Being a mama: Finley and me 6 months in

Baby and Parenting

Being a mama: Finley and me 6 months in

Baby and Parenting

Adoreable finley

Little poser isn’t he! Yep my little man is 6 months old today. Just as I said in my last baby update, things are feeling like normality and the last month has probably been the best so far. He’s coming on so brilliantly, it’s a pleasure to be his mama!

Baby weaning avocado

Feeding

This last week we started weaning which has been so much fun. I made sure I didn’t set my expectations too high, but he’s been doing wonderfully well. We started him off with pureed avocado mixed with breast milk for lunch. Then I just started mashing it rather than pureeing it. He’s also had homemade sweet potato puree mixed with expressed milk which he devoured! I froze some in those big baby food trays you can get and he ate a full cube which I was very pleased with. I’ve also been offering him slices of apple and pear to gnaw on for breakfast. As I said last time we are going for a mix of purees, mashes and baby led style finger foods. The whole thing actually feels quite natural to me, I’m definitely going to follow my instincts. I’m going to continue to offer him vegetable and fruits and then start introducing other foods, particularly higher fat foods. I’m thinking I might try him with a little organic preservative free coconut milk and coconut yoghurt.

His weight gain has been ok and he’s still following his percentile line but he’s dropped down slightly. With that in mind I made the very hard decision to add some formula into his routine. Now that he’s not exclusively on breast milk I felt more ok with it. To be honest the health visitor is completely fine with how he’s developing, so it’s more for me and my anxiety than anything else. I’ve had a few moments of tears in her office after weigh ins. I know he’s fine, but when I see him next to other babies looking so tiny it breaks my heart it really does. I know I need to stop comparing him, after all not many other babies have had his start in life and other heart babies that are bigger are generally bottle or tube fed. 

Rather than regular formula I’ve been giving him Nanny Care Milk which is a formula derived from goats milk. This is much closer to human milk and is easier on the digestion than cow’s milk based formulas. He’s only getting one bottle a day and we are waiting to see whether or not it impacts on his weight, along with the solid foods. I’m hoping that he’ll have some kind of growth spurt, but ultimately I need to accept that my baby is happy and healthy and developing ahead of target really, he’s just small. Maybe he’s just meant to be small or maybe he’ll pick up when he’s older who knows. Right now he’s better than ok, he’s thriving, and I need to remember that!

Finley on change mat

Sleep

Well for once I can be positive about sleep! This last month he’s got a lot better. We still have rough nights but on the whole it’s good with him going for 3-4 hour stretches rather than the 1-2 hours we were having! I’m now wondering if he was just going through the 4 month regression in line with his due date. He does still roll on to his tummy as I said last month, but is totally fine. The best thing we’ve had is that he will now sleep by himself for 1-2 hours on an evening which means James and I can have some time together. I can’t tell you what a huge difference that has made to my wellbeing! Just not feeling like the evenings are rushed, being able to watch TV, catch up on emails and have a cuddle with James just makes life feel more liveable. I’ve pretty much accepted that this may be as good as it gets while we co sleep but I’m ok with that. There’s something special about snuggling with him at night and being so close, I just love it. Nothing beats the smiles in the dark or how he nuzzles into me. He’s a very cuddly baby and loves skin to skin contact. For now, I’m happy to enjoy all of that while I can still get those cuddles!

Baby 5 months outfit

Development

He is doing so well considering him coming early and everything he’s had to deal with. He’s sitting up unaided completely now and one of the most fun things this month has been him gurgling and cooing all the time. He’s a chatter box! He’s very sociable as well and a bit of a flirt, he smiles for the ladies and he definitely knows how cute he is! At the moment we go to one playgroup a week. We were enjoying Tiny Talk but the timing of the class isn’t the best so we are thinking of dropping that and finding some new activities. I really want to take him swimming soon!

Mama and finley wear it beat it

Childcare

He starts nursery next week and I have really mixed feelings about it. On one hand I get the full mama guilt for leaving my baby and I’m dreading next Monday when he has his first full day away from us. But then I know it’s the right thing for us both. He will benefit from the different surroundings and social interaction and I will benefit from having the time to work. Things could be worse if I had to return to a full time job, so we are blessed to have the option of it being a part time thing. I have to admit, once we are both settled into the situation I’ll feel far more content in myself instead of having the mad juggle that I have now. I’ll also have the time and space to work on my business plans (which are very exciting!) Obviously I adore what I do to make a living, but it will be good to get weekends back and make them a family time. 

Me

Other than a bloody sore boob due to a blocked milk duct and the anxiety about his weight gain I’ve been doing great! As I just said, it is a juggle when you run your own business but I know how much that will improve soon. The evenings have been wonderful as well, going to bed at 9 rather than 7 is a big difference and because he’s sleeping better I still feel just as rested, if not more so because I have that time to chill. One thing that I have started to think about is how long to breastfeed for. Ideally it would be wonderful to do it for as long as he wants (within reason of course!) but realistically I’d like to get to a year and then reassess things. 

Overall things are really good for us right now, but whenever we have a rough day or night I just remind myself that this time with him is precious. There will be a day, not too long from now I’m sure, when I will shed tears wishing I could have it back and live it all over again. So for now, I’m going to enjoy every cuddle, every snuggle, every breast feed, every splashy bath, every dancing hand across my chest in the night. Blimey I’m welling up just writing this, I’m such a softie!

If you breast fed, how long did you do it for? If you have little ones what activities do you / did you, enjoy the most? What was your little one’s first food? 

