7 Month Summary

Yesterday Baby E turned 7 months. Before having him I only ever uttered the phrase ‘time flies when you are having fun’ in a sarcastic manner, but no more. Time really does seem to tumble away as you watch the tiny little person you created grow and develop and I don’t think I have ever laughed and smiled so much in my life as I have done the past 7 months. So here is a glimpse into what 7 month old Baby E is like.

Milestones

Baby E has been rolling from his back to his belly smoothly and unassisted for some time now, however the roll back seems to elude him most of the time at the moment. This results in a sight not unlike a stranded turtle on his shell, except this little turtle is on his belly with his head craned high searching for some help. He is also doing something that faintly resembles an early crawl, although his version involves some good strong leg action (thank you jumperoo) coupled with a smoosh of his face along the ground, those hands and arms need to get in on the action. We are currently working up to being able to sit up completely unaided and Baby E can manage a few wobbly seconds alone before making that all important decision of ‘baby left or baby right’. Overall his movement is more considered and deliberate and he is making good progress with a little support. Two pearly whites have also broken through at the front of his lower gums and he has become a very chatty little man. Noises range from low grunts and growls, to high pitched squeals and a sweet sing-song voice, ‘boobooboo’ also seems to be a favourite means of communication.

Sleep

The topic even strangers ask me about. Baby E is, dare I say it…a pretty good sleeper now. He usually goes down for his night time sleep just after 7pm and now usually sleeps through until around 6 am most days. This can vary though and he can wake anywhere between 5.30am and 7.30am. If its on the early side then we try to encourage and comfort him back to sleep, which is not guaranteed but can work. As for day time naps I feel it is important for Baby E to try and get a good nap in the morning as I feel it really makes a difference for the rest of the day and he will normally nap for an hour and a half to two hours. In the afternoon Baby E tends to favour two shorter naps lasting 20-30 minutes a time.

Eating

Weaning is well underway and Baby E is doing a mixture of purees and finger foods. He is loving sweet potato, banana, plums and seems to be favouring fruit now after preferring vegetables at the start of the process. He also loves a yoghurt and really enjoys eating pieces of fruit in his Munchkin fresh food holder. Textured purees are definitely not a hit with him at the moment and he is not shy about letting you know, he can also sniff out a carrot in any guise and has so far refused to even entertain the thought of consuming even a morsel. I am finding that the homemade purees I am making based on Annabel Karmels Quick and Easy Weaning book have a much stronger flavour to them than the pouches and jars and at the moment, particularly with meat and veg, Baby E is mildly more enthusiastic about the blander tasting options.

Favourite Things

7 Month SummarySince getting his jumperoo from Santa, Baby E has been loving it. He interacts with all the attached jungle toys and the poor parrot that hangs above him came a cropper recently when he finally managed to reach up and get a good hold of him. He knows exactly what is happening when you lower him into the gaping frog mouth seat and Baby E’s little legs start going like a dogs held above water. Another firm favourite is a Jelly Cat giraffe called James (pronounced Ha-mez, named after a Columbian footballer – can you tell my husband made me endure most of the football World Cup during the later stages of my pregnancy). Baby E is also getting more into story time and will sit peacefully and listen and follow my fingers pointing out the pictures and words as I read. Granted, he does need a ‘distraction book’ (a small, hard cardboard one) to hold and chew on otherwise the main story would quickly turn into a mass of saliva covered pulp before I reach the end of the story.  Baby E is also a massive fan of tickles and an even bigger fan of the anticipation of a good tickle. He can read the ‘about to tickle you’ signs well and giggles endlessly while thrashing about. He also loves getting carried by his dad while I chase them around the house, much to the amusement of my neighbours I am sure.

So that’s an insight into Baby E as a 7 month old. Right, I am away to look at all his newborn photos and repeatedly exclaim ‘aww look how tiny he was there’ and ‘remember when he…’ and I’ll enjoy every minute.

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7 Month Routine

Routine I said it, the R word. It will now be jinxed and I can expect all kinds of hell to break loose tomorrow. Ah well, at least I will have this post as a memento. We have always approached routines with Baby E as a meeting in the middle kind of affair. A bit of what we want and need but also being led by him. At 7 months this is what his typical daily routine looks like.

Baby E tends to wake around 6am, this is a prime example of him taking the lead rather than what we ideally want. Usually he is quite happy to thrash around playing with his cot toys and Mr W and myself get a much appreciated 20 minutes to accept we are getting out of bed to start our day. Baby E is quite happy to have a cuddle and a nosey out the window to assess the day before getting his ‘big milk’ (7oz) and flavoured porridge just after 7am. He then gets a quick top & tail and dressed before playing, reading and some jumperoo time.

Baby E starts showing the signs he is ready for his first nap somewhere around 9.30am. This consists of a crazy head shake, long, slow blinking and a good dose of eye rubbing. If he feels we are not taking the hint he may throw in a good grunt and growl for good measure. The morning nap normally is the big one and lasts for one and a half to two hours. When he wakes its time for his ‘snack milk’ (about 5oz). Then some play mat time, a walk or heading into town depending on the day.

