Todd at 4.5 months old - January 5, 2015

Todd at 4.5 months old – January 5, 2015

FIFTH MONTH (DECEMBER 21 – JANUARY 21)

WEEK 18 (Partial Week)

Todd started his fifth month by having a breakthrough in his sitting balance abilities.  Prior to this week, I could let go of Todd in unsupported sitting for only a few seconds at a time.  On December 22nd, I was able to let go for 30 seconds, 50 seconds and 75 seconds.  On December 23rd, Todd sat unsupported for 1.5 minutes.  Something just clicked for him!

On the 23rd, I was helping Todd open up a present from Eric’s mom (“Grammie”).  I don’t know if it was the gift (a LeapFrog “lap pup”) or the cute Santa paper, but Todd suddenly burst out giggling/laughing.  He did it 3x…so cute!  The last time (the 1st time) we heard him spontaneously giggle was November 17th.  Eric and Eli (Todd’s cousin) were able to provoke more giggles on December 24th (and after).

Coffee break on the way to Oregon - December 24, 2014

Coffee break on the way to Oregon – December 24, 2014

On Christmas Eve, we drove to Bend, Oregon for an extended family visit.  Todd met my aunt Elaine & uncle Jeff and my sister’s parents (“Nana & Grampy”) for the first time that evening.  I cried on Christmas day when I looked at the hand-sewn alphabet book that my aunt made for Todd.  She put so much love and work into it!  We will treasure it forever.

Todd with his grandpa - December 24, 2014

Todd with his grandpa – December 24, 2014

Todd with his great aunt Elaine - December 24, 2014

Todd with his great aunt Elaine – December 24, 2014

Todd's ABC Book from Aunt Elaine

Todd’s ABC Book from Aunt Elaine

Sample page from the ABC book.  Every page so creatively planned and expertly sewn!

Sample page from the ABC book. Every page so creatively planned and expertly sewn!

Todd’s “main” Christmas gift was an Evenflo ExerSaucer® Beach Baby Saucer.  He also got his first baby doll, several books, toys and clothes.  I’m thankful for my generous family!

Todd in his new ExerSaucer - December 25, 2014

Todd in his new ExerSaucer – December 25, 2014

Highlights–

  • 1st unsupported sitting for 30 seconds & longer (12/22)
  • 2nd spontaneous giggle/laugh (3x – 12/23)
  • 1st time using potty seat in public restroom, at my sister’s house and my parent’s house (12/24)
  • 1st time meeting great aunt Elaine & great uncle Jeff (12/24)
  • 1st Christmas (12/25)
  • getting very “wriggly”
  • arches back in bouncy seat
  • holding onto both feet with hands
  • tried bringing his toes to his mouth

WEEK 19

In Bend, Todd’s sleep routine was upset because his overall daily routine was different.  Duh– I’m stating the obvious, right?  Todd resisted sleeping in the Pack ‘n Play travel bed.  For the first 4 nights, we didn’t fight him and he ended up sleeping at least part of each night in the swing or car seat.

On the 5th night (December 28th), I put my foot down because I really want him to learn that the bed is the bed at night time!  So– after he was fed, burped, diapered, etc., and after I picked him up twice, I finally Iet him “cry it out.”  It took about 30 minutes of crying before he finally slept.  On subsequent nights (4 more), he went to bed without much trouble.

In Bend, we cross country skied 3 times (at Virginia Meissner Sno-Park).  On December 28th, Eric and I took turns watching Todd.  On December 29th, my parents babysat Todd in the ski shelter.  Eric and I got to ski together for the first time this season…Yay!  On January 31st, my mom babysat Todd at the house while we went skiing.  On January 1st, my sister watched Todd while we did a short snow hike along the Deschutes River.

Highlights–

  • 1st scrape (forehead bled when he fell forward and hit a Lego piece – 12/26)
  • Tough love “Pack ‘n Play Training” (12/28)
  • 1st times leaving Todd with a “babysitter” (12/29, 12/31 & 1/1)
  • after being propped, sits unsupported with more confidence…i.e. he moves his arms and legs and “rocks” himself…until he falls over.
Eric & Todd playing in the snow at Meissner - December 28, 2014

Eric & Todd playing in the snow at Meissner – December 28, 2014

Cross country skiing at Meissner - December 29, 2014

Cross country skiing at Meissner – December 29, 2014

Cross country skiing at Meissner - December 31, 2014

Cross country skiing at Meissner – December 31, 2014

Snow hike along the Deschutes River - January 1, 2015

Snow hike along the Deschutes River – January 1, 2015

WEEK 20

We drove home on January 2nd.  That morning, we found Todd sleeping on his side in the travel bed.  Leading up to this day, Todd seemed increasingly frustrated by having his legs “trapped” inside the sleep sack.  That night, I started dressing him in footed sleepers for bed.  He proceeded to sleep for a record 10-hour stretch!

On his side in the travel bed - January 2, 2015

On his side in the travel bed – January 2, 2015

We stopped at a Chipotle Grill for lunch on January 2nd.  Inside the restaurant, I sat Todd on my lap while I ate most of my Sofritas salad.  Then it occurred to me that he could probably sit up safely in one of the high chairs, with close supervision.  Todd looked pretty proud of himself sitting up like a big boy!

1st time sitting in a high chair - Chipotle Grill - January 2, 2015

1st time sitting in a high chair – Chipotle Grill – January 2, 2015

At home, on January 3rd, we tested our own high chair.  Eric tried feeding Todd some formula with a new spoon that Todd got for Christmas.  It was cute to see Todd’s reaction.  At least one time he actually sipped and swallowed.

