What’s been going on around here

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in BABY, Daily, Monthly Updates, New Mom Experience

I’ve been pretty busy for the past few weeks attempting to get things in a semblance of order as well as having fun with friends and thoroughly enjoying my baby girl who is at an amazingly fun age.

We are in the process of getting our house painted which has resulted in a chaotic mess with furniture everywhere and lots of time wasted gabbing with the painters.

I celebrated my birthday with the few friends that are still down here during the summer and a few that drove/flew to visit. We finally made a trip to the beach with Alexis and then another one and it was more fun than I’ve had for a while.

Days are split  between playing and snuggling with an adorable six months old and trips to the pool, because I, in fact, have given birth to a water baby.

I have gotten much better at time management with an infant, a topic I am in the process of writing about. I am much more organized and focused. The problem has been and will be that when it comes to this blog my working time is extremely limited: nap times is THE ONLY time I get to edit photos, put them together, write posts, put together videos, answer emails (thankfully, comments can be answered quickly on my cell at any time). And with nap times being short (though extremely predictable), I am left with 40 drafts of great posts I have started writing but no time to finish them up properly.

Things won’t get better until everything slows down. I have more friends coming down to visit in a week, then a Disney trip for a week, then possibly another visit from friends, and then depending on how the first Disney trip foes, another one. All that yields colorful photographs that beg to be shared and no time to share them.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that at times I don’t blog about the things I want to blog about, or the things I think I should blog about, because those are usually more time-consuming involved posts that I want to sit down and write in peace, gathering my thoughts and laying out everything exactly the way I feel or think.

The photo below sums up some of the upcoming photo posts I am hoping to schedule asap, so that I could be free to share more current events as well as more serious posts.

And 10 minutes into my writing, Alexis is up, so I will be right back. {…}  Ok she’s asleep now. But of course I lost my train of thought. That is presicely why i’ve been putting off longer more important posts on parenting because I just can’t rely on more than 20 minutes and Andrew is so busy that he cant give me a few hours at a time right now.

What else is new? We’re currently “struggling” with what seems to be separation anxiety (OK, Lexi is up again… BRB… ). For the past week or so, she has been watching me like a hawk, with wide eyes and fear apparent on her face. I can’t even leave her for 2 seconds without her erupting. I feel so bad for my girl, and try to not leave her alone unless I can see she’s engrossed into what she is doing and I need to throw in a load of laundry or something. If I am around but she can’t see me (like when I am in the kitchen trying to make lunch), I try to sing her a song so that she’d feel I am still here.

It also could be the growth spurt she is going through. She’s been eating pretty much every hour and if I miss her hunger cues, and daddy goes to spend time with her, so that I could get  a few things done,… (Ok she is up again… and I am back.), as soon as I leave, she starts crying and if I am in the same room, cleaning up or moving around, she just watches me non-stop. It’s really kinda cute. I bet she’s just keeping tabs on her food source lol

It also looks like we might be ready to drop the third nap, though I am not sure if she can go all the way to her actual bedtime which is usually 8-9 pm depending on when she took her last nap. Never once though has she been able to go to sleep before 8pm.

Alexis has really changed again overnight. She does so much more and just a much bigger, even more aware baby. She seems so smart, her cognitive development has exploded, she reacts to things in a different way. She’s also such a profecient sitter and are able to reach for toys easily all around her. I just love watching her bloom into this amazing capable human being. I’ll write about everything that she’s been doing in her “7 months” post, but so many things already happened and she’s not even half way to 7 months.

She’s also developed object permanence, which is probably where the separation anxiety comes from.

I am also excited to write about Baby Led Weaning and the whole solids introduction, because it’s going fabulously and I cannot IMAGINE doing anything but that. If any of you are on the fence about trying it out, I would totally recommend this method and the book (though I am not crazy about how it’s written, I do love the concept behind it)

I started a #30daysofbreastfeeding challenge on Instagram. So if you are a supporter of breastfeeding, join me in posting a BF picture a day for 30 days with the hashtag #30daysofbreastfeeding. My IG name is @girl_on_e

Also I reset the numbers on the poll for future posts on the right, so if you feel like it, go ahead and vote for what you’d like to see. Again, I mostly go by what I feel like at that moment and the time I have when it comes to writing posts, but I do try to take the poll into consideration.

And finally, the biggest, most amazing thing that happened at 6 months and 1 week was ALEXIS’ FIRST WORD!

MAMA!

