Category: Cody

Happy 11 Months Birthday, Cody!

Well, it’s official. This is Cody’s last month as an under-one-year-old. Is that a thing? Maybe not, but I just made it up, so it is now.  =P

This month, Cody has been developing his personality more and more. He’s become very silly, and even more affectionate, curious, and strong-willed. He’s always making me laugh with his antics, and sometimes he’s so cute I just want to dissolve into a puddle and call it a day. It’s also definitely time to start some gentle, positive discipline for him, because he’s quite the mischief-maker and he already likes to test the limits! We’re working on being gentle (he thinks it’s funny to hit me with his toys) and not getting into the dog food and water bowls. He clearly knows what it means when I say “no,” and surprisingly, he can be very good at obeying sometimes. Other times, he ignores me and throws a fit when I step in to enforce the rules. So far, his behavior is nothing too difficult to handle, so that’s a good thing. He’s also generally pretty well behaved in public, although honestly at this age, there isn’t really any such thing as “misbehaving”; he’s still a baby, after all. But I haven’t experienced any tantrums in public or anything like that yet, so that’s nice. =]

Cody’s walking like a pro now, and he’s able to get up from sitting on his own as well as bend down to pick things up while walking, turn around easily, and step over things. He seems much happier in general now that he can get around by himself, but he also gets bored more quickly now. The house must seem a lot smaller now that he can walk from one end to the other in under a minute!

He’s starting to seem more interested in talking now. He signed his first sign, “milk,” a couple of weeks ago but hasn’t done it again after the first few times. We’re signing more and more to him now that we know he’s ready to pick it up. He also says the word “ba,” which to him means “ball,” his favorite toy. He doesn’t say “dada” very often for some reason, though sometimes he will say “baba” instead, and he still says “mama” usually only when he’s crying and wants me. He studies our mouths when we say words even more now, though, and it’s obvious that he understands a lot of what we say even if he can’t repeat it.

He does a lot of silly, cute things these days. He’s become very interested in pointing at things. He still loves music and likes to dance, and now he has a few more moves including the head shake, the arm flail, and the stomp. We like to play baby hide and seek with him, where we hide around the corner and call to him until he finds us. He always has the biggest smile on his face when he sees us. He also knows how to clap his hands now, which he thinks is very exciting. In general, he likes to mimic actions that we do, and he’s learning a lot through imitation. One thing he does which I find funny is dropping his toys over the baby gates, as if by doing so he will be allowed to go on the other side to retrieve it. So far, it hasn’t worked out in his favor. =J Although I will admit, we frequently end up playing fetch for him.

Although Cody is still almost exclusively breastfed, we do offer him tastes of whatever food we’re eating most of the time, and occasionally he will try it. So far, he has really enjoyed my homemade chocolate yogurt, and fruit popsicles. That’s about it, for now, but I’m sure he’ll start eating more in the months to come. As far as drinking goes, he can drink from a sippy cup, as well as from a regular cup with help. Usually he just drinks water, though not much since my milk provides pretty much all of the hydration he needs. I’ve also let him try a few sips of juice.

His sleep is better in some ways, but not much improved in other ways. He doesn’t fight me over his naps anymore, and he’s been napping really well lately. He also goes to bed fairly easily, but still wakes up a lot at night to nurse. Sometimes, especially in the past week or so, he will literally nurse all night long and only wake up to switch sides. It’s not as restful as I would like my night’s sleep to be, but it’s not the worst thing in the world either. I know it will pass soon, anyway.

That’s pretty much everything for the past month. I know his birthday is going to be here in a flash, and as crazy and depressing as it is to see him growing up so fast, I’m also excited. There are many fun things ahead for us!

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Happy 10 Months Birthday, Cody!

Cody’s first year is coming to a close, and he’s truly becoming more of a toddler than a baby now. I’m starting to want another baby now, because I miss those days! But at the same time, Cody has our hands full for the moment.

He is officially walking on his own. Just a few days before he turned 10 months old, Cory and I were playing with him and he suddenly just stood up by himself and walked a few steps to Cory. I was so excited! Since then, he has slowly but surely been growing more and more confident in his ability to walk unassisted. He still likes to use our hand for security sometimes, but yesterday and today he has been letting go more and more, and sometimes he won’t even take our hand if we want him to. Our boy is becoming more independent every day, which is both exciting and saddening.