On January 6th, Todd saw the pediatrician for his 4-month check-up.  He was 13 pounds, 6 ounces, 24.6″ tall and had a 41 cm head circumference.  His growth trends have remained unchanged since the 2 month appointment, except that his height is up 2 percentiles.  (Weight = 6th percentile.  Height = 12th percentile.  Head circumference = 18th percentile.)

Todd was given the same vaccines as the 2-month appointment, and he only cried for a few seconds.

This week Todd started making a variety of sounds.  For a few consecutive days, he literally seemed to practice a different sound every day.  It’s fascinating to witness his language development!

Highlights–

  • No more sleep sacks. Started wearing footed sleepers to bed (1/2)
  • 1st 10-hour sleep stretch (1/2 to 1/3)
  • 1st time sitting in a high chair (Chipotle Mexican Grill – 1/2)
  • 1st time being spoon fed (formula – 1/3)
  • Moved swing from living room to bedroom for naps (1/4)
  • 1st time visiting family at Eric’s parents’ house (1/4)
  • 2 fast rolls from belly-to-back (1/5). (He still doesn’t roll belly-to-back very often.)
  • 4-month pediatrician appointment (1/6)
  • making distinct “m” sounds with lips pursed together
  • making “b” sounds
  • sticking tongue out and/or blowing spit (and grinning about it)
  • making “squeak” sounds and squealing

January 4th audio clip, “m” sounds:

January 5th audio clip, “spit blowing”:

January 7th audio clip, “squeaks”:

3 Generations - January 4, 2015

3 Generations – January 4, 2015

WEEK 21

On January 10th, we took Todd on a short hike to the Big Four Ice Caves.  He seemed to enjoy his first trail ride in the 3-wheel stroller and checking out the scenery (including the morons down in the cave).

Big Four Ice Caves - January 10, 2015

Big Four Ice Caves – January 10, 2015

Big Four Ice Caves Trail - January 10, 2015

Big Four Ice Caves Trail – January 10, 2015

This week, I decided it was time to get a library book and DVD on baby sign language.  On January 12th, I started learning signs and teaching them to Todd (and Eric).

Here are some of the signs we’ve used so far:  mama, dada, “formula milk,” eat, toilet/bathroom, diaper, love, more, “all done,” bird, frog, cat, fish, monkey, animal, ball, book, car, snow and apple.

This is a good website resource:  Baby Sign Language. Highlights–

  • 1st giggle provoked by mama (1/9)
  • 1st time using the 3-wheel stroller on a hiking trail (Big Four Ice Caves – 1/10)
  • 1st 10.25 hr sleep stretch (1/12 to 1/13)
  • making “growl” sounds
  • making sounds:  “om-pa” & “up”
  • silently opening and closing his mouth & “mouthing” sounds:  “ma”
  • waking up “chatting” to himself in his crib in the mornings

January 11th video clip:

January 15th audio clip, “chatty”:

WEEK 22 (Partial Week)

On January 16th, we went to our condo in Wenatchee once again for a ski weekend.  I’m pleased to report that Todd slept in his Pack ‘n Play travel bed without a struggle:  On the 16th he cried for just a couple minutes and on the 17th he went to sleep without any crying.  Phew!

Both days at the ski area, we put Todd in the day care for a couple hours.  He did just fine and Eric and I got to ski together.  Win-win! Highlights–

  • “accidental” quick belly-to-back roll (1/18)
  • making sounds:  “ba”

January 20th audio clip, “baba”:

FIFTH MONTH WRAP-UP

Sleep–

After we got back home from our Christmas holiday in Oregon, Todd had a span of 7 out of 9 nights when he’d wake up crying/hungry after only being in his crib for ~2.5 hours.  Just as I started getting used to this “11 PM Wake-up,” it suddenly stopped.

Todd closed out his fifth month with a super awesome night time sleep pattern.  On January 12th, Todd started a record, 9-day stretch (and we’re still counting…crossing fingers!) of sleeping from the ~8 PM hour to the ~5/6 AM hour without interruption (8.25 hr minimum per night and 9 hr average per night).

Since I’m an “early to bed, early to rise” person, I go to bed shortly after Todd does.  Seriously– I’ve never felt more rested in my adult life!  And it is nice that Todd wakes up before Eric leaves for work so that they can spend at least a few precious moments together in the morning.

Daytime naps take place in the swing (at home) or car seat (away from home).  The morning nap is the more predictable, longer nap (up to 3 hours).  The afternoon nap is shorter and really unpredictable.  Sometimes Todd “decides” he doesn’t need it.  To his credit, if he declines his second nap, he usually stays pleasant and then he zonks out real quick when it’s time for night night!

Ready for bed - January 2, 2015

Ready for bed – January 2, 2015

Toileting–

There’s not much new to report regarding Todd’s toileting.  We continue to “potty” him on the toilet throughout each day.  This month, he peed up to 10x per day in the toilet (average ~6x per day).  Occasionally he pees on me, on the way to the toilet!

Todd pooped in the toilet on most days.  There were 13 “misses.”  That includes a few times that he went a little bit in the diaper and then finished in the toilet.  For 3 mornings in a row (1/3, 1/4 & 1/5), Todd woke up with messy poopy diapers, which was very unusual.  Fortunately, that didn’t last! As I’ve mentioned before, his soy formula poops are typically formed “logs.”  A couple days recently, Todd had a couple “pudding poops,” and he did have his first legitimate “blow-out” on January 15th.  Fun stuff, huh?

Todd has shown that he is comfortable going “pee-pee” or “poo-poo” in toilets in a wide variety of locations (public restrooms, family’s homes, and friends’ homes).  In fact, the “tide turned” during the Seahawks playoff game on January 18th right when Todd did a big poop in our ski friend Scott’s toilet…haha!  AKA “Todd’s Magic Poop.”

