5 months old: Fussy evenings and good sleeping through nights

by Veerle

As Isolde reaches 5 months of age, I realise there’s more than one reason she’s been a bit more fussy lately both during the day and the night. Thinking back to the past month and reading the notes I’ve been keeping, I discover it is we who have been offering her less of her usual routine than before. Also, we’re experiencing a very hot month of June, which totally disturbs Isolde’s drinking pattern, and in this hot weather, she gets, unbelievably: a cold! No wonder the poor thing is a bit shaken… To our satisfaction though, she finds a solution all by herself…

Roughly, things haven’t really changed all that much since last month. Isolde sleeps through the night most of the time – although less this month - and takes one nap in the morning, about two hours after her waking up (which is always at a different time). For the rest of the day, naps are far less scheduled and every day is different. But when evening sets in, without exception, we have an appointment with our not so dear friends Fussy and Cranky.

During the day, Isolde takes four feeds. After the fifth and last feed in the evening, she becomes what you’d call very high-maintenance, and we’re not always sure what’s bothering her. Does she just want to be put to bed, is she still hungry? Because, if these were the case, the solutions would be selfevident. No such luck… Fact is, she does not want to sit still and the best way to get her calmed down is by walking her around the room on our arm. For a short while, I consider offering her a pacifier to settle, but to be honest, I just don’t like the sight of this big plastic thing in my baby’s mouth, and I’ll have to get her un-used to it eventually as well. So no, the pacifier is not for me.

And after all, once she finally does give in and falls asleep in our arms, Isolde ís quite a good sleeper, so I don’t want to make too big a deal out of it either. The one thing we do try though, is to lay her in bed while she’s still a little bit awake: drowsy enough to actually fall asleep, but not so much that she doesn’t realise we’re letting go of her and moving her into her bed. It doesn’t always work, mind, but it feels great when it does.

In the mean time, Isolde’s bottle training is going so-and-so, but I don’t stress about it. Wondering how much a baby of her age normally drinks per feed, I give the midwife a call. Apparently, the reason why Isolde won’t drink a second breast in the evening, is simply because she’s not hungry anymore after the first. I cannot believe I didn’t think of that myself - feel just a little bit stupid…

That’s the difficult thing with babies, just when you think you’ve found “the” way to handle them – as if such a thing exists, they go and develop on (luckily!) forcing you to find new habits and routines. Wouldn’t it be nice if they just left us a memo on the kitchen notice board?

Isolde is starting to move around more and more: one day, I put her down for a nap and when she wakes up, I find her with her head where her feet were an hour before. At five months, according to the books, babies should be able to roll over from back to belly, but none of my three ever could do it that soon. Daphne, for example, waited until she was 9 months, but then spent the next month combining rolling over, crawling and pulling herself up to her feet, until suddenly she walked (!) at 10 months and a week. I have a feeling Isolde is planning to do everything at a much slower pace, and I’m not unhappy about that. Let her be a baby for as long as she wants (read: let me hold on to this phase of my last baby for as long as possible). She’ll have plenty of time later to be a ‘big girl’.

The summer holidays have begun. Isolde’s hair has grown to the point where it’s getting in her eyes and making her neck sweaty, so I’ve made an appointment with the children’s hairdresser’s as we’re going on a holiday to Italy next month. In the mean time, I keep her hair aside with a little pink clip: just adorable!

Isolde is a happy and friendly child, who loves playing “aeroplane” and making saliva bubbles and who has, since a week or two, discovered her left thumb. It’s turning out to be her best friend whenever she’s tired, hungry or upset. It looks endlessly more cute than a pacifier, and the dentist has assured me there’s no problem for her teeth in the long run, as long as she stops before she’s four or five at the latest. Our Alexander also used to suck on his thumb, but gave it up at around 15 months, so we’re hopeful…

Well, until next month!

Comments for 5 months old: Fussy evenings and good sleeping through nights

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So similar to our Ava
by: Gary Sheng

Bumped into your vivid story here while looking for solution to calm our Ava, who is nearly 6 months old. It is such similar case and I have learned quite a few things from your experience. Hope your babies are becoming happier and happier.

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