One of his new silly antics this month is dancing. When there’s music playing, or any rhythmic sound, he sometimes will start bouncing up and down by bending his knees. He’s learning the white-boy shuffle at an early age! He also likes to bounce when he’s sitting on his bottom, and when we’re holding him.

Cody enjoys going in the pool with us, playing with our dogs and our cat, exploring the house and new surroundings, getting into anything new or interesting, watching older kids play at the park or the play place we like to go to, and staring at people. His favorite toys are balls of any size, and his favorite game is playing fetch with himself—picking up a toy, throwing it, walking to get it, and repeating that over and over again.

He is now in toddler clothes (12 months size), which involve mostly t-shirts and shorts rather than onesies. He looks like such a big boy in his new clothes! At night time though, we put him in a onesie for bed, so I still get to feel like I have a baby. 😉

For about a week, he cooperated very well with eating baby food and one time he even ate an entire jar (it was an extra-small jar, but still). But after that one week, he went back to refusing to eat solids, and now we’ve decided to let that be. He’s on an iron supplement now, and other than that my milk provides everything he needs until he’s older than one year. We’ve decided to do baby-led weaning, allowing him to eat baby-appropriate solids as he shows an interest in them rather than worrying about trying to force-feed him baby food.

His sleep has been up and down. By most standards, it’s still pretty bad but by our standards it’s actually been good for the past few days. He wakes up about 3-5 times per night to nurse, and nurses back to sleep, then usually needs to be rocked back to sleep when he wakes up at 6 AM to get that extra hour in. He’s doing well with his schedule, and usually naps for at least an hour during both of his two daily naps. He goes to bed around 8 PM and wakes up around 7 AM. Sometimes he goes down easily, in anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes with very little crying; but other times, he fights sleep tooth and nail, and cries for up to 40 minutes before he finally goes to sleep or I give up. He does a lot better going to sleep for his naps and his bedtime when Cory puts him down, for whatever reason. Weekends are really nice, because Cory takes care of all of his naps!

Last week, I began to suspect that I may be dealing with some delayed onset postpartum depression. I’m not sure, especially because I don’t fit the typical profile or have some of the more common symptoms. I feel very connected and attached to Cody, and I don’t feel weepy or deeply sad most of the time. Instead, I find myself losing patience very easily during the long days with my high-need baby, and sometimes feeling overwhelmed with anger and frustration, particularly when it comes to his difficulties with sleeping. I’ve also experienced guilt because of my anger, and questioned whether I was really meant to be a mother. I’ve felt that I couldn’t handle it anymore and I’ve felt that things would never improve. Those are all symptoms of postpartum depression, which I have discovered can actually begin anytime within a year of birth, or even afterwards. My symptoms are at their worst during the work week, when Cory is at work all day and I’m on my own, and they practically disappear during the weekends and the days when my mother-in-law comes out to help me. For now, I’m waiting to see how I feel in the weeks to come, and I’m planning to see a therapist if things don’t get better.

That’s pretty much the gist of Cody’s 10th month of life. We have wonderful days, and also really hard days, but I’m happy to report that overall he is developing perfectly and he’s a very smart, curious, affectionate, active boy. I love him so much, it’s crazy. <3

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Happy 9 Months Birthday, Cody!

Two days ago, Cody turned nine months old. It’s almost time to start planning his first birthday party—how crazy is that?

This month, Cody finally learned to crawl. He actually started about a week after he turned eight months old. At first, he crawled on his hands and one knee and used the other foot to push himself along, which looked pretty funny. He also still preferred to walk with us holding his hands at that point, so mostly he used crawling as a way to get to us. About a week ago, he started crawling more proficiently on hands and knees, and now he’s much faster and enjoys crawling as a means of exploring his surroundings. He still loves to walk with us, though—and he’s getting closer to walking on his own! He only needs to hold one of our hands now and he also can use furniture and walls to get around fairly easily. We’re predicting that he will be walking on his own at 10 months. As it is, he’s already into everything and our house is now fully baby-proofed.

