22 Weeks Old

This fortnight saw you turn 5 months old, 5 MONTHS!!! I can’t quite believe it’s been that long since we welcomed you to our world. 5 months of being more in love than I ever thought possible. 5 months of the hardest but most rewarding job I’ve ever had the privilege of having. 5 of the best months of my entire life.

Your Uncle Dan, Auntie Sam and cousins came to see you this fortnight. They brought you a rocking horse that your grandma bought for Ella, it’s fab! We put you on it tentatively and you loved it, I can’t wait until you’re a little older to use it properly. They also brought you Tommy’s old train set which I’m sure you’ll love when you’re older aswell as your first Easter present. Your cousins loved you and Tommy, in particular, was quite besotted with you, I think he really wants you to be older so he can play with you but he was quite content with just holding your hand constantly, even when you were in your pram.

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We’ve been going to a few baby groups too which has been nice as we’ve been meeting friends at them and you’ve been loving socialising (and flirting) with the other babies and mums.

The weather has been lovely and warm which proved to be an issue when we took you for a walk only to strip you to your vest and still discover you were too warm, you were glad to get home after that one!

I’ve been battling with your cradle cap over the last two weeks, gently rubbing olive oil into your scalp with cotton wool to gently lift the flakes, I’m finding it quite revoltingly satisfying 😄

Firsts
This fortnight saw your first Easter and although you didn’t get any eggs you certainly enjoyed playing with ours.
First time in a sun hat and with sunscreen on

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Character
You’re such a chilled out, happy little boy. You’re an absolute delight at the moment and only ever cry when you’re hungry. You’re enjoying learning and we see you progress on an almost daily basis. You study and absorb everything around you and try so hard when experimenting with new found skills.

Muscle Development & Coordination
Movement:You’re throwing yourself around quite freely these days, you still favour front to back rolling and I put this down to you not particularly liking tummy time. Having said that you’re holding your head up really well as long as there’s something, or someone, holding your attention. You tend to just wriggle yourself around the mat and you’ve mastered sidewinding.
Sitting:You’re sitting up nice and straight now and we’re working on your balance, though you sit up when I’ve positioned you over your lower legs you’re still to sit up for more than a few seconds without support between my legs.

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Standing: you’re never happier than when you’re upright and amaze us with the strength in your legs. Last night you stood with stable legs and I only had hold of your hands… Amazing!
Coordination: You rarely miss when grabbing at something now and manoeuvre yourself on your mat to grab at a toy that I leave just out of reach. You love grabbing at anything we’re holding and as I write this (having just woken up) you’re pawing at the iPad inserting your own words here and there (this may explain any spelling or grammatical anomalies that I may have overlooked). I have a fisherprice app that you love but I don’t want you spending too much time looking at it preferring you to use 3 dimensional toys to aid your development.

Speech
Well you’ve certainly made up for being quiet whilst you were ill. You’ve been a proper little chatterbox since our last update and bestowing us with tonnes of smiles and laughter.

Entertainment
You continue to enjoy being read to and you’re now freely participating in you touch and feel books. The remotes seem to be your focus these days (your daddy will hate this 😉) You still enjoy your Bumbo but I think you prefer being able to move freely on your mat and can entertain yourself quite happily there. You’ve found your feet now and love being naked so you can move more freely grabbing and pulling at them and shoving them in your mouth which doesn’t bode well if you’ve just eaten.

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The best thing I’ve ever bought you has been a 75p space blanket, the hilarious videos I’ve got of you playing with it are priceless, you love it!

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Sleep
You’ve had quite a few 7 hour stretches this last fortnight but they’re not guaranteed. I got some advise from a baby sleep expert on Twitter yesterday and am keen to implement her tips (see: Routine). Though last night failed totally, you didn’t nap yesterday and I always know if you don’t nap you won’t sleep.

Routine
Lisa Clegg of Blissful Baby fame gave me the following advice via Twitter to encourage a good nights sleep. I thought she’d tell me off for not putting you in your crib for daytime naps but to my amazement she was quite happy with our ‘routine’ just saying we need a few tweeks. She did say until you’re on 2 solid meals a day she wouldn’t expect a baby to do a 12 hour stretch which is a relief. She advised that after putting you down at night I should wake you at 2230/2300 hrs with a nappy change and lights on to ensure you’re awake then give you a full milk feed, she also said I needn’t worry if you fall asleep during feeding/winding as long as you’re awake at start so you don’t think of the breast as a sleep prop and this would mean you shouldn’t be hungry in subsequent wake ups and should be able to resettle yourself with no more feeds til morning. She also advised your daytime naps to consist of a 30 minute to an hour at 0900/1000, a 2 hour nap at lunchtime and again another at 1600/1700 (these you do usually)

How did this go last night? Awful! Of course it didn’t help that you woke at 2230 of you own volition crying so hard I couldn’t change your nappy before feeding you. Then you slept in 2 hour intervals actively feeding on waking until you woke up at 0430 again. I put half of this problem down to you not napping yesterday as we had another busy day.

