Category Archives: Baby 8-16 weeks

Small Steps Amazing Achievements

Small Steps, Amazing Achievements

This week, we have had a great step forward – Bubs has started to sit up on her own! She can manage a few good minutes before she topples over, but she seems to enjoy the falling over as much as the sitting! She just seemed to be able to do it, so strange! Now all she wants to do is sit up!

Sitting Up

Sitting Up

Aswell as sitting up, she is taking much more interest in food, I don’t think it will be long before she grabs something out of my hand!

She is also still turning over, and shuffling about by moving her legs, but she’s not lifting her head up at the moment, she still seems to be able to move herself off the mat though!

Every week it seems she is doing more and more – I can’t keep up!

I have linked up this post with Ethan’s Escapades Small Steps Amazing Achievements

 

Small Steps Amazing Achievements

Small Steps, Amazing Achievements

I have a few little things to share with you this week!

This week, Bubs has been really comfortable being on her front, and has started to try to wriggle herself about.  She will spend much longer on her front when she rolls over, and has learnt to lean her head to one side so she can lie on the mat, and rest! She seems quite good at moving diagonally, and when on her mat, she will lift her legs and bum in the air and try to push-off. In this fashion, she can shuffle herself off the mat, which I found this morning! It is pretty amazing how much strength she has!

She has also been practising more sitting up, and can sort of sit up leaning forward on her own for a few seconds. She is enjoying her bumbo seat now, she hated it before, she will ow happily go in the bumbo for 5 mins or so. She is also doing a lot more stomach crunches lifting her legs up and her head and neck forward, she can hold it for a minute or so as well, much more than I can I’m sure!

She is also starting to really make some noticeable sounds such as ‘A’ and ‘Nah’. She has also said ‘Da’. It’s so strange to look at her, and for her to babble away at me. I do wonder if she understands anything I say, I am not sure when they can, but she loves babbling to me, and it sounds so cute!

She is also sleeping better; she has been sleeping 8/9/10 until 6/7. She used to wake in the night grumbling, sort of half asleep, but she seems to sleep solidly now, or go back to sleep much easier, and doesn’t seem to make as much noise as she was doing!

We have also started to give her a little bit of water due to the heat. The look on her face when we gave it to her for the first time was a picture! She was not impressed and screamed the house down. However, with the Health Visitor’s advice, I have kept going, and given lots of praise when she has had water (even when spitting most of it out!). She has now started to a drink a little of it, and whilst I don’t think it’s her favourite thing at the moment, at least she is getting some.

I have joined up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements – why not check some of the other linkers by clicking the link below?

Ethans Escapades

Baby Play 3-6 months: What We Do

As Bubs gets bigger, and stays awake longer, and becomes more inquisitive about the world around her, the need to play is starting to grow.

In my previous post, I talked about how we were playing with her as a newborn baby, and as she began to develop her skills to start playing. Now she is almost 5 months old. She is grabbing things, reaching for things, rolling over to get things (although she does get stuck!). She is interested in everything, including things I’d rather she wasn’t – such as the computer lead!

So, I thought I would update you as to what we are doing together, how we are playing together. It can get monotonous very quickly, and you need to keep inspiration coming to make sure playtime is fun for you, as well as for baby. I am noticing more and more now that Bubs gets bored with the same toys, and will only tolerate her mat for short times, as she’d rather be sitting up!

I have found that reading books about baby development, and looking on websites or Pinterest for ideas is a great way to find new inspiration. I was asked to check out the What to Expect website, and I must say there are some good ideas for playing on there, as well as a bit of information about how and why babies play like they do.

What we Do

Toys

Bubs is really loving all of her toys, especially the soft toys, and toys that make noises. She loves Trevor the horse, from Lamaze, and she is also rather partial to the dinosaur that I got from britmums live! She also likes a ball that someone gave me, that makes musical noises, and you press a button and it makes animal noises. Whilst she doesn’t know how to press the buttons yet, by just hitting the ball, she gets surprised by the noises, and she absolutely loves it. She also is enjoying shakers, and I made her one the other day by using a plastic bottle and some rice. Anything she has, goes in her mouth though, so everything is needing to be sponged down or washed every day!

baby-play--3-6-months

Loving her toys

Singing and Dancing

This is a favourite at the moment ,although can get very tiring. I found going to the Making Moves group gave me a lot of ideas about how to play. Songs that can have a physical aspect to them, are great fun at the moment. Bubs loves ‘the grand old duke of york’ as I lift her up when I sing up, and put her down when I sing down. She loves nothing more then being held high in the air, she adores it. I have also tried the hokey-cokey, but like I say, it’s a work out for Mums as well as fun for the babies! She loves ‘row row row the boat’ as well, with the rocking motion. She sits on my lap and we row. It’s good fun!

Feet

Feet have become an obsession lately – that we have to grab them and try and put them in our mouth. Bubs hasn’t quite managed to get them to her mouth, but she will try and grab them at any opportunity. It is also meaning she is moving forwards to try and grab her feet, so good excercise!

Finding her feet

Finding her feet

Fun on the Tum

Getting Bubs used to being on her front, was somewhat difficult, and she would only tolerate it a few minutes at a time. However, since she started to roll over, she is spneidng more and more time on her front. Her play mat is designed for babies to be on teir fronts, so she enjoys looking and touching all the things on her mat. I find she has most fun when I get on the floor too, look her in the eyes, and talk to her whilst she is on her front – she loves it! I also put a toy in front of her, and she enjoys trying to reach it.

Talking

We still enjoy talking to each other! Now she is making more recognisable sounds such as ‘Waa’ and ‘Da’ and ‘A’ so I like to copy these back to her, and she delights in talking back to me. She loves looking at my face, and has started to try and grab my face now. She has also realised I wear glasses, and grabs these too. A good game for her, not so for my glasses, and a scratched face is not a good look!

She is also loving Peekaboo and playing Pat-a-cake, both ideas I got from the What to Expect website.

Sitting Up

Sitting up is another thing she loves doing. She loves it when I hold her or support her from behind, so she can sit on her mat, and grab her toys from a sitting position. She wasn’t very keen on her Bumbo, but in the last few weeks she has got more and more used to it, and now will enjoy 5 minutes in there. She loves the tray, and I put a few things on there for her to grab, and bang on the tray, or throw off the tray – both really fun games apparently!

baby-play

Out and About

Bubs loves going out, and now sits up on her buggy, so can see more. She loves the wind, and watching the trees or plants blowing in the wind. She also loves looking at flowers and plants, but recently has tried to grab them so we don’t go too near. She also loves lying on a mat in the garden. I can’t wait until she can sit up a bit better, and a bit older, then we can get exciting things such as a paddling pool and a ball pit!

I am always keen to hear ideas for play, so let me know what you do in the comments below!

I was asked to check out the What to Expect UK Website. All opinions and information in this post are honest and my own!

Out and About with a Baby Series – 1. Finding The Perfect Buggy

Now that Bubs is almost 4 months old, I am starting to venture out a bit more. This has meant I have had to start thinking about what I am doing, where I am going, and what I will need whilst I am out of the house. So far, I think I have done OK, and there hasn’t been a major hiccup. I thought I would share with you what I take with me Out and About, just in case you are wondering what on earth you need to get out of the door.

Finding The Perfect Buggy

First in this series, I thought I would tell you about prams/buggy’s. I will highlight some tips and advice about finding a buggy, and I will review the buggy I bought in case you are interested! Please note that this is my own review of the buggy, I bought it myself, and this review is no way affiliated with Baby Jogger (although I may let them know I have reviewed their buggy!). All views are my own and my honest opinion.

What Do You Want From Your Buggy?

When thinking about a buggy, I think you may want to consider these points:

  • Are you going to need to put it in a car? If so, will it fit in the boot?
  • Does the buggy collapse down easily?
  • Is there a big enough carry basket on there? Can you put all your things easily in/on the pram/buggy?
  • Where are you taking the buggy? Will you need something that can go off-road, for example? (3-wheelers for example are supposedly better off-road)
  • Do you want your baby to use a carrycot with the pram initially?
  • Do you want to be able to put your car seat onto the pram? If so, make sure your make of car seat matches the adaptors for the pram/buggy
  • Do you want a forward facing, or a Mum-facing pram? Some interchange between the two
  • Will the pram last through the baby’s first few years? Will it grow with the baby?
  • Weather protection: Rain cover and Parasol – are these included?
  • Can the pram be steered easily with one hand? (believe me you will have to do this one day!)
  • Check the suspension – will the baby have a bumpy ride?
  • Is it easy to assemble, reassemble?
  • Who will be using the buggy/pram? Will they be able to use it easily?
  • Does it have an adjustable handle for height differences?
  • Are the covers of the pram washable?
  • Is the brake easy to use?
  • Does the pram turn easily? Can you get in and out of doorways without much hassle?
  • What is the buggy like up and down steps and curbs?
  • Does the buggy have a safety harness which meets all legal criteria?

The Buggy I Bought (My Own Review)

Baby Jogger Mini GT

Baby Jogger Mini GT

Now, the buggy we bought is a Baby Jogger Mini City GT. When we bought it, it was Number 1 on the Which best buy list (We bought it in November 2012). The Baby Jogger is suitable from birth, as the back can be lowered to a flat position. The buggy is forward facing, which is a little disappointment for me, but there are 2 windows on the massive canopy which means I can peep at Bubs whilst she is in the buggy. We bought the car seat adapters (which are an additional cost – I think they are about £20) and so for the first few weeks it was great as I could put Bubs in the car seat, or straight out of the car, and onto the buggy, and she is forward facing in the car seat, so it is not a bad compromise especially in the first few weeks when you are wanting to check your baby is alright all the time!

I really like this buggy, although to start with I thought it was far too big and I was terrible at steering it. However, I think it is FAB now I have got the hang of it and I have stopped running over small children and cats. It is very easy to steer, and even easy to steer one-handed, the brake is on the right hand side, which flips up to put brake on and flip down to take off, which is very handy and means I am not fiddling about with your feet. As I have said above, the canopy/hood on this buggy is big: is can be extended two times, and when fully extended it practically covers the whole baby meaning shade in sun and protection from wind and rain. At the back, there is a mesh backing which allows air into the buggy to cool, and this has its own cover for when it is raining, and a neat little pocket is on there as well.

Shaded by the sun and having a nap

Shaded by the sun and having a nap

The basket underneath is big, and can carry 2 full shopping bags as well as coats. It can be a little tricky getting them in there, however, put with a little knack and experience, you can squeeze quite a lot under there.

The steering handle is adjustable, which is good for me and Dan as we are different heights. My only minor gripe is that there is nowhere to hang your changing bag/handbag from which would be good (there is a notice not to hang anything on the handle, and I have done this before OK, but I do think there is a risk of toppling over if you have a really heavy bag on there so best not).

To fold the baby jogger, you just pull the handle in the middle of the seat – this can be done one-handed which is very handy. it is not too heavy, and I can pick it up and put in the boot with little effort. I have a Nissan Micra and the buggy fits in the boot without having to take the wheels off, but yes, the wheels click on/off very simply if you needed to do this.

There is plenty of space for Bubs in the buggy, and she seems to like being in it. She can fall asleep very easily in there, and she likes playing with her toys in there as we go out and about. I have also purchased the baby jogger foot muff and this will be great in the future when it is colder and when bubs is a bit bigger.

The buggy is very versatile, like I say it feels a bit big to start with, and then the back is put down flat it does stick out at the back and so looks a lot bigger. As Bubs grows with the buggy, and we can raise the back, this will make it a bit easier.

I really like this buggy, and I think it is very good value for money (about £300). It should last a few years at least. Although I had really wanted a proper pram, this was the much more economic and rational choice, and now I have got used to using a buggy, I love it!

Searching for the Perfect Buggy/Pram

  • There are lots of buggy reviews online so I recommend searching for the buggy of your choice and having a look at what others say. YouTube is great to watch videos of buggys in action. I also found Which? a very good source of information.
  • If you find a cheaper price online, make sure you go into a store (any one that sells your pram/buggy) and make sure you have a good look at it; and then order online when you get home!
  • Watch out for any added extras. Although I love my buggy, I had to buy the car seat adapters and rain cover as extra.
  • Look in local NCT Sales, or Baby Sales, the buggy of your dreams may be there and at half the price!

I hope that you have found this useful. I certainly did not have a clue about buggy’s and prams when I was pregnant. If you have any other tips or advice about finding the perfect buggy/pram then let me know!

 

 

Going To A Group For the First Time: Baby Massage

As you may be aware, I was rather nervous about going to a group because I am a bit quiet and get nervous talking to new people (you can read my post about this here).

BABYMASSAGE

I signed up to Baby Massage one day, one of the first times I had been to the Health Visitor Clinic at the children’s centre, when I had to wait over an hour to actually get Bubs Weighed. Whilst waiting, one of the ladies that work at the Centre was talking to everyone about the Centre, what activities they do, the drop in, support groups etc and got us all to fill in forms. She also then casually roped me into signing up to this class. Although I was terrified, I was relieved there was a 4 month waiting list as I thought I could forget about it, and decide whether or not to actually go at a later time, and it got the woman off my back and onto some other poor unsuspecting new mother.

Anyway, the call came and it was our turn to go to the Baby Massage. As usual I got up 2 hours before the start of the group to get ready, and was still 10 minutes late. A great start, I thought, running down the street in the sunshine. Sweaty, out of breath, and now a bit red in the face, I entered the room at the Children’s Centre. I hate being late, and I hate being late whilst looking like an out of breath hippo whilst New People look at me and JUDGE me. So anyway what a first impression!

I was lucky in that the first session, initially we had to fill in yet another form, and so I had time to settle, catch my breath and go down a few shades of red. The room was actually very calming and relaxing, with calming music, candles lit up in the corner, and the floor was mats covered in fleecy blankets with cushions spread over the floor. There were three other Mums there with their babies, filling in their forms. All looked roughly the same age.

I filled in my forms, and whilst I did Bubs lay on the mats, kicking her legs and chatting away to herself. She seemed pretty chilled out.

To start with, as I was busy filling in forms, I didn’t really get to talk to anyone. I had also managed to pick the spot nearest the teacher, and furthest away from everyone else (I always manage to do this!). A few others were chatting, asking general questions to each other, and starting to get to know each other. I felt a dip in my stomach, yet again I would be the odd one out, no-one would talk to me, I’d be the invisible person in the room. Heart palpitations fluttering away, I tried to hide my anxieties and just smiled and chatted away to Bubs instead. A few other late comers arrived after me, and so I thought I maybe had a chance.

Once we had all filled in the forms, the session began. The lady leading the session was lovely. She talked through the massage, that it was a mixture of massage, reflexology, yoga and other things like that which I can’t actually remember now. It is also about the nurture, the bond, as well as the massage. We were all given a bottle of organic sunflower oil to use (“if its good enough for the inside, it’s good enough for the outside!”) and told that to start the massage, we first had to ask permission from our babies if they wanted a massage, as it is all about the bonding and nurturing process. So there we sat, 6 adults, asking 6 under 4-month-olds, whether they wanted a massage. Surprisingly, no-one seemed to object, and so we began. We had to initially pour the oil on our hands, and rub it into our palms near our babies ears, to make a ‘swooshing’ noise, so that the baby knows this is the start of the massage. We then started to massage. We focussed on the legs and feet as the lady told us these are the body parts babies are most used to being handled and so easiest to start with. The massage strokes were quite easy to follow, and the lady told us it doesn’t matter if you don’t do it exactly right. The oil was not too yucky in my hands, and it was very peaceful, calming and relaxing to do. We all sat there, babies gurgling and chatting away, whilst we massaged their legs, and feet, and toes. Bubs seemed relaxed, she kept looking at the teacher, and chatting away to her. But she let me do the massage, first on one leg and foot, and the other. The massage was complete.

Then, it was time for tea. The teacher went away and made us all a cuppa, which I was rather glad of. Then I realised; I had to chat to people now; there was no escape, this was the next part of the session apparently. Others were chatting away, and I just sat there with Bubs in my arms, chatting away to her. I didn’t know how to jump in and start talking. I thought I’d end up not talking at all. But in the end, I managed to glance at the lady next to me and her daughter, and stutter/bark “Ssssshe has a pppretty dress!” at her. I thought I compliment was a safe comment to say, I’m not sure I even liked the dress, but it was a starting point. Anyway, the women didn’t seem to notice my anxiety and just responded to my comment with a ‘Thanks, we have so many clothes, she can hardly wear them all!” and then it seemed I had to reply. This seemed to be a conversation. And it continued. We chatted about clothes, how big the babies were, the weather, feeding. It didn’t seem too awkward, and I think I didn’t say anything stupid. relief was flooding over me. As I was chatting, drinking my tea, Bubs started to fall asleep; massage seems to get her sleepy which is a great thing! I put her in the pram and got ready to go. I didn’t talk too much to the other ladies there, and there was a young girl there with her Mum, who was even quieter than me, whom I think I should talk to next time. Yes. Next time. It’s a 6 week course, so if I have managed this in the first session, it looks positive for the next 5, doesn’t it?

Going to this session really helped me alleviate a few fears, and although I am terribly shy I did manage to start a conversation. Like a lot of people have told me, having the baby to talk about and have in common with everyone was very useful. It even made me think about going to the music and movement session, which I think Bubs would love. I felt so much better for getting out of the house, doing something structured, doing something new, I felt a bit like I was at work again (but much more fun of course) in that I have to meet new people and chat to them all the time at work, so why I can’t do it out of work is beyond me, but I definitely felt more confident at the end of the session.

So here it goes, Another 5 weeks and who knows what will happen?!

I am linking this post up with The Oliver’s Madhouse Magic Moments, as this was a magic moment for me, I overcame my anxieties, I went to a group, and you know it was OK! And I felt so much better for doing it!

Best Practice in Parenting

Now when I was pregnant I had all good intentions on reading up on methods, and styles, and ways of parenting. I bought Gina Ford and Baby Whisperer. But they’re both still gathering dust on the shelf, never opened. I personally ended up doing a ‘wing it’ approach, coupled with what words of wisdom I picked up on from my twitter buddies and blogs I read. So, three months on, and I think I have done pretty darn good really. Considering all the issues I had with breastfeeding initially, and coming to terms with the realisation that Bubba’s birth did not measure up to my expectations, I have somehow made it through the wilderness to quote Madonna in a completely inappropriately named song.

I meet Bubs’ needs the only way I know: I think outside of the box, I remain calm, I use my noodle. I guess some people will say I use my instinct. But to tell you the truth I don’t think my instincts kicked in for a long while. I used my survival skills – got through it, although I am not sure how. I feel quite proud of myself really for having got this far, and things feel like they are falling into place a bit really. I like nothing more than snuggling and cuddling Bubs, seeing her smiling face, and making her laugh. She seems to be doing really well. If I have a question or think about something, I may ask someone I know, or look online. However this can be the cause of great anxiety or anger and frustration. Seeing things on the news, and issues highlighted in various forums I am a member of, it made me think about what I was doing. What parenting style I adopt. What way I was bringing my baby up. Was I doing it right or wrong? Was I following best practice, like I would within my job?

In the news this week there has been some new about bedsharing. Now I don’t co-sleep or bedshare now, but when Bubs was first born, the very first night in hospital even, the only way I could get to sleep (and get her to sleep) was to sleep with her on my chest. When we eventually got home, after being up and down all night, I eventually caved in, fed Bubs in my bed, and we fell asleep together. Now when I say sleep, I say a half way point between sleep and awake, as I was so terrified I’d roll on her, suffocate her with the duvet, or something like that. We did it a few more times when she was younger, but I was so anxious about it that we stopped, she got used to her Moses basket, and we all slept better for it. But it seems to me this piece of news is yet another way of criticising us. I did what I did, as it was the only way I could get some sleep. Others may do it because of ease, or because it’s what they want to do. What we forget due to the media is that research undertaken is about probability, about chance, and how much of a chance we have of something happening. It is not saying for certain, because nothing ever can, although there are methods of undertaking research which are seen as gold standards and are seen as most reliable. Any variation from this gold standard increases the doubt and reliability of the research.

Research is something that I am familiar with as I am completing my degree, and within my profession you have to look at evidence based practice and keep up to date with research. I’ve even been involved in research. So, whenever anything health related comes up on-screen, or in the news, I try to ascertain what information is fact, and what is fiction. Newspapers will take research and make it into what they want it to say – easy to do as results can be easily manipulated one way or another. Until you read the research yourself you can’t really ascertain what it is saying. I find it funny how we can believe research such as car seats, seat belts, use of paracetamol, or effects of smoking for example but then dispute other research because it doesn’t fit with what we want it to say. Some bits of research we take for granted within our lives and don’t even realise that we are doing things a certain way because research has been so well implemented within our lives. But still it is down to probability, chance, or are we the 1 in 100 people, for example. It is our choice whether or not to do what the research says.

Now I said I haven’t really followed much advice, I haven’t read books, I haven’t even really looked at what is considered best practice in parenting. A few things though I realise I do: I put my baby on her back to sleep, and she sleeps in our room, because research tells me this is the best. I give my baby breast milk as that is considered best (although she does have formula milk too, due to our feeding issues), I put her in a rear facing car seat because this is considered best. However other than that, I am not sure. I pick her up when she cries, because I don’t want her to be upset, and I think you can’t spoil a baby with cuddles and kisses. I play with her, talk and sing to her. I have to leave her to cry sometimes because that’s just the way it is. I give her a dummy as she finds comfort in it. I rock her to sleep because she likes this, and it works. She goes to sleep when she is ready to, she feeds when she is hungry. I bathe her every other day. She wears a melange of clothing which others may consider girl or boy clothes. She doesn’t wear a coat when we go outside as she doesn’t like it. I could go on. But what I mean is, I don’t always think about best practice. I think about what I think and feel is right for her. I don’t know whether I am more attachment parenting or gentle parenting, or whatever else someone has written a book about. I don’t know if there is research out there about the long-term effects of bathing every other day. But it is how I feel, and what I think is right. I feel attached to her, and I think she feels attached to me. In that we smile, we laugh, and we generally have more good days than bad.

I respect every Mum out there as we are all figuring it all out, in our own way. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I just think people who comment and try to say you’re doing it wrong, well you’re not. Because its horses for courses, it’s what works for one may not work for another. We are all united as Mothers yet all our experiences will be totally different, because we are all different people, living in different places, living different lives. We have to take information (if we are looking for it) and decide for ourselves whether we believe it or not, based on what it written down. Newspapers are full of scaremongering, forums are full of people waiting to tell others they are wrong. The only person you should believe in is yourself. It is about having information to make informed choices, not being told what to do or feeling bad for doing something different to others.

Should you scare the life out of your pregnant friends about childbirth and parenting?

SCARED

 

I went to see a friend yesterday who is halfway through her pregnancy. I hadn’t seen her since I have had Bubs and so this was the first chance I had got to introduce her to Bubs and to chat about things to her. I also have a few other friends who are pregnant and with whom I am meeting up with in the coming weeks. These are all first time Mums. My friend asked me a question, it was: How bad is it?

Now. What do you reply to that? Do you tell them the stark, harsh, black and white truth? Or do you sugar coat it a bit, not wanting to upset them?

Now personally, I am a very straight talking person. I can tell white lies and I can sugar coat things but I feel a bit of a fraud doing it. Can I say that it wasn’t bad? Can I say it was easy? Can I make my terrified friend feel a bit better? A hundred thoughts rushed through my mind. And I do think it depends when you are asked this question. At the start, everything seemed so awful and terrifying, and yet so lovely all at the same time. Now, 3 months later, things are calmer, more relaxed, and I can enjoy things a lot more.

It got me thinking that when people ask you that question, it is so subjective. The old stereotype of women talking about their horror births, well, to each of us, I bet there was one part of the whole baby making and giving birth process that was a bit horrific. For me, being Induced was awful, as was the first few weeks when I struggled to breastfeed. How can I tell someone else what it is like, when the issues I was concerned about were so unique to my situation?

When I was pregnant, all I thought about was the birth. I never thought beyond that because it just blew my mind a bit at the time. I was terrified of going into labour, and the pain. Not knowing what this pain which I was told was awful, felt like, was anxiety inducing.

In the end I told my friend that birth isn’t that bad, but that the first few weeks are tough, and just get through them day by day. Because for me, actually giving birth was OK, the process to which I got to the point of being able to give birth, was not OK. But that was just my experience. I told her it will really annoy her as everyone will tell her it gets easier, which will really really piss you off, but then one day, you look around and realise that it is easier. Because it does get easier. And really that’s probably the only one consistent piece of information anyone can give any new parent.  I also suggested a few books I wish I’d read before the baby was born, which would probably be more informative and unbiased than myself.

If she has any issues once the baby is born, I can perhaps signpost her onto some of the support I had, or tell her how to avoid things going so badly the way they did for me. When you’re six months pregnant, do you really need to hear the ins and outs of it?

When my non-pregnant friend asked me this same question, I admit I think I let my mouth talk before my brain went into gear. I told her not to do it, and that she should enjoy her life and be at least 40 before she even thinks about it, because it is exhausting, tiring, you don’t sleep and your whole life is upside down and all you think about is this little person. It was only about 8 weeks after having Bubs and I was still a little raw from it all. I think she’ll probably need counselling if she gets pregnant after my little rant. I think because she wasn’t imminently going to do it, I felt more able to explain to her how I felt at the time, and to start going down the ‘horror story’ route.

I think really I just need to shut up, smile and nod, and just order another cappuccino next time.

What do you tell your first time preggers friends, or your friends who are yet to have babies, when they ask you what birth and parenthood is like? Do you tell the truth?

 

Baby Play at 0-3 Months: What we do

When I was pregnant I didn’t think about playing with Nancy as a baby. I wasn’t expecting too much from her until she was a few more months old to be honest. What I have realised though is that babies like to play from the start and it is all about their development. I thought I would share with you some of the things we have been doing. Really these are things we have been doing from 6 weeks onwards, although looking, talking and singing are things you can do from the start. Anything you do with your baby can be fun and playful.

Singing and Talking

As I mentioned in a previous post, I found it hard to talk to Nancy as I am a quiet person and initially I found it quite difficult. Singing was one way to communicate with Nancy that I enjoyed. I said in my last post I needed to sing lullabies, well I have started to do this, and to sing with Nancy at nappy changes and when getting dressed/undressed, she loves this interaction and she will smile, and now at 11 weeks she will fling her arms and legs around excitedly,especially songs we sing often. I started with Nursery rhymes and have now ventured into musical numbers and chart songs. She loves high pitch singing, which is rather unfortunate as I do not have the best voice.

Talking with Nancy has improved over the last few weeks, it seems more natural now and she also responds more which I think makes it easier for me. I chat about what we are doing, what we have done/are going to do, and general chit-chat really. She also loves me copying her sounds and she delights in trying to copy me.

Cloth books are a great first toy

Cloth books are a great first toy

Looking at Things

From early on Nancy has liked looking at objects, especially bright coloured or contrasting patterns. You don’t necessarily need any expensive toys, Nancy used to spend ages looking at the bed rails, and currently appears to be in love with our shiny metal door handles. A friend gave me some cloth books which are designed for babies, they have contrasting colour patterns in them and pictures of faces, which she loves to look at. One thing sure to calm Nancy down is walking around the house and looking at different objects in all the different rooms. She also likes the look of the TV but I am trying to limit her watching this!

 

The beloved door handle!

The beloved door handle!

Bath Time

We were very nervous bathing Nancy to start with, and initially she didn’t seem to like it and so we adopted a sheep–dip approach. What we found out after discussing it with a few people on twitter, is that a deeper bath is better, making the water warmer rather than tepid, and ensuring she could feel the sides of the bath to make her feel secure, were all things which meant bath time was more enjoyable. She loved her baths as soon as we adopted this approach. As soon as she was too big for the little bath, we started to get in the big bath with her. She absolutely loves this, the depth, and the freedom to stretch out, and float around, is delightful to her. Water is definitely soothing and relaxing, and a great way to bond. We are going to get some bath toys now as well to make it even more fun.

Soft Toys

When Nancy was born, we were given a plethora of soft toys which I didn’t think would see the light of day for ages. As it is, Nancy loves looking at the soft toys, and in the last few weeks (from 9 weeks onwards) she has taken a fancy to a few of them, and will touch, grab and also try to eat them. We now take a few of these wherever we go and she loves to play with them now which is rather adorable to watch. She also likes looking at these when we put them around her play mat and when we put her in her cot to play (we are getting her used to it at the moment!). We have a few that jingle and jangle too and she likes the sounds they make too.

Play Mat

We have had a play mat since Nancy was about 3 weeks old. She initially really enjoyed just looking at the toys overhead, and around her. She has in the last few weeks learnt how to hit the toys and now she really enjoys being on there. We put other toys around her for her to grab, and look at, as well as one of the picture cloth books we were given. It’s great for when you need to put her down for a few mins, but she also loves it when you sit next to her and chat to her whilst she plays on the mat.

Our play mat and toys

Our play mat and toys

Physical Movement

Nancy likes to ‘stand’ on your lap if you hold her, and also likes to sit up – she will now push herself up to try to sit up now too. She also likes us to hold her so she can look over our shoulders and walk around the house. Tummy time is important for all babies and the health visitor told me to do this every day for a few minutes, at a time when Nancy hasn’t just eaten, and is in a good mood. Nancy enjoys being on her tummy but only for a minute or two. It gives her a different perspective and a new challenge in lifting her head. I sometimes do this on her playmat and sometimes when I am changing her we will have a little go. I also like to take Nancy’s hand and show her how to grab, touch or hit things. I don’t know if it helps but I feel I am teaching her to use her hands! She has recently found her hands and loves to stuff them in her mouth. (One word of warning – wipe them frequently! I don’t know what it is, but there is always blue fluff all over her hands!)

We also enjoy playing games such as peepo!, tapping Nancy on the nose, wiggling hands and feet, and blowing raspberries. She really enjoys these and will giggle away. She also likes it if I make funny faces at her, which is a great laugh, but a bit inappropriate out in public.

Out and About

To start with, Nancy did not like going out. She hated going in her car seat, and she didn’t appear to like the pram. However, the motion was a favourite and she would be calm after a few minutes of movement. The last few weeks she has really started to enjoy the pram, and loves looking around her. She especially loves shadows caused by trees overhead and looking at the sky. We have ventured out to the local shops, the local park and the library and she has really enjoyed these trips. She also likes having toys around her when she is in the pram, and in the car, she has lots of things dangling from the seat in front of her to occupy her when we are on a long journey.

So these are the main things we have been doing at the moment. I’d be interested to know what you have been doing for play and development with your children. Do you have any other suggestions?

 

10 Things I have learnt in 10 Weeks

Since having the Bubs 10 weeks ago, I thought I would share some of the things I feel I have learnt over this period of time:

1. What did I do without Muslin Cloths? and where do they go? the same place as odd socks?

2. That getting up at 6am is a good thing, as it’s better than 2, 3 or 4am

3. You may be tired, and half alive, but hey! 3am is the perfect time for smiles, giggles and playtime.

Me and Bubs after a particualrly good 3am party

Me and Bubs after a particualrly good 3am party

4. Don’t bother wearing a nursing bra for at least 6 weeks, as you’ll be feeding so much you may as well not wear it. In fact why bother wearing any top at all! (im talking around the house, not popping down the shops mind)

5. That you will sing any nursery rhymes you can remember, and even then the ones you do you make up half the words, and then sing over and over again, until that’s all you can think in your brain

6. That however quiet you are trying to be, you will always end up making the most noise

7. That as soon as you think the baby is asleep, and you put them down, they are actually in fact wide awake and just playing a joke on you

8. That after a while you start to think baby sick, poo, and dried milk all over your clothes doesn’t smell that bad, not really.

9. That trying to leave the house for any specific time means getting up at least 3 hours before allotted leaving time as baby will always want to feed and then will absolutley want to do the biggest, most horrendous poo the second you want to leave

10. I never knew you could put someone before everything else, that you wouldn’t mind feeling like death, and not brushing your teeth, eating rice crackers as that’s all you can grab, crying at kittens on TV, singing nursery rhymes until your ears bleed, because this little person is all that matters. Until it happens you don’t believe it.