Showing posts with label baby development. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baby development. Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

When does Toddlerhood start?

This week Cora has started walking.  It has been six weeks since she took those first unsteady steps between two adults she trusts, but only six days since she started really walking.  There were weeks of nervous steps between people or furniture but this week she has decided she is happier on foot and has barely crawled since she made the decision.  She still looks a little wobbly, still falls over a lot, especially on uneven surfaces and she still looks immensely proud of every step she takes.

With eleven little white teeth filling Cora's mouth, her smile looks much older than her brothers at the same age.  Her hair is just about long enough to make little pigtails and she loves playing peekaboo.  From the outside Cora looks very much like a toddler.

13 months old, baby or toddler, when do they become toddlers

When she curls up in my lap for milk, her eyelashes fluttering as she slowly falls into a land of dreams, her chubby little hands resting delicately on my top, her legs tucked up so that she is fully encased in my arms, her chest rising and falling next to mine, she seems so small still, a baby.

At 13 months Cora isn't talking yet but she is definitely understanding more and more.  She is trying to master a spoon and fork with varying success and she is getting pretty good at climbing.  Sleep is still a challenge and she is far from sleeping 'through the night'. She eats food on her terms and breastfeeds regularly.  It feels like she swaps between being a baby and a toddler several times a day and I think we are now in that transitional phase.

baby or toddler, toddler girl, 13 month old girl

Each of my babies have been so different at this same age, some definitely entering the world of toddlerhood, others were definitely still babies.  I think the baby / toddler divide is determined more by milestones than age, and I am sad that my last baby is leaving behind another stage, that I will never have a little baby of my own again.  I love this little toddler that she is becoming though, so determined, so funny, so inquisitive.  

Where do you think the divide between baby and toddler lies?

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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A Developmental Leap

I don't think you will ever convince me that there is a better stage than newborn.  The milky smell, the scrunched up faces, the way they curl up so perfectly on your chest - I find it all just irresistible.  My second favourite stage has to be this one though, the one Cora began as she turned ten months, where they suddenly hit a huge leap and develop so many new skills.

In the space of 24 hours my baby girl learned to crawl, pull herself to standing and clap as well as saying her first words.  It was a busy day and she is still reeling in excitement from it all.  Suddenly the world is a much bigger place and she is so desperate to explore it.  She may still be slow on her knees, but she is learning to get around however she can and it is fascinating (and a little scary at times) watching her 

The first year is the most crazy period of development as most babies go from being a helpless newborn to a baby who can feed themselves, move around and make their opinions known one way or another.  I find that often it goes it spurts though, that we become comfortable in how we are, but all the while in the background her brain is ticking, processing it all and preparing for the next stage.  It all happens at once and suddenly everything is different.

Dresses are no longer practical, or they have to be tucked into her leggings at the front so that they don't get caught up in knees and feet.  Leaving a door open is now an invitation, putting Cora unattended anywhere but ground level is a definite no.  In many ways I am sad that the wonderful period of being able to leave her somewhere and come back to find her in the same place is over but watching how happy she is with her new skills, how proud she is of herself as she sings the end of her favourite song, make me so excited for everything that is to come. 

It will become the norm soon that she is mobile, that she can follow round her brothers, get into everything she shouldn't and that the knees will be worn out on all her trousers, but for now I am enjoying watching her learn something new,  discovering the world from her new perspective.

It seemed crazy that at the end of next month she will turn one, I am sure it was only last week that I was holding her for the very first time.  Those newborn days are long gone though, and the toddler stage is looming.

I want to freeze time again, in my second favourite phase, to keep her this little, small enough that I can still carry her easily, young enough that I am still her world, quiet enough that I can still take her everywhere.  This last part of babyhood, this precious time.

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Friday, 24 February 2017

Tomorrow you are Two

Every family has different parts that make it whole, every member brings something unique and indispensible and you, Finn, are our smile.  I don't doubt there will be years where you are a moody teenager, that your tantrums will get worse, that you won't always be the way you are now, but right now you are the sunshine in our days, you brighten up even the darkest Monday morning and we couldn't love you more.

One to two has been a busy year, you have learned to walk independently and as with everything, you did it your own way.  It was your brother's birthday and after months of confidently cruising you were still refusing to let go and attempt it alone.  When you finally did, it was with a big audience, an even bigger grin on your face and you walked right out the room like you had been doing it for ages.  It took you a little longer than your brothers, but we didn't doubt you would get there.

