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Archive for the ‘babies’ Category

Danger alert

Things are starting to get dangerous. Lenny’s on the move and – as I learned at a First Aid for Toddlers course yesterday – there’s potential hazards everywhere. We should be very, very afraid.

Actually they advise you to be alert rather than afraid but when you spend three hours talking about everything that could go wrong it’s hard not to get a little edgy.

Between sharp corners, power cords, buckets of water, hot drinks, plastic bags and redback spiders which “just love to hide in play equipment” no where and nothing is safe.

I must admit, we’ve already had a a couple of avoidable incidents which I’m choosing not to put in writing. But still, I don’t want to become one of those paranoid parents who doesn’t let their child do anything out of fear of what could go wrong.

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Lenny’s first artworks

Lenny’s artworkOur mother’s group went to Colour Me Mine on March 4 and I’ve only just managed to pick up these beautiful pieces Lenny finger-painted.

Lenny was the only baby in our group let loose with the paints (all non-toxic of course). Everyone else produced beautifully painted pieces with their baby’s foot or hand prints on them but I thought it would be more authentic to let Lenny have a go himself rather than painting a mug with “Dear daddy, love Lenny”. There was also incentive in not having to put my own dismal artistic abilities on display!

As you can see he did a fantastic job. Don’t worry, I’m not pretending for a second that he actually knew what he was doing. But the fact the he put his hands in the paints and touched all over the pieces was brilliant in my book.

Of course he also put his hands all over himself-and me-so we certainly were a sight when we met Nath for lunch in town on our way home!

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I was blowing raspberries on Lenny’s tummy the other day and he started copying me. Now he’s become obsessed. Happy raspberries, sad raspberries…it’s raspberries all day long.

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These hands rock!

My new favourite toyLenny’s made a big discovery this last week: not only can he put his hands in his mouth, he can use those same hands to put other things in his mouth!

Yes Lenny’s very excited about learning how to open and close his fingers so he can grab on to and hold things. So excited that he regularly hits himself in the head with whatever he’s managed to grab onto.

Luckily this little elephant arrived in the post from Julia just at the right time. Unlike the other rattles and toys it’s soft so it’s less likely to take an eye out. And his trunk is just the right shape for little mouths. Thanks Julia!

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I always seem to be drawn to people who’re at a similar place in life, so at the moment I find myself surrounded by new mums. And if there’s one thing we all have in common it’s a reliance on our partners to share the “load” of parenting.

Dads these days are required to be–and do–so much more than they were a generation or two ago. While stay-at-home dads are becoming more common it’s still mainly women who stay home in the early months for practical reasons. But as soon as the partners return from a day in the office they’re expected to take over with baby. Most dads I know look after the bathing and bedtime routine each evening, change just as many nappies as the mother and even do their share of night time feeding if their baby’s on formula or takes expressed milk from a bottle.

And what older women seem to find most amazing about this is that the fathers want to do it. Rather than spending evenings at the pub, they want to spend time with their children. And it’s not just playtime they’re interested in, they want to be carers and nuturers for their children.

I’ve heard a lot of new mums saying that in the past our mothers had other female relatives to help them whereas today we’re more isolated. But I’ve spoken to a lot of older women who say this wasn’t the case for them. They too were far from family or who had mothers who told them to simply deal with their lot alone.

I know I’d be completely overwhelmed without Nath’s help and that’s with just one baby. Quite frankly, I don’t know how our mothers and their mothers did it but I certainly respect them more for it now.

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11 weeks old

Time is flying, I can’t believe it’s already 11 weeks since Lenny was born. He’s changing so much every day now. He’s a lot more settled and has started having regular daytime naps. We’ve even had a couple of two-three hour sleeps together in the afternoon. That extra sleep makes such a difference to both of us. And then on Friday he skipped two feeds in a row – not feeding after the 5.30 pm feed till 2.30 am. Now we just need to move that forward a bit. No I’m not complaining I’m sure that day will come.

CousinsWe visited his cousins up north on the weekend. They’re 6, almost 2 and 6 weeks old. The two-year-old just ran between the two babies saying “oh bubba” over and over. Very sweet.

It was really great to see how my brother and sister-in-law are with their new baby. They’re definitely way more relaxed than I remember them being with number one. They don’t drop everything and run whenever the baby makes a sound. But they couldn’t anyway when there’s two other children demanding attention.

I can see how our next baby will never get 100 per cent of our attention like Lenny does. Yes, I’m already thinking about number two!

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When you’re pregnant you get used to getting advice from everyone you know – and don’t know – about every aspect of looking after your baby. The advice is always well meaning and usually something they wish they had known first time around but it’s not always helpful.

Every baby and mother is different and specific techniques won’t work the same for everyone. Of the dozens of tips I’ve been given I found these three more general pearls of wisdom have helped the most.

  1. All you need to do is feed them, change them and love them.
    Thanks to my sister for this one. As a mother of three and grandmother of two (soon to be three) she knows that as simple as it sounds it’s true. Unless your baby has special needs that’s really all there is to it.
  2. Any bad habit can be rectified within 1-10 days so you should just do whatever you can to survive!
    Thanks to Julia I can bring Lenny into my bed to help him sleep and thanks to Louise I can give him a dummy guilt-free. Like they said there might be a few days of pain to break the habit later on but in the early days you’ve just got to do what works.
  3. You know what’s best for you and your baby.
    A few people offered me this advice and in the first week or so I didn’t get it. I looked everywhere else – the internet, the midwives, books – for the “answers” to what I should be doing. But now I understand. While you may not get everything “right” first time it’s really important to back yourself. If you question you’re own ability, your lack of confidence will turn into stress for both you and the baby.

So if you do number 1 and keep number 2 in mind, believing number 3 comes easy 🙂

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