16 weeks old – I need to get some sleep!
I am so fed up with Aron’s current pram, the Xcursion because it is so hard to move about with a pram better suited for hiking. Don’t get me wrong, it is a sturdy buggy and it definitely does the job, but I can’t keep wasting one hour to set it up and almost break my back every time I go out. Therefore, I have taken matters into my own hands and, upon recommendation and personal presentation from a friend, I went ahead and ordered the Petite Star ZiaX, which is so affordable and very light in comparison to the Xcursion.
This week hubby decided to take me on a surprise road trip back to Wimbledon to see our old friends. Living on the other side of London is great because I am near my family, but, at times I feel pangs of loneliness because I miss my old friends, whom I used to hang around with daily when we were living in Wimbledon. When we arrived, we parked at our friends’ house and were greeted with lots of love and hugs, which was a really nice boost to yet another sleepless week. We drank some coffee and chatted about how parents tend to spend a lot of money on their little bundles of joy, especially when they are first-time parents like us.
I can totally understand the mentality behind the excess spending on our little treasures, as we had gone a bit overboard too – nothing is too great for our child, right? There are so many shiny new gadgets out in the market at the moment, like the [easyazon_link identifier=”B019JZOE3U” locale=”UK” tag=”motherho-21″]Lamaze Space Symphony Baby Gym[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”B000I2MRHE” locale=”UK” tag=”motherho-21″]Lamaze Spin & Explore Garden Gym[/easyazon_link] and the Petite Star 3 in 1 Car walker. Of course, Aron needs all of these things – The Space Gym aids sight development, the Spin and Explore Mat aids tummy development and the car walker assists with, well, muscle development…
The excuses are there for us to grasp with both hands, so why, oh why shouldn’t we embrace all the new and innovative products out there to assist in the child’s intelligence and physical ability? I am, of course, saying all of this in jest because I do genuinely believe that fingers make the best toys. A baby can suck on them for comfort, bite on them when they’re teething and play with them for fun. Looking after a baby actually need not be expensive. The reality is that the familiar faces of mum and dad aid sight development, a floor or any soft surface aids tummy development and hands, jumping around and/or swinging Aron in the air assists in muscle development. And Mummy and Daddy make the best entertainment!
We had to take a trip to the doctors this week to find out about a rash that has developed on Aron’s head, which turned out to be a little bout of eczema. The doctor advised us that that 9 out of 10 breastfed babies hardly get eczema and if they do they only have it on their heads. Well, I know my brother was breastfed for over two years and he had eczema all over his body. But, after explaining this to the doctor, she had assured me that my brother was either unlucky or he wasn’t exclusively breastfed. I wonder what my mother would think of that comment, as she had given up the best part of a decade, breastfeeding me, my two sisters and brother – for two years each, I might add! The doctor continued to explain that Aron’s eczema may have resulted from stress, which may have been caused by the chill he had caught on the way home from swimming at the weekend. It was possible that hubby may not have dried Aron off well enough after swimming and the weather was a bit breezy when we transferred Aron from the changing rooms to the car. Or, possibly, when we had decided to walk from our flat to my parent’s house one day (which takes about 30 minutes) and it was really hot, which led to Aron sweating a bit in the pram. One can only speculate…
The doctor prescribed [easyazon_link identifier=”B00DCPHVMU” locale=”UK” tag=”motherho-21″]Canesten Hydrocortisone Cream[/easyazon_link]for the eczema on his head and urged me not to worry about the cold. Easy for them to say! I am a first-time mum and this is my baby! But, Aron was happily perched on my lap as I was talking to the doctor, eagerly listening in on our conversation, so he was fine. I wonder whether he understands English now…
Back at home, I perched Aron on the floor in a seated position and placed cushions around him, so that if he fell, he’d just drop onto the cushions. He can hold his head steady when upright now and he can reach for objects if I place them in front of him. When I place him on his front, his head is up and scanning the place, but he stays put until I pick him up again, which is a massive improvement from last week. He always looks in the direction of where the noise is coming from too, which means his ears seem to be working fine as well. I have noticed that Aron definitely recognises mine and hubby’s voice and I am pretty sure he recognises my parents, my sisters, and brother because he sees them all the time. It’s nice that he’s not just staring blankly at our faces anymore. I am not sure whether he can pick out who his mum is yet or even if he knows what ‘mum’ means! He will soon…
I have started to introduce music as much as I can to everything I do, i.e. when changing Aron’s nappy, giving him toys that play music or can be played like a rattle or drums, and playing children’s songs and nursery rhymes from our hi-fi as I clean the house. He seems to respond to them by staring at the speakers or staring at the TV when something bright and noisy comes pops up on the screen. The Lamaze Space Symphony Baby Gym is still one of Aron’s favourite toys and he is kept constantly busy with the hanging toys and bright shiny objects dangling in front of him. If they’re hanging close enough Aron will reach out and grab the toys. It looks like I will need to take the mobile down soon and just keep the mat, just in case he gets too strong and breaks the gym.
I absolutely love playing with Aron. He smiles when I swing him up in the air, giggles when I blow raspberries on his belly or stares intently at me when I sing to him. He reacts by smiling, laughing or even anticipating what I’m going to do next by laughing even before I’ve done the action. I really hope that all of this physical and mental stimulation will aid Aron’s development. Hubby and I think that sometimes we may be doing too much – we pull a lot of funny faces, make a lot of noise and move him about a lot.
I am still desperately trying to incorporate Aron’s usual bath time routine and he’s slowly becoming more in tune with the water. We don’t know whether it’s the swimming lessons that are helping him now, but he’s definitely more comfortable than he was before. As soon as we place Aron in the water, he tries to dive in head first! He was having so much fun that when hubby started to change him after the bath, out of nowhere, he started crying hysterically and it took us a very long time to calm him down. My first instinct was to feed him, but he wouldn’t latch on because he was so agitated and stressed. The whole ordeal made my heart bleed watching his little eyes so red from crying that I wanted to cry. Yet, hubby stayed really calm and rocked Aron back to a more relaxed state. Daddy is so good at calming both myself and Aron down when these things happen! Aron still had his towel wrapped around him and we tried to dress him without bothering him too much. But, he started to shove his fist into his mouth so vigorously that hubby and I both agreed that Aron was in fact teething. There had been other noticeable symptoms, like the excessive dribbling and Aron rubbing his right ear, but his actions after bath time confirmed our suspicions. He had stressed himself out so much that we had to give him Medinol to calm him down and he slept from 12.30am to 5 am for the first time in 3 days. He did seem calmer the next morning and more refreshed.
The next day at playgroup I had spoken to the other mummies about last night’s incident and they all agreed that it sounded like Aron had started teething. He was uncomfortable at times, so I would give him a teether and watch him bite down hard on it for relief.
At playgroup, I had placed Aron onto a Lamaze Spin and Explore Gym and he absolutely loved staying on his tummy for at least 15 minutes, as opposed to the mere 5 minutes (max) that he could normally only manage. I decided to give Aron more tummy time at home, which would hopefully strengthen his neck.
I have started to lose some of my baby weight, probably due to the breastfeeding and my hair has started to fall out. Damn! I really thought I had missed that unfortunate side effect. But no, clumps of hair are coming out whenever I have a shower and I am really worried that I will lose too much hair. I don’t want thin hair! Enough hair comes out normally because of my thick, brown curls, so I fear I’m going to end up bald at this rate.
Maybe the hair loss is partly due to the sleep-deprivation too. I am so tired at the moment that I could quite possibly sleep standing up. A bedtime routine definitely needs to be imposed, so I can go to bed early, or even get some time to myself or with hubby. We are never alone because Aron goes to bed so late. The thing is, I know it is important for hubby and I to reconnect and maintain our relationship but Aron has only been around for four months, so I want to make the most of the limited time available with Aron as a baby before he grows up and flees the nest. Long time away, I know…
Aron has started to sleep in our bed too, despite all the preconceptions and morals I had pre-pregnancy. In fact, I absolutely love Aron sleeping in our bed. It really feels like we’re a close-knit family of three. And, Aron is actually feeding less frequently now. I have read that this is because his stomach has grown bigger. Also, he no longer concentrates fully on feeding, so I can never tell whether he’s actually getting a good feed in or not. So I’m trying to find quiet places to feed him so he isn’t distracted by his surroundings.
A fun fact – Your baby will be cooing and giggling a lot about now.
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Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/