9 month review

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Today was baby D’s “9” month review with the hv team. At 10.5 months! I believe they’re a little behind at our children’s centre.

Lucky it was a health visitor  that I had met before and know to be very nice and friendly so that was good. The review went well though they’d like to follow up on his communication skills in a month or so as although he is forming lots of sounds, he isn’t really using them to communicate with us yet really. Nothing to stress about just to maybe keep an eye on. I’ll definitely try more during the day to get him communicating more. He can definitely say “mama” and “dada” but not with any regularity and not to either of us.

Baby was tired as the appt was booked for 11:30 which is at least vaguely nap time. He cried a bit, had a feed and then had a 6 minute power nap. Unsurprisingly he is > 2hr into his afternoon nap. I *may* have joined him for an hour. It was luscious!

We did discuss hours sleeping but as we have an appt with thedoctor next week to discuss silent reflux, the health visitor said she’d try to help if the doctor doesn’t find anything.

Speaking of sleep. …. It’s not going so well. The last three nights we have had 7,5 and 7 wake ups respectively.  The heat hasn’t helped, neither has inconsiderate neighbours (both the ones that have been arguing and the kids who finished school and apart to have spent the might screaming in the park. …. All night). We are trying to get  daddy to settle him rather than just feeding him back to sleep. I’ve got 7 weeks before I return to work and I’m not looking forwards to working without sleep. 

Mobile

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Baby is getting really mobile. He cruises around the furniture like crazy-at speed with absolute reckless abandon and entire lack of a sense of danger. Makes me think what a bad design babies are. Their mobility skills develop at such an alarming pace that their cognitive understanding cannot keep up. They don’t understand their environment, have an entire lack of fear and have no understanding of the consequences of their actions.

He’s yet to fully work out crawling despite quite clearly having the skills required and the strength. He figured rolling the day before he turned ten months old. He can also do what I term to be the caterpillar move but on his back when required, usually when getting away from nappy changes.

Falls are daily. Sometimes he bangs his head or wrenches his arm a little. Sometimes he cries and sometimes he is oblivious. But each day he gets faster and stronger. I predicted he’d crawl this week but he’s not yet played ball but I wonder how long before he will walk unaided? Under two months until his first birthday so we will see!

The development is fascinating to watch and just so fast.
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(Doesn’t always end well. … No babies were hurt in the capturing of this photograph! )

Cycling

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So its been a while since I mentioned riding my bike. Probably about 4 days before baby D was born….

Which was a long time ago now. I’ve been out a few times where convenient but this week things took off. Monday was daddy day and after a walk and some chores I realised I could slip out for 90mins mountain biking! It was exhilarating, exhausting and me-time which I’ve been severely lacking of course. On top of that it gave me the impetus to finally order a bike seat for the boy.

We did a lot of research when baby was small, most of which we forgot by the time we came to buy. We decided to go for something sturdy that we knew we could fit onto all our different bicycles. It wad a hard decision but we went for a rear mounted Hamax Caress.

I won’t bother writing a long review as we found this one On Total Women’s Cycling very useful, and although it’s expensive it’s great! We spent a long time trying to get it fitted correctly but it feels very secure and baby looks very comfy in it. It has extra helmet space, really secure foot straps and it reclines!

We took it for a gentle spin at the weekend and the freedom was wonderful. Of course it helps rather that I live next to a beautiful forest that I can reach by cycle paths…
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:-)

Side car named Sleep.

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I won’t even mention the amount of time since I last posted….I used to regularly upkeep 4 blogs, the only one I manage well now is my livejournal which is a closed personal blog that I’ve had for 11 years!

Baby D is now over 9 months old. Months 0-6 trickled past as we tried to get to grips with everything. Since 6 months passed and we stopped counting his age in weeks, and since I started counting down the weeks until I go back to work, time is suddenly flying.  I say that but he’s learnt so much and amazes us every day so maybe it’s not gone so quickly.

