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Monthly Update: Month 22

Weight, Length, Height: No change.

Routine: No change.

Bedtime: a few hiccups this month but still 7pm.

Naps/Length: 2-3 hours on an afternoon. This boy is all about consistency.

Favourite toy/objects: He loves just running around. Or being chased. Or playing with us. It seems like it’s just happened but maybe my pregnancy aches stopped me seeing it earlier. He’s really starting to like blocks and knocking them over.

Clothing age: Gone up to size 5 nappies and nursery put him in a 5+! He’s outgrowing 12-18 tshirts and I don’t have any 18-24 so he’ll be going into 2+.

Foot length/Shoe Size: still a 6.

Milestones: He can repeat so many words now on first hearing. Or at least tries to. I’m going to put his newest word here. He can say the name of a little girl at nursery. I am so chuffed. It took him forever to start saying mummy and daddy so to pick up a name we haven’t drummed into him is huge! He has also started physically copying a lot more, so mimicking actions including at the dinner table. Under close supervision he can drink from an open lidded cup.

Our swimming ability: The first Friday in March we went swimming again! Elvis loved it. He happily threw the toy in to go fetch, giggling as he fetched, kicking his legs without command. Splashing, clapping, doing song actions, copying, smiling. He loved it. At the end of class we count to 3 and jump in. Not Elvis, he reaches for my hand and climbs in. How sensible is that?

What I’m reading/Favourite Books: His favourite book is a Fireman Sam book from the library. I’m still part way through The 100 and Storm of Swords.

New Foods: none.

Words: Mine – picked up from nursery as we don’t use it at home. Tom, Penny, Elvis from a Fireman Sam book. Minnie and Mick as in Mouse. Bender from Futurama is Benger, Fry is Ry and he says Leela correctly. He told me to wakey wake when I was fake napping. He keeps requesting to go in the “back room” for us to “push” him on his “bike”. He can just copy any word. I love it.

Signs: He asked me to sing at bathtime, I asked sing what and he pointed at the turtle so I signed it and asked if he could sign it. Bless his heart he tried so hard!

Number of Teeth: Still 10.

Fears: Elvis has finally stopped being scared of his frog shaped bubble machine – he didn’t like the noise!

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Nap Training

Baby Girl Robin is just over 6 weeks old, okay almost 7 weeks old, and so far she’s pretty damn perfect at nights. I feed her to sleep somewhere between 8 and 10pm and put her in her co-sleeping cot. At whatever time she stirs (could be 3 could be 5 hours), I pick her up, feed her and put her back in her cot. We’re having 2 night time feeds at the moment on average and she’s awake for the day by half 7 maybe 8.

So the nights are brilliant.

The days… not so much.

I mean there’s nothing wrong with our days. I’m not at my wit’s end, drowning in depression. Her feeds are still between 2.5 and 3 hours apart and I do try and plan them to fit with Elvis and his routine. She can’t feed at 0930 to want another at 1230 as I leave then to pick up Elvis. So there’s a 2 hour window for the nursery run. Ideally there’s a 3 hour window in the evening where I don’t want to feed her due to Elvis’ nap ending, cooking, eating, bath and bedtime. But that’s unrealistic at the moment.

The problem isn’t her feeding; it’s her napping.

She can fall asleep from a feed but she doesn’t always during the day. I can rock her to sleep either standing up or sitting in the nursing chair. Daddy and Nanny have got her to sleep too during the day. In the evening she prefers me and boobies, but is that an element of her cluster feeding?

She’s also happier awake and “playing” so I can get on and do bits as she lies on my bed taking in her surroundings but it doesn’t last long. Then again sometimes her naps don’t last long.

I guess the real problem is that during an afternoon, as she sleeps on me, I get tired. But Elvis is napping in his cot all afternoon so how do I stay awake? It’s getting to the point when she has to start napping on her own.

With Elvis, we basically co-slept 24/7 and somewhere between 8 and 10 weeks old I just couldn’t hack it anymore and made a stand: I was determined to get him into his Moses basket day and night. And it worked. With Robin we already have the night cracked. That should make naps easier, right?

Or could it screw up the nights?

She’s not in any proper routine yet but I maybe do see a few patterns. Can I recognise when she’s tired? If she wakes straight up is it because she’s had long enough or because I put her down?

Do I know her well enough to force this stress on us both?

Can I keep my brain active on warm afternoons as she sleeps in my arms?

Does she only do a 1.5-2 hour nap on an afternoon as that’s our uninterrupted time?

Is it simple perseverance?

Anyone have any tips?

Or I could sling her, but how practical is that for cleaning the bath or washing up?

I might give her a few more weeks, if I can stay awake!

Help!

~ P

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Monthly Update: Month 21

Weight, Length, Height: Still 2 stone by our inaccurate scales, 78cm tall so there’s been a little spurt!

Routine: Up at half 6 or 7, when there’s nursery, home by half one and nap by 2. Later wake up on weekends but napping by 1. Dinner between 4 and half 5, bath at 6.15 and bed at 7.

Bedtime: 7pm but he can talk to himself for a bit. Or go straight to sleep.

Naps/Length: Two-three hours in the afternoon. He wakes and often has a tantrum now which could be because he’s tired still but he can’t have longer due to nursery. Maybe it’s a blood sugar issue and he needs a snack before napping.

Number of feeds in 24hrs: three meals, 1-2 snacks and a second breakfast at nursery!

Favourite toy/objects: NiNi his bouncy horse, his desk which he calls a car and climbs under to drive it.

Clothing age: mainly 18-24 but still in smaller for trousers due to his waist, not his leg length.

Foot length/Shoe Size: size 6 but he refused to be measured properly!

Milestones: a three word sentence – baby sit chair. And loads of other speech ones. His imaginary play is improving too. I guess his desk/car is roleplay and he loves his little doll house and putting animals/people in bed, on the toilet, cooking dinner, driving a car. He can also walk pretty much all the way home from nursery (a 15 minute walk for me).

Our swimming ability: he hasn’t been since before Robin was born. I haven’t since September!

What I’m reading/Favourite Books: He loves Bizzy Bear books, Tabby McTat and Gruffalo. I’m still reading Storm of Swords and also The 100.

New Foods: He tried pulled pork and, bearing in mind he’s not too keen on meat, he ate some and went back for more!

Words: Sleeve, sheep and numbers up to 10 (not in order) are some of this month’s new words. He also now calls our family friend MoMo. He can also name most of the main crew of Thomas Trains. Except Thomas. And he copies quicker now – money after I said it and also “funny haha”. He says night night but with this amazingly funny accent so it sounds like noight and Daddy and I laugh so he says it more!

Signs: he can sign zebra after I showed him it once!

Number of Teeth: No new ones – still 10.

Fears: nothing in particular. Or at least nothing new or that scared him this month!

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Days 11 and 12

Day 11and Baby Robin finally seems to have some awake periods, some times she can go in her rocking chair and lie happily staring. It’s only for small periods, but it’s more than just sleeping. Last night she finished her bedtime breastfeed at 11pm and didn’t feed again until half 6. It beats the 2 mornings of 4am cluster feeds, but will be a one off. She’s changing day by day and does some independent sleeping during the night  – by independent I mean next to me and not on me.

Daytimes she can be put down asleep but it doesn’t last long. She has an almost constant need to suckle during daylight hours. But even with night wakings she’s a far faster eater than Elvis was at this age so I’m pretty rested.

I have a shoulder pain, I got it with Elvis, too. From holding her, sitting and feeding her. I’m a tad resentful of breastfeeding at the moment. Meanwhile my scar is hurting pretty much whenever I move. It makes night feeds even worse. Perhaps she realised his and gave me last night off. I’m trying the biological nursing or laid back feeding position more to try and stop her incessant dribbling and decrease my shoulder pain.

She gained weight again today – 8lb 13oz up from 8lb 4 but still not at birthweight of 9lb 1oz.

Elvis’ pox are clearing up, they’re all scabbed over and he’s not on as much medication any more. But he’s still not himself. He refuses to walk anywhere and we’re not sure if it’s because he’s tired still or used to it or jealous of the baby. He has taken to Robin very well, careful around her, kisses her and tries to share his toys so it isn’t all bad.

He doesn’t seem to mind sitting next to me as I feed or at least just nurse. But we watch far too much tele to keep him calm (maybe more due to him being ill) and feed him biscuits. So I feel guilty.

Perhaps if we were formula feeding I’d feel less guilt towards him. But more to her.

Well, the 11th night made everything worse. I woke up at 1 with diarrhoea and vomiting. Of course, I’m the only one who can deal with Robin. This has then led to back cramps and dehydration headaches. I am so tempted by formula.

The only things stopping me are I remember it all getting better last time and then it all just became easy. She’s already starting, slowly, to fall into 3 hourly feeds with periods of alertness in between. So things are improving, but I feel like crap. Utter, twisty, cramping crap. I need to figure out more comfortable ways to feed in bed and sleep either with Robin or figuring out a way to put her down.

The only really comfortable places I can feed are the nursing chair and reclined on the sofa, but can we stay there all night?

How do you get a baby to stay asleep in their Moses Basket?

~ P

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Monthly Update: Month 20

I really regret not doing these for the past 7 months. I think, because I stopped getting him weighed and things becoming more constant, I didn’t see the point. But what about the milestones? Maybe there were a few months when he didn’t do anything new so I got bored. He did continue developing though – certainly his communication.

Weight/Length/Height: about 72cm tall and about 2 stone but our weighing scales aren’t super accurate. I, at 39 weeks pregnant, am 14 stone!

Bedtime: 7pm for him, sometimes the same for me – haha, pregnancy for ya!

Naps/Length: He has one a day. Sometimes so do I. His is from 2-4 but ideally would be 1pm. He’d still need waking at 4! We have tried a day without napping and we both survived, but the next day he had a melt down!

Number of feeds in 24hrs: Three solid meals, a snack and extra breakfast at nursery.

Favourite toy/objects: His bouncy horse (NiNi), his shape sorter (which he cheats at) and his VTech Toot Toot Cars and garage. He also loves to wear hats or cover his face and walk around “blind”.

Clothing age: 12-18 trousers but they need to be rolled up and have an elasticated waist. 18-24 T-shirts and 2+ for vests – on the rare occasion he wears them.

Foot length/Size: He’s been the same shoe size since 15 months old – size 5.5 and he doesn’t seem anywhere close to having a growth spurt!

Milestones: He has just learnt to say Da and Nanny along with Baby. He’ll say Mama but not often! He signs a lot more over the past month. And he loves to complete jigsaws. He bounces and says Jump! He’s started dancing which is the cutest thing ever!

Our swimming ability: I gave up swimming at 20 weeks pregnant and took up yoga. Elvis kicks and breaststrokes his arms as I hold him in the water. He’s also super confident walking in the shallow end and dunking unaided. He’s also finally started spitting out pool water rather than drinking it.

What I’m reading and his favourite book: I’m in the middle of Storm of Swords. He loves his Bizzy Bear books and simple word books if they have animals in them! Or tractors.

New Foods: He’s finally started eating meat! Processed as he refuses fresher meats but it’s a step!

Teeth: 10 in total. 6 on top, 4 on bottom including a molar each side top and bottom. He hasn’t had a new tooth in 3 months-ish.

Signs: I’m still teaching him new signs, especially animals with no sounds. I love that he’s started signing snake with a sssss sound, frog and giraffe.

Words: Mentioned above. I love baby and star! And hoover!

Fears: toys that move “on their own”. I don’t think he understands how they move and it freaks him out.

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Sunday Best: Southsea

To try and combat Elvis’s shift in daytime naps, I tried to fill up the first weekend of a new routine with fun activities. On the Friday, we skipped swimming due to a severe nappy rash that I thought chlorine might irritate, we went to the local playpark with a friend and her son with a picnic lunch. On the Saturday, we spent an hour in the local library reading books and on the Sunday we headed to Southsea for loads of fun!

Now, the naps! Oh, my. So, on a weekday (Monday to Thursday), Elvis finishes nursery at 1 and naps from near 2 until about 4. This sees him well until bedtime. On the three days of the weekend, well, he has started fighting an 11am nap and then getting too tired by bedtime, but there’s no time for a second nap. So I decided that I would shift his 11am until 1pm and with hubby at the football on the Saturday, I decided to try it.

The first weekend worked.

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Grandparent Visit — Trips Out

During a recent visit from Hubby’s parents we tried to pack in loads of fun things with Elvis. Sadly, Elvis is trying to drop to one nap a day so it was kind of tricky. After 5 and a half hours at nursery (without a nap), Elvis wasn’t really up for fun places in the afternoon. It’s probably why he spent that week having problems sleeping at night.

It wasn’t all bad though, we still had fun at the fair, pretty good times at Paulton’s Park and were amazed at the aquarium!

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Baby Envy

Firstly, Elvis and his tempers have gone! He is having trouble with his naps sometimes (dropping to 1 but length depends on time of day) but whatever his problems were they seem to have settled down. I think it was just the upheaval – the move, the changes in nursery, the house guests. I am so relieved. I mean, it does make me wonder if when Robin arrives, Elvis won’t have some sort of regression with his tempers, but that’s in another few months.

I’m trying to encourage Elvis to walk more. He loves walking and running, but if I have the pushchair he just wants to climb in it. I don’t really blame him. The only thing is I haven’t bought, and really don’t intend to, a double pushchair. I will try and get a buggy board, but he needs to be walking home from nursery in January/February. And it’ll be raining and snowing which will either encourage him because it’s fun or not! Am I putting too much faith in / pressure on him?

On an amazingly positive note, Elvis let me hold a baby! Back in July he wouldn’t even let me go near one. I was his. I knew that he would have to adapt to Robin, but I hoped he wouldn’t have that immediate jealousy. Well, he let me pick up and then comfort jiggle my friend’s 6month old. I think he’s also making steps with sharing, too. There’s hope for Robin!

No, there’s hope for all of us!

~ P

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Goodbye To You

Honestly, in the past year or even more, I have been such a push over. I have let people judge me, my friends and my family and never said a thing. Simply stewing in my resentment in private. And when I have ever said anything, it has been dismissed as if what I think, what I feel does not matter.

Do you know what actually angers and upsets me most about all of this though? It isn’t that I let it all happen to me, it isn’t that my family and friends have so little regard for me that they treat me like nothing, no, it’s that I can already see it all happening to my son.

And I refuse to allow that to happen.

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17 Weeks

I’ve seen the midwife for my most recent check, I’m just about 17 weeks (only 23 to go!) and everything’s all good. Baby Robin was really wriggly, just like at my 12 week scan. Elvis was never that wriggly in the tum. Hubby’s decided it means that Robin will be a girl. I’m not sure. This pregnancy and baby sure feel different. I’d always imagine that subsequent pregnancies can feel different though, and not necessarily just because it could be a different gender. I don’t know, maybe some women can tell the gender during their pregnancy. I don’t know. But I would always assume that a second pregnancy could feel different because, well, your body’s already done it once!

Hubby is almost 100% sure that Robin is a girl – I’m more emotional (sobbed my heart out at a comedy show), this bubba’s wriggly and the dating scan dated my due date a week later than what we thought. Elvis, whose conception was noted to the hour almost, the dating scan brought his due date a week early. Hubby’s decided that it means Elvis was big, he’s a boy, Robin is smaller so a girl. I don’t know. I am more emotional and this baby is not only more wriggly, but I’ve had the random pains that the midwife guestimates is Robin sitting on a nerve. Elvis never sat on my awkwardly, except when I was swimming and he’d settle on my bladder. I never had the odd pains, never had the immediate need to pee because he shifted. Robin moved the other night and for half an hour it pained me to lie on my side, either side, and I already don’t feel comfortable lying on my back. That wasn’t too good a night of sleep!

From the heart rate that the midwife took (when she eventually found the wriggle Robin), it’s 140. The Old Wives’ Legend says, I think, over 140 is a girl, under is a boy. Well, bang on probably doesn’t indicate a hermaphrodite! I hope. I’ve seen other people on their blogs compile a list of Old Wives’ tales and predicting each month regarding the gender and I might look into it.

As for my routine change with Elvis… Well, it isn’t necessarily going that well. But over a week later and I have come to the conclusion that we just have to be more flexible on an afternoon. If he naps early enough at nursery, he will sleep in the afternoon. If he naps too late at nursery, he might not sleep at all. As for me trying to shift his naps so he went to sleep easier at night, I don’t think it’ll work. And, as hubby says, even if he does stay awake for 2 hours in his cot after bedtime, he’s never unhappy about it. He didn’t nap at all the afternoon I saw the midwife, which does worry me regarding our impending move. How am I supposed to pack and then unpack if he won’t nap?

But then I’m also worrying about not having my Tivo all the time once we move so clearly I worry over silly things!

~ P

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