During this month, we packed up our family and moved to another major city in China! This is the 3rd major city our little one has lived in…in just 6 short months. What a life! :)

 

Baby An: 5 months- 6 months old

Timeline and Milestones:

July 8, 2012- 22 weeks old: We arrived back in our city ready to start the packing process for our big move.

July 18, 2012- 23.5 weeks old: Little bit celebrated her big sister’s birthday with our family for the first time. Little Evie came over and the girls played until they could play no more! They absolutely love having that sweet girl over :)

July 20, 2012- 24 weeks old: Our girl spent the night away from mommy for the very first time! Mommy sure did miss her a lot, but she had so much fun getting some one on one girl time with her Auntie Steph (who she misses so much!)

July 25, 2012- 24.5 weeks old: Sweet baby was carried on board a plane to the 3rd major city in China that she would live in. She is such a trooper and always goes with the flow! And we love her for it, of course!

August 4, 2012- 26 weeks old: On her 6th month birthday, little An said her first word (other than little mumbles) and it was MAMA!! I couldn’t believe it at first, but she followed me around the house all day reaching up wanting me to pick her up. What a feeling!! It’s an amazing thing…being a mommy!

 

What we learned:

Our girl loves to move! We could not keep her still this month! There were seriously several times that Mark and I walked in a room to find she had toppled over the bumbo trying to escape and has rolled off the bed…oh..1 or 5 times..while I wasn’t paying attention. Don’t worry people…She’s fine!  She also started scooting (when she can’t scoot she literally rolls to things lol) around the house on that pudgy little belly of hers.

I love her energy, but why do I feel like she’s going to be a hard one to keep up with?!? :)

Last month, I shared that our little one loves to play, and she has only proved to get more and more playful as the days go on. This month, she figured out to blow spit bubbles (which she thinks is absolutely HILARIOUS!) and could watch her big sister play all day.

An An is still not quite getting the whole baby food thing. This month she tried bananas, but being the diva that she is, she wasn’t very impressed.

She also officially hit the attached age. There’s not much we can do since we don’t have many babysitters on this side of the world, so this month she started crying for mommy every time she saw her! I will admit, while it was exhausting, I liked it….just.a.teeny.bit. She also started reaching out her arms for mommy and daddy which is always a heart melter for any parent!

All in all…She’s a good baby (I’m biased of course) and always happy to be around people :)

Actually the Chinese families in our neighborhood are always commenting on how happy and obedient both the girls are…

The number one thing I get asked is…

How in the world did you get your girls to sleep through the night and in another room at that?!!?

Most Chinese families have their children sleep in their bed with them until they are 5 years old or more, and they almost never sleep through the night before they start school. So they are always curious about how my girls have their own bedroom and shocked when I tell them they sleep 8-10 hours a night at 6 months.

But I know many of my American friends have had the same question!

I usually recommend the book Babywise to my friends and family who are looking for something to read, but honestly, my “infant parenting” style is much easier.

 

What I do:

I worked with infants for 2 years before becoming a mother and learned the definite DOs and DON’Ts that I would use for our family.

Here’s the DO’S:

Feed on a flexible schedule. Aim for every 3 hours. If baby is hungry at 2.5 feed them or 3.5 feed them, but have a schedule that you aim at. It’s just giving them routine from an early age, and I truly believe children are happier and more well behaved with a happy, flexible routine!

Put baby down for naps. Often times, new mothers (and I’ve been here with An since having so many years between her and her big sister) don’t think about baby being tired when they cry. They automatically reach for the bottle thinking it’s hunger. I try to keep a routine so that if it’s only been an hour since baby ate…I usually gather that the cry is due to gas pains or being tired, and I put baby down for a nap. When keeping several babies at a time, I depended on naps to get everyone taken care of. But when taking care of one baby, sometimes I just forget they don’t have to be held all the time sometimes they just need a nap!

Give baby plenty of tummy time! This helps wiggle out gas and help build strength in the neck and back. I aim for at least 30 min to an hour of tummy time spread throughout the day

Get baby out of the room. My goal is usually to have baby sleeping through the night by 6 weeks. That is also my goal for getting baby into their own room in their own beautiful crib that we Americans spend so much money on ;) lol

My DON’Ts:

Don’t feed every time they cry. Tummy troubles in infants are very very common and they will many times confuse them with hunger pains which causes them to eat, eat, eat, and then cry, cry, cry due to more tummy troubles. Try other things first starting with diaper check, swaddling for a nap, holding baby, or gas drops/gripe water etc.

Don’t hold baby too much. Just make sure they get plenty of tummy and play time!

Don’t WORRY so much about keeping a tight schedule. Enjoy your baby, kiss them non stop, hug them all day long, aim at a good routine and be flexible!

 

That’s it! That’s my list! And really my babies have been so content it amazes me! I’ve never had to do a lot of extra discipline during the early years using these methods which makes me stick to them more! I have never liked hearing babies cry so “cry it out” methods and other forms like that would just never work for me :)

In my (definitely not a professional) opinion babies need routines. They are happy when they are taken care of. And not just babies, my preschooler is so much more well behaved when we stay on a routine and she’s not running around like a crazy kid with nothing to do…I’m even less stressed and happier when keep a routine! It’s good for everyone!

BUT this is JUST what works for our family. EVERYONE has their own opinion and I won’t argue with anyone about them!

I have just been sharing this with our family members who have been having babies and my neighbors who all have young children a lot recently, so I thought I would share it here as well!

It’s funny. When I tell Chinese families that all I do to get my girls to sleep through the night is feed baby every three hours and make sure they get at least 2 good naps a day from very early on. They can’t believe that it would be that simple.

I mean they really don’t believe me and just go on and laugh.

But that’s all I do!! Promise!

And my baby girl is a happy happy girl….well most of the time anyways ;)

Look Mom…I’m 5 months old

The girls playing on sister’s birthday

My way too big 6 month old

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