The First Six Months
On March 29 at 2:01am Ford Olson Burke turned 6 months old.
There is literally no way to describe becoming a parent to someone who hasn’t been through it. And not just because there is this brand new human in your life that you essentially instantly love unconditionally, but because it is such an utter shock to your existence as you’ve known it for presumably decades prior.
My brother is seven years older than me, he has 3 kids who are 8, 5, and 3. I’ve changed their diapers, I’ve given baths, I’ve fed bottles, I’ve read them books before bed. I knew that this certainly didn’t mean I understood what it was like to be a parent, but I thought at least the fact that I was comfortable holding babies would somehow make the adjustment a bit easier. It didn’t.
Well I suppose I can’t say that for certain because I guess if I had never held a baby the shock would be even greater but regardless the shock is there. It’s there for everyone because it’s not like being an aunt, it doesn’t stop. And the eternal well being of that human is all that your mind can process, or at least all that my mind could process.
I struggled with the fact that so many people had told me ahead of time “wait till 3 months, thats when things turn” because for me that wasn’t the case. Ford, by all accounts, was an “easy” baby. He has a mild temper, he started sleeping 8 hour stretches on his own at 8 weeks. He slept in his crib from the get go at night. But we had our own struggles, struggles that I didn’t feel prepared for.
Naps for instance. The bane of my existence for MONTHS and with what I felt like was minimal warning. For some reason all these books that say “now baby should nap for 2 hours” infiltrated my mind and had me paralyzed with anxiety over the fact that my child only napped for 30-45 minutes at a clip and now what the hell was I supposed to do with that 90 minute gap in the “schedule” they suggested. As I started to mention this to others I found out all about baby sleep cycles, how before 5-6 months this is totally normal for most babies to only take short naps. Despite knowing it was “normal” I still felt like it was wrong and I died a little inside every time he woke after 30 minutes… 5 times a day. Around 4 months the nights started to get messy as well as he hit the well known regression and we promptly scheduled a sleep coach to help dig us out of the trenches and it was the best money we have spent so far in parenthood, IMO anyways. She didn’t tell us anything earth shattering but she gave us a plan and within days we were on a much better track. A few weeks later at about 5.5 months we started nap training and I don’t know if it was a coincidence that he was ready right around 6 months or what but he started stretching some naps. He got down to 3 naps a day and I started to feel the fog lift.
Breastfeeding was another one that was tough for reasons I couldn’t understand until doing it. For me the initial pain of sore nipples and then the frustration in not knowing how much he was getting, and eventually when he was getting so distracted it became difficulty to exclusively breast feed. Now at 6 months we are sort of on an eating schedule and I’m comfortable with not knowing exactly how much he gets from me, knowing he is more than happy to supplement with formula after each feeding from me. For months however I was terrified to try formula. I don’t know why exactly but the task felt overwhelming and I kept putting it off…turns out he loves the stuff.
This is all to say that the first 6 months are TOUGH, and for me they were anxiety ridden (also HELLO introducing solids and allergens let’s just say there was a mini panic attack when eggs touched his lips). But the 6 month mark is truly when I also started to feel really attached to him. I’ve always loved him but for the first few months he felt like world’s most daunting chore. I felt like he was quite literally sucking the life out of me. But now I feel a whole different connection. Now, he smiles, he giggles, he even plays silly games with me indulging in my baby humor. We spend 5 minutes at a time just curiously studying each others faces. We attach to each other 5+ times a day for him to get most of his nutrition. We cling to one another while I unload dishes from the dishwasher because he wants to be part of my action. And when he is at the opposite end of the room in his activity center and I’m in the kitchen we catch eyes each other with a knowing glance and smile, mostly he smiles because he realizes he has found me and I smile because he is SO FREAKING CUTE.
People always say wow I can’t believe it’s been SIX MONTHS and while I sometimes feel that way I actually mostly feel the opposite. I feel like “he’s only been around for 6 months??” It truly feels like decades ago that he wasn’t the center of my world.
At six months Ford is:
Weight: 16lbs 11oz
Height: 27.75 inches
Has 2 teeth
Putting himself to sleep
Taking some naps in his crib (longer than 30 minutes!)
Weaning from his dream feed
Taking 3 naps a day
Putting everything in his mouth
At six months postpartum mama is:
looking back to normal but still feeling squishy
working out daily for the most part - our Peloton & part time nanny make that possible even if its just a 20 minute ride I try to get those endorphins going
back to making dinner! nothing exciting really, just some staples but it feels good during the week to eat healthfully
I’ve left Ford once for a weekend getaway (bachelorette party) and we are about to leave him with his grandparents for a wedding in 2 weeks!
still feeling torn about being a “SAHM”/working. I would love to do both, I know now that I for sure want to be home with him as much as I can… when I leave him with others I not only miss him but always feel (even when I know he is in V capable and loving hands) that it’s not quite the same as if he was with me. that said i do miss feeling like I’m making a financial contribution to the family - this is something I will for sure continue to grapple with in the months and years to come
To shop some our most used products in the first 6 months head to my LikeToKnow.It page or click below! Then scroll down to see pics of Ford over the months!