Baby Disclosed · Beauty In All Things

Carter’s First 6 Months

Carter's First 6 Months

I cannot believe our little Bubs is 6 months old!  Every time I sit down to write this post, and finish my 3 month update so you guys can see how things have changed, some thing happens! Bubs needs me, it’s time to start dinner, or yet another work emergency has happened. But this time I’m here, and so excited to share an update.

Someone once said to me, “the days are long, but the months and weeks are SO fast” and that could not be more true. Day by day, we soak up every memory (there are so many fun firsts from 3-6 months), and then before we know it another month or three has gone by! Despite the inevitable up’s and down’s I’ve made sure not to wish any moment away, because you blink, and they’re already gone. I feel like it was just yesterday I was pregnant!

I’ve gotten a lot of questions, and asked even more, so wanted to round up all that has gone on the past three months. From teething, to feeding (and introducing solids), to sleeping (transitioning from the SNOO to crib) , to development, I’m breaking it all down here for you guys! Much of this, and TONS of advice from my First 3 Months post, came from my little #MomTribe. These are the people I go to for all questions, and man, it is absolutely critical to have a group you can call, text, or reach out to with all things big and small.

Let me begin by saying that we ALL parent differently. There is no right or wrong way, and the below is just what worked for us. I’m sure with baby #2 we’ll adopt some new things, because every baby is different and who knows that will work then. So take this for what it’s worth, and hopefully it helps a few of you! I’m also here if anyone has questions. Feel free to comment or DM on Instagram. So, here we go- all things feeding, sleeping, teething, and development!

Feeding:

Carter's First 6 Months

I want to cover a few things here- weaning from breastfeeding/pumping, bottle feeding, and starting solids. I wrote more about my breastfeeding journey in the 3 Month Update, so check that out if you need tips. ALSO, for a lot of this we combined two methods to create one that worked for us- Moms on Call, and Twelve Hours by Twelve Weeks. Highly recommend both, and more so, recommend taking what works for you, your family, and your baby from each.

Weaning from Breastfeeding/Pumping

Ours was a bit of a weird situation here. We were traveling to Peru for a wedding when Carter turned 4 months old, so I knew from the beginning, that I was going to stop breastfeeding at this time. What I didn’t know was how complicated and confusing the process would be. On top of that, I had added pressure because I had to be done by the day we left (though I brought my Elvie portable pumps just in case). I also needed to nail this transition so that I didn’t get mastitis in a foreign country (I had my OBGYN call in meds just in case).

So onto how I did this. To note, it was both frustrating and confusing. BUT, I had a great lactation consultant (we love you Lisa!), and she made a customized plan for me to wean, given the above circumstances. I highly recommend having an LC, and most allow you to reach out as much as you need throughout your breastfeeding journey. I can share the full schedule, but the summary was this- every 3-4 days I would drop a pumping/breastfeeding session. So If I was doing 10 sessions a day, I dropped to 9, to 8 etc. You can also do this by extending the time between each session. So if at the 10x a day you breastfed at 7am and pumped at 9am, you would stretch until 10am, then 11am, etc (stretching longer after 3-4 days). When I got down to 2-4x per day I did feel engorged. My LC said to pump for a few minutes if I felt super uncomfortable, but try to limit this as much as possible, as whenever you pump/feed it signals your body to make more milk.

I felt weirdly sad about stopping breastfeeding. I worked SO hard to have a solid supply for my parents to feed C on our trip, and there was something special about that time we had just he and I. So, I wrote a little note on the last bag of milk I produced and I took a video to remember the last time. Call me weird, but it’s a memory I wanted to remember. So point being, it’s ok to feel emotional. I definitely did, so let yourself have a cry if you need, but most of all be so proud for what you were able to accomplish.

Introducing Formula

So I PROMISED myself I was not going to go down the formula rabbit hole. I knew this was a highly debated topic, that would require a ton of research, and I swore to myself I was not going to do it. But, of course, I did. I did the research, the cost comparison, made a spreadsheet, the whole nine. It was too much. I definitely recommend finding a Pediatrician who will help you with this. Ours in NY used Similac, and plenty of my #MomTribe used this and Enfamil too, but a few others used the European Formula. Whatever you decide will be GREAT for your baby. For me the most important thing was that the European formula is said to be the most like breastmilk. They also have much stricter regulations on ingredients like high fructose corn syrup in formula, and thus, I felt better about this choice.