He has seven teeth now, four on top and three on the bottom. We’re still waiting for that fourth bottom tooth to pop out. I don’t see any other bumps or white shadows under his gums, so I’m not expecting another bout of teething just yet. His nine month checkup isn’t until next week, but from our bathroom scale at home we estimate that he weighs about 20 pounds now. He’s in size-four disposable diapers (although we still use cloth diapers the majority of the time), and he’s still wearing his nine month sized clothes (although some of them are 6-12 months). We’ll probably start thinking about moving him up to his 12 months clothes in the next week or two.

Cody is still almost exclusively breastfed. He doesn’t show much interest in solid foods, although at this point I’m starting to feel eager to get him started on them; most people start feeding their baby solids around 6 months, after all. Lately, I’ve been trying to feed him baby food almost every day. So far, I’ve been able to get him to eat about 2 teaspoons at each attempt. Mostly, he just likes to touch it and smear it all over the place. We’ll get there eventually!

This month, Cody said Dada, much to Cory’s delight! I wasn’t around to hear it, unfortunately, but I’m sure he’ll start using it more and learning other words soon, too. He hasn’t been very vocal lately, and doesn’t say Mama or Dada that often or anything in particular even when he is being vocal. Usually, he makes silly sounds or grunts and occasionally says “ma” or what sounds like “mom.” I think he just likes making that sound at this point. On the other hand, his comprehension is developing really well. He seems to connect certain words to their correct meanings, including Mama, Dada, and milk. I’m trying to be more consistent with using signs with him, so he can learn to communicate more easily.

Because of Cody’s persistently poor and inconsistent sleeping habits, we’ve finally decided to try gentle sleep training. As much as I wanted to be able to wait it out, I’ve reached the point where something needs to change. Waking up every hour at night to nurse him is just not working for me anymore, let alone struggling to get him back to sleep when nursing isn’t enough and he starts to cry. So we found a program to help us sleep train him, and we’ve been working on it for a few weeks now. Basically, the idea is that he needs to be able to fall asleep on his own without being in his swing or having us nurse or rock him to sleep, so that when he naturally wakes up between sleep cycles he can easily go back to sleep without our assistance. The method to achieve this involves slowly fading out these sleep crutches. It’s also important to get him on a predictable schedule, so he doesn’t become overly tired and we know that he’s getting enough sleep. His schedule dictates that he should wake up around 7:30, take a nap around 10 to 11:30, another nap around 2:30 to 4:00, and be asleep in bed for the night by 8:00.

So far, we’ve been able to say goodbye to the swing completely and we put him to bed every night now without nursing him to sleep. We’re still struggling with getting him to cooperate with the schedule, and go to sleep without Cory rocking him. Cody has a very hard time going down for his naps when I’m the one putting him down, for some reason, so weekdays are a struggle. And unfortunately, he is still waking up very frequently at night to nurse—I’d estimate about 6 times every night, on average. We’re hoping to see major some improvements in the next few weeks! If not, I’m facing a very real possibility of losing my sanity. 😉

We finally had a chance to take Cody to the pool for the first time this month, and we’ve been back again a few times since then. He gets super clingy when we go in the water, but he seems to enjoy it. He likes to splash around a little bit and watch people playing and swimming. It’s nice to have something fun and relaxing to do during the hot summer days! We also have a lot of fun going to a local indoor play gym. Cody loves to explore all of the toys and play equipment, watch the other kids, and stare at people. It’s a great way to get out of the house and keep him entertained for a while!

For the past week or so, Cody’s been experiencing an increase in separation anxiety. Some days he can be incredibly clingy, and prefers me holding him over playing. Weirdly, I feel more separation anxiety from him these days as well—I get anxious when he’s with somebody else and I can’t see him or know exactly what he’s doing. Some people make fun of me for that, or show concern over my discomfort with separation from him, but I believe that it’s natural and healthy. I know that in the months and years to come, he will become more independent and I will feel better about not being with him all the time, but right now he’s still a baby I think it’s good that we have a strong attachment and bond. He also loves his daddy very much, and is always very happy to see him when he comes home from work. He wants to be held by him immediately and likes to snuggle in his neck. It’s so cute! Being with his daddy is one of the only ways he’s okay without me for any reasonable length of time. I love knowing that their bond is very strong as well.

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Happy Eight Months Birthday, Cody!

Today, Cody turned eight months old! He’s two-thirds of the way to being a year old— my little baby, growing so fast.

