Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Baby and me: 6 and 7-month update

I've only just realised that I completely failed at posting last month, despite actually writing the post! So I've combined the last two months, which has been interesting for me since I haven't made a point of looking back before and although you know that things are changes so fast, I haven't appreciated the smaller steps until now. Here we go.

Well, I feel like it all kicked off at six months. There just seemed to be so much going on developmentally. Sleep was terrible again with lots of night wakings, except he seemed to be waking up really upset, which made me suspect that it was his teeth bothering him. We've had days when he is dribbly and chews on his fist a lot and other days where his gums don't seem to bother him at all. That said, there is still no sign of any teeth.

He's been sitting up very well since six months and prefers this over lying down front or back. He's giving no signs he has any intention of crawling - although he does push himself up on his arms now, which he wasn't doing before. He also rolls over onto his front when he's trying to sleep and then pushes his bottom up as if trying to get into a crawling position, except he just gets annoyed that he's waking himself up. To encourage him to crawl, I've tried placing toys slightly out of reach, but all he does is try to stretch then give up and turn his attention elsewhere. To be honest, I'm not in a hurry for him to be on the move; I know he'll eventually reach that milestone and has plenty of time to be mobile so I'm just enjoying him being stationary for now.

Back to sleeping, he does roll and sleeps on his front now. It happened the first time on a day he was resisting a nap, and in the process, he rolled onto his front and just stayed there. I was relieved he finally slept, but also very paranoid. Something that did help him sleep better at night was moving him into his own room. I always thought I would feel horrible moving him out, but everyone sleeping better has been great, looking back I think we were disturbing him when we would come into the room at night. 

The biggest thing I've seen during month seven has been the development of his fine motor skills. He's got so much better at grabbing things and transferring them where he wants. If he drops something to the side, he reaches out and grabs without having to look for it and see it. He can also grab his dummy and put it in his mouth now, which is great! He's also learnt about cause and effect, and I see him anticipating the fall of his stacking cups when he pushes them. I'm sure he has for a while, but he definitely recognises his name and ignores it when it suits him, too. He also likes banging things together, which I assume all babies like.

We also started solids at six months. I've gone down the puree route since he doesn't bring things to his mouth, so baby-led weaning wasn't an option. I started with puréed carrot and as excited as he was to try he burst into tears with the first spoonful. I felt awful! I then moved on to baby rice and baby porridge (which he reacted to). He didn't seem very interested for about the first three weeks, I would make up something new everyday, but he would have a bite or two and make a weird grunting noise and then refuse anymore. Then I don't know what happened, he suddenly liked eating, and we quickly stepped up to three meals a day. We started combining different fruits and vegetables, and then introduced meat, fish, and spices as well. His favourites are carrot (surprisingly), broccoli, courgette, chicken, beef, lamb, green beans, peas, pears, oatmeal, banana, mango, apples, and cauliflower. More recently I have tried giving him finger foods, but more often than not he just plays with them and has even got annoying wondering why I'm not just feeding him. He still hasn't got used to the sound of the blender, that always makes him cry.

At six months the sleep issue had really been bothering me.  I also felt a bit cheated by all the books and advice that said I would have no problems if he learnt to put himself to sleep. He can do that, but my issue was that he didn't stay asleep. But, by month seven things just seemed to get better, and I can't say it was anything I was doing differently, but is reached a point where I decided not stress about it. Being at home means I have the luxury of not worrying too much about having him on a schedule (and that I can take a nap with him if need be).  That said, it's nice that, for the first time, we have a sort of routine.

I have to admit that the first days of weaning did make me anxious. I like to have as much information as possible, but weaning is one of those areas that, as important as it is, doesn't have a lot of information available and what is out there can be contradictory. It's the first time I've "winged it," and it didn't help that seemed to have a reaction to some foods. It is quite fun now that he seems to be enjoying it.

I think this six/seven month time has been my favourite so far. He is a really happy and generally chilled out baby, and it's a lot of fun getting giggles out of him and just watching him. I've also reached that point where I feel like "I got this". I think generally being a bit more chilled has helped with that.

I have been struggling with the Oman summer, though. I think I've always suffered from a bit of seasonal affected disorder in the summertime. Ramadan was actually quite nice since my husband would be home early to hang out with us, but because all the activities wind down until September, it's easy for the days to just blur into one. We did go away for the long Eid break, which turned out to be a really nice trip. I'd always said I wouldn't travel with a baby. But, he was great. We went to Bangkok and I really enjoyed being able to go outside, walk around, and, of course, the food. And he enjoyed all the attention from the locals. I'm sure there were times when he was intentionally trying to catch people's eyes so they would talk to him. I don't know if we caught the sweet spot age-wise when it comes to travelling with a baby, but I do feel like we could think about doing it again.