As of month’s end, Todd is transitioning into size 3 disposable diapers for night time.  He’s wearing mostly 6-month size clothes.  Some 3-month clothes still fit but they won’t for much longer.

Physical Skills–

Presently, Todd prefers to sit and play on the floor or stand and play in his ExerSaucer.  He can sit unsupported with close supervision and stay balanced for several minutes at a time.  He can maintain his balance a lot of the time even when he turns his head, looks up, moves his arms and legs, rocks himself, and reaches out for toys.  Of course, once he does lose his balance he can’t stop himself from falling over fast (usually backward).

Todd tolerates some tummy time but that’s about it!  He can press up with arms extended and hold his head up vertically.  He can roll both ways but he doesn’t roll every day.

Playing in Todd's bedroom - January 13, 2015

Playing in Todd’s bedroom – January 13, 2015

Todd actively seeks out anything he can put in his mouth.  If I read a book to him, I make sure he has a toy in hand or else he tries to suck the pages.  When I put him in his bouncy seat, I make sure he has a toy to hold.  When I put him in his swing for naps, I give him a toy to play with before he falls asleep.  He sucks on any part of his clothing (or mine) that becomes accessible to him.  If I put a bib on Todd, he just gathers it up and puts it in his mouth (I don’t use them much for that reason).  He sucks on his “face wiper” washcloths.

With his hands, he tries to “pick” the prints off fabrics.  He tries to pick the moles off my arm.  He grabs at my hair (ouch!).  He’s starting to be able to hold his own bottle.

January 16, 2015

January 16, 2015

Feeding–

Todd drinks ~4-8 oz of organic soy formula at a time, totaling ~30-34 oz per day.  We’re looking forward to introducing solid foods in another month.  He seems to be getting interested in our food. That’s all for now!

Snuggle pile - January 19, 2015

Snuggle pile – January 19, 2015

Todd at 17 weeks old (almost 4 months) - December 18, 2014

Todd at 17 weeks old (almost 4 months) – December 18, 2014

FOURTH MONTH
(NOVEMBER 21 – DECEMBER 21)

WEEK 14

It’s the sleep week!  Todd started his 4th month with an epic 9.25 hour sleep on November 21st to 22nd.  Then, on November 28th to 29th, he set another record!  I actually had to wake him up at the 9.75 hour mark because we had leave the house.  I didn’t get to find out how long he would’ve gone.  In the same week, he also had an 8.25 hour sleep, an 8 hour sleep and a 7.75 hour sleep.  Yay, Todd!

On November 22nd, we took Todd to our condo in Wenatchee for the first time.  That afternoon, we took him to the Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort for the first time.  We had a couple beers in the Hampton Lodge to kick off the season.

Todd in the papasan chair at our condo - November 23, 2014

Todd in the papasan chair at our condo – November 23, 2014

At the condo, Todd slept in the Pack ‘n Play in my bedroom.  It was rough that night because he woke up at 2 AM to eat and then he cried and cried before he went back to sleep at 3:15 AM.  Fortunately, this crying-in-the-middle-of-the-night-episode was just a “one-time thing.”

On November 23rd, we skied for the first time this season.  Eric and I took turns in the lodge.  We love Mission Ridge for many reasons, but especially because there are so many people that we see and ski with year after year.

Todd meets some of the boys at Mission Ridge - November 23, 2014

Todd meets some of the boys at Mission Ridge – November 23, 2014

 I’d been sick with a cold since November 18th.  On November 24th, it seemed like Todd was getting his first cold.  He had an obvious runny nose and more frequent sneezing.  The next day he was back to “normal.”  Odd!  Meanwhile, my cold was awful and lasted >2 weeks!

We drove to Bend, OR on November 27th for Todd’s first Thanksgiving and second trip to Bend.

A Vegan Thanksgiving - November 27, 2014

A Vegan Thanksgiving – November 27, 2014

Highlights:

  • 1st 9.25 hour sleep (11/21 to 11/22)
  • 1st visit to condo (11/22)
  • 1st visit to ski area (Mission Ridge – 11/22)
  • 1st 9.75 hour sleep (11/28 to 11/29)

WEEK 15

On November 28th, we took Todd to the Juniper Swim and Fitness Center for his first pool experience.  He’s always been content in his bath, and he reacted similarly in the warm children’s pool.  We all had a blast!

!st pool swim - November 28, 2014

!st pool swim – November 28, 2014

On November 29th, Todd visited Santa for the first time.  He was calm in Santa’s lap and just checked out everything around him.  Ashley and Eli have been going to see this same Santa since they were tiny.

1st Santa Visit - November 29, 2014

1st Santa Visit – November 29, 2014

Todd seemed to discover his feet (visually) for the first time when my mom (“grandma”) was playing with him.  He also started playing with a new toy during our visit.

Playing with a new toy - November 28, 2014

Playing with a new toy – November 28, 2014

Back home again, Todd rolled from back to sidelying a few times on December 1st.  He was getting sooo close to rolling fully from back to belly.

This was the week that I started doing Elimination Communication (EC) with Todd, with consistency.  See my last post for all the poop!  Baby Todd’s First Week of Potty “Training (3.5 months)

Highlights:

  • 1st time in a pool (Bend, OR – 11/28)
  • 1st Santa visit (Bend, OR – 11/29)
  • 1st poop and pee in sink (12/1)
  • Visitors at home:  Eric’s parents (12/2)
  • 1st pee and poop in toilet (12/3)
  • rolling from back to side
  • tries to “pick” candy cane off his pants
Showing off his new Christmas outfit from Grandma - December 2, 2014

Showing off his new Christmas outfit from Grandma – December 2, 2014

WEEK 16

We spent the weekend in Wenatchee and we skied both days.  On December 5th, Todd possibly said the word “hi” to Eric.  On December 7th, I noticed that Todd was touching his left foot (with his left hand) for the first time, while on the changing table.