This month, Cody has started growing into his personality more and more. He’s a very strong-willed, curious, silly, active, sweet little boy. He’s already a big handful, and I can only imagine what he’s going to be like as a toddler!

Cody’s favorite activities are walking around while holding our hands, exploring the house and everything in it, and using everything he possibly can to try to pull himself up if he’s not already standing. He will sit and play with toys for a few minutes, but usually tries to find a way to move around before too long. Often he ends up on his belly, pulling himself around in circles, or balanced on hands and feet with his butt up in the air. He has not discovered the magical powers of crawling yet, and he can’t walk on his own, but he absolutely loves to be on the move—which means a lot of bent-over-walking for me and Cory. When that gets to be too much, we use his walking harness—which looks like kind of like puppet strings, and Cody doesn’t like very much—or his baby sling wrapped around his chest and behind his arms to support him.

I discovered that rubber-soled shoes are supposedly not good for infants’ foot and bone development or walking skills, so we recently bought him a pair of baby moccasins, which have a soft leather sole that mimics barefoot walking. They’re also ridiculously cute! We use those when he’s walking on dirty, pokey, or hot surfaces (such as outdoors, on woodchips, or on sun-baked cement), but we also let him go barefoot a lot. He sweats so much at night and when he’s exerting himself that we’ve started to give him a bath each night, so his feet get clean before he gets in our bed anyway.

Since he’s really starting to get into everything, we finally baby-proofed the house. We didn’t go crazy and bubble-wrap everything, but we did do some of the important basics like outlet covers, coffee table corner bumpers, cabinet latches for under the sink, and baby gates in key places. Now he can freely explore the house without us having to constantly redirect him away from dangerous areas.

Cody’s still exclusively breastfeeding. He has tasted several types of food, but hasn’t liked anything enough to actually eat it in earnest. However, he does enjoy smearing it all over the place and playing with the utensils. So far, the puree that has been the most successful is peaches—purees of sweet potato, red potatoes, apples, and rice cereal have not been appreciated by our little connoisseur, and anything more solid than that is met with full-on gagging and choking until we kindly remove it from his mouth. Fortunately, although solid foods are customarily started around 6 months in our culture, they actually aren’t necessary at all until at least one year of age. Cody’s thriving on breastmilk, so I’m not concerned. He’ll start eating solids when he’s good and ready! 😉

His sleeping habits are somewhat more consistent now, but unfortunately not improving in any other way. He takes two naps each day, once in the mid-morning for about 45 minutes to an hour and another in the early afternoon for about two hours, although they can vary significantly. He takes all of his naps in his swing, after nursing. He goes to bed around 8:30, although sometimes as early as 7:00 and other times as late as 9:30. He wakes up on average 5 times per night to nurse, and I’d estimate that about 75% of nights he won’t fall back asleep after nursing at least one of those times and has to go back in his swing to sleep. Some nights are unusually good, and he only wakes up 3 or 4 times and sleeps in the bed all night—other nights are so bad as to be almost humorous. We had a night a few weeks ago in which he woke up no less than a dozen times before I lost count, about every half hour. Needless to say, our biggest prayer for Cody right now besides his continued health and protection is for him to start sleeping better at night.

Teething is still the bane of our existence, but fortunately it isn’t a constant problem anymore. He is a sensitive and oftentimes grumpy baby, but when he’s at home he spends a good portion of the day just being happy and curious. We know he’s going through a tough teething period when he starts crying at random and clutches at his mouth. We treat it with homeopathic teething medicines in the form of gel, tablets, and liquid capsules, as well as giving him cold teething toys from the freezer or fridge. If he’s still in pain and nothing else is working, we give him infant ibuprofen, but that’s rarely necessary. At this point, he has his two front teeth on top and bottom, and two more just starting to come in on top.

The most exciting development this month for me happened just a few days ago, though. Cody’s been babbling a lot lately (his favorite sound has been ba-ba-ba-ba-ba…) and we’ve been trying to get him to say “mama” or “dada.” Well, the other day, we were in the car and I was saying “mama” at him and he was carefully watching my mouth when all of a sudden he said it! Not “ma-ma-ma-ma-ma…” but a very clear “mama.” His first word!!! He said it once again after that, and a couple times since then. It’s by far the best word I’ve ever heard spoken. Now we just have to get him to understand what it means, and teach him “dada” as well! It’s very exciting for us. =D

So that’s pretty much all of Cody’s developments this month. Now on to the next month… our little love-bug is growing into such a goofy, wild little boy, and it’s a blast to watch. I’m hoping by nine months, he’ll be walking on his own or at least crawling! And with any luck, sleeping at night, too. 😉


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Happy Seven Months Birthday, Cody!

