will hold.You tug on our shirts until we give you our hands to pull up on.  But I can see how much effort it takes to do it. You do planking all the time. Actually, typing this right now, I am starting to get a bit scared at how fast you’re growing.

{Onesie by Little Shrimp}

You’re a pro clapper at this point. I find it very interesting that you started clapping at 6.5 months instead of the average 9-10 months. I am wondering what that means. I believe all babies focus on something to be good at and to work at. Some babies roll early, some crawl, some walk, all based on their needs and/or interests. You were obviously focusing on your hand dexterity. I am curious why. I know one day it will become apparent.
Regardless, though, it is INSANELY adorable when you do it. Your grandma always requests that you clap for her  on skype and you understand and oblige. You clap when you are eating or about to eat. You clap when you see one of us. You clap when you crawled somewhere and sat up, you clap when you’re happy, you clap when you’re tired. You’re just a clappy girl! You clap every time we say YAY! You clap when you’ve accomplished something, like knocked over a tower.

You’re OBSESSED with kitties! As in, drop everything you’re doing when they pass by. You talk to them and scream (which scares the crap out of them), and crawl after them, and try to pinch their paws and pull their hair. They truly don’t know what to make of you and your “strange ways”.

This last week you started eating for real. As in, grabbing fistfuls of vegetarian paella and shoving it in your mouth, eating couscous with your hands, chewing everything thoroughly, truly enjoying your food. I love seeing that, baby girl!

You’re still very much a boob girl, though! You love to have your “titya” every hour or so, sometimes for a quick snack, other times for a good long feed. Breastfeeding couldn’t be going better.

{white tank top onesie by Polarn O Pyret}

You take two naps, one around 10, another one at 2 with anywhere around 2-4 hours of awake time in between. We go by your sleep cues more than anything, but you’re pretty consistent most of the time.

You have REALLY improved on your day time sleep. Last month I wrote that you were doing better but I wasn’t sure if it was permanent. Well, it has been great! I had a suspicion that once you are more comfortable with your body and can move around bette, you’ll have a better time sleeping. I always heard that babies start sleeping better when they start crawling because they get tired, but I believe that it has to do with more body control, as well.  Who likes being stuck in one position all nap long? Now that you’re adjusting yourself to how you want it, you sleep much better. You’ll usually still wake up at the 30-40 minute mark, that hasn’t change, but then 70-80 percent of the time you’ll move around and put yourself back to sleep. I am so proud of you for growing out of needing to be rocked and sleeping longer. Once you napped for 3 hours with only 1 wake up when you needed to be nursed back to sleep. Otherwise, on average your naps last anywhere from an hour to 2 hours. This last week you’ve been way too hyper and interested in everything to nap well, but thank God for boob, because that’s the only way you’ll actually go to sleep right now with all that interesting stuff going on in the world. I am not complaining, though. If there’s ONE thing I learned in the 8 months of being your mommy is that NOTHING is permanent and everything you do, you do for a reason. Today it’s one way, tomorrow it will change. I think that’s the most important lesson.

{All hairbands and bow are by Hopscotch Boutique}

Your night sleep hasn’t changed. You sleep with us. You go to sleep around 8:30, you wake up at 7 am. You are up 4-6 times a night to breastfeed and go right back to sleep afterwards.  It’s pretty manageable because we co-sleep and breastfeed and neither of us has to fully wake up to nurse. {I remember reading about that in a breastfeeding book and in a co-sleeping book, but I couldn’t understand how one wouldn’t  fully wake up to breastfeed. Now I get it!}

One day around 7 months mark we were sleeping in the guest bedroom on a mattress on the floor while our master bedroom upstairs was being painted. Daddy slept upstairs for the night since the queen is too small to fit us all in safely. So around 8 am, after not being woken up by us, he walks into the guest bedroom to check on us and he finds the following scene: me sleeping on one side of the mattress and you in the opposite side of the room “crawling” on the floor in your Modswad sleepsack and smiling at him. That was before you learned to crawl. When he woke me up, I was honestly in shock. In shock that I didn’t hear you wake up ( you must have been very quiet). In shock that you crawled OFF the bed on your own. In shock over the image in my head about what could have happened  had we been sleeping upstairs on our tall bed. But this signifies another development: you know how to get off the bed. You turn around and get your feet off first and then the rest of your body. But you only do it when it’s low to the ground. On our big bed, you just try to dive into the unknown.

You’re definitely mobile enough now that it’s time for some guard rails. In fact, we installed them last weekend. But before that, mama watched the monitor like a hawk and as soon as there was a movement, she’d stand by the door making sure you aren’t awake and hauling for the edge.

