5 months and counting

Sweet Claire,

Last month was a hard one for us. I think your little gums were sore from the teeth trying to poke their way out. You stopped taking a pacifier, which was wretched for nap time. For about a month I couldn’t figure out what to do when I put you down. It was always a gamble to see if you’d quickly go to sleep, cry for a while and then settle, or scream until the end of time. Nothing seemed to click with you, and I came to the end of my rope a number of times… giving in to nurse you, hold you, or just close that door. I know consistency is important – but I couldn’t find anything to be consistent WITH… for a number of weeks.

And then I remembered that you are a baby, and you probably need a lot of help to go to sleep, and I’m not going to listen to the warnings about whatever it is parenting experts warn about – because you need to sleep. So, as any sleep deprived parent would do, I finally submitted to your way… which right now means lots of cuddles before putting you down, walking around the house a few times with a little blankie and talking about sleep, making sure you’re well fed (which is tough right now because you are ready for solids – for another paragraph), and putting you tummy down in a dark room. If that doesn’t work, we pick you up after a few minutes, give you a snuggle, and put you down. And repeat. Until you eventually drift. It’s quite a bit of work but so far it’s the only thing that seems to do the trick. We’ve honestly tried the whole cry-it-out thing to see if that’s what you need, but girl. You could scream for HOURS if we let you. And we won’t let you. So pick up – put down, walk around… Currently this gives you the best chance for a nice nap. I’m sure tomorrow you’ll change on us.

Speaking of change – hello solids! After waking up too many times to count to a ravenously hungry girl and watching you grow increasingly jealous at meal times, we plopped you in the bumbo and fed you some rice cereal. You ate it all. CHOW. HOUND. You LOVE it! As soon as I make my way to the store we’ll introduce some pears, maybe some oatmeal. Right now it’s just rice cereal once a day, and guess what?! You’re sleeping better at night. Nine hours even one night! Oh sweet heavens it’s miraculous.

By the way, you’re huge. You’ve fit into 6 month clothes for a couple months now but sometimes I force the 3-6 months clothes because it’s sad to me that you pretty much skipped that size. Right now the 6 months clothes fit you – but on the small size. And I JUST switched all your clothing.

You and your sister are quite the pair. You’ve decided that you love her. When she enters a room – your eyes don’t leave her frame. If she leaves a room, you’ve been known to put up a fuss. You still like your space, but you love to smile and laugh at your sister, which is why having two is AWESOME.

Some quick funnies:

I recently changed a diaper that you filled for five minutes straight. I even put a picture on facebook – though that picture was TAME compared to what was really going on. Your daddy was SO proud of you. You pretend to talk all the time. Sometimes you have parties in the middle of the night and invite everyone to join, but for some reason Claire, the response has been NO. Maybe it’s a timing issue? And finally, you should know that your sister thinks you are HER baby to boss around, feed (yes – you’ve even spit out goldfish crackers when mom wasn’t looking), clean, and discipline. She still calls you “Cares” and if you’re screaming in the car seat she’ll start by saying, “aw it’s ok Cares. Don’t cry. Poor baby. It’s ok!” and after enough time has passed she’ll start saying, “that’s enough Cares. OK CARES OK.” Wonder who she gets that from…

Claire, sleep issues and all, you’re a beauty and a sweetheart. We adore you. All of us. Thanks for being such a great part of this family.

Love,

Mama

p.s. – you’re actually 5 and a half months right now. Again – a few weeks late. Oh well.

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