Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Charlotte and me 8 months on

Today my little Charlotte is 8 months old.  Each month seems to be passing quicker than the last as we speed towards her first birthday.  I can hardly believe its been 8 months since my little girl was handed to me for the very first time - a squidgy little bundle with a mop of dark brown hair (which fell out quickly and is only now starting to come back in)who I instantly fell in love with.
What a journey we've been on - watching as she's learnt new skills and developed her own personality and just become our Charlotte.

So at 8 months old what's she like...


Apart from the odd sleepless night when her teeth have been bothering her, she is amazing.  I'm almost scared to say this for fear that it will all of a sudden change and she'll make up for being such a good sleeper for all these months.   Although she's great at night, she's never been one for napping during the day.  Too much going on I think and she's a determined little thing who will not give in and will insist on pushing through the yawns in favour of playing and watching Lucas' every move.  She does occasionally have a nap mid morning for 20 minutes or so and the same mid afternoon but as soon as I start to think a routine is forming she decides otherwise and has a day of absolutely no napping!  These are the days where I literally get nothing done and the 'witching hour' is worse than usual.  Her bedtime is usually about 7.30pm and in the last month I have been making a real effort to put her down wide awake so that she learns to self-settle.  Before, she would fall asleep on me while I was feeding her and be snoring by the time I put her in her cot.  I love the snuggly feeling of the last feed of the day, when its just us, all relaxed and she drifts off to sleep feeling so safe and secure.  I was so tempted to keep going with what we knew and loved, but the other part of me knew how well self-settling worked for Lucas.  He has always been amazing at bedtime and going to sleep, even now that he's older and so that's what we're now trying with Charlotte.  So far its going well.  I do still have the odd night though where I give in and let her fall asleep on me.

Something I've heard a lot about recently is 'baby development leaps' but I'm still not convinced I believe in them.  Do I really believe an app can map, to the day, certain development stages??  Surely every baby is different?  According to the app (curiosity got the better of me and I downloaded it) Charlotte is currently in a 'leap' which could explain why for the last week she has been waking at 2am each night (it could of course just be teething).  But she doesn't seem bothered, as she sings and gurgles away to herself and normally drops back off to sleep after 15 minutes or so.  That's her then until anywhere between 6-7am when she's ready to start the day.  Going through to her each morning is one of the best parts of my day.  Without fail I'm met with her beaming smiles and arms flapping up and down like an excited little birdy!  As soon as I unzip her sleeping bag her legs are freed and they start kicking away too.  It's the best feeling and something I'm desperate for her not to grow out of.


She is now having three proper meals a day and the odd snack in between.  Her meals are a mixture of purees and fingers foods and she seems to like it.  So far she eats most things we give her, but over the last week she's definitely been getting a little fussier.  Panic set in for fear of a picky baby and so I've been persevering and trying different ways of coaxing her to eat the things she's suddenly not so sure of.  I'm not entirely sure how I found this out, but as long as we give her a pack of wipes to crinkle on her high chair tray she soon eats up no problem.  Its like a magical distraction for her.  There are however some less helpful distractions... one being our dog, Roxy.  Charlotte loves leaning over her highchair to see Roxy sat right underneath, patiently waiting for the next scrap of food she launches.  Its amazing how quickly something becomes a game to Charlotte now.  One day Roxy pretty much got the majority of a pack of rice cakes as Charlotte threw them one by one down to her.  I stupidly kept giving her another one each time she dropped one until I cottoned onto how Charlotte's face gave a cheeky little grin every time a rice cake 'accidentally' fell on the floor.  The little monkey!

I am also still breastfeeding Charlotte which has really surprised me.  I think I said in my last update that my goal was to get her to 6 months but now here we are at 8 months. I should say that in getting to this point there have been many days when I doubted I would keep going for the next 24 hours,  never mind to 6 months due to how draining, sore (in the early days) or restraining it felt but we got there and overall I still love being able to feed her and wouldn't have it any other way.  Now that she's on more solids,  I did think the amount of milk feeds would reduce but it hasn't.  I don't necessarily think she's hungry for all the feeds, its just a comfort thing that she's used to and I'm too soft to say no when she cuddles in.


Whoops, I have't taken her to be weighed and measured for a couple of months now (mentally adds this to the long list of things to do this month).  Isn't it funny how different it is with a second child.  I think I had Lucas in to be weighed every other week until he was a year old, just to be sure everything was ok.  This time I'm a lot more relaxed and the truth is I just haven't had the time and while she's sleeping, eating and coming on more and more each week I'm pretty sure she's doing fine.


This month has been such a fun month with her doing lots of new things.

One of the main changes is how much more vocal she is now.  She was already saying "Dada" but this last month she has learnt "Mama" which is the most amazing feeling.

Her co-ordination is also improving and she has discovered that she can bang things together to make different noises, which amuses her no end.  Poor Lucas though, I can see his patience running thin when he is contently eating his lunch and trying to watch Cbeebies as Charlotte uses her highchair toys and tray as a drum kit.

But maybe the best milestone this month has been... she is almost on the move.  She has been oh so close to crawling for a while now but has just not quite mastered it.  She is a whizz though at getting around just by shuffling her self from side to side and round in circles, so not crawling hasn't stopped her getting about, its just been a bit slower.  She's so close though, so I'm sure by this time next month she'll be off and the real fun will have well and truly begun.


I thought I'd include a little update on me this month at 8 months post partum.

Although I'm pretty much back to my pre-pregnancy weight and dress size now, I'm still not feeling great about my body.  The weight definitely came off quicker second time round which I think has a lot to do with breastfeeding (even though its given me a crazy appetite where I never feel full), but its the mummy tummy jiggle and excess skin (lovely I know) that still makes clothes look and feel different and generally makes my self confidence take a bit of a dip.  After having my tummy stretched twice by two not so tiny babies I'm not sure this jiggle will ever completely disappear but I'm going to give it a good try, if only to boost my own confidence (especially now we've booked a summer holiday).   So, I've signed up for a 5K race and also an exercise class.  I'll keep you updated on how I get on.  Wish me luck!

The other thing which I've been experiencing post partum has been  hair loss.  I didn't get this after having Lucas and I'm not sure whether its something else associated with breastfeeding and the different hormones involved in that or whether that's just a coincidence.  It didn't happen straight after giving birth, I think it was actually a few months after when I noticed more and more hair coming out.  I have quite thick hair so at first it didn't worry me but after a month or so of it continuing to come out it started to play on my mind.  Thankfully this last month its finally stopped and has started growing back, what a relief!  My hairdresser noticed as she was cutting my hair a few weeks ago that I had lots of baby hairs growing in - yay!!  Your body really does go through it before and after having a baby, doesn't it!  Of course its all completely worth it but it can be a bit overwhelming and if I'm honest pretty hard going not to feel like yourself for so long, but I feel like I'm getting there now, 8 months on.

Anyway, I think that's pretty much everything from me and Charlotte for now.

Hope you're having a great week.




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