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18 Comments

  1. Hayley

    Laura, milly has a best friend who was born early and was small. Now at 9 months he has pretty much overtaken her- and she is a big old baby. He will do his thing when he’s ready try not to worry x

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks Hayley, I hope so, he’s actually gained 7 ounces this week so hopefully weaning is doing the trick!

      Reply
  2. Emma Williams

    I think your doing brilliantly! Finley is lucky to have a mamma like you who puts so much care into every aspect of his life.
    I breastfed my son Noah until he self weaned at 18months. I combined this with Baby led weaning and attachment parenting. In fact, it was more instinctual I done these things rather than reading text books on what’s best for your baby.
    Every child is different and each milestones are reached when they are ready. Just go with your heart and with your child’s best interests at heart and you can’t go far wrong.
    The anxiety you feel being a parent is tremendous and another important aspect is to ensure you are taking care of yourself also. Thanks for writing your blog and website and helping others with this path

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks Emma, I think that’s the big lesson I’ve learned is that you just have to find your own way and listen to what feels right. I think with Finley being so physically small that a mix of purees and finger foods is going to suit him better than all out baby led, at least I hope! He has gained 7 ounces this week so fingers crossed he’ picking up!

      Reply
  3. Anna @AnnaTheApple

    Aww he’s so lovely (and I’m not a baby person!)
    I think it’s only natural for you to worry about his weight, but like you said, he had a rougher start than most and he’ll catch up soon. The weaning sounds really interesting – tasty hehe! Nice that he gets to try good healthy food early on :-)

    Reply
  4. Nicky

    Awh this is such a gorgeous post! Gosh 6 months already!! Finley seems like such a lovely baby and super happy and healthy! It’s only natural to worry about his weight but given his rough start, I think he looks amazingly well! I’ve found that any tiny babies I’ve known of soon catch up in their own time :) I’d say make the most of him being small because it’s not forever haha! :) Glad to hear that you’re getting more rest and feel more relaxed too <3

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks Nicky, you are right I should definitely make the most of him being small, I keep forgetting he won’t be like this forever!

      Reply
  5. Karina

    Wee Finley is one fortunate babe to have a wonderful mother in you, Laura and it’s lovely to see and hear of his remarkable progress and development(having you as his mother sure does help there:-) We continue to nurse(toddlers are not quite as intense* as babies and therefore it’s a pleasure to help nurture and develop his still very immature immune system in this way:) at nearly 3 years(can’t quite believe it either)!

    * nursing is noticeably-less frequent and tend to be at home-based and private nowadays. I can also relate to the blocked milk ducts(ouch)thing, getting baby to latch on the affected boob soon sorts that out nicely too!

    Mother’s are always going to have guilt no matter what and therefore I feel you’ve made a good compromise with your mam’s help and minimal day care.

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks Karina, and well done you for nursing so long! Ideally I’d love to continue nursing him until he self weans, as you say and as I’ve read, once they are older there’s more of a conversation able to happen about where and when you end up doing it. I can imagine the closeness you feel with them must be incredible at an age when they are running about everywhere! Thanks for the kind words about the childcare too xxx

      Reply
  6. Bron

    He is such a gorgeous little thing! My daughter was little too – always in the 20th percentile for the first 6-9 months then bam! she just started growing – she has just had her two year old check-in with Plunket and now she is 98th percentile for weight and 92nd percentile for height! Babies seem to have their own timeline that they follow so try not to worry too much (although that was easier said than done for me too!). My daughter never took a bottle so I ended up breastfeeding till she was just over 12 months old and I was about to return to full time work – I really enjoyed breastfeeding but I have to say that by then I was ready to finish – she was really wiggly and difficult to feed easily by then and to be honest every time I dropped a feed she never really seemed to notice or care :-) its a lovely thing to be able to do though and hopefully I can do the same for our second child when we have one!

    Weaning is so much fun and finger foods rock! Charlie loved her fruit (still does!) and now she pretty much eats anything put in front of her – she has just developed a love of ‘little trees’ (brocolli) and inhales green smoothies – my only way of getting leafy greens into her (salad is NOT a favourite!!). Have fun with the baby food – I really started to feel a whole lot more confident as a mum after 6 months or so, its a lovely age! Have you heard about hueristic play? Charlie really loved the baskets when she was about Finley’s age and I had heaps of fun putting different ones together! Some good tips on this website: http://theimaginationtree.com/2010/10/heuristic-play-treasure-baskets.html

    xx

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks Bron that’s good to know! I did wonder if he’s suddenly have a bit of a spurt later, he gained 7 ounces this week (without much formula) which is better than the 3 he has been gaining! I’m definitely feeling more confident and I certainly agree this is a nice age, he’s a lot of fun! I’ll have to look into that play, it sounds great!

      Reply
  7. Tamzi

    Ahhhhhhg he is adorable!!! Glad things are settling down for you x

    Reply
  8. Maria @ runningcupcake

    I think you are giving him such a great start – introducing all those new foods sounds like fun. And I am sure he will love nursery, and it will mean that you can have better quality time with him when he is home too. I think it is really good for children to get used to being somewhere else and with different adults too – some children have real trouble at school even going to a friends’ house after school because they have never left their parents before.

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks Maria, yep we had those thoughts as well, it just feels like this is going to be a good balance for us all and hopefully it will lead to him being a more confident child as well an make adjustments like going to school easier for him :-)

      Reply

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