Baby 2: Six Months Old

(You know when you think you’ve posted something then suddenly remember at 4.30am while expressing that you totally didn’t? I can still use the baby brain excuse, right?)

Tuesday was a milestone in our house as the baby turned six months. Yes, Mr Max has been around for half a year now – and what a half year it’s been!

He’s doing so well and we’re really proud of the leaps he’s taking each day and the new things he’s learning. Of course, anyone is proud whenever their child achieves something but considering how poorly he was we often look at his progress in amazement!

Weaning:

I will no doubt post many times about his weaning journey, but I can’t update you at six months without talking about food. He’s not sitting up unaided yet but we decided to try him on some solids when he turned six months to see how things go. We’re doing the traditional purée route as well as giving him some bits and bobs to try and pick up and gum and starting off with two weeks of just veg before moving on to the fun stuff like fruit and the really fun stuff (carbs).

Development:

Max is a little wriggler and he’s very confident at getting from his front to his back. He can roll from back to front but spends a lot of time on his side and somehow managing to move across the floor using a complication system of lying-down lunges and half rolls.

His head strength is much better and he’s also enjoying being sat up more, although he still needs some support with that. He’s now reaching out and grabbing toys and he LOVES bouncing in his jumparoo and being on his playmat surrounded by toys.

Routine:

It’s still 150ml bottles every three hours from 8am to 8pm roughly. He’s up any time from 7am and is the chirpiest morning person I’ve ever met. He’s just started having solids at 12pm and 6pm. Naps are variable but he tends to have one approximately 9.30am for anywhere up to an hour, then another one mid morning or early afternoon then perhaps another one before dinner.

Growth:

Max is set to be weighed next week so we’re not 100 per cent sure how much he weighs but he’s definitely gaining so that’s positive. He’s fitting most of his 3-6m tops now although a lot of them are still a little baggy. He’s about ready to go into 6-9m babygrows in the next couple of weeks and he’s also rapidly outgrowing most of his trousers. Unfortunately we either have the option of horrendously baggy waist and the right length or less likely to fall down but way too short when it comes to his trousers! He’s still very skinny and people are quite surprised when I tell them he’s six months.

We think he may be teething as there’s a lot of dribbling and hand chewing going on, but I feel like Alexandra did this too and she was nearly 11 months before her first tooth came through so we may be in for another long wait if he takes after his sister!

All in all, he is still so happy and cheery. Yes he has his grumpy moments and he cries and he grumbles (don’t we all) but if he’s fed, not tired and not in pain from his reflux then he is just the loveliest little boy. The kids do this thing where most days at least once they lie together and get the absolute giggles and just spend five minutes laughing at absolutely nothing. Looking at them and how much they love each other is honestly the best feeling and makes any and all of the hard bits of his pregnancy and the early days more than worth it. I wish I could share that moment with anyone worrying about having two babies close together!

Here’s to the next six months and all they have in store for us.

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

23 Months and 4 Months

This is the penultimate month of joint updates! I’ll carry on updating you on Max every month but I’ll revert to twice a year for Alexandra (otherwise I’ll end up being one of those moms ‘oh yes she’s 628 months old’).

Alexandra:

We’re still getting new words pretty much every day. In fact we totalled up how many words she knows (ones she’s used multiple times) and it came to around 90 which we were surprised by! She’s still not attempting many two-word sentences aside from ‘mommy do’ but she manages to make her meaning known with the vocal she has so I don’t think she’s that fussed about putting words together.

Talking of words, ‘no’ is still a firm favourite and we’re getting a lot of strops and tantrums. Alexandra is the most pleasant, cheerful child most of the time but she likes to decide what she’s doing and eating 100 per cent of the time so trying to change her nappy at the wrong time or get her in the car if she doesn’t want to go is met with strong resistance to say the least!

Animals are still a firm love and they capture her attention all the time. She went on a donkey ride recently which she loved and she also loves picking out stories featuring animals (if they have moons and stars in too then double bonus!).

Alex has now had all her settling in sessions in the toddler room at nursery and moves up next Tuesday. She’s not in the least bit bothered about the change!