I didn’t want to believe it at first. She’s been babbling and using mama, baba, papa for a few weeks now, which is normal and does not constitute an actual meaningful word. For the past week, though, she’s been saying mama whenever she “appeared” to need me. Which I considered a coincidence or her new cry for food or something. She’s been saying mama and lifting her arms for me, also while crying for food, all the times either looking directly AT me or looking for FOR me. But again, I just wasn’t sure that she knew what she was saying. Last night, however, when she woke up during her witching hour at 4am and refused to go to sleep, Andrew got up to rock her (I wake up to feed her and soothe her, but if nothing works, he gets up to rock her so that I could get some sleep). He ALWAYS rocks her at night. This time, however,  she broke down into hysterics, crying “mama” and looking back at the bed where I was. I got up and she followed me with her gaze while repeating “Mamamamamamamama!” and only after I took her into my arms, she calmed down.  And with that, we have decided that, while she might not be realizing she is actually speaking or what words are, she has said her first word with intention: MAMA!

{mind explosion over}

Next up: Father’s Day in photos

 

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Comments (68)

  • Michelle

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    I found your blog on top baby blogs and love reading them. Your daughter is beautiful and you capture many nice photos. As I was reading this entry, I thought back to when my daughter was 6 months old and we were dealing with separation anxiety as well. It felt like she would never get through it but now at 9 months she is doing so much better. Good Luck with everything and have a nice day!

    Reply

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt

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    It must make you feel so good that her first word was Mama! It certainly sounds like you’ve had your hands full lately, but it looks like you’ve done an awesome job of keeping everything in balance. :)

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      It’s funny because I fully expected it to be dada. And I would have been very happy for that. I don’t think I still fully believe she said mama.

      Reply

  • kole

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    The seperation anxiety can be annoying but its also filled with so much love…. I’ve felt it with pets too.

    Reply

  • Chrissy

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    Aww, Mama. My heart melts. Take your time with the posts. I love to read them, but that beautiful baby is far more important.

    Reply

  • Amy

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    You might consider reading “How to raise a happy, unspoiled child”. Trust me, you do not want to end up with a toddler who can’t stand for you to leave the room. The author says months 5-14 are key for these developments and offers suggestions on how to help the child during those months to be not quite so clingy. I recommend it!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I appreciate the suggestion but the least of my worries is raising “an unspoiled child”. You can’t spoil a baby with attention and love, that’s a very outdated concept.

      I world be interested in reading the arguments and studies agaist paying attention to your child that the author brings up.

      Reply

      • christine

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        maybe amy just want you to learn how you can leave your baby and making sure she won’t cry, even if she is not hearing your voice. you can have conversations with babies. they can and will understand you even if they aren’t talking yet. sign language can also help. how will a baby become independent if a parent is always there to do everything for her. crying, frustration, fear, and anger are emotions that even babies experience and we can’t and must not do everything for them not to feel that. as a parent you are there to comfort her if she feels this, not do something so she won’t experience it. that’s something hard to bear. to see your baby upset. it breaks our heart. but thats part of everyones lives and that what makes them secured and not clingy as they grow. because they know they can do it and you are there for her even if they fail. you can’t wait for a year to teach this. toddlers act out by what they’ve learned from birth. i’m not saying that you should be hard on your baby, what i’m trying to say is that babies also adjust from the way we live, our routine. if they get used to you doing laundry and them playing in a bouncer side by side they know that you need to do something important. babies needs love and attention but not all. you need love and attention for yourself too. it’s not healthy for you to give everything just for your baby. that’s not reality. she will end up knowing that she can have everything because you will give her everything she wants. needs and wants are different things. you’ll end up having a hard time as she grows older. we hope we’re wrong, she cries all the time because she wants you there for her. not because she needs you. she is using crying as her weapon for you to do what she wants even if you need to do other things. these other things are also important bec. that is also for her. and she should grow up on that balance. we are just concerned. that’s all..we hope you consider this

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          I did mention in the post that I talk to her while away. But I don’t believe in ignoring your baby’s cry when they are distressed and need/want you. Separation anxiety is a REAL thing and it’s insensitive to the
          baby to say it doesn’t matter or worse that it’s some kind of weapon they use.

          Teaching them that mommy has more important things will come later. For now I’d like her to know that her feelings matter.

          I do truly appreciate both your and Amy’s input but it’s simply not how I chose to parent my child.

          Reply

          • Amy

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            Well, you haven’t read the book I suggested, so you don’t know what it says. It does not say “Leave your baby crying and alone so they won’t get too attached to you.” The book states “You cannot spoil a baby before 5.5 months.” So it’s in agreement with you there. From 5.5-7 months all it suggests is providing plenty of different entertainment and activity for the baby so she doesn’t get bored and is only entertained by mommy (which I think you do). Don’t jump to conclusions about the book before you’ve even read it.

            I have a daughter very similar to yours at that age- so I’ve been there. For now, keep doing what you’re doing. But know that if you never set limits and you never show her that you are a person to be equally valued as her (i.e. you should be able to do the dishes or the laundry without her screaming or holding onto your leg), it’s going to be a rough 2-3 years ahead.

