Maddie is 6-months old today, so it’s time for another letter for the Letters to Maddie series.
Wow, I can’t believe that we are already to the halfway mark for your first year! Other parents warned us about how fast that time flies, but we didn’t quite “get it” until we experienced it for ourselves. You’re changing at a rapid pace, and you’re learning new things quite quickly. This month, we stayed close to home and you had a visit from your North Carolina grandparents. You have also been spending some time visiting with grandparents on the webcam. Your grandparents love to see you perform your baby tricks for them!
There is no doubt that you are on the move now! You have been officially crawling pretty much since my last letter. Your crawling has evolved from a very awkward pull-flop-pull-flop-faceplant-pull-flop method to a quick one-knee-after-another-hey-this-is-really-crawling method. You continue to amaze your daycare teachers, friends, and family with your advanced gross motor skills. Not too long after you started crawling, you mastered getting to a sitting position and sitting fairly stably on your own in just a few days. You still wobble over from time to time, but you can now easily get yourself from your back to your belly and then into a sitting position in a matter of seconds. Holding a toy with both hands while sitting is no problem for you!
Your latest development is pulling yourself up to a standing position. I have heard that most babies don’t start to attempt this until around 8 months. You started around 5 and a half months. You’re keeping us on our toes, that’s for sure! It’s so fun to watch you figure out how to do things. When trying to pull up onto your activity table, for example, you seem to be calculating how close you need to be before you can successfully pull yourself up into a standing position. We try to entice you by pushing buttons to make music and placing interesting toys on the table. You LOVE to stand, whether you are doing it all by yourself or whether we are holding your hands as you stand and bounce. Everyone is convinced that you’ll be an early walker! Your fearless stuntwoman attitude makes your mommy very nervous! You have had your fair share of falls, but most of the time hitting your head on the floor again and again does not seem to phase you. I have thought about getting you a little baby helmet, but I’m sure you wouldn’t like that too much!
You have finally started to spend a little bit of time in your crib. You sometimes take hour or two naps in your crib, though sometimes we just hold you when you fall asleep in our arms. We stopped using the bassinet since you were starting to crawl. We were hoping that maybe you would sleep more comfortably once we moved you to the crib. We have had several friends say that their babies magically started sleeping through the night once they moved them to their own room. This was not the case with you! The longest you have slept in the crib at one time is just under 3 hours. On an average night, you sleep in the crib for less than 2 hours. We have spent hours trying to get you back into the crib, but you seem to have a sixth sense. We can rock you in the glider until you are completely fast asleep. As soon as we approach the perimeter of your crib, you start crying. Sometimes we make it to the crib, and then less than a minute later you start your protests. In the past week, we have been able to get you back to sleep after your first awakening once or twice. You are almost always done with the crib by the time Mommy and Daddy are ready for bed.
We have accepted this arrangement, and we are enjoying your sweet cuddles. You seem to be so happy to be close to Mommy for the majority of the night. Waking up to your huge grins is one of the best things in the world. Last weekend, you even let us sleep until 9:30am! That is so much better than when you used to wake us up bright and early at 5am. You have developed a very strong bond with your Mommy. When I come over to the daycare to nurse you, I am greeted with the biggest smiles and excited, happy noises. You are thrilled when I sit or lay on the floor with you to play, and you will crawl across the entire room to be right next to me. I have to say that being a Mommy is pretty incredible these days.
Since we have returned from our Gatlinburg trip, we have not done too much with solid foods. Your doctors felt that the solid foods weren’t necessary quite yet. I still plan to nurse you for at least your first year. This evening, you had carrots for the first time! I think you liked it much better than the yucky rice cereal.
This month, you have really started laughing. We can’t quite predict what gets you giggling, but once we hit upon something funny we try to repeat it until you’re bored. Usually, we can get you going for a little bit before you tire of our games. Daddy was able to make you giggle with the game, “I’m gonna eat your leg” and then Mommy got some chuckles from “Where’s Maddie? Peek-a-boo!” The first time you really laughed hard was at your boyfriend Paolo. You and Paolo had a playdate, and he was shaking one of your toys. You thought that this was hilarious! Mommy and Daddy tried shaking the same toy, but you just didn’t think that was funny. Twice now you’ve thought that your little stuffed lamb was quite funny. Sometimes you laugh at your Mommy at random.
Keeping you safe is getting to be a bigger challenge every day. It seems that our favorite phrase around the house these days is “not for babies!” You would much rather play with the laptop power cords, the dvd player, or the wires behind the TV than your baby toys. You’re fascinated with the TV remote and anything with little buttons. We let you play with the cable remote, but we try to keep the rest of our toys out of your reach.
I can’t believe how much you have been changing each month. You’re getting quite social and frequently grace others with your friendly smiles. Your Aunt Kristin came by for a visit tonight, and she was impressed with your changes. It’s amazing to watch you grow. We’re still taking photos of you every single day, though Mommy is quite behind on sorting through them all. You’re an incredible baby, and we are excited to see what each month brings. We love you more than you realize.
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