Max:

Max hasn’t actually been weighed since the last update as he’s allowed monthly weigh ins now so that’ll happen when we go and see his paediatrician next week. I estimate he’s at least the heavy end of 11lbs if not 12lbs. He’s now mostly wearing 0-3m clothes but he does now fit into some of his 3-6m stuff which is good as we had lots of dungaree shorts and rompers in that size so it’s nice to get some use out of them before the summer ends!

The doctors are fairly confident that the anomaly in Max’s brain is just that rather than a bleed so they’re not too concerned about its effects and will rescan him in six months to get another look at the affected blood vessel. However there is worry about his diaphragm, with an X-ray showing it’s moved back up on the right side. Again he’ll be checked in six months to see what’s happening with his lung then but we have to keep an eye on his breathing in the meantime.

Most people say you’d never have any idea of the health issues he’s had. Max is the happiest, smiliest little boy and chats away all the time! We honestly couldn’t ask for a more good-natured baby (although today’s he’s been grumpy but that’s because he had his jabs yesterday so I can understand that).

He’s now having 5oz bottles at 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm and 8pm with the first four being expressed milk and the last one being Neocate formula. For the last two weeks he’s been sleeping through the night which is absolutely lovely. I don’t want to say he’s cracked sleeping through in case he goes back to waking up but actually when he wakes he’s not crying for food and will happily lie in his Moses basket for a bit. Or sometimes he doesn’t get up til about half 8 so it’s not as if he’s starving in the morning!

See you next month when the big one will be 2!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

22 Months And Three Months

I hope they always like each other this much.

As always, I’m back with a monthly update on both the children. Time marches on so they’re 22 months and three months now and both growing so well.

Alexandra:

Just two months away from her second birthday and Alex’s vocabulary has exploded. She’s much more willing now to repeat words you say which results in her attempting words like sausages and purple. Her particular favourite phrases are ‘see you soon’ ( said more like see soon so as a result I’ve started saying see soon in a really chirpy little voice to people), ta ta, ta da and of course no is used all the time in our house. She has occasionally started saying yes though!

It’s animal noises a plenty and she’s a firm fan of anything that roars (lion, tiger, dinosaur) as well as doing the best pig impression I’ve genuinely ever heard.

On the subject of animals, she still absolutely loves them and loved having a trip to the zoo this weekend. We also went to a farm in Wales where you could feed the animals and she spent so long with the goats feeding and stroking them bless her.

She’s just had a great report from nursery and will be starting her settling in sessions in the toddler room from next month. I’m not sure I’m ready for her to make the leap! I think she’ll cope better than me with the change.

Some exciting teeth news – all of her four canines have broken through in the last few weeks plus at least one of the back molars. I need to have another look soon but at the very most we’ve got three to go! We’ve been so lucky with teething as I know other children who’ve really suffered but she’s been largely unaffected which is great.

Alexandra loves her little brother and is mostly wonderful with him, although of course there are odd moments of jealousy and being silly. Overall she definitely knows how to throw a strop but when she’s not doing that she’s an absolute delight – eager to learn, confident, funny, loving.

Max:

Max is doing so fantastically well and we’re so proud as we really didn’t think he’d have progressed this well at three months.

At his last weigh in he was 10lb 3 and gaining nicely so they’re now happy for him to be weighed monthly rather than weekly. He’s also got longer and his head circumference has grown which are all really positive signs for his development.

He’s been struggling with reflux which we knew was likely to happen due to his hernia. But with some medication, putting his mattress on a slant and letting him nap on his front in the afternoon (I know you’re meant to keep them on their back but he’s SO much more settled that way) he’s been just about coping.

Despite everything going on, he’s got such a lovely nature and we’re getting plenty of smiles from him now along with some cooing. He smiles the most for Alexandra and you can tell he thinks she’s great!

He’s in 0 to 3 clothes now which is good progress although some stuff is still way too big for him.

Medically, his FPIES and CDH are completely under control so they’re just doing more checks on his brain but other than that he’s continuing to impress the doctors. His paediatrician remarked on his double chin last time we went for an appointment – I’d be offended if someone pointed mine out but in Max’s case the doctor was thrilled to see it!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

21 Months and 2 Months Old

I thought I’d combine a monthly update for both children, mostly as Max turned two months on the 26th and Alexandra turned 21 months on the 29th so we’d have two similar posts on the trot otherwise. Also because once she turns two I’ll probably do less frequent updates about Alex so it seemed to make sense to do it this way.