Yesterday, Cody turned seven months old. He’s officially “over the hump” for his first year—how crazy is that?

This month, Cody has started learning how to give “kisses.” He leans his face toward mine and bumps into me, often with his mouth open. It’s super cute! He also gives kisses to Cory, of course, because he loves his daddy very much. He’s even started to get excited when Cory comes home from work. When he hears the garage door opening and sees the dogs run to the door and bark, he smiles and starts kicking his legs excitedly, and when Cory comes in he reaches for him. I love to see this, because like most babies, he has been very attached to his momma from birth and it makes me happy to see him bonding so closely with Cory as well.

His interactions with us are becoming more mature and adorable every day. He vocalizes back and forth with us, recognizes his name and the words “daddy” and “mommy” (and variations), and likes to snuggle and be close to us. He loves being kissed, which is probably why he’s starting to try to kiss us back. He’s so much fun and brings us so much joy every day!

Of course, he’s also still a very challenging baby, and he has some behaviors that we don’t particularly enjoy. He excels at hurting us, whether it’s head-butting us in the lip with his huge 99th-percentile head, pulling and ripping out our hair, smacking us in the face, kicking us in the groin, punching me in his sleep, or as it just so happened while I was writing this post, swiping me in the eye and knocking out my contact lens in the process. He’s even jammed his finger up both of our noses! Cody is a strangely violent baby. Hopefully he’ll grow out of it with time.

Cody’s favorite activity is walking around the house with us holding his hands for balance. He has his first pair of real shoes now, which we put on when he’s walking downstairs (where the floor doesn’t stay very clean) or outside. He also has a little push walker that he can use with help, although he prefers to hold our hands. He is able to pull himself up from sitting, and he likes to climb all over us when we’re sitting with him in our lap or lying in bed.

As for progress toward crawling, things are moving slowly. He doesn’t like to be on his tummy, or his back for that matter, for very long. I usually make him spend some time on his tummy every day anyway, but it’s not much because he starts to cry after a while. I think that he’s physically capable of crawling at this point, if he could only figure it out. He can sometimes get his knees under him, and he can rock back and forth on his hands and knees. He can also pull himself around in a full circle on his belly. Unfortunately, he hasn’t figured out how to move forward at all yet. But he’ll get it eventually!

So far, he still doesn’t show much interest in solid foods. Mostly, he just enjoys playing with the spoon. He also still has not learned how to drink from a bottle, and though he has a sippy cup for water, he doesn’t know how to use that yet either. So basically, all of his nourishment still comes from me, which is perfectly fine. 🙂

Cody’s sleep habits are predictably unpredictable. He still takes his naps in his swing, and he takes anywhere from one to three naps per day, ranging from half an hour to two hours or more. Usually, the cumulative total of his naps is somewhere around 3 hours per day, but it can vary significantly. His most predictable nap is now his midday nap, around 1 PM, but he skips it sometimes if he has a morning nap, especially a long one. His bedtime ranges from 6:30 PM to 9:30, most often falling around 8:00. He almost always wakes up around the time that Cory wakes up for work, which is 6:30 AM.

He still wakes up often at night, and sometimes won’t nurse back to sleep. When that happens, we’ll either give him some homeopathic calming or teething medicine, put him in his swing, or both. He usually has one diaper change in the middle of the night to prevent leaking, and another change first thing in the morning. Between nursing, changing, giving medicine, and carrying him back and forth from the bed to the swing, Cory and I end up waking up quite a few times each night. Most of the time, we can do what needs to be done and get back to sleep quickly, but it can take its toll on a really bad night. Fortunately, he sometimes has really good nights that feel heavenly. Last night, for instance, he slept like an angel and it was wonderful. Cory and I are hoping that it’s a new trend—perhaps teething is the cause of his nighttime restlessness, and his discomfort is finally easing? We can hope, at least.

