Tag Archives: development

709 days

Standard

Not long til short stuff is two!

The last few months have heralded a little improvement in sleep (3 wake ups is better than 7!) and more recently a desperate attempt to drop his only nap. A quick google says that by age 2 most children drop their morning nap and by 4 they tend to drop their afternoon one too. But apparently this depends on how much night time sleep they get as they may be getting “enough” at night.

I can’t even remember when the regular morning nap stopped but it was a good while ago. I think we’ve had about 6 days over the last three or so weeks in which there has been no nap. We’ve had to time bed time very carefully and there have been more wake ups on those nights but overall it seems to have coincided with the better general sleep.

Most words are coming out in full sentences (whether we can understand it or not is a different matter entirely) and his patience and ability to sit still to achieve small tasks is growing by the day.

We’ll be due our 2 year health visitor check at some point soon. I’m just hoping that the appointment doesn’t echo the stories I hear about from other women about admonishments for breastfeeding and co-sleeping. Luckily as long as I’m prepared for potential conflict I can handle myself, so we’ll see what happens. The Health Visitor and MidWife team have changed around here recently apparently so I might not see someone I know.

We achieved an even more successful family holiday than the last one- partially due to the above developments but also some good and lucky accomodation choices (enclosed garden!), locality of steam railways and making great use of the lovely Mumsnet friends that I made way back in Jan 2013 to break up the journey and give small stuff some time to play.

I can highly recommend Norfolk with a toddler- it was only part of our trip but lots to do and luckily beautiful weather to do it in.

National Breastfeeding Week

Standard
National Breastfeeding Week

Chink of light

Yes it’s National Breastfeeding Week, so I thought I’d celebrate by sharing my favourite proper pictures I took of him feeding.

Beads

It’s such a huge and important part of my (our) life and a very unique bond that documenting it is really important. A lot has changed since the first “proper” photo I took of him feeding…….

081

Nothing really more to say here!

Development

Standard

Talking is the new favourite thing over here- lots to say all the time. In fact I have little idea what he is saying most of the time, as it’s a constant babble of verbal explosions which continue on with the odd recogniseable word like Car or Cat or Truck in between.

New words are coming thick and fast- this week it’s been “geese” “flower” and “dirty” all of which are being used in the correct context (“car dirty” for example). It’s quote fun. We talk a lot to and with him. We read to him and encourage him to point out the things he recognises in the book, but I’m sure genetics are as much to play. Apparently as a child I was bright and precocious and used to remember books off by heart so that other people thought that I was able to read when actually I was just memorising what I’d been read!

This week he also decided was the week to learn to ride a bike. A friend kindly dropped around a second hand balance bike. It was left in the hallway, and little person climbed right on despite the saddle being about 3 inches too high and tried to ride it!

Won!

Standard

We won! We made it to one!
We didn’t leave him anywhere, break him or give up after a ridiculously difficult wonderful year.

I already went through the things we achieved over the last 51 weeks of maternity leave so I won’t do that again, but maybe a nice photo of the small one enjoying his big day!
2014-09-09 12.56.03

We took the day off work and spent it walking up to Coral Reef for a swim, then stopping off on the way home at South Hill Park for lunch. Then the afternoon included friends popping over with presents and cake & fizzy!

Then on Saturday my mum kindly hosted a family party. The weather turned out to be unexpectedly beautiful so we ate and played outside in the sun. More presents, more fizzy and more cake!

2014-09-13 14.44.11

2014-09-14 11.19.30

He’s also got his first pair of shoes and is really enjoying running around in them!

Now the first year is out of the way, it’s made me think about what I’ll start to use this blog for. not to say that I don’t have the same need to rant about sleep and stress of parenthood, but I think I need some more direction. If you can think of a topic you’d like me to cover, please feel free to suggest. Otherwise I’m seeing more reviews, information about my volunteer work with the Let Toys Be Toys campaign , information about babywearing and general my general mix of “natural parenting” and “other” (unnatural parenting?!) as we traverse toddlerhood!

Crying walking sleeping talking

Standard

Okay, not yet talking. …

So we have steps. At first, encouraged by pushy mother (sore back from leaning over to hold his hands) and a week later taken by choice, and very pleased with himself! 

This new mobility had come at a price-the constant fear of what he’s going to fall over next. He likes things that moves-doors, the buggy, the clothes airer, the car seat, my office chair and so on. In one week he managed to collapse the clothes airer onto himself, knock over an ironing board, fall over closing a door with me on the other side and fall out of a friends patio doors, not to mention falling over his own feet and banging his head on every table in the RG postcode….. I sound hideously negligent but at least we are yet to experience the rite of passage that is falling off the sofa/bed.