Alexandra:

This little one’s personality seems to be growing every day, she’s full of sass and is much too smart for her own good. We’re definitely experiencing the full force of tantrums now but on the flip side she’s also very loving and caring. She’s delightful with her brother and loves giving kisses to everyone, whether it’s us or her teddies.

Her vocabulary is expanding daily with new words including star, heart and circle (there’s been a new focus on shapes in our house!), blue, spoon and efforts to say Max, car (sounds like dar) and moo (she says boo instead!). We’ve been doing a lot of counting but that mainly involves shouting the number two which is her favourite number by far.

Alex is excellent at pointing out different objects, animals and people in her books and particularly enjoys playing with her farmyard animal matching game (they played something similar at nursery and the staff were very impressed with what a whizz she was at it).

She’s getting much better at feeding herself and eats 95 per cent of her meals without assistance. Fruit is still one of her favourite things, although strawberries have overtaken bananas this month as her ultimate fave. Alexandra had her first proper fringe trim at the hairdressers this month, has spent loads of time in the garden and at the park, has lots of new books thanks to both nans and is still obsessed with stars, flowers, playing boo and saying hello into the phone (or any object she wants to pretend is a phone).

Max:

Little Maxi is now two months old although people still think he’s just a few days old when they see him for the first time. He was 7lb 8.5 on the 23rd and is still wearing newborn clothes. He began smiling at seven weeks old which we were really impressed by as we were told it could be six weeks after his due date (which would be when he’s 11 weeks).

He still loves his cuddles and is happy for ages lay on anyone’s chest. He’s also a very hungry boy and has around 120ml every three hours, a mix of expressed milk and Neocate. He now spends time in his bouncer and his baby gym and enjoys having new things to look at.

He adores his sister and spends a lot of time looking at her and listening to her. Max’s eyes are starting to go a lighter blue and his hair is still a mid brown and hasn’t started falling out yet. He’s still got the strong grip so many nurses and doctors commented on when he was first born and he’s much more active now, getting to grips with moving his arms and legs.

All in all, both of them are doing amazingly and we are super proud parents!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

20 Months Old

Alexandra has now reached the grand old age of 20 months old – just four months til the terrible twos arrive (but isn’t it nice that she’s been practising for about a year already!).

The main thing which has developed since her last update (which was actually at 18 months due to the early arrival of her little brother) is her speech. We’re now hearing her say new things every day and just this week examples have included star, Dipsy (while watching Teletubbies) and bubbles. She’s attempting to say brother and now regularly says words in context including night night, hat, hot, nana (for my mom and said more like narna for banana). Animal noises she can do are ack for a duck’s quack, sss for a snake, aaah for a lion and oooo for a cow.

Activities –

She loves her new game which involves matching the baby animal to its parent, is constantly playing hide and seek (with accompanying shouts of boo and giggles while she’s hiding). Alexandra’s favourite thing is being outdoors, whether she’s helping daddy plant flowers in the garden, running round the park or visiting a National Trust place or farm (these are a particular hit given her love of animals).

Other changes including becoming much more aware of when she’s got a dirty nappy (which makes me think I need to do more research about potty training for when the time comes), becoming OBSESSED with bananas (I’m talking up to four a day) and of course the main one has been becoming a big sister. I’m going to talk about that in its own post so I won’t dwell on it here but suffice to say we’ve been very pleasantly surprised at how great she’s been with Max on the whole.

She’s definitely got her own mind and sometimes can be very challenging, like every toddler, but she’s also now becoming much more loving – offering cuddles and kisses more often, she’s very funny and she’s so inquisitive and smart. Aside from the tired tantrums, she’s a delight to have around at the moment!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

17 Months Old

So here we are again, another month on! Alexandra turned 17 months at the weekend. I was thinking recently how lovely it’ll be to have these posts as a record of her life to look back on, alongside all the photos of course.

Last month saw huge progress in terms of her talking and I feel like this month has been the same. She’s definitely much more understandable than she was before and is also making great use of hand actions to direct us when she doesn’t know the word. She’s a complete bossy boots, at the weekend she was telling her dolly off and then told daddy off (including shouting ‘no no daddy’ and waggling her finger at him) because he was drinking his drink which clearly she didn’t want him to do.

