The times they are a-changing…

The first tooth has arrived! I thought my first-born got her teeth early at 6 months, but at just 5 and a half months, the record has been beaten. There’s a clearly-cut sliver of white in my baby’s bottom gum. It explains a lot – frequent wake-ups in the night and some fussy feeding plus the few little bites I have felt whilst feeding. These are the most worrying as I am not sure how I feel about continuing to feed a bitey baby once she has top and bottom teeth and can really get a purchase…but we’ll worry about that when we get to it.

We’ve also started introducing some food – just small amounts of simple purees initially – leaving the bulk of the weaning until 6 months. But it’s going well and has coincided with a growth spurt I think, the nice thing about which is that I seem to have an abundance of milk. I think weaning is a confusing time for mum and baby as, for a short time, a new routine has to be established and I never really feel sure where milk starts and finishes. With both of mine I have started by establishing lunch, purely because, for me, it’s a better time of day, less of a rush and stress than the morning and evening. I usually offer puree first and then finish with boob, mainly because my first-born would simply fill up on milk otherwise and think I had invented some weird game when I started trying to introduce food. Anyhow, we did well first time round and have a very happy, healthy little girl who has a fabulous appetite and rarely declines anything. Fingers crossed for a similar success with number two!

This past week or so, I have been more focused on my toddler than the baby, as we seem to be nearing her second birthday with a full-on display of stereotypical behaviours! As a result I have picked up a couple of books to see if I can learn some tricks and I wanted to share a truly wonderfully written paragraph from one of them with my blog readers.

The book is called “Raising Girls” and it’s written by Steve Biddulph (he also wrote “Raising Boys” for those of you who might be feeling left out). Early on in the book, he is describing the stages a baby goes through in its own emotional journey of life:

“It’s early morning and little Lucy, just five weeks old, is lying wide awake in her cot beside her parents’ bed. Her mum and dad are both asleep, in fact her dad is lightly snoring. Lucy watches the dancing shadows made by the sunlight on the wall. From time to time, she waves her arms in sheer delight. She makes happy noises, and her head turns from side to side as she takes in the wonder of her world.

After a while, Lucy starts to feel hungry. She whimpers, and her mother, ears attuned for her baby’s sounds by a million years of mammalian history, wakes up, even though her husband’s snoring has not disturbed her all night. She reaches over and sleepily brings Lucy into the bed, the unbuttons a milk-swollen breast for her to suckle on. Lucy hasn’t needed to get upset so settles happily to feed, fully alert, looking into her mum’s eyes as she does so. At this age the focal length of her eyes is fixed at just the right distance to her mother’s face when feeding, about 30 centimetres, anything further away is still blurred. All she needs to see clearly is that her mum is happy and content. Then she can relax too.”

For me, this is a magical description of such a precious moment between mum and baby. One which all of us need to carry with us through the inevitable ups and downs which come with raising children. Tiredness, tempers and life myriad of challenges are so often in the forefront of our minds. But I think the experience and memory of comforting and nourishing your precious little bundle has to be one of life’s great levellers.

Continue to enjoy….

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