Last week I visited a friend's newborn baby and I realised that my baby is growing up fast. So fast that even though I see her every hour of every day, it's flashing before my eyes and I'm stood there watching like some kind of time-lapse of our lives.
As we approached 5 months so much changed, all at once.
It became very apparent that more of a bedtime routine was needed. Now, my long term followers will know I wrote a post on Routine for a Newborn (Newborn is the key word here) a while ago. That post was, and must not continue to be mis-interpreted. It was not meant as "I don't believe in routine and anyone that tries to get their 3 month old into a routine is wrong'. This is absolutely incorrect. All babies and mothers are different, and whatever you decide to do with your baby, routine from an early age or not, is up to you. I do not look down on anyone for their choices. Your baby, your choices. The intention of that post was to reach out to any other new mums that felt the pressure like me, to say "it's O-K not to put your newborn into a routine yet if you don't want to". I hope that helped at least one or two of you that felt the same insistence that I did from peers, and didn't feel like it was the right time for them either.
So what changed? Alba started to fall asleep earlier, get distracted by noise and light around her, became increasingly unsettled at night, went from 'sleeping through' to waking every 2 hours. All her signals were pointing towards tiredness. One night we just put her to bed at 7pm and she slept. Maybe we could have done this earlier, but maybe it wouldn't have worked then. Who knows?
Now we have a routine, moderate playtime in low lighting an hour before bed, a few bedtime stories, bath, boobie in the dark, bed (fingers crossed with a slightly awake crib transfer). Don't get me wrong, it does not always go this smoothly, but I'm surprised at how well it has gone considering I had pretty much resided to the fact that she was an night owl.
1 month in and it comes with a great sense of a new era. No more night time cuddles until 10pm, no more Daddy time in the evening, no more Thursday curry nights at our best friend's house round the corner. This was real serious, parenting stuff.
Motherhood is so hard when you are new to it. Everyone has their own way of doing things, everyone has an opinion, everyone has advice for you. There is no right or wrong way and we shouldn't judge another, the only way to survive in this world is to trust your gut and get on with it. Oh and occasionally listen to advice from people you genuinely trust, like a helpful hint from your Mum or being challenged by your other half.
Along with a routine, came teeth. Yep she's got 2 of them! Maybe that explains the 2 hourly wakings. I love her little teeth, you feel so proud as a parent when milestones like this are delivered on your doorstep.
With teeth came weaning. We started weaning on her 5 month birthday because she seemed hungry. Again, when other parents wean is totally up to them, no judgements here. She LOVES food at lunch but can't quite work it out at breakfast. She loves butternut squash but unlike every other baby on the planet doesn't seem to be bothered by pear. She has a high chair and sits up in it like a little meerkat.
Then came double rolls, straight arm press ups and tummy shuffling off the play mat. Splashing Daddy in the bath and literally howling with laughter because she learnt how to make herself laugh, over and over again.
Ofcourse the last few weeks have also had those tiny magical moments that just make your heart skip. A little touch on the arm when you are changing a nappy, two hands coming for your face, a grab on the nose, a playful hair tug, a smile when you walk back in the room and those giggles that just do something you've never felt before to your insides.
Being a mum is the best job in the world and we are all doing a great job at it.
Please feel free to leave comments or share.
Laura & Alba x
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