Waiting For Spring

Seven Months.

tucker with new doll blog article.jpg

You guys, there was snow on the roof next door when we woke up this morning. Spring really, really needs to get here. We were tantalized by a couple warm days last weeks, but then the temperature dropped 20 degrees and...ugh. Cannot *wait* to start playing in the park without worrying about cold and wet. I'm definitely ready for the "lamb" portion of March weather!

I wanted to elaborate on a few things I touched on in passing last week. I mentioned Tucker's little doll that he sleeps with. We call him Ned, but he's a German Käthe Kruse Waldorf doll (the Nicki Baby), a floppy little velveteen guy with a stocking cap that was a gift from a dear family friend when she heard I was pregnant. We have the orange one but there are a bunch of colors. The body is sort of like a beanbag, so he can be posed in various positions, with stuffed arms that are nice and small for a baby to grab onto. Tucker loves to hold his cap and suck on it (gross), and the feet get pretty slobbery, too. At our four-month appointment our pediatrician recommended picking an attachment object that Tucker only holds while he's nursing and sleeping, and we chose Ned because he was small enough not to be a smothering risk, easy to hold onto, and a friendly friend for bedtime. It's adorable to go in and see Tucker sleeping with Ned either under his arm or in his hand (or, honestly, tossed over the side—poor Ned).

Speaking of sleeping, I hate to say it out loud for fear of jinxing it, but I think we finally turned the corner on naps after all these months. Since the Oregon trip, the morning nap kept getting longer until we've had a few hour-and-45-minute wonders. Now that he puts himself to sleep, he's routinely sleeping at least an hour and a half. The challenge now is getting onto a reliable two-nap schedule—since his naps were so short, we ended up needing a third late-afternoon one to get through till bedtime. Yesterday we had a perfect sleep day: We had to wake him up at 7 a.m. after a solid 11.5 hour sleep, he napped from 9-10:45 and then from 2:15-4:45!! Asleep at 7:05 p.m. and we had to wake him up again this morning at 7. He woke up at 5:40 screaming but we just had to flip him back over and he went back to sleep.

I definitely think he was ready for solids—the nighttime feeding went away on its own within a week of adding a big dinner of solids before his bath and final nursing. But I'm glad we waited until 6 months, especially in light of all the research that has been coming out about allergies being linked to early solid foods. We're experimenting with what he likes, and so far savory things aren't a huge hit. Avocado got a violent rejection this week, as did a bit of meat mixed into squash. Meanwhile he plows through a huge amount of squash or sweet potato mixed with oatmeal, cinnamon and cloves. (I must say, the sudden cessation of leaky diapers is a joy, even if the stink factor is elevated!)

One last thing. Last week I said we'd signed up for a music class. I meant to mention free alternatives that you should look up in your community, since all these classes are really expensive. Near us we are lucky to have the amazing Cambridge Public Library, which just opened a fantastic new facility about 18 months ago. The whole top floor is the children's room, and they have a variety of programs for all ages of kids, from baby lap-sit for pre-crawlers to preschool storytimes and singalongs. There are even craft and activity sessions for elementary-age kids! They fill up fast but it's a great community resource. Also near us is a fun toy store that has a great free singalong every Saturday morning, plus other activities throughout the week. The guy plays banjo, guitar, ukelele, harmonica, etc., and the kids love it. It's sort of bluegrassy—we bought the cd and I always have the songs stuck in my head. I like the singalong because it's on the weekend, so Ben can come, too.

Have a great week! We're light on products this week but I'll try to round some things up for next time. Does anyone have any tips for keeping a 7-month-old from getting bored when we're cooped up inside?

Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.