Speaking of teething, he now has his two front bottom teeth and it looks like two front top teeth are coming next. He is still very bothered by teething, and we can tell when he’s particularly uncomfortable because he’ll suddenly start crying and screeching and clutching at his gums, and then be fine again in a few minutes. Poor guy! 🙁 We do what we can, whether that’s giving him homeopathic teething medicine, a cold teething toy, or if it’s really bad, infant ibuprofen. And of course we hold him and comfort him, and I offer to nurse him. Sometimes nursing helps, but other times he goes without nursing for much longer stretches these days—known as a nursing strike—most likely because of the discomfort in his gums.

Whether it’s because I’m adjusting to having a high-need baby or because he’s becoming easier to handle, I feel that things are getting easier these days. I’m still enjoying my wonderful job as a stay-at-home mom, and life is good. God continues to bless us so much, and I am incredibly thankful.

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Happy Six Months Birthday, Cody!


Six months! What???? I can’t believe Cody’s already halfway through his first year. He’s changed so much since he was born, it’s like he’s not even the same baby. It’s wild!

Cody’s skills now include sitting up by himself, pushing way up on his arms while on his tummy, occasionally pushing his butt up into the air while on his belly, rolling onto his belly from sitting, pulling himself up to standing with only a little bit of assistance (mostly for balance), taking steps when we hold him up by his hands or arms, rocking in his mini rocking chair, and playing with toys by himself. He’s just starting to learn how to reach for us to be picked up, which is super cute. He’s also really good with his hands and can pick up things of many different shapes and sizes, including plastic balls, his bottle (which he still doesn’t drink from), pacifiers, and his toys. He can take the lid off of his small toy boxes, and he can get the rings off of his ring stacker. He tries to play his xylophone and sometimes succeeds. He understands to some degree how to make his electronic toys make sounds, and becomes frustrated when they’re not working because they’re turned off. He pets our cat, Booda, and of course our dog Sky (although he mostly likes to grab and pull her fur)—Marley doesn’t usually sit close enough to us to get his share of petting and poking, and he doesn’t seem to care for it anyway.

Cody seems much more interested in walking than crawling, but he’s not truly close to either. He’s showing some signs of getting ready to crawl, and he’s impressively good at taking steps when we hold him up, but he has a way to go until he’s mobile. Maybe by next month, we’ll see!

We’ve officially introduced solids. We’ve tried rice cereal, mashed potatoes (thinned out), and yogurt. He seems interested, since he often opens his mouth and leans toward the spoon, but he doesn’t always appear to enjoy the food once it’s in his mouth. It may take him a little while with this new experience before he starts to really like food. In a few days, we’re planning to try applesauce and then we’ll start adding more new fruits and veggies from there. As expected, most of it ends up on his face, hands, clothes, and high chair anyway! Fortunately, he’ll still be getting the majority of his nutrients from breastmilk for the next few months at least, until he starts eating more and more solid foods, and I’m planning to continue nursing him until he’s at least a year old.

One exciting milestone that Cody just reached is his first tooth emerging! He now has one tiny tooth peeking out on the bottom, and I expect the tooth next to it to come out soon enough. Teething is an ongoing and unfortunate part of our lives right now. He puts everything he can get his hands on into his mouth, naturally, and he drools like crazy. Although some weeks are truly terrible because he’s in pain and incredibly grumpy, other weeks he’s much more pleasant (like this week, yay!).

Cody has some funny new antics this month. When he’s in the Ergobaby carrier on Cory, and Cory’s not moving enough or otherwise doing something to displease him, Cody will start to thump his head back onto Cory’s chest repeatedly until he changes what he’s doing. Those backward headbutts can be pretty hard—it actually makes an audible “thump” and leaves Cory’s chest feeling a little sore if it goes on too long!

He also likes to look at us close up when we’re holding him. He’ll lean out a little bit and turn to look at me, usually with his silly open-mouth stare, and sometimes reach up to pat my cheek or grab my nose. Or if he’s feeling especially affectionate, he’ll lean in as if to eat my face. I reward his cuteness with kisses on his chunky little cheeks, which sometimes he clearly enjoys with closed eyes and a smile, and other times he boyishly rejects with a quick turn away. Did I mention he’s really ridiculously cute? =]

One other funny thing he likes to do is rock back and forth when he’s sitting on the floor. He has good enough balance now that he doesn’t fall over, and he seems to have fun figuring out how far backward and forward he can rock.