            I hesitate to make another book recommendation given the reaction to my first one, but I would also recommend “Parenting with Love and Logic.” Lexi is still young and you have time, but give it 6 more months and you will be very very interested in discipline advice.

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Oh no, I didn’t assume what the book was saying. I was saying (with no snark) that I would truly be interested in seeing what the book says and what the arguments are, and what studies it cites that are against responding to your baby.

            Lexi IS young, like you said, and my point was that she needs her parents to be responsive. Once the time comes when I can “somewhat” reason with her, my techniques will be different.

            I think you’re recommending from the standpoint of an older child that you have now, but I still have a baby who is going through separation anxiety and needs to be treated with love and respect.

            Also, there are very few authors that I trust from the standpoint of how to treat a baby with love, and Dr Sears who is one of them says that for 1 year a baby’s wants and needs are the same. I am more likely to believe that than 5.5. months. Yes, at 5.5. months they are more capable of getting what they want, they have forethought, but it doesn’t mean they don’t need what they are asking for which is , again, love, respect, emotional support.

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            BTW, there are two things I reacted to in your comment. The word “unspoiled” in the book name and the “help your child be not so clingy”. The fear of spoiling your child is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. The wrong assumption by many that it can be done by giving them too much attention. And the clinginess, it’s just not something I want to help my child “not to be” right now. Though, I do reserve the right to change my mind on that last part, since I don’t know yet how bad the anxiety can get. lol

            Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Also, I would suggest reading any book on attachment parenting that cite studies that show babies who were securely attached to their mothers in the first year by having their mothers respond to all their needs grow up to be more independent less clingy toddlers. And visa versa. It’s detrimental to their development to “train” them to be “not so clingy”. And all that besides the fact that I don’t mind her going thru a perfectly normal stage of development that separation anxiety is

      Reply

      • Tawny

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        I’m not saying I agree at all with what’s being said. We all parent differently but what I got from the beginning of Christine’s comment wasn’t to ignore your baby being in distress but simply that you can’t always avoid letting your baby feel distressed? Does that make more sense? Like, obviously don’t ignore her if she crying for you but don’t avoid leaving her for 30 seconds so that she won’t cry because that isn’t really realistic. Once again, not saying I agree or disagree, I’m just saying what I got from the comment. I mean, I’m not a gigantic fan of AP parenting or any “labeled” parenting method. I like to think of myself as more of an instinct parent. I don’t follow a method of parenting, I follow my baby. I realize that my children will not spontaneously combust with abandonment distress if I go pee for 32 seconds but I also know that you cannot spoil a baby with too much attention. I have never met a person who said, “I wish I would have paid less attention to my children.” Uh, no.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          See, what I got from Christine’s comment overall was that “teaching” babies that you won’t be there all the time will make them more independent, which I disagree with passionately ( and so do multiple studies).
          Obviously, I wouldn’t avoid doing laundry or going to pee because I know Alexis might cry, but what I do do is make sure that she’s distracted with something else, reassured by my voice if possible, or make “small” trips so that I am back to “check in” before she gets too upset. Once she’s content playing on her own, knowing that mommy is in close proximity, that won’t be necessary, but they don’t develop that kind of thinking for many months.
          But saying that they HAVE to learn that mommy won’t always be there is a bit too harsh for a 6 months old with separation anxiety.

          I also disagree that making sure that her emotional needs and wants are met ( which at this age most want ARE their needs) will in any way spoil a child or ensure that they learn that they can have anything and everything. That’s just silly to say.

          My goal with parenting ( call it AP or anything else) has always been to be there for her, to respond to her and support her. As she grows and mature I adjust how I parent, but baby-led way will always be what I follow. That doesn’t meet giving her everything she wants, but for me it does mean responding to her emotional needs/wants. We wouldn’t deny our adult loved ones comfort, why would we deny our little babies the most important thing they need- security?

          Reply

          • Jessica

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            I agree completely – you can’t spoil a baby! Every bit of research shows that to raise an independent, intelligent, emotionally stable person the best technique is AP (although not permissive parenting- a lot of people conflate attachment parenting with permissive parenting – they are very different beasts!).
            One bit of advice with the separation anxiety – we experienced our first bout of it around 5 months, which was rough because I leave my little girl to go to work (luckily she’s with either her dad or grandmother during the week, but it was still super rough!). I did a lot of reading on the best techniques, and they all recommend always telling your baby when you’re leaving, never to sneak out when they are distracted – that will teach them that you will sneak away and they won’t know what happened to you, and can make them paranoid and upset that every time they aren’t keeping an eye on you that you will disappear! You should give a quick, short, upbeat goodbye (“Mommy’s going to the laundry room! I’ll be right back!”), making sure to reassure them you will be back. I also continue to talk to my daughter when I do this around the house (“Mommy’s in the laundry room! I’ll be back in a minute!”). She used to cry for a short period when I left (even when I left for work my husband and mom told me she always stopped crying within 30 seconds), but luckily using these techniques now she doesn’t cry at all. I hope it’s a short-lived phase for you!

