As I sit to edit this monster, I can’t believe I’m already at the 6 month mark.
Oh how the days are long and the weeks/months fly by in the snap of a finger!
These 6 months have been so rich, so full of life. Immersive and beautiful.
I’ve done a lot in this life of mine. When you think about the full spectrum of experiences available in life, I’ve lived a very full, rich life of experiences.
From travel to business to meditation to parties and plant medicines and everything in between – I’ve tasted much of the buffet of life – and all of those experiences pale in comparison to becoming a father.
Not only experiencing being a father, but to be in love as well. To be madly in love with an inspired by the mother of my child and my life partner. To share that love with our child. To create an energy of love for our child to grow and flourish within.
This feeling of being a father, and building a family where love is abundant, is the sweetest, most gostoso, feeling I have come across in this life of mine.
I joke that every time he takes a nap when he wakes up he’s bigger. Doing new things. Making new sounds or moving in new ways.
It’s been so fun to watch that journey unfold in front of my eyes. To see those changes little by little. To look back on things that happened just a few months ago and say to myself, “that feels like ages ago! Look at how tiny he was!”
It’s also very trippy to actively say to myself, “What you are living right now are moments that you will look back on and cherish for the rest of your life.”
It’s really made me slow down. Feel more gratitude and presence in the present moment. Really appreciate where I’m at in life.
Truly nothing more beautiful than watching a baby, your son, evolve on a daily basis.
Don’t get me wrong either, we’ve had our fair share of difficult moments. I consider myself a very calm person and I’ve had more than a handful of moments where I’ve felt frustrated, pissed off, and exhausted.
Having a baby will test your patience. Guaranteed.
In a strange way though – that is the part I love most about it. The moments where life tests you. Where the baby tests you. Do you fall for the low hanging fruits of frustration? Do you fall into the low hanging fruit of complaining?
Or, do you use each moment as an opportunity to grow and learn and evolve and become better?
Don is the greatest teacher that has ever come into my life. The ultimate accountability. I think of his behavior as a reflection of how I interact with him. It’s up to me to understand his needs through the signs he shows me and adapt accordingly.
It’s as if all of my previous trainings in life have now prepared me for this moment. The philosophy and meditation and breathwork and highlining and plant medicines and understanding of neuroscience and physiology – all of my wacky life philosophies – are now being put to the test.
Can you put this into practice, in a meaningful way, to thrive during a period of time many would believe to be “difficult” ?
Every day is an opportunity to learn and grow and evolve. It’s quite literally demanded of you in the way that the baby evolves. Each day presents new changes, new things you’ve never handled that you now need to navigate.
Being a father is like growing in dog years. I’ve grown decades wiser in just 6 short months. It’s like i’ve downloaded a cosmic intelligence and intuition that has evolved over a millenia.
…and I’m excited to share those insights with all of you!
Now, thanks for bearing with my meandering philosophy and insights as I now finally get to the story itself.
This was a story that was easy to write, but difficult to organize and edit.
Pregnancy and Don’s birth were, at that moment, retrospective stories where I could tell the events in the past.
This one however, I’ve revisited probably 100 times over the last few months. Jotting down notes and insights and parts of the journey from here to there. Sometimes fleshing them out, sometimes not.
I found it easier to break up these first 6 months into a few different categories.
Feeding, Sleep, Routines, Movement, and some others as well.
So let’s dive in!
The first question that any new parent must ask themselves is, “Do we want to breastfeed or go the Formula route?”.
We decided to breastfeed. It’s definitely much more encouraged here in Brazil, and we knew that it’s what we wanted to go with. We wanted that initial contact with the breast. That ancient connection between mother and baby.
Formula was always an option to fall back on, but we wanted to give breastfeeding a try.
First I’ll just say that breastfeeding is extremely difficult. For some women it simply clicks and they get the hang of it, but for us, and many we’ve talked to, it’s definitely a big challenge. A challenge during a time where it’s already challenging to begin with.
First you gotta make sure he is latching correctly and sucking properly, which is no easy task in and of itself. 3 days after Don was born back at home, we still weren’t entirely sure if we were doing it properly.
Eventually we got the hang of it, but I would say it never really clicked that well for us.
For one, it’s very common that the baby just simply sucks for a little bit, gets comfortable, and then passes out. You have to constantly wake the baby up to make sure that it’s not sleeping and is properly feeding.