He’s what I’ve come to label an aggressive nurser—meaning that he likes to kick, punch, slap, grab, scratch, claw, and pull hair while he’s nursing. It makes things rather difficult, but I also have to laugh because it’s so funny to sit there with my baby nursing and reaching up to slap me at the same time. Obviously, he’s not trying to hurt me, he’s just a wild little thing.

That’s pretty much all I can think of for new things this month, but basically he’s growing really well and he’s a lot of fun. I realize this doesn’t need to be said, but I feel the urge to say it whenever I talk about him—I love him so much! He’s definitely my favorite baby in the world. 😉

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Life with a High-Need Baby

When Cody was a newborn, he slept a lot and nursed a lot. That was pretty much all he did, and he spent the majority of his time in somebody’s arms, usually either mine or Cory’s. I didn’t consider him any more “high-need” than any other newborn baby would be. From about 2 months and on, though, he’s become a textbook high-need baby. Obviously, all babies have a lot of needs and are demanding, but there are some babies who are even more demanding than others. Dr. Sears describes a high-need baby as one who fits many of the following criteria: intense, hyperactive, draining, feeds frequently, demanding, awakens frequently, unsatisfied, unpredictable, super sensitive, can’t put baby down, not a self soother, and separation sensitive. I wouldn’t describe Cody as intense or hyperactive, but he definitely hits the mark with every other characteristic on that list.

Cody is draining, in that he takes every ounce of my energy and time. He is my job right now, and doing anything else that doesn’t include giving him my full or almost full attention is out of the question. I can’t volunteer at church right now because I can’t leave him, and I’d be too busy holding him to be of any help. I canceled my gym membership because, again, I can’t leave him. I don’t write anymore except when he’s napping, like right now. All of my activities either have to be flexible enough to be put down at a moment’s notice, so I can do them while he’s napping, or they have to include him. By the end of the day, I’m usually drained, especially mentally.

He also feeds frequently, about every hour and a half. This is the best timing for him to stay relatively in a good mood; if I wait longer than that, he gets fussy and when I do feed him, I have so much milk built up that he chokes on it and has a hard time nursing. He’s also uniquely demanding- he doesn’t just sit on my lap or play with his toys, he needs near-constant input from us. We have to change how we hold him every few minutes, change scenery, change activities, etc.

Awakens frequently is a mild way to describe his sleeping habits. Lately, for the past few weeks, he wakes up 6 to 10 (or more) times at night, and I can get him to nurse back to sleep about 75% of the time. The other times I have to put him in his swing, which thankfully works nearly every time. Even so, it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep waking up so frequently!

Unsatisfied means that there are times when nothing I do or Cory does will work to calm Cody down. Sometimes it’s all we can do to just rock him while he cries in our arms, until he falls asleep or something miraculously changes. Unpredictable means that what works to keep Cody happy or get him to sleep changes frequently, and that his schedule is not very consistent. Sometimes he enjoys an activity, other times he doesn’t. Sometimes he takes a 30 minute nap in the afternoon, other times it’s 2 hours or occasionally even longer.

Cody is super-sensitive, especially after his naps and when he’s tired. Loud or unexpected noises startle him and make him cry. He is easily distracted while nursing, and may not be able to concentrate if I’m talking to somebody, or even eating a snack with noisy packaging.

Generally, he needs to be held or within arm’s reach at all times, except when he’s sleeping in his swing. He does not like being put down or left alone for more than a few minutes. He’s not a self soother who can be put to sleep in a crib; even in his swing, he often needs me or Cory to sit next to him and shush him or lay a hand on him until he’s asleep. And lastly, he’s separation sensitive, meaning he needs to be with me or near me, or Cory, almost all of the time.

I share this all with my readers not to complain, but simply to share my experiences as the mother of a high-need baby. Some people may not understand what it’s like, or they may think that we’re overly indulgent parents, but the truth is we are just being the best parents we can be to a baby who needs a lot from us. I think it’s fortunate that Cody was born to us, parents who are willing and able to meet his needs. I came into this adventure with the mindset that I would give everything I have to this baby, and so I was prepared for a high-need child. It’s still hard and tiring, but it’s the best job for me in the world. Meeting Cody’s needs fulfills me and gives me motivation and challenges me. I love it, and I wouldn’t ever trade him for an easier baby.

