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Olivia West | Five Months

Olivia West | Five Months

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I think that this past month has been the most exciting yet, in terms of her development. We have watched her try something new and then master it within the next few days. It is seriously remarkable to watch her explore her world. We survived the 35 day learning leap woo hoo! And while her learning and growing is incredible to watch, this has probably also been THE most stressful month (for the parents) since her first month. More on that below.


While there isn't an official 5 month pediatrician appointment, based on our unofficial measuring she currently weighs in at 17lb, she is 26" long, and we have no idea how to measure her head so tune in for her 6 month update for that one.


Remember how last month I talked about what a struggle eating has been? Well (as many of you said) as soon as her learning leap / growth spurt was over her feisty eating habits went right out the door. She is still trucking along at about 8-10min on each side which is so so great. During her growth spurts (or when she demands it) I'll supplement a feeding with a bottle of stockpiled milk just to sort of top her off when nursing alone isn't cutting it. She started getting feisty with the bottle too when I realized that we were still using "stage 1" nipples (0-3m) and hadn't switched to "stage 2" (3-6m) whoops. Now she sucks her bottles down to the point where they will whistle haha. I think we'll hold off on jumping up to "stage 3" even though she's a month away just because it might be too much flow, and she's still getting used to the stage 2 size. We also got the okay from the pediatrician to start solids around 6m so I've been reading up on that a bunch (baby led weaning vs. purees). So if you have success stories on what you did with your little one, I'm all ears! 


Here we go. If you follow my Insta Stories, you already know where this is headed. This little girl threw us for a loop one morning when she woke up on her tummy. Looking very distressed like "what just happened?" So we immediately bought the transition version of her sleep swaddle. I literally did same day shipping for that sucker because I was so terrified that she wouldn't have her arms free to roll back over or save herself when she's groggy in the middle of the night. We started the transition process with one sleeve off, then the other, then both. This was like sleep training all over again, but it only took a couple of rough naps and she finally got the hang of being arms free. At this point, she had been rolling over every now and then in her play gym (more on that below) but had to use the frame to kick off from, so I wasn't fully comfortable with her tummy sleeping yet. For the next week I would check on the video monitor and see her mostly on her back, but sometimes she would push off the crib rails with her legs and end up on her tummy. Because she wasn't fully rolling over 100% on her own, I would go back in and roll her back onto her back. This turned into me checking the monitor every 30min to make sure she was still on her back. It was like the first week we brought her home all over again, with the constant worry. Then last Saturday she rolled over 12 times within an hour and I kept rolling her back and she was just beside herself and so upset. So after some quick googling and consulting some mama friends everyone said we could just leave her on her tummy because she has the neck strength to move her head and lets face it, no one wants to sleep flat on their face. So I left her on her tummy and continued to check the monitor every 30min to an hour to make sure she was still breathing and what do you know? This little girl slept so sound the rest of the night. By the next day she was officially rolling onto her tummy all by herself. The second we would put her down on her back she would roll right over and be out like a light. So after a week of her tummy sleeping these parents are finally getting a boost of confidence in our little girl and have gone back to sleeping ourselves. And checking the monitor waaaay less ;)


As I mentioned in her 4 month update, we bought her this Skip Hop activity center and she is absolutely obsessed. We try to limit her time to about 40min a day in it as it's not going to teach her to roll over or to sit up. But it does improve her hand eye coordination and motor skills. She also just loves "standing" and she has already mastered all of the activities on it. I can even say "pop your owl" and she will look at me, smile, and then spin around and punch the leaf to make the owl pop up. When she first started using her activity center we were having to prop it up with books, but her little legs have grown enough that she can freestand in it now and she loves to flashdance for us. After doing a lot of research, and not being impressed with the baby gym I picked out, I ended up ordering her the Lovevery Baby Gym and I seriously cannot say enough about this product. I think I will do a whole post dedicated to how much I love this thing. I think it is 100% the reason Olivia was able to learn to rollover so quickly. So now we spend her awake time alternating between her gym (and all of it's exercises), tummy time, practicing sitting, reading books, and her activity center. This is one busy girl.


We survived the 35 day stormy period, and honestly had we not already mastered this girl's sleep schedule she would have been one tough cookie, but she rode the wave like a champ and slept and ate SO much during that time. As I mentioned earlier she can officially roll from back to tummy and now from tummy to back all by herself. Her baby gym has taught her about grasping and now when she's in her Mamaroo she grabs (and disassembles) the mobile above her, which she never even cared about before. I actually had to remove it because I was afraid she was going to pop herself in the face. She is getting much better about sitting up and not immediately toppling over. We still have a ways to go though. She is learning quick commands like "pop your owl" and when we say "kick kick kick kick" she immediately starts kicking her legs and smiling. When you hand her a toy you can say "now put it in your other hand" and she will. She is very interested in toys now, when before she didn't really care. Which is why her activity center is her new favorite thing. It has the attached toys on it with varying activities, but then I will also pile on a bunch of her favorite toys and she just goes to town, spinning around from one toy to the next and playing her little piano. We also took her to a museum for the first time and she just loved it, I can't wait to take her to the zoo, but it needs to not be 105 outside first. She has moved up to size 3 diapers and is still in 3-6m clothing, but on the brink of jumping up to 6-9m depending on the brand.  


Up until this past week she would blow raspberries all day long which was definitely not my favorite. But then all of a sudden she now does this thing where she scrunches her nose when she smiles and starts breathing really fast and it is just the cutest. Like she's just so excited about whatever is going on. We started filling the sink with water when we give her a bath (before we just let it go down the drain while she was propped in her bath seat) and she LOVES to splash and kick in the water. Watching her learn to rollover was also a favorite moment. Now she rolls over like she's been doing it for years! I also love when she rolls onto her tummy and puts her head down. We'll ask "are you going night night?" haha Derek's favorite moment is when she falls asleep on his shoulder as he's putting her down for the night, it's really sweet. I can't believe she is already 5 months, but at the same time she has already learned so much in such a short period of time and we couldn't be prouder.  

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