While you can do your best, you never really know how much milk the baby took down. Was it 50ML? 100? No idea.
It seemed like all he would do is eat and sleep on the boob. Which is great on one hand, but it’s just a lot of pressure on the mother if you are breastfeeding.
For this reason I help out with the feeding as well. Maria would pump milk, store it, and then I would heat it up and give it to him.
Now, at this point we had not yet introduced the bottle. We were told that bottles can lead to “nipple confusion” or “preference”, where they want the bottle more than the boob, or fail to latch properly because of the differences in shape and size. Imagine it’s a different technique on an actual boob than it is on the bottle.
We were guided to use what is called a “sonda”. It’s like a thin straw that he would suck on that was attached to my finger. Won’t create the nipple confusion and is a very slow release similar to the boob. Super simple.
Using this system I was able to take over half of the feedings throughout the day, which alleviated a lot of the pressure off Maria.
That’s how we largely operated for the first three months. Don would feed at certain times with me, and certain times with Maria. Easy peasy and a solid system.
Again though back to the difficulties of breastfeeding – while Don was no longer on the boob all day, Maria still had to essentially pump milk every 2 hours.
If she didn’t pump? She would be in excruciating pain feeling like her tits would explode.
Oh and I still haven’t even mentioned that your nipples are constantly red and irritated from a baby gnawing at them all day.
Yea, not fun.
On top of this, Don was eating like an animal. He would consume 100ml, 150ml, and then do it again in another 2 hours. (For context, most newborn babies will take down like 50ml at a time).
All the same, with him on the boob for half of the day and Maria pumping the other half, no matter how much she pumped we went through the milk in the same day. It was impossible for us to build up a stock of any kind. Everything got put to use.
More pressure on Maria. We always felt like we were behind. That we didn’t have enough. Might need more.
Obviously, it wasn’t comfortable for her. She felt like she was “living the cow life”.
Handled it like a champ all the same and muscled through, but it was taking a toll.
We made it our goal to simply get to the 90 day/3 month mark. After that we would start using bottles and formula. Maria would continue to breastfeed and pump as well, which we would also use in the bottle. Goal was to be entirely off of the boob by month 6.
Side Note here – MAD respect for any woman who exclusively breastfed for 1 year, 2 years. Wow. Truly Badass.
Right around the 3 month mark we got our first bottles and gave him his first dose of Formula.
Drank it no problem without a flinch!
I will say though that the speed of milk flow with a bottle is like 10x that of the boob.
Via the boob or Sonda, it would previously take Don like 45 minutes to drink 100ml.
Via the bottle? He would crush 100ml in under 5 minutes.
Initially he struggled a bit with the speed of the bottle. Would choke and cough because it hit too fast.
Within a few days though he got the hang of it no problem.
Now, it’s important to note that up until this point, the boob was not just for food, it was also a comfort thing.
Although he didn’t cry very much, whenever he was agitated – straight to the boob.
It was a cure all. An instant calmer. Worked like magic. (but also more pressure on Maria to need to step in and calm him down when needed).
Around month 4 we started to notice something interesting. Sometimes when Maria would take out the boob, he would cry. He didn’t want it.
We would give him the bottle and bam – drink it all down.
He was showing signs of preference.
This trend continued, and by the time we were around month 5, he was entirely off of the boob. From that point on we just stuck with Formula.
We’re lucky because getting the baby to stop breastfeeding is often a huge challenge. With Don it just gradually happened naturally without much strain or discomfort.
…and that’s largely what brought us into month 6.
Up to this point we had not yet introduced solid foods, as we were waiting for the 6 month mark.
Sleep – Night Time
The 2nd question almost everyone asks after you have a baby, aside from “How is the baby?”, is “How are you sleeping?”
I’m grateful to say that up to this point (***touch wood***), Don has been a great sleeper.
The first two weeks were tricky, as Don would only really sleep on the boob. This meant that he would sleep in the bed with us.
Now, I know that’s not what you’re technically supposed to do, and yes sleeping with the baby is dangerous, but he just wouldn’t sleep anywhere else.
He was also seemingly constantly hungry, so it was just the only way that things unfolded naturally.
We had a nice setup against the wall so he couldnt fall off and was protected, and that’s how it went for the first 2 weeks or so.
