My baby girl turned 6 months this month. Like many moms, I’m quite emotional about it. Mostly because I’m a working mom and full-time student and I’m gone most weekdays, all day. Between my husband and I, I’m gone out of the home the most. I dedicate the evenings and nights with baby and all weekend, though; waking up for her feeds and doing her activities with her in the mornings and weekends. Looking through her photos since her birth, I haven’t missed any of her milestones, I’ve guided baby through her first foods, started sign language, play piano, and read books. I’ve taken her outside to enjoy walks and shopping. I miss being with her during the days but spend every moment I can with her when I’m not working. We are very lucky to have a nanny as part of our family. Her support and respect for how I want my home and how I want my baby raised is great. She is truly a match for our family.
Even though I’m a full-time student and working mama, I consider myself an around-the-clock mama. Managing home and baby takes priority. Lots of communication to nanny and hubs is important. I am certainly involved when I’m not home and hands-on when I am home.
The first six months have truly been wonderful for us. My baby has blossomed and is growing so fast. My husband and I have learned so much and baby continues to teach us about life as parents. I admit that even as a pediatric nurse, parenting was a whole new concept for me. The first month was tough as we all try to get to know each other. Even my husband and I had different identities. We weren’t the independent selves that we were before our wedding and the spontaneous couple we were after our wedding. Time and space was now valuable and planned.
One of my challenges the first few months as a mom was definitely breastfeeding. I had my heart set on breastfeeding and started within the first hour of delivery. We did great with the education we received from lactation consultants at the hospital. We were only in the hospital a few days and I was proactive in feeding her every 2 -3 hours. I didn’t wait for baby to cry to feed her and we practice the same concept now. In addition, we did lots of skin to skin. I really wasn’t familiar with the do’s and dont’s of breastfeeding other then making sure baby is fed frequently. I knew on average, babies lose 5- 10% of their birth weight within the first week. And luckily baby only lost 7%. Our breastfeeding issues began with the first feeding at home. Her latch was great but my nipples were bleeding and cracked and lots of crying and stress from me. A lactation consultant came and helped us through it for the first month. I highly recommend taking advantage of the hospital consultants and/or research for a breastfeeding workshop in your area. We appreciated our lactation consultant but she was $500 for one visit. After that visit, I went to a few workshops in the area for $30. I breastfed for exactly 3 months. I tried to pump at work and take Fenugreek but we still supplemented baby’s feeding with formula. She adapted well with interchanging of bottle and breast. When my baby turned 3 months, I weaned her off the breast and moved baby to the crib all in the same weekend. She did great. I think it was harder for me. However, I missed baby so much while I was at work, I put a twin bed next to her crib and we slept next to each other. That setup evolved to a Montessori bed/nursery (future blog). Our family is absolutely comfortable and happy with co-sleeping with the Montessori bed. It definitely works for us.
Baby continually grows through the months and steadily gains weight and gets longer. She has 2 teeth and is very social. She’d been eating solids since 4 months old and loves avocados. She’s a happy baby and doesn’t cry much. She’s very verbal and loves her family and nanny. My husband and I share home and baby responsibilities. Everyday baby teaches us something new and we love watching her grow and learn. We are teaching her simple sign language, reading books, working on crawling, and she watches us cook and clean in the kitchen.
We look forward to the next 6 months and sharing our times.