Baby Middle is 5 Months Old

“The days are long, but the years are short.”

– said someone who was probably a mother

I’m not really sure how we are already at the 5 month mark.  I swear, wasn’t I just pregnant?  Wasn’t I just counting the days (weeks!) until my due date?  Wasn’t he just born?

Oh, Middle Baby.  It’s been a blur, that’s for sure.

At 5 months old, Middle is pretty darn close to 18 pounds, and he’s roughly 26 inches long.

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For those of you who don’t know, that’s a pretty big boy!

The colicky baby who seemed to scream constantly is almost a thing of the past.  While Middle can be very, very sensitive, he is mostly extremely happy.

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Our favorite thing to do with him right now is to kiss all over his tummy and make him laugh.  His chuckle is so stinkin’ cute!

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He loves to lie on his back and play with his two activity mats, but lately we have been using the exersaucer a lot more as well. We’ve already had to move it up to the tallest setting!  This is where he spends most of his time when I’m in the shower or trying to get a meal on the table.

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A typical day for Middle begins between 5am-6am.  He nurses for a really long time while Oatmeal entertains Poppyseed.  I’m usually exhausted and snoozing while he eats.  Often he naps with me in our bed, and sometimes he plays with with his dad and sister while I nap.  It just depends on how the night before went.

Poppyseed took this picture of me.  Yep, this is definitely what I look like when I wake up.  Scary.

Poppyseed took this picture of me. Yep, this is definitely what I look like when I wake up. Scary.

Another picture snapped by Poppyseed.  This time he was nursing.

Another picture snapped by Poppyseed. This time he was nursing.

Middle goes down for his first nap anywhere between 7:30-8:30am (this just depends on if he woke up closer to 5am or 6am) and sleeps for one hour.  Even if he wakes up before an hour, I will give him his paci in an effort to get him to sleep the full 60 minutes.

After that we usually try to leave the house and either run errands or go to Library Time.  I am so thankful that a library is just a half of a mile from our house.  We go twice a week so that Poppyseed can sing, dance, and play.  I use this opportunity to let Middle work on some tummy time.  I sit behind him and just watch, and once he gets tired I’ll scoop him up and let him sit in my lap.

Notice Poppyseed sitting front and center.  She will push her way to the font every time!

Notice Poppyseed sitting front and center. She will push her way to the front every time!

I have to admit that I am so that mom who just leaves her infant in pajamas all the time.  I didn’t do this with Poppyseed.  I think it’s because she was a spring baby and it wasn’t so cold when she was this age.  He just seems so much more comfy in his little fleece pajamas!

After our morning activities, we come home to eat lunch with Oatmeal and he goes down for his second nap of the day.  It’s his longest nap and it usually begins between 11:30-12:30pm.  We aim for 90 minutes of crib time.  After that we usually just play at home and I begin getting dinner ready.  He still needs a short 3rd nap, which we refer to as his “bridge nap,” around 3:45pm.  It’s never any longer than a half hour, but it really does help him make it until bedtime at 6pm.  On the days that he doesn’t get that late afternoon power nap he is SCREAMING for sleep by 5pm!

So, I’m pretty sure he has begun teething.  He’s always loved to suck on his fingers, but lately it seems like everything goes to his mouth.  He also drools constantly.  Poppyseed didn’t get any teeth until she was 10-11 months old, so we’ll see what happens with him.

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A rare day of wearing real clothes.

A rare day of wearing real clothes while hanging out with Granddaddy.

I wish I could say that we have figured out the sleeping issues, but we are still on the hunt for a solution.  We have tried everything – and I do mean everything – that we can think of.   Allow me to rattle off a list of what has gone on in order to help Middle sleep…

  • a schedule that we set up pretty early in his infancy (2-3 months) where we spread feedings out to 2.5 hours and attempted to keep naptimes consistent
  • allowing him to sleep in his swing for the first 3-4 months of life
  • lots and lots of swaddling
  • lots and lots of returning the paci to him.  And then trying to just break the paci habit.
  • a few torturous nights of letting him cry in order to let him learn to go to sleep on his own (when it seemed nothing we were doing was working)
  • nursing him before bed, and then offering him a 6oz bottle of pumped milk in order to rule out hunger
  • sound machines
  • essential oils
  • trying for a few weeks to let him sleep swaddled on his back in his crib – this was a disaster.
  • earlier bedtimes.  later bedtimes.
  • more naps. less naps.
  • a frantic email to a sleep consultant at 3 months, followed by a Skype meeting and implementing a schedule to follow between 3 and 4 months.
  • another Skype session at 4 months because the schedule wasn’t working at all, immediately followed by a very intense 10 day sleep “bootcamp” of sorts.  During that ten day period he slept on his belly, unswaddled, in his crib.  We reported everything to the sleep trainer – each feeding, each nap, each wake time, literally EVERYTHING.  She told us exactly what to do and we simply followed her guidelines as if we were robots.  I truly thought that 10 days of militant, hardcore consistency would solve our problem.  I was wrong.  It got worse.  He went from sleeping 4 hours after we put him to bed and waking every 1-2 hours, to sleeping only 2 hours after we put him to bed and waking every 30 minutes-2 hours.  The supposed sleep expert told me that he had to have an underlying medical problem.  And frankly, I have to agree with her.  I simply do not believe that a 5 month old baby wakes 4-8+ times a night simply because he is “difficult.”  There has just got to be something going on!
  • I took him to his doctor to see if she would diagnose him with reflux.  She said he does not seem to have reflux, and simply called him “an outlier.”
  • We then had him evaluated by a chiropractor who specializes in families and children.  He immediately noticed that Middle hates to turn to the left and performed an adjustment to loosen him up.  That was actually really cool because Middle appeared to be more comfortable immediately, and he will even nurse on my right side now!  He always refused my right side because it meant turning his head to the left.
  • We made a trip to the naturopathic doctor in Houston who has cared for Poppyseed and Oatmeal in the past.  She gave us a few things to try as well.  Fingers crossed.
  • Beginning a few days ago, we just decided to put him back in his swing and see if that helps him sleep for more than 2 hours at a time.  It seems to help about half of the time.  There are plenty of nights were I realize I’ve trudged across the house 6 or 7 times before midnight, and on those nights I usually just take him up to the guest room and let him sleep with me.  It’s not much better, but it’s better than all of the back and forth.
  • I am taking him to a pediatric ENT in the Houston medical center this Tuesday, for no other reason than I just want to rule things out!

I will admit that the last two days have been very slightly better.  He slept for 4 hours in his swing each night.  4 hours of consecutive sleep is BIG for him, y’all!  It’s hard to say if this is a result of him being back in the swing, on his new homeopathic remedy from our naturopath, or because yesterday he was treated by the chiropractor.

Trying to sleep while swaddled on his back.

Trying to sleep while swaddled on his back.

Trying to sleep on his tummy, with a little help from Oatmeal.

Trying to sleep on his tummy, with a little help from Oatmeal.

Snoozing in our bed on one of those nights that I just. give. up.

Snoozing in our bed on one of those nights that I just. give. up.

Taking a power nap in my arms after a day of bad sleep.

Taking a power nap in my arms after a day of bad sleep.  Oh, and real men use hand-me-down purple pacifiers from their sister.  It’s true.

One perk is that he falls asleep in his carseat easily!

One perk is that he falls asleep in his carseat easily!

Getting evaluated by the chiropractor.

Getting evaluated by the chiropractor.  “No, no, don’t make me look to the left!”

And then getting adjusted by the chiropractor.  "This isn't so bad if I can teethe on my dad's finger."

And then getting adjusted by the chiropractor. “This isn’t so bad if I can teethe on my dad’s finger while he straightens me out!”

I have to admit that this entire sleeping challenge has really humbled me as a mother.   When Poppyseed was born I put her on a very strict schedule from Week 1 of her life.  It was a huge struggle for the first month and took a lot of time and effort.  It was emotionally draining, inconvenient, and taxing for both of us during those first few weeks and months.  She was by no means an easy baby, but I was very stubborn and stuck to my guns.  I did it because I really truly believed that my consistency would turn her into a good sleeper, and it did!  A few months of struggle in the very early days turned her into a great little snoozer.  I was so proud that I took a baby who absolutely had to be held in order to sleep, and turned her into a child that could be set down by any caregiver and sleep soundly.  Because she slept so well at night, I didn’t even have to really worry too much about naps.  She was happy and rested, and as a result we were always able to be so flexible.  As long as she got to bed at 7pm on most nights, we were golden!  That experience made me really believe that a baby’s ability to sleep is a direct result of parenting.  And to be honest, I do think that is true of 95% of babies.  But God knew I needed to be put in my place, so he gave me a baby from the other 5%.  Sigh.

Despite my being very tired, I do love my little outlier.  He is the most precious and sweet baby boy that I have ever met.  If I could keep him this small forever, I would.

I had Oatmeal take this picture of us tonight, just so that we would have some type of record of his 5 month mark.

IMG_7860I hope that this post didn’t bore anyone.  I am so thankful that I began blogging before my babies were born, because the ability to go back and read all about their lives and milestones in such detail is amazing!

Here is the post I wrote about Poppyseed when she was 5 months old.

And here is a super cheesy video of me smooching my son in an effort to get him to giggle.  Baby giggles are the BEST!!

Wish us luck at the ENT on Tuesday.  I will get to the bottom of this if it’s the last thing I do!

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Comments

  1. Time fly’s when you are having fun right? I remember when I had babies and one of the quotes that stuck with me….
    Cleaning and dusting can wait for tomorrow,
    For babies grow up, we have learned to our sorrow,
    So quiet down cob webs, and dust go to sleep,
    I’m rocking my baby, cause babies don’t keep.
    Laura, you look like a super model in all of the pictures you post on this blog! You are doing an amazing job raising your sweet babies!!!

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