Brady’s 6-month update

While I would say it’s hard to believe that Brady is 6-months-old, I can hardly remember what life was like without him and what life was like when I was dying just to be pregnant. It seems like this has been my way of life forever.

Being a mom is so much more than I could have ever expected in every single way, and it’s totally worth the wait. It’s amazing. It’s hard. It’s really hard at times. Yet, it’s the best job in the world. And here Dave and I are more than half of a year into parenting a growing little boy!

Our very own Brady Oliver Pitt, who turned 6-months-old on March 30 … 

Brady at 6 months old March 2018 3 by A Lady Goes West

I haven’t written a full-on Brady post since his 12-week update, so this one is long overdue, because as you can imagine, he’s my number-one priority, he gets basically all of my attention, and he’s been doing a lot of changing.

Over the past few months, Brady has developed such a personality and is no longer a tiny newborn who only sleeps and cries, he’s a real person who is so fun to be around (most of the time). Now let’s break it all down into sections …

Sleep

This is the area where we still need the most work, although things are somewhat better than they were at the 12-week point. We have not done any official “sleep training” for Brady yet, as our doctor recommended that we wait until he was at least 6-months-old.

I’ve read numerous websites about sleep best practices, I’ve read a book about gentle sleep training methods, and I’ve attempted to follow all the rules as best as I can. Yet, our little guy does not have a set schedule for daily naps and definitely doesn’t sleep as much as he should during the day. He usually does about three 30-minute naps, sometimes more. According to the books, he should be doing two 50-minute naps and a 2.5-hour nap as well — so we are a long way off — he’s considered a “cat napper.” And as I understand it, good naps bring on good sleep at night and vice versa. Also, short naps are a very bad thing for a work-from-home-momma like me, who needs some baby-free time to be productive. (More to come on this topic soon.)

Brady outside in Coronado by A Lady Goes West

So then there are the nights. I’m happy to say that we have continued with a good bedtime routine for Brady and have him sleeping soundly in his crib by about 7:15 p.m. each night, after reading him a story, rocking and putting on his sound machine, etc.. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that he still wakes up a few times in the night, has to be fed, rocked, comforted and occasionally ends up in our bed — still having problems with that whole “self soothing” thing. (I know, I know, don’t bother telling me this is wrong to pull him into the bed, because I know it is, and we don’t plan to continue it forever, but sometimes it just works.) Oh and we tried the Magic Merlin suit, which is supposed to soothe all babies and help them to transition to sleeping without a swaddle, and yet Brady hated it, and I sold it on Facebook after three tries of using it. We’ve now transitioned to a regular Halo Sleepsack, which is like a wearable blanket, and he seems to like that a lot.

It seems like most of my friends who have babies, have babies who are naturally good sleepers. We do not. I know all the signs of overtired during the day from a baby, and I attempt to put him down for a nap before it happens, but he often wakes up quickly after being put down during the daytime and then can’t be comforted again. (Although some days he goes down fine. You just never know.) In the nighttime, I guess maybe we just haven’t done a good enough job of being strong with our methods in the middle of the night and sticking with them. 

During Brady’s 6-month check-up, his doctor did give us the go ahead to try a loose sleep training plan, which we will likely put into action after we get back from a cross-country trip for my brother’s wedding at the end of this month. I’m fearful that that trip will set us back in any progress we make, so we are just planning to start once we are home and staying put for a couple of months.

Brady in the nursery March 2018 by A Lady Goes West

Nonetheless, I still haven’t had a truly great night of sleep since he was born. Many mornings I wake up feeling moderately rested, and according to my Fitbit, I often accumulate around seven hours total, but I know it’s not the deep uninterrupted quality sleep I really want and need. Here’s hoping it’s coming back to me soon! This is our biggest struggle for sure.

But truth be told, perhaps the most precious and my most favorite time in the entire world is when we first wake up and snuggle, especially when he is right by me in the bed. I literally cannot explain how my heart melts for this little fellow, no matter how many times he had me up the night before. His warm little body is everything.

Nursing

Even though we’ve had our fair share of frustrations with the sleeping, I’m very happy to say that Brady continues to be a good eater, and we’ve surpassed the 6-month mark for nursing. He is still exclusively breastfed and has never had anything other than half of a mL of formula in the hospital (which the nurses really wanted to give him, because they were worried about his caloric intake, and in hindsight, we didn’t really need to give him that — it just took a little longer for our 2-week early baby to figure out how to eat — not hating on formula at all, by the way — we may need it one day soon). And that being said, we did have some trouble getting started with nursing the first week after he was born, but we haven’t had any problems since that time.

