Ok – bad Mum alert as I’ve just realised that as Violet is days away from being NINE months and I have failed to write her seven AND eighth month updates. I feel a bit rubbish about this as out of everything on my blog my pregnancy and baby update posts are the ones I really love to look back on. I also wanted to do them all in video form as I think that is nicer to look back at – but if you have been following my social media, you’ll know things have been a bit tough round here recently so moments where I have time to film a video (plus feeling cheery and confident enough to film it) have been few and far between. So, sorry Violet, here is your update – a mega two months worth, in writing – but at least we got there in the end! I did also take around 1000 pictures and 200 video clips during that time too, so I think we covered documenting it! 🙂 Onto the update…
Violet is turning in the SWEETEST little character known to man. I would say that as I’m her mother, but others always comment on her sweet nature too, so it can’t just be me. She is so happy in her own space, to play with, examine and ponder over toys. Her mind is analytical, she’ll examine everything in detail, turning things over in her hands to work out how it works and what it is – rather than just bashing it about. At baby groups, she will be social but also loves her own space, she’ll socialise but soon go off in another direction where she’ll be sitting on her own with some toys singing to herself. She’s just like me, an extroverted introvert – enjoying the company of others but needing to be alone to recoup and recharge too.
Yep, that is Violet’s favourite word. I’m not sure if we class it as her ‘first’ word, but whenever I walk away or leave her she will say ‘MAMAMAMAMAMAMA!’ and it’s so cute! I think she is putting together what the word means and when to use it. I also think I heard her saying ‘AYO!’ for hello and ‘yeah’ in response to something, but I can’t be sure. She does definitely wave hello to people though (and her favourite characters on the TV)!
She is on the MOVE!
So, on the day of her 7th month birthday she was on the MOVE! She crawled across her bedroom floor as we were putting her down to bed and life hasn’t quite been the same again. I spent most of my day running around after her, stopping her from pulling wires, touching things she shouldn’t and picking up anything left on the living room floor. You don’t realise how many hazards you have in your home until you have a crawling baby! We had to do a bit of emergency baby proofing, our first purchase being a stairgate as our living room has stairs down to our bedroom so we needed to put a stairgate up there ASAP. In her eighth month Violet’s crawl has become so quick, she can get across a room in an instant and often follows me room to room through the house, especially if I’m hoovering, she loves chasing the hoover for some reason! She can get up onto one knee totally unaided and if she’s found a suitable ledge or piece of furniture, she’ll pull up to standing. She loves standing up and will literally climb me like a climbing frame to get upright! I think it won’t be long until she is wanting to try standing unaided too! I can’t believe she is so on the move already, where has my tiny newborn gone who couldn’t even lift her head during tummy time!
I’ve been writing a whole series of posts on weaning, so check those out if you want to know more about our weaning journey – but Violet is getting along so well with solids and different flavours. In her seventh month, I worried she would never want to eat actual solid foods as she would only eat purees, however as time has gone by her confidence has grown when it comes to ‘actual’ food. She’ll have a good munch on any solid foods I give her, the only problem being that she doesn’t have ANY teeth yet, so things like toast just get gummed to pieces and a lot of it spat out.
Some of her favourite foods at the moment are: Baby Porridge, Banana Puree, Omelette with cheese, Grated Cheese, Grated Apple, Carrot Sticks (the melty puffs that look like wotsits!) and peanut butter.
I’m getting a lot braver with weaning and also worrying a lot less about it. I’ve tried to give her little bits of what I’m eating now and again to see how she gets on and she always surprises me. She will eat more if it’s something she’s seen me eating. The other day I was eating a Marmite Crumpet with cheese and she grabbed a handful and shovelled it in! I didn’t expect a baby to like Marmite, but she loved it and couldn’t get enough. Obviously, this isn’t something I’d feed her all the time as it’s very salty, but a little try didn’t hurt at all.
Aah, the favourite topic to be discussed as parents! SLEEP. Between the ages of four-seven months, Violet slept like an angel, I really thought we had cracked it. Then everything just fell apart and now if we sleep through the night, it’s usually a fluke. We seem to bob from one thing to another – teething, colds, tummy bugs etc. When one thing finishes, the next starts. We’ve also been in the 8 month sleep regression for a couple of weeks now and that one is TOUGH. No one warned me of this! Everyone talked about the 4 month regression, but the 8 month one is like a dirty secret no one wants to admit to.
Well, I can confirm it’s alive and kicking in our household at the moment and I believe with Violet it’s all down to separation anxiety as nothing else seems to be wrong. She just wants to sleep ON me, not next to me, not with me in the room, it has to be ON me. The best solution seems to be sleeping on sofa cushions in her room with the Sleepyhead Grand next to me. When she’s fast asleep I can usually slide her across, then she has a safe space next to me. Usually I have to lay with her on my chest into the wee hours though before she’s in a deep enough sleep to move. I’ve spent many an hour with a clingy baby on my chest recently, although I think secretly I quite enjoy it as it’s like having a cuddly newborn again. She won’t be this little long so I don’t mind.
Just whilst we are on the topic of sleep – we are STILL struggling to actually get her to sleep. She needs a lot of rocking so we usually spend our evenings taking it in turns (until our arms ache) rocking her. We’ve tried a bit of gentle (no-crying) sleep training but with her separation anxiety at a peak we’ve read this isn’t a good time to do sleep training. We have decided to ride it out for the time being until the regression finishes. It’s not the worst in the world, the cuddles are lovely and I usually put on soothing music and slow dance around the room with her.
She’s in her own room!
Just following on from sleeping – I realise when I did Violet’s 6 month update, we hadn’t moved her into her own room! She is now fully in her ‘big girl cot’ in the nursery! I thought we’d have a big emotional ‘final night’ with her in the Snuzpod in our room, but one night she fell asleep in her cot and instead of bringing her down with us at bedtime, we just left her in her own bed. She never came back – I think it was me who was the emotional one to be honest! She loved it.
I felt quite sad to start with, especially when V packed up the Snuzpod, leaving an empty space next to the side of the bed, but now we are in our groove, I admit it is working so much better for us all. We don’t have to sneak around her all the time, afraid to wake her with our ever move. Equally, she isn’t waking us with her snuffling and snoring in the night too! She is in her own space and sleeps much better.
Two products that have really helped us with the transition have been:
- The Sleepyhead Grande – the bigger sized sleepyhead has helped her feel secure in such a large cot. It’s soft and squishy and she sleeps so well in it. She’s had a couple of nights without it (due to it being in the wash!) and hasn’t slept as well by a long shot. She’s also bumped herself on the bars during those nights too, so the sleepyhead keeps them really safe and snug all night. I did worry about it at first as she likes to sleep on her tummy (face down too!) but they are fully tested and breathable, so she’s fine sleeping that way too.
- The ErgoPouch Winter Sleep Suit bag – it’s the first I’ve seen where the legs come apart to make it a little suit, which Violet much prefers now she is on the move. She used to get so frustrated with her legs zipped into a bag so this has been ideal for a safe way to keep her warm at night! It’s so snuggly and soft, I want one in my size!
Out & About
Now Violet is older she is SO MUCH FUN to take out and about. People in the street laugh out loud at her singing as I’m pushing her along in her pram, blowing raspberries and trilling at the top of her lungs. In the last couple of months we’ve had lots of days out and family trips. I try to take her out of the house a lot more now as I feel she’ll get bored if we sit in all day. She is still enjoying Waterbabies and has just finished Chapter 2, plus we now do Music Bugs on a Monday which she really enjoys too.
I’ll wrap up this HUGE post with my usual little month-by-month update:
Feeding: Weaning – mix of puree and solid foods. Month 7 she preferred puree, moving onto solids towards her 8th month. Still formula feeding with Aptamil first milk but she’s dropped a bottle or two a day.
Weight: Not sure as I can’t get to her red book (she’s asleep in her room!) but I know she’s gone from 2nd percentile at birth right up to the 50% now which is pretty amazing!
Sleeping: Up and Down – you never know what you are going to get. Separation Anxiety and the 8 month sleep regression are upon us, but we do get the odd full night here and there.
Skills: Crawling everywhere, kneeling on one knee, pulling up to standing. Examining toys to the finer details, shaking shakers/bells, waving hello, saying Mamamamamama!
Favourite things: Eating sweet things – like fruit, pancakes, blueberry wafers. Standing up, bouncing, swimming
Hated things: Being babied in any way, cradled or held like a baby, being put into her cot awake, being passed around to other people she doesn’t know well