We've been placing Weeble on her belly when she's up late in the hopes that it will wear her out. During the day, she doesn't last long on her belly before complaining. But at night she revels in it - laughing whenever she makes eye contact with us and trying to drag herself around the floor. (Last night she dragged herself at least three feet over to one side and clung on to the bottom of the exersaucer - not bad for a baby who cannot crawl at all.)
So while I wait for her to become tired, I thought I'd go through a summary of the past seven months with Weeble:
From the beginning, Weeble has been a fantastic sleeper. In fact, she slept so much the first couple of months that I kept asking the doctor if she was ok. He reassured me that she was fine and that babies can vary a lot. Well, my memory of Squeakles is that he hardly slept from the moment he was born, and getting him to sleep (and to stay asleep) was always a struggle (and often still is). But Weeble seems to love to go to sleep and from the moment we let her sleep uninterrupted (without waking her up to feed her) she regularly sleeps for 10-12 hours straight. I still can't believe it.
The only "trouble" she gives us is that we have to bounce her in our arms until she falls asleep, rather than just putting her in her bed and walking away. But this is not much of a hardship since it takes ten minutes tops for her to fall asleep, and it's often under five minutes. I've never seen anyone fall asleep so quickly on a regular basis. (Well, except J. So I suppose that's where she gets it. In contrast, I need at least 20 minutes to ruminate and worry before I finally get too tired to keep thinking of new things to stress about.)
After a really difficult time breastfeeding Squeakles, I thought I was prepared to go in fighting to make this time successful from the beginning. I believed the key to avoiding supplmenting was a better latch from the beginning, fighting off any advice to supplement, and breastfeeding as often as possible (but at the same time, not waking the baby up any more than necessary). But it turns out, I might really just have a low milk supply.
I fought at this for two months straight, feeding Weeble 10-12 times a day (in spite of the fact that she slept around the clock). But by her third week, she was still losing weight! I did start supplementing her, but continued the pace of breastfeeding as if there was no supplement. Then she started gaining weight, so I was hopeful that eventually I could pull back the supplement, just as I had done with Squeakles (it had taken a few months for that to be possible, and as soon as I did it, I went back to work and couldn't keep up through pumping). Once Weeble started gaining weight, I was no longer instructed to wake her every 2-3 hours to feed and soon enough she started having about ten hours of awake time (noon to 5 pm, and midnight to 5 am). I tried to work in feedings during these times, but I suspect that the long periods without breastfeeding did not help my supply.
Through all of this, I worked to maintain a good latch, but something just wasn't quite right. It started to get painful - so painful that I thought it was thrush. My doctor, over the phone, doubted me and started me on antibiotics for mastitis. But I didn't have a fever (except when I coincidentally got sick, but that fever came and went), and when I finally went into the doctor he agreed it wasn't mastitis. But he also said it wasn't thrush. No, I had breast trauma! My nipples were extremely sore and there were blisters. That is truly as gross and uncomfortable as it sounds - no, worse, because I had to breastfeed anyway.
And yet, I fought and fought... until I lost. I went back to work right after my 8 week maternity leave was up and with pumping I simply couldn't keep up the pace I'd been doing breastfeeding. At the end of six months, I stopped breastfeeding completely because my supply had dropped to almost nothing and Weeble was resisting trying to breastfeed under those conditions.
I would say more about what a major disappointment this was for me, but I don't really want to delve into it right now, especially since there's nothing I can do about it. Instead I try to focus on the fact that we have an incredibly healthy and wonderful baby, and all the time I save being able to share feedings with other people, not having to pump at work, not having to cover myself up in order to feed the baby while I'm out, and getting to wear shirts and dresses that don't have elaborate clasps and holes to give easy access to my boobs.
We've recently started giving "solids" - so far sweet potato, carrots, and broccoli. All of these have gone down very easily. When I regain my perspective on the "lost" breastfeeding, I remember how much I enoyed (and still enjoy) making baby foods. I am hopeful that Weeble will be as willing to eat everything as Squeakles is, but could I really be so lucky?
I'm feeling particularly ambitious and want to try Brussels sprouts next.
We've switched to disposible diapers. I debated with myself for a long time over this and eventually concluded that I did not have the time to be washing out poopy diapers and covers right now. Anyway, Weeble's bum wasn't dealing well with the wetness of cloth diapers. I am also pretty sure that our babysitters are relieved not to have to clean out cloth diapers either!
Weeble certainly sits up, but needs support or nearby hands because within a few minutes she usually tips over or faceplants. (Thus her nickname.)
About three weeks ago, Weeble starting babbling, saying ba, ga, da, ta, ka, ma, fa, va, and that same weird syllable that Squeakles said - boeuv. (Rhymes with oeuf, the French word for egg.) Then a week later she stopped saying almost all of them, though ba and ma slip out from time to time. Now da is starting to come back.
Playing the Piano
We have one of those little four-key plastic pianos and when we place it on Weeble's lap, she looooooves to bang on it. Sometimes what comes out is actually almost melodic, kind of like how you get Shakespearean poetry when you have 100 monkeys typing, or something like that.
So far so good! She smiles (a lot). She's fairly easy going. (Unless you take away a toy she was really enjoying, like my old baby rattle that she was gagging herself with, then she screams with real frustration.) She enjoys watching Squeakles play, and it's very easy to get her to laugh.
Since Weeble didn't come with a set of wheels, Squeakles was pretty uninterested in her for the first few months. He didn't show any obvious jealousy either, but we do think he suffered a bit from the undivided attention he was used to. He definitely went through a whiny period which is now finally starting to get better. (At the very least, he knows he's not "supposed" to whine and he usually can stop on demand, especially if he's confident that he'll get what he's asking for if only he uses his "normal" voice.)
More recently Squeakles has started to show a little more interest in Weeble. He likes to let her pull his hair - he goes over to her and rests his head in her lap, and then says "ouchie" when she pulls it. He also imitates our baby talk to her and will gently point out her eyes, cooing "l'il baby eyes" in a high pitched voice. I absolutely need to get this on video because it's so cute.
* And of course it ended up taking me almost a week more to finish the post!