Billy is 6 months as of the 9th December. That means it's my 6 month anniversary with Motherhood. In some ways it feels like I've always been a mother and in other ways it seems like just yesterday that he was placed on my chest and I uttered my first words to my son, "oh hello" (said with glee in a high pitched voice of pure disbelief that this was my baby).
I have to say, babies change so much from week to week but the change from 4-6 months has been a huge one. It's like I woke up one day and my little newborn was breaking his heart laughing, had developed the most incredibly beautiful baby chubbiness, and was grabbing and crying for every iota of food that his eyes set upon.
In the last couple of weeks Billy has just changed so much. He's a real little boy now and it's already so obvious that he will have certain personality traits. It's been a big month of change for us all. As you know we moved in with my aunt while we try to find a place to live. Housing crisis and disastrous and disgraceful rental market do not make things easy. I never imagined we would end up in this situation but here we are. We're very lucky to have been "taken in" by my aunt, but naturally the hope is to find something as soon as possible. It's very very stressful at times because we just don't have time on our side. I've even started praying about it, which I do from time to time. Trusting that someone "up there" is going to point us in the direction of the perfect home for us. Watch this space. The house we really wanted fell through, and the landlord is going to sell the house. They offered us a 6 month lease but I couldn't go through this again in a few months so we took the advise of our families and realised that it wouldn't be wise to take it. We would have to do a massive move again, to only be there 6 months which means looking for a new home in about 4. It would mean moving and potentially finding nowhere (again) in time, and moving around the time of Billy's first birthday. There was also the issue of it being a bit "here's what you could have had". Imagine being in the airport knowing you were going on a two week holiday and someone tells you well actually you're only going for the weekend. Yes it would still be the same destination, same weather, same accomodation, but it would almost be a tease. The "lesser" version. We would move in knowing it all had to be done again in a couple of months. It would feel like a holiday rather than a home. So we continue to look everyday for something in our price range and in a decent area. We are hoping for a minimum of a 1 year lease. Hopefully by my next post all will have been ironed out.
So in the spirit of all things limbo, lack of direction and all the things that I don't deal with very well, I'll focus on what I do know. And that's my little Billy bear. After 6 months of motherhood I've gotten to know my son incredibly well. We are pretty much together 24 hours a day. Myself and his father are as proud as punch of the little boy he is becoming and every day is like a new adventure.
So here goes, things that I know for sure about my baby.
1. He doesn't like the floor and he loves to be held. It's just the way he is I suppose. I've tried it all. Playmats galore, interesting blankets, tv, pillows, toys to encourage floor play, different rooms etc. He just isn't a floor baby. He wants to be up where everyone else is. He's always been like that. I'll continue to encourage it and I'll persevere, but at least I know it isn't me. It just ain't his thing!
2. My baby does not sleep through the night. And that is perfectly ok. Not to mention normal, very common, and it doesn't make me a bad mother. As time goes on I realise that you often hear a lot about the babies who sleep through the night but there are so many of us who's babies don't. It's like an obsession. The second they discharge you from the hospital people ask you is your baby sleeping through the night, talk about the bad "habits" you shouldn't form, and ask what his IQ is. Seriously, can we just take a second to appreciate that these are babies. Little tiny human beings. Not robots who should and shouldn't behave in a certain uniform way from a certain age. Like us, they are all different.
Up until a few weeks ago Billy looked for a feed every 2-3 hours at night. He'd cry and I would wake and try to soothe him, give him the soother (another bad habit right?) and help him to get back to sleep. But he cried and cried. Once I fed him he would go straight back to sleep. And it wasn't comfort feeding in the sense that he had a big proper feed, the same as he would during the day. Luckily he would drift back off straight away with no bother. I just got used to it. It meant if I went to bed at 11pm I would probably feed him 3 times before morning. In the last week or two it has changed and he is now satisfied with one feed during the night. This means that I will feed him at about 7/8pm at bed time, and then one more time between then and morning. It could be 1am or 4am. I'm hoping it'll eventually settle so that it is at roughly the same time every night as this would be a lot better for my, well, boobs!
That's not to say he is asleep consistantly for the other 11 hours through. He might wake 3-4 times. Usually the soother and a quick bit of reassurance is all he needs and he's straight back asleep, but other times it might be teething pain. At the moment he has his first little infection and is waking a lot from all the coughing and throat pain.
3. Turns out there are actually things he doesn't like the taste of. Penicillin. My little man is currently having his first antibiotic as he has a throat infection, and he hates the taste of the medicine. He scrunches up his face, closes his mouth and is only short of saying "no thank you". More of it is going down his clothes than in his mouth but hopefully the doses allow for that when it's for such a small baby.
4. He sleeps on his side and that's where he is most comfortable. Trial and error taught me this and it's made a big difference to getting him to sleep.
5. He's huge now. Well he's still tiny of course but people are now commenting on how much he weighs. Our little chunky monkey is now about 19 pounds. A far cry from 7 pounds 12oz at birth.
6. He's not too interested in bottles. Don't get me wrong he's taken then when I've left him before but he seems disinterested in them for the most part. This means that breastfeeding is something that I'm not even really considering stopping at the moment. It's working for us and it's been great. I'm really proud to say I've been breastfeeding for 6 months. Especially considering I didn't think I'd make it to six days, nevermind 6 weeks or 6 months. I can't recommend it enough to anyone who is considering it.
7. He's about 20% happier at the weekend when his daddy is around. He's a family man, our Billy.
8. He, on occasion, has a glorious two hour nap in the middle of the day. But I never know which day or what time. He likes to keep me on my toes like that!
9. He loves the bath. He's at an age now where he can see me running it and he starts to get excited. He loves kicking his legs to make a splash. I still use the little foam positioner to lie him down in the bath. It's handy for keeping him in place. He usually slides down it before the end of his bath but because he is now in the habit of constantly trying to roll on to his side, it makes it that bit safer in the bath. I obviously never leave his side at any stage during his baths. Speaking of baths, you know the lovely Johnson's ads with the cute babies in the bubble baths? We can't use those as they give Billy a rash. Turns out they're actually very perfumed and have a lot of harsh chemicals in them. So we just use some silcocks base cream mixed in with the bath water. It makes some suds and it is fantastic for baby's skin. His skin is like butter now since we started using it!
10. He only likes MAM soothers. I've tried him with a good few types but since he was about 1 month old we discovered he is a fan of the MAM brand. Sounds weird but they're lovely little soothers. The designs are really cute, and they're very unique looking.
Some photos to mark this milestone.
What a difference six months can make Billy with his daddy. Best pals. In his big boy high hair. In Dundrum.
Our personalised Christmas decoration for our 1st Christmas as a family
Just chillin' in his Christmas clobber
It's been the most amazing six months, and as always I feel honoured to be the mother of this beautiful little person. I won the lotto, and I still can't believe he's ours 💗
Labels: 6 months, breastfeeding, Christmas, home, weaning