Happy half-birthday Blossom! My goodness, how did you get to be six months old? You are such a big girl these days – growing like a mushroom, trying so hard to do so much, slow down please! Sometimes Mummy glances at you and sees the little girl you will one day become. Where has my sleepy newborn gone?!
These days you roll onto your tummy from your back very easily and quickly…but soon realise you’re trapped as you haven’t figured out how to roll back! You get a bit cranky and need Mummy to save you from the doom of being on your tummy. You sit in your activity centre for much longer now and have figured out how to play with all the things around you, but you still haven’t figured out how to bounce or spin. You just sit…all weight in your bum and none on your feet (which are fairly little for your size, I think this may be your concern). Actually, you don’t really like standing up at all, not like other babies.
Your sleeping went through a rough patch there for a bit, you were waking and wanting to hang out with mummy every few hours. You couldn’t be hungry, but you sometimes just wanted cuddles and your dummy put back in. Oh the dummy… You’ve never really loved your dummy, so Mummy tried to take it away as it was causing so many nighttime wakings. You did so well, poor Mummy did much worse listening to you cry, sitting in her own bed crying too whilst Daddy tried to settle you. My goodness Blossom, Mummy was tired. We tried lots of different things, different routines, different ideas on teaching you to self-settle. Mummy gave you your little bunny friend ‘Carrots’ to try and ‘replace’ your dummy. Now you snuggle into ‘Carrots’ at sleepy times, he’s your best buddy and you love him so much, he has been a wonderful addition to our bedtime routine. In the end Mummy realised you were actually a most excellent baby and this too shall pass, stop worrying about it, keep doing our thing and it would sort itself out. And then…you suddenly learnt that it was okay to go back to sleep after a little grizzle, that Mummy wasn’t abandoning you but you were quite safe and well and able to settle again without a boob in your face or a dummy in your mouth. Just like that. Huh.
Now, you go to sleep at 6.30-7pm and wake at 4-5am, Mummy feeds you and you go back to sleep sometimes until 8.30am! It’s like a Christmas miracle. And of course…now Mummy misses you so much because you’re such a sleepyhead! I’m afraid our nighttime quiet feedings and cuddles in the dark of your room are over, and it makes Mummy so sad. My baby girl is growing up. Of course, this is all I wanted, some solid sleep! But while you still want the early morning feeding I am trying to hold onto that time together and focus on your chubby cheeks and soft fluffy sleepy head as you drink Mummy’s milk on the bed in your nursery listening to the kookaburras waking up for the day.
You were baptised, along with your second cousin Ben from Queensland, when you were 5 months old. It was such a special day surrounded by all the people who love you so much Eleanor. Father Michael blessed your little (not so little!) head in the little church in Yarragon on the first day of Advent. Your fairy godparents Aunty Creina and Uncle Russell will do a fabulous job, they already do, loving and guiding you however you need it. I pray often for you my sweet baby girl, that you will know so much love, that you will learn from mistakes, grow a sharp mind, quick wit and experience so much happiness. I think constantly about the kind of woman you will become, I hope Mummy and Daddy can help you in whatever way you need it, and also know when to not help you and let you be.
After we got back from Fiji we started giving you solid food at 4.5 months old – and you haven’t stopped eating! Now you have three meals a day if we’re at home, if we’re out sometimes you’ll miss lunch. For breakfast you’ll demolish a weetbix with half a banana and then a bowl of pear and yoghurt. Lunch and dinner is usually veggies like pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini and broccoli. You love pumpkin and could eat it for days! You flap your arms and demand more – more pumpkin! Mummy has to curtail your food intake sometimes as you fill up so much and then don’t feed at bedtime so well. The MCHN tells Mummy to feed you until you turn your head…you never have. You will eat for days, and get quite upset if it all ends before you think you’re full. It has to come at you fast too! Mummy has to have everything prepared and ready to go before you sit in your bumbo because you’re quiet impatient and couldn’t possibly wait for your dinner to be prepared while you sit there. We bought you a big girl highchair at Ikea, you sit in it sometimes but mostly still your bumbo on the kitchen table.
We are practicing sitting up, but you are still very wobbly. You sit forward, leaning on your chubby little arms in between your splayed out legs, but it doesn’t last long before you tilt sideways or lurch back suddenly. The other day Mummy sat you in front of the Christmas tree to get a photo of you, you sat so well…until you leaned back and smacked your head on the hard floor. You cried big tears, baby girl, sorry! Pear and yoghurt fixed it all though, and Tessa – you love Tessa! Mummy sits with you on the floor and we watch Tessa trot past us, you laugh at her and have started to grab her funny black fur in big handfuls. Mummy has started to tell you ‘no’ and ‘gentle’! Her floppy ears are just asking to be pulled though!