You still won’t have anything to do with sleeping in your crib. I try to put you in there every once in a while and you wake up crying 5 minutes later because you couldn’t roll so you sat up.

You’ve got some new funky sounds. Sometimes I swear it sounds like you’re talking (which of course you’re not). You love saying TA-TA-TA in this high pitched voice. Or your other favorite: this throaty gurgly “GHEEEEEE GHEEEEEE”. Oh the screamy “HIIIIII” or “HEEEEEEEY” that you seem to say every time you see someone. I LOVE HEARING THESE SOUNDS.
You do say MAMA a lot when you want me or my milk, but I still somehow think that you associate that with nursing rather than me per se. You say KI-KI-KI when you see kitties. It could be what you call them, since I always say “KISA” in Russian, or it could be a coincidence. It’s so not clear in the beginning. I was thinking about your future speech and bilingualism. Wondering when you’d say your first MEANINGFUL word and what it would be. I have a feeling it’d be either PAPA (daddy in russian), MAMA, or KISA (kitty). I was also pondering the well known fact that most bilingual babies start talking later but have a better and bigger vocabulary and I was realizing why that is, thinking about our situation. Obviously, in order for you to start speaking you’d need to have a word repeated enough times for you to remember it as well as be able to move your mouth in a certain way to make the sound and also practice. When a baby is spoken to in 2 different languages, that lowers the number of times that each word is spoken, thus necessitating more time to learn it. On the other hand I know a few bilingual parents who reported that their kids spoke early or right on time. I wonder how it is going to be with you, sweetie!
I was also thinking about the traditional first words and how most likely they won’t be the same for you. Like the word hello and the word bye-bye aren’t said very often in our household. Somehow we just don’t say put any emphasis on them when meeting people. And if they are, they are spoken in Russian. Same thing with waving good-bye. Just not something we do often. We do sign, though. I can’t wait for you to start signing!
You do understand a lot nowadays. You know to look around for something when we say “Where is…?” in both languages. You know the word KISA very well and have a very concerned expression whenever we ask you where the kitties are. You start looking around, craning your neck. Speaking of craning your neck…. it is so adorable. Whenever you hear a sound, or someone talking & something is blocking your view, you crane your neck around attempting to see it.
{Romper by NUNUNU Baby, Blanket by Tuffo}
You know your Russian grandma VERY WELL. As in you ADORE her! We talk to her over skype almost daily and it is so sweet to watch you look for her. Whenever you hear the skype’s ringtone, you stop whatever you are doing and look at the screen waiting. I say “Where’s grandma? Where’s  grandma?” while you have the most concerned expression in the world, waiting for grandma to pick up. And THE SECOND she appears on the screen and I go “THERE IS GRANDMA!!!!’, you give her THE BIGGEST SWEETEST SMILE known to mankind. You smile and talk to her and shyly put your head on my shoulder while smiling at her. You try to grab the screen, you clap your hands for her. It just warms my heart to see that even 3000 miles away, you  have an amazing relationship with the most amazing grandma in the world.
Besides grandma, your most favorite person in the world is daddy. You know his “name” ( PAPA), you get so excited when you see him, you reach out to him, you crawl into his lap, you put your head on his chest. After every nap we go to see daddy in his office working and you literally try to jump out of my arms into his! You also clap for him. You love clapping, clearly!
You still have stranger anxiety though it’s incredibly selective. With some people you just instantly get red in your face and want to cry, but with others, you flirt. Oh you’re SUCH a flirt! You look from behind my chest and smile, and then get shy and hide in mommy’s boobies all while kicking your leg furiously. I really need to videotape it, I’ll try to do it this weekend.
You love songs and being sung to. It almost always calms you down. You clap along with the “If you’re happy and you know it” song at the right moments.
You get so giggly when something fluffy or fuzzy touches you, like a cat’s tail or a feather. HE-HE-HE, you say!
You love cars. Whenever we go out for a walk, you stare at all the passing cars while kicking your legs and twisting around if we’re holding you while I try to sound out the noise the cars make: “ZH-ZH-ZH-ZH-! MASHINKA!” Btw, that’s another word you know.
You now pinch. No good for mommy. My legs are covered with bites from the sand flees from the beach, bruises from who knows where and you try to pinch every single mark on my legs.
You also give big slobbery open mouth-tongue out kisses! It’s hard to pry one out of you, but when you indulge us, it’s adorable! We say “Give mommy a kissy” and half the time you turn to me, open your mouth and plant one right on my lips and then laugh! More than kisses, you love to bite my  nose or give my cheeks hickeys.
{Romper by Polarn O Pyret}
You have been obsessed with our Klean Kanteens, so we got you your own in baby size, but with the same sport cap, not a sippy top. You can {most of the time} suck water out of it, but often you forget how to do it 🙂 It’s not a problem though because you breastfeed for hydration very often.
You’ve got a new tooth! And it’s not your top central incisor, but your lateral, so as soon as it grows enough you will be my little vampiress!!! So far it’s the only tooth visible on the top, so you’ll be a one toothed vampiress!
You also started yelling at the cats. As soon as you see one, you get into crawling position and yell. It’s hilarious, because you accomplish quite the opposite of what you’re trying to do- you get them to run away from you and FAST!

