Sunday, November 13, 2011

14.5 months

Yes, it's rather late, but my computer has been having some serious issues for the last few weeks. It's a pity, because it was a rather exciting time. Rachael took a few steps on her 13 month birthday. But then refused to for another 3 weeks. I don't know if she fell over too many times that day, or simply forgot she could do it the next morning. But she did decide to start again eventually, and is well and truely walking now (when she feels like it anyway).

Other highlights of the last six weeks for Rachael include the visitation of Tabitha, Addie and Clementine. Rachael found the two girls to be a bit intimidating, but did still have some fun. I have found that she loves to have one playmate (Jack or Noah are lots of fun), but two or more children seems to be a bit much for her (Jack and Orlani), at this stage, so she will be rather clingy until one child goes home, and will start to have fun with just the one, right when it is time for us to go home.I haven't downloaded any pictures yet, will have to do so I can post some.

In the last week Rachael has also had a virus that gave her a fever and was sleepy for a few days. Of course, as soon as I took her to the doctor to have it checked out (costing $100, being a Public Holiday), she got better. I think her eye teeth may not be too far off either. Of course they may be stubborn and take a few months yet, but I'd prefer to have it over.

I had a personal highlight yesterday, getting to meet, and actually have a chat to Pinky McKay. I was rather excited about it. I've only discovered her when Rachael was about 12 months, reading the "Toddler Tactics" book Tabitha gave me a while ago. I wish I'd had her baby book when Rachael was born. Her philosophy on raising babies/toddlers really fit into what I felt instinctively, which was quite different to the other baby/toddler books I had. Trying to explain it to someone else (particually who has not had children) is a bit hard. The concept of treating a child with love, support, having realistic expectations based on their capability, and being respectful of the child a human being; it sounds so obvious. That's what makes it hard to explain how it is so different. I do also enjoy getting her fortnightly email. It's good to be reminded to parent gently, it's so easy to get caught back in doing things "to" the child, rather than seeing it from their side.
I'm not here to bash anyone else's parenting style, but books that tell me I should be weaning my toddler regardless of either of us desire to or she'll risk malnutrition; and having parents stop each other from going in to comfort a scared baby to "train" them to sleep are not right for ME. And I am of the belief that is it not right for Rachael, being the unique and sensitive individual that she is.

And on a train of thought from that, it took 14 months, but  Rachael is finally able to sleep in her own cot for daytime sleeps. This makes for one rather happy mummy, as I can have a small time to myself, as I am right now. As long as you don't plan to eat in that time; because I'm sure the beep of a microwave could wake Rachael even from a coma. Contrary to popular opinion (as I have been made very aware) I see this new delevopment (independant sleep, not microwave food) as a sucess, not a failure of our parenting. We did what Rachael needed to feel secure for the time she needed it, but having developed enough, (probably due to having gained some idea of object permanence), she is now ready to sleep by herself. Do I think everyone should do it? Heck no, it just seems that Rachael has a higher comfort and security need than the majority of children of her age. We never set out to do it like that, I don't think anyone ever would, but we see it as responding to her needs, rather than making a "rod for your back". In the end what I knew would happen occured- she's do it when she's ready. Hippy much? Oh well, it's my blog after all. I'm just noting what works for me as I go along, I'm not pretending to be an expert on anything; parenting, nutrition or breastfeeding (or not) included.

Foodwise, Rachael will eat, drink water and milk I've left, well for everyone else except me. For me, she is insitant on breastmilk only. I did get to have a discussion with Pinky about this (eeek), and she assures me that she'll still be getting adequate nutrition, and will grow out of this phase in her own time. In addition, it may have something to do with breastmilk having an analgesic effect, so if it's helping with her teething (seriously, when isn't she teething?), it's natural that she may prefer it when thiongs are bothering her.

One thing that keeps coming back again and again is that she'll do things when she's ready, in her own time. You'd think I already would know that, but it seems a lesson I've got to learn over and over to trust her.