Brady at 6 months old March 2018 by A Lady Goes West

Brady eats every two to three hours when he is awake and maybe two or three times overnight (we hope to drop the night feeds once we start loosely sleep training him). I also occasionally use the breast pump so that Dave can give him a bottle, but that is few and far between (maybe I should get out more?). However, I’m going on a trip this month (just for a night, more details soon), and so I’ve been regularly pumping and freezing a stash for him most recently. Brady doesn’t mind the bottle and apparently just likes milk in any form, from any one. Good boy!

Oh and we will start incorporating some spoonfuls of pureed veggies into his diet this week or next, with the blessing of our doctor, so that will be exciting, and you’ll probably see some videos of that on my Instagram stories, so get ready.

Nursing and exercising 

I’ve had quite a few people ask me about my milk supply and how it has changed now that I’m back to exercising a lot. I was actually very worried about this issue, because I had heard a lot of women who teach group fitness or have pretty intense schedules having a significant drop in their supplies. Knowing that this could happen to me, I’ve been extra intentional to keep up my calories, carbs, snacks and fluid intake daily — HELLO, hydration challenge.

Ashley and Brady at barre March 2018 by A Lady Goes West

I never do more than an hour of working out, nor do I go too hard too many days of the week, and I have a few rest days as well. (These are also the same workout policies I put in place for myself since recovering from hypothalamic amenorrhea too, so it all works out to keep me balanced and in a healthy place.)

Ashley wearing Brooks tank with Brady March 2018 by A Lady Goes West

That being said, everybody and every body is different. I am not working out as much or as intensely as I used to before getting pregnant, and I am absolutely not limiting my calories or carbs, which I think is what has kept my supply up. I eat a ton of veggies, eggs, fats, sprouted bread, bananas, nuts, oats, nut butter, water, etc., and it works for me. I hope this remains the case, but if it doesn’t — I’ll make sure to pull back on the workouts, add some lactation cookies and start to chug coconut water, as I’ve heard this helps with supply a lot.

Post-baby bod

It’s been a while since I addressed the post-baby bod (but you can read more in this post on my postpartum fitness journey), and now that we’re officially six months out from childbirth, I’m happy to say that I’ve lost all of the weight that I gained while pregnant. I gained 34 pounds, and I lost it very slowly, finally getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight just a couple of weeks ago.

Ashley post-barre selfie by A Lady Goes West

That being said, although I’ve lost all the weight I gained, I have not regained the muscle tone that I had before, and I am still much softer everywhere and many of old clothes are still tight in weird places (which is why the scale doesn’t really matter!).

I have a feeling that I will not “lean out” very much while I continue to nurse and eat the way that I am, and I’m okay with that for now. Brady’s nutrition is my number-one priority. And although I would love to have the “aesthetics goal” that you see so many fitness influencers on Instagram have, realistically, being Brady’s mom and being healthy is paramount to having ripped abs and low body-fat. 

Brady’s developments at 6-months-old

A few things about our little guy … 

Brady with shades March 2018 by A Lady Goes West

  • He is big on tummy time these days and loves to spend time on his tummy with his head up looking at the world. He flutters his legs and reaches with his hands. And if I ever put him down on his back on his mat, he immediately rolls over to prop himself up so he can look around. He does this in his crib too.
  • He is soooo observant and loves to study his toys. It’s just so entertaining to watch him soak up his surroundings and attempt to reach for things. He has to put a lot of effort into everything — like grabbing the strings from my hoodie sweatshirts when I hold him — he totally has to apply himself.
  • He loves to bounce and use his little legs! We are borrowing this jumper from a friend, and it’s the best thing ever. He LOVES it (and I highly recommend it). He squeals and plays, and it keeps him busy for 30 minutes at a time.
  • He is trying desperately to sit up, but isn’t quite there yet. But I love to see him brace his little abs.
  • He can roll all the way over, and we often find him sleeping on his side or his tummy.
  • He loves to chat, especially in the mornings. He coos and screeches and makes all sorts of sounds to communicate with us. And he giggles too. The giggles kill me. Literally, I can’t.
  • If he sees me from across the room, his eyes light up and he puts on a big gummy smile. He totally recognizes Dave and me, and he can see us from pretty far now.
  • He is starting to notice Rudy more (our little white maltipoo), and for the first time in six months, Brady reached for one of Rudy’s toys this week. Rudy was not pleased and took it back from him hahaha!
  • He continues to LOVE his Wubbanub, although he is now really big into sucking on his pointer finger on his right hand, which is funny, because when I was a baby, I sucked on my pointer finger of my left hand. He chooses his fingers over his Wubbie now.
  • He loves to do “the log” when we change his diapers, and that’s where he totally straightens his body to make it difficult to move him around. So cute. Not efficient though.
  • He has fun going to bring-your-baby-to-the-barre class and often makes a lot of noises as he watches me work out. He’s also gone to gym daycare two times, and I’ll talk more about that soon too.
  • He loves to sit up in this adorable chair when I am getting ready (it’s another one I truly recommend once your baby can hold his/her head up). He just watches me, while pulling and sucking on the toys attached to it. Once again, he puts so much focus into playing with the toys.
  • He doesn’t always fall asleep on walks or in the car like he did before. Now, it’s maybe 50 percent of the time, so he is often awake during our outings, and he loves to be out and about.
  • He has still not had a babysitter that wasn’t a family member (we’ve gone out maybe three nights since he was born, all during times that parents have visited), but he doesn’t seem to mind hanging out with new people, so maybe there are some babysitters in our future. (I sure hope so!)
  • He has started to chew on things a little bit, but we don’t think he has officially started teething yet.
  • He is a traveler! This little dude has flown to San Diego for a family birthday (and he did awesome), and flown to Chicago for a bridal shower (and he did okay on the way there and did NOT enjoy the way back). So far he has been in four states: California, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana (he hit up three states during the Chicago trip), and he is going to Georgia this month.
  • He is a totally happy baby. Although some days he gets a little grumpy when he is fighting his naps, he usually just smiles and plays and watches. He seems to really love life. And we LOVE him!