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DEVELOPMENT
Developmentally he’s decided that rolling and crawling are not for him. He is very confident during and can spin a full 360 on his bottom at speed if there’s a good toy behind him. He’s always wanted to be on his feet-the jumperoo  and more recently the Walker have helped fuel this passion. And he’s been learning to stand whilst holding on to the sofa. A few weeks have passed and he is cruising around the furniture and given the right surfaces can pull himself up to standing. Eek.

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(There is a serious perspective issue in this photo as he is the tallest in his friend group! )

FOOD
Overall weaning (the English meaning of weaning being too stay them onto solids alongside milk) has been slow.  We decided to mix the classic puree-style weaning with baby-led. Baby D likes to be in charge so this suits him well. We started about a week before he turned 6 months amidst empty promises of it helping him sleep better. Whilst most his friends sit compliantly with an open beak, waiting to have food shovelled in, my boy is a bit of a pickle. I come from a family of keen eaters, my husband less so. Seems baby got his eating habits from daddy’s side of the family. I hope out non-pressurising approach means he grows up with a positive attitude towards food (I detest picky eaters and have patience with them! Everyone has likes and dislikes buy fussiness is annoying@).

The warm summer is not really helping (nor is the tummy bug we both had), and some days he basically eats nothing. We offer him three meals a day and s huge range and variety of tastes and textures in hot and cold, sweet and savoury food. Sometimes he goes mad for it, more often than not he doesn’t want anything.  However his weight is good and I’ve bought vitamin drops (which is as good as giving them, right? ) to ensure he gets what he needs. We are also spending a lot of time outside (though careful with suncream etc) so I hope he’s getting the vitamin D that breast milk can lack.
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SLEEP
Oh sleep. I won’t go into too much detail but whilst most people in the (western. Or maybe just british) world will try to make you feel like a freak if your baby doesn’t Sleep Through The Night from about 3 seconds old, I’m lucky to have my group of mumsnet friends showing me 60 plus different versions of normal. Sadly we are at the crappy end of the spectrum. I’m not prepared to sleep train my baby in the classic way (long story short -all babies are different and I don’t believe in a one-cure-fits-all solution and it definitely doesn’t suit my baby) Which doesn’t leave many options (and certainly none that have really worked for us).

I wish we had Co-slept earlier. There are so many people parroting bag information about Co sleeping and how it will ruin your life and kill your baby that I was reluctant to try it. In actual fact I get so much more sleep now than I did before despite his sleep patterns still being pretty awful. However Co sleeping in the spare room had meant not spending much time with my husband so last night we got radical and converted his cot into a sidecar cot.  Lots of great information about how to do it on many blogs so I will be modifying it tonight to try to improve the position.

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Need to remove the bedside table and move the cot up, then pad my side of the bed to get it a bit higher!

Health

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It was a stressful week! We went on our first proper holiday with just the three of us-stayed at a beautiful Landmark Trust property in Bedford in the middle of the forest.
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On the last  night we noticed what looked like some insect bites on baby’s leg. The next morning the spots had spread and looked like chicken pox. By lunch time it had turned into a huge angry red rash with huge welts across his head, ears, neck, armpits, sides, nappy area and legs. Once I got through our doctors complicated triage system we got an appointment for the afternoon.

Turns out its hives. An allergic reaction to *something* (Pine wood? It was mentioned on the info sheet from the dr.). Could be a one off and we might never know but I can’t wait for it to go away as it’s so itchy for him.
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On Tuesday

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On Wednesday.

He has antihistamines to try to reduce the itchiness and we bathed him in camomile tea last night! Poor baby :(

Long time

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So its been a blooming long time since I posted. Been busy raising a baby!

Baby is almost 8 months now and it’s not been an easy ride. We are lucky that he is healthy and happy but it looks like we’ve definitely got one of the broken ones that doesn’t sleep.  Which is of course frustrating because we are exhausted all the time. We also get to hear regularly about other local mummies whose babies sleep through so there’s a little resentment and jealousy there too.  On top of that everyone had ideas of what can help but sadly nothing does seem to help this one.

