Our little Julia is 6 months old! It's amazing how quickly time just seems to fly by. I still remember how tiny and fragile she was the day she was born, and now she's grown into this beautiful little person who laughs and squeals and rolls and keeps us on our toes every second. The love that Ruben and I have for her grows every day--our hearts just burst for this little one!
Julia's 4-6 month period was an interesting one. If the past few months had a theme, it'd definitely be SLEEP. Babies develop permanent sleep habits right around 3-4 months of age, so right after she turned 3 months, Ruben and I started to work on establishing better sleep habits with her. (She had developed some pretty bad ones that never went away on its own.) We did some sleep training. We created a routine for every day and stuck to it. It was a lot of work, but it paid off and we saw a difference. She slept through the night. And then, the dreaded 4 month sleep regression hit us and--*sigh*--things got tough again. It lasted for weeks. Ruben and I learned during this time just how important a well rested baby is. Julia is the happiest baby in the world, so long as she's slept well. Sleep is something that we will constantly be working on with her, but at least we can now say that she's a better and independent sleeper compared to just a few months ago.
Now, you may notice that our favorites/must haves list this time around is a little shorter than our 0-3 months one. You may also notice that a good number of them are sleep related. (Now you understand why.) But these truly made the world of difference when it came to Julia's sleep and therefore happiness! :)
When Julia was about 14 weeks old, she started to fight being in her Miracle Blanket during sleep time. And while she never broke free, (we always bundled her up pretty well), it did start to affect her sleep, and we noticed that she would wake up a bit more frequently in the middle of the night. That's when we decided that it was time to start transitioning her out of her swaddle. When I was researching different swaddle transitioning products, I kept coming across the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit and the Zipadee-Zip, so I bought both to try them out on her. From what I've read, a lot of babies tend to prefer one over the other. Julia HATED the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit! She cried and screamed when I tried to put her down for a nap. But when I put on the Zipadee-Zip, she fell asleep within a few minutes, and her frequent night wakings pretty much went away. I think it's because in the Zipadee-zip, she could now access her hands to soothe herself, but it still provided that comfy womb-like feeling that you would get with a normal swaddle. What's also nice about it is, her hands are still covered up, so they don't get cold, nor is she able to scratch her face up. Sure, the sleep sack designs aren't exactly the cutest, but hey, it works, and that's all that really matters.
We actually purchased the Owlet before Julia was born, but didn't start to use it until after she turned three months when she started sleeping in her nursery. What it is is a sock that monitors your baby's heart rate and oxygen level while he/she sleeps. If any of those go beyond its normal ranges, you will be alerted on your phone (there's an app that you download) and on the base station that stays close to your baby. I absolutely LOVE this thing. I like being able to see her readings my phone anytime, and it gives me peace of mind knowing that Julia is okay, especially since she doesn't sleep with us anymore. And while this is part of my 4-6 month favorites post, I would recommend using it as soon as your baby gets home from the hospital!
As a (new) parent, you will hear and read over and over again that you should never have anything in your baby's crib--no bumpers, no blankets, no toys. Nothing. Just a crib sheet. And I completely agreed with that statement until I found Julia in her crib one day with both of her legs in between the crib slats, face down, and screaming because she couldn't get out. I immediately thought about bumpers--the thought of finding her with a twisted or broken limb terrified me--but I was also well aware of the dangers associated with having one. When I searched for a more breathable option, I found this mesh crib liner by BreathableBaby, and I'm so glad I got one for Julia's crib. I feel so much better knowing that her arms and legs won't get stuck, and that if she should press her face up against it, she'd still be able to breathe. And while I still agree that you shouldn't keep blankets or toys in the crib, I'm not opposed to getting a mesh crib liner if your baby is extremely squirmy and moves around a lot in his/her sleep.
Last sleep related item, I promise! :) So we've learned over the past several months that Julia will not sleep well if the room is not completely dark. When she was born, all we installed was a pair of sheer curtains, but it didn't really matter back then because she slept in our room. However, when we moved her to her nursery, we noticed that she wouldn't sleep because she would be so distracted by everything around her--the mobile, bookshelf, wall decor, etc. It wasn't until we installed a blackout cellular shade that she would fall asleep quicker and sleep longer. (Which makes sense since melatonin--the hormone that makes you sleepy--is released when it's dark.) And we all know that a well rested baby is a happy baby! So how do you know if your room is dark enough for baby to sleep? If you can still read a book even when the lights are out, the room is not dark enough.
Whoever invented this miracle toy deserves a freaking medal! If I were stranded on an island with Julia and could only have one baby toy with us, I'd pick the Jumperoo, hands down. Got a fussy baby on your hands? Jumperoo. Need to use the bathroom after you've had way more Mexican food than your belly can handle? Jumperoo. Need to answer an important phone call and you need to put the baby down? Jumperoo. Julia will happily bounce in her Jumperoo for hours if we let her. Seriously guys. If you have a baby, you will need a Jumperoo. It may just save your life. Or sanity.
Perfect for hanging from the handle of her infant car seat or stroller bar, this Wimmer-Ferguson Sights & Sounds Travel Toy by Manhattan Toy never fails to keep Julia entertained whenever we go out. Definitely a must have.
*This is not a sponsored post. Everything has been purchased by my husband and I, and is 100% my opinion.