Just a few days ago you started pulling up on everything. It took you 3 days from the first attempt at pulling up to get stronger and pull up on anything that is higher than a medium box.
It’s been increasingly difficult to put you down for a nap at our normal time. You are just so interesting in everything that you roll and crawl and play until you literally can’t handle it anymore. So lately you’ve been staying up for 4 hours at a time before you’d even consider going down for a nap. Things are constantly changing with you, girlie!
You are still absolutely in love with reading. As active and mobile as you are, as soon as your books come out, you instantly quiet down, sit in my lap, put your cute chubby hands on my hands or arms and listen. You can sit like that for HOURS if I continue reading what you want. Your favorites are still Dr Seuss. Any book of his. You just love them. You often crawl to your books on your own and we let you pick out the ones you want to read.
I have to admit I have gone a bit crazy with buying books for you. I love reading so much and I am psyched that you’re a reader too, so I keep buying you heaps of books.
You love to play with your  toys as long as mommy or daddy are by your side. We’ve been building tall towers together and you have been in charge of knocking them down. Somehow you knew to do that from the moment I built the first one. It is so cute how you push it with both your arms and strain and strain until it falls over. And if half of it is still standing, you’ll make sure to knock it over as well.
You’re such a messy eater, we have to give you a bath after every meal, which is about 3 times a day. You squish the food between your fingers before you put it in your mouth, and then you clap excitedly with the juice from the food splashing all over your face and ours. Once you’re done with that, you reach out to the end of the tray and wipe the whole tray with your arms and slide your hands all over the mess you’ve created. You love it, though! I need to record a video of the fun times you have getting dirty.
We have been reading these Russian books that teach the difference between BIG and SMALL and I was completely shocked to find out that you understand that. I’ve been asking you where a big doll on the picture was and where a small one was and you’ve been showing it to me correctly. You’re so attentive and smart!
You also know what NOSE is and can point to it on a toy if you’re in the right mood (i.e. if you’re paying attention to what we are saying). I think that’s pretty amazing! You also love eating my nose and launch for it when I lift you and say “Don’t eat my nose! Don’t eat my nose!” You try to bite it hard and laugh. You’re such a goofball!
I think that’s pretty much it for this month! I cannot believe you’ll be 9 months next time I will be writing to you.
These letters are always so long because there is so many changes happening each month. I am going to love going through them when you’re older, with you or on my own, rereading about what a wonderful little girl you always were.

{Rubber Diver bath toy by Begin Again}

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  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    It’s so nice to see someone parenting so lovingly! 😀 I swear society would have far fewer problems if everyone cared for their little ones like you are Elena!!! Absolutely love the blog and love little Lexi too, she’s gorgeous 😀

  • Reply
    Elena C.
    October 1, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Pure awwwww and adorableness 🙂

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Such a big girl! And she is in some adorable outfits.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Cute baby!
    Is that a crib that she’s planking on?

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    She is just so sweet looking! & my little guy is OBSESSED with kitties also- and we don’t even have any!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Your daughter is an adorable little chunk! I do have to say that I am amazed she is still waking so much during the night! Have you spoken with your pediatrician about this, or possibly speaking with a lactation consultant? Most babies by 8 months are either sleeping through the night completely or only waking once or twice.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 1, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      Yes it’s completely normal especially at the time that they are learning a new skill. In fact, my neighbor’s BFed 8 months old wakes up just as often.
      I’m not concerned one bit as long as she gets enough sleep for her (and I do too)

      • Reply
        October 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        My little girl also wakes 2-5 times a night and she is 9 months old; in fact we JUST got through the 9 month sleep regression (and it was pretty rough – nursing every 1-2 hours at night, for two weeks! Luckily she’s now settled back down to two wake ups). Babies that bed-share and breastfeed do tend to wake more at night than other babies, but there’s nothing wrong with it – I’ve asked my pediatrician about it and she said that some babies just need more milk and/or comfort in the night.

