Another milestone day in TLMB household – The Baby turns five months today. I find myself on these anniversary days thinking back to what I was doing five months ago at this very time. Today, The Baby tosses in his crib, deciding whether to take a longer nap or not. Five months ago at this same time, I was being ushered into the labor room at the hospital, hoisting up my hospital gown to get a monitor belt wrapped around my improbably big, quaking belly. By the time he is going down for his next nap, five-month-ago me will be cradling his slippery body on my chest, losing my breath with the shock and beauty of him.
In celebration of five months, here are five things I am marveling at about having a five-month-old.
1. Rolling right along
The Baby has had the front-to-back roll mastered for a good long time now, but just two days ago he confidently started rolling from back to front. He has also started scooting backward on his belly, and can hold himself up in crawling position for a few wobbly seconds. This leap in coordination and core strength make him one step closer to toddling around. It’s so exciting to see him figure these things out, but seeing as we still need to unpack before we can really start baby-proofing, I’m grateful he’s still pretty good at staying in one place.
2. My hacking, cackling comedian
The Baby spends lots of time playing with his voice. While sometimes he wants to engage in a “conversation” of sorts with me or whoever is around, other times it’s clear he’s just singing to himself and doesn’t want to be interrupted. One of his favorite things to do is to make fake coughing sounds. I can’t figure out if he thinks it sounds like laughter, or what, but it definitely gets a reaction from people, and that’s his obvious goal. He’ll hack away while I’m changing his diaper or carrying him through the grocery store. When I meet his eyes, they sparkle like the punchline of a joke and we both crack up.
3. We love routines
I’ve whined and whined about short naptimes, and just in the span of a week they’ve finally started to get a little better. His appreciation of his *swaddle and dark room during naptimes means there is no hope of me getting to sleep in his carrier, or the stroller for that matter (sigh), but I’ll take a good hour and a half nap any way I can get it! He’s even started letting me (every so often) put him down in his crib with his eyes dozy and falls asleep with the weight of my hand on his chest. I know celebrating this victory publicly means he’ll probably quit napping altogether, and I also acknowledge that baby sleep is among the most boring topics imaginable, so I **promise to shut up about it for a little bit.
4. I bet I could eat more than you.
I’m not sure why I thought my pregnancy-followed-by-early-breastfeeding appetite would start to wane as the baby got bigger, but sweet cheesecake was I wrong. I wake up every morning looking about as skinny as I’ve ever been (which is a middling, sturdy figure, even still) because The Baby snacks throughout the night and I don’t. But as soon as my feet hit the floor I’m raiding the cupboards like I’ve never seen food before. Take today, for example: The Husband makes us both a smoothie before he leaves for work, so I chugged that, followed by a Peter Fox-sized bowl of cereal and a fiber granola bar. By 9:30 a.m. I had made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I ran an errand and then had a cereal bar when we got home to tide me over until The Baby’s nap when I could eat a proper lunch. For “proper lunch” I had three halves of long-ago frozen twice-baked potatoes with spinach and cheese (the last vestiges of my nesting freezer meals), along with another peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Of course I have to eat a lot… The Baby is almost 18 pounds of pure ravenous baby meat and until he starts eating solids in any significant volume, I am a walking, talking, calorie factory for him.
5. He knows what he wants
The Baby has been smiling and cooing for awhile now, but it’s just been the past few weeks that he’s started to show real preferences and reactions to the world around him… like when his dad comes home from work and he lights up, or when I take away something (like a magazine) that he’s dying to eat whole, and he gets angry. I know both ends of this spectrum will blow up as he approaches toddlerhood, and it won’t be quite so fun when he’s prostrate on the grocery store floor because I won’t let him open a box of breadcrumbs and throw it around like confetti, but right now it’s really fun to see it emerging.
*I know, he’s rolling over front to back. But not in his swaddle, yet. And I have a video baby monitor I watch all the time, so I’m not going to let him flip over in his swaddle. Don’t freak out on me, Internet.
**I do not really promise to quit complaining about baby sleep. I can’t stop myself.
Parents: What struck you about the five month mark? What does your baby do to make you laugh?
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