Lunch time is around 12.30-1.00pm where Baby E will either accept or decline a puree and will almost always accept an Ella’s Kitchen yoghurt, rusk, or  piece of fruit and water. If we are out and about Baby E’s will be in his pushchair playing with his pram toys, zip or whatever his little hands can grab all while taking in the world around him. If we are home this will be more playtime together, punctuated with a few good tickling sessions. Afternoon napping is usually 2 shorter naps of around half an hour but he has recently started dropping the later afternoon nap which, fingers crossed seems to be giving him a better nights sleep. He will also take another ‘snack milk’ between 3-4pm.

Dinner is around 5pm where again he will be offered a puree and will take either a yoghurt, rusk or piece of fruit depending on what he had for lunch and some water. At around 6pm we start our bedtime wind down – bath, jammies and cuddles followed by getting into his sleeping bag and a ‘big milk’ in his nursery with the nightlight on. Baby E tends to fall asleep just after 7pm and is now settled for the rest of the night, most of the time (hurrah!).

Then we get up and do it again…well I hope so after jinxing it with the R word.

Weaning – The Early Days

With Baby E reaching 7 months at the end of this week we are well underway with the early stages of weaning so thought it would be a good time to reflect on how we are getting on. Settle in, its a long one.

The signs…

Baby E had his first delicious taste of solid food (read: practically liquidised sweet potato) just before the 6 month mark. At this point he just seemed to be a little less satisfied with his usual milk feeds and his hand eye coordination was very good with everything he encountered ending up in his mouth. I was aware that around this time is the recommended stage to begin weaning and when he started staring longingly at our food disappearing into our faces I knew it was time. I have also quickly learned to read the signs that Baby E gives while feeding – an open mouth means ‘this is delicious, give me more and be speedy about it’, accepting the food in between blowing raspberries means ‘I’ll eat it but I am not impressed’, a consistently open mouth accompanied by drool and a high pitched squeak means ‘you sneaked that in there, this is a battle of wills’ and a closed mouth with a low feral growl means ‘this muck shall not pass my lips’.

The tools…

Some of the products I have found useful include the Munchkin Silicone Spoons, which Baby E seems to find more comfortable to gum as they are softer. The Tommee Tippee Explora Babyfood Blender, which is a compact little blender that I have found ideal for making purees in reasonably small batches and we got it on sale on Amazon for £10, bargain. A good number of baby weaning freezer pots from Tesco and Asda for storing and freezing purees – tip – try to get the pots that have the lids attached as I have spent a good deal of time counting and searching for those pesky little detachable lids. The Mothercare Valencia Highchair Summer, which is white and natural wood with a 5 point harness and a comfy wipe clean insert which is sold separately. It is reasonably priced compared to many highchairs we looked at, sturdy and so far it has been easy to clean. Mesh fresh food feeders, we have Munchkin ones and both Baby E and I love them. Baby E can get a good grip on them, seems to like the feel of it on his gums and enjoys its secondary use as a drumstick on his highchair. I love it as it minimises the risk of choking, I never did appreciate how slippy a mango slice is until I saw it slithering into Baby E’s mouth like that Lady and the Tramp spaghetti scene. Finally, as many large bibs as you can store!

The food…

I had long held the idyllic notion of making all of baby E’s food and watching him tuck in to it with enthusiasm. So with this in mind I set about purchasing Quick and Easy Weaning by Annabel Karmel and Finger Food for Babies & Toddlers by Jennie Maizels. As yet I have not delved too far into trying out the finger foods other than popping some fruit into Baby E’s mesh fruit and veg holder, favourites include banana, strawberry and plum. He has also tried rusks and seems to enjoy being in control of holding his own food and feeding himself on his terms but is still working on getting used to the texture and having something substantial to chew and swallow. In terms of purees we started off simple, he enjoyed sweet potato, apple made him gag and he just refused to entertain the idea of consuming carrot altogether…and still does. We then got adventurous and moved onto some of the more complex purees in Annabel Karmels book, lemon sole and spinach anyone? So far he is not a massive fan of anything beyond a single flavour and is highly suspicious of anything with texture. My hours spent lovingly chopping, cooking and pureeing seem to be going a little underappreciated thus far. One thing that is a huge hit is his flavoured porridge for breakfast which is lovingly made by Cow & Gate rather than me unfortunately.

The experience…

I approached weaning with the view that it was a fun activity for Baby E and I (a view which has been
tested as I sat wearing most of the delicious butternut squash and apricot I had prepared) and seeing Baby E devour something he clearly enjoys is a sight that makes me smile. My idyllic notion of preparing all of his meals by hand has been slightly modified to trying to ensure that at least one of his meals a day is made by yours truly. This is due to a few reasons which only became clear through actually starting the weaning process. The first is the realisation that the meals I can spend a whole afternoon preparing are likely to end up on the floor, various items of clothing and body parts and pretty much anywhere but that tiny little tummy I am trying to fill. It stings a little less if the food that now decorates my baby and me comes from a pouch and also means that I can spend more time playing with Baby E rather than being locked in the kitchen. The second is that after doing a comparison of cost the ingredients I bought for a particular weeks worth of handmade meals I found it was at least double that of what it would cost if I bought the pouches to cover the same timeframe. The third reason is convenience when venturing outside, the pouches option is simply easier.

Overall, weaning so far has been enjoyable and a learning curve for both Baby E and I. I am off to get covered in the butternut squash, tomato and red pepper delight I have prepared, pass me the wet wipes.