The ABCs of a six month old

We’ve hit six months! Part of me thinks FINALLY and the other part of me thinks WHERE DID MY BABY GO? There have been so many changes and developments recently and so I’ve thought up a quick-fire way to share most of them with you. The six month old ABCs!

A

Absolutely everything and anything will change just as soon as you think you’ve got it figured out. Sleeping will change, feeding will change and playtime will change.

B

Boys will be boys. My guy already acts like he’s trying out for the wrestling team. Ashton, why do you have to hit EVERYTHING?

C

Can one baby really hold so much poop? We’re currently on day four here (a.k.a the longest no-poop record) and I’m just waiting for the mother load that’s on the way down!

D

Don’t become tunnel-visioned and think that the difficulties in this stage will be forever. Remember those newborn days? Wow, so much has changed since then!

E

Exersaucers are so much fun!

F

Finally he can sit and…. Fall over.

G

Get a sensory box! You can make one yourself from everyday objects like measuring cups, silicon cupcake holders, ribbons and cellophane. Ashton spends ages playing with everything in his little box.

H

How has my baby’s appetite suddenly tripled in size!?

I

If I can do it, you can! Cheesy, yes, but honestly I still have no idea what I’m doing. I have, however, surrounded myself with an amazing network of support and love, including some other amazing mums from my antenatal group. It makes all the difference!

J

Jolly Jumpers are a great source of entertainment for your little one and yourself!

K

Keep your support networks close. Not only is your baby developing like crazy, they’re also sleeping less and playing more which can be really taxing on you mentally, physically and emotionally. Keep your mum friends close – as I also mentioned in letter I. I mean it!

L

Letting my husband look after Ashton for the night was the best thing ever! Every girl deserves a night out every one in a while, even mums, and even if you do come home to a crying baby who refuses to take milk from the bottle… whoops!

M

Making time for you and your partner is so important. Even if it’s a glass of wine once the baby is asleep, or taking your baby along to that fancy restaurant and trying to get him to sleep in the pram beforehand!

N

No two babies are the same at six months – so while we can all sympathise, no one can claim to know entirely what you are going through. I’ve learnt you’ll be your best self if you quit comparing your parenting journey to someone else’s.

O

Oops! No one’s perfect. You know how I said I’d never let my son cry to sleep? Might’ve done that once or twice during these six months (this morning included). And how I said I was never going to stick to a routine? I’ve started one this morning because my baby is SO hard to put to bed right now. You know how I said I’d walk every day? I haven’t gone all week. The thing is, I’m not going to make excuses or justify anything, it is what it is and I know next week will be different!

P

Put some fruit in the freezer! My son’s absolute favourite thing to do is suck on bits of frozen fruit in his silicon teether. The coldness is soothing for his gums, plus he is trying new flavours and upping his water content. Win, win!

Q

Quiet time no longer exists. Remember those sleepy morning feeds when your baby would fall asleep next to you? Cherish those memories – you might get a scream in your ear at 6am if you’re lucky!

R

Rolling is the best trick in Ashton’s repertoire - he just can’t stand being on his tummy once he’s there.

S

Sleep time will only get easier. And then it will get harder again. And then easier. Basically, you can’t crack it so there’s not much point even worrying about it.

T

Teething is not fun, but it’s also not fixable. Take every day as it comes, give plenty of cuddles, and be sure to invest in some teething toys and a tube of Bonjela.

U

Use all your resources to keep your little one busy during the day. Go walking, go for a swim in a paddling pool or bath, use the jolly jumper or exersaucer, go to that baby music class. Lots of stimulation promotes healthy brain development and gets baby tired!

V

Vegetables will cause constipation even when pureed. My son may love his kumara but his bowels do not! See letter C.

W

Will he ever sleep longer than six hours?

X

It’s never going to go eXactly as you planned it. Sure, take your child out to dinner, or to a friend’s house, but be aware that anything could happen. By anything I mean your child might have a major meltdown and you might not be able to do anything other than pack up and leave (I am speaking from experience!).

Y

Yes, even the most angelic child can have annoying habits that do your head in. My son loves to kick out the sheets from his cot. As soon as I put the sheet over him, the feet go up. It’s like he likes the resistance and the challenge of untucking himself! It’s a total game but it makes bedtime about x10 longer than it should be!

Z

Be Zealous. Your baby is going through a lot of changes and stages, so try to be the one thing for them that stays the same. Dedicate yourself to your baby by any means possible. Be the comforter, the entertainer, the teacher and the feeder. Be the one who teaches them how to laugh, let go and, most importantly, how to love.

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Rachel Chen