Big strides at almost 6 months

Tomoe has shown some amazing things recently.  I’m actually utterly enthralled at what she’s been able to do.  She’s so far ahead in some skills.  Right now, she’s sleeping, but earlier, she did everything that’s been amazing me lately.  I’ll get to that soon.

I’m sleepy.

Tomoe has shown the ability to sit upright while using her hands to hold on to things to balance.  But she usually just puts her hands on the floor and leans forward.  She can’t balance yet.  But she’s been able to do something else.  Her first step towards crawling!  She’s shown us that she can get on her hands and knees, and she does it with so much ease now.  She frequently rocks forward and backward, like she’s trying to figure out how to crawl.  She can’t do that yet, but she can turn herself around with her hands.

Look! I can almost crawl!

Not only that, she’s been arching her whole body with her hands and feet only on the floor.  She did that for the first time in the past week.  She’s getting strong arms, legs and back.

Look! No hands!

In the above picture, she’s actually fallen asleep while drinking.  However, she can now hold the bottle herself, and she will take it out of her mouth, and when she wants it again, accurately put the nipple back in her mouth.  Her coordination isn’t perfect, but she’s doing incredibly well!

On that topic, she’s able to reach for and grasp many objects.  She’s been playing with toys a lot these days, including shaking them to make noise.  She’s extremely curious, and she wants to touch everything.  She’ll hold things with two hands or just one hand, and she enjoys feeling things and seeing what kind of sounds they make if she scratches them.

I’m so sleepy.

On Friday, she got her DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) vaccination done, and she was so good!  No crying at all.  Not one complaint.  I don’t think she even noticed!

Her social skills are quite good now.  She interacts with us a lot, and now that she understands her name, she looks when she’s called.  She’ll also interact with other babies.  Her vocalizations are becoming more varied with lots of single syllable sounds and some rather sudden bark-like sounds, like “HAH!”

She’s been trying more and more kinds of solid food lately, too.  She’s enjoyed spinach, pumpkin, sweet potato, and more.  She tried apple for the first time and gave us a hilarious look on her face.  Too sour! She gave the same response for yoghurt.

But I think the biggest thing is that her legs are becoming so strong, and her refusal to sit down have resulted in her always wanting to stand up, with support, of course.  But she’s getting so good at it, she can push herself up from a sitting position to stand up!

Look everyone! I can stand!

She not even 6 months old, and she can stand.  She’s always surprising us!

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The good and the bad

The past two weeks have been incredibly eventful.  Tomoe’s been becoming increasingly mobile.  While she isn’t crawling yet, and probably won’t be for at least 2 or 3 months, she is slowly moving herself around on the floor, including making a full 360 over about 5 minutes.  Not only is she doing pushups very well, but she’s been raising her bum in the air while on her knees.

What a fascinating red thing.

Let’s do a pushup!

And now bum up!

Tomoe’s been reaching for toys and other objects a lot these days.  When she sees something she wants, she’ll try to reach for it.  She’s also been manipulating things with both of her hands, and is getting better at controlling them with her hands.  She’s now able to hold her bottle with her hands, but she doesn’t have a great amount of control.  She has certain toys that she really enjoys playing with, including a Shimajiro toy (it’s a tiger) and a musical Winnie the Pooh.  She really likes reflective surfaces, and she enjoys making lots of noise with her play mat.  There’s a butterfly with a noisy plastic inside that she’ll play with for a long time.

She’s also started eating solid food daily.  Mainly, she’s been eating okayu, which is made of rice.  She seems to love it!

She’s still unable to sit unsupported, but she does use her hands to hold herself up.  She’s becoming more upright while sitting, as well.  However, she hasn’t been able to put herself in the sitting position yet.

She’s been very vocal as usual, and her sounds are becoming more varied.  She can pronounce all the main vowel sounds, as well as the letters m, b, n, w, and ng.

One really big milestone is that she’s recognising her name now.  When we say her name, she’ll look at us.  It’s nice to know she understands it!

This post is called the good and the bad for a reason.  Now for the bad part.  Last week, Tomoe developed a fever.  However, this is completely normal, and it has to do with teething.  But due to this, she had 3 somewhat sleepless nights.  It was pretty sleepless for my wife and I.  She cried most of the time and had a temperature of 38 degrees.  It wasn’t a bad fever, but enough to make her uncomfortable.

Even though she had a fever, she still played.

After her fever, she developed a bit of a rash, with lots of red spots on her skin.  This is also quite normal, caused by the fever.  Last Friday, she slept a lot!  She could finally sleep without feeling sick.

What a great position to sleep in.

But on Friday night, she started getting itchy.  She had a bright red rash on the back of her neck and behind her ears.  She kept trying to scratch it furiously.  That night, she had a hard time sleeping yet again.  She thrashed about in bed, because she couldn’t scratch the back of her neck.  It was driving her crazy.  We didn’t get a good night’s sleep again.  The next day, her rash almost completely cleared up.  We figure it was from sweat.

Since then, she’s been pretty normal.  Her usual cheerful self!

She can’t seem to hold still for a good picture. There’s the butterfly she likes to the left.

Hello!

What’s new at 5 months? Plenty!

Tomorrow, Tomoe will be 5 months old.  Just one month to go until she’s half a year old!

This has been a busy week for her.  She should be getting to the stage where she can sit up on her own.  We’ve been trying to get her to do it, but she’s not completely successful.  She leans forward too much, as her back and legs aren’t strong enough yet.  But she should be able to do it soon.

Trying to sit up.

Oh, you’re taking my picture!

This is hard!