And on that note, when Cody’s happy, he’s the sweetest and most wonderful baby around. He’s curious, interested in his world, interactive, silly, and so much fun. I take every day with him as it comes, savoring the perfect moments and praying and thanking God for him in the hard moments. He is such a gift, and I love him more than words can express.

Plus, as Cory said the other day, “he’s so cute, I just want to rip my face off!”

Happy Five Months Birthday, Cody!


Cody turned five months old two days ago! How fast the time is flying…

We just moved to a new house, so things have been a little crazy around here. Cody is getting closer to crawling every day. He plays with toys now and puts everything in his mouth. His sleeping habits are somewhat inconsistent, but generally he takes three naps during the day and sleeps 10 1/2 hours at night, waking up frequently to nurse (4 times is a good night, 10+ times is a bad night). He’s starting to show more personality, and more emotions including anger and frustration. He can also be quite silly at times. His best friend is still our dog, Sky. He seems interested in watching us eat, but looks disgusted when we let him taste our food.

Cody is a very demanding baby, but he’s also a lot of fun. I’m so excited to see how he’s changing and developing with every new week!

Week 20 with Cody

Last Thursday, Cody turned 20 weeks old! At this point, I’m going to start posting updates monthly, starting with his five month post *sniffle* next week.

The beginning of this week was terrible, probably the hardest week I’ve had with him yet. He fussed constantly, would not let me put him down for even a moment, nursed fussily, and slept badly. I have no idea what was going on with him, but thankfully, it passed, and the rest of the week was pretty good. In fact, last Tuesday was pretty much a perfect day—he was in a good mood, napped really well, and even let me put him down and get some stuff done. Since then, things have been pretty average. He’s still what I would consider a particularly high-need baby. He tends to be fussy a lot of the time and needs to be held and walked around most of the time.

His naps have been getting much more predictable, though, which is really nice. He generally wakes up around 6:30 AM, then naps at 8 for an hour, at noon for an hour, and at 2:30 for two hours, then he goes to bed at 8 PM. Obviously, his schedule deviates a lot from that on a regular basis, but that’s the general idea. Nights have been a bit rough lately, though, as he’s been waking up about six times per night and sometimes won’t fall back asleep even after nursing. I’ve had to rely on the swing to put him back to sleep, which I prefer not to do at night, since I feel better with him sleeping in bed with us. The past few nights (which aren’t really part of week 20, but oh well) I’ve been experimenting with other ways to get him back to sleep, such as getting out of bed and rocking him, patting and shushing him, and turning on white noise. It seems to be helping.

Cody is getting so much more dexterous with his hands now. He loves to grab things and put them in his mouth, and he often holds his hands out in front of his face to stare at them. He’s also discovering his tongue and how to suck on it, his lips, and his fingers, rather than just gnawing. He pushed up on his arms mini-push-up-style for the first time, and kicks his legs a lot when he’s on his belly, which are some early signs of getting ready to crawl. It could still be a while, but he’s getting there! He can sit up in our laps, mostly unsupported, but he’s not quite ready to sit on his own yet.

We’ve started using sign language with him more consistently. We sign “milk,” “finished,” “mommy,” and “daddy.” Sometimes, it seems that he’s beginning to understand. For example, when I’m getting ready to feed him, I sign “milk” and he will turn and latch on right away, and when he lets go I sign “finished?” and he either smiles and wriggles around trying to sit up or he latches back on. It’s going to be fun to see how much we can communicate to each other before he even knows how to speak!

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Week 19 with Cody

Wow! The past few days have been some of the hardest with Cody because of how unhappy he’s been (for some reason unapparent to us) and how poorly he’s been sleeping. By the end of last night, I was totally mentally exhausted. But those days are technically part of week 20 of his life, since he was born on a Thursday. So, more about that in the next post!

For now, I’ll just say that the week was uneventful. We’ve been establishing more of a schedule, though it’s still very flexible. We have a morning routine and a range of time that he typically naps during the day, and some activities we do during the week. It makes the day-to-day drag a little easier to handle. I’m excited for Cody to start playing and crawling more, because right now it’s all about being held and walked around, and that can get boring real quick!

Here’s pictures of the little cutie from this week:

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