Mission Ridge Ski Area - December 7, 2014

Mission Ridge Ski Area – December 7, 2014

On December 8th, Todd was doing a lot of rolling from back-to-sidelying to attend to his toys.  During tummy time, he was lifting his head to vertical and propping himself up with his forearms.

He started grabbing his left foot and toes regularly.  It makes it much more difficult to fasten his diaper because he wants to keep his legs drawn up.

Todd plays with his foot - December 9, 2014

Todd plays with his foot – December 9, 2014

On December 9th, Todd had a major breakthrough!!  He rolled fully from back-to-belly (toward the right) for the first time.  I was too slow to catch it on video.  After Eric got home, Todd graciously repeated the feat another 2 times, and it was funny watching him get hung up on a toy that I named “Mr Pippins.”

Right after rolling from back to belly for the first time - December 9, 2014

Right after rolling from back to belly for the first time – December 9, 2014

And get this– Not only did Todd roll from back-to-belly for the first time, but he also rolled from belly-to-back for the first time that same day (and Eric was home to see it!)  I wonder how common that is?

On December 10th, Todd repeated his back-to-belly (toward the right) and belly-to-back rolling.  It took Todd a lot of time and effort to achieve his belly-to-back rolls.  One time, though, he did it quickly and by accident.  He was on his belly, up on his forearms with his head vertical at the time.  He must have turned his head and somehow that “flipped” him over.  It happened super fast!  He had a very surprised look on his face and I laughed!

After Eric got home from work on December 10th, Todd managed to roll from back-to-belly toward the left for the first time.  From the 11th onward, Todd readily rolled from back-to-belly toward both sides.  He did not repeat the belly-to-back rolling for another week, though.

Highlights:

  • 1st pee in condo toilet (12/5)
  • Possibly said “hi” (12/5)
  • 1st time “sledding” (in car seat at Mission Ridge – 12/6)
  • 1st poop in condo toilet (12/6)
  • 1st time touching foot (12/7)
  • 1st pee in public restroom toilet (12/7)
  • 1st time rolling from back-to-belly, toward the right (12/9)
  • 1st time rolling from belly-to-back, over the left shoulder (12/9)
  • 1st time rolling from back-to-belly, toward the left (12/10)
  • new sound, “gee”
  • holds head up high and supports himself with forearms on tummy
  • looking at his groin in the mirror without a diaper on
  • sitting with assist from boppy pillow

WEEK 17

On December 13th, we took Todd to the Lynnwood Pool, for his 2nd pool experience. There, they have a session called, “Beach Swim.”  We used the shallow pool/play area and family hot tub.  Todd is very content in the water.  He doesn’t seem to mind when we float him on his back with his head in the water.  He loves to be zoomed around on his belly.

Swimming in Lynnwood - December 13, 2014

Swimming in Lynnwood – December 13, 2014

After the swim, we went to Babies R Us to buy a Graco Contour Potty Ring ($11.99).  This allows Todd to face the “normal” way while sitting on the toilet, and it makes it easier for me to hold him there.  At home, Todd demonstrated that he could “pee pee” and “poo poo” on the new seat.

Using the new toilet seat - December 14, 2014

Using the new toilet seat – December 14, 2014

On December 14th, we set our hot tub to 98 degrees and we enjoyed a family soak.  It was the first of a ~twice weekly routine.  Todd is a water baby!

1st time in our hot tub - December 14, 2014

1st time in our hot tub – December 14, 2014

On December 16th and 17th, Todd finally repeated his belly-to-back roll.  (He hadn’t done it since the 10th.)  It’s still a struggle for him.  He can do it with or without a diaper on, but it’s easier without, since he can draw his knees way up underneath him.

Highlights:

  • 2nd pool swim (Lynnwood, WA – 12/13)
  • 1st time using new potty seat (12/13)
  • Eric’s 6 week post-op date (Dr. Snip). He still has live “swimmers” (12/13)
  • 1st time in our hot tub (12/14)
  • Visitors at home:  Eric’s parents (12/17)
  • when sitting, uses arms more to prevent falling forward
  • “couch standing” with supervision
  • haven’t noticed him playing with his left foot anymore
  • Eric plays the keyboard and sings to Todd

WEEK 18 (Partial Week)

On December 19th, we drove to our condo late in the evening (a 2.5 hour drive).  Todd had a hard time settling for bed so he ended up sleeping in his car seat for 5 hours that (Friday) night.

I’m finding that I really miss not having my rocker/glider chair when we’re away from home.  Even if Todd is super alert and physically “hyper” before bed at home, once I start rocking and feeding him in the chair, he turns to putty in my arms.  Away from home, it’s not as easy to settle him without that chair.

Todd rolled from belly-to-back over his right shoulder for the first time on the morning of December 20th.  (Before that, he could only roll belly-to-back over his left shoulder.)

We skied on the 20th and poor Todd didn’t nap for very long that day.  Although he was clearly tired, he had another rough time getting to bed that (Saturday) night.  He was eventually able to fall asleep on my bed, with me.  I moved him to his Pack ‘n Play bed a couple hours later.  I feel bad that our weekend ski routine seems to disrupt his smooth weekday sleep “schedule” at home.

