I can’t believe how much my daughter, Charlotte (CC), has grown and changed over the past month. Her inquisitive and observational nature is really starting to shine. She studies everything so carefully! It is such a joy for me to watch her learn and grow. Today I am sharing a monthly update on CC, including a growth progress photo collage. I also talk about what’s going on in my new Mama lifestyle.
Just in case you missed my delivery post, here are CC’s birth stats: Born December 28, 2015 // 6 lb 6 oz // 20″
CC’s Current Stats:
❊ Age – Five Months (23 weeks and 2 days to be exact)
❊ Weight & Height – 15 lb 9 oz and (about) 26.5″ (still in the 95th+ percentile for height!) – CC didn’t grow quite as much lengthwise this month as she has previously. That extra pound of weight is all cute baby rolls! She’s in size 6-9 months for all clothes now for the most part, even some 6-12 month sizes. She’s one long-waisted girl!
❊ Eat – Breastfeeding continues to go smoothly (thank goodness!). CC dropped a feed towards the beginning of her 4th month, moving to 6 feeds total with 5 during the day and one during the night. She still likes to take her time at the breast, feeding on average for 30 minutes. As she has become increasingly alert and aware of her surroundings, she is much more distractible, especially while eating. Long gone are the days when I can watch YouTube or catch up on Snapchat while nursing. I don’t mind just gazing at her sweet face instead, though. 🙂
❊ Sleep – The four month sleep regression is real! At least it was for us. I’d read about it beforehand and wondered what it would be like. I know not every baby goes through it, but it seems that many do and mine sure did. It happened almost immediately after she turned 4 months old. Before that point she was fairly predictable with her night time sleep, waking up between 4 and 5 AM for her night time feed. At four months that predictability went right out the window despite having the same general bedtime of 7:30 PM. She would wake up at any hour of the night, sometimes twice. Looking back, I think this must have had something to do with her dropping from 7 to 6 daily feeds as her body adjusted.
The naps I was so excited to see extend by the end of her 3rd month went back to short 30 minute catnaps. This was especially frustrating because I could tell that CC needed more daytime rest, especially with her more frequent night wakings. It took me almost the entire 4th month to figure out how to help her extend her daytime sleep. This only has just started to turn around now that her nighttime sleep is settling back into the old, more predictable routine. The sleep regression lasted almost the entire month and only ended when I started helping create more of a concrete routine for CC with a set bedtime and wake time. Everything in between is beginning to fall into place. I will talk more about this in her 6 month update.
I successfully weaned CC from the swaddle at the end of her 4th month. For the entire month I would test every few days by leaving one arm out to see if she was ready, but it wasn’t until right before she turned 5 months old that she finally was. I swaddled her with her non-dominant arm out for 4 days (both naps and nighttime sleep). That was a breeze for her and didn’t cause any disruptions. I then started leaving both arms out, with the Swaddle Me still secured around her chest to maintain that similar sensation. This was much tougher for her to navigate and it took four days for her to adjust. Her sleep improved greatly after I moved her to a regular sleep sack (wearable blanket).
❊ Recent Milestones – It’s incredible to spend every waking moment with CC and be able to witness her grow and learn so much every day. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! CC is more active with each passing day. She’s taken full interest in toys now and enjoys shaking rattles and bringing objects to her mouth. She can hold onto a toy in each hand and simultaneously play with and be engaged in both. She reaches up and out for what she wants to grab.
She hasn’t quite figured out how to roll over yet, but she is practicing shifting from side to side on her tummy and back. Tummy time has finally started to improve and is not such a bummer for her anymore. She now lasts in it without getting upset for up to 5 minutes at a clip. We play a game I dubbed “roly poly baby” where I help her flip from tummy to back and back to tummy. She loves it!