Today I will be ensuring you nap and see what tonight brings.

Growth
You are now 15Ib 6oz.
I have pretty much retired all, bar a couple of T-shirts, of your 0-3 clothing and this weekend I’ll be packing them all away and reorganising your chest of drawers… Will I cry? Quite possibly.

Feeding
I’ve been reading up about baby led weaning in preparation for the next big stage in your little life, the move onto solid foods. I’m both dreading it and a little excited. I’m terrified of you choking on stuff yet looking forward to seeing what things you like, but that’s a whole different blog 😉

Footprints and Memories

When my niece was 4 months old my sister-in-law took some paint prints of her hands and feet and framed the results for a Christmas present for me. I loved this idea and still look at them and reminisce, she’s 13 now and about to start her GCSEs.

When Noah was 1 or 2 weeks old I bought a My BabyLog Printing Kit to enable me to look back and remember how tiny his hands and feet were and perhaps to use one as a tattoo template for the future. Not knowing which paint to use and knowing how blooming messy it would be led me to this purchase.

If you know me at all you’ll know that I’m quite a perfectionist when it comes to things like this and I’m also the biggest procrastinator the world has ever seen. Combining these two personality traits along with the instructions for use has meant that I have only just (last week) got round to doing it.

The instructions call for:
Preparation… Ok this I can, and did (many times) do.

Once opened it will dry out quickly… Oh, first hurdle, this is a terrifying prospect.

A calm, distracted or sleeping child… Oh, there’s the second hurdle for a perfectionist and perfect excuse for a procrastinator. Now if I had done this when I had intended to do it this would not have been an issue. However the older he has got the less, calm, distracted or sleepy (without being attached to me) he became.

A clean and dry body part… Easy, except when you have a child that is constantly chomping on his fists with over active saliva ducts coupled with having to work fast before the wipe dries out.

A hard surface for the special paper to be secured to… No problem.

The person applying the wipe must NOT touch the paper… On your own this is impossible, and I now know why this is a steadfast rule!!! Perfectionists nightmare, gone is the intended perfect print on a piece of unblemished paper! In fact my fingerprints feature heavily.

Wipe over area being printed, not too much but just enough… Don’t you hate those totally unhelpful instructions?

For footprints hold child’s ankle and press gently and firmly onto the paper then move up and away from paper… Oh my god! Holding a wriggling (he’s gone well past the 5 minute calm & distracted window now having become intrigued in what his crazy mother is doing) ankle is one thing, to hold it onto the paper long enough is another. Remember that secured paper? Not anymore it isn’t despite being anchored on all four corners as he decides to curl and uncurl his toes ridiculously quickly whilst giggling like a maniac and batting at my hands with his drool drenched palms.

Handprints can be tricky (no shit, Sherlock) so it’s best to be carried out when they’re asleep. Roll hand from base of palm to fingertips… There are 2 fundamental issues with this instruction. One, the sleeping part, Noah doesn’t sleep and if he does it’s either in his pram on a walk, attached to me after a feed (not to be moved else risk waking up) or at night in bed! This leads on to two, an intrigued and now overstimulated baby grabbing and clawing at the paper whilst having his palm rolled against the paper.

As with all prints the image will smudge if the paper or body part moves whilst printing… The number one reason as to why I had put this off until now and the number one reason why I do not have my perfect images.

The results were not as I had intended but exactly what I expected, me being me and all:

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All in all this experiment was an epic fail and with my next child (God willing) I SHALL do this when they are tiny. I will! Honestly! Who am I kidding, in future I’ll stick to poster paint then we’re not limited to attempts. Also I’ll force the assistance of his father.

I have reserved one piece of paper and half the wipe (hopefully sealed enough back in it’s wrapper) for another aided attempt, I’ll probably get the courage to try it again in about 5 years!

Has anyone else attempted this? What did you use and at what ages?

Follow Me?

I don’t claim to be a brilliant writer but I do find this blog stuff quite therapeutic and I am now trying to increase my blog stats and become more visible so I become more PR friendly, but where to start?

I’ve done shout outs on my Twitter and Facebook and a fellow blogger friend has been helpful with introducing me to a couple of Facebook pages. I’ve also recently signed up to Bloglovin but what else should I do?

How do you get your blog to appear in search engine results? I tag, keyword and categorise and even when I google specific blog titles nothing appears. Do I need to go professional in my blog layout?

How did you start out? What did you do to publicise yourself?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

20 Weeks Old

Continuing on from the busyness of last fortnight we had your grandparents come to stay last week, to say you were spoilt rotten is an understatement. Among your swag of goodies, your Granny had knitted you a wonderful blanket, jumper and two of the cutest animal hats whilst your Grandad amused you with Dee Dee and plied us with copious amounts of chocolate and sweets! You relished being doted on despite being a bit off colour, it soon became apparent you had developed your first cold.