As of now…

During weekdays at home, Todd typically gets a really long nap (~2.5 to 3 hours) in his swing every morning, and then a somewhat shorter nap (~1.5 to 2.5 hours) in his swing every afternoon.  Alternatively, he may sleep for one of his naps in his car seat, when I take him in the car for shopping or outside in the stroller for a walk.  He typically goes to bed very easily at home, at about 8:00-8:45 PM.  He sleeps until about 4 or 5 AM.

Todd’s toilet use continues.  He pees and poops every day while sitting with support on his potty seat on the toilet.  Since December 3rd, only 3 small nuggets of poop didn’t make it into the toilet (on 12/7, 12/17, and 12/20).  Eric and I typically try to sit him on the toilet upon waking from nighttime sleep, upon waking from naps, after eating (a few times), and other times when awake.

He’ll usually pee on the toilet about 5-9 times per day. The most he’s done in one day was 15 pees on the toilet (on 12/19).  I keep track of dry diapers and I get excited when he has them!  I still wash a large load of cloth diapers every other day, but the diapers I do wash are not saturated.  Sometimes I can skip the pre-rinse cycle.

FOURTH MONTH WRAP-UP

Other things to remember about Todd’s fourth month:

  • More spitting up
  • Grasps and manipulates toys. Doesn’t drop them as much.
  • Everything goes into his mouth.  Lots of drool.  Using bibs now.
  • Still has an eczema rash on his head and bilateral limbs (elbows, knees)
  • Makes “exclamation” sounds on changing table
  • Prefers to play with toys in sitting rather than lying down
  • Eric sings and plays music to Todd
  • Getting close to being able to sit unsupported
  • Still wears some 3-month size clothes, but fits best in the 6-month size
Todd at ~3.5 months old - December 5, 2014

Todd at ~3.5 months old – December 5, 2014

This will be the first in a series of posts specifically about using Elimination Communication (EC) to facilitate our baby Todd’s early potty “training.”

(Technically, I started writing about this topic in my post, “Diapering Todd (and Early Potty Use).”  As of that post, Todd was 3 months old and he’d peed in the plastic baby potty 3 times.  We were just starting out.)

Elimination Communication (EC) is something that I’d originally heard about from a podcast that I listened to while I was pregnant (BBL: 003 and BBL: 013).  I was immediately intrigued by the idea that potty “training” could begin basically from birth.  It makes sense to me that babies would have the innate desire to stay clean and dry.  It’s obvious to me that babies communicate in a number of non-verbal ways.  Babies start learning from birth, and probably even before that.

EC starts with simple parental observation.  Todd is my baby and I know him better than anyone else.  I’m the one who spends the most time with him.  We’re in constant communication with each other.

I observe how often Todd soils his diapers.  I can estimate how many times he’s urinated based on the degree of saturation.  I recognize that he has a bowel movement after eating.  I pick up on subtle and/or blatant cues that tell me that his movements are imminent or already happening.

Before December 1st, I tried, off and on, to potty Todd using the Baby Bjorn potty on top of his changing table.  I used it intermittently, without much success.  I found it difficult to position him on it without smashing his penis.  He didn’t seem to like it because he would often try to stand up.  Eric had a little better luck than I did.

On Monday December 1st,  I decided to try holding Todd over the bathroom sink for the first time.  I’d been feeding Todd at 5 AM, and I noticed his “poop signs.”  I quickly got up and fortunately, there was only a small nugget in his diaper.  I held him over the sink and he passed the rest of a large poop.  Success!  That was much easier than using the baby potty.  A short while later that morning, I held Todd over the sink again.  He peed.  Success again!

December 3rd ended up being our “official” start date for using EC consistently…

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 3–

I decided it was time to dismantle the diaper changing station in our living room.  I set it up in Todd’s bedroom instead.  There’s a bathroom right across the hall from his room, so it’s convenient to carry him there after removing his diaper.  (The second changing station is still located in my bedroom, which is also near a bathroom).

After Todd’s morning nap, he peed in the sink for me.  After I fed him, I decided to try holding him over the toilet.  He peed for the first time in the toilet.  About an hour later, he peed in the toilet again.  After a short nap, he peed in the toilet for the 3rd time that day.  Finally, later in the afternoon he did his first poop in the toilet.  We were off to an amazing start!

MY METHOD–

When I position Todd over the toilet, I hold him in a forward squatting position by supporting his chest/underarms with my left arm and supporting underneath his flexed knees with my right arm.  We’re both facing the toilet.  I set his feet on the back of the toilet seat (socks off).

During this time, I make a cue sound, “psss,” and I repeat the word, “pee pee.”  If he poops, I say “poo poo.”

If Todd deposits anything in the toilet, I praise him and act very excited.  I repeat to him, “Todd peed in the potty!”  He lights up in a big smile…so cute!!  His extra cool “reward” is standing or sitting while looking in the bathroom mirror, which he LOVES.

If Todd doesn’t go in the toilet, I still talk to him sweetly and I thank him for trying.  He gets to stand up a little at the changing table before I put a new diaper on.

THURSDAY DECEMBER 4–

Todd peed in the toilet upon waking and then another 5 x during the day.  He pooped in the toilet.

FRIDAY DECEMBER 5–

That day, I did a “test” after Todd drank 6 ounces of formula at 2 PM. I took him to the toilet 4 times within an hour of eating. I observed that Todd peed at least 4 times within that hour. He did 3 pees in the toilet when I offered it in 10-minute intervals. The diaper stayed dry between those intervals.  When I took Todd for a fourth time 30 minutes later, Todd’s diaper was already wet and he didn’t pee in the toilet.

That evening, we drove to our condo in Wenatchee, WA.  When we got there, Todd demonstrated his power of “skill generalization” by peeing twice in the condo toilet…Yay!

