Monday, 28 October 2013

14 week update

Brighton Mumma parent blog baby update
11 weeks old-trying to crawl and getting frustrated when she can't.
Brighton Mumma parent blog baby update
11 weeks- core strength 

Brighton Mumma parent blog baby update
12 weeks-grabbing things with bilateral hands and bringing to her mouth.
Brighton Mumma parent blog baby update
13 weeks-grabbing and pulling a vibrating toy.
Brighton Mumma parent blog baby update
12 weeks:chewing on anything and everything, all day every day.

Brighton Mumma parent blog baby update
13 weeks-dexterity holding things with more precise grip

12 weeks-focusing on things with real purpose.

13 weeks:Dexterity-different types of grips developed.

13 weeks:Exploring toys in more detail-e.g. putting hand through hoops on her Katie doll.
 Although it has only been a few weeks since the last update, Ophelia has developed so much in those three weeks that I really need to document it! She has developed heaps even in the last week although i've noticed she is getting quite frustrated when she can't do the things she wants to do.  The biggest example of this is that she is so nosy and explorative; when you sit her up she purposefully pushes herself forward slowly towards her toys until she is on her front holding her head up and moving her arms and legs around trying to crawl.  She loves this and chatters away at first, she even manages to do a commando style move forwards pushing up off her hands and legs.  After a while she soon realises that she can't move much and gets frustrated and starts crying-this pretty much sums our Ophelia up.  She still barely sleeps in the day, which is because she is so keen to look around and take everything in but means that she gets overtired and cries. She is notoriously worse between 4pm until bedtime, although a little reading around and I discovered this is quite common for children.  She has also started being quite grumpy at bath and bedtime; she is fine in the bath and loves it, but the getting in and getting out of the bath she hates! We've tried everything: graded de-clothing, steamy bathroom, different bath etc etc and some seem to delay the crying but not for long.  The only explanation we can think of is that's because she is now aware of the routine and knows that it means bedtime.  Nothing has really helped in this respect because she really does just need to sleep, so we end up having to put her in her cot and leave her to moan-she usually falls asleep after 5-10 minutes but it's a horrible thing to have to do! We don't want to get stuck in the trap of using techniques such as rocking or putting her in our bed because those habits are hard to break! At least this way she is learning how to get herself to sleep without any help.   

Sleeping wise, at 11 weeks she had three nights of 12 hours sleep through (after generally sleeping 7pm-6am with one wake up in the middle), which we hoped was the sign of things to come.  Unfortunately that has not happened since and in fact the last three nights have been awful! The clocks going back really messed with her night and she got up at 1:30am, 3am and 5am-the 1:30am involved her doing her usual trick of waking up babbling to herself but at the top of her voice! I couldn't help but laugh and this then made her laugh.  She  has been a chatty baby from a young age but these last few weeks seems to have enjoyed exploring volume, tone, pitch and sounds.  We have nicknamed her "Phely Sealy" because the first noises she made were like a seal! Since then, she has developed a wider range and today she copied the speech patterns of how I said "YEAh!" but without the right sound coming out!  It's fascinating because she actually watches us as we speak, you can see her looking at how you form your mouth for certain words and then trying to copy it with her mouth.

She still refuses to nap most days, having said that, at the moment she appears to be teething and the last two days has had 3 or 4 naps!! Kinda hope this continues! On a good day It gets to 10am and she gets tired so I try to put her in her cot so that she stays down longer-sometimes she sleeps for 20 minutes but other times she wakes straight up.  She then tends to stay awake all afternoon until about 3pm and will again have a 20 minute nap.  On a bad day (quite regularly!) she will refuse to sleep, get over tired and cry. Lots. I find putting her in her gro bag now tends to result in a longer nap-after weeks of not getting on with the gro bags!

Seeing Ophelia interact with her surroundings has become more interesting recently, she is evidently more aware of her surroundings-she now looks at the cat when she is sitting next to her and will look around for her toys.   She goes through phases and at the moment really gets bored if left to her own devices-for example whereas before you could pop her on her mat and she would keep herself entertained, she now needs you to interact with her and the toys in order for her to find it interesting! The one toy which she doesn't need interaction with is her Katie doll.  She will sit in her travel seat on her pram and mess around with all the different textures on the doll-putting her hand through the rings, crinkling the material, holding her hand, holding the rings. She is also still totally in love with Sophie Le Giraffe, although mostly just to tuck her under her arm!