Baby is unable to settle himself. There is some argument about whether self settling actually exists or not or whether it’s something that can be learnt or taught. My theory would be that it does exist but cannot be taught to some babies.  There is one baby at the Wednesday group I go to who falls asleep on the play mat every week in the middle of the hubub. No dummy or comforter. No boob, no mummy cuddle. Just flat out snoozing on the play mat in the middle of the room.

Baby feeds to sleep and can sometimes be persuaded to sleep in daddys arms.  If he is due a nap, the pram or sling will also work for day time naps.

Since Christmas the general sleep pattern has been 90min to 2hr stretches. We had one good phase for about two weeks at the start of April but then teething seemed to turn it back. We saw the doctor in April and she suggested it could be reflux so we tried gaviscon for three weeks but it made no  difference to his sleep.

Since his first tooth came through last month and the associated teething that goes with it, he has become painfully clingy and refuses to sleep in the cot. I don’t know what I can do to persuade him and I get a little more sleep when he comes in with us so I’m rolling with it. It won’t be forever.

Our children’s centre gave us a handout this week of things to do to help your baby to sleep. We already do all the things they suggested! We try!  From a straw poll of my lovely mumsnet friends, it seems his patterns are normal. …. fringe but within the bounds of normal.

Developmentally is so interesting to look at him and his little friends. Baby can sit quite happily (except when he forgets how to and bumps his head). He loves to stand but is on his tippy toes and has no balance. At all. He’s eating solids but is quite difficult and will only eat what he fancies. We give him lots of finger food for some baby led weaning and load spoons for him to feed himself with which is how he prefers things! He has one tooth on the bottom which didn’t give him too much grief coming through thankfully. He’s still uninterested by rolling but I think he could if he tried!

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He is a wonderful cheeky little chap and keeps me very entertained. It is difficult.  Especially being exhausted from total lack of sleep, and on top of that  I’m booking in my keeping in touch days at work (KIT days) , one down and nine to go. I very paid for then which is ace but a days work on no sleep is challenging.

I’m going to try to keep this more up to date from now on.
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Self settling.

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The hv rang this morning to chat and give advice about self settling as I had to call them last week in tears because we were getting so little sleep.

I guess in reality I knew a lot of it already but it’s hard to know where to start. Same old info. So today after meeting mummy friends and then going to see our potential childminder again, the afternoon has been dedicated to trying to get him to self settle in the cot. We have failed spectacularly. Firstly 45 mins of shouting at his blankets (with a couple of cuddles when he got very shouty). Then I fed him and tried again for 30 mins. He is now entirely over tired and must nap soon otherwise it will be too late. So I’m back at square one feeding him to sleep on the sofa.
 
It’s hard to describe how one ends up here. When you’re so tired you genuinely can’t see straight and your baby is waking every ninety minutes or less. .. You reach a point where you just want to get the baby back to sleep as quickly as possible and with the least amount of stress all round. You don’t want to be trying potentially stressful ‘techniques’ and certainly aren’t thinking about the long run. You just need sleep.
 
I’m so deeply envious of my friends that try to give me tips related to how they got their babies sleeping better because their babies slept well in the first place. Their babies take dummies, are all bottle fed so a) they digest it more slowly b) they can force a huge formula feed into their babies in the evening and c) their other halves can do a feed so the mummies are getting more sleep anyway.
 
Baby is now blissfully asleep on my tummy wrapped in my cardigan. Lovely but marking utter failure on day one. Feeling very uncharacteristically defeatist.

.Edit.
After 20 mins of napping on me, I tried to put him down again which ended in screaming. And now in feeding him again to stop him screaming. All out failure. 

20 weeks

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This week baby bear is a huge 20 weeks old!

Developmentally January had been really interesting. The hands are now a very much favorite thing-heavily sucked, fascinating to watch and getting very good at grabbing both toys and his parent’s hair/facial features.