SATURDAY DECEMBER 6–

We were in Wenatchee because we ski there on weekends.  Todd peed twice in the toilet before we left the condo to go skiing.  He didn’t pee in the public restroom at Mission Ridge that day, but we gave it a shot.  Todd did poop for the first time in the condo toilet when we got back.

SUNDAY DECEMBER 7–

We were up at 4:30 AM after we all had a good night of sleep.  Between 4:30 AM and ~8 AM, Todd ate 3 times and peed in the toilet 6 times.  The really awesome thing was that he had dry diapers at 5 of those instances.

The real shocker was that Todd’s diaper was still dry after he awoke from a 3 hour nap at the ski lodge.  Todd then peed in the men’s room toilet for Eric.  First public bathroom pee…wahoo!

After I fed him, I tried taking him to the ladies restroom.  His diaper was dry but he didn’t pee.  Instead of calling it quits, I waited several minutes.  Luckily there’s a bench inside the very large handicap stall.  I tried to potty him again without success.  Then, just moments later, when Todd was still sitting bottomless on his dry diaper, he peed.  I stood him up and out popped a small BM.  Oh, well- you win some and you lose some!  A while later he did end up peeing in the restroom for me.

During the drive home, we actually pulled over to give Todd a potty opportunity.  He didn’t go.  I think he was fussing because he was tired.

MONDAY DECEMBER 8–

Todd pooped in the toilet shortly after having his first bottle of the day.  At first I thought he was all done so I stood him on the counter for his reward time.  He started flexing forward and I suspected that he wasn’t yet done.  Sure enough, he plopped out another nugget.  That day, he peed 5 times in the toilet and had 2 dry diapers.

TUESDAY DECEMBER 9–

Todd peed in the toilet after I got him out of his crib.  After he ate, he peed and pooped in the toilet.  He ended up peeing 9 times in the toilet and he had 4 dry diapers.

FINAL THOUGHTS–

Right now I’m very happy with how things are going.  My current goal is simply to teach Todd that the toilet is where he goes for peeing and pooping.  Based on the positive results, I believe this is happening.

At this point, I don’t expect Todd to be able to “hold it,” so I do expect wet diapers.  I’m tracking when the diapers are dry vs when they are wet so that I can better anticipate his needs.  When a diaper is dry I feel great knowing that I got to him “in time.”

Hopefully at some point I’ll be washing fewer diapers.  Presently, the benefit is that the diapers that I do wash are not nearly as saturated with urine as before.  More often, I’m removing a wet diaper that has only been peed in once instead of multiple times.

So that’s all for now!  When things change or when I have more to report, I’ll post another update.

————————————–

Weekly Stats:

December 3:  1 pee in sink, 3 pees and 1 poop in toilet
December 4:  6 pees and 1 poop in toilet
December 5:  9 pees and 1 poop in toilet
December 6:  4 pees and 1 poop in toilet
December 7:  8 pees in toilet
December 8:  5 pees and 1 poop in toilet
December 9:  9 pees and 1 poop in toilet

(Note that Todd typically poops once a day)

Recommended Reading:
Diaper Free!  The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene, by Ingrid Bauer

Todd at 3 months old - November 21, 2014

Todd at 3 months old – November 21, 2014

THIRD MONTH
(OCTOBER 21 – NOVEMBER 21)

WEEK 10 (AND PART OF 9)

Todd’s third month started out with a rough evening on October 21st, when he had one of his (infrequent) bad crying episodes at bedtime.  It seemed that nothing would work…except cuddling with dada.  It was really very sweet to witness.

(Notice that Todd is wearing the Halo SleepSack Swaddle.  That’s because the SwaddleMe wrap was getting too small.  I was also experimenting with letting one arm stay out.  He would wriggle his arms loose eventually, anyway.)

Todd & Eric - October 21, 2014

Todd & Eric – October 21, 2014

The next day, Todd went in for his 2 month pediatrician appointment.  He was weighed and was given his vaccines (I declined the Hepatitis B vaccine).  Other than a brief cry when getting poked with the needle, Todd handled his vaccines well.

Todd is a little guy, in the 6th percentile for weight, the 10th for height, and the 18th for head circumference.  He’s skinny but he’s strong!  (I got on the scale, too.  I was 113.2 pounds, which is ~14 pounds over pre-pregnancy weight.)

This week I started reading books to Todd with regularity.  We also started using the bouncy seat.  In the past, Todd never liked it.  Now, we could sit him up on the kitchen counter and he’d stay happy while we were cooking.

Another exciting activity for Todd was sitting in the front of the mirror with Eric.  He just loves to stare and stare.

Eric and Todd - October 28, 2014

Eric and Todd – October 28, 2014

In general, Todd was getting a lot more alert and interested in everything going on.  He was staying awake more during the day.  On October 30th, I sat him in the Bumbo seat with toys in arm’s reach.

  • Appointment:  Pediatrician (10/22)
  • Todd’s weight at 2 months = 10 pounds, 1.5 ounces
  • Visit to Eric’s work (10/21)
  • Visit to my former work (10/24)
  • Todd sticks his tongue out

WEEK 11

Todd doesn’t have much hair, but I brushed it for the first time on Halloween.  He looked at me with a cute mixture of surprise and pleasure.

Getting his hair brushed - November 2, 2014

Getting his hair brushed – November 2, 2014

On November 1st, Todd held Eric’s hand the whole ride home from Dr Snip.  Our friends Ken and Daisy came up for a visit on November 2nd.  Daisy brought a homemade vegan chocolate and salted caramel cake.  (I “redeemed” my cake coupon, which was a baby shower gift.)