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Oh THANK YOU! That’s a really helpful tip! I usually “sneak away” when I know I’ll be back before she notices, but you’re SO right- the best way is to tell them! I do talk to her when I’m in the other room and she can hear me telling her about what I am doing and that I’d be right back.

            Honestly, it doesn’t bother me, since I am always with her as it is. When I do housework, I strap her in a carrier if she’s needy. Otherwise, I ask Andrew to be around her or do my things while she’s napping.

            Reply

          • christine

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            that was my point, I’m not saying that you should teach your baby to become an adult and understand discipline at this stage. there are different types of cry. and i know that you know that difference esp. you’re a SAHM. I am too, that’s why I know by the sound of their cry if they are hungry, sleepy, something hurts, or they are just fuzzy. sometimes they figure out for themselves that for example, they want to grab a toy but can’t reach it, they cry, what I do is to wait for them to see what they’ll do next, then there goes developing their ability to try to do things on their own. (since lexi is 7 months old now, i know she is doing a lot nowadays) they get fuzzy but once they do something and was able to get that toy, for example by crawling, reaching, scooting, you can see in their face that rewarding feeling that they get “wow! I did it”. simply, it’s okay for babies to get upset sometimes. that’s all. I also agree on the sneaking part, that will only make things worse. It is hard to hear our babies cry esp. when we leave them even for a while, saying what you are supposed to do and where you will go even at this early stage will help them cope. I dunno, I don’t label my kind of parenting, I don’t judge people esp parents for what they do. I am just sharing my opinion as a mother who’s “been there”. I have 2 sons, 5 & 2. Bec. on my first son, I know I have my instincts, but I am still open to hear opinion from other moms and the reason behind that. Just to have a good balance on where you are as a parent. That’s one advantage of baby groups. You get to share ideas on parenting style, not judge, but share. bec, everything that we do and want is the best for our babies. I hope I don’t seem as attacking. It’s only a concern coming from another mom like you. Who am I to say what’s right or wrong. Sometimes, sharing or trying others advice won’t hurt. Btw, lexi is looking more like you! what a gorgeous baby!

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Thanks for clarifying. The way it sounded in your first comment (especially down the middle of it) is a bit different from your clarification.

            Of course, babies get upset, at many things. It’s silly to assume that any thinking parent would JUMP at every sound or fuss. There are a lot of things that I write with the implication that people, who read this, know common sense and that “I respond to my baby” doesn’t mean “I respond to my baby’s every peep, whether it’s necessary or not”.
            A baby crying from separation anxiety is VERY different from a baby fussing over not being able to crawl or reach a toy. VERY DIFFERENT.

            Either way, I appreciate you input, Christine.

            Reply

      • Lara

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        I agree 100%, and it is refreshing to read that there in fact are people who have done their research.

        I have been interested in developmental psychology and attachment theory for quite some time, and have read pretty much all there is to read on the subject of early attachment, mother-infant bonding (not at all the same thing, contrary to popular belief) and early childhood trauma.

        While I think that some parenting books contain useful information, I do believe many of the true ‘parenting’ books don’t contain a lot of quality advice, not to mention that some of the strategies I have come across can be downright detrimental to a young child’s emotional wellbeing.

        For anyone who is interested in this, I would highly recommend having a look at Dr. Bruce Perry’s books, and “why babies should never sleep alone” by J. McKenna. Though they are not exclusively about parenting, they contain tons of valuable information about the effects of love, empathy, and a mother’s attention on babies and toddlers, and their importance from a neurological point of view. This is coming from researchers who have made it their life’s work to treat children who have had severe emotional an attachment problems in the past. All of these problems (ALL of them) ultimately result from the inability of their caregivers to provide properly for their infant’s emotional needs.

        All of these works make clear that the obsession with raising children that are indepent and can fend for themselves as soon as humanly possible, is merely a cultural construct that fits into the mold of our capitalist society, where efficiency, independence, and assertiveness are valued above everything else, often to the detriment of sensitivity, empathy, understanding and quality relationships. It is easy to see how information like this can so easliy be ignored in a culture that is so preoccupied with avoiding everything that is perceived to be ‘weak’. According to many, a strong mother-infant bond with with lots of attention for the child’s needs MUST be harmful, because you’ll have overly dependent and clingy children. If done right, the opposite is true. Even so, it is unconscious societal pressure that makes many of us ignore our instincts and adhere to the norm.