Then once we started to introduce the sonda, I would feed him before bed instead. I would put him into his reclining chair, I think it’s called a carry (in Portuguese we just call it a Conforto), load up 150ml (which is a ton for a baby but he would take it down), and he would pass out while drinking. I would then just leave him in that carry and he would sleep motionless. We called it the bomba (bomb), to knock him out. Worked like a charm.
Again – I will say that technically you’re not supposed to let the baby sleep in the carry, but once again, it was the only place he would pass out, other than the boob/bed with us. If we put him in the crib, he would immediately wake up.
We went with the philosophy of don’t wake the sleeping giant. If that’s where he’s peacefully sleeping let’s just keep a close eye and let him sleep.
I’m also a big believer that the single most important thing for a baby after the milk – is sleep. All growth happens during sleep. All neurological development is during sleep. Sleep is king, and whatever gets the baby to sleep, and stay asleep, is king.
Back to the story – For the next month or so he would pass out like this around 8 or 9pm and sleep until around 2 or 3 am. Once he woke up, Maria would get him, he would go straight to the boob, and then they would both pass out together. He would wake up again around 7 or 8 in the morning.
It was a good system. Worked reliably.
Then shortly after the 8 week mark, right when I was starting to feel confident and in a good routine with everything – he started to wake up every 2-3 hours in the middle of the night.
Same routine, would pass out around 8 or 9, but now sleep until around midnight, and then wake up again between 2-3, and again around 4-5.
They call this the 8 week sleep regression, and he hit it beautifully.
Interestingly, this lasted until around the 3.5 mark – once we started introducing bottles and formula.
Now when he would wake up in the middle of the night, he would drink 90-120ml. And then again 2 hours later. Little by little he started to extend those windows. Instead of waking up 3 or 4 times a night, it went down to 1 or 2.
The beauty of the bottle as well is that now he could take that 90-120 down in 5 minutes, which meant that I could get back to sleep faster.
On the boob, it would take 20-30 minutes to get that same 90ml, and it’s in the middle of the night when you are fighting the urge to pass out. The baby would also need to stay awake long enough to take down the full 90ml, which often doesn’t happen. Which is why the baby then wakes up hungry. It’s a tough cycle.
Luckily, what happened next was another beautiful transition.
Now that he was no longer on the boob, we didn’t need to have him sleep with us anymore. We could have our bed back.
So now he would wake up, I would give him the bottle while he was in the carry, he would pass out, I would wait 15 minutes, take him out of the carry, and put him in the crib.
At this hour of the night, he didn’t fight at all. He would just stay sleeping and then wake up a few hours later.
Just like this he started to sleep alone in the crib on his own.
Within a few short weeks he was sleeping exclusively in the crib. A perfect transition.
I would still use the carry to feed (still do to this day at the 8 month mark), but he won’t really fall asleep there anymore. Once he started to roll and flip over, the carry was just no longer an option as he could literally climb out of the thing.
It’s also worth noting that his crib was in our room up to this point. So he’s no longer sleeping with us, and sleeping in the crib on his own, but it’s in our room and he’s close by.
Month 5-6 was smooth sailing at this point. He would always pass out by 8, wake up around 11, wake up around 3, and then wake up for real around 7 or 8. I was usually still up for the 11 wakeup, so I would just stay up and then pass out afterwards.
Things operated more or less this way up until the 6 month mark. He was in a solid routine and slept like clockwork.
Strange Fatherly Experience – I will often wake up 2-3 minutes before he does. It’s wild. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, it’s quiet, I go to the bathroom, and bam, I hear crying. It’s like I have a sense of when he is going to wake up. Or my body just adapted to his schedule and knows that he will wake up then. Either way, the human ability to adapt is wild.
Ah – another key point in sleeping – the gamechanger I’m pissed we didn’t use sooner – the pacifier.
This simple device, is a fucking godsend at calming a child down and getting it to sleep. There’s a reason they call it a pacifier.
For the first three months we didn’t use one because of that whole possibility of nipple confusion/preference. We were also told that often the baby will suck on the pacifier but it’s really actually hungry.
Either way – we didn’t use one.
When we started to introduce bottles and formula, we also introduced the pacifier.
The first time we tried it, it was magical.
He was struggling to fall asleep in the middle of the day, kicking and rolling around, and I thought, let me give this pacifier thing a try.
Popped it in his mouth and he nearly passed out instantly.
