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Tantrums, fishes and early morning alarms

We’ve crossed over into trantrum territory of late. Henry has learnt the word ‘no’, and uses it very forcefully when faced with food he doesn’t like, safety straps he doesn’t think necessary and when he’s too busy playing to have his nappy changed.

He’s a little pickle. I love my little handful, but those tears are not from hurt or hunger or something easy to defuse. They are definitely I-want-that-now tears, or let-me-do-this tears.

And how do you stop this kind of behaviour?

I don’t give in to his demands, but in public, when you get the cold stares and looks of disgust, it’s hard to refrain from giving him what he wants just to keep him happy. But I know that it’s for the best in the long run.

On the other hand, Mr Pickle has progressed again in his speech and social development. He can now say ‘fish’ when he sees them (or a picture of them in his books), and he now waves and says ‘bye’ and ‘b-bye’ when leaving people or places. He also, upon visiting his nana, walked proudly into her house saying ‘it’s me!’ and giving her a massive grin.

He’s turning into a little boy, before my very eyes. He’s still a little tot though. He decided it was playtime at half past five this morning, waking up, full of beans. In the car though, only three hours later, he conked out. I managed to get him out of the car and carefully onto the sofa at his childminder’s without him stirring.

He’s a big boy now, but even big boys need their sleep.

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Sleepy times and big boy beds

Henry is asleep on the sofa next to me. I’m on my new kindle fire, and loving it. It’s a lot easier to whip out when the babe is napping, and doesn’t take as long to load as my ancient laptop.

We’ve recently moved Henry out of his cot and into his big boy bed, so now he’s started napping on the sofa to make his new bed just for night times. It’s a fire engine, and its only about the height of his little cotbed mattress. For the last three nights he’s been in it, he’s been really good. He goes to sleep about half seven and doesn’t wake up until around six in the morning. The first morning he didn’t realise he could climb out of it so just sat in bed waiting for us to come and get him.

He looks so little but so grown up, and things are changing fast. He now insists that he walks along the pavement instead  of being carried anywhere. It just means that we have to be extra organised and leave a good twenty minutes earlier to factor in time for little steps. He does so well though, and I’m so proud of him. He wants to learn and he wants to be able to do these things. I can see him getting very frustrated when he sees us or other children doing things he can’t yet. But that’s good, because I see ambition in him and he’s going to be a clever boy.

It helps when he’s being stubborn or defiant to get him to feel like a big boy. Hence the fire engine bed. We’re seeing a lot of difference in him of late. It all goes so fast, and we’re not pushing to grow up, and were not stopping him from progressing either. It all happens in a blink of an eye.

I must remember to record these little things. His baby book is looking very healthy, but I’ve still got a lot of photos to organise. He doesn’t even look like the little boy I gave birth to. He’s comfortably in 12-18 months clothes now, which is strange when I come across newborn clothes that used to swamp him.

My boy, he’s a little wonder.

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Big Boy in His Own Room

We’ve done it. We’ve built up enough courage to move Henry’s cotbed into his own room. To be fair, it looks pretty nice in there, and I wouldn’t mind it if I was put in there to sleep. But we shall see how it goes.

I’m hoping that, as he has been waking during the night for comfort not for food (although the two are more intertwined than you would believe), he may just start to sleep through.

He won’t have his daddy’s snoring to wake him up either. Recommended length of time in mummy and daddy’s bedroom is six months. He’s about five months and three weeks so it’s near enough for us. I am going to work tomorrow for the first time in over six months too. I am looking forward to it, but I don’t want to leave Henry. I’ve said it before, but I really think someone should invent a cloning machine for a person in my position. I love working, and I love my current job. I also love spending time with my son. I’m not crazy about housework but I love having the spare time to do what needs to be done. It really is a balancing act. If you’ve figured it out then I’d love to hear from you.

But as I start to check on him less and less in his new room (I’ve had to resist the urge to go and put my hand infront of his little face to feel his breath) I think we will all get a better night’s sleep. But again, we have to wait and see if it has the desired effect. I’m hoping we don’t wake him up as much as his room is right at the end of the corridor, instead of next to the living room where we stay up after he’s gone to sleep. He should get a good night this way.

Until he starts teething anyway.

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The Big Decisions

Becoming a parent comes with an untold amount of responsibility. There is someone dependant on you, for everything. Signing consent forms is another horrible one. You know that the injections are for the best, but signing your name under the field marked ‘parent/guardian’ makes you stop and think all the bad things that could happen if say, he had a reaction to the treatment…

Another of the less important decisions to make (but still just as hard to come to a conclusion on) is this scenario; he falls asleep in his highchair. Do you leave him to sleep in what looks like an uncomfortable position, or do you attempt to move him to his cot and possibly wake him up in the process? I still don’t know, and it has become quite a regular occurance of late. Since he’s started eating so much more, when he gets full, he gets sleepy too. Like me after an all-you-can-eat carvery.

Henry is one of those babies who really struggles to go to sleep. He fights it, even when he is clearly tired. He just wants to stay awake all day so he doesn’t miss a single thing. And I just wanted some time for a cup of tea…

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Struggling on Through

The hardest thing about being a parent is having someone completely dependant on you. They can’t do anything for themselves, especially in the beginning. It is okay, most of the time being quite normal, as you want to look after them and do everything you can. The problem comes when you can’t take care of them. Illness is one of those things that makes everyday life so much harder. Henry isn’t sick, luckily, and he still hasn’t been ill yet! I’m putting it down to the breastfeeding, but he has done really well so far. No, it is me that has come down with severe sickness and I’ve been struggling to look after myself as well as continue to be a good mother to Henry. On top of that, the other half has come down with the same thing. A few days ago, I couldn’t even get out of bed. Henry still wants to carry on as normal though!