        I am amazed that Alexis nurses so frequently during the day! Once she really gets into solids she might slow down on daytime feeding unless she’s just nursing for comfort; my daughter now rarely finishes her bottles (that we give her during the week while I’m at work) because she eats so many solids. And it’s funny how babies almost the same age are so different – we’ve done a mix of BLW and finger food, and our girl is such a dainty eater so we only have to bathe her twice a week (for the rare instances when she gets sweet potato or avocado in her hair :). And I can’t get over how BIG Alexis is! My daughter’s a month older and is only 16.5 pounds; I’m always amazed by other babies that seem gargantuan in comparison! 🙂 It would be funny to get them together; a tiny blonde baby and a BIG brunette baby! But they both have the same big blue eyes. 🙂

        You mention that you’re going to put bed rails up – a word of warning (of course, it may not hold true for you!). We have a VERY active, mobile baby and we put up rails around 5 months, since she was rolling so much and working on crawling on the bed at night. Around 7 months, we had to go ahead and put our mattress on the ground; there was NO way it would be safe for her to be in our bed (even between us, with the railings) otherwise. Once she really started to crawl/pull up/cruise/work on walking, there were a few instances similar to what you mentioned – I would wake up in the night to catch her trying to crawl over one of the bed rails (even though it was high up and seemed really safe) or off the end of the bed where there was nothing to protect her. Our girl will spend half the night rolling back and forth and all over the place (and sitting up, and crawling, and getting into downward dog, etc.) all while she is still sleep! 🙂

        And I would hesitate to put her on the bed for naps – at 7 months my crazy little girl crawled off a chair even though I was standing right there in front of her, she went off head first before I could grab her (in fact I was amazed at your picture of Alexis on the chair in the Disney World post, my daughter would be trying to crawl off that thing in a second!). Luckily it was a low chair and she fell onto a blanket, but it still scared me to death. We started putting our girl into the crib for the first part of the night around 4 months (after we stopped using the arm’s reach co-sleeper) to get her used to it. Even though in the beginning she was only in there the first hour or two before ending up in our bed, because we were persistent with it, she will now nap there happily and now spends at least half the night in the crib before we move to co-sleeping at her first wake-up. It may be worth trying to see if she’ll sleep there, just so you know she’ll be safe!

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          October 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM

          Oh so many questions, so much to comment on lol
          1. Dainty eater hahah 🙂 I wish. She has so much fun with food that everything around her is destroyed and covered with food lol
          2. Re: frequent nursings. Do you remember how Lexi was that amazing baby who ate every 30 minutes around the clock for the first 1-2 months of her life, and then spaced out to 1 hour. And you’re still surprised? haha I’m not. She doesn’t actually EAT that often. Most of these nursing sessions are for hydration because she’ll stay on the breast for 30 seconds to a minute tops. She eats for longer periods about every 3-4 hours before each nap and occasionally between. I noticed this week she’s really picked up in eating both solids AND breastmilk.
          3. Re: chair in Disney. I have a wide angle lens, so what you can’t see in the picture is my hand inches away from her to catch her if she falls. Plus she was sooo enamored with her surroundings, I don’t think she really cared to move at that moment.
          4. Co-sleeping and rails. Lexi really doesn’t move much in her sleep. As a matter of fact she’s napping right now ( which is the only reason why I can actually reply to your comment, since it’s a long one) and she’s moved twice in the last 1.5hrs just to adjust herself. When she naps, my only “job” is blogging on the couch next to the bedroom door with the monitor next to me (because I only allow myself to blog when she’s sleeping), so as soon as she is fully up before she is able to reach the rail, I’m there. It’s funny though, I can tell when she’s going to re-settle herself or when she’s done by the determination in her eyes as she tries to make it to the side rail. So I am not worried about her sleeping in the big bed during the day. HOWEVER, I am thinking you’re right about rails and nighttime sleep. I’ve had it run over my mind a couple time. She isn’t good enough of a crawler to quickly crawl over one of us and pull up on the rail, especially without waking us up. But she will be soon, so I am going to talk to hubby about our next step. We’ve had the crib in our bedroom from the beginning and put her there to sleep occasionally back when we were rocking her. She’s never really been able to sleep in the crib for longer than an hour. I try and put her there for a nap or for the night occasionally just to see if she’s “changed her mind”. Now that she falls asleep while nursing AND the crib mattress is on the lowest setting, it is virtually impossible to take her off the bed and lower her into the crib without waking her up. So right now she spends a few minutes in the crib daily to get her more used to it. My plan is to first wait until she falls asleep on her own without nursing ( or do the Pantley method to help her), then it’ll be much more feasible to put her into the crib for naps or even for the night.