My jaw dropped. Who knew life could be this easy!? The hours I have spent rocking this baby to sleep when I could have just popped this fucking thing in his mouth?!?!
That worked for a day.
After the first day, he would just spit it out.
Or he would just play with it in his hands.
But sucking on it and passing out instantly? That only happened once.
Thus, we stopped using the pacifier. I was so pissed.
Then around month 4 I noticed that everything he came into contact with, he would pick it up, put it in his mouth, and suck on it. Toys, rings, strings, everything.
So, I tried to reintroduce the pacifier – and he loved it.
However, I didn’t want him to be a baby that has a pacifier in his mouth all day. I want his mouth open so he can make sounds.
We decided to only use a pacifier to send him to sleep (which started to work again), or if we’re in a restaurant/somewhere public and he seems agitated. He could use rings and strings and other things he can put in his mouth and suck on, but no pacifiers unless it was time to sleep.
I mention this here in the sleep section because for us, the pacifier is largely just a sleeping aid.
Many times Don would simply wake up crying without the pacifier, I would pop it in his mouth, and he would fall back to sleep again for another hour.
When he started using the pacifier around the 4 month mark, and that coincided with the use of bottles, I genuinely think that’s what took him out of the sleep regression.
It’s also noteworthy that we know a lot of other mothers here who breastfeed – and nearly all of them say that even at 1+ years old, the baby is still waking up every 2 hours crying for the boob, and that it’s been nearly impossible to try and wean the baby off.
I’m really happy with how natural and seamless the transition was for us. That it was also a catalyst for him sleeping much better. Or just me sleeping better with less wakeups!
Now – up to this point I have only talked about sleeping – at night.
A baby however, sleeps a fuck ton. They sleep most of the day overall.
Getting a baby to sleep during the day?
Is often an adventure in and of itself. So it deserves a place of it’s own here.
Sleep – Daytime
In a 24 hour period, newborn’s should get between 15-18 hours of sleep.
This means that a good chunk of their sleep – will be during the day.
Now that sounds awesome, like “oh wow the baby is going to sleep all the time!”
The reality is though that getting a baby to sleep in the middle of the day, can often be a tricky feat in and of itself. A skill to learn that requires an insane amount of patience.
For the first 2 months it was easy peasy. Don would feed and usually pass out right after. If he was with Maria, he would just sleep on the boob. He probably spent like 70% of the first 2 months of his life just sleeping on the boob.
If he was with me I could only get him to sleep in three places – His comforter chair, my arms, or the kangaroo sling.
The comforter was easy. He would just eat and pass out. Awesome.
He would also sleep in my arms within 5-10 minutes, but he wouldn’t let me sit down. If I sat down, he would wake up. If I put him down, he would wake up.
I spent a lot of hours in those initial 2 months with him just in my arms and me rocking back and forth in various parts of my house. Good fun.
The third was my favorite and savior – I would put him in the Kangaroo front backpack thing (here it’s called a Sling).
For one it saved my arms so I didn’t have to constantly hold him. The other big benefit is that within minutes of walking around he was usually out cold.
Every morning our routine together was to wake up, feed, sleep, wake up, feed, go for a walk in the sling.
That sing – was a savior. If there was a time where he just couldn’t fall asleep – BAM! Out like a light. I would frequently just put him in that and then start walking around the house cleaning up and cooking and doing random shit while he just slept in the sling.
Man, what beautiful adventures we had in the sling! But i’ll touch on more of that in a bit.
For now we’re still on sleep. Honestly, the first 2 months or so were easy.
Then all of the sudden – baby don’t wanna sleep no more.
It’s like the baby realizes it’s awake now. It wants to see shit and interact with the world.
Or at least that’s how it was for Don.
Right around the 2 month mark he started to get fussy. Wasn’t passing out so easy.
This was when I learned to pay attention to the sleep signals. Things like rubbing the eyes or getting more fussy were usually the signs he was tired. The longer he stayed in that tired state, the fussier he got. Trying to get an overtired baby to sleep? Not easy.
I’ll be honest, these were some of the most frustrating moments of being a father. Sometimes passing hours in a constant back and forth of getting him to sleep in my arms, put him down, he cries, doesnt want to sleep in the crib, try to rock him to bed, almost on the verge of sleep and shutting his eyes, and then BAM nope I’m awake fucker! Repeat repeat repeat. And this is often after hours of already having him in my arms or walking around with him in the sling. It’s tiring.
