This past week, our little Tommy turned eight months old. He doesn’t go back to the doctor until the nine-month mark, so we did at home measurements. Currently, Tommy weighs 18 pounds 6 ounces and measures 28 inches long. We’ll get updated percentiles at the next doctor’s appointment.
Our big excursion this past month was an unanticipated trip to Iowa for Jake’s paternal grandma’s funeral. She had been battling Parkinson’s disease for over a decade and wasn’t in good health. In the end, her heart gave out on her, which means that her death was quick and painless. The trip was tough but good. We were able to be with lots of family, some of whom we hadn’t seen since 2006.
Tommy had lots of firsts this month:
- Talking and other noises. Tommy’s been making lots of vowel sounds for months now. More recently, he’s been adding several consonant sounds, and he’s learned how to make clicking noises. Lately, when Tommy is excited, he either pants like a dog or makes a sound like air being let out of a balloon.
- Hand transfers. Tommy will transfer a toy from one hand to the other.
- Tommy has built his core muscles so much through sitting that he can support himself standing (with a little adult support, too, of course) largely unassisted for short periods. When he got his helmet (more on that below), the orthotist said that the round helmet shape often helps babies with rolling. Sure enough, over the past week, Tommy has been rolling like crazy. He is still not a huge fan of tummy time but does better and better with it every month.
- Sitting up baths. We’re transitioning to baths sitting up in the full bath tub on the bath mat instead of laying down in the baby tub. We have only done a few sitting up baths, and it’s still a little overwhelming.
- Tommy doesn’t wave hi and bye to people yet. But if you wave to him, he waves back pretty consistently.
- Tommy got to sit in an empty cardboard box for the first time in early March and absolutely loved it. He enjoys opening and shutting the flaps, feeling the box texture, and playing with toys in the box.
- We do a lot of phone camera selfie time that I don’t actually record (I just have the camera app open). Tommy absolutely loves it. Now that he’s waving, he waves to himself like crazy in the camera all the time. (We wave to him like crazy all the time now, too, so you know.) He also thinks it’s hilarious when you move the camera from side to side or closer and further.
Also, the hotel we stayed at in Iowa had high ceilings in both the rooms and the lobby. Tommy figured out that his voice echoed with the high ceilings. He would say something and then look up for the echo over and over again. Now he’s obsessed with trying to get his voice to echo in other places.
Valentine’s Day got a little overshadowed by the Iowa trip, as the funeral home visitation took place on the holiday itself. I’m really glad that I was able to get in a few Valentine’s Day photos before the trip. Tommy received Valentine’s cards/gifts from his birth mom, grandma, and great-grandma, including several outfits and a book. Thank you!
Tommy is sitting up multiple times every single day and talking all the time with lots of animation. He is so curious about everything and will engage with just about any baby toy or board book that you put in front of him. (He thinks that a lot of the cat toys are really great, too.) When he’s in the right mood, Tommy will sit in his Baby Einstein or saucer or on the floor with toys or books for 20 minutes at a time. He also loves his stuffed animals and Wubbanub animals and gives them lots of hugs and talks to them. I bring toys almost any time we’re at a play/prayer group now and he enjoys sitting on the floor with them and watching and engaging with the other babies and kids. He also enjoys checking out new toys at friends’ houses.
Tommy continues to love his bouncy chairs, Baby Einstein, saucer, rattles, and kick ‘n play piano. More recently, he’s been into the Fisher Price stacking rings, especially the one with the rattle, mega blocks (he doesn’t built with them yet but loves banging them together), and baby paper (as well as any sort of wrapping or tissue paper). He doesn’t stack the rings but loves waving them around, talking to them, and hitting them against each other or any nearby toy or other object.
We got him a Vtech sit-to-stand learning toy (the farm-themed one) with some gift card money a couple of weeks ago, and it’s already been a big hit. He especially loves turning the gears and making the cow say “moo.”
This past month Tommy officially outgrew his infant car seat. He maxed out the strap length, plus he’s just too heavy for us to carry him more than a few feet in it. So we got him a mid-size converter car seat to bridge the gap until he’s ready to switch to front-facing car riding. (We already own a large front-facing only car seat.) Tommy is already so tall, I don’t know how he’s going to make it rear-facing for another 16 months (kids are supposed to ride rear-facing until age 2).
Tommy is consistently taking 1-2 naps per day, usually one in the late morning/early afternoon and one in the late afternoon. The lengths of the naps vary, but typically, one nap is at least 30-45 minutes. If we’re out and about during the day, he’ll almost always take a car nap and doesn’t need two naps at home in the crib. When we are at home, I try to get him in his crib for at least one nap. Tommy continues to follow our sleep schedule at night, waking up 1-2 times during the night at most and generally going back down to sleep very quickly.
Tommy still fits into a few 3-month and 3-6 month clothing items but otherwise is wearing 6-month and 6-9 month clothing. As we run out of size 2 diapers, we’re making the transition to size 3 diapers. We’re always making seven ounces of formula at a time, which he pretty routinely finishes. He’s still eating every 3-4 hours, which translates to 4-5 bottles per day. In the past couple of weeks, he has expressed a little more interest in trying foods. He’ll taste a little bit of food and give us a happy face instead of acting like we gave him coffee or something equally strong or just outright gagging.
Finally, a few days before Tommy’s eight-month birthday, he got a helmet or cranial orthotic. Anyone who has spent time with Tommy knows that the back of his head has always been pretty flat. With babies sleeping on their backs these days, flat head syndrome is pretty common. Tommy’s head shape is referred to as brachycephaly. In many instances, it resolves on its own or with simple lifestyle adjustments, such as switching sides for sleeping or eating, all of which we’ve tried. The condition hasn’t resolved for Tommy.
You can look into helmet treatments as early as four months. For various reasons, we didn’t pursue it until close to seven months. Most likely he won’t be wearing the helmet past 12 months, as the treatment isn’t effective once the skull bones thicken. The treatment may be shorter, depending on his progress. I’ll provide updates over the next few months. I want to be clear that we did not pursue helmet treatment to correct Tommy’s brachycephaly purely for aesthetic reasons. Left untreated, it may contribute to a number of issues in the future. You can read more about it here.
For all past Tommy updates, head to the family category of the blog.
1 thought on “Eight Months of Tommy”
I bet watching him listen to his echo was fun! It’s so amazing to watch them experience new things. We also do the selfie time. At first our girl was highly suspicious of that “other baby,” but today she tried to reach out and play with her image. It was pretty cute.
I have been so concerned about a helmet since I know so many babies these days need one. I follow a couple of pediatric occupational therapists online and have tried hard to implement their strategies/advice from the beginning. My mom kept making fun of me when she visited for my “baby rotisserie” routine. For a while she had a pretty strong side preference for sleeping and looking that had me worried so I kept her looking the opposite direction during the day as much as possible. My understanding is that brachy is the hardest to correct yourself without a helmet. So many people think it’s just a cosmetic issue, but you’re absolutely correct that it can cause problems down the line if uncorrected. I’m glad Tommy sounds like he’s having some fun with his helmet and all the extra rolling!