This week saw the arrival of Auntie Ann and Uncle Brian delivering to us your cot. This cot has a long history within our family. It initially belonged to your maternal great grandparents (my Nanny and Poppa) who bought it for your grandma (my mummy) when she was a baby. She then used it for Uncle Simon, Uncle Daniel and myself before it went to Auntie Ann to be used for my cousins Lisa and Helen. It then returned to the Petitt’s when it was used by Uncle Daniel and Auntie Sam for your cousins Ella and Tommy. Then back it went to be used by the Jaworski’s (my cousin Lisa and her husband Kuba) to be used for their two children Alex and Maja before it went to cousin Helen and her partner Leo to be used for Macey. Now it’s my turn to use it for you. It’s not in bad nick considering it’s 76 years old. Auntie Ann doted on you and I’ve never seen you so relaxed in the arms of a ‘stranger’ before, it’s a shame she couldn’t stay longer but it was lovely that she finally got to meet you and it was quite obvious you loved her.

Firsts
First trip to the pub for an evening meal at the Brendan Arms with Granny and Grandad, you behaved exceptionally but started getting tired so I rushed you home so as to get you to bed but you did wait til I’d finished my meal.

First cold, bless your heart, I thought you’d avoid it but unfortunately not. Apart from being very stuffed up you were happy enough, I just had to sit up with you all night so you could sleep upright thus enabling you to breathe.

First rolls. On the 6th April at 1450 you did your first, totally unaided roll from your tummy to your back, even with a cold you amaze me! Of course this was shortly after you pooped on your playmat and prior to peeing on it 😉 On the 9th you flipped from back to front on a totally flat surface.

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Taken immediately after your first f-b roll

Character
Your humour continues to shine through finding your father’s face the most amusing thing ever. I don’t blame you 😉 You’ve been really chilled out despite your cold and not being able to breathe properly, an absolute delight.

Muscle Development & Coordination
You’re doing proper little push ups now when on your tummy and are throwing yourself around from side to side and have finally rolled front to back and back to front. Though you’re not doing this every time it put you on your mat. This week I’ve noticed you paying particular interest in your bouncer play arch… Finally. You grab the little lion, in particular, with both hands and study it deeply, slowly turning it as you go, it really is a delight to watch you, I often find myself wondering what you’re thinking. Your newest trick is pinching and then twisting which is fun for us, especially when you grab my neck or under my arm and I’m pleased to announce you have, in the last two days, found your thumb and I’ve caught you sucking it on a few occasions, hopefully you’ll be self soothing before we know it.

Speech
You’ve been quite quiet this fortnight, this could be down to the fact you haven’t felt very well but you’ve still shared plenty of smiles and giggles with us. In the last couple of days though you’ve been back to your normal gobby self which is amazing!

Entertainment
You’ve absolutely fallen in love with your Lamaze Dragon (Dee Dee) this last couple of weeks and nothing delights you more than seeing her swoop down from a height rewarding her with a big chomp on her nose or ear. You love being read to and enjoy your cardboard books, mostly to munch on granted! I bought you a bumbo this week which you LOVE. Honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve bought, you look like such a grown up little boy in it and I’m sure you must feel more independent.

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Sleep
Hmm, this is hit and miss. I’ve had a four hour stretch followed by one hourly feeds from you yet one day last week you slept for 7 hours then a half hour feed followed by another 4 hours (of course I was checking on you every 3 hours). There’s no rhyme nor reason to it, we just have to take each night as it comes.

Routine
Your bedtime routine is still working, although the one night we ordered take away with granny and grandad to arrive at 8 when you’re ALWAYS asleep you decided to not settle til gone 9! I’m going to start a more rigid nap time for you during the day soon too, hoping to put you in your crib awake so you fall asleep that way. I’m yet to start this though *eek*

Growth
You are now 14Ib 9.5oz.
I have been trying your 3-6 month clothing on the last couple of days but they swamp you still, though I have now put you in your bigger baby gros at night which is rather funny. I’ve retired some of your 0-3 stuff but some brands still fit you nicely.

Feeding
It’s becoming quite obvious we’re nearing weaning time with you. You are fascinated with what I’m eating and drinking often grabbing for the cup or plate I’m holding and smacking your lips. In a comical moment in the pub when Granny and Grandad were down, you grabbed hold of Daddy’s pint glass and pulled that to your mouth. It made for a wonderful photograph. God forbid I eat something now when you’re feeding as you pull off me and glare at what I’m doing with a total look of “Excccccccccuse me, what do you think you’re doing?”

I’m not sure where the last 20 weeks has gone, in one sense it feels like only yesterday we welcomed you into the world, yet on the other I can’t even start to imagine my life prior to your arrival. You continue to delight us everyday and with every smile, giggle, frown or even whinge I fall deeper and deeper in love with you. I never imagined my heart could hold so much and wonder how it has room for anymore but it seems to grow with you. I’m so totally in awe of you and so proud.