Thankfully, I have my own mother to call in on, and she loves spending time with the little one, inbetween her own work commitments. I just can’t wait to be better! It’s just typical that I’m ill when the weather starts to get nicer and my brother comes to see Henry for the week and when I’ve just started to get into a nice routine of going out…

Between us though, we’ve managed. It hasn’t been pretty but we’ve carried on as best we can. Henry has now tried his little baby rice. He doesn’t like it half as much as the carrot and parsnip but he dives for the spoon with an open mouth anyway. I’ve been trying to give him more and more puree and food because since I have been ill, I know he’s not getting all the milk he wants. It’s a struggle, but hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m back on track.

Henry had his little injections as well, and he was very good. He flinched a little when the needle went in, and he moaned for a few seconds, but was fine after that and was more interested in other things going on around him. I’m just happy he doesn’t have to have anymore until he is a year old. Even though I know he’s really good about it, I’m still always quite tense walking into the nurse’s office.

I just hope it doesn’t weaken his immune system enough to catch whatever myself and his father have. I was really debating whether to take him in then or postpone his injections. I decided to just go for it, but we shall see how that goes. So far, so good.

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Night Out

It was one of my best friend’s birthday this week, so the plan was to go out Friday night. I put Henry to bed, left his daddy in charge, and set out for the pub. I haven’t been on a night out for so long now, well over a year. It was so lovely to go out without a nappy bag for once, and to see my friends and to have an adult conversation! It’s all the little things that you take for granted when you are young and carefree, pre-pregnancy and pre-responsibility. It was also very strange seeing people that I knew from school, but a couple of years below me. It’s almost as if time is playing tricks on me. The last time I went out, I was one of the youngest, and I used to know everyone in all the bars and clubs and in the street. But people move on, and I would much rather have Henry and the life I have now than a few good nights out. It’s a very small price to pay.

It was nice knowing that he was asleep and all safely tucked up in bed, not missing me at all. It gave me the chance to not be relied on for a few hours. He didn’t wake up until I had been home for quite a while, so it all went without a hitch. The other half got some alone time with the xbox, and had a little time off. Of course being a mother doesn’t change just because you are away from them, and I still really missed Henry, but it was so great to have the change and I really did enjoy myself.

I’m unbelievably tired this morning though – it’s funny how much it hits you when you’ve been in the same routine for so long and then to suddenly do something to interrupt it. It’s like going on a ‘refreshing’ holiday and coming back more tired than when you left.

I’m just glad I got the chance to go out, it means a lot to my friend that I managed to be there for her birthday night out, and I know she appreciates the extra effort it takes to arrange things when you have a young child!

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Other Uses for the Baby Monitor

My other half just set up the baby monitor yesterday, and charged it overnight, as we’ve only just found it after unpacking the last of the remaining boxes. We decided on the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Digital Sensor Pad Monitor. Or ‘that thing’ for short. We eventually chose that one after looking around Mothercare with blank faces for what seemed like hours, partly because we have all the Tommee Tippee bottles and we trust the brand, and partly because it was on offer. We got it for around £60 in the end, and can be found for this price currently on Amazon.

Personally, I love it. For a baby monitor, it is really very clear. I can hear Henry breathing if I turn it up, and the monitor is positioned a fair distance away from him. The little sensor pad is a brilliant touch, especially if you are one of those parents who feels the need to check on him every few mintues like I am. I was a little unsure on how well it would work, but I really am impressed.

Now, we can watch a film after he has gone to bed in the other room, and I don’t have to keep pausing it to make sure he is still alright. He’ll still be in our room until six months, but now I’m not so worried about him moving to his room. It also has this really cute ‘talkback’ function. If you press a button on the side, you can reply to the baby. I’m guessing this is for reassurance, so he knows he isn’t left completely alone, but at the moment we just use it as a walkie-talkie. Fun for all the family!

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He Wants to Eat Constantly

I can’t tell if it is a growth spurt or a sign that he is ready to try weaning, but after the short while where we settled into a nice three to four hourly routine, Henry now wants to eat all the time. Where he used to sleep through the night, (it was getting to become a regular, ten hour, uninterrupted stint) he now wakes up four, maybe five, times a night. It is just like having a newborn again! He is just constantly hungry, and I have decided that I’m going to leave it another week until he is the recommended 17 weeks. If he is still desperate for more food, I will start to slowly introduce food starting with baby rice then fruit and vegetable purees.

I’ve got the Annabel Karmel ‘Top 100 Baby Purees’ book and I’ve got the cute, little, plastic spoons and bowls, the little beaker cups and those really excellent freezer trays. I ordered all my weaning products from Kiddicare, just because they are really reasonably priced, and their delivery is so quick and easy. There are so many different types and styles and brands out on the market, it’s really quite hard to make a decision when it comes to purchasing for your baby. Personally, I just went on a combination of price and previous customer reviews.

I’ll update with how I get on with that. I’m going to start boiling and freezing food for Henry in those tiny portions, as you can keep them in the freezer for up to a month. I think I’m going to start with carrot…

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Sleep Pattern Mix-Up

Henry fell asleep at about half past four this afternoon. Now last night he slept from seven in the evening until six in the morning without waking! It was truly lovely.

I wanted that to happen again, so I let him have his nap amd at around six-ish, I tried to wake him up again. All I got was a frown and he went straight back to sleep. Even when I picked him up and talked to him… nothing.

I hope he doesn’t make us wake up early with him tomorrow. My other half is working until late this evening and I have to stay up to let him in due to a misplaced key incident.

That is the only reason I am still trying to stay awake. My bed is so comfortable and I don’t get to spend as much time in it as I would like.