George was 6 months on Sunday and the past month has passed in one big blur! Currently I am working with George looking after 10mth old baby, 24hrs a day for just over a week. As I finally make it to bed at 9.50pm, I have an over-tiredness that gives you energy at night, so I decided to make the most of it and write my much overdue blog!
I made the decision to move out of my house for 5 months, to enable me to spend more time with George and have less financial stress. To pay my mortgage, rates, etc, I would need to be returning to longer hours as work and it just seems to be too soon for me to leave George, especially as he is more than likely going to be my only baby. My property has a large garden and between working, looking after George and housework, I just found there was not enough time to enjoy my days as much. So the past month I have been tidying, packing and preparing the house for having tenants in, all before I started this job this week.
December with George was a wonderful month of movement and eating… he is so long and lean, he needs little and often. He was able to benefit from a few vegetables from my garden and I added in a few other things like chicken stock for flavour and goodness at the same time learning likes and dislikes. He is going to be a fruit lover just like my brother it seems as he loved the Christmas plums and now as I try to eat anything like apricots or nectarines, I hear this sounds of him licking his lips or in some cases grizzling! I have yet to progress into any type of cereal or meat but this coming month it might be as this bowel motions has been often but on the firmer side with just his vege and fruit diet but in the past week they have started to soften up with more attention paid to combinations that I create for him. I have purchased millet cereal for to try instead of rice cereal or farex, it is rich in iron also but easier to digest for a lot of babies. Banana is not a great one I have seen over my career and while he doesn’t have too much of a reaction the bowels and a slight wheezy sound does indicate that he is not that well suited to it yet.
Today for the 10mth olds dinner I made roast chicken and so tomorrow my aim is to turn that into a good stock/broth type soup to add to his vegetables and to give him some more fat as he is still very hungry at the end of the day! I may even try his on some of the meat for the first time.
One of the down sides of working with a 10mth old and G is that he is not feeding on the breast as well in the day (distracted by the noise of dogs/10mth old Charlie and new environment) and so while I’m working he has started to wake again in the night to feed, hungry due to being distracted and the need to catch up at night on what he is not getting in the day. He really would like another bottle (watching older baby) and while I am happy to give him 1 bottle a day or occasionally 2 if out and about and he is not feeding, I am trying to keep my supply up by keeping that feed in the night going. When I finish this job I will go back to encouraging him to sleep through the night or have 1 small feed in the early hours (4-5am).
I moved G to a loose arm swaddle quite a while ago but then I had a Girl+Boy sleeping sack sent to me to trial and it has been fantastic, it is an ‘in between’ sleeping aide, it allows them freedom to move their arms but still a comfort before moving to a armless sleeping bag. I only use this at night, in the day he is unswaddled and just had a snuggle blanket which he loves to have near his face and sometimes to suck!
Several of my clients have been asking what to sleep their babies in due to this hot weather we are having and if you are using sleeping bags then you look at the weight of the sleeping bag fabric, if you are using a fan in the room or not and then short or long sleep Pj’s. The basic need is for their arms to have cover in the early hours of the morning if in a bag as their legs are taken care of. The top I have been recommending to use with a sleeping bag if house is cool or using a fan is the Nature Baby Pointelle Long Sleeve Bodysuit, it has small holes in the fabric, which means it is nice and cool but still adds that layer for comfort in the early hours. I have been using this also when windy but warm on our walks in the buggy.
Movement wise G has started lifting both knees up while on up on is arms but it is not easy as he has quite a good size head with his long lean body and often I hear him complaining and grunting with frustration at not being able to ‘quite get there’! It is very hard to watch but I try to resist intervening, I just verbally reassure him and have found that using the playpen (to keep the 10mth old off him or dogs away from him while I am busy) he has taken another step as he can push his feet up against the frame! He has learnt to raise his voice to be heard after Christmas with the cousins and family, a loud “Arrh” coming out of his mouth every so often. I think his approaching first 2 teeth contributed to this also… George cut his first 2 teeth the 2nd day at my job this past week and it has been a constant stream of dribble and administering teething remedies. I have used the Natropharm teething spray when out and about, Weleda teething powder when home and when the gums looked a bit swollen and G clamping down on my chin, I have used the wonderful Q.Baby teething gel! His sleep has not been disrupted but he did seem to like clamping down on the nipple at times – rah!
He is holding himself up so much and wanting to bounce all the time – a new nickname he has been given by our 12yr friend Harry is, Grasshopper! He so is like a grasshopper, his long lanky body and love to lip and hang out in the garden! He has got the stage he doesn’t really like being on the floor as much, he wants to be up and going, so I remain in distraction mode, trying to encourage him to gain his strength with his upper body while being on the floor. He needs to gain strength in his arms to hold up his larger head and his long body!
He remains the Inquistive little man he is, loving fine detail, movement in trees, patterns on fabric and now he is in the forward facing seat in the Mountain Buggy Urban, he is loves watching people and the environment. He is in his happy place sitting back and watching the world go by!
I’m a very tired but happy mum, longing to have a holiday in February when I move to based ourselves at my mum’s in the Coromandel, hoping to take G camping for the first time! 100% mum and G time.