This year you learned to talk and I have found it hard not to compare your progress to your brothers.  You are unique and you are communicating in your own way.  Your language seems to have started snowballing since Christmas and every day you are learning new words.  There are still plenty that I 
don't understand yet, but you understand me (other than when I say no or stop).

At nearly 2 you are strong willed and defiant.  You have refused to just slot in like I was told third babies do - we know you are around! You are interested in everything, put off by nothing and everything is a climbing frame.  You are a little whirlwind at times, but you can also sit and play beautifully for ages.  You are desperate to be big like your brothers but you also want to be a baby like your sister.  You adore her, she is your favourite person and I love watching the two of you interact.  

I still think of you as a baby but from the outside you are starting to look less like one.  Those wispy baby curls that framed your face have gone, you race confidently into new situations, you make your choices known, you are growing and changing.  You still insist on your 'daddit' (dummy) to fall asleep though, and you lay with your arms tucked under you and your bum in the air as only babies and small children can. 

One was the age you became a big brother, just two days after you turned 16 months.  You loved your sister immediately and you two have a special bond.  You watch how close your big brothers are and you get impatient to have the same fun with Cora - I think you two are going to cause so much mischief once she is really on the move!

I am constantly reminded of quite how far you have come, the odds you have beaten and the mountains that you are still desperate to move.  You will always be a little miracle to us.

Happy Birthday baby boy, Happy Birthday Finn.  You are loved more than I ever knew you could be
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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

My cCMV baby at nearly 2.

Just like most congenital issues, cytomegalovirus (cCMV) can present itself in many ways.  Each child has a different path ahead of them, different battles to fight and a different future ahead.  When Finn was born we were told that there was a 70% chance that he would survive and that the future would be complicated.  We took home our tiny son after 3 weeks of special care and embarked on a new adventure.

The first six months of his life, we seemed to spend more time in the hospital than at home.  The days were hard, but we knew we were lucky as well.   Finn was born symptomatic with an enlarged liver and spleen, a troubling white blood count and CRP levels (infection marker) through the roof.  His MRI showed abnormalities, but they were not sure how they would affect him.  After three difficult months, Finn started to grow and thrive and by six months he was still small, but getting there.  This month our baby boy will turn 2 and he is a determined, exhausting and beautiful nearly 2 year old.

In some ways you can see the effects of his troubled start - but we can never really be sure whether he would have been a bit later anyway.  At 11 months he started to crawl and at 18 months he took his first steps.  At nearly 2, Finn has come such a long way from the fragile newborn.  He is a chunky toddler who climbs on everything and knows his own mind.  His vocabulary is starting to expand and he has perfected his pronunciation of the key words - cake, milk, biscuits, snack and Cora.  He knows how to communicate far beyond his words and understands us well (other than when we tell him no).

This boy of mine is smart, sociable and ever so happy.  He knows how to charm everyone he meets, he has the biggest smile and he is full of energy.  You would never be able to tell him apart from another child his age, you cannot see the virus he was born with.

At a year old, he was signed off of his pediatrician, but he will continue to have hearing tests every few months for the foreseeable future.  As each test rolls around, I start feeling nervous, worried that things can't be this easy, that my music loving boy who dances to everything may start losing his hearing, but his test last month shows that he is still absolutely fine.  I can't spend my days worrying about what may happen so we are just quietly celebrating every victory and enjoying the typical toddler that he is.

We are so lucky that Finn is thriving, that he is one of the ones so mildly affected by cCMV.  Our journey may not continue as easily as the past year has been, there may be curve balls along the way, but I think this little monkey who has beaten the odds is going to continue to surprise us.  He has taught us the strength we didn't know we had and he brightens our every day.

CMV is a harmless virus unless you catch it for the first time during pregnancy, in which case it can be fatal for your unborn child.  It is passed on through bodily fluids and most commonly from children so if you are pregnant, never share food or drinks with children, kiss them on the forehead rather than the mouth and always wash your hands thoroughly after changing a nappy.
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Monday, 1 August 2016

1 Month Baby Girl

A month of cuddles, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, siblings, teeny fingers and toes and that newborn smell.  A month of noise, sleepless nights and adapting to our new normal.  A month of our baby girl.  
How on earth has a month passed? It seems like only yesterday I was sat cuddling this perfect, tiny little thing on our sofa waiting for her brothers to get home and meet her.  Surely it was only last week that I was laying in bed awake, too busy watching this brand new life to be able to sleep.  In other ways it feels like Cora has always been a part of our life, that there has always been 6 of us.