14 weeks on it's hard to think that this time last year that baby had just started growing in my belly! My recovery has felt like it finished about week 8 although i am now keen to get back to how I want to be physically.  Mentally I think we're coping generally quite well and try to keep positive, it is really tough at times especially with the amount that Ophelia has been known to cry but you just have to draw a line under that day and move on to the next day-doing whatever you think is best on that day to get through it.  What I find really reassuring is that most people I know with children have been through all the trials that we are (crying, teething, bed time difficulties, etc etc!) and it reminds me that it isn't my daughter being difficult or us being bad parents- perhaps the best way to look at it is us all finding our feet with our new life as a family!  Sleep wise, I try to get to bed at 11pm in order to get at least some sleep before her first wake up, unfortunately I still have constant bags under my eyes- anyone got any miracle cure for that?! I've also been getting my night terrors on a near nightly basis and poor Callum has been at the brunt of them! I used to get them quite often and I think it's because of the types of sleep I am getting- i.e. never getting into a deep sleep.  I've woken up most nights panicking that she's in our bed and suffocating under the duvet: i've been known to cradle the duvet thinking it's the baby or worst still, the other day I tried to pick Callum up  thinking he was Ophelia and hurt him in the prcoess! Again, if anyone has any tips for how to avoid this, they're welcome! If only she slept more in the day then I could actually "sleep when she sleeps"".  I refuse to go to bed any earlier, I want to enjoy my evenings and would rather sacrifice the sleep then lose my much needed winding down time/time to do the washing up, put the washing on etc etc!

So there we have it, I am rather enjoying watch our daughter's personality developing into a strong, confident and charismatic child.  :)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

How to make an Autumn outfit out of Summer clothes

I would say 90% of Ophelia's clothes were generously handed down to us. This has helped us out unbelievably, although inevitably some of these aren't season suitable.

So today's outfit of the day is converting summery outfit into something suitable for October.

Dress: Tesco
Multi polka dot Bodysuit: Tesco
Leggings: Tesco 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Hi, I'm Sophie

I have a confession to make; I haven't joined a baby group.  Not only that, but I have no desire to and I haven't even been to the clinic to get the babe weighed. GASP, I hear you cry.

You see, I have no desire whatsoever to meet "new mums", or, more specifically, I have no desire to only meet "friends" through the fact they have children.  I can think of nothing worse than it. That may sound unfriendly and unkind (anyone who knows me knows I am the opposite of these things), but the reason is simple; I do not want to be defined by my child.  Yes I have a child, but I also have a name (Hi, i'm Sophie) and a life, and that is something that I don't want to lose.  Don't get me wrong, if I happen to meet people who have children i'm not going to discount them outright, but i'm also not going to go out of my way to find friends with children.  It turns out a fair amount of my friends already have children, thank you very much.

At the same time. I'm also not desperate to forget I have a child because I love that kid to pieces! I think my feelings stem from my mum, who spent her whole time chasing around after us, driving us to dancing,singing, drama etc lessons every single day of the week and had no identity away from that.  I now see the results of doing this and the impact on her life: whilst she does go for weekends away and go out for meals, sometimes she makes comments suggesting she's lonely and a slight indication it's due to the fact we children have grown up.  I feel strongly about trying to bring my daughter up to be independent but at the same time know that we are both here for her to talk to at any time.  I want her to know that we love her and would do anything for her, but I also want her to see our lives before and around her so she can respect us and understand us as people not just parents.  Of course, on the flip side I am fully aware how important it is for my daughter to socialise and she does get that social interaction already.   

As a new mum, of course, especially at first, your life is completely turned upside down and that little life takes all your time and energy.  But as you all fall into a pattern and routine, those moments of flickering "you" return and you can piece together your psyche so that you are "Mumma" and "Sophie".   

Part of this for me, is returning to my hobbies and work.  My job is so important to me and having that other part of my life-using my brain in a way that isn't to simply work out the best way to burp the baby or keep her entertained.  I miss really solving hard problems and having a tough day using my brain! I've often heard people say that it is actually easier going to work and I can imagine it is, for a start you get to have your lunch in peace and quiet!

Having a child of course does change things, it is inevitable but for me it is about minimizing that change as much as possible.  We moved to where we live because we want to enjoy city life, three months later we got pregnant and recently that has started us questioning about where we want to be.  Moving further out of the city would give us a garden and more space thus being probably the best thing for us as a family, but part of us still wants to enjoy that city life and bring up our family living in a bustling diverse and creative city. 

