Well, we’ve really hit some milestones this month. The main one is crawling! Yes, the Dude is on the move. And now he rarely overbalances when sitting which is a relief as we were getting sick of having to prop pillows around him. His crawling is a little one-sided as he usually puts his right foot flat and then drags his left underneath but he is capable of normal style as I’ve seen him do it. He makes his way around the new house with speed and efficiency.
Food is going well. I can’t say he’s that interested in actually swallowing food yet, he clearly doesn’t see it as required and is really just playing and experimenting now which is fine. I do give him one evening meal via spoon feeding but I think I may start to change that because it just doesn’t make sense. He is happy to take pureed food off a spoon but I don’t think this is necessary. I think when he is ready to ingest food he will so there’s no need for mushing things up and spoon feeding. I’ve been giving him the stuff out of the packet, organic with nothing bad in it, but many of the ones that are recommended for age six months and up have meat in them! And dairy… And there’s no way in hell I’m giving him either of those for as long as I possibly can, preferably until he’s at least 2. He just doesn’t need either and they will do more harm than good.
I feel kind of slack that I’m not making him food but it’s a bit of a hassle. Well for someone like me it is as I am not that coordinated with meals. I should steam or roast more vegies for him but I just don’t manage it. And I know what the baby-led weaning book says, that baby can just eat what everyone else eats but I disagree on two fronts. One, we have too much spice and seasoning in our food which I think is inappropriate for someone who is developing his taste buds and two, we have meat, dairy, nightshades, citrus etc and I don’t think any of those foods are suitable for his new digestion. He requires none of that for nutrition as he’s getting all his vitamins and minerals through breastmilk. I’ve given him vegies out of my stirfry or risotto which is fine and I’m not paranoid about him trying new things. I just don’t want his body to have to work too hard at digesting complex and toxic foods yet. Plenty of time for that later.
It was nice to go to the homebirth mothers’ group this week after a lengthy break over the holidays. All the babies have grown and changed so much! The Dude crawled around and totally fitted in with all the other kids, cruising around exploring. He definitely hasn’t inherited my shyness. Which is great actually because I think being shy made things harder for me. It’s amazing to see how big the Dude is compared to others! He isn’t chunky, quite slender actually, like daddy, but very tall and solid. He’s just so there, so present, which is the feeling I’ve had about him since he was born. There was never anything frail about him, he didn’t ever have that weak, semi-transparent look that some babies have, where you can see they’re not quite here physically yet. If anything, the Dude is desperate to be more present, and very angry and frustrated that he can’t do all the same stuff as everyone because, well, he’s a baby! It’s like he’s got some big things to achieve and he just wants to get stuck in!
He fell off the bed twice since we moved to Fibroland, once because we hadn’t put his cot up yet and the second time he was sleeping alone and I didn’t know he was awake and he just crawled off trying to come and find me. So we sorted his sidecart cot and invested in baby monitors. Just the basic kind, so I can hear as soon as he wakes. It’s been awesome, I can relax and not worry. In the other place we didn’t have a problem because it was so small. And he wasn’t crawling, or at least he’d only been crawling a week when we left.
Still no sign of him migrating to his cot for sleep. I wish I could say that cosleeping has been a conscious choice and we love it etc but the fact is that I’d be so happy and sleep so much better if he slept in his cot. Our new bed is so comfy and not squeaky like the old one but it’s so annoying to not be able to move into a comfy position because it will wake him or there isn’t enough room. In addition, I miss bedtime with husband. There are times when it’s the three of us snuggled up and it’s lovely but eventually I just want to have some space to spread out and relax. And cosleeping hasn’t had a positive effect on our sex life. I won’t go into any more detail but suffice it to say, it sucks. And all my fellow natural cosleeping parents just don’t get it! In fact neither do the mainstream conservative ones! The former group are like, ‘oh isn’t it great, you have to be more inventive and have sex all over the house and you always know your baby is safe by your side and you can feed without getting up, bla bla bla…’. Yeah, fabulous, if you have a baby who stays asleep for more than 20 minutes without you and your boobs in his face! I never liked having my breasts touched much to begin with, and now they get manhandled 24/7! Yeah, I don’t really enjoy breastfeeding. Not to say I’d stop, as Dude would be even more difficult! But I just don’t like it that much. I think it’s because I’m touch sensitive. Nipples are for the enjoyment of others, simple as that.
The latter group, mainstream parents, are all like, ‘oh my god, he sleeps in your bed? Oh I could never sleep well, I’d be worried I’d squash him’. Yeah, that’s how I felt too, until I had a child that screamed the house down unless he was either being carried around in a sling or feeding next to me in bed. People don’t get it. They all have normal children. They think their babies are high needs because they have to feed to sleep. But they wait for them to sleep then they put them in bed. And they don’t wake up. For a couple of hours anyway. The Dude will ALWAYS wake when being carried to bed asleep. Always. And he wakes when I get up too soon. And sometimes I’ve been lying with him for over an hour, he seems perfectly sound asleep, I creep out, and five minutes later he’s screaming. So it isn’t ever possible to rock him to sleep and then put him down. It has happened maybe three times that we’ve managed to put him in his cot and he’s stayed asleep but every time he’s woken after ten minutes or so. So although it is annoying, cosleeping means we all sleep reasonably soundly most nights. There’s really nothing wrong with the Dude, he is just very aware and very sensitive. Which is what Mr Chewbacca and I are both like so not surprising.
Size wise I’m not sure how we’re going but last time I measured he was 76cm tall and 10.1kg. So he’s still massive. We’re predicting he’s going to be 6’5″. Sometimes he stretches out and his body is just so long! He is pulling himself up to standing on just about everything and thinks he’s awesome when he does it, it’s very cute. Being so tall he can reach virtually anything on the coffee table. He loves all the most dangerous and inappropriate things: electrical cords, the garbage bin, the toilet, the oven when it’s hot, the mop… The list is endless! I try not to leave things around that could be dangerous, not because I’m afraid he’ll hurt himself but more because I don’t want to be saying no and stopping him from exploring.
After that massive complaining rant about the Dude not sleeping, he’s actually been asleep for an hour by himself now… A sign of things to come perhaps.