In those moments all you want to do is relax and take a break, but the baby just won’t fucking sleep.
Again though – being a father forces you to constantly adapt and evolve – or suffer.
So eventually I anticipated the signs and got my techniques and figured out how to get him to sleep. Combination of rocking the bassinet with the right rhythm and singing to him, soft blankets he can rub on his forehead to self soothe, things like this.
Like all things in life I quickly became a pro😛
The reality though is that around this time, Don started to learn how to send himself to sleep. After a few weeks of struggle and fighting sleep, it quickly flipped to the polar opposite.
Once we got the hang of it I would just put him in the bassinet and within minutes he would send himself to sleep.
Then this became the next phase – sleeping a TON.
This was the best. From around months 4-6 he started taking massive naps. Normal would be like 2 hours but he would sometimes have naps of 3-4 hours in the middle of the day.
Maria and I frequently had the experience where we would say, “let’s wait for Don to wake up and then go somewhere”, only to have him wake up 3 hours later and now the window is gone.
Good problem to have.
One of our favorite things to do during this phase was go to a park or the beach and simply let Don sleep in this small collapsible tent that we bought him.
We’d get somewhere, lay down a tatami mat, lay down the tent on top, put him in, and he would sleep outside in nature. Delicious memories.
***Such a mindfuck that as I write this he’s already outgrown that tent and can’t fall asleep in it anymore😞 ***
Just like that, we’re at the 6 month mark and Don’s sleeping like a champ both at night and during the day!
Daily Routine –
While I’ve already touched on some of the aspects of our daily routine, there are some other key pieces I wanted to include a space for.
I’m a very scheduled and routine oriented person. I cherish my daily habits and rituals. The details of the day matter, and these are moments that mean a lot to me. Moments I will cherish for the rest of my life.
So let’s dive in!
For the first 6 months of Don’s life, Maria and I had a well established routine with Don where we divided responsibilities throughout the day and night.
Largely she would work in the morning at a gym as a trainer, and then take classes for school later in the evening. This meant that I took care of Don in the morning and night time, and she would handle the middle of the day.
So everyday from around 7am-11am, it was my time with Don.
First things first, every morning when he would wake up, the first thing I would do is change his diaper.
Now, changing diapers seems like one of the shittiest parts of parenthood, but I will note here that I love changing diapers. I find it a lot of fun.
For one, when I would change his diaper in the morning it wasn’t just swap one out, wipe down, and then put on another, oh no.
I would take off his diaper, leave him on the table diaperless, and let him kick his legs and play around for a few minutes.
it was during this time that he earned the nickname “kicker monster”, because he LOVED to kick.
Once the diaper came off, the kicks came out. I let him as well. He’s up, time to gas some energy!
So every morning I would take the diaper off, wipe him down, let him kick around a bit, then put a fresh diaper on and we’re on our way!
After that the next step of the routine was to take him out onto my deck to see the morning sunrise.
I live with a lakeside view, so every morning post-diaper change we would go outside and look at the lake. Look at the trees. Watch the birds fly by. Take in the nature sounds.
I would also do about 10 minutes of deep breathing (my normal morning routine anyway), while rocking back and forth with him in my arms.
What beautiful moments. Those 10 minutes were truly something special. It’s arguably my favorite time of the day. Rocking back and forth with him in my arms, watching the sun rise over the lake. Just so peaceful. Such delicious moments I will cherish for the rest of my life.
After chilling with him like this for 10 minutes or so, I would go back inside, get the milk ready, and give him his morning feeding.
Sometimes after this he would just pass out. I would get a workout in if he did and handle things around the house.
If he didn’t go to sleep (which was most days), I would strap him into the sling and we would go for a long walk on the beach or by the lake together.
For context – I live in an island paradise of sorts. Within 10 minutes walking from my house I have 3 beaches, a lake, and massive sand dunes where you feel like you’re walking through the desert.
Every morning I would strap him in and we would go on long 2-3 hour walks. He would largely sleep most of the time, and once he woke up I knew it was time to start heading home.
At around 3 months old I started bringing him on more complicated trails. He loved the sling and loved the walks so I expanded some of our options. Was able to take him to my favorite beach where I spend all of my time highlining, “gravata”.
Needless to say, that baby got a healthy dose of nature from a young age!