I ultimately decided on HIPP Dutch Organic (the Dutch version specifically was the best choice for me as it is the only one that has probiotics and doesn’t contain starch, though the UK/German are a fine substitute if out of stock). I will say, you can’t buy this in the US and it goes out of stock often, so highly recommend ordering 3-6 cans at a time. We have used Mommy Formula, Organic Start/Wholesale, Huggable, and Formulaland as suppliers and all have been great. Here are the Avent Naturals bottles we use and love!

C eats 4 bottles per day (7 scoops of HIPP Dutch + 7.5oz of water to equal around 8.5oz per bottle) and has done so based on the Twelve Hours by Twelve Weeks approach. The thought here is that in order for the baby to sleep through the night, they eat every 4 hours during the day. We have this Baby Brezza Formula Maker in NYC and have heard great things, but havent been able to use it!

Also, for constipation (C would sometimes go every 2-3 days!) we were told by our Pediatrician to check out Wellements Constipation and 100% Apple Juice (without concentrate, 1-2oz to start). Both of these helped, but what helped the most was the introduction of solids (fruits and veggies)!

Solids

I’ll say it! I was so nervous to start solids, due to being displaced in FL, not having our things, etc. but I’m so glad we did! Our Pediatrician said that as long as these three criteria were met, we were good to start. For us, this started around 5 months, but they say anywhere from 4-6 months is ok, again pending the below.

To start solids, ensure your baby can sit upright (with some assistance), seems interested and willing to chew, and has lost the tongue-thrust reflex (where babies will push solids out with their tongue).

To start we decided, at least for now, to make and freeze the baby food. It’s healthy, easy, and cost effective. I’m using my parents food processor or mashing with a fork, but love this Beaba Baby Food Maker. We purchased this book for all the baby food inspo and these glass storage jars, after our Pediatrician recommended skipping the traditional rice cereal (he noted it was fine to give whole single grain oatmeal) but he suggested going straight to fruits/veggies so we did. I love theese bowls from Bella Tunno and these from Target. And love these Bella Tunno Plates. We have these Bella Tunno spoons and these “pre-spoons” for babies to start feeding themselves . These Bella Tunno Bibs are the best, they’re so easy to clean! We sit Bubs in his Bumbo Seat, or his Baby Bjorn bouncer and voila! Solids are served!

C took to them almost immediately, opening his mouth right away for avocado (which we tried first, sweet potato second). We kept smiling so he saw our positive reactions and kept a wet cloth nearby. For the early stages babies main nutrients still come from breastmilk/formula so solids are just to get them introduced to different flavors and textures. We tried one food (single ingredient) for 3 days to make sure he’s not allergic and then you can introduce a new one!

Also, for moms just starting solids, we love this little silicone feeder (we freeze veggies or fruit on the inside and it helps with teething too! I’ve been told you should start introducing a sippy cup, when starting solids. Here is the Four Moms High Chair we also have in NYC, and here is the portable high chair we purchased for restaurants! Lastly, with solids, our Pediatrician mentioned it would be good to start brushing Bubby’s teeth. We bought this finger toothbrush, this regular toothbrush, and this all natural toothpaste!

I love Lucie’s List for all things baby advice, check out her article here for more details on starting solids!

Sleeping

So I will start by saying, we LOVED the SNOO. There are some people who don’t, but we credit much of C sleeping through the night at around 7-8 weeks to this magical bassinet. We planned to transition out of the SNOO around 4 months. However, we got stuck in FL without his crib so postponed this likely a lot longer than we should have.

We did start taking his arms out of the SNOO around 14 weeks. We did one arm first (the SNOO sack has arm holes!) for about a week, and then moved to both arms out. This was around 4 months, so there was a bit of sleep regression happening at the same time. And with this, we moved C into the room right next to ours. I felt comfortable with this a) because of the SNOO. I knew he was strapped in and safe. And b) because of the Owlet smart sock + camera/monitor. The Owlet works with the SNOO (Nanit, Miku do not), and it measures heart rate and blood oxygen level. This kept me sane knowing we had these extra precautions, especially during COVID. The SNOO also has a weaning feature that you can turn on around 2 weeks before moving to crib. Most people start with crib for naps and SNOO for night as they transition, but we just did it cold turkey when the crib arrived.

Given everything we own is in FL, we had to buy another crib (this is the best affordable portable/folding crib I’ve found to keep at my parents), new sheets (love these muslin sheets as C is a tummy sleeper, they get softer with each wash), a new Nested Bean Sleep Sack, another White Noise Machine, and another Newton crib mattress (the only fully breathable crib mattress/toddler bed. I believe in this so much, I now own two. You cannot put price on safety and peace of mind). I also wanted to link this Burts Bees Cheek Balm if your tummy sleepers cheeks are getting red like C, from drooling in the night. We’ve used this Mustela Stelatopia cream as well for any face ailments and love it.

We officially moved him out of the SNOO at just over 5 months, and the first night he cried a few times. But since then, he has done great, and seems happy to be in a bigger space with more freedom. Since Bubs was rolling over by this time, we skipped the Merlin’s Sleep Suit (which we too own in NYC), but in theory we would have gone from SNOO to Merlin’s in crib around 3.5-4 months and then to Nested Bean when he started rolling.

Sleep Regression

As I mentioned, at around 4 months we did have a bit of sleep regression. C was also teething at this time, so I’m sure that contributed to it. He would wake up around 4am and we would put a paci (we use these) in his mouth and then go to the other room (hence this started us, inadvertently, moving him to a different room. We continued to follow Twelve Hours by Twelve Weeks principles and after a week or so, he was over it.

Bedtime Routine

When C was allowed to take a bath as a newborn, we had a more regimented routine, outlined in the First Three Months post. Now, things are a little more flexible, given we’re not at home, and trying to make it work in quarantine. During that 4 month regression time, we were extra focused on our bedtime routine. Ours starts around 6:30. We do a quick bath, lotion, jammies, and bottle. Then we read a book. C usually gets pretty tired, but we’ll definitely put him down awake. We don’t want train him to go to bed fully asleep. It’s important for him to self-soothe in the crib. We also use this white noise machine while he sleeps. We also keep the room dark. While living in our nomad state, we’ve found that this really matters for his sleep!

Teething

Let’s talk teething! Carter got his teeth SUPER early. He is in the 97 percentile for height, and our Pediatrician said that will often correlate to babies getting teeth earlier. His bottom two teeth came in at 14 weeks and his top two teeth at about 16 weeks. He was full of drool, and you could tell his little mouth was in pain. After polling my #MomTribe and doing some research of my own, I gathered the following helpful items. For the first two teeth, he was not SUPER bothered, but the top teeth were a different story.

Here are a few of the things we loved!

Development

Given we’ve been displaced for quite sometime, we’ve had to buy everything new. We did a post here on the books that C is loving (linking here to shop them all). We’ve also purchased a few grow with me toys that he has loved. Most all can be found on Amazon! We also love The Wonder Weeks book + app for great developmental milestones!

Bath Time

So bath time has definitely changed for us as C has gotten older! Here is what has been helpful during the 3-6 month (and a few things slightly beyond).

Sample Eating/Playtime/Sleeping Schedule at 6 months

I wanted to give you guys a full sample schedule here. Hoping this helps!

  • 6:30-7am Wakeup (we leave C in his crib until then)
  • 7am Bottle (8.5oz bottle)
  • 7:30am Music Time (love our Baby Bjorn bouncer)
  • 8am Jumper/Activity Center (love this collapsable one from SkipHop)
  • 8:20am Floor Time (love this Lovevery Play Gym + Water Tummy Time Mat)
  • 8:45am Book Time
  • 9am Nap #1 (goal is a 2 hour nap)
  • 11am Bottle (8.5oz bottle)
  • 11:30am Jumper/Activity Center
  • 12pm Solid Meal (loves avocado + sweet potato right now!)
  • 12:30 Music Time
  • 12:50 Book Time
  • 1pm Nap #2  (goal is a 2 hour nap)
  • 3pm Bottle (8.5oz bottle)
  • 3:30 Jumper/Activity Center
  • 4pm Practice Sitting, Singing, Crawling
  • 5pm Solid Meal
  • 5:30 Cat Nap (1 hour max, usually 30 mins or sometimes none!)
  • 6pm Floor Time
  • 6:30pm Bath Time
  • 7pm Bottle (8.5oz bottle with 5 Gerber vitamin-d drops)
  • 7:15pm Book Time
  • 7:30 Bed Time

ALSO- given we’re stuck in FL, we’re still using the Doona for carseat and stroller and it is simply amazing. Especially for travel, and I highly recommend!

Check out my Pregnancy Journey, our Hospital Bag Must Haves, Carter’s Birth Story, and the First Three Months for more baby reading, tips, and advice!

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