Here we are again, another monthly update post about Oliver.
Truth be told I’ve struggled to sit down and write these words even though I’ve had the photos on my laptop for a while. Not because I’m struggling with the passage of time as my newborn grows, because that I am, but because I’ve had a little falling-out with blogging. If I wasn’t so damn stubborn about keeping this thing afloat after all of these years I bet I would’ve let my blog go a long time ago. But, I haven’t and grim determination to carry on is what keeps me and this website online.
I opened this page to write about Oliver’s six month milestone and that’s what I’m going to do.
Oliver turned exactly six months old on Christmas Day. We celebrated his first Christmas and half-year birthday together as a family. Honestly, the festive season took over and my step-daughter has a birthday in the school holidays too so we didn’t make a big fuss or anything. We had the usual ‘first Christmas’ bits and bobs as gifts and Oliver enjoyed watching his big sister open her gifts and scrunch at the wrapping paper on his own but, as expected, he wasn’t entirely fussed nor did he have an inkling of what was really happening. He fed and napped well throughout the day even though we were all over town visiting family and I took plenty of photos to remember the occasion.
For us, the most interesting part about him turning six months old was that NHS guidelines meant we could start weaning.
We’re not in a traditional or baby-led weaning camp ourselves so we’ve been plodding along seeing how Oliver himself gets on before we decided how we would approach weaning. He can hold his head well and his hand-eye co-ordination is really good for his developmental age however as he wants to try and stand when put down a lot of the time he hasn’t had a lot of practise sitting so can’t do so for long without losing his balance. This has caused us a few issues because he keeps slouching in his highchair and coupled with my anxiousness that he’s going to choke has meant we’ve been more ‘going with the flow’ than forcing three meals a day on him.
We did try a little before he turned six months old with some baby porridge and purees but he clearly wasn’t ready because he kept pushing the food out of his mouth rather than swallowing anything.
Once we gave it another bash we’ve been very slowly but surely starting with some purees and then a little of the softer foods before we move on. I’ve got a kid that loves the experience of food and smacks his lips once he’s gotten his taste buds around a flavour. He’s gotten to grips with holding a spoon so now we’re both learning about a baby’s gag reflex and what he can handle whilst letting him experience different textures. He also likes to growl when eating which is fantastic when I’m paying close attention to signs of choking.
I would love to say that we’re really going for it with weaning everyday but our oven packed in last week so I’ve been trying to feed the family using only our cooker top and what’s in the cupboards rather than the freezer. I’m reluctant to give Oliver portions of what we’re eating every day because I’ve been getting through some pre-packaged sauces and jars and the salt content puts me off until I can batch-cook some more baby-friendly alternatives once we have a functioning appliance. In the meantime we’re letting him have portions of foods that he can tolerate when cooked fresh like the cottage pie I sneaked into my Mum’s oven when I went round the other day.
‘Food before one is just for fun’ and all that. For us we feel more comfortable slowly but surely introducing foods and this past week even has proven to me how feeding him solids has meant that we’re going through a transition period of bowel movements and disrupted sleep routines. This weaning stuff is a whole new experience for us all.
In other areas Oliver is coming into his own. He decided one day he was going to start rolling over and that was it. I think the last hurdle was discovering his feet which he was obsessed with for a time. If he was grumbly I could just whip off his socks and let him babble and occupy himself for ages and then that gave him the gist of a different centre of balance for rolling. I feel that the real motivator for his rolling is the packet of wet wipes that are out when we change his nappy because he loves anything scrunchy and that makes a noise and now always goes to grab them given the chance.
We changed our living room around just after Christmas to make room for this Joie Cheer Little Explorer Play Pen that I can now put him down in with his toys and not worry about him getting up to mischief. He was still quite happy under his play gym but once he’d started rolling he was trying to chew the sides and sometimes rolling his face/neck onto the tubes that supported the top of the dome and getting stuck. It was clearly time to put the gym and his bouncer away because he now naps in the playpen if we can ever get him settled and then I picked up a second-hand walker from the local market which he likes to zoom around in when we’re in the kitchen.
The next month brings us swimming for the first time which I’m really looking forward to. We’re going to a free introductory session for Splash Babies at a local pool and to be frank, I’m more worried about finding somewhere to park than any fears of Oliver in the water because I passed my driving test the week before Christmas and I’m the most nervous driver.
I am however feeling calmer overall about mothering a baby. The anxiousness I had when he was first born is starting to ebb a little which I think coincides with me starting CBT sessions. It’s really good to at least have someone who understands listening to my fears and not feel completely stupid at the same time during appointments. Watch this space for more on that later.
Onwards to the next month and all of it’s surprises! Hopefully I will feel a little brighter about publishing a post on here because God knows it took me some mighty effort to get this one finished before he turns another month older.