Ping! Suddenly there’s a tooth! Silly me-I was looking in the wrong place (yes the mouth)! Usually bottom front come first followed by top front, but baby has decided to go for a canine. Why not eh?  Before the tooth came the dribbling. … lots of dribbling and chewing things. Mostly hands- his and anyone elses he can get near his face.

Alongside the fun of dribbly-grumpy-teething baby we entered the dreaded 4 month sleep regression. I wasnt too convinced of its existence but all my mumsnet mummy friends swear by the Wonder Weeks info and app which talks about baby progress and moods in terms of ‘leaps’-with the four month one being one of the worst.

In a way I feel worse for those parents with babies that previously slept brilliantly as this regression had hit them very hard. At least we’ve been there and we know we can get through it. In the interest of balance, it’s worth saying that despite one horrible day of screaming, he was wonderfully behaved over Christmas and was sleeping 5 plus hour stretches!

Our last good night’s sleep was 3rd Jan.  I know this as it was baby’s birthday pressie to me! But this week things have looked up. We have managed to slowly move bed time earlier to try to regain or evenings-we are now getting him down between 9 and ten, though or ‘evenings’ involve a quick read and bed at the moment.

On our worst night we basically got no sleep at all, and an average one he sleeps 9-12 1-3 4-5 5:30-7.

Other exciting developments include lots of attempts to roll over (mostly unsuccessful) and a huge improvement in his stomach and neck muscles as he lifts his head when lying down. We get lots of smiles and giggles but struggle to capture them on camera. He is superb at grabbing things-in particular facial features and hair. .. luckily not the cat yet.

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He is a tall lad (weight wise he is on 75th centile and height wise 99th ish) and wherever we go people want to talk about how gorgeous and big he is.  *proud mama*

I can’t believe I’ve fed him up to this weight all by myself!

Cold

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I’ve had a lot that I’ve wanted say recently but not had the energy to be very eloquent so there are lots of drafts sitting about.

So in less in depth news, baby has his first cold. Which he has kindly given to me. Today he has been in an hourly cycle of feeding, sleeping, smiling, playing then crying. This cycle usually takes more like three hours! I think I’d cope quite well if I wasn’t feeling so rotten. Turns out that mummies and daddies don’t get a break and it’s exhausting.

I felt I was officially a mummy when I realised at ten am that baby had had:
-2 naps
-one lot of calpol
-2 lots of Nasal nose spray
-2 feeds

I had had:
Er…. Nothing
Rectified quickly with a cuppa and a snickers!

May this be short lived! Worst of all I haven’t left the house today and I may go mad.

Relaxed mummy?

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I’m a relatively chilled out person on the whole though of course I do worry about some things. I just try to be rational and realistic about thing.

So when baby D developed his first rash at 17 wks old, I didn’t panic. It started around his mouth and bottom so I assumed it was related to teething (which is a whole other story) but kept an eye on it. He was healthy and happy otherwise so I wasn’t too worried. The next day the rash spread until it was all over his body. We took his temperature which was fine and eventually rang the nhs 111 help line. They were helpful and reassuring-no temp and an otherwise healthy baby suggests a small allergic reaction to *something* or maybe a viral rash. Not to worry unless he developed a temperature or it got worse, and with an absence of high temp thru would be fine to go ahead with his planned 16wk jabs the next day.

At the dr surgery, the nurse was a bit concerned and didn’t want to do his jabs in case any reaction was masked by the rash. She called the doctor in to examine baby and he decided it “probably wasn’t measles” but wanted to call the paediatric doctor to check.  They decided he was ok but didn’t do his jabs so they are now booked in for tomorrow.

That was a teeny roller coaster right there. But the weird thing was- I think I did the right thing in the circumstances but I did get comments from other people who seemed to think I should have done more …. or more specifically that I should have worried more! With an absence of a high temperature, I’m not sure what else I could have done! Good news is that is all gone now and we survived!

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