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Six Month Baby Update
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If you want any advice or observations about newborns, ask me quick before I forget that whole stage. Morgan is a quite different creature now!

Here at six months, she is still intensely interested in moving. At New Year's, I said she was crawling; it turns out that was a little premature because she hasn't gotten any better at it since then. She can manage a step or two, and then collapses forward (if she's lucky), backward, or straight down. She is more mobile than she thinks she is -- she can push with her feet and pull with her hands and scoot across the floor on her belly very effectively. But when she really wants to get somewhere, she tries to crawl instead, goes splat a few times, and then gets frustrated if she hasn't managed to splat forward enough to get at whatever it was she was aiming at. (It looks like she hasn't quite figured out how to lift an arm while keeping her belly up.) She's gotten good at standing, as long as she has something to hang on to. She can lean aginst things while standing to free her arms up for grabbing toys and so forth. She'll walk along with a parent holding her hands, or holding one hand while the other supports her on the edge of the couch. In general, she prefers to be as upright as possible. She can get from sitting to standing if she has something the right height to pull up on, but she hasn't figured out how to get from lying down to sitting quite yet.

Last Thursday, we were over at the house where she figured out that first bit of crawling, explaining to folks how she'd been focused on motor skills and hadn't done much with language yet, when she suddenly burst out with three new consonants and a whole new expressive tonal range. I guess this is the difference between "babbling" and "cooing". It's very distinct! She is using the D sound a lot right now.

She loves being sung to. She's just recently started responding positively to recorded music, so that's opened up the baby-entertaining options some. She also loves roughhousing (well, as rough as you get with a baby -- gentlehousing?), lap-bouncing games, rolling around on the floor, all that. Yesterday we took her out to the park to see what she thought of the baby swings. She thinks they are pretty cool.

She's teething again. She's had the bottom two front teeth for about two months now -- the first one sprouted the weekend after the pediatrician felt her mouth and said it would be another few months before she got any teeth. They are quite long now. The new ones coming in are probably the opposing top teeth. I am not wild about this whole babies-with-teeth idea. She's getting very chompy, since pressure helps the affected gums feel better. I am suddenly motivated to carefully distinguish between chompy-because-hungry and chompy-because-teething....

At dinner she gets a bit of whatever we're having that can be mashed into baby-safeness. So far she's tried sweet potato, squash, avocado, spinach, potato, beans, hummus, soup, apple, banana, mango, pluot, fennel.... I am probably forgetting a few things. She's not swallowing much of it yet, but she loves tasting everything. We bought her some smaller-bowled spoons which are brightly colored, and she thinks they are awesome whether or not they have food on them.

Between the teething and the developmental leaps and a growth spurt that is apparently usual around now, she hasn't been sleeping all that well lately. She's starting to back off on eating so much during the night, but it's still taking her much longer to fall back to sleep after nursing than it used to. The last few nights she's been up between 4 and 5 trying out the whole "da da da dy dy doo" thing. A happy awake baby is much better than a screaming awake baby, but a quiet baby would be even nicer. She was sleeping well earlier, so I am pretty confident that this will be temporary and if we just wait she will go back to sleeping longer. Possibly as a result of being up more during the night, or possibly as a result of my schedule change, she's been sleeping in later in the mornings, so I'm not too sleep-deprived even if it's not distributed quite how I'd prefer. She's still falling asleep easily in the evenings, and naps continue to be variable but apparently restorative.
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It's so funny. I was just out for dinner with the parents of a 1 year old who still refuses to eat anything resembling solid food, mashed or otherwise. They rubbed some frosting on her lip and she made a face like it was torture.

Every time Morgan tries something new, she gets this Mr. Yuk face. But then she reaches for more and keeps shoveling it in, so I guess that's just how she looks when she's processing new flavors.

Today she tried special baby rice crackers! They look like little surfboards.

I am not wild about this whole babies-with-teeth idea.


Rachel dealt with this using Pavlovian conditioning. Every time our son bit her too hard, she would instantly detach him, and let him wait briefly before letting him nurse again. The connection between stimulus and response was short enough that it didn't take him too many days to work out that biting the nipple that fed him was not a good plan.

I did that too. If the Junebug bit me, he got put down in a safe space right away and mama told him angrily "No biting!" and walked away for two whole minutes. This was apparently scary and awful enough that he only did it maybe twice.

Yeah, I'm doing basically this (although just long enough to tend to my hurts). I'm not angry about it, because she clearly doesn't mean to be biting me, it's just that her gums hurt and I was there, if the distinction is clear. I don't think she even realized what had happened the first couple times.

She is starting to be humorously obvious about covering her bottom teeth with her tongue when she's actually hungry, so I guess it's working.

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