This first month has been wonderful and it feels even more perfect after the nervous and stressful first weeks of Finn's life.  I have spent every moment with my baby girl and 95% of those we have spent cuddling.  For the first two weeks she wouldn't be put down, and in all honesty I didn't really try.  I fed her and held her in the day and we fell asleep each night, her on my chest.  After a couple of weeks she started to sleep for small periods in her crib or in a pram and now at a month she can sleep in the day when put down and she does her first long stretch at night in her Snuzpod crib before joining me.

The nights are pretty unpredictable, as life with a newborn usually is.  There are nights (well night) where she only wakes once for a super feed and there are nights that we see every hour and sometimes every half hour.  There is no routine yet with anything and Cora stays downstairs with me until I go to bed.

The boys have taken to having a baby sister so well.  Dylan is a pretty experienced big brother and he has taken it all in his stride.  Archie is that bit older than when Finn was born and he is full of questions whilst being incredibly protective.  Finn is curious and excited, wanting to stroke her and cover her in kisses.  This little girl of mine is so lucky to have these three big brothers and I am hoping they continue to stay close as they grow.

At her last weigh Cora was 8lb 13oz so I can presume she is now over 9lb.  Her 'up to 1 month' (or size 56 in Scandinavian brands) clothing is fitting perfectly and her newborn (up to 7.5lb) vests are  just about fitting still too (what she is wearing in these photos).  I am not ready to start a pile of things that don't fit, I am not ready for my newborn to be growing out of things but I have a feeling in the next week or so these vests will be sent off to a new home.  We are preparing to start on the 0-3 month clothing soon as these babies of mine don't stay small for long.

Cora is happiest on my chest still, she loves to be cuddled, carried in a sling and to sleep curled up against me.  She is happier on her tummy than on her back and she loves to poke her tongue out.  Her little face has changed so much in these past four weeks as the swelling has subsided and her delicate features are more visible.   Every day her eyes seem a little larger and she becomes a little more alert.

This first month has cemented Cora's place in the family.  She is the 'new baby', our baby girl, the final member of our team and one that we wouldn't be without.  Our days are busier, noisier and I am learning to do a lot of things one handed.
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Sunday, 6 December 2015

9 Months

Finn is now nine months, or three quarters of a year.  He has officially been on the outside longer than he was on the inside and he has come so far from that newborn it felt like I had only yesterday.

Nine months in to our journey with three children, and things are getting ready to change again,  Finn isn't particularly mobile yet, although he can spin in a circle, but he is desperate to start crawling and I don't think it will be that long until he is off.  His balance has improved so much and he can now correct himself after reaching for things and he has recently learned to sit up from lying down, although he has only managed it a couple of times.

He has finally found an interest in food and weaning is going well after a slow start,  I was confident we would get there eventually and at 9 months I think we have cracked it (for now).  Rice and blueberries are a favourite (not together) and he isn't too keen on sweet potato, much like his eldest brother.  His fine motor skills are improving as he handles smaller food items and this month we will be giving him more sweetcorn and small vegetables to try and perfect that pincer grip.

Whilst he is eating so much more, he isn't willing to really cut down the milk and he still has around 5 bottles per day, with one of those being in the night.  Sleep has been all over the place recently, mostly terrible but we seem to be back to one wake up a night.  I have a feeling there may be an egg intolerance so I will be cutting that out to see if we can stick to just one wake up per night.

Finn is still in our room and still comfortable in his Snuzpod co-sleeper crib but now that he can sit himself up, I think we need to look at building his cot and getting him somewhere bigger to sleep.  I don't really want to move him out of our room ( it is far too cold to be wandering out in the middle of the night to go and feed him) but I am starting to wonder whether he would sleep better without our noise as we go to bed.

Finn is comfortably in 6-9 month clothes despite a huge weight gain over the last month.  My little chunk is now 18lb 10oz and he looks and feels so much sturdier.

Brothers, Smafolk, three under four, matching brothers

The boys are still so close.  Dylan still clings on to Finn's hand when he comes out of school, Archie still gives him the biggest cuddles with his arms thrown around poor Finn's neck and he is desperate to join in with more of their games.  Dylan loves sharing his food with Finn and he has been brilliant at checking this is ok (we have tried to drum the Dairy Allergy into them) and is constantly sneaking bits from his plate onto Finn's mat.