Alex is definitely catching up on the teeth front which is a relief as we thought she was going to remain a gummy bear forever! We’re now halfway there. She’s got all eight of her front teeth plus the first two molars at the top – to be honest we didn’t notice they were there for a while as she just bites us if we try and put our fingers in her mouth, so there’s a chance the bottom ones might be there too. I’m really glad she doesn’t appear to be suffering too much with them.

She’s still loving nursery and we had a good report from her key worker at parents’ evening, they’ve got no concerns about her really. She doesn’t seem to talk much while she’s there even though she’s chattering away all the time at home.

To celebrate turning 17 months, we put on Wizard of Oz. For some reason, Dylan started playing the songs to her to calm her down whenever she was crying when she was tiny but she’s never actually seen the film. We expected her to watch maybe half an hour at most but she actually watched all of it! Just shows she can concentrate when she wants to.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

15 Months Old

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Alexandra is 15 months old today, and I’m not going to do a spiel about how quickly time is passing because I do that every time! This month has been a pretty hectic one in terms of development.

Teeth: We’ve now got four! Alex is obviously working on the theory that slow and steady wins the race and we’re hoping she may have most of her milk teeth by the time she turns 25.

Walking: She’s pretty pro at walking now and has developed a hilarious diagonal run where she’s looking in a completely different direction to the one she’s going in.

Talking: This is where she’s made the most progress this month, this time last month we had daddy, mommy, nana, yes and no but now a whole host of words have been added to that list including there, oh dear, oops (which she says in a really high-pitched voice and it sounds more like oats, hilarious), hi, bye and didi which is how she says baby.

Social life: We joined Tumble Tots this month, which means every Wednesday Alex gets to go and be a budding gymnast for 45 minutes, she loves it but we both find it tiring! In my other posts I’ve also talked about how she’s also in the process of starting nursery, so she’s definitely got a lot busier!

Tantrums: We really struggled through a couple of weeks of this month – I don’t know whether it was teething pain, having a cold or she just generally wanted to be a nause for a bit but we were considering relegating her to the shed. Luckily she seems to have got a little bit better, I don’t know if that’s because of the new much busier schedule I mentioned above or what but I’m thankful either way.

Toys: Her favourite toys to play with at the moment are her shape sorter, dolly and pram and her new train set. She also loves lots of her teddies, especially her bunny and Piglet who both get snotty kisses multiple times a day. Lucky them! New games also include finding mommy’s eyes, nose and mouth (rather enthusiastically, so if you see me wearing a patch a la Gabrielle that’s why).

Overall a busy month with lots of ‘oh she’s never done that before!’ moments…

Harriet and Alexandra x

Is It Okay To Have A Favourite?

Very pleased with herself.

Very pleased with herself.

Sometimes in life it feels like parenthood is portrayed as one big party, as if from the moment of conception right through until your little darling has their own babies and beyond is just one big ball of excellent. Other sources will have you believe that bringing up a child is probably the worst thing you’ll ever choose to do and, if it doesn’t drive you to an expensive drinking habit, it will leave your life AND your hoo-ha in tatters.

In reality, like most things, it’s a little bit in between isn’t it? Some days you wish no matter how you much you love your little one that you could perhaps just have a poo in peace (sorry) or eat the entirety of your own snack that you bought just for you to eat because it’s your favourite (yeah, so not gonna happen. Fact: toddlers actually have special powers which enable them to be able to hear a wrapper opening no matter how quietly you do it in the other room. The powers increase in proportion with how much you were looking forward to eating the snack). Equally there are some days when you put them to bed and watch them sleeping and think about how amazing and cute they are and what an excellent thing you did by bringing this little snoozing angel into the world.

I think it’s also fair to say that everyone has their favourite bit of parenting. Some people relish the early days when you’re knee deep in sick, milk and more sick. Some people are just excellent at parenting moody teenagers. I’ve only been a parent for 14 months (I just googled out on interest and Alexandra will be 446 days old when this post goes live) so I’ll probably have to stick at it for a little while longer until I can evaluate where my strong points have been. But so far I have to say Alex was excellent at around six months old. I mean, I liked her before but around that age it just felt extra nice to be around her! I then quite liked the phase around ten/11 months where it seemed like she was learning new things every day.

14 months hasn’t been my favourite so far simply because she’s so GRUMPY! Tantrums galore and tiredness abundant, it’s been a long month!

Harriet and Alexandra x