Vegan Chocolate & Salted Caramel Cake - November 2, 2014

Vegan Chocolate & Salted Caramel Cake – November 2, 2014

Todd LOVES to stand…

  • Visitors at home:  Ken & Daisy (11/2)
  • 1st pee in the potty (11/6)

WEEK 12

On November 8th, Todd had his 2nd visit to the mountains.  We drove east on the North Cascades Highway (SR 20) to the Rainy Lake Trail.  This is another stroller-friendly path, 2 miles round trip.  It was cold so we really bundled him up.  Unlike his first trip to the mountains, Todd was awake for the walk and he seemed to enjoy looking up at all the trees.

Todd all bundled up - November 8, 2014

Todd all bundled up – November 8, 2014

Rainy Lake

Rainy Lake

Tree huggers

Tree huggers

On November 10th, I bought the Infantino Swift Soft Baby Carrier (at Target for $15, on sale), to give us options for carrying Todd.  He loves to check out his surroundings while being held upright facing forward.  This carrier is nice and small for his size.  (Todd is still too small for our Ergo.)  A couple days later, I carried Todd in it while shopping for an item at Kohls.

Infantino Swift Carrier - November 10, 2014

Infantino Swift Carrier – November 10, 2014

WEEK 13

All through the 3rd month, Todd typically woke up for one night feeding and then he’d wake up again in the 5 or 6 AM hour.  The length of the first sleep stretch per night varied considerably.

On November 13th, I started dressing Todd in a flannel sleep sack for bed instead of swaddling him.  He was ready!  He had his first 8.5 hour sleep stretch on the night of November 17th to November 18th.

1st night in the sleep sack - November 13, 2014

1st night in the sleep sack – November 13, 2014

On November 14th, Todd fell asleep on the floor for the first time.  I guess he wore himself out playing!  On November 17th, we did a little photo shoot for grandma.  He likes to be propped up in sitting.

Photo shoot - November 17, 2014

Photo shoot – November 17, 2014

I was able to weigh Todd 3 days before he turned 3 months old.  His weight put him between the 5th and 10th percentiles for weight, which maintains his previous trend.

  • 1st time in sleep sack, no swaddle (11/13)
  • 1st time falling asleep on the floor (11/14)
  • 1st full-on giggling episode (on play mat, 11/17)
  • 1st 8.5 hour sleep stretch (11/17 to 11/18)
  • Visit to Eric’s work (11/18)
  • Informal visit to birth center (11/18)
  • Todd’s weight at ~3 months =  11 pounds, 12 ounces
  • 2nd pee in potty and first pee for Eric (11/19)

THIRD MONTH WRAP-UP

Other things to remember about Todd’s third month:

  • Sticking tongue out
  • Drooling
  • Longer sleep stretches.
  • Loves to stand (initiates the push-off w/ legs)
  • Can sit in Bumbo seat without assist but doesn’t like it much.
  • Likes the bouncy seat. Especially the red star.
  • More attentive to the left (was focused more on the right in previous month)
  • Longer attention span on the play mat.
  • Accidentally grabs the ring on his play mat toy.
  • Brings both hands together to try to “grasp” toy
  • Uses base of palms to grab items
  • More chatty “g-la”
  • Reading to Todd, alphabet
  • Imitates “ah”
  • Doesn’t use the pacifier much
  • During tummy time, holds head up and turns it to the side
  • Sucks on fist during tummy time
  • Able to roll from sidelying to tummy and gets arm “unstuck” from underneath him
  • Using quilt on floor for tummy time because he moves off the smaller play mat
  • Loves when Eric sings to him, especially The Beatles “I Will”
  • Manipulating/”playing” with his face wiper washcloths
Eric & Todd (7 weeks old) - October 9, 2014

Eric & Todd (7 weeks old) – October 9, 2014

SECOND MONTH
(SEPTEMBER 21 – OCTOBER 21)

WEEK 6 (AND PART OF 5)

Todd started his 2nd month being fed exclusively by bottle with formula.  We buy Earth’s Best Organic Soy Formula from Amazon for about $25 per can. I mix several 4 ounce bottles in the morning, then repeat at night.

Around this week, Todd ate frequently and consumed 1-5 ounces at a time.  He’d give the obvious “hungry sign” by turning his head from side to side and waving his fists across his mouth.  Between feedings, Todd mostly slept.  He was still waking up to eat about every 3 hours at night.

I was shocked when Todd fell asleep in the Moses Basket on the 24th.  I put him down briefly to go do something, and was surprised to find him asleep moments later.  Normally he won’t sleep during the day unless he’s swinging or lying on a warm lap.

Asleep in the Moses Basket - September 24, 2014

Asleep in the Moses Basket – September 24, 2014

And, speaking of swings…We got a new swing on the 24th.  **TIP:  Buy a swing that has a plug-in!!**  Our first swing blew through batteries and it must have had a crappy motor on top of that.  Thankfully, Graco gave me a full refund.

Todd makes his "sad face," in his first swing that would stop swinging - August 23, 2014

Todd makes his “sad face,” in his first swing that would stop swinging – August 23, 2014

The new swing is a Fisher Price My Little Snugabear Cradle ‘n Swing.  It’s AWESOME.  No more batteries required!!  It swings forward/back or side to side at various speeds.  Todd prefers forward/back and speed 3.  It has a mirrored globe with cute “buzzing bees” for Todd to look up at.  It has 2 selections of music (day and night) and 1 selection of nature sounds, with a volume adjustment.  The music and the “bee buzzing” stops automatically after a certain number of minutes (I never timed it).  The seat has 2 positions of incline/recline.

