(photo credit: Dale Zimmerman Photography)
Wow! I have a six month old baby and as ridiculously cliched as it sounds…where has that time gone?! On 7th February 2016 I was giving birth to our darling daughter and was overwhelmed with how delicate and fragile she seemed and now we have the most content, bouncy, bubbly baby we could ever wish for and I just want time to slow down for a little while.
So this is the first update as such I have done on Florence since she was born. In a ideal world I would have loved to have documented her developed and milestones, month by month, on my blog but unfortunately the new whirlwind that is motherhood didn’t allow that luxury. Plus whenever I did have time to sit down and write on my blog, I thought you guys would prefer a post on blusher over babies anyway!
So where to begin. Lets start with the facts and figures. Florence Joy Wilson weighs 13lbs and is just cruising above the 9th percentile line. She has always been dinky but is progressing well (even more now she is on solid foods) and I personally love the fact that she is still very ‘baby-like’ and so light to carry everywhere. She is just fitting into 3-6 month clothing but can also still squeeze into some newborn bits we bought her before she was even born. I don’t know how high she is measuring but everyone comments on how long and lean she is so maybe she will be a tall one like her daddy.
It is true when everyone says that it takes about three months to really settle into a routine with your new baby and by six months you will be a dab hand. Of course, things will always change – teething will happen, naps will be dropped, meals will increase but at the moment I feel like my girl and I have a lovely routine going on. I really threw myself into baby classes after the first few months so Florence and I would get out the house and I could drone on about babies over coffee with other mums who were more than happy to hear how she can nearly sit up and might be teething! Which is true – Florence has mastered rolling over front to back, and back to front, and now nearly can sit up unaided. As for teeth, I can see signs of some little white pegs peeping through and there is a lot of dribble. But as always, Florence is very happy in herself and it doesn’t seem to be affecting her yet.
Sleep. Oh gosh, how little did I realise what a big topic this would be in my baby’s life! Whenever I seem to meet a new mum, the first question always seems to be “Soooo how is she sleeping?!” It’s bizarre. In the early days Florence was just a typical newborn and slept well after lots of assistance for us – rocking and swaddling was her favourite. In hindsight she slept pretty good actually and would go 4-5 hour chunks before waking and feeding. Then by 12 weeks she could, and occasionally would, sleep through. We were lulled into a false sense of security and then the dreaded 4 month sleep regression hit (I am fully aware there are many more of these regressions to come!) and everything we had learnt that settled our baby was out the window! For about 3 weeks we just stumbled through broken nights of sleep with lots of rocking, lots of sleeping on us and using the SnuzPod co-sleeper crib to lie close to her and sing her to sleep with umpteen renditions of twinkle twinkle little star. My bedtime routine that I had worked so hard to create was all over the show. Florence would often take a power nap at 7pm, unaware this was her actual bedtime, and then come downstairs and be wide awake with us until 10.30pm!
And then, like I had been reassured so many times by my ‘mum friends’, the phase just past. She was back to sleeping well and I established a new routine for her. (Can’t help but think of Ross and Monica’s routine in Friends whenever I mention this!). So as of five months Florence has been a real star and has been going down between 5.45pm – 6.15pm and sleeping until 5am-6am in the morning. She then has a quick feed and 9 times out of 10 will go back down for another hour to an hour and a half. At 5 months we also moved her into her own room and worked on some gentle sleep training with her to get her confident falling asleep, and resettling herself, alone. But before you hate me, let me tell you that Florence and her daytime napping is still an ongoing battle…but we are getting there. Thankfully most days I am out the house heading to baby sensory or swimming so she can sleep in the car, baby carrier or buggy but the past couple of weeks we have managed some daytime naps in her cot.
Day to day. So currently our day usually begins around 6.30-7am where we feed and cuddle in bed and wave Rob off to work at 7.30am. Then I attempt to get ready, shower, make the bed, dry my hair, apply some makeup whilst entertaining, holding, tickling, jiggling a wiggly Florence. By 8am we are both up and dressed and head downstairs to play. I usually plonk Florence in her jumperoo (she loves this) whilst I make a large cup of tea and reply to some emails, watch a bit of YouTube and edit some photos. Anytime around 9.30-10.30ish Florence will show signs of getting sleepy and I will attempt to put her down. Her naps don’t tend to last more than 45minutes at the moment but I will take anything during the day and I take the opportunity to grab some breakfast, do some washing, hoover the house (gosh, my life sounds riveting!). Oh and she’s up again after her power nap and we will head out to baby sensory, swimming or to meet a friend for coffee. The afternoon comes and around 1.30-2pm I look to be out walking or putting Florence down for her second nap. I will make sure I am home and she has finished napping by 3.30pm so she is ready for her bedtime by 6pm. We play some more, cuddle and splash in the bath (her not me!) at 5pm. We head upstairs and do some baby massage before closing her blinds, popping her in her pyjamas and feeding her before bed. By 6pm I can usually creep downstairs, realise I haven’t eaten since breakfast and enjoy a moment of peace and quiet with some food before beginning my evening.
Milestones. Like I said before, Florence can roll over both ways and is very close to sitting up by herself. Last week we started weaning her and I am currently doing a combination of purees and baby-led weaning. She seems to be enjoying the experience so far and certainly hasn’t turned down any food yet but she does still feed little often from me throughout the day and at night before bed. She is very good at watching and copying us when we do a specific hand movement or say a certain sound over and over again. Rob was delighted to hear lots of dadadadadada noises today! She has started weaning and has ‘swam’ underwater.
Mum update. As for me, I feel great. I feel this past month has been really positive for me following a tricky few weeks of very little sleep. Now I know Florrie will be asleep by 6pm-ish I can allocate some time to the things I enjoy but have missed out on doing whilst being up and down with her. Most nights when Rob is home I go running in the evening sun and then settle down to a spot of blogging and watching some series on Netflix. I’m even going out for dinner with some work friends next week which will be a real novelty. Body-wise, I was pretty much back to normal (weight and size) a few weeks after giving birth but recently I feel like I have got some tone back as well with my increased level of exercise. Breastfeeding is still going brilliantly well and feel absolutely delighted to have reached 6 months exclusively breastfeeding. Here’s to the next six! 🙂
Florence loves: Baths, Sophie the Giraffe, raspberries being blown on my tummy, over-the-shoulder cuddles, pulling Rob’s beard, being carried in the sling, swimming, her jumperoo.
Florence hates: The sound of babies crying, being on her back for too long, hot walks in the pushchair, trying to feed when overtired.
These last six months have been the most rewarding, yet definitely the most challenging, months of my life. I still pinch myself everyday that this little girl is our daughter. She brings me so much joy. She is so happy and content and wants nothing more than to be held and cuddled and kissed on her cheek. She is an inquisitive little soul and loves to be out and about with us in the sling, looking around, studying new people’s faces and clinging tightly onto us with her teeny tiny hands. She has recently been wrapping her arms around my neck and giving me the biggest hug which melts my heart. Florence is a character. She makes me laugh every day with her quirky ways and I just adore everything about her. She is my little shadow and I cannot wait to see what the next six months have in store for us.