          • Jessica
            October 1, 2012 at 9:59 PM

            I would really think about moving the mattress to the floor – when my daughter crawls off the bed, she usually goes off the bottom of the bed, not over either me or my husband to the side. Often, when I wake up, she’ll be perpendicular to me with her head by my knees, even though we started out next to each other, lol! Every once in a while I’ll wake up to her fussing because she’s sitting on the floor next to the mattress, because she’s crawled backwards in her sleep off the edge of the bed, I think this is really common (backing off the bed). This all started around 6-7 months for us, and since Alexis is already 8 months I wouldn’t risk it with only bed rails. You don’t want her first real crawling/pulling up in her sleep to result in her falling off the bed. 🙁 You’ll probably find out in the next month or so – once they REALLY start to crawl and move, they are lightning fast!

            Regarding number 2 above 🙂 it makes me really glad that my daughter took the pacifier! (Since I work full time we made sure to introduce a pacifier so my mom and husband could soothe her throughout the day). Even in the heat of the summer (we’re in the south, too) and spending all day outside in 90-100 degree weather at things like outdoor festivals my baby would only nurse maybe every two hours, so it’s probably not hydration but rather comfort/routine with the frequent nursing for Alexis (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). My daughter was also a frequent nurser when she was little and now she’s every 3-4 hours during the day (plus tons of solids).

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            October 1, 2012 at 10:27 PM

            Re: #1, I hear ya, I’ll definitely discuss it with hubby
            Re: #2, I’m telling ya, it’s hydration for sure. They way she sucks, when she stops, it’s very clear. I can count on one hand the amount of times it was for comfort. Don’t forget every person’s needs are different when it comes to food and water. I am constantly thirsty at home, so I bet she is as well.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    I thought you co-slept? Why do you have a crib (with a bumper) setup in your bedroom?

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 1, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      I occasionally try to put her there to sleep to see if she’s ready. We just never moved it from our bedroom, so it sort of served as a guardrail for when she was smaller and couldn’t pull up.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Awww… no crawling video?

    I love baby clapping! And those funny open mouth kisses- when my son sees other babies, he rushes over and and gives them kisses. Does Alexis get to see other babies much? It sounds like she’s easier to take places these days, she might love a library story time or playgroup or something.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 1, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      There will be one! In a separate post in the 8 months video 🙂
      We occasionally go to playdates and stuff, but most of the time everyone is so busy it is hard to get everyone together. I do keep meaning to go to the library, I bet she’ll really love that. The issue is it’s so hot right now we can’t even go to a playground, plus she doesn’t walk. Will be MUCH easier for her when she walks.

      • Reply
        October 1, 2012 at 10:01 PM

        You should really check out some baby story-time or music classes! They are hands down the BEST thing we do for our girl, there is nothing she enjoys more. She LOVES music, and during the music class, she will jump up and down and wave her hands and squeal with joy for 45 minutes straight. There is nothing that babies love more than other babies! They are some of the best things you can do for her, developmentally.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    If you put her in her crib to play, she’s going to get mixed messages. Of course she hates sleeping in there! You’re reenforcing the fact that a crib is not for sleeping, but for playing instead. Also, I agree with Lauren, it’s not normal for an 8 month old to wake up so much. You are reinforcing the fact that you will nurse her (even just comfort nurse, when she’s not actually eating, just using her sucking reflex) back to sleep.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 1, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      Oh the horror, my daughter wakes up to get some comfort from her mom! What a frivolous request! I must deny that! lol

      All joking aside, she does wake up to eat most of the time since she’s too “busy” during the day to eat properly. That’s pretty much normal in the first year as evidenced by multiple sleep regressions. She does wake up for comfort occasionally too, however in our family we don’t deny our baby comfort, regardless how inconvenient it might be for us. As far as I am concerned, comfort is as essential of a need as food and sleep. So I’ll continue reinforcing it for as long as she needs it, while gently nudging her in the right direction. I don’t believe in pushing my baby to do something she is not ready to do on her own.

      As far as playing vs sleeping in the crib, you would be totally right, except for I never put her into the crib to play till 7 months, yet from day 1 she would not sleep longer than 30-60 minutes in the crib while she would go for much longer stretches co-sleeping. It’s different for different babies. Some babies want parents’ comfort more strongly than other and demand it more than others.

      • Reply
        October 1, 2012 at 6:56 PM

        We had the same problem getting him used to the crib… It took starting him out there every night for a few weeks and now he’ll sleep there the first half of the night. When we first started he only lasted 30 min. If its something you want to do just do it with consistency and she’ll get there eventually.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          October 1, 2012 at 9:26 PM

          Here’s what I am wondering and maybe Jessica O can weigh in on it too if she’s reading this. Her longest stretch at night at this point is when I first put her down (about 3 hours or so). After that she wakes up every 2 hours. I just don’t see the point in putting her in the crib starting out since I am not even in bed then. Once I go to bed , I’d have to get her in 2 hours or less, so it sort of defeats the purpose even bothering with the crib ( I might as well just put the mattress on the floor for safety and call it a day). The only reason I am getting enough sleep right now is because we co-sleep.
          So I sort of want to wait till she doesn’t wake up so often and then I can actually have her in the crib the first half of the night.
          What do you think?