        It is staggering how many misconceptions there are about ‘overprotecting’ our children. I agree that you cannot possibly spoil a child emotionally, even at a later age. Can you spoil your spouse emotionally? By being too understanding, loving, or considerate? All of these studies show that a strong mother-infant bond, healthy protection, and constant awareness of your child’s needs promote more emotionally mature and confident children. Even more so, it is at the basis of a healthy development.

        I just wanted to add this to the discussion, as the whole idea of spoiling your children emotionally is also one of my pet peeves, and I think it is quite impressive how much most of the general public, most of whom have children, are still in the dark about this, despite of all the quality research that is out there on this subject.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Lara, Thank you Thank you thank you!

          You wrote everything I think and read about but don’t have the time or the patience to write out.

          You are so right and it literally hurts me to see so many people strive for independence in their kids while doing quite the opposite: promoting lack of attachment and security which are the cornerstones of independence.

          Reply

          • Lara

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            You’re very welcome. It hurts me too, that’s why I can’t help but spread some awareness about this.

            We sometimes seem to forget that the parent-child relationship is there in the first place to function as a safe, protective place from where they can start exploring the world at their own pace, and go back to with complete trust in the fact that their feelings and needs will always be taken seriously, whatever their age may be.

            From what you have written, I understand that you have already created a very healthy, secure bond with your daughter, from which you as a family will benefit for a lifetime.

            Reply

      • elizabeth

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        i agree with your comments. it’s impossible to spoil a baby. just keep doing what you’ve been doing! it’s obvious that she is very happy!

        Reply

  • Rachell @Adventures of a Wee Brandon Lee

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    Love the pictures of Alexis in the pool. I cannot wait until my little one is old enough for some pool outings. On a different note, I noticed in some of your pictures of feeing Alexis that you are using the boon high chair. How do you like it so far? I have been thinking of purchasing that one for my little one but was hoping to get some first hand feedback from someone first.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I love boon. I spent a few weeks trying to figure out the high chair I wanted and settled on boon. The only complaint would be the clasp because with Lexi’s chunky thighs it’s in a super inconvenient location. Other than that- it’s perfect!

      Reply

  • Melissa

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    Just wanted to note that if she is ready to drop her 3rd nap you should move her bedtime up to earlier… my guess would be anywhere between 6 and 7:30… Lots of good info about dropping the 3rd nap in Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child…

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I’m trying but she stills treats anything before 8 as a nap, I really really need to get blackout shades, i think they’ll help!

      Reply

  • Jessi

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    Awe, she’s getting so big! And cuter every day :)

    The best part, is that they keep getting more fun. At one stage, you think wow this is fun age! Then in a few months, you say, “This age is even more fun than before”. My favorite age was 12months to 24months, so far. That was a blast! My Alexis just turned 2 and has all of a sudden became a screamer and more defiant, but still fun :)

    Reply

  • Jennifer

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    I love your blog, but mamamamama isn’t mama. That’s not a first word. I know in the beginning we are so wrapped up in their awesomeness that we think that, but trust me, one day she will say it and you’ll be all “ohhhhhh! THAT’s mama!”

    Have fun in Disney! When are you going? Where are you staying? We try to drive down a few times a year!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      See, that’s what I first thought when I heard mamamama. But after her repeating it multiple times ( sometimes mamamama, when she’s upset, other times clear MA-MA), each time while trying to get to me, look for me, it’s clear she means MAMA (hubby is more sure in that than me, simply because I’m usually more skeptical of things like that). It doesn’t matter that she says mama, mamamama, or poo-poo, if she uses a word with a meaning, it’s a first word. I know that eventually she’ll say MAMA, clear as day, but that will only mean that she’s capable of making the sound clearer.
      Honestly, even if it turns out she uses the word MAMA for boob (lol), that’s still her using a distinct sound to mean one thing, which is pretty cool 😛

      We’re going in September, staying at Disney, as usual. We’re both going crazy day dreaming about it. We are huge fans of the parks and we’ve planned EVERYTHING out already lol

      Reply

      • Rebekah

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        Jennifer —

        Its very unusual for a baby to say a word so early but it is not impossible. I think Elena has mentioned that they are also teaching her two languages, so it would not be surprising if she’s already developing advanced language skills.

        With my own daughter (who is 3 months old) we use 4 words (mama, dada, Jack (her brother), and milk) extremely often combined with sign language & a visual cue for those words and she definitely recognizes and responds to that process. I will be curious to see if those words are her first.

        Elena —

        That’s exciting news! I also agree with you that the idea of spoiling babies is outdated. I have no idea why people are obsessed with training babies. We are only babies once! Babies get to be babies!

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          We have been doing sign language from 3 months of age as well ( mama, dada, boobie, diaper, eat and bath), it’s so much fun isn’t it?
          I think the theory out there is that babies brought up bilingually might have a slight verbal language delay, but better language skills down the line, so I am not sure if that has anything to do with that. From other mothers’ experience, they say that their kid acquired language earlier, so I don’t know.