She's also super-cute at the moment (to me at least). Yesterday Jai realised that when I'm not home, and she wants a drink of her milk, she'll do her own sign for a breastfeed (I gave up on trying to teach her the "proper" sign, hers will doquite fine), and then point. What she is pointing at is the picture of us at our wedding on the wall. So she wants a drink of mummy's milk. Awwwww. That melts my heart.

The flip side is that my baby has definately turned into a Toddler. As soon as she's started walking, the tantrums have begun. Mobilisation has allowed her to move from one activity that she know's she's not allowed to do, to another in quick succession, resulting in a string of "no"s. Poor girl. That's rather fustrating to her. Supermarkets and shops now have a new allure, seeing as she can now get to them, she want to go test everything out. Somehow clingyness goes right out the window when it comes to exploring, and she's quite happy to wander off to investigate in the shops, despite having no idea where I am at the time (yes, I do actually know where she is though). But these situations also encourage tantrums, no vocals or kicking yet, just throwing herself forward onto the floor. Thinking back, I should have avoided some of these situations by being more careful of when she is out. Shopping when she was tired never was a problem when she would just fall asleep in the carrier, but tiredness mixed with the ultrastimulation of a department store is just begging for a meltdown. Another mummy thing to learn: think about what time is best for her, not just most convenient for me.

Okie dokie, after all that I think I need some lunch. If she's still asleep I might see about getting some photos up

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

As promised

As promised on the 11 month post, I said I'd get a photo of Rachael smiling in the pool eventually

I keep my promises:

This was just before her swimming lesson last Wednesday. There weren't even any faces being pulled in the background or anything, this is just how she relates to the water now.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

13 months

Goodness that last month went fast. Mayby I wrote the 12 month post late?
I have really enjoyed this last month with Rachael, I'd say it's been my favourite yet.

This has been a big month for communication development, and when she can tell me what she's on about (a bit anyway), we're both a lot happier.
Rachael has taken on some gestures, in addition to the waving she got the hang of a couple of months ago she can now point at everything she wants, can nod and shake her head with meaning and enthusiasm. There's defintaely no doubt that she means 'no'. Rachael has also picked up the sign for "finished". We didn't teach it to her specifically, but we sort of do it withouit thinking about it and she picked up it. The actual sign is a bit beyond her at the moment, but if she's in her highchair and starts waving her right hand at you, it means she's finished. And in typical Rachael style, finished is finished NOW, and she will make it quite well known if you haven't removed the food and got her out of the highchair in the time she determines as appropriately fast.
I've just bought a baby signing book, as she is obviously receptive to learning signs at the moment, and a few more words to communicate would help out.

Rachael has just picked up her second verbal word. The first was dad, the second is "Yay". Anything she enjoys is "yay", and it's so incredibly cute when she's enjoying herself, having plenty of 'yay's.

The last few days have also provided an exciting development. From sitting, Rachael has been able to stand herself up unaided, and can take a few steps from there. Very exciting, but she won't do it on cue, just when she feels like it, so we'll just have to keep watching.

Rachael isn't eating very much at home of late (still plenty of feeds), but when she does, she wants to only eat using her own knife and fork. Finger food is only accepted sometimes. If she drops/throws her fork or spoon, she'll often use her fingers for a few minutes, and then decide that she wants to use my cutlery instead.

I'm not so good at getting pictures since changing computers, so I'll see if I've got one to add later

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Birthday little one

A this time a year ago I was in labour (and not having too much fun)

Rachael Ava Wiseman was born into this world at 9:16pm on 1st September 2010 at 6 pound 13 ounces.
It's been a big year and our little girl has changed the world of her parents forever.
One week old
Rachael now

Happy first birthday my beautiful baby girl

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Spotty Dotty Flu

Well no, it's not the flu at all, but I think we had a kids book about the spotty dotty flu.