          • Amanda
            October 1, 2012 at 9:41 PM

            I think waiting until she is waking up only once or twice a night would probably be the smartest way to do it. Expect a little sleep regression when you first do it though but she should get over it in about a week.

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            October 1, 2012 at 9:44 PM

            Yeah I definitely figured it’d be rough for the first 2 weeks of doing it. That’s why I’ve been holding off (among other things). Thanks!

          • Corinne
            October 1, 2012 at 11:03 PM

            My daughter woke up a lot when we had her in our room. Once we moved her to her crib in her room (which I was very hesitant to do because I just loved having her right there next to me), she slept through with 1 wake up! I was amazed! I was convinced I’d be going to get her multiple times throughout the night. I think the reason she woke up so often in our room was smelling mommy (and her midnight boob snacks) and possibly hearing hubby and I moving around in our sleep. She’d wake up every 3-4 hours and I’d nurse her back to sleep. Now she sleeps from 8/9-4/5 then again till 7/8.
            I think you might be surprised how well she sleeps in the crib in her room. I mean, IF you wanted to try it one night to see how she did, the worst that happens is she still wakes up often and you go back to the way it was before.

          • Tawny
            October 1, 2012 at 11:29 PM

            All 3 of my kids slept better once we moved them out of our bed/room. We basically co slept with them in the beginning simply because it was easier than getting them every time they had to nurse at night. But around 5 or 6 months we moved them into their own room/bed and they slept better, usually only waking 1x per night for a nursing episode then back to bed. When my youngest son was 10 months old we went to Florida and he co slept in our bed and started nursing like a newborn again during the night. I realize all kids are different, but I highly doubt it’s coincidence that all 3 of mine responded the same. They can sense mama’s presence so of course they’re going to wake to nurse several times per night. My older 2 are b/g twins and my youngest is a boy and both boys were super high needs but all 3 are pretty great sleepers (14 hours a night). I’m pretty jealous because I wish I could wind down and sleep 14 hours a night lol.

        • Reply
          October 1, 2012 at 9:50 PM

          It’s really not that bad transitioning to a crib, and for me, it’s worth it to have 2-3 hours in the evening to relax, do chores, get ready for work the next day, etc. When her sleep was really poor (4 and 9 month sleep regressions), we’d start to co-sleep after her first wake-up around 10 or 11 pm. Now, on a good night, she’ll sleep in the crib from 7 to anywhere from 1 to 3 am before first waking to nurse (and co-sleep for the rest of the night, nursing every 2-3 hours from that point).
          Around 6 months, we worked on getting her to fall asleep in the crib without her being fully asleep first. The (no-cry) method we used to get her to fall asleep on her own was: nurse and rock her until she was “drowsy but awake”, then put her in the crib, pat her back a few times, then sit quietly in the room until she either fell asleep or started to cry. If she cried, I’d pick her up, soothe and rock her until she was calm and sleepy again, and put her back in her crib, over and over. The first night it took about an hour for her to fall asleep on her own, and by a week or two later, I could reliably put her into her crib after nursing her, and she’d just roll over and go to sleep on her own. She’ll still have the occasional rough night but for the most part it’s really easy. It’s not that much work and it wasn’t at all stressful or rough for my baby. And I think it was a good, AP way to help her learn to self-sooth, and another great benefit is that it’s not an issue at all with transferring her to the crib, even if she falls asleep somewhere else during a nap (the stroller, carrier, car seat, etc.). I think it’s Pantley’s method or similar to it.

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            October 1, 2012 at 9:58 PM

            I’ve never been consistent with something like this because I haven’t really attempted to transition her to the crib, but EVERY SINGLE TIME I have put her ANYWHERE drowsy ( or unlatch her before she is almost fully asleep), she’d instantly cry. There’s no patting her to sleep lol
            So like with the rocking, I think soon she will be ready to do it, but I also think it’s important to build that association as well, like you did. I think I will start with working on the nursing association first, and then work on the crib. Good for you for doing it the gentle way!

