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Sunday, January 13, 2013

9 months under my belt.

Happy belated 9 months, little JoJo.  First, as always, pictures. 

eIMG_3719eIMG_3720eIMG_3726eIMG_3728eIMG_3738eIMG_3740We are in the midst of teething hell.  This photo session went sour very quickly.

Temperament: The happiest baby on the block?  Yep, that’s Joe.  Well, except for his 9 month baby photos.  Sweet, happy, smiles easily, laughs all the time – he’s just a true joy to be around.  And I’m not the only person who thinks this.  Random strangers comment on his disposition.  His teachers love him.  Relatives, friends, checkout cashiers at Target – everyone comments on how happy he is.  I think he’s going to be just like his dad in that respect, so yay! I think he’s cutting more teeth, so he hasn’t been as happy, but even with teeth popping out all over the place, the kid is still a trooper.

I’m very sad to say that I’m no longer nursing.  JoJo basically made the decision on his own to stop nursing, and he self-weaned when I wasn’t really expecting it.  After starting back at work and being away from him so long during the day, he just got used to bottles and enjoyed the ease of them.  I’m glad I made it to 8.5/9 months, but I’d be lying if I said I was ready to stop.  Granted, I didn’t like having to pump in the middle of the day, but I enjoyed the bonding time with him and felt proud of myself to have made it this long. 

Oh well, now my body is truly my body, and I can drink as much caffeine as I want without having to worry about keeping him up all night.  I have to keep telling myself this so I won’t be too upset about it.  He’s thriving on formula at this point (just like Anna did), putting on weight, finally growing hair.  I just don’t think my milk had enough calories or fat for him, so at least I feel like he’s in a good place. 

He eats solids about twice/day – usually carrots, squash.  We gave him some puffs, and he’s doing a great job using his pincer grasp to put the puffs into his mouth.  Although he realized he could dump the puffs out on the floor and eat them like a dog, but that’s another story for another day. 

Thanks to our wonderful, new pediatrician, my son finally sleeps through the night!  Amazing, amazing news!  At his 9 month well-baby visit, she somewhat scolded me for putting up with his sleepless shenanigans and explained, in-depth, how to sleep train.  After one night, ONE, the kid STTN.  I kid you not.  Granted, he still wakes up at least once nightly and whines, but after about 1 minute, he puts himself back to sleep.  It’s glorious.  GLORIOUS! 

I’ve moved him to his crib now, so not only does he sleep there at night, he also naps there during the day.  The kid wasn’t even napping before, but now he naps every 2 hours for an hour at a time.  The doctor explained that babies have a 90 minute cycle – wake, eat, play, sleep.  That’s it.  She says that if you watch for cues at the end of 90 minutes, you will see that your baby is tired.  So, I tried it, and she’s right.  Within 90 minutes of waking, JoJo starts rubbing his eyes, fussing more than usual, burying his head in the carpet – stuff like that. 

Edited to add:
I've had a few people contact me about how I was able to sleep train Joseph.  Here's what I wrote to a friend of mine about the methods I used per my pediatrician's instructions.

My pedi uses three different methods - the 90 minute baby sleep program, Ferber, and, um, I forgot the third. FAIL. Anyway, she says that with her own two, she was able to use different pieces of each method to find a way that works best for most.

Every 90 minutes, a baby cycles. A typical cycle would be this:


So, every 90 minutes, your child should be taking a nap. The more your child naps, the better she will sleep during the night. So, if you follow this schedule exactly, you'll notice that at the end of the 90 minutes, she will give you sleepy cues - fussy, rubbing eyes, pulling at ears, etc. Put her to bed using this method...
Turn off the lights in the room, put on a sound machine or whatever white noise machine you want, rock her and sing her favorite song or read her a book, then put her down in her crib without saying a word.
You have to make sure that you do this same exact method every time without changing anything up. Rock, sing, read, put to sleep w/o speaking.

Walk out of the room.

Give her one minute. If she fusses, go back in, rub her back or her head and walk out without saying anything. Wait three minutes. Do the same if she's still fussing. Wait 5 minutes and do the same. Wait 8 minutes, etc. Keep doing this cycle by spacing out every 3 minutes until you reach an hour. If she's not asleep within an hour, wake her up for a while more and then start it over again. Don't deviate from any of it.
You will need to give her a lovey. My pedi recommended carrying it around in your shirt for a few hours (especially if you nurse) so your smell will be on it. Once she has the lovey, she will use that in place of comfort from you.

Anyway, this is the gist of it. It worked for us in one night. Now he just goes to sleep on his own without much intervention at all. I don't even have to rock him or sing to him. He will fuss for a minute or two, but once he knows it's time to sleep, he's out. And he stays out all night. He wakes up still at 3 a.m., but he goes back to sleep within about 1 minute. And I no longer have to give him a bottle in his bed which is HUGE.
Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck!

Milestones: - He’s gone from army crawling to full-on crawling on his hands and knees. 
- He can easily pick himself up to standing if he’s holding on to something.
- He has started semi-cruising around furniture (takes one or two steps)
- He’s saying “mama” and knows it relates to me.  He’s attempting to say other words like “baba”
- He has 6 teeth and more on the way (not sure how many are popping up at this point since every time I try to feel, he nearly bites my finger off)


Health: Health-wise, Joe has been doing fairly well.  He’s still snotty and has random coughing episodes. At his 9 month well-baby visit, the doctor said that since he had a case of RSV, he will always have reactive airway disorder (I think that’s the name) where his body will go into over-drive anytime he contracts a respiratory infection and produce excess phlegm.  It’s all in his upper chest and not cause for too much concern, but she did say to keep an eye on it and give him breathing treatments if he seems to have issues breathing (which he did last night – thank God for our nebulizer). 

Other than that, he’s been doing really well. 

Head – 17 1/2” (25th percentile)
Length – 28 1/4 (50th percentile)
Weight – 19 (25th percentile)

He’s still long and lean, but given his activity level, it’s to be expected.  He’s always active and all over the place when he’s awake. 

Size: He’s wearing size 9 – 12 months clothes; 12 months pants for the length.  Size 3 diapers.  Size 3 shoes.

Activities: We celebrated Christmas this year with both kids, and it was such a blast watching Anna and Joseph play together.  I will post pics and a recap soon.

Siblings: Lots on this front this month.  Anna has kicked into jealous-overdrive and has somewhat turned against Joseph.  She still loves him, but she’s very protective of me and will step in anytime I’m trying to play with Joseph or take care of him.  She wants all of my time to be focused on her, and I’m just not sure how I can do this without neglecting Joseph.  It’s been a really hard balance trying to keep her feeling loved and still having bonding time with my baby.  I thought I was going to just by-pass the sibling rivalry at least for now, but Anna is more than making up for it lately.  How do you deal with sibling jealous/rivalry in your household?  I’m up for any suggestions here.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year.  Hopefully your year has been great! 

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