Week 30 – a day out

On Saturday, to celebrate three birthdays in four days, there was a family get together. We do this each year and the activity very much depends on the weather. This year it was cold but dry so we spent the afternoon at Oxburgh Hall before going out for dinner somewhere much warmer!

It was a lovely day and great for Reindeer to spend time with extended family. His middle cousin is still besotted with him – he tried to give him a piece of brick he’d found, inserting it carefully into the buggy for Reindeer to bring home – and we hope they become closer as they grow up.

I’d started the afternoon carrying Reindeer in the wrap, but the wind chill was strong so I moved him to the buggy for extra protection from the elements. He’s still very clingy though so wasn’t thrilled with this development. During dinner he became increasingly unsettled, refusing to go to anyone else without crying. In the end I ate dinner one-handed, holding him in my other arm.

For once I was prepared and was able to put Reindeer into his night nappy, pyjamas and a gro-bag (one with Velcro which allows you to put him into the car seat whilst wearing it), before we left the restaurant. He was asleep before we left and, when we got home, I put him straight to bed without having to mess about with clothes/blankets/nappies.

My sister tells me he is transitioning; apparently his brain is doing some hefty wiring, which is why he’s struggling to rest and just wants cuddles. Once this is complete he is, according to her, likely to make a developmental leap, possibly starting to crawl. It’ll be good if he does as he is so frustrated at not being able to move himself about. Either way, I’m trying to enjoy the cuddles and not worry too much about the rest!

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Week 29 – clingy

During the last few days, Reindeer has become increasingly clingy. He wants to be in view of us or, better still, be held at all times. When I put him in his cot so I can go to the toilet, he begins to cry. This is really unusual behaviour. Until now I’d be surprised if I heard him cry three times in a week. It isn’t a full on cry either; as soon as he’s cuddled it stops immediately.

I’m assuming there is some developmental explanation for what’s happening, but I haven’t looked it up yet. Almost certainly the teething (he attempted to eat a table at lunchtime) and his determination not to sleep during the day are also playing a part.

On the plus side, thanks to the birthday kindness of family, I now have a wrap! It is beautiful, covered in bright stripes, and I love it. I’ve used it a lot already and was relieved to be able to use it during the weekly shop (baby seats are only fitted to the big trollies and they are too deep to easily retrieve your items at the checkout unless you have go-go-gadget arms). This afternoon I used it to carry him around the house as he was fighting sleep but refused to sit or lay down anywhere.

I’m really hoping this phase is short lived and he returns to his normal sunny self soon!

Week 29 – interaction

Several times over the last few days I’ve noticed that Reindeer will put his arms out and lean toward me when he wants a cuddle or a lift. He doesn’t do it often but it makes me feel very special when he does as I haven’t seen him do this for anyone else.

It is amazing to remember that just a few weeks ago he was so passive, his behaviours limited to sleeping, eating, crying and looking around. Now he makes various sounds and is grabbing at the world around him. In a few more weeks he’ll be independently mobile and taking himself out to his world. Exciting times ahead!

Random Ramblings – slightly selfish

I’ve just had my first birthday as a Mama, and it has been lovely. There were cards, gifts, flowers, cake and a trip out to the big smoke for a special lunch. My husband has taken time out from his work to make sure I had a relaxing day after all the stress of the last year, which has made it an even better day.

So why am I selfish? Because I feel sad that I didn’t get a card from our son. Who is only six months old and doesn’t have a clue what birthdays are all about. Stupidly enough though, that was what I was really looking forward to – receiving that first birthday card which said ‘Dear Mum’ on it.

I need to get a grip!

Week 29 – cuddles

When Reindeer was very small I struggled to adjust to his constant need for me, be it feeding, changing or cuddling. Overnight I went from being autonomous and unfettered to spending 18 hours a day with a baby in my arms.

I loved holding him and stared at him for hours but I also felt pinned down, unable to manage my basic functions any more. Over time I adjusted and learned to love the hours spent sitting with him cuddled into me. Since about 18 weeks he’s spent more of his (increasingly infrequent) naps in his cot and I’ve been able to get on with looking after myself and the house a little better.

Paradoxically I now miss those times. On Saturday he was in a great mood and, during one feed, wiggled himself into me until he’d curled around me and then fell asleep looking hugely content. This afternoon he was feeling quite sad before his feed, but calmed down then slept at the end. This time I decided to make the most of the opportunity and he spent the whole of his nap in my arms. It was relaxing and comfortable for both of us.

So I’ve decided that I’m no longer going to try and keep on top of things during the day. When Reindeer naps I’m going to try and keep him with me and catch up on everything else once he’s in bed. The mess will probably annoy me a bit but it’ll be worth it to make the most of this time together.

Week 29 -new tricks!

It’s been a funny few days for Reindeer. We’ve been visiting my parents and he’s had a great time.

Weaning – whilst we were away we continued with the weaning but there was a horrible moment where he gagged hard on some banana. Although we were told this was normal and to expect it, my heart stopped and I had an awful 10 seconds until he managed to push it back out. Since then I’ve lost my nerve with baby-led weaning and now mash his food and offer it on a spoon. This has actually worked quite well and he’s now actually swallowed some porridge, carrot, swede, potato and mango. I am 100% certain of this because I changed his nappy 😮

Social interaction – until yesterday I would have told you that Reindeer is great with new people. Yesterday, however, he became hugely clingy. He didn’t want to meet the people at my parent’s church and would even cry for me when left with his dad. I’m not sure what caused this clingyness; perhaps the growth spurt/developmental leap we were warned to expect about now? He’s certainly more aware of himself and his surroundings than ever. We talked about it last night and realised that in the whole of Reindeer’s waking life, I have been apart from him for about 6 hours since he was born, a tiny amount in the grand scheme of things. It shouldn’t have been surprising that it was me he needed when he was feeling overwhelmed, but it was surprising nonetheless.

Bath time – this continues to be the highlight of many days as Reindeer still loves it so much! My parents recently bought him a bath buddy from Sainsbury’s. It basically looks like a spiky fish and lights up when wet. He adores it, so much that he now has two of them and a light-up turtle. It is great to watch him play with them at bath time. Apart from the fun aspect I saw tonight that his balance is much improved in the bath and he’s learned a new trick: I sit him in the middle of the bath and put his bath buddies in front of him. In the course of chasing them around the tub he will move towards the flat end. When he feels he’s too close he’ll reach out, grab the flat end, and push himself back to the middle so he has more space to play again. His confidence in his ability to move himself increases daily!