I have a feeling these are the kind of decisions that we will be faced with as parents throughout the rest of our lives, never having a right or wrong question or answer but ensuring we do it with our heart in the right place and getting through it together whilst maintaining our sense of self. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Birdy Bear review

Birdy Bear cot accessory

As I previously mentioned, a recent addition to Ophelia's cot is the Birdy Bear which we currently only use on the cot.  Ophelia appeared a bit perplexed by it when it first appeared on the side of her cot but she now seems to like it.  I even caught her smiling and giggling at it when she woke up the other morning.  When changing her on the over cot changing mat, I often pull the cord to make the tune play and I think the tune is growing on her too.   Once the tune begins, there is approximately 30 seconds of song before you need to pull it again.  I would say that personally this length is slightly too short and could be lengthened to keep the child interested for longer.  I don't tend to use it before putting her to bed or in the morning because I don't want her to think of the cot or bed time as playing.  Due to the attachment, it hangs off the side of the cot, and at the moment I don't think Ophelia is old enough to appreciate it fully, she is much more engaged with the mobile that hangs above her head, although I do think the mirror and colours grab her attention.  I do think however, that this will change as she gets a little older and explores her surroundings more, I can especially see her reaching for it soon and in the future, pulling to turn the song on, herself.  I can really see us getting use out of it for many months to come.

As I mentioned before, the Birdy Bear can also go on the pram but I haven't used it on there because she already has quite a lot to play with on there.  But it could go on there and come off again so easily thanks to the felt and velcro, which makes it a great multi purpose toy and value for money.  

I also have my eye on this beauty:
This gorgeous rocking horse is called Doodle (and crumb); I love the colours and style and although out of my price range, I think it would make a really nice present for several people to club together to buy.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Cot accessories

Now Ophelia is sleeping in her own cot bed, we've been decking it out to make her feel cosy and comfy.  We bought a mobile from Toyrsus which is this one

Hop Hip Hooray mobile

Ophelia didn't like it at first and it actually seemed to make her cry (?!) but now she likes it! We put it on whilst changing her on the changing mat and most of the time she seems to like it, and the other day I caught her giggling and babbling to the mobile after she woke up.  It attaches to the cot side with ease and has a wind up feature which turns the mobile and plays the music, I much prefer this material one to the plastic mobiles!

We also have the Birdy Bear attached to the rails which is from Little bird told me.  There is so much I love about this! When I opened it the first thing that struck me was the gorgeously bright colours and the quaint packaging.  I'm always really excited by baby products that are original because the tradional/sickly designs of things get a bit tedious after a while!
Birdy Bear Musical Pull Toy

It all feels so well made; from the fluffy, cute owl with crinkly feel wings to the felt which attaches the toy to the rails.  But get this! Not only does it attach to the cot, it can be attached to nearly anything you want it to be; pram, play gym, car seat.  Apart from the appealing textures, it also has a pull down feature which then plays a tune, I can imagine Ophelia will particularly like this feature when she is able to pull it herself.

 What are your favourite cot accessories?

Friday, 4 October 2013

11 week update

The highs:

  • The ever increasing regularity and variation of smiles; wide, smirky and with twinkly eyes.
  • Delighted squeals.
  • Her clasping her hands together.
  • Using both hands to pull her bib/top over her face so she can put it in her mouth.
  • Using her mouth to explore her surroundings; this week saw her put Sophie Le Giraffe in her mouth. 
    Sophie Le Giraffe
  • Conscious/focused grabbing: She has been grabbing things for a while but she now does so with more intent and purpose, for example today she held onto Sophie Le Giraffe all the way into town and back.  
  • This morning when she woke up and didn't cry! She instead spent a few minutes babbling and enjoying her mobile. 
  • Inara and Ophelia playing nicely on the sofa; Ophelia was kicking Inara's tail a little bit but Inara tolerated it!
  •  She now rolls onto her tummy which is usually a result of her being in her red cushion and her desire to nose at other things around her.
  • The other night I heard her fussing a little bit so asked Callum "just to check" she hadn't kicked her blanket off, because this is usually how she wakes up in the night.  Much to our amusement, Ophelia had pushed herself far up so she was nowhere near her blanket and was also diagonally in her cot! Since then we have been putting her in gro bags!

The lows:
  •   Far too many long days involving a lot of screaming/crying for no good reason.  Reasons so far appear to have been; waking up (!), being overtired, a desire to be in a different position (!), a desire to look out the window, an annoyance that the car seat cover is up when being pushed around (!) and lastly but most understandably...wind.  
  • Her lung capacity evidently increasing and with it, her cry volume!
  • A few weeks of stubborn burbing!
Again, far more highs than lows (although it might not have felt that way!).