You have learnt to shake your head – and you shake it and shake it and shake it! Once you start you can’t stop! Mummy thinks you do it when you’re really happy or excited, but sometimes you do it when you’re tired too. It is very funny, especially when we ask you questions and you shake your head at us: “Do you want a bath Eleanor?” Shake shake shake! The other day in the supermarket Mummy could feel the pram shaking violently from side to side, she looked around at you and you were shaking your head, really shaking. Shake shake shake! People walking past were laughing and laughing at you. You no longer go in your capsule in the pram, you’re a big girl sitting up facing forward now, but Mummy misses looking at you! You get lots of comments from passersby as we whiz around the shops, Blossom. Everyone says you look so placid, and I say yes you are! A quiet little girl who just looks out at the world around her, taking it all in. Mummy dresses you in all your beautiful clothes from your big cousins, we’ve gone a bit Christmas mad lately wearing all your red and green outfits – I call you Eleanor the elf! Blowing raspberries is also a big new skill, you blow and bubble and spurt, but it isn’t funny, it is very serious business. You are very serious about your raspberries! You blow bubbles happily in your cot when you wake up, gurgle spurt blow and bubble. You sing a funny little la-la-laaaaaa song too, Mummy and Daddy lie in bed and listen to you, you make us so happy Blossom. It’s so good now you don’t cry out to be fed when you wake up, so Daddy can go and get you, change your nappy and hang out with you for a little while before you demand milky from Mummy.
Growing is also your favourite past time it seems, goodness me you grow! You are still a big girl, much bigger than your other bubba friends in mum’s group. And chubby! So very chubby. You have chub for days on your big thighs, and it looks like Mummy puts elastic bands on your arms with all your rolls! Cleaning in all your folds and drying them too is quite the exercise! More rolls than a bakery. A healthy chubby bubby you are though. You are perfect. Perfectly adorably chubby.
This week we will celebrate our very first Christmas as a family and with our little Christmas angel, Eleanor Joy – you, my little pudding! You helped us decorate the tree, with Mumma and Opa too, you aren’t too interested in it, oh how next year will be different! Santa has been very busy for you Eleanor, gifts are wrapped and we can’t wait to see you play with just the wrapping paper on Christmas morning with your big cousins. Grandi has your stocking hanging on her mantle, we’re so ready to make beautiful Christmas memories with our beautiful Christmas angel.
Keep blooming Blossom,
I’ve loved following your story with Eleanor as my own little girl is only a few weeks behind her. And unfortunately, we’ve hit the same tough sleep pattern. She was always an excellent sleeper and then about six weeks ago, bebe started sleeping only 45 minutes during the day naps and will go to sleep at about 7:30 but wake up every three/fours hours overnight. She feeds three hourly during the day. I’d be interested to hear how you stretched out Eleanor’s sleeping/feeding and particularly how you introduced carrots. I’m not adverse to giving bebe a comfort toy or blanket to snuggle up with as she does enjoy snuggly toys during play time but she does have a tendency to put these kinds of toys over her face and my husband and I are terrified she’ll suffocate in her sleep. First time parents much?
Hi! I basically followed the Babybliss settling technique (I got the book which is excellent, but mostly all common sense, but good to read that you are actually doing the ‘right’ thing!) So I would go in and settle Eleanor when she woke after 40 mins during day sleeps, it would sometimes take 15-20 mins to resettle her (and she would be literally laughing in my face mostly!) but I really perservered, and she would then go back to sleep for another 1.5 hours! After awhile she would resettle herself when she woke up, realising that mum was just going to come in and do that anyway I think! The dummy was a big issue at the same time though, at night she was losing it and waking every hour, making mummy a walking zombie! I did the same babybliss settling, to not as much success as her day sleeps, so then I did 2 nights of ‘controlled’ crying. Not that Eleanor was really screaming (she never really does) she was just grizzling to have her dummy put back in. I sat in bed with my headphones on and phone stopwatch in hand! She grizzled for 8-10 minutes before falling asleep (without her dummy), she learnt that she didn’t NEED it to go back to sleep. Now, she goes to bed with her dummy and if she loses it before morning, too bad. She will wake and cry maybe once at about 3-4am now, sometimes I put dummy back in but most often I watch the clock and she will 90% of time go back to sleep bang on the 6 minutes mark! 6 minutes does seem to feel like a REALLY long time though in the wee hours of the morning! If she doesn’t nod off after about 8 minutes I know she’s probably not going to, and go put it in for her. If she loses it again about 10 minutes later, she’s generally hungry and I feed her. I gave her Carrots about the time I tried to teach her to go back to sleep without a dummy, I simply plonked him in the cot one afternoon with her! She does love his ears as they’re easy to grab and pull him towards her. Comfort toys are MEANT to be put over their faces, in my research about introducing one (I had the same fears!) it basically means they are absolutely doing their job of comforting baby if they pull them right over their face. Eleanor basically sleeps with Carrots on her face and is fine, she is more than capable of moving him off her. Carrots can be a great distraction too when she wakes up or when I first put her down, she plays with his ears and arms/legs whilst sucking her dummy, rather than watching me back out of the room! Best of luck, if you have any questions please ask away, sleep deprivation is the very ultimate torture! And although Eleanor’s ‘rough patch’ only probably lasted a few weeks, it seems like FOREVER. Everyone told me she would get better, which is such cold comfort whilst in the throes of it all, but then…she did! Hang in there.
Great to read this, I am currently in the same situation with my 4 and a half month old who has been doing the 40 minute catnap for close to a couple of months now (and YES, it does feel like forever, and YES everyone does tell you it gets better!) I’ve been trying the babybliss settling technique but it seems to wake him more?! the most success I get is stroking his forehead and head. And he hasn’t learnt to resettle himself. I often wonder if by me resettling he expects me to come in and do it for him?
aaaah the joys of it all!
Beautiful 6 month message for a beautiful little girl. Have a happy love filled Christmas.