          I know one thing, the more you speak to your child, the better their language skills are, and the faster they acquire them. And we do talk to her constantly. I know this current use of MAMA is different from the previous babbling mamamamaa. But just like people didn’t believe I got a BFP at 6 DPO and heard a heartbeat via doppler at 8.5 weeks, and Lexi was agooing and cooing at 2 weeks, it’s pretty hard to believe that she said MAMA at 6 months. Unless you see/hear/experience it yourself, you don’t really believe it- that’s normal. I was as skeptical as Jennifer at first too, so I don’t blame her at all. At least, she is nice about it :))))

          I will actually be more excited when she uses one of her signs first because i think it’s such a neat concept.

          Reply

      • Jessica

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        Ha, yeah, I thought the same thing when my little girl started going “mama” at 5 and 1/2 months! I did a lot of research on it at the time (wondering if she was some sort of freakish baby prodigy or something since the earliest baby’s brains are developed enough to really utilize language is around a year lol) and it looks like almost all babies start doing that around 4-6 months; babbling “mamama” while being upset (as well as continuing to use it with their regular babbling, mixed in with all the “dadada”s and “bababa”s) but their brains aren’t developed enough at that age to really utilize their babbling as language, the earliest they can really start speaking in a meaningful way is closer to 11 months. It’s funny how we all want to rush them through the milestones, ha. It is wonderful to hear, though, isn’t it! :)

        I love the photo updates, Alexis just gets cuter and cuter! And I’m happy to see that Alexis loves BLW! We’re having a blast with it, too, finding out that our girl loves the weird things (roasted eggplant is a latest favorite, ha!). And my little girl also loves the water, we take her swimming at least a few times a week and she just loves to splash and splash and splash, and would dive head-first if we’d let her. :)

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          I did the same thing :) (with research) when she first starting babbling mama, dada, baba…but I am telling you this last week it’s been different. I mean lifting her arms to me, looking me in the eye and saying MAMA ( not mamamama)- it just felt different. I don’t think it makes a baby a prodigy to say their first word early. I think all babies progress at the speed they need to. For some it’s important to roll over, other speak earlier.
          BUT…only time will tell. I did read that they CAN assign a sound/word to an object person as early as 6 months ( don’t ask me about the source, I can’t remember now).

          Though, I gotta say it’s interesting that you read that they say mamamamama when they’re upset. I’ll try to pay attention to when she says it more. That’s even if she continues using the word.

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      • Melissa

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        Elena – we were chatting about Disney the other day – saw this today and thought I’d pass it along, if you were interested.

        http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2012/08/lion_king_suite_art_of_animati.html

        Also, I disagree with the above comment – if she’s calling Mama or Mamama and knows it’s you, then it’s a word. Same as “guck” being my son’s word for Truck. He knows it’s a truck, he points to the truck in his book and then his actual truck and says “guck.” It’s not “not a word” because he doesn’t say “truck.”

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        • Melissa

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          Further, I have a friend whose little girl spoke well over 100 words at 22 months, when the “what to expect” book says 22-24 month olds should only have an average of 10-20 words. Maybe a rarity, but totally possible.

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          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Actually, one of my favorite bloggers has a 24 months old who is BRILLIANT! She can recite a million books, songs, speaks in complete long sentences and is just amazing! When I watch videos of her mom interacting, I can clearly see where she gets it from.

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          It looks awesome! I saw some of the pics of the other resort areas too. They’re great. We’ll def. stop by there when we go! I love visiting resorts. We stayed at AK Lodge once and since then we go to eat at Boma during every visit to Orlando.

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          • Rhian

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            One thing I found great on the separation anxiety was some tips from a book that I was using about “short term leaving cues’ and then ‘long term leaving cues” – short term being if you are leaving the room A few minutes and long term being actually saying goodbye and leaving them at daycare or something. Really helped us, as they are so intelligent more so than a lot of people give them credit yet are not able to fully understand yet that you are not leaving them for good!

            Short term cue for us was “I’ll be right back” and always returning in a short time (5mins) and long term was saying goodbye properly – and never confusing the two. Also what helped us was when they cry to get out of bed after a nap, going in and praising for sleeping well, comforting while leaving them in the cot, then giving toys for them to play with while you watch ( working up to leaving them playing in cot for 5 mins alone) before getting them out. It helps give them independence and reassures them that you will come if they cry, but crying wont get them straight out of the cot.

            Basically it’s about understanding that babies are extremely intelligent and need us to tell them what we are doing with them every step of the way to feel comfortable and relaxed.

            Congratulations Alexis on your first word!! Beautiful to see our babies develop and every little new thing they do is amazing!!

