Woohoo – an update!

You rolled over. Of course neither of us saw you do it. You were on your play mat (the quilt nanny had made for you) on your front, I was in the kitchen making some breakfast and Aba was at work and when I came back into the living room you were on your back! You’ve not done it again, in fact we’re not sure you know how to because every time you try one of your arms seems to be in the way. But we’ll wait and after a bit more bottom in the air swinging from side to side we’re sure you’ll master it.

We’re still waiting for a tooth – your tongue is permanently in the bottom right hand side of your mouth so we think that’s where the first one is slowly coming through. But before that happens we may be starting to introduce you to food – we’re waiting until you’re 6 months old (so only a couple more weeks to go!) and will try something called Baby Led Weaning where we give you sticks of food to explore and play with rather than feeding you endless purees with a spoon. We’ll see how it goes but the reason we wait until you’re 6 months is to make sure you can sit and support yourself and get things to your mouth, because you’ll pretty much be feeding yourself.

You’ve only just started showing an interest in what we’re eating and drinking. It started with my tea in the morning, after you’d drunk your milk your little eyes would follow my mug to my lips and then down again. Then you started staring as I ate, watching my spoon or the piece of toast and now you’ve started to reach out to try and grab things – today it was my glass of water while we were at Gnunu’s and at lunch it was the challah on the board. This is why we waited to wean you – so that you’re really curious to discover what the whole eating thing is about. Saying that, it’s not just food that’s being grabbed these days, the standing lamp was targeted this morning and I can’t say I blame you, it’s an entirely new feeling and texture. Aba says the shower curtain has been a new touchy feely experience and our shaggy rug on the living room floor is an exciting new texture.

Sitting is going really well – you still don’t have the ram rod straight back babies need to sit up themselves – but you no longer need us to support you completely. In fact you can sit in a slightly bent forward position and balance yourself, just needing our support stop you falling to the side.  It’s introduced a whole new element of play, you love it when we take your hands and help you pull yourself up from lying flat to sitting, then you can lean forward and reach for your toys and play with them. It’s come in very useful in the bath where you sit and play with your duck and floating toys with only a one of our hands on your back. And in the rubber ring where you always looked a bit uncomfortable but now you sit leaning forward slightly and enjoying what’s in there with you – most recently some silver foil which made a fantastic crinkly noise when you touched it.

Your hands are also learning to work better together and we see your co-ordination improving all the time. You’ve mastered getting things to your mouth, whereas before you were grabbing stuff but then ending up gnawing on your hands. Bigger things are easier – stuffed animals and floating toys get sucked on for a bit. But smaller things are still more difficult – you don’t quite have the control you need so plastic rings and teething toys reach your mouth and then come back out. I figured your control would improve even more over the next couple of weeks so you can actually get to enjoy the first food we give you!!

It’s amazing to see how you instinctively know what to do to develop your skills – whether it’s the tummy crunches, the babbling and high pitched noises, constantly handling things – and teaching yourself to crawl is no exception. Lying on your tummy you move your little arms and legs vigorously as though you were swimming through the water, now all you need to do is start doing it with your hands and knees on the floor and you’ll be well on your way.

And just finally, I can’t remember if I wrote about your new high pitched noises, they’re great although we are trying to ignore them to a certain extent so you don’t get the idea they’re for everyday use.  

Still waiting for a tooth!

You’ve been chewing your hands for almost 3 months now and still no tooth! But we have a feeling it’s finally on its way because you’ve started poking your tongue out of the side of your mouth and Aba is convinced he can feel a tooth trying to break through. It’s really difficult watching you struggle with the discomfort, chewing on everything you can get your hands on and so many of the toys we thought would be useful are just rubbish because they’re either too big for you to gnaw on or they’re not the right shape or you spend more time poking yourself in the eye than getting it in your mouth. Fingers seem to offer the best relief, either your own or ours, as well as pieces of clothing – your muslin, my scarf, Aba’s shirt. 
But your hand co-ordination is coming along fabulously. Savtal remarked today how you can pass things between your hands – they are certainly working better together but I thought you were just grabbing with one and then letting go with the other, seems I underestimated your development. And you’re now able to get things into your mouth, they just don’t stay there very long. It will be interesting to see what happens when we start weaning you. Up until now you’ve not shown much interest in food so we weren’t in a hurry to do it but in the last week or so you’ve started watching us intently as we drink and looking quizzically as we eat. It was very funny today when we stopped in a car park off the M1 to feed you on our way up to see Big Nic and you were more interested in watching me drink my hot chocolate than you were on drinking your milk. I think if we can we’ll hold out a couple more weeks until you’re 6 months – i’m already working on the menu for your first few weeks!! 

Bouncing to sitting (almost)

Bouncing has been your no. 1 favourite activity for several months now. Whose ever lap you happen to be on you’re most happy standing up on their thighs and bouncing up and down while smiling and giggling uncontrollably. We try to stop you from doing it immediately after drinking your milk but that appears to be a favourite time too. And the person whose lap you’re on generally wears out long before you’re done – Sabba had you on his lap yesterday and he lasted about a minute before complaining his arms were tired from holding you upright while you bounced up and down, up and down.

The bath has also been a favourite destination for bouncing, especially when accompanied by the ‘splish splash’ song. But in the last couple of weeks you’ve been discovering how to sit up. You’re still a few weeks away from being able to do it on your own but boy are you trying hard! It started in the bath where up until now you’ve always lain completely flat and floated happily on your back while we supported your head. But then you started lifting you knees towards your chest which of course makes your bottom sink and your body rock from side to side. And then came the straining to lift your head and shoulders off the ground. You had always done it a little when we were taking your top off over your head but this is a full on stomach crunch, I can almost see your little core muscles working and they’re the ones which will support you when you finally get it. Gnunu, Savtal and Sabba watched you for ages lying on the floor lifting your head, shoulders, legs and knees.

And although your back isn’t quite strong enough to hold you upright just yet, you’re very keen on seeing the world from this new view point so I’ve been propping you up – in the rubber ring on the floor, on your play mat, in bed and with most spectacular results in the bath! Tonight you sat and splashed your hands on the surface of the water for so long and with so much gusto that you soaked me. And the joy you get out of it is fabulous. I couldn’t figure out why you’d suddenly started doing it until your aba told me he’s been teaching you!

You’ve also started reaching out and holding things with both hands – although your hands still aren’t co-ordinated so you can’t keep a firm grip on things for long. The plastic duck in the bath is a favourite as is Octopus Prime but although you’re now expert at getting your hands into your mouth, you’re still struggling with getting the thing you’re holding into your mouth. Saying that the octopus’ legs make it there quite often and it’s wonderful (if not a little frustrating) watching you practice – getting a grip, moving it towards your mouth (overcoming the tendency for your hands to move in different directions), just reaching your lips and then losing your grip and ending up slobbering on your hand instead. Saying all that, it’s just the small handheld teethers and rattles that applies to – big toys like Rabaroo and Monkey are regularly slobbered over as you maul their ears and bodies!