All comfy in his new swing - September 25, 2014

All comfy in his new swing – September 25, 2014

On September 27th, we embarked on Todd’s 1st long car ride (~2.5 hours each way) and 1st trip to the mountains.  (See “Todd’s First Trip to the Mountains (Mt Baker, WA)

On September 28th, I started using cloth diapers.  (See “Diapering Todd (and Early Potty Use)“)

Todd had a record, 6 hour sleep stretch on the night of 9/29 to 9/30…an exciting development!  But it didn’t become a trend quite yet.

Highlights of this week:

  • Appointment:  Cascade Birth Center (9/23)
  • Todd’s weight = ~8 pounds, 10 ounces at 4.5 weeks old (9/23)
  • 1st (short) nap in Moses Basket (9/24)
  • 1st first stroller walk with just mama (9/26)
  • 1st long car ride (9/27)
  • 1st trip to the mountains (Mt Baker, 9/27)
  • 1st cloth diaper (9/28)
  • Visit to my workplace (9/29)
  • 1st 6 hour sleep stretch (9/29 to 9/30)
  • Stopped recording every wet diaper (9/30)

WEEK 7

Throughout the 2nd month, Todd exhibited what I understand to be pretty typical “evening fussiness.”  It wasn’t too bad.  Then and now, when Todd cries it rarely lasts very long.  Todd was turning out to be an “easy” baby.  We were thankful!

At night, he continued sleeping in his crib.  We’d gotten into a regular bedtime routine.  First, I’d set up my room with dim lighting, soft classical music (Vivaldi is a favorite), and a bedtime bottle.  I’d put him in a disposable diaper and swaddle him in his Summer Infant SwaddleMe wraps.  (I love those!)

Even if he started out fussy, once I swaddled him, he’d start to settle.  I’d rock him in my glider chair and feed him.  Then, he’d be sleepy enough for me to slowly walk him to his crib.  Then, I’d turn on his Sleep Sheep for white noise.  The start-to-finish process would take up to an hour.  On average, he’d be in bed sleeping at ~8:30 PM.

Infrequently, Todd cries when I put him down.  Usually it doesn’t last longer than a few minutes and a pacifier does the trick.  Very rarely does Todd have an “extreme crying” episode, when nothing seems to work.  October 3rd was the first challenging night!

On October 4th, Todd got dressed up for his first party.  It was a memorial gathering for Eric’s high school friend, Eldon.  He died in a skydiving accident.  Todd socialized some and then napped in his car seat for most of the afternoon.

Eldon & Todd - October 4, 2014

Eldon & Todd – October 4, 2014

Party for Eldon - October 4, 2014

Party for Eldon – October 4, 2014

On October 8th, I had my last follow-up appointment at the birth center.  I hadn’t seen Jane since the day Todd was born, so it was really good to talk about a lot of things.  Jane held Todd and he showed his affection by peeing on her shirt!  (We’d just weighed him without his nappy on.  He was 10 pounds.)

Todd with  Jane (Midwife) - October 8, 2014

Todd with Jane (Midwife) – October 8, 2014

  • Appointment:  Cascade Birth Center (10/8)
  • Todd’s weight at 7 weeks old = 10 pounds
  • Visitors at home:  Eric’s parents
  • 1st party (10/4)

WEEK 8 (AND PART OF 9)

On October 10th, we tried out the Bumbo seat for the 1st time.

On October 12th, my sister drove up from Oregon.  The next day, we drove to her house in Bend.  As usual, Todd slept while traveling.  Bottle feeding has its benefits:  I can feed him while he’s still in the car seat.

Todd and I spent the first part of the week visiting my family, and then Eric came a few days later.  I remember starting the week feeling very tired.  Night feedings take their toll after a while!  Eric helped out at night and I was able to get a little caught up.

During that week, Todd had a noticeable decrease in evening fussiness.  One time, though, Ashley and I had an epic laughing attack when Eric said, “We’re losing him!”  Todd had a really hard time getting to bed, because of all the activity and new surroundings.  Things got better at the end of our trip as he got adjusted.

We spent the week relaxing at the house, going out for lunch, and taking walks.  Ashley is the ultimate mother’s helper.  She handles a baby like a pro!

Todd & Ashley - October 15, 2014

Todd & Ashley – October 15, 2014

Eli, Todd & Ashley - October 16, 2014

Eli, Todd & Ashley – October 16, 2014

Walking at Old Mill - October 18, 2014

Walking at Old Mill – October 18, 2014

Trying on his Halloween outfit - October 19, 2014

Trying on his Halloween outfit – October 19, 2014

The night before we went home (10/18 to 10/19), Todd slept his first 6.5 hour stretch.  After we got home, he slept his first 7.5 hour stretch.  Yay, Todd!

  • 1st sitting in Bumbo seat (10/10)
  • 1st trip to Bend, OR (10/13-10/19)
  • Longest sleep stretch, 7.5 hours (10/19 to 10/20)

SECOND MONTH WRAP-UP

Other things to remember about Todd’s second month:

  • Too big for most newborn clothes
  • Practicing sitting and standing
  • Gets lots of compliments on the shape of his head
  • Smiling & starting to coo
  • Stretching arms over head
  • Staring at his right fist
  • Puts fist into mouth during tummy time
  • Looks at himself in mirror of play mat
  • Looks at pictures/quilts on walls
  • Funny tongue flutter when you take the bottle out
  • “Bubble lips”
  • Doesn’t like his arms to be covered with blankets
  • Eric teaching him “mama” & “dada”
  • “Superman” flying with Eric (see video below)
Go Seahawks! - October 12, 2014

Go Seahawks! – October 12, 2014

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

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