At 5 months old, Hudson is a bundle of baby chub, drool, and pure joy. He smiles so hard at us, his whole body wiggles. I can’t even find the words to describe how awesome that feels.
Often when I tell people how old he is, they’ll say, “oh, that’s such a fun age!” and I totally agree. Though of course he’s not really talking yet, he’s engaging with us and starting to tell us what he likes and doesn’t like with his expressions and noises.
Hudson is looking more like his dad every day, weighing in at 19.5lbs, wearing mostly 12 month clothes, and I am gaining incredible arm strength.
Hudson officially got his first tooth a few weeks ago! Bottom center left. He was uncharacteristically fussy for a few days which, along with the rivers of drool, tipped us off — but overall he was such a champ about it. The second tooth is on the way in, too! Slow down, baby.
It is impossible to take a picture of this because he sticks his tongue out every time I manually open his mouth, but I assure you it is the most adorable little tooth ever.
This month he found his feet, and they’re permanent fixtures in his mouth. Particularly when he doesn’t have socks or footies on—that’s the good stuff. And speaking of things going in the mouth, pretty much EVERYTHING goes straight to the face these days. Including cat tails and food off of our plates if he can get his little mitts on it.
A big development in the last few weeks has been putting the pacifier back in himself. HALL-E-LUJAH! It’s still a pretty new skill and he’s not exactly a pro yet, but when he gets it, he will sometimes go back to sleep or just lay there quietly after he’s awake from a nap. I knew this day would come, but I couldn’t quite believe it.
Tummy time is nearly impossible because he’s got the tummy-to-back roll down pat, and employs it within about 30 seconds of being placed on his belly. I did witness a back-to-tummy roll a few weeks ago, but it’s yet to be seen again. I don’t think he’s in any hurry to get himself on to his belly! Though he does roll to the sides quite a bit to reach for toys.
Sitting independently seems like it’ll be a while. He’s good on our laps, but pretty wobbly with that adorable, giant head of his. We’ll prop him against a pillow for a few seconds but he promptly “melts like ice-cream,” as his grandma puts it. Confusingly, despite his floppiness, he is STRONG. He does this slightly scary bucking bronco move when we’re carrying him around, so we are hanging on to our little chunk tight when we’re on the move.
Once in a while, I’ll hear him starting to go “a-ma… ma-ma” but I don’t think he really connects those noises yet to me being mama. So no talking yet, but his little chatter, squeals and singing continues to melt my mushy new-mom heart.
The biggest change in the last month has been Hudson’s sleep.
After a rough month on the sleeping front when he hit the four month sleep regression, Hudson’s back to waking up only about once a night between 3-4am to eat after his 7pm bedtime. And he’s going down for naps really easily! Insert praise hands emoji here.
We decided he was old enough (and we were exhausted enough) to attempt sleep training. We agreed to let him cry at night for up to 5-10 minutes before going in to check on him, and not pick him up or feed him when we went in… just pat him on his little tum to reassure him a little bit and then right back out. It’s not awesome to hear your baby cry, but he took to it so quickly that it was apparent that it was the right move for us.
Within a few days he’d stopped waking up every few hours at night, and was going down for naps like clockwork with just a few hugs and his beloved pacifier, Frank.
We also got rid of his “moon suit”, the almighty Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit, since it would have been just another rug we’d have to yank out from underneath him in the not-too-distant future. He’s already maxing out the size large! While I miss the days of him laying there like the marshmallow man, it’s nice not to have to wrestle him in and out of that thing every time he goes to sleep.
All of these efforts haven’t done much —yet! (she said hopefully)—for lengthening his naps beyond 30-45 minutes, and his wake up time is all over the place between 5:30 and 7. But I’m still, of course, so proud of him. His big grins in the morning reassure me that we haven’t damaged his baby psyche by letting him cry a little, and both Jason and I feel like we’ve emerged from a very foggy, dark place after a month of 4+ wakeups a night. At our six month doctor’s appointment, I’ll get their opinion about dropping the late feeding, but until then, this feels very doable. Go Huds go!
As I mentioned above, Hudson is a lot of fun these days. He’s pretty good at playing independently for 15-20 minute chunks of time, but definitely prefers us to be down on the ground with him. It’s apparent that he’s really engaging with us, and also with his toys and things around him more and more. Beyond just immediately stuffing everything in his mouth. First he’ll look at something for a few seconds, and then he’ll attempt to stuff it in his mouth.
The play mat is still his favorite-ish, though he’s awake for much longer stretches (usually 2 hours) so we rotate him through his “stations.” Playmat, Baby Bjorn bouncer, a mat in another room with lots of toys on the ground, etc. He’s figured out how to bounce the Baby Bjorn by himself and it is hysterical. He thrusts his little legs and takes a minute to find the right rhythm to make himself bounce, particularly if his baby songs are on.
He’s so much sturdier that we can also play with him a bit more. We’ve been having fun making him “fly” by lifting him up in the air or rolling around on the floor or bed with him. He’ll reach over to grab our faces when he’s laying next to us, which of course we find the cutest thing ever. He’s so wiggly these days there’s not a ton of snuggle time, so playing with him like this is a nice way to sneak in some hugs.
A few other random, funny things that I want to remember:
- He has that intense baby stranger-stare going on. Thankfully he’s cute and everyone so far laughs it off, but man, have we had some awkward elevator rides in our building.
- Changing his diaper is a wrestling match. He flexes his little leg muscles and locks his knees so that’s its nearly impossible to put a diaper on him. He also looks extremely proud of himself for this move.
- Leaving my hair down is a liability these days. We are officially in the hair pulling phase.
- Huds and Blitz, our cat, have officially started to acknowledge each other. Well, actually, it’s more like just look at each other, which is—believe it or not—big progress. BFF any day now.
- Our voracious eater continues to eat… voraciously. Except he’s so distracted by pretty much everything these days! He won’t take a bottle in public, and if I’m feeding him and Jason comes in and talks to me, Hudson will stop and look back and forth at us like, “really guys?”
- Jason gets up with him every Saturday morning and Hudson just lounges on his lap like he’s a beach chair. Sometimes upwards of an hour! It’s the funniest, cutest thing. I love my boys.
To sum it up, month five with Huds has been a good one. After the holidays, we wanted a quiet month at home and we’ve gotten what we wished for. Chicago’s weather gets a lot of flack this time of year, but I love that January feels like a month to recharge and gear up for the new year without any pressure to be making plans on the weekends. 17 degrees? No problem, we’re in our little bubble with Huds.
Every month J and I agree that this is the cutest month, and that we want him to stay this age forever. But I do feel like we’re in a particularly sweet spot of Hudson being a dependent, adorable, new-ish baby but also so much FUN and starting to show us hints of his little personality. That, and semi-regular sleep? We are living the dream, my friends!
Thanks for another great month, bud.