Brady at 6 months old March 2018 2 by A Lady Goes West

Brady by the numbers

At his 6-month check-up, Brady weighed 17 pounds and 15 ounces (just about 18) and measured 28.5 inches from head to toe. For reference, at his 4-month check-up, he weighed 15 pounds and 15 ounces, so he put on a pound a month, which is average. Here’s a shot from his 4-month appointment with Daddy …

He’s perfectly on track with his growth and is wearing a mixture of 3 to 6 month and 6-month clothing, and he is also still wearing size 2 diapers (by the way, we’re still getting our diapers and wipes from the monthly The Honest Company membership program, and I’m a big fan of it <— affiliate link). And here’s a shot from his recent 6-month appointment with Mommy …

Brady 6-month doctor appointment April 2018 by A Lady Goes West

Overall thoughts on half of a year with Brady

Outside of our sleeping struggles, this post must paint just the rosiest picture in the world of mom life. And I must be totally honest, that there have been tough days and tough weeks.

It’s NOT easy to be in charge of a tiny human all the time. I have my moments where I want to run away and hide. But when I sit down to think about where we are six months into Brady’s life, I can’t be anything but happy to have him. He’s a true blessing. And he is so darn precious.

Ashley and Brady March 2018 in New Buffalo at shower by A Lady Goes West

To all my friends out there hoping to one day be a momma, I hope it happens for you just when the time is right. And when it does, you’ll instantly forget about all this time spent hoping (although you will be stronger having gone through it, just like I am). And to all my momma friends out there, cheers. Let’s meet up for a glass of wine and share some stories. I bet you need to get out more too.

Thanks for reading, peeps! We love to share our lives (the ups and the downs) with you! Let me know what questions you have, as I’m sure more posts will come out of this one.

More Brady, baby and postpartum posts

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P.S. Are you participating in the 12-day hydration challenge? It’s not too late to join us! Drink up!

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Questions of the day

Moms out there, what books or methods did you use for sleep? Did anyone use a sleep coach?

What questions do you have about mom life?

Are you participating in the hydration challenge?

23 Comments

  1. Oh cat naps. Gosh both my kids did that!! I worked so hard to get them to nap longer. If you want any tips or what I did, let me know (I don’t want to impose). My daughter woke at night for a while and I remember many nights letting her cry until like 2 or 3 when I would feed her (she’d get up aroudn 1 and I knew she wasn’t hungry). It’s hard but honestly so worth it for them to become good sleepers! i seriously feel for you, though. Brady really has changed and is so darn cute! I’m glad he is able to go to the gym daycare so you can get some daytime workouts in!

  2. My kid was a cat napper, too, with no real napping schedule until about 9-10 months old. So, I think it’s “normal” just like there are some “normal” babies who nap well and on a schedule. But no one would want to read my book about my interrupted workouts/naps because my kid didn’t like to nap. Haha. Hang in there!

    1. hahahah good to know, Stephanie! I am surrounded by friends with perfect sleeping babies, so it’s hard sometimes! I appreciate knowing that it’s not all that abnormal. And hey — I’ll read your book ahahha!