Again though, those long walks in nature with him peacefully sleeping against my chest in the sling – life doesn’t get much more delicious than that. Truly grateful for those memories together, and the bond we built. I genuinely believe that those walks is what really created our bond and his trust/comfort with me.
After this we would come home, change the diaper, get another feed in, and right around this time is when Maria would be getting home and we would switch.
During this time I was on sabbatical and not working, which meant I would either go back to sleep, get a workout in, or get some personal projects done.
Especially in the early days, for the most part in this window with Maria he would just feed/sleep on the boob for hours and hours.
Then around 630 or so, we would switch back again…..bathtime!
I nominated myself to be the designated bath giver. It’s something I wanted to do and was a space I wanted to carve out together.
From birth to today, I’m the primary bath giver unless I want to take a night off, but I rarely do because I enjoy it.
Especially in the first three months of his life, he would have these moments where he suddenly relaxed into the water. Calmed down and let go. Leaned his head back and stopped kicking his legs. There were times where he passed out entirely.
Again though – Those moments where he is calmly relaxing in the water – those moments are extremely peaceful to me. Serene. It’s like the world stops and there’s just the slight sounds of the music in the background and him in the water.
Last for the day – bedtime.
Post shower I’d dry him off, have some milk ready, put him in the comforter chair, give him the bomb of 100-150ml, and without fail he would just pass out.
Up until around 5-6 months old or so, he generally fell asleep very easily after taking a bath. Little to no resistance.
That was largely our daily routine together! For me those core essentials of morning play, sunrise, long walks together, bathtime, getting him to sleep at night – those were really my core moments with him.
But did you notice a trend here?
Very simple events and activities. Walking on my terrace and looking at the sunrise. Long walks in nature with him resting on my chest. Giving him a bath and seeing him kick his legs or pass out. Seeing him sleep peacefully.
Profound happiness and peace in small beautiful moments.
Overall I feel like life has slowed down. Life is really peaceful. Quiet. Tranquil. Serene.
I know that many people think of having a child as chaotic and stressful but I’ve found it insanely relaxing and peaceful. I’ve genuinely enjoyed slowing down and squeezing more presence and gratitude out of each moment.
Having said that, people always ask me, “what’s the most difficult part of taking care of a baby?”
No off days.
Simply put, taking care of a baby is something you have to do all day everyday, and there are no days off.
Changing diapers isn’t difficult. Giving a bath isn’t difficult. Feeding isn’t difficult.
But I have to do it every single day regardless of how I feel. Regardless of if I have the “energy” to do it.
Over time, especially depending on how you’re sleeping, it’s exhausting. It does take a cumulative toll on you.
Within this vein I’d also say that weekends aren’t quite the same once you have a baby. Prior to having a child, the weekends were genuinely a time to relax, decompress, slow down.
A baby doesn’t understand what the weekend is. It’s just another day. So that baby wakes up expecting the same things it did the day before, and the day before that. They are like little pattern recognition prediction machines.
Which means that my weekends weren’t all that different from my weekdays. I’d still wake up, feed him, take a walk together, come back, eat, give him a bath, put him to sleep. Same routine regardless of the day. It’s still work.
Which means I don’t get that same time to flip the “off” switch. Don’t get the days off that I’ve become accustomed to throughout my life.
Don’t get me wrong either, as Don’s gotten a bit older we go on more adventures on the weekend now, but even on an adventure you never quite get to flip off entirely, still gotta always pay attention and be alert.
Grateful I have highlining. Alone up there on the line, that’s my space for myself🙂
Overall though he’s not so difficult. We have a solid routine and he’s a chill baby. Doesn’t really cry. Isn’t very fussy. He’s super chill.
He’s made our routine together very enjoyable🙂
Next – Movement!
This one is pretty straightforward but was a fun one to witness.
I’d say for the first three months or so the movements were straightforward. Largely he just kicked a lot.
We would put him on his stomach for some tummy time every day, and he was good from early on with lifting up his head, but he couldn’t really flip yet.
Around the three month mark or so is when he had his first tummy to back flip.
By around 4 months he figured out how to roll from back>tummy. For the next month he more or less lived on his stomach.
By month 5 he was flipping from tummy>back. Now moving in both directions.
Also if you left him on his stomach, he could spin himself too. Not quite crawling yet, but spinning himself.
Right around the 6 month mark he would do what I called the “fish out of water”. He would lie on his stomach desperately trying to crawl, but would just kinda flop around humping the floor.