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          • Melissa

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            Oooh, we’ve been talking about AK for years, and the plan is next year is our “BIG” trip – so we’re going to go all out and do AK. Lately we’d been staying at Coronado Springs a lot, I love that resort. Specifically because it’s a little more “adult” because it’s a business resort, and it’s quieter. Have you stayed there? If not, I highly recommend it.

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          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Yes, Coronado was our first Disney trip in 2003. I prefer Caribbean though just from design standpoint, I’m not a fan of desert landscapes.

            Akl is amazing. We had my sis and her two kids visit and we booked 2 rooms for 2 weeks and it was glorious. We had room overlooking the giraffe savannah.

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          • Melissa

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            Caribbean Beach is super nice too – we did that a couple of earlier trips. (After we graduated from the value resorts – even though AofA is a value resort it’s new so we’re trying it out). I agree, I like the Caribbean beach theme better.

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          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Yeah totally hear ya on the AofA. Our goal is to stay at every resort at least once. We still haven’t stayed at some super expensive deluxe ones though we visit then for dinner often.

            Have you stayed at French quarter? We are absolutely in love with it. The best moderate resort by far, so classy and peaceful. We stay there whenever we want to escape from the mess that all star resorts can be.

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  • Mrs Loquacious

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    It’s like mirror experiences at our place! Baby Loquacious had her first bout of separation anxiety tonight and lately she has been into hourly (albeit brief) feedings and increasing awareness. Love seeing progress even when it comes at a cost!

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      • Bella

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        I would urge you to focus more on actual ASL signs instead of modified signs like the ones presented in Baby Signs. The books and DVDs from Signing Time (specifically Baby Signing Time for this age) are excellent. Why stick to actual ASL? Because other people you’ll encounter down the road – doctors, nurses, preschool teachers, etc. will know ASL signs, not a variant (there are many modified versions of signs and gestures marketed in books/DVDs under the label “baby signs”) and it will be easier for other people to know what Lexi means. Also, ASL is a real, beautiful language. Is it difficult to become fluent? Sure, just like any other language with a syntax that’s different from English. But the basic signs one uses with a baby are very straightforward.

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          I fully agree and that’s why we are only using real ASL signs. The book has both but it urges to use the real thing.

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          • Bella

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            Oh good. I do not understand why people bother with anything else – whenever other moms try to explain “oh, that’s our sign for [whatever]” I’m always so surprised they went that route. Good for you – signing with her is a wonderful thing for all of you.

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  • Jude from Colour Giggles

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    With a week to go before our 2nd little monkey arrives, I’m so happy to have found your blog. Your posts, photos and baby girl are gorgeous and looking forward to spending lots of time visiting your site (probably during 2am keeping me company with night feeds 😉

    Love your blog x

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  • Vanessa

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    Congratulations to Lexi on her first word!

    I would be very interested in a post on how/whether you are planning on raising Lexi bilingual, since that is something I will probably have to face at some point as well.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I actually wrote 2 posts about it a bit ago. Do a search if you’d like. I’ll write more about once Lexi starts talking.

      Reply

  • Kerri

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    I love reading your blog! And your pictures are wonderful! Your daughter is absolutely precious! My son said dada first at 6 months.. little stinker! haha!
    Also…there will ALWAYS be the other moms or really anyone for that matter who feels the need to say.. um it’s not possible for them to be doing such and such.. and blah blah blah.
    It gets so old.
    Since when do humans grow up exactly the same way? And develop at exactly the same rate?
    NEVER.
    So obnoxious lol.
    Keep doing what you’re doing mama…!! you are doing great!

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  • Camille

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    That is so sweet that she has said her first word already and it’s mama! I remember when my daughter learned to ask for me, it was the best feeling in the world! Even though her word for me was “ness” (nurse) lol!

    I think the separation anxiety is normal at that age. I remember mine would have to see AND hear me at all times until she was maybe around 9 months old. I’d sing to try and get some chores done too!

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      • Camille

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        Yeah, Lexi reminds me of my daughter so much. I’ve probably said this but I did attachment parenting and now she is 3 years old and not spoiled AT ALL. I have loved watching her become secure and independent on her own time frame, as opposed to training her. She weaned, slept thru the night, moved to her own room, etc. all when she was ready and wanted to. :) It’s hard because others seem to judge when you’re just trying to raise your baby the way you believe is best FOR YOUR FAMILY. I wish people wouldn’t see it as an argument, I’m perfectly fine with other parents raising their kids in different ways that work best for them and it seems like you are too!!