She’s also been continuing her exploration with her hands.  She grabs everything now.  This past week, she’s finally started grabbing her feet.  She does it a lot now!

See? These are my feet!

She continues to enjoy rolling over onto her stomach.  However, it’s pretty boring just laying there on her stomach, so she needs something to play with.  So, we got her a play mat.  She seems to enjoy the butterfly a lot.

Hey, what’s that tiger doing there?

Tomoe’s often trying to hold her bottle while she’s being fed, but she’s not very good at it.  The larger glass bottles are too heavy for her.  But she has a bottle with handles, and we’ve given it a try.  It seems to be a success!

Look! I can use my hands!

I’m a master!

Tomoe really enjoys being talked to, and she’s been laughing so much.  Just saying “hi” to her makes her smile.  She may actually be recognising her own name now, as she does respond by looking at us when we say her name…sometimes.

I wonder what this month will hold for us.

Happy 4 month birthday!

Today, Tomoe is 4 months old.  It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 months since she was born.  So much has happened since then.  She’s gone from a sleeping, pooping, peeing and eating machine with no personality to a little girl with a lot of personality.

Lately, she’s been getting quite good at pushing up with her arms, so she can hold her head up much more easily while on her stomach.  This is very important for when she learns to crawl.  She’s also almost rolling over.  She gets about half way before flopping back down on her back.

She’s getting really good at tummy time.

She’s getting more and more interactive these days, as well.  She looks at and follows everything.  She’s tracking left, right, up and down with her eyes, so that’s great.  She’s been manipulating things with her hands, though quite clumsily.  She reaches for toys and holds them while looking at them.  She has one toy that plays music that she especially loves.  She smiles quite a bit for it.

On the topic of smiles, her laugh has finally become more like a laugh.  When she laughed before, it wasn’t really a laughing sound, but now she has a much more natural laugh.  One thing that makes her laugh is if I copy her laugh.  She loves it.

Her eye colour has changed a lot now.  2 weeks ago, it was mostly blue with some hazel mixed in.  Now, it’s mostly hazel, though some blue still shows through.

Lately, Tomoe’s been sleeping a lot.  So, here are some sleeping pictures.

Close up. You can see her hair’s been thinning.

Great pose in her bed.

Sleeping in the bouncer with a new toy by her head.

She fell asleep with her new pacifier in her mouth.

Tomoe, 18 days old

Tomoe’s been showing lots of new things recently.  Yesterday, she was crying, and most likely hungry.  But she was content to suck on my knuckle, which she seems to really enjoy.  This’ll be quite the story to tell her when she’s older, I’m sure.  But not only did she suck on my knuckle, she grabbed my hand with both of her hands and held it to her face.  She appeared to actually want to hold my hand there.

She actually held my hand near her face so she could suck on my knuckle.

Another thing she’s been doing in the past couple of days is making a lot of facial expressions.  One that she’s been doing quite frequently is smiling.  I’m sure she has no idea what it means, but she’ll probably understand in about 4 to 6 weeks.  Babies usually have their first smile at 6 to 8 weeks.

It's a smile!

One thing we’ve noticed today is that she has some dry flaky skin on her scalp.  This is known as cradle cap.  It occurs in babies between 2 weeks and 3 months old, and is a side effect of the mother’s hormones still inside the baby.  Dry skin is quite normal for young babies, and it shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

Tomoe, 1 day old

Today, I went back to the clinic with my mother-in-law to see my wife and Tomoe.  We got to see her through the window in the nursery as before.  My wife was up and walking around, so she watched with us.  What we noticed immediately is that her cheeks weren’t as big today.  She’s lost a bit of that fat.  As I understand it, babies often lose a little weight in the first days as they lose some of their birth fat and fluids.

She was sleeping peacefully when I arrived.

My mother-in-law had to leave at 3 pm, and go back to Saitama.  So, it was just me with my wife now.  My wife’s been feeling some pain from her surgery and was still being fed through IV.  She can finally eat something tomorrow, although she could have a couple of puddings today.   We were then told that we could hold her.  So, we went into the clean area of the clinic, and I had to wear this hospital gown over my clothes.  We went into a room where we could be alone with Tomoe.  The nurse taught us how to hold her, then gave her to my wife.

The first time my wife got to hold her.

She didn’t hold her for long.  She gave her to me to hold for a while, as I don’t get to do this much while they’re in the clinic.

Now it's my turn. I need a haircut.

My wife then started taking many pictures.  I’ve chosen only a few to show below.  Some things that I found interesting is that I could see every pore on her nose.  They were very light coloured.  Also, her eyebrows are almost non-existent.  Very, very fine.  And her hair is definitely brown.  Quite similar to my hair.

She slept very peacefully in my arms.

She's holding my finger! I think everyone has a photo like this.

She moved around a little while I was holding her and made a few noises, but she was very relaxed and peaceful.

I then gave her back to my wife.  What was remarkable to me is how calm and quiet she was.  No complaints.  However, she did make some funny faces as she was probably passing gas or something else.

I gave her back to my wife, and she made this face. Actually, she did this a lot with me, too. Probably passing gas.

We put her back in the bed, so the nurse could take her back to the nursery.  We went back to my wife’s room for a while, then watched Tomoe again.  There were 2 other babies in the nursery at the time, and one of them was crying a lot.  He had his diaper changed and was fed.  But because of the crying, Tomoe started crying a little bit.

This was just before I left. She was crying because another baby was crying.

It was getting close to dinner time for the mothers, and I was getting hungry, too.  So, I went back home.  I’ll be going back tomorrow for more of this.  I can’t wait!