Third baby problems strike again, Mary Moo – you are actually nine months old at the moment, but I wrote this awhile ago! Remote learning in the time of covid-19 with small children at home all day every day is no joke… but we’re getting there! And you, our little “pandemic baby”, thank goodness for you…
I think you’ve hit it: peak cute baby stage and age. Not to say that it’s all downhill from here (hopefully?!) but this really is a delight! You are a delight. A squishy, squealing, gurgling delight.
You have officially mastered how to sit confidently, unless you are a bit tired and wobbly, and I still put cushions around you for the occasional mishap. Playing with your big sisters now is so much fun, and adorable. You’re at their ‘level’ now as they sit next to you, stacking blocks and passing you rattles and toys. You’re one of the big kids now! The newborn baby has slowly slipped through my fingers, but you have emerged: a baby girl who makes everyone smile.
The sheer JOY on your face every morning when you spy your big sisters coming into your room is next level – the squeals and wriggles and chortles! You love them hard, and they love you back just as enthusiastically. Your favourite thing in the whole world is your sisters. You BEAM at Eleanor when she pulls funny faces for you, she is so helpful and always ready to play with you, hold you, and has started being confident enough to carry you from place to place if Mummy is busy making dinner or out feeding the lamb or hanging washing.
You have started to pivot on your bottom, ever so slightly moving your way across the floor – or usually in a big circle really, as nothing is very deliberate and you haven’t yet figured out that you are actually moving! You are doing a little bit of rocking forward, hands flat on the ground, but you can’t figure out what to do with your legs – so you’ll either face plant in our wiggle back, further from where you wanted to be as you’ve pushed backwards not forwards, and you seem a bit perplexed about it! You’ll soon figure it out. Oh boy, I am not looking forward to you being mobile and no longer my immobile little pudding I can plonk on the floor with some toys and know that’s where you’ll stay!
Sleeping has become an absolute Olympic sport for you – and you are a gold medallist. You started sleeping through the night every now and then at about seven months, at first it might be once or twice a week (yes!) and then it was nearly every second night (yay!) and then it just became very consistent (wahoo!) No coincidence this also happened when you transitioned out of your swaddle, first into a Love to Dream swaddle and then I went cold turkey into a sleeping bag with arms. But you would knock your dummy out, or pull it out and play with it and throw it across the room. Fun. I finally found a dummy chain which was light and flexible for you to manage and since then you’ve slept! And slept. And slept. You sleep all night, bedtime around 7pm, sometimes earlier, and I won’t hear a peep from you until… at least 9am, often I’ll have to go in there at 10 to make sure you’re still alive! Because of Eleanor’s remote learning, and out ‘covid lifestyle’ where we don’t go or have to be anywhere, you have really hit your sleepy stride! You are always, always, awake when I go into your room though – never do I have to wake you. Just awake, happy as Larry, lying in your cosy sleeping bag smiling back at me. You’re just a contented little thing in your cot. Because you sleep in so much, you are pretty much only having one sleep in the day at eight months old! We simply cannot fit another sleep in. You will have about two hours of awake time and then happily back to bed (so usually at about 11am-12 noon). There you will stay…and stay…and stay… until at 4pm I think this is quite ridiculous and go and get you. There you are – happy and awake, just hanging out in your favourite place: your cot.
All sorts of food are making their way into your tummy – after starting solids a touch before six months old, you have been by far my most puree eating baby. This was mainly because shortly after starting solids at about six months old you choked on a piece of zucchini skin. The whole experience scared the living daylights out of Mummy – it was completely silent, your little face and scared eyes pleading with me that you couldn’t breathe. And I didn’t know what to do. Since then I’ve been so scared to give you any finger foods – but just recently we’ve been dabbling in zucchini and corn fritters and chunks of steamed veggies or ravioli. You, of course, have managed absolutely fine. But Mummy’s heart palpitations needed to calm down first.
Because you sleep so much, you rarely have lunch and are then ravenous for dinner! You will have porridge or weetbix with stewed pear or apple or berries for breakfast, then when you get up from your lengthy snooze you might have some more fruit (a banana or strawberries you can feed yourself) or some avocado toast (your favourite). Because you sleep through the night, we aren’t breastfeeding nearly as much. You feed in the morning when you wake up, and then again in the afternoon when you wake up from your sleep, and then for bedtime. Although I don’t miss the sleep deprivation, I do miss the quiet and sleepy nighttime feeds in your bedroom. I feed you on the bed in your room for bedtime, and sometimes you still fall asleep feeding, not often, but when you do I let you stay there for a long time and really soak you in – my last baby who I will feed, and I know once I’m not feeding you I will rarely have you in my arms asleep anymore.
You have hit that developmental stage where you definitely know who Mummy is, and that she has taken two steps away, and that this is not ok! You are sometimes completely fine to be left to play on the floor with some toys, and sometimes you are a clingy koala who is very attached to Mummy’s hip. I also really think that because of the way the past six months have been, you’re not very comfortable/overstimulated/confused by new surroundings and people other than Mummy, Daddy, Eleanor or Harriet talking to you or touching you. This is both weirdly sad and kind of nice. Our little cocooned pandemic baby who tries to pull Mummy’s facemask off every time we rarely venture out into the public…
Hopefully soon we can spend more time with all of your doting aunties and uncles and big cousins – it’s good fun being around lots of other people, Mary Moo! Just you wait and see.
Grow big, stay small,