It’s hard to find a balance between wrapping them in cotton wool and letting them learn their own lessons. Already he is starting to learn how to fall gently onto his bottom rather than an uncontrolled backwards head-banger and his balance has improved markedly from letting him hold onto things that move.

And whilst I never get too optimistic about these matters, there seems to be some improvement with sleep. To many parents it’s still awful sleep but in comparison to what we are used to, it feels like an uninterrupted 8hrs!

We’ve had a few nights of 8-12, 12:15-3, 3:15-6, 6:15-8 ish. Tonight is buggered up because he coughed himself awake (think he’s got and has given me hand foot and mouth) at half ten.

I’ve spent the last 11 months being told that xy or X Well help him sleep (turning three months, being in his own room, starting solids etc). As a consequence I’ve started to ignore everything everyone says ever, but maybe he really is wearing himself out. He is trying to walk and cruise at every waking hour!

We still have no words. I am trying to ensure we converse with him and read to him more. He makes the most wonderful hilarious sounds, his favourite being “do ooh! ” and “lerglerglergle” but can make quite complex sounds too like th, ck, St etc so we have no worries about him that way. Just being impatient waiting for a mama or dada

image

!

Side car named Sleep.

Standard

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.

image

image

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.

image

(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.
image

image

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.

image

image

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

Long time

Standard

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!

image

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.
image

20 weeks

Standard

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.

image

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!

Vitamin D and finger prints!

Standard

One of the first things I did on finding out I was pregnant, was to find myself an app. I’m not really a phone-y person, but obviously the stuff our mobiles can now do is pretty astonishing. Especially if you think about the very first computers and what they were capable of. However, I’ve never really been an “I’ve got an app for that” kind of person, but like practical apps (mapping usually) rather than games. I got the I’m Expecting app which had good reviews and was free.

It gives you week by week updates about your baby-to-be including tips for the mother, information about what might be happening to your body, how your baby is developing and the main source of amusement (as mentioned in this post) as it’s measured in hillarious middle class fruit and veg.

Week 16 was Avocado, Week 17 was an Onion and week 18 has been Bell Pepper. Next week- we’re mango!

The other thing that blows me away is that it talks a little about what the baby is specifically developing that week. And this week, our baby is becoming an individual! He or she is growing fingerprint whorls this week! I’m stunned by that concept. I am not sure why!

This week we’ve seen some slightly nicer weather, and I’ve been out enjoying it where possible. This included getting my tummy out at a train platform whilst slumped on a seat in the sun on Friday! Baby needs vitamin D to regulate calcium and phosphate in the body to help bones and teeth to develop.

Saturday we went for a nice long bike ride on quiet back roads through stunning Berkshire countryside. We managed just under 24 miles total, and when we got back I fell asleep in the sunshine in the garden. I feel a bit tight and itchy today but that sunshine was needed 🙂


You’d never know I was 18 weeks pregnant (almost 19!) from this picture!

Tuesdays Child

Standard

Today has taught me not to take this NVP lightly, and never take a few good days for granted.

This morning had me retching bile for about 15 minutes out of the blue before I’d even got dressed. Nofair.

I did manage two pancakes (which I ate with home made stewed apples, lemon and sugar- surely a classic combination?) and some cheese and ham with a bit of bread. Only 600 calories or so, but could be considered a meal? I covered most the food groups (cheese, ham, carbs….)

My latest amusement is that my… well…. uterus is starting to stick out! And it’s much lower than I thought it would be. Every time for the last “XXXX” years of my life that I’ve looked in the mirror and though “cor I look a bit pregnant” has been because there’s a little extra fat around my tummy button, or just below it. But now, the bulge is definitely “below the belt”, and it’s fascinating! I wonder if it’s more pronounced because of the weight I have lost over the last 3 weeks or so?

ION, be careful what you wish google for…..

Ok, so raspberry foetus isn’t that big yet, but you get the picture. Maybe a little too literally?

Also, I’ve been erroneously calling the magic bundle of cells a “foetus” because I didn’t yet want to call it a “baby” for the last few weeks, but my secondary school biology lessons have failed me! I think it might be referred to as a blastocyst (?) which sounds horrible! Or maybe it’s a foetus but not an embryo yet? Anyone know the answer?!

This week I found out that the magic-bundle-of-cells will experience the following:

– now resembles a human
– facial features continue to develop
– beginnings of external genitalia form
– anal passage opens, but the rectal membrane is intact
– circulation through the umbilical cord is well developed
– long bones begin to form

Now there’s something to think about……