Rachael has been fairly miserable for the last week. Been refusing her food, had a temperature, runny nose, drooling, loose nappies, clingy and lasck of energy, the whole kaboodle. So we presume teething. Don't we presume teething for everything? Anything unexplained in a baby we write off as teething. It's a most convenient answer because they can teethe for months before getting their first tooth, then there's 19 more after that to get in the next two years, so pretty much they're getting teeth at any time. The confusing thing was, which tooth? At 5 teeth- two bottom, three top, the most obvious answer is the matching top tooth. But it's progress down the gums is happening, but at a very slow pace, it's not looking like it's going to come through anytime soon.

So we are expecting the other "number 3".
Saturday she was pretty unhappy, and we gave her some Panadol overnight to help (we don't use it very often). Sunday was a very cranky day, even for ma, so there was some more Panadol at lunch time before she went to Jack's birthday party, and she really picked up. About 6 hours later, after her afternoon sleep, things got bad again. This is when (while she was crying), I noticed a white spot in her mouth. Turns out she has the tips of a tooth coming through- a molar on her left side.

That's not supposed to be next, there's supposed to be 6 more before then. Looks like she hasn't been reading the baby books again.
Big tooth coming through; that explains a lot.

Monday Rachael developed a light rash on her back. I figure it was either heat rash from the fevers she's been having, or a minor food reaction from the party. Tuesday the rash spread to her tummy, so we took her to the doctor. Turns out she's caught a virus called Roseola infantum.

The basics of it is that Roseola infantum is a virus that 95% of children will have by the time they reach the age of two. The child will have fever for 3-5 days, then get a rash for about two days when the fever goes away. Some kids will get the fever without the rash, so parents may not even know they've had it. It has a incubation time of about 9 days, and is only contagious before the symptoms appear. What I find odd that if just about every kid will get the virus, it's not listed in the Babycentre rash guide I looked up.

More info:

We were initially concerned we'd have to cancel Rachael's birthday celebration on Friday, but after research, it seems she would have been contagious a few weeks ago, but probably hasn't been for the last week anyway, so the party is still on.

What the chances a kid is going to cut a molar that's not due and have a virus in the same week as their birthday party?

The spots should go away by tommorrow, so we're just left with the teething symptoms. Mainly the food rejection. I hope she gets back onto solids soon, because a 12 month old who is only drinking breastmilk (and lots of it- more often than the old 3 hourly) is getting very messy in the washing clothing department, and tiring overnight, even though we are co-sleeping at the moment.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

11 months

It's a rather exciting time to be watching Rachael grow. There are so many new achievements, and she's on the cusp of some new developments. Although, it's also quite nice to have her asleep on my lap at the moment-she is still my baby girl, after all.

Where to start? Eating is still very much a day to day thing. One day/meal/minute Rachael can eat quite a lot, but there are still plenty of days that while her food can make its way all over her chair/ bib/mouth, side of cheek/in eyebrows/rubbed into back of head/under legs/all up and down her outfit/ thrown onto the floor, none of it actually makes it into her mouth, let alone into her stomach. Not to mention how many crumbs can make it into our bed.
But that's ok. We are still committed to ongoing breastfeeding, so we can be fairly relaxed about her input of solids. I am also happy that we have been able to get past the biting stage. Much thanks to Mr Google on how to get through it. Although it ended up only lasting a week or so, it had the potential to become a big problem if not handled well. Thankfully it was not repeated when the next set of teeth made their way through.

And speaking of teeth, tooth number 5 will be breaking its way through the gums within the next week it seems. Teething behavior never really stopped after teeth 3 and 4 (they started coming through about 5 weeks ago), so we were sure 5 and 6 would be on their way sooner rather than later.

Rachael's hair is starting to thicken up. There is still very little of it, but the texture has definately changed. It also no longer sits down if you stroke it down. That, combined with the fact she loves to pull everything over her head (with the exception of clothing) amounts to permanent hat hair.

We have started swimming lessons with Rachael. Not so good on that point. From when she was born, she hated baths.

First bath

We figured she'd get better once we left hospital. It never did, and once we discovered her love of the shower, we stuck with that.