As we head towards Finn's first Christmas, I am loving watching my littlest guy grow and change, and watching his brothers help him along the way.
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Thursday, 8 October 2015

7 Months

Unlike his big brothers, at seven month old Finn is still very much a little baby.   They both seemed so much bigger at this same age and Finn, whether because he is physically smaller or because he is the last, seems so little still.

He is doing so well, he is sitting unaided and whilst he still leans forward, he is straightening up and gaining strength.   He has finally learned to roll from his back to his front, although I still haven't actually witnessed it.  He isn't interested in rolling around the room, but often isn't facing the same way I left him.

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Monday, 29 June 2015

4 Months Old

Finn is now 4 months old, and he has slotted into our little family like he was always here.  His personality is starting to show, and his brothers are getting rewarded with smiles and coos for their hard work entertaining him.

This month Finn has learned to roll from his front to his back, and from his back onto his side.  He seemed as shocked as me the first time he managed it and I wondered whether it was a bit of a fluke, but he has rolled several times over the last two weeks, so I think it is safe to say he is rolling. 

He is getting stronger every day, and when he has tummy time he is now bending from nearer the waist rather than the shoulders.  He can prop himself up and look around for a couple of minutes and his head control is getting so much better.  He is still nowhere near as strong as his brothers were at this age, but then he is nowhere near the size they were either, and he has had a pretty rocky start.

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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Learning to Play

Finn is now 3 months and he has started showing more of an interest in playing.  He still isn't particularly strong or co-ordinated, but he is starting to reach out to touch the toys on his bouncer chair and when he is lying on the floor he is drawn towards colourful shapes.  We are working with Ambi Toys this year, a company who sell traditional baby toys, perfect for little hands to explore, and hard wearing enough to pass down to your grandchildren eventually. 

We were sent a few bits that are from 3 months + so they have no small parts and are big enough for babies to grasp. All three are suitable for Finn now, but should hold his attention for months as he explores them and learns to do more himself.

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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

3 Months Old

3 months is meant to signal the end of that newborn phase and the beginning of just being a 'baby', but I think Finn is reluctant to leave behind the term new baby.  

That is Dylan holding his hand
After another hospital admission due to his weight we seem to be back on track and at 13 weeks he weighs 10lb 11oz.  He has been diagnosed as dairy intolerant and cutting out cow's milk has made such a difference to our dinky dude.  He is like a new baby, so much happier and more content now that he doesn't have what must have been a constant tummy ache.

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Friday, 24 April 2015

8 Weeks Old

These first 8 weeks have been full of drama, tears, change and learning, but things are starting to feel more settled and on track.  There were things I thought I knew about parenting after having two, but Finn is rewriting the book, and I feel like a first time parent with him all over again.

We finally have some growth, although he is still a teeny 8lb 8oz (Still smaller than Dylan was at birth).  Finn still fits in newborn or up to 1 month clothing and the smallest nappies we can get.  People often comment on how alert he looks as his size is misleading.

8 weeks old, milestone cards, 8 week old baby, baby boy

He is a very alert baby though, awake for long periods of the day and his wide eyes always search for me.  He likes to be able to touch and see me at all times but I am rewarded with smiles and coos now.  I wouldn't describe him as the smiliest of babies, but if you catch him at the right time of day, you see his beautiful little face light up and his brothers delight in telling me that they are his favourite every time a smile goes their way.

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Monday, 13 April 2015

The Milestones

When Finn arrived, we had no idea that we had such an ordeal ahead.  He cried and he cuddled, he fed and he cuddled some more and he was our perfect baby boy.  When he was 12 hours old, he was found to have jaundice and when he was 24 hours old, the doctors decided there was an underlying problem.  It was discovered that he had been born with a virus, and suddenly there was a lot of unknown.

The virus can manifest in many ways, and there is so much uncertainty ahead.  Our baby boy is a fighter and is doing so well, but we were left with so many questions and so much that we would need to  'wait and see'.  

One thing we were told is to keep a close eye on his milestones in the first year, as it will be a good indicator of his future development.  I found myself worrying daily about what he should be doing, despite having had two newborn babies before and knowing that not much is expected in the first weeks.

This week marks six weeks since the dinky one arrived, and today he smiled at me.  He smiled in the morning, and cooed away, he smiled in the afternoon, despite being rather grumpy all day and he smiled before bed as we lay on the floor having tummy time.  He watched me, alert and interested, his eyes lit up first and finally his mouth curled up into that goofy toothless smile.  I couldn't capture it on camera, I was too busy enjoying that little face, but today Finn smiled.

