It's so crazy Aria has already hit the three month mark; as every parent on the planet says.. time goes
so quickly when you're raising kids! I thought I'd do a little update on how things are going in general, partly to share with you all but also as something I can look back on in the months to come and remind me of how things are at this point in time.
Firstly, I know I'd be biased as she's my baby but ohhh god I cant believe how pretty this little thing is. Here's my favourite photo of her to date..
After a few initial blips at the beginning of our breastfeeding journey things seem to have gotten a lot easier! I've never found it unbearable difficult with breastfeeding; the thing I found most unhelpful has been the advice from the professionals (well, one health visitor in particular)- briefly, we felt like we were chasing graph lines from the red book, being told to top her up with formula, trying to gain unachievable (and probably quite unhealthy) amounts of weight each week and following very un-baby friendly techniques to make sure the poor poppet was draining my boobs each time she fed...basically insisting that she go 3.5 hours without a drop of milk even if she was quite obviously starving. We, as a family decided to stop listening to the advice and do what we feel is best for our babe.We cut out all the formula top ups, we feed on demand and have the attitude of as long as she's gaining weight each time she's weighed then we aren't going to worry.
I'm enjoying breastfeeding; I love seeing her grow day by day and being able to say to her "We're doing this as a family Aria; daddy's feeding mummy nice food which means that mummy is feeding Aria lots of lovely milky and fattening up those thighs!".
I have no worries anymore about feeding when out and about; from my observation the only people who seem to care are those of an older generation...it doesn't stop me though, they can look away if me feeding a baby offends them! My favourite place to go and feed Aria when in town is the Virgin Lounge- free drinks, comfy chairs and good changing facilities.
Aria doesn't know the 'rules' of sleep, she doesn't yet understand routine and she'll do what she wants when she wants! For a few weeks (from around week 3-6) she was sleeping 3.5hr chunks then everything changed and pretty much has done every week since. At the moment she's going around 2.5 hours between feeds during the night so we've just learnt to live on broken sleep. I've never been that dependant on more than 6 hours sleep so I'm coping okay.
At the moment our nights seem to consist of her having cat naps during the evening, chilling out with us both and then heading upstairs at around 11 for cuddles and a bedtime feed. She then has been waking at 2.30 then 3.30/4 then again at 6...after this she can sometimes be quite awake so I've been bringing her into our bed to sleep. I follow all the safe co-sleeping rules of course; I have her on my side of the bed between me and the SnuzPod (side down on it) and strip back all the covers and pillows. This, pretty much, guarantees me at least another 2 hours sleep in the mornings! Although it's working well at the moment I don't want it to become a forever (well not forever but you know) thing so my aim over the next few weeks is to try to get her to settle back down in her space until around 7.30/8am when I'll drag my myself out of bed ready for the day to begin.
The evening times have been niggling at me a little more the past few weeks; I know I shouldn't compare our family to others at all but its hard when all I hear when talking to other mums is "Well (insert baby name) goes to bed at 8pm then we get our evenings to catch up on adult stuff like TV, cooking and a glass of wine." So, I've been trying to introduce a gentle evening routine slowly- some nights it works slightly but on some evenings the little poppet just wants nothing more than to hang out with us. I do keep having to remind myself though that she's only just three months, she's breastfed and things will happen when she's ready!
Play and development
Its truly amazing to see day by day her awareness and control of her hands develop. She's grabbing purposefully at toys and wanting to pull everything towards her mouth. She's got a few fave toys already, Sophie La Giraffe and a Lamaze Tug and Play Knot thing are the go-to's right now. This week Aria giggled for the first time... it was dreamy to hear her make such a cute sound and I've been trying to get her to do it again ever since.
She's also started to notice her feet so I shouldn't think it will be too long before those are in her mouth! She's also started to make some odd noises, kind of cat like, practicing with her voice!
I've been on such a personal journey over the past 14 weeks; getting to grips with breastfeeding, working out how to look after the baby, managing to keep myself fed and watered and everything else that comes with having a newborn baby. I've adapted pretty well I'd say... I look back on the first few weeks and amaze myself with how much I had to just get on with.
The biggest difficulty I've found for me personally so far is letting go of how things were before Aria arrived; stuff like needing the house to be spotless, being free to do blog bits and pieces, being able to have a nice bath and generally just some of the things that I filled my time with prior to having a child. It took me a while to let go of these things and I'll admit I did find it hard for a few weeks. For me it was the not being able to do the things that made me feel like I'd acomplised something but then something clicked for me and my focus is now on enjoying my maternity leave with Aria. She's my best most rewarding achievement! Other things can wait, things can be done when her grandparents visit, family houses are pretty much never spotless and I can have a bath now and again I just need to time it well so that the little lady won't need feeding mid soak!
Other bits to note
She sodding hates the pram- we've got a £750 pram sitting in our dining room barely being used at the moment. She just hