Have you ever wondered what life is like for a 6-month-old baby? Well, I am here to tell you, although my interpretation of events might differ from my mama’s. What I find fun, she seems to find frustrating. My hobbies include cluster feeding, nipple biting, putting Lego pieces in my mouth, and, my personal favourite – waking up after an 18-minute nap. It’s a hoot! Mum doesn’t seem to find it funny though.
Apparently I didn’t get the memo about being a chilled out fourth bubba. I hear my mum mention this “memo” a lot. She appears to be joking but I get the feeling she wishes I were more chilled out. What exactly is chilled out, anyway?
Life has been a bit of a rollercoaster
Breastfeeding, which is supposed to be so “natural” hasn’t come that naturally to us. I had silent reflux in the early months, which was not fun for my mum or me. I wouldn’t wish it on any bub. Plus, I had posterior tongue and upper lip ties, which were repeatedly missed. Finally mum found someone who knew what was going on. I couldn’t lift my tongue properly, which was making it impossible for me latch onto mama’s boobs. Talk about torture! I was so relieved when they sorted that out, although the dental procedure and follow up stretches were AWFUL!
I am not a good sleeper
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My mum mentions this a lot. She and dad are exasperated. But I can’t help it. All my earlier troubles meant I never learned to “self-settle.” That’s another term I hear a lot. They say I can’t do it. I need them to pat, rock and coax me back to sleep. And I lose my dummy A LOT, which means they are up and down like yoyos during the night. As for sleep during the day, well that just seems like a waste of time to me. There’s far too much going on. I don’t want to sleep through all the fun. Sleep is for the weak. Plus, I’ve got things to do.
I like to EXPLORE!
I worked out pretty early on how to roll. That was fun. It gave me a taste for moving. And boy do I like it. Another word my parents use to describe me is “busy.” I can’t work out whether this is a good thing or not, but I have no interest in sitting still. BORING! I want to move. And I won’t stop until I have mastered it.
My sisters think I am the best
I’ve worked out how to sit, and that’s kind of cool. It means I can see my sisters better. Speaking of my sisters, they continue to think I am the most amazing thing EVER. Seriously, I can do no wrong in their eyes. The older ones burst through the door after school and rush straight to me. In the morning, they all bundle into mama’s bed, where I am usually having a feed. I love them. They are all kinds of fun.
I reckon I got really lucky with three big sisters to look up to. But I am frustrated, too, as it look like they’re doing really cool things and I want to join in. So I need to move faster. I can roll, slide and commando across the floor. Apparently this is close to “crawling.” Not sure I’ll enjoy crawling for very long though. I want to walk and run and skip.
Another exciting thing happened recently
My mum fed me some mushy stuff on a spoon. I wasn’t so sure the first time, as it tasted very different to mama’s milk, but the second time I loved it. Since then I am enjoying these tasty snacks a few times a day. There is a world of flavour I am keen to explore.
My favourite time of the day is the morning
Especially when my sisters play with me before school. They laugh a lot and when I giggle they practically explode with adoration. I also enjoy bath time. Getting nude is THE BEST. I wish I didn’t ever have to wear clothes. I hate it when mum gets me dressed after the bath. Sometimes she leaves me nude on the mat for a bit and this is terrific fun.
So this is me at 6 months. I keep mum on her toes. I am “unpredictable” it seems and I never repeat the same behaviours or patterns two days in a row. Apparently there is no “routine”. Mum likes routines, but it sounds kind of boring to me. Who wants to be predictable? Not me!
I know I am loved
Despite being somewhat of a “challenge” (another word I hear a lot) I know I am loved. When my mum smiles at me my heart feels so warm and happy. My dad is pretty awesome too. I am pretty sure us girls are the four most important people in their lives. We are really lucky. But my mum looks tired. She really ought to get more sleep…
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A musing on trusting your motherhood instincts. When Miss I was born we had feeding issues straight up. I saw a Lactation Consultant early on as I had blistered nipples and bubba was having troubles with attachment. I was told my technique was fine and basically there was nothing wrong. But issues persisted. We persevered, but Miss I never drained my boobs. She would arch her back, pull off and on, and she was grizzly and unsettled almost all of the time. I asked my Maternal Health nurse to check her for tongue ties. She gave her the all clear. At around two months of age Miss I was struggling to feed for more than a minute at a time. She lost suction and pulled off in distress. Every. Single. Feed. I saw another LC. Again, I was told there was nothing wrong and to go away and “enjoy” my baby. But I KNEW something was wrong and she was impossible to enjoy when she was so upset. Feeds became a war and ended with both of us in tears. I saw another LC at around 4 months. She didn’t believe in tongue ties, and instead told me I must have a supply problem. But in my gut, I didn’t think supply was the issue. Still, experts know best, right? So I went a got a prescription for motilium and expressed around the clock to boost my supply. But the problems persisted. Well meaning friends and family suggested I switch to formula, but I desperately wanted to continue to breastfeed. But she was by now refusing the boob altogether and I was completely stressed. The niggling suspicion that a tongue tie could be the issue would not leave me, despite being told by 2 LC’s, 2 Maternal Health Nurses and a Paediatrician that she did not have one. I sought the opinion of a third LC – my last attempt at sorting out these issues. And sure enough, she gave her a thorough assessment and said she had an upper lip tie and a posterior tongue tie. No wonder the poor baby couldn’t feed efficiently with oral dysfunction. We have since had her ties released and feeding is improving. Please always trust your instincts when it comes to your baby and children. YOU know them best. YOU know if something isn’t right. YOU know when there is reason to worry. YOU are the best judge of your children. ?