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  • Elise

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    For the seperation anxiety I would suggest using yor carrier. I often clean the house with my daughter in a back carry. I do laundry and cook with her in a back carry. She could definitely be fine OB your back at this point. Molly loves to look over my shoulder and watch what I’m doing. We listen to music and sing as we go. She is 13 months and this is still how we do it. It makes us both happy and she gets to be involved. Carriers can be so much more than outings and walks.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I use a carrier all the time when doing things around the house but Alexis isn’t digging the back carry yet. I’m sure with time it’ll be a favorite of ours.

      Reply

  • Amanda

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    Some of these women are just basing their opinion on old wives tales and nothing else. I have a degree in developmental psych and many many studies have shown that babies who are “spoiled” (obviously not how they would word it) actually have much less separation anxiety once they are toddlers. It’s believed this is because the child has learned you are dependable so they don’t fear you won’t come back. Also, what she’s doing now us more of exercising her control over the world around her more than it is anxiety FYI. I have to remember this myself or else I feel guilty just running to the store without my boy. You’re doing everything right

    Reply

  • Abbey R

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    I have been through the stage of seperation anxiety 2 times now (read: irish twings). Just hang in there and work with her, it will get better. My girls are still stand offish to people they know but don’t see everyday (okay everyone except my hubby and I) and I’m okay with that. They go to the church nursery on sunday mornings just fine.

    Have you thought about implimenting a stricker schedule with your daughter? I have found that when we are not as slack with our girls the “better behaved” they are. And by that I mean, they sleep better, less sleep interuptions, less clingy to me, less whiny, etc. I know every child is different, but just works for our family and both our children.

    Btw, if your babe loves the water that much, they make these awesome float that you can get at target and walmart that have an umbrella that attached and there is netting for the sitting part, the floation part more netting and then a flotation part as well around the very edge so they can splash where their little arms can reach and they are under the shade. Both my girls love(d) it!!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I actually have the floaty you’re describing. It was hard to find one that isn’t 100% PVC, but I did. Lexi prefers swimming around in our arms though. All she does in the floaty is try to drink the water off of it :) lol

      Reply

  • Corinne

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    Just wanted to share a story with you.

    I’m a hairstylist and my clients always ask how my daughter is doing, what she’s doing, etc. Sometimes I just say ‘oh she’s great’ so I don’t get the unsolicited advice (that I really can’t openly disagree with for fear of offending the client and them not returning). Today, though, I told my client how Celia isn’t a great napper and how she’s up within 5-20 min of putting her down. Of course she jumps in with ‘oh. Well you just gotta let her cry’ and I told her I’m not interested in doing that. ‘well that’s just really going to mess up her sleeping for the future’ and I left it at that.
    She then proceeds to tell me how much of a monster her 2 1/2 year old is. Sea naughty, acts out, misbehaves- you name it, she does it.
    Now, to ME, this is her trying to get attention, good or bad. And it’s proof that neglecting your child’s need and want to be with mommy/dadsy as an infant can (not in all cases) create struggle as they age. Oh, but her daughter is a great sleeper! Maybe it’s just me, but I’d MUCH rather my daughter have difficulty staying asleep than have a hellion on my hands as a result of letting my infant, non-manipulative, needs/wants mommy daughter CIO.

    The end :]

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Oh man! I’m so with you! Great story!

      People have such wrong information because they rely on what their family/friends tell them rather than read books and studies about infant development.

      There’s a common misconception that if you’ve had a few kids you know how to raise kids but the truth is you have become an expert in your kids only. Hopefully they also took the time to research the best way of approaching many things from the development standpoint, but a lot of times that’s just not the case.

      Glad to hear you’re in the no CIO camp. You’ll definitely love the Pantley book then.

      Reply

      • Corinne

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        My other and step-mom are against the CIO method and my brother, sister and I are all very confident, strong adults. My mother in law is for it and used it. All 3 of her kids are quiet and really don’t/can’t comfortably express their wants and desires now as adults and I also feel that is a direct result of doing so as infants and not getting a response. Very interesting to see who used it and what affect it had on the baby years down the road. To me, that’s all the proof I need that it’s no good!

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          I can relate to that. Andrew had trouble being in control or recognizing his emotions. It took a few years of work to “teach him” about his emotions. I’m reading this brilliant book about bed sharing and the need of babies to be close. I love it because it’s an extension of Wio method.

          Reply

      • Corinne

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        Now, obviously I know those traits can be just someone’s characteristics and not a result of how they were raised, but I have a sneaking suspicion that since all 3 kids are the same way, it’s got to have something to do with it.

        Reply

  • gabby evans

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    It’s so exciting she said her first real word. My little one definitely knows mama, and just about everything else is dada– though my husband claims she is just pointing everything out to him, like “Look Dada, a toy!”. We have been going through a ton of Baby Products since she is growing so fast, but I recently found that Burlington Coat Factory has everything we need, in the brands we want, for much cheaper than they are anywhere else. Luckily, that means we have been spending less and are now saving up for a winter vacation.

    Reply

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