Enjoying her shower a week later
We have tried her in the baby bath on multiple occasions, but haven't had any luck, She also demanded to get out when we tried to share our normal sized bath with her. Even now, when she is as big as the baby bath, she seems scared stiff of it.
We were hopeful of more success in the pool, where she could hold onto a parent and feel secure a la shower. No such luck. The day before her first lesson, we visited the pool, watching other lessons. On the day, she wasn't keen on the change room, and absolutely hated the pool. In fact, she managed to cry pretty much the whole lesson. We switched parents, which did help a small amount. We even bought the dummy into the pool part ways through, which also helped a little, but she still was not liking it. It would have looked rather strange to everyone else in the pool centre (who were all very aware that she was there) to see the crying baby in the pool, with both parents, sucking a dummy while the other kids enjoyed the activities.
I have been asked by several people if we will continue with the lessons. We will. If she had been a younger baby, we may have put it off for a while. But at 11 months, if she was going to grow out of it, she probably would have, so we are proceeding with the familiarisation route. Between the first and second lessons, I took her to the pool for a few hours, to get her a little more used of it. As a result, we have got to the stage where we can eventually get her into the water with a minimum of fuss. Small steps, but we'll take any small improvements. Second lesson was a slight improvement on the first, but we still have a long way to go. We will go in of our own time once a week in addition to the lesson so we can get her more used to the water. Hopefully we'll get a smiley face picture in the pool in the next few months.

The personally most exciting development are to her movement. Rachael can, when choosing, perform an ordinary crawl. A crawl often starts off this way. But predominantly returns to the one leg, one foot version. This version also appears to give more traction on tiles, where "standard" crawling seems a bit slippery. What has not changed is that all crawling performed is at Rachael's will only. It's frequency is increasing, but she still isn't a convert to the crawling way of thinking. Crawling is good to follow dad or grandma to see what's happening, or to get to the pantry to investigate, but isn't a preferred mode of transport. Assisted walking is great fun though- it is quick, and allows Rachael to be able to pick up an item and bring it with her. She often enjoys pulling herself up to standing on the couch. Just in the last few days, Rachael has, on a few occasions, stood herself up from sitting on a parent to stand up to an object. As the beginning of balance, I find that very exciting. She has also, a couple of times, taken a single step alone when going from one parent to another. I don't think she knows she did it though.

On a personal note, I have celebrated my 25th birthday. We had not given Rachael chocolate or cake yet, but we let her indulge in her first bit of chocolate cake. I think she enjoyed it, and was looking for more :)

It's now only a month until Rachael is able to celebrate her own first birthday

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

10 months

I'm a couple of days late on this one.

Biggest thing first- as per previous post, at 9.5 months, Rachael decided it was about time to get moving. Her style isn't exactly conventional, but it gets her there- sometimes. Overall, Rachael is not at all impressed with the idea of crawling (mayby that's why she never bothered with it for so long). She'll only crawl on occasion, should she feel like it. Pretty much it's kept for getting to things she knows that she isn't allowed to. For everyday movement, she much prefers to "walk" holding onto someone's hands. If she wants to walk- just about all the time- there is no way you're going to be able to convince her that crawling is a perfectly acceptable alternative. A screaming tantrum lets you know in no uncertain terms that it's walking or nothing. After saying all this however, we have started babyproofing. A house you think is pretty ok turns out not to be when there's a bub there. She is remarkably quick to crawl to things that she shouldn't. Power cords, daddy's office papers, catalogues to chew. So far it's Rachael 1, house 0 after she managed to pull over the lamp in her room, leaving it minus a lampshade.

In the last week, Rachael has caught onto the concept of waving. It's very cute. I am sure I've caught her trying to say bye-bye on a couple of occasions. But in baby language, you can never be too sure what's real, and what's in your head. Should it prove to be correct, it might be her first meaningful word. Eith way, she is enjoying this new "game" of waving, and the attention it brings, particually from both grandmothers.

We think she might be teething again. It's always hard to know, but she has been feeding pretty much every 1.5 hours today.

In an update to the 9 month post, Rachael is no longer scared of the singing dog. She hasn't quite yet figured out which pieces to press to activate it, but is she presses it into the floor, it will inevidably activate one part.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

9 months

Yes, Rachael is now 9 months old. If 2/3 way through her first year was enough last month, she's 3/4 the way through now!
Rachael is weighing in at a chubby 8kg, growing out of her clothing in width, rather than length. I tried putting a gorgeous denim pleated skirt, with little white belt on her this last week for a birthday party, but couldn't get it over her thighs no matter how much I tried, let alone her backside. So it was elastic pants for us instead. Rachael got a helium baloon at the party, which was a new experience.

Although we had a bit of a slow start with BLW, it is going really well for us now. The addition of her two bottom teeth have helped things along a lot, so she sometimes can eat a whole (small) piece of a food if she is rather keen on it. This week hasn't been an overly happy week, as her first top teeth are cutting. It will further help her chewing, but makes things rather miserable for now. We have also moved onto loading a spoon with food, which Rachael places into her own mouth. For example, dinner tonight consisted of marinated steak (yum to chew on), green beans (she didn't actually eat), carrots, and mashed potatoe on a spoon, that she could put into her own mouth.
Today Rachael has been exploring a singing/talking dog toy we bought her, but she's actually scared of it. oops.

No major physical developments to report this month. Rachael still shows very little interest in crawling, regardless of how much we try to encourage it. She is rather interested in walking though. She believes she can stand, walk and climb, but doesn't have half the balance required to do any of it.

Rachael still enjoys going shopping and charming everyone in sight.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

8 months

It seems crazy, but Rachael is 8 months old. She's 2/3 through the first year of her life. That's pretty big for me. My little baby I took home from the hospital isn't so little anymore.
Tori and Rachael 3 days old

  She'll be one before I know it, it seems. She is asleep on my lap right now, which means she still gets to be my baby for a little longer

Rachael has had her first two teeth come through. Rachael discovered what to do with them (besides biting mummy) while eating some pieces of raw apple for the first time. She seemed pretty proud of herself, and rather enjoyed the apple. It must be rather odd to suddenly grow teeth, having no idea what they are. As a result, she spends a good part of her day with her tongue out of her mouth, just feeling her new teeth. On the upside, she enjoys the fact that she has refound the art of blowing raspberries, which was out of favour for a while.

Rachael has also started to say "mum". I'm not getting too carried away with it however, as she only says it when she's hungry and demanding a feed. Mum mum mum mum is a continuation of the mmmmm sound that proceeded it. So "mum" pretty much means "I'm hungry, feed me NOW". Other people seem pretty excited to hear it though.

While still not crawling yet, Rachael is pretty proficient at rolling around to get what she wants. She has also hopped along on her bum- once, and that was to get to Aunty Katie's laptop cord. Feat has not been repeated since. Crawling is still only getting as far as getting her backside into the air, or her arms up, but rarely both at once.

For several weeks, Rachael's obsession has been standing, holding onto the hands of a parent. Any time you offer your hands to help her from lying to sitting, she pulls right up to standing. She'd spend the whole day standing if you had the stamina to hold her the whole time. Unfortunately, she has very little balance, but that doesn't stop her trying things. Her confidence is better than her balance, she insists on trying to climb (mainly up a parent's body), picking up toys, or just looking at her own feet.

Foodwise, we haven't found a meat Rachael doesn't like. Steak, roast beef, chicken, fish, lamb- they're all on the good list. Vegetables are ok, give her a lettuce leaf, she'll pound it into the table. Salads don't seem to be her thing. A girl after my own heart :) 

Rachael has a specific "look at me" sound to attract the attention of other people. She had a great time while shopping in her hug-a-bub this week. Every single store we went into, she made her presence known, and sure enough, got herself plent of attention. While she was very pleased with herself, she's getting a bit heavy to be carried around for so long, my shoulders still aren't loving me a few days later.

Monday, April 25, 2011


There have been a whole heap of significant days this week, that got me thinking about what traditions to start with Rachael.

Good Friday morning we were lucky enough to get invited to go along with Nic, Hannah, Finnian and "ma" to the walk of the stations of the cross. Long story short, having two prams and a toddler, we ended up being up the back so we couldn't hear much, ended up cold and wet. Regardless of this, it was realy nice to share this occasion, and I think we'll be back in future years, hopefully with better weather and the ability to hear it.

This morning Rachael, Jai and I attended the ANZAC Day dawn service with dad, Katie and Tori. Dad and I have been going together for about 7 years or so, in recent years with Jai. Rachael atteded by default last year (I had to kneel part of the time because my pregnant body had a severe lack of blood pressure). I can't remember if in years previous we went (we may have). It became more significant for me after, as a cadet, I was priveledged enough to serve on a Catafalque party at a dawn service. Going with dad (and others, depending on the year), is a special tradition for me, and I want to continue it.

We were able to spend time with members of both sides of our family over Easter. It was really good to do this.

I hope that in years to come we can continue these traditions, as they mark significant things, and have a great sense of community

Saturday, April 2, 2011

7 months

Another month has passed (very quickly), and Rachael is now 7 months old.

27.3.2011 Rachael was Christened at St Aloysius. Her godparents are her Aunties Nicole and Tabitha. I was a little concerned about how she would go having the water tipped over her hed, as she screams in horror should I try to bath her in the baby bath, but it turns out that she was too busy checking out what the priest was up to, to notice the water.
(Aww, those two are so cute)

She wasn't so keen on the Stoll though, she was trying to take it off the whole time

She was very good throughout the service though.
We enjoyed an afternoon with family, and dug out the top tier of our wedding cake, which survived a year and a half in the freezer quite well.

Another major event was the visitation of Rachael's cousins Adelaide (18 months) and Clementine (2 1/2 months). It was our first chance to meet Clementine. You forget so quickly how floppy, light and placid they are at that age. Although I suspect altough light, Rachael may not have been ever so calm as her cousin.
The three of them had a "play" session, although they are all at such different stages, they had nothing in common to "play"
We decided to try to get the first picture of the three of them. Not easy when Adddie had no intention of staying put for the photo.

But I think they're super cute anyway.
Rachael hasn't met any younger babies before, so was quite interested in Clementine, but if course has no idea of the word gentle yet. But she did recognise they dummy on dummy holder attatched to Tiny, and thought it'd be fun to pull at

I wonder how long it'll be before Tiny outgrows Rachael? Not very long I suspect But we did manage to get a cute picture of Rachael, who is getting the hang of smiling for the camera.

Developmentally wise, Rachael is rolling with intent now. She can roll around the room to get to the toy/couch/powercord that catches her fancy. She hasn't started to crawl yet, but has learnt another way of getting the toy that is too far to reach- she pulls her play rug (as seen above) towards her, and the toy comes to her.

Foodwise, Rachael isn't as keen as we first thought. Although the concept of food looks great, the execution is a bit tricky, so not much makes it to her tummy. One thing we can be sure she eats is carrots though. There has been eveidence that she has consumed carrots of both the orange and purple varieties, thanks to Aunty Katie. Toast is good to munch on in the morning, but by the pile of soggy, gummed bread I'm left with, I doubt very much gets in. Rachael does have the ability to always get soggy toast on the back of her head. How, I'm not sure yet.

Rachael's favourite food is most definately meat. Chicken from stirfry, Roast beef and Lamb from Kebabs, they are most enthusiastically enjoyed. The peice looks rather ragged after she has sucked on it for a good 20 minutes or more. Without any teeth as of yet, sucking the juices is as far as it can get.

Fruits and veg tend to get a play with, but we tend to have enough bits all over the place at the end, that the whole piece must still be  left. I tried her with some banana yesterday, babies are supposed to love banana right? Not this one. She screwed up her nose at the taste, and after a while of trying to get the precious goodness in (they're $12.99 a kg at the moment), I gave up, and was left with squashed bits of wet banana. Nice. Oh well, got to remember "Food for fun until one". I've had a few moments of late where I've been tempted to give up on BLW and shove some mash in, but plan to stick with it for now.
For the last week, Rachael has had terrible wind at night, and spent more time crying/ midnight feeding than we would like. We've now taken her off solids for two days (except the failed banana experiment), and we all got a decent night's sleep last night. Not sure of the cause, but will be trying her on different foods.

Sleep-wise (with the exception of the last week), Rachael now sleeps at night in her own cot. She does tend to come to our bed after 5 or 6am though, so we can get a little more sleep. There is a soft toy rattle pig up the opposite end of the cot, but you'll often find Rachael has made her way up the cot, to play with "pig" in the mornings, having pulled her way up the cot bars. Or Rachael and pig up opposite ends of the cot to where they started, her having got to "pig", and then thrown him. Day sleeps are still in arms, something I'll have to change soon, as I will be back in paid employment two days a week in 6 weeks time

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rachael Led Weaning

I know I just posted, but as this will be an ongoing topic, I thought it deserved it's own post.
I am proud of Rachael and myself for having exclusively breastfed for 6 months.
As Rachael is now 6 months old, it's time to start introducing food other than breasmilk into her life.
After doing my research, I settled on trying Baby Led Weaning, as it makes a lot of sense to me.
As you may not be familiar with this approach, some info may be a good idea.

"What is baby-led weaning?
Baby-led weaning is a way of introducing solid foods that allows babies to feed
themselves - there’s no spoon feeding and no purées. The baby sits with the
family at mealtimes and joins in when she is ready, feeding herself first with her
fingers and later with cutlery.
Baby-led weaning:
* allows babies to explore taste, texture, colour and smell
* encourages independence and confidence
* helps to develop their hand-eye coordination and chewing skills
* makes picky eating and mealtime battles less likely"

Lessons learnt with Rachael so far:
-Don't bother to put food on a plate. A plate is the easiest way to ensure all the food ends up on the floor within 10 seconds.
- Pretty much every food discolours clothing
-A bib is designed to keep clothing clean, but a baby is more likely to eat the bib and skip the food

Attempted foods:
Banana. No luck- see plate comment above
Carrot. Some sucking acheived. Turns clothing orange
Toast. Sucking acheived. Small amounts broken off. Gagged a little. (Note. Gagging is ok. Babies gag reflex is quiet close to front of mouth as a safety mechanism. Gagging is different than actually choking).
Meat. Rachael loves meat. Has enjoyed sucking several pieces. Makes clothes dirty too.

Has she actually ingested anything? No, but that's ok. We've only just started, and she is getting food from table to mouth, and sometimes into mouth. It's a good start

Toast two days ago. Not sure if we got the roast beef on camera or not

6 Months

6 Months- Can you believe it? We made it this far.
Health checkup isn't until next week, so I'll have to add that info later.
Teething has started. I got my first tooth at 6 months, but Rachael's bottom teeth are still a long way down her gums, so it could be a long ride yet. Thankfully, I have been told about Baltic Amber teething necklaces.
For the uneducated, check out this onfo from the website

"How does an Amber Teething Necklace work?
Amber has many therapeutic qualities and provides natural pain relief.   Amber works by the skin warming the amber which releases healing oils and the oils are then absorbed into the blood stream. Amber reduces red inflamed cheeks and stimulates the thyroid glands to reduce drooling. It is known to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, accelerate would healing, reduce inflammation of the throat, ear and stomach infections and respiratory disease.

The active ingredient is succinic-acid which was analysed by the pioneer of modern bacteriology, the Nobel-prize winner Robert Koch who confirmed its positive influence and recent scientific research has also proved that succinic acid has a very positive influence on the human organism.

Succinic acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight toxic free radicals and disruptions of the cardiac rhythm, succinic acid has been shown to stimulate neural system recovery and bolster the immune system, and helps compensate for energy drain in the body and brain, boosting awareness, concentration and reflexes, and reducing stress."

I chose this supplier as I had seen good things about them. No point paying for an expensive fake. Teething/screaming started Friday, continued Saturday and Sunday. Monday I was able to borrow a necklace until the one I ordered arrived. Three hours (and one nap) after I put it on her, my baby girl was back to laughing at me. It's not a magic cure, but it does seem to help.

Rachael has improved in both her rolling and sitting. Her rolling is more turning really, she doesn't roll continously, just one 180 at a time. Sitting is semi-assisted at the moment. She can't sit up alone, but when she wants to, once sat can sit unassisted for up to an hour.

Besides her ongoing obsession of putting everything in sight in her mouth, Rachael's two current obsessions are blowing raspberries, and making a gargling sound in her throat.

Monday, January 31, 2011

5 months

Rachael is 5 months into the world today. I don't really like saying 5 months old, as that doesn't credit the 9 months pre-birth I was creating and nuturing her for, and the living (kicking, punching) she was doing.
Anyway, an update on Rachael. She's not really fond of the heat (like her mummy), so she's not enjoying this heatwave.
Although she's small for her age, she's still our big girl. No weigh-in this month, but I have just been given a picture of her baby cousin Clementine, in the same t-shirt Rachael wears (well obviously not THE same shirt, but the same brand/design/size), and what Rachael is just about busting out of, her little cousin wears like a dress. Show's how much bigger she's gotten.

Just today Rachael has started to roll from her back to her tummy. I'm not even sure she knows that she's doing it or how she's doing it, but it gets her to her toy. Tends to get one arm stuck underneath, but she'll figure it out with time.

Rachael is really enjoying assisted sitting. It must be much more enjoyable than lying down. She's also enoying a good giggle from time to time. Two nights ago, it was discovering the fun of pushing an empty water bottle off the table (and having grandma pick it up again) over and over again. Last night, it was a new spinning toy that grandma bought out. A week ago she accidentally made a gurgling sound in her throat, and spent the next 10 minutes trying to replicate it, and giggling the whole time at her new discovery.
I will get video of it soon and post, as it is seriously cute

Monday, January 17, 2011

Half month update

It's not the month yet, but thought I'd update anyway.

Rachael is currently feet-obsessed, as many babies her age seem to be. She rather enjoys spending much of the day holding her ankles over her body.
Rachael still has a thing for her fingernails. Grandpa's leather seat got a workout last night.

Thanks to Wonder week 19 (which we sort of missed, I think it coincided with her 4 month injections, so we blamed it on them), Rachael has figured out how to take her dummy out, and put it back in. Ends up in her mouth about half the time, the rest shes gives up after shoving it into her nose, or putting the wrong bit in her mouth. Can't do it when she's tired, which is when she actually needs the dummy, but she'll get there. I remember in earlier months wishing for the day she could put it back in herself (after getting out of bed multiple times to pu it back in), and I guess that day has come. She's growing up again

Pictures of Rachael at mum's group

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

4 months

So time has been ticking away, and Rachael is 4 months now.
Her health visit was tuesday, and we have anew lot of stats.
Weight- 6.02kg. That's pretty much double her birthweight. I knew that little girl was getting heavier.
Length- 61cm. It seems she has a quite small head to most of the baby population, now under the 3rd percentile line. No wonder all of her clothes necks are huge on her. She has now reached, at 4 months, the size clothing manuacturers decide she should be at 3 months. Figure she hasn't got any tall genes from her parents.

Developmentally wise, as you can see from previous post, she has learnt to roll from front to back. Can't roll the other way yet; her bottom half goes over, but the top half stays. I think her motivation to roll that way isn't very high- why would she want to roll onto her tummy? She's just got off it.

Her favourite current skill is to scrape her fingernails on surfaces to hear the sound it makes. The couch, mirror, rug and of course mummy's skin are all getting a workout.

As she has been from the start, Rachael still loves to hold onto things. She has learnt if she has a good grip on whichever parent is holding her when she goes to sleep, they can't put her down. She is also quite fond of holding onto her mummy's hair during feeds, so is ending up holding a whole lot of it at the end of a feed, due to mummy's post-partum shedding.

Rachael has gotten over lying down; she wants to be sitting up at all times, and seems to want to be standing and walking if she could.

Rachael has also had two successful bottlefeeds after switching bottle brands. However she is still not fond of people other than her parents at the moment. Hoping we can overcome that before a wedding next month