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Monday, 7 April 2014

13 Months In

Not only has a whole year passed since Archie's entrance into the world that cold February morning, but another month as well.  Archie is leaving behind the baby days and hurtling towards toddlerhood at a level I am not altogether happy with!  Being a second child, he seems desperate to be running around like his big brother, and he watches the toddlers playing with envy, trying to join in at every possiblity.

This month Archie has been doing more steps unaided and can do around 8 before falling on his bum.  He keeps letting go of things and practising and I don't think it will be long until he is walking properly now.  He has been getting up the stairs with no problems for several months, but recently he has been climbing down as well (supervised of course), and loves sliding on his belly.

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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Two Months In

We are now two months into life as a family of four and it feels like Archie has been around forever.  Dylan is still as enthusiastic about his 'bubba' and the name has really caught on with us rarely using the little man's real name.  Dylan loves to give kisses and help with nappy changes and even plays his own little game with Archie, where he tries to grab his hand as Archie waves it around.  It is so sweet watching them together and I love seeing their friendship and bond grow.

Archie is sleeping much better at night than Dylan was at this age and usually goes between five and seven hours before his first feed, with them then getting closer until we wake up for the day.  He sleeps in his crib from 7pm until around 5am, when he often finds his way into our bed as he won't settle again.  If it is after 4am then I really don't mind having him in with us as it is lovely to have the cuddles and I am certainly not prepared to get up for the day at 5!

Archie isn't much of a sleeper in the daytime however and often will only have short power naps unless he is in the sling.  Unlike his big brother who couldn't resist being lulled by movement, Archie can stay awake for a 30 minute car journey, in the sling and in a pram quite easily!  He will not sleep on his back at all so we put him on his tummy even in the pram when we want to settle him.

After a few weeks of being permanantly attached, Archie is gaining confidence and is happy to lay on his mat or sit in his bouncer more now.  As much as I love the cuddles, it is great to be able to put him down every now and again and our house is certainly looking a little tidier for it!

Breastfeeding is going well and the little man is getting chubbier by the day.  At 7 weeks he tipped the scales at 12lb 13oz so there are certainly no concerns there.  He is definitely a bit of a snacker, but it doesn't bother me that he wants feeding so often, so we are continuing with feeding on demand.  Archie is still in his 0-3 and 2-4 month clothing (just about) and seems much smaller than his big brother was at this age.

Two months in to life as a family of four and we are definitely settled in.  I am well practised at getting the three of us up, dressed and fed and we are out every day doing something.  I had my first day with just the littlest one last week and as much as I missed Dylan it was lovely to spend some quality time with Archie and it reminded me just how much easier having one is! I wouldn't change my gorgeous boys for the world though.

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Friday, 27 July 2012

The One Year Check-up

This week we had Dylan's one year review.  I had to take him along to the children's centre to have his progress measured and to make sure he was developing as he should be.  Although I knew it was only a formality I was a little worried as at 11.5 months he is still not interested in crawling and not quite able to pull himself up either.

Luckily the health visitor conducting the review completely put my mind at rest.  After doing his height and weight measurements and plotting them on the 99.6th centile lines in his little red book she told me that his rate of growth may be affecting his mobility.  His muscles need to be much stronger than your 'average' baby and as he is constantly putting on weight they are struggling to catch up.  She watched him stretch and shuffle across the floor to get to a toy though and was not worried at all.

Dylan will be one in a week and cannot
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Friday, 11 May 2012

Still not crawling?

This is a question I am being asked at least once a day.  So is he crawling yet?  And the answer is still no.  Whats more, I don't expect this to change any time soon.

There is nothing physically wrong with Dylan, he was sitting up and rolling at 5 months and is a perfectly happy and healthy 9 month old boy.   He just hasn't found anything worth moving for!  I have tried a little light encouragement- putting toys and/or dangerous objects just out of reach to see if he is tempted but after a little stretch and a little whinge he settles with playing with the closest toys.  And if there are no toys in reach? he says what the hell, and plays with his feet. 

I think his cloth nappies are partly to blame, not in that they limit his movement but they must make sitting on your bum that bit more comfy!  A lovely padded soft cushion that just follows you around, why would you want to move on your barely covered knees?  He is not a small baby and there is quite a lot of him to carry around, (trust me my poor arms know) so maybe he has decided it is a lot less stressful to just sit.

baby blocks, baby sitting up, nine months old
baby sitting, building blocks, 9 month old baby

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