At this point it was fun putting him to bed at night as well, as he would just roll back and forth over and over again until he fell asleep.
By 6 months the only things he couldn’t really do yet was crawl and sit up on his own without assistance. Was still a bit too floppy.
I’ll also add here that Don is one determined fucking baby. Since month 1 I can just leave him on the floor and he gets after it. Repeats over and over and over again. Will work himself to frustration and exhaustion. All without crying too.
It’s fun seeing that little force of determination and focus inside of him. His own intrinsic desire to move. No importance or attention to me, just in his own little zone.🙂
Also within this category of movement I’d throw in the hands/grip piece of the puzzle. The hand eye coordination.
For the first few months I loved to play with strings with Don. Easy to grab on, feel a bit of push and pull, can dangle it in front of his face, etc.
By around month 2 he loved sucking on his hands. Would get the whole fist in there and go to town.
Then he got to the phase of whatever he picks up, goes straight to the mouth. Every toy that he had was essentially a sucking toy. Just getting all of the flavors of all the different textures and materials.
He also loved pulling on anything with resistance. He had this little tent thing and he would love to pull down on it as hard as he could. Would nearly break the thing!
Overall though a lot of months 1-6 are really just that combination of learning how to roll front and back, and learning how to pick things up and put them in your mouth.
I found it really rewarding watching it all unfold slowly day by day. Seeing evolutions little by little.
Don’s always been a big motorboater. You know, the sound where you blow air through your lips. Also the one where you stick your tongue out and blow air against your lip. He loves making that sound when he’s pissed.
Also loves to, not quite sure how to describe this, grunt and growl. Almost like when you grunt if you need to take a big shit. He kinda grunts like that throughout the day. Again especially if he’s pissed.
Will do his occasional ah! or ooh! I’m convinced he’s said “yea” a handful of times.
Not much of a laugher up until 6 months. His first laugh was when Maria made a buzzing sound buzzing like a bee all over him. He loved that. Think that was around the 2-3 month mark.
Also would laugh when I would swing him in my arms, lift him up and down.
Not much of a laugher, but he is a big smiler. He’s always got a smile on and loves when people look at him. Makes great eye contact as well.
Back to sounds, he had a span of like 2 weeks where he would make a high pitch scream. I fucking hate that noise with a passion.
I learned to just give him the evil eye. If he screamed like that I stared the fear of god into his soul.
He stopped that shit within 2 weeks, thank god.
I guess just your basic fucking baby noises. Don’s the man though, so his baby noises are just naturally more dope than the average baby.
By 6 months can’t really talk yet, but that’s standard.
Maria and I
We are better than ever! Going through this journey together has only strengthened our relationship. Improved our communication. Amplified the love.
Early on when Don was born I noticed that it’s easy to get swept up into the morning chaos quickly. Baby starts crying, pop out of bed and bam you’re in the swing of the day already.
Seeing this happening I made it a point to prioritize the love. That at some point in the morning, when we have a moment, to hug and kiss and hold each other. To intentionally not get swept up into baby shit. To set the intention that the more love we have for each other, the better we treat each other, the better that we will treat Don. Also it’s important to not just live for him. To prioritize our own happiness and make sure we are there for each other.
So every morning when we wake up, we hug and kiss and hold each other. Those mornings when Don hasn’t woken up yet and we can just lie there together calmly, so satisfying. Gostoso.
Similarly there is no greater feeling than getting the baby to sleep in the crib late at night, tip toeing back into bed, and then just simply cuddling for a while and passing out in exhaustion. So delicious. So satisfying.
This has been a staple for us. We’ve actively worked on and nurtured our connection. We communicate often. We spend a ton of time together and go on a lot of adventures with Don. It’s been beautiful.
Cadena aka boo-boo (my dog) has been a sweetie with him. She’s a bit of a crazy dog, but with him she is super careful. Only licks his feet and hands. She became very protective of him. Doesn’t like people touching him and going near his crib/stroller/etc. She interacts more with him little by little every day.
And that about wraps it up!
Now, I wanted to add pictures to all of this, but this has been sitting on my computer for nearly 3 months and I need to get it out already, and I’m just too lazy to add pictures each and every step.
So instead, as a treat for making it this far, here’s a bunch of pictures stitched together as a video for his first 6 months🙂