    1. It sure is, Julie! The whole, trying to get pregnant, being pregnant and being a new mom thing has certainly changed my outlook, view on the body and all of that. Thank you for reading, lady! πŸ™‚

  3. I feel ya on the sleep thing, I thought I was going crazy when that 4 month sleep regression hit! I think sleep training is key. I know it’s controversial but it’s so worth it to give them and YOU the gift of sleep. We did something similar to the Ferber method where you let them cry for a certain amount of time but then you check on them in certain timed increments. Never picking them up, just comforting through pats & reassurance. The first two nights are the worst. Having said that, the longest my daughter cried was 50 minutes. Put headphones in, talk on the phone to another supportive mother at that time, because it is really hard to listen to, but it’s amazing how fast they get it at that age. I wouldn’t wait too much longer because I think the older they get the longer the process becomes. I also would start with night time sleep first & then naps tend to work themselves out after they’ve learned how to self soothe. You can do it! It will be so worth it once you start getting some real sleep again.

    1. Hi Krista! Thanks for the encouragement and information! Our doctor told us that a looser Ferber method was his choice too. I know we need to do something soon, and I appreciate your experience! Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚ Glad you are getting some sleep now!

  4. Hi Ashley, this has to be my favorite blog. I love to see pictures of this little guy. He has developed the biggest smile. When he gets bigger the girls are going to love that smile. It looks like you and Dave are doing a great job raising him.

    1. Hi Richard! Thank you sooo much! I’m glad you enjoyed reading about our little guy and his life. Yes, he is getting big, and yes, the ladies will love him! Thank you!! πŸ™‚

  5. Brady is just TOO CUTE! 6 month sure flies by quickly. We just celebrated 18 months and I still find myself saying “I just had a baby.” πŸ™‚
    You both seem like you are adjusting great to parenthood but I hear you so much that wonderful times are definitely mixed in with times that push you to your own personal edge. It’s such an life changing experience. I’ve never experienced anything that weaved together so much pure joy with so much challenge.
    People speak so often about body changes and such, and I just remember thinking MY WHOLE LIFE is different. Time, Priorities, Rhythm of My Day, My Brain Capacity (on no sleep ha! It’s nuts.) Even the parts that look the same on the surface. Everything is different after baby.
    You are doing such an excellent job with Brady and juggling blogging and working/working out (and I’m sure a whole host of other things we don’t even see on the blog.) That is amazing.
    And the sleep stuff is so hard. Not just NOT getting sleep. But having to make a plan on what to do about it when you are SLEEP DEPRIVED. omg. It’s so hard. And the internet has so many opinions. Wishing you guys all the luck. We had good luck introducing a lovey for a week or two during car rides and naps when Holden was 8 mos old, and then did a modified extinction like most of the folks mentioned above. Those first two nights (even going in and comforting him) were such a challenge, but from night 3 on ours has slept through the night. Overnight sleep for us came before naps. But predictable naps followed shortly thereafter (maybe around 10 months)
    Not sharing any of this to pressure you or anything, just to say SOLIDARITY SISTER. This is really tough stuff and you will tackle it!

    1. Hi Holly! Wow, love this comment! Thank you so much for saying hi, sharing your experiences and relating to the post. It means a lot to me. We are considering a modified Ferber method as well as another method and really hope either one helps once we give it a try — as you said — it will be hard, but worth it! πŸ™‚ Cheers, MOMMA!!! Yay for making it to 18 months for you hahaha

      1. One other random thought I was going to mention but totally forgot (#MomBrainIsREAL) since I know you like podcasts — I got a ton of info from The Sleep Sense Show podcast. It has a lot of great episodes about baby sleep. You’re probably on info overload (at least I was at that point in trying to make a sleep plan) and for some reason podcasts were easy for me to digest as I went about my day. Just FWIW. πŸ™‚

  6. I relate so much to so much of this in a “what I have to look forward to” way as well as a “yeppppp.” Emmie is rather medi-high maintenance: if she’s awake, I am probably involved. I am looking forward to her entertaining herself a bit more (maybe)? Then maybe I could get back to the elliptical a few times a week (for my bones) or not feel quite as tethered to home for fear of her losing it. She is just opinionated!
    Every kid, every mom, we are all so different and particular, which I love, though it can be frustrating when other people have “easy” babies. But I have an easy baby compared to some!
    I love watching you be a mommy–Brady is a lucky baby πŸ˜€

    1. Hi Susie! I think every baby has some levels of easy and some levels of hard, depending on the circumstances, that’s for sure. I hope you get to hit up that elliptical a bit more — I know you need that release! I feel that way with exercise for sure. Keep up the great work, Momma! πŸ™‚

  7. I have to admit I never thought of myself as being a mom, but it’s really heartwarming and reassuring to read a post like this, makes me open up my mind to the idea of having a baby. =)

  8. Oh my goodness! The smiles just make me melt. Such a cutie! I’m hoping your sleep situation improves soon – that was one of the hardest things at that stage.

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