          • Jessica
            October 1, 2012 at 10:08 PM

            Oh, she’d instantly cry for the first few nights, definitely! I certainly wasn’t patting her to sleep in the beginning, I got to that point by the end of the first week of “training”. You just have to be persistent and patient. The first night was: I’d put her down, she’d literally start to cry right away, I’d pick her up and rock for 5 minutes, put her down, she’d start to cry immediately so I’d pick her up again and soothe her, etc. It took about 20-30 minutes until she’d not cry the second I’d put her down (she’d start crying maybe 30 seconds after I put her down). By around 45 minutes into it, she’d go several minutes before she’d start to cry. And soon after an hour (I think it took maybe 65-70 minutes total the first night?) she rolled over and fell asleep on her own. Each night it took a little less time for the whole process. It was SO worth it. I was nursing her to sleep before this, and it was pretty straightforward to go to her sleeping in her crib with this process, it just took some work and patience, and I was so glad that it didn’t’ involve any unnecessary tears on her part!

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            October 1, 2012 at 10:33 PM

            Aaaawww, I don’t even want her to go through that 🙂 She is so comfortable falling asleep at the breast. I know it’s either that, though, or mattress on the floor.

      • Reply
        October 1, 2012 at 8:08 PM

        It is so ridiculous what some women think about babies. It is completely normal for an 8 month old to awaken multiple times at night to nurse. My daughter woke up every 1-3 hours at night from 6-9 months. It was rough but I knew nursing is what she needed even if it was for comfort. At 9 months she started self-soothing and sleeping longer periods. Then I knew she was ready for the crib. Ever since she’s been in her crib sleeping 11-12 hours a night. I did a slow transition to the crib and she loves it in there. I’m so glad I did not force her in there with hours of crying because some doctor said I had to or she would be sleep deprived for life. She wakes up and rolls around and plays by herself for 30 min before calling us to get here and she’s 22 months now. Oh and I let her play in the crib before she was sleeping in there too. It’s fine.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          October 1, 2012 at 9:21 PM

          Can I please sign my name under this comment? lol

          You can’t imagine how happy I was that I didn’t do what “pseudo-experts” I should have when the only way she’d fall asleep was rocking. Guess what? She grew out of it on her own. Just like she will everything else, when she is ready. Thanks for your story!

        • Reply
          October 1, 2012 at 9:47 PM

          Ugh it’s so irritating! Our pedi tells us to just let him cry every time we visit! She said there is no reason he should e waking up 3x a night so just make sure he’s safe and leave him by himself. I wanted to scream at someone. They also recommend giving babies juice every day from now on?!?! Seriously, if they weren’t amazing at everything actually medical we would be finding a new office.

          • Lesley T.
            October 2, 2012 at 7:14 AM

            Wow, that is bizarre that they’re suggest juice over breastmilk. It would be one thing if you weren’t BFing (though it’s still not a suggestion I’m comfortable with), but if you have a thriving BFing relationship, I just find that advice so odd and off-base!

  • Reply
    Kirsten H
    October 1, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Beautiful post! Where did you find that pink dress with the puffy skirt?? Please let me know!! 🙂 Alexis is absolutely adorable!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 1, 2012 at 5:03 PM

      Oh I would love to tell you, but it was a gift from my mom, she bought it somewhere in Russia 🙂

      • Reply
        Kirsten H
        October 1, 2012 at 6:18 PM

        Ah! Russian! No wonder it is so pretty! Thank you anyway.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Cute as always
    Did you forget about the chair picture?

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Oh, Lexi is so cute! I think she’s looking more and more like Andrew on each picture you post. Adorable!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    What kind of socks does Alexis wear? I can’t find any that will stay on my daughter’s little feet and Lexi’s always seem to stay on in your pictures.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    I was hoping you’d comment about her hair – a few months ago she was losing her hair and you were writing about how you were sure it would come in blonde. It appears to have grown back in brown? Or are the pictures misleading? Also, just out of curiosity, what are her percentiles for weight and height? She looks GIGANTIC!!! My son weighed 18 lbs at 1 year — she must be bigger than that already. She loves her food!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 1, 2012 at 9:40 PM

      I haven’t said about her hair, cuz nothing has changed so far. Those blonde hairs that were peaking through are still peaking through hahaha
      Where brown had fallen out, lighter brown has grown in. So the back of her head is more like dirty blonde, or golden, depending on the light. You can see in the some of the pictures where the light shines through the window. Honestly, I have NO idea what her hair is going to end up looking like. I’m digging the lighter golden brown that she has now, but I don’t think babies change their hair past 6 months, am I right?

      I don’t know her percentiles right now (too lazy to look up), but her last appt. 2 weeks ago she was 22 pounds (1 pound gain from a month before). She’s been at 95-97th percentile for height and weight since her birth, but look at her parents. lol We’re GIGANTIC, compared to average population too 🙂 I don’t know her height, they didn’t measure it, but I am really curious to know because to me she looks like a 1 year old size wise.

      • Reply
        October 1, 2012 at 10:15 PM

        As a data point, my daughter’s hair was dark, dark brown when she was born (darker than Alexis’s based on the photos you’ve posted), and it was light brown/dark blond by 3-4 months, and was very blond (strawberry blond, actually) by 6 months. My husband was a towhead as a kid so we’re not surprised! I would imagine that if Alexis’s hair is brown now it will probably stay that way or darken over time. And the funny thing with our daughter being such a petite baby – my husband is 6’2″ and I’m 5’9″, and she’s only 50th percentile for height and 25th for weight! My sister was 99th percentile for height and is now only 5’5″ as an adult, so I’m not sure how much of a predictor that is for adult height.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          October 1, 2012 at 10:39 PM

          My hubby had straw blonde hair too, and so did I. That is why it’s funny to use that Lexi is brown haired. I can’t imagine her blonde, though, It’d be so weird at this point.

          Your sister didn’t eat enough carrots lol
          I was reading that your height is genetically programmed into your, however certain things like, certain illnesses or lack of certain nutrients, will result in stunted growth. If it happens during one of the growth spurts, they will literally stop growing for that time period and effectively “lose” a few inches of their genetic height.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    I loved reading about Lexi learning to crawl! it never ceases to amaze me how different each baby is. Opposite of you, I thought my daughter would do what Lexi did and take some preliminary measures before she crawled…like getting in position and rocking, or army crawling. NOPE! She just woke up 1 day and crawled. It’s funny that we each expected the opposite of what our daughters did.

    Also, not trying to be rude, but until Lexi is sleeping in her crib I wouldn’t put her in there to play yet. Obviously it’s up to you when you transition to sleeping in the crib, but in the meantime I wouldn’t send mixed messages 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 1, 2012 at 9:52 PM

      I think it has to do with what we’ve heard other people experience, as far as our expectations 🙂

      Gotcha re: crib 😉

  • Reply
    October 2, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    So fun to read about 8 month stage again…feels so long ago yet so recent that Lillian was there. 🙂
    Oh gosh…yeah, that is what terrifies me about our bed too. I wonder if we have to dismantle our HUGE four poster cal king and put the mattress on the floor too. Did you get the Side up? I didn’t get an IG message about it…curious if it will work. 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 2, 2012 at 7:27 PM

      Yes! My phone is pretty much dead, so I have not been able to IG lately. We did get it up. Our mattress is 10 inches and the side sticks up a good distance. It’s only meant to prevent her from rolling over the edge while asleep, not keep on the bed while awake, so 7 inches is plenty enough.
      You guys have a really tall mattress, so it probably wouldn’t work. The Side is fabulous otherwise, btw! I wish we had discovered it much sooner!

      • Reply
        October 2, 2012 at 8:11 PM

        Ok thanks for letting me know! I did order a different rail from the link you sent me initially about the slide…it’s supposed to have taller sides, but may not work for all mattress thicknesses :/ I’m sure even the one I ordered is only supposed to be used to stop a rolling baby…not a climbing toddler. 🙁 That’s just so scary and one of my greatest fears, what happened with you and Alexis. Would be HORRIBLE on our bed!

  • Reply
    October 2, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Great post! I really enjoyed reading it! My daughter had trouble sleeping EVERYTIME she learned a new skill! Haha I remember when she was learning to crawl… she was so cute… I would catch her in the middle of the night in her crib on all fours rocking back and forth with a super determined look on her face. You baby is beautiful, I’m always a little jealous of the moms with chunky babies! My daughter was born 3.5 months early and has always been tiny and skinny! LOVE your blog!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 2, 2012 at 9:38 PM

      Hahahaha I am laughing so hard right now imagining your your little girl in the middle of the night doing that! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 14, 2012 at 6:15 AM

    Love the blog make over! I’ve never commented before, only because I’m so busy… I have a little girl Charlie who is a couple of weeks younger than Lexi as well as a toddler. Charlie is very similar to Lexi doesn’t sleep well, cat naps, co sleeps. We are also doing BLW. Anyway great blog, thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 8:47 PM

    I didn’t read any of the above comments. I reread this post as I now have an 8 month old (I also have a 4 year old so I read this originally way back then) and omg, look at Lexi! What a little squish! So cute. It’s amazing how fast time flies!!!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      January 16, 2017 at 2:23 PM

      hahaha right? it;s crazy!!! Thanks for coming back and reading again! 🙂

      • Reply
        January 18, 2017 at 8:24 PM

        Of course! I remember loving your posts the first time so I definitely came back. You pretty much have my dream life – beautiful, blonde, live in Florida lol so I liked reading and living vicariously through your posts! And you introduced me to so many great brands, like b toys (love). Please don’t get rid of this old content if/when you rebrand/redo your website! 🙂

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