Arlo is greeting five months with her first illness. It’s just a cold, but to hear her rattly, congested breathing isn’t fun. Even worse is the infant Panadol I gave her to ease her misery. I don’t know why they choose such revolting flavours for medicine. As my child has only ever tasted breastmilk her whole life, why would she be interested in the cherry vanilla flavour? It was like poison to her and she brought it all, plus most of the contents of her stomach, back up straight away. Maybe we’ll just stick to cuddles and stories and Baby Einstein today.
So where is she at five months? Firstly, know that we’re never concerned about her meeting any of these milestones when “they” say she’s supposed to meet them. I have no idea if she’s late or early with her development. We now, and will always, do things in our own time around here.
She’s rolling – only from tummy to back and only over her right shoulder. But she’ll go half way in the other direction as well as half way from back to tummy. The actual process of rolling takes a while, but it does mean that tummy time is now a very short-lived event.
She’s got brown eyes – finally, after having chameleon eyes for so long. They wavered between grey-blue and light brown for ages, but they’re now a gorgeous milk chocolate colour. She also has the longest eyelashes in the world (or she’ll give the world record holder a run for his/her money) and it’s the first thing everyone notices about her.
She’s talking – well, babbling, all the time. She doesn’t hesitate to let us know when she’s mad at something – usually a toy, but occasionally us. And today she’s mad at sleepiness. She seems to think she’s too big for her baby capsule (it is a snug fit now) and grumbles each time she’s put in there (she’s fine once she’s strapped in). She makes a constant low whining sound when she’s tired, I think just lulling herself to sleep, and a high pitched contented sigh when she’s cuddling us (and usually sucking on our shoulder). It’s becoming difficult to watch TV when she’s in the room playing because she makes too much noise for us to hear the TV. And really, we’d rather watch her anyway. Having said that…
She’s watching TV – when we let her. Yeah, yeah, should we or shouldn’t we? No, I’m not asking for opinions or advice. Truth is, sometimes Baby Einstein babysits her for five minutes while I make my lunch or run to the loo. Most of the time, if she is watching, I’m there too, singing the songs and pointing out tigers and pandas and telling her that koalas really don’t live on the ground in the outback, and it’s called a “rainbow lorikeet”, rather than just a “colourful bird”!
She’s in the stroller – not in the baby capsule clipped into the stroller (we just use the capsule if we’re taking a taxi or bus anywhere now). I can’t say enough how much we all love this. She gets to see what’s going on, the pram is so much lighter and she looks so grown up (well, big) sitting up, checking things out. It also makes it easier for taking photos of her.
She’s a size 0 – the bag of too small clothes is growing ever bigger. Good thing there is a shop here that sells factory rejects at crazy prices – brands such as Gap, Old Navy, Pumpkin Patch, Guess and more. I just have to examine each piece of clothing to find the reason for the rejection as pyjamas that don’t have enough press studs really aren’t worth buying, even if they are only two dollars.
She’s interested in food – but no more than she’s interested in anything else that’s in our hands. And everything she holds goes in her mouth so that’s no indication that she’s ready to eat. We’re holding off on starting solids until we’re back from our Christmas break, so she’ll be close to seven months by then. We don’t want to worry about baby food (and possible reactions to baby food) while we’re away – and breastmilk is just SO convenient. She’s not wanting to feed more frequently than usual (except today, but that’s just for comfort because she’s not well), so she doesn’t need more food yet.
She’s not interested in the bottle – but we’ve only tried a couple of times. I had waited before introducing the bottle because I didn’t want there to be any nipple confusion (which some say is real and others say doesn’t exist). Either way, there is NO confusion. Arlo definitely knows what is a nipple and what is a teat on a bottle and she much prefers skin to silicon. At best she’ll chew the teat, smiling at me as if to say, “I’ll play with this but I’m never going to drink what’s inside.” At worst she’ll scream blue murder until I console her with, yes, breastmilk!
She doesn’t much care for dummies either – just after I bought 6-18 month size dummies for her (the others she had were 0-3 month size dummies). She used to take a dummy, now she just treats it like the teat on a bottle (see above). So that was 50RMB wasted. At least we won’t have a dummy battle later on.
She loves grabbing faces – and seeing if people’s eyes come out and noses come off. And examining what’s inside mouths, and do the lips come away from the chin. I love how she explores her surroundings, but I really must remember to cut her nails more often (ouch!!).
She still loves her Seedling doll – but perhaps that’s because it’s the doll we always give to her. We’re contemplating hunting down a second one in case she gets really attached to it and then loses it or something.
She loves her blanket – that some lovely people crocheted for her when she was born. Again, this is probably because it’s the one I always give to her when she’s going to sleep. She liked to pull the satin ribbon out and run it through her fingers and put it in her mouth – until I took the ribbon out so it doesn’t pose the hazard I could see it becoming – and thus, I’ve taken some of the fun out of it.
She loves swimming – with her dad in the pool and I think I can now say she loves her bath as well. Which is just as well because, with no regular bathtub here, she’ll be having showers with us or bathing in her baby bath for some time to come. She could sit and play with her rubber ducks and a plastic cup for hours. but we need to keep vigilant as we don’t want her drinking the nasty Chinese tap water. We tried Chinese baby swimming and I was keen to write a post about it, but she didn’t care for it (I think she was tired and hungry when we tried it) and I didn’t want to post about something that was distressing to her (and us at the time). Note that unlike the picture in the link, it was just her in a small tub of lovely warm water – we’ll try it again sometime and if she still doesn’t like it, we’ll chalk it up to another (failed) Chinese experience.
We’re loving seeing Arlo’s personality burst forth and I think that has happened more in the past month than any other. I mean, just look at what she did when I asked her to smile!!