We’ve also started working on sitting with assistance. I noticed CC was getting more comfortable sitting upright on my lap for story and play time and even leaning forward. I started by propping her up against pillows so she was fully supported a few times a day for a few minutes. She gets the biggest smile on her face! You can tell she’s pleased with herself. She’s now graduated to sitting with just the boppy behind her, which supports her up to her mid-back. She can hang out like this for a couple of minutes at a time while playing with a toy. Such a big girl! They grow too fast!! 😭
We ended our short course of physical therapy sessions just last week since CC no longer appears to have an issue with torticollis (tightening of neck muscles). I feel confident going forward that I can continue to help CC in active playtime from what I learned from our PT. We did also see a chiropractor specializing in pediatric care for several sessions which had a huge and immediately noticeable impact on CC’s range of motion with her neck. I believe the combination of that and the therapy solved any issues she was previously having with her neck. She now easily turns her head both ways with no side preference and her head shape has rounded out. Huzzah!
We traveled with CC for the first time this past month to go to Geaux Wild in New Orleans. I had prepared myself for the worst case scenario on the plane, but CC actually did great for the most part and only got a bit bothered by the descent on our outbound flight. Keeping her happy on the plane basically meant having her latched on for the majority of the 2 hour flight, though, which wasn’t the most comfortable for me but I was happy to provide her comfort. For our next flight we’ve decided to purchase a seat for her car seat to see how that goes. I know it’s the safest way for babies to travel. We’ll see if CC is ok with it.
The trip went surprisingly well despite the lack of sleep for both mama and baby. I knew CC’s sleep would be disrupted being in a new place without the familiarity of home and our usual routine, but what I didn’t know was how well CC would be able to roll with it. She maintained her (mostly) calm and content disposition throughout the trip and in a variety of new and stimulating environments. Babywearing her everywhere definitely helped her feel more secure so I made sure to do that as often as possible when out and about. We have more travel coming up this summer and I feel much more confident with some experience behind us.
CC’s playful personality
❊ Special Moments – CC’s first giggles, at last! She’s still very selective about when she laughs, although she smiles all of the time. So far, I’ve been able to make her giggle sometimes when I’m playing “kissy monster” after she eats when I have her up on my shoulder to burp and I kiss her face all over. She’s got a tickle spot under her chin that sometimes elicits a chuckle. She also laughed heartily at one of my readings of her Sandra Boynton Doggies book where I do all the different barking sounds dogs make. She’s been working on her “party face,” as I like to call it, which is her widest grin. She lights up whenever she sees me which is the sweetest thing ever. She can go from fussing to the biggest smile in no time flat when I come in to get her from her crib. She’s also given me kisses for the first time this past month during “kissy monster” time. I *think* it’s intentional as she squeals with delight once she kisses (i.e. licks) my face. It’s so sweet I could just melt!
❊ Daddy’s Experience (in Don’s words) – Since she was born, I’ve been at a loss for words to describe the amazing joy of having Charlotte in our lives. Yet somehow, as she grows and develops with each passing day, it just keeps getting better. This past month her awareness of her environment and her ability has markedly increased, and to say that seeing her smiles and her looks of knowing when she recognizes someone or something is the best part of my day is an outrageous understatement. I had to travel for business and be away from Jen and CC for a few nights this month, but I feel very lucky so have such an amazing wife who is not only self-sufficient to take care of everything on her own with no problem, but even made sure to text me lots of pictures and videos of our little angel so I wouldn’t miss her so much. I still missed her a lot, but it helped to have a live stream of what I was missing, and it only made returning home that much sweeter 🙂
❊ Mama’s Experience – I believe that the challenges I faced and overcame as a new mama in the first two months helped make me a stronger, more confident woman. I no longer feel so new to all of this, even though every day with CC is a new adventure and unchartered territory for me. We had a few hiccups this past month, but I felt like I handled them so much better than I would have in the beginning. The sleep regression was tough to navigate as there are always so many hard to answer questions about the whys and the hows. Ultimately, it comes down to working through with trial and error and relying on my instinct. We’re finding our way with the sleep now that CC is well into her 5th month. I’ll report back next month and let you know what worked. In the meantime, I relish every moment with my sweet little girl. I can’t believe how grown up she seems to me already! It is such a joy to witness her discovering the world for the first time and be a safe harbor for her to turn to when she needs me. The way she looks at me and smiles fills me with such incredible joy. My cup runneth over, to say the least!
Check out this video if you’d like to hear more:
I hope you enjoyed CC’s five month update. Let me know if there are any other points you’d like me to cover in these posts. As always, I’d love to hear about your experiences if you care to share.
Thank you so much for all of your support and well wishes! ❤️
* This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *