So the Family Watling have reached the next major milestone as H is now six months old. Everyone I spoke to told me it would get easier from about three months and in many ways they are right. But easier does not mean easy! Certainly H has developed more tones and expressions that make it a bit easier to understand what she wants. She is also able to amuse herself a lot more. However she now demands a lot more engagement than previously since Mum and Dad are clearly to be a source of entertainment and amusement. She is also much less tolerant of things she doesn’t like; Expecting her to just sit in her buggy whilst I chat over tea and cake no longer flies!
These past three months have been very different to the first three. They have been a wonderful time and we have enjoyed watching H develop more and more each day. But they have also provided their own challenges. So as I bag-up her 3-6 month wardrobe and usher in the new set of clothes, it felt right to replicate my three month blog post and give due attention to the things which have kept me sane / awake over the last few months.
- The Playmat: This made an appearance from about month 2 but is still in full use. Because H still isn’t really mobile, this is her main ‘base’ downstairs and even if she doesn’t play with the hanging toys she likes to play here. As she’s got bigger she now likes to try and pull down the bars, explore the scrunchy bits on the mat surface and rip down the hanging toys so she can chew them better!
- The ‘Jumperoo’: A relatively new acquisition but helps to keep her entertained now she wants to be more upright. Okay the overly upbeat jingly tunes can be wearing either first thing, late in the day or if played for more than 5 minutes, but there is also a piano and numbers mode. This is really helping her start to find her feet, literally, and also means she is safely in one place!
- Tea: I’ve said almost all I can say about tea in my three month blog post and in many other posts before that. I doubt I could ever write a list such of this without tea appearing!
- Rich Tea Biscuits: For main meals I am a savoury person, favouring starters over desserts. But when it comes to snacks I admit I have a love of cake and, if there is no cake, biscuits. With some of the sleep-deprived periods and energy lulls of the last three months I would have easily knocked back half a bar of chocolate in minutes were it not for these biscuits. They gave me a slight sugar boost when I needed it whilst also being a bit more filling and, as biscuits go, not being insanely bad for me!
- Waitrose Essentials Pollock Fish Fingers: These are my saviour because they provide me with a tasty, hot and reasonably healthy and nutritious lunch in under 15 minutes. Sam discovered them in Waitrose and they don’t fall apart like your run-of-the-mill cod fish fingers. Pollock is also a well-stocked fish so thumbs up there too.
- Dr. Who and Merlin: Sometimes I just needed to stare at the telly, or have something on in the background. I relied on some old favourite box sets for this: the Matt Smith / Karen Gillen Doctor Who episodes and all five series of BBC drama Merlin which I was a huge fan of. I finished the latter this week so I’m not sure what I’ll do next…
- Switching the bedtime feed to a formula bottle: Bedtime started to get more and more stressful for all of us. As H was tired and, I think, my milk supply was low at that time it became a real fight to get her feeding. After all the tears and flapping we’d both be worn out. The moment we swapped it meant Sam and I could more equally share the load, we could be guaranteed H was getting a full feed before she went to bed and she was much calmer taking it from a bottle.
- The pushchair component of our ‘Travel System’: At about the age of four months I took H for a walk in to town in her carry cot knowing she was due a nap and expecting her to nod off. She didn’t until we got within minutes of town and then woke up as soon as I went in to the shops. As I was leaving to walk home extreme tiredness struck her and she screamed the entire walk home. Slightly scarred, the next long walk I did was in a circuit near home. She did doze off for about 30 minutes but as soon as she woke up she grumbled, then shouted (well ‘baby shouted’) and then started to cry. I headed straight home at this point and established from watching her on that hurried walk home that she was done with her carry cot; She wanted to see things and laying down meant she couldn’t. The pushchair seat was too big for her but they made an insert which only cost about £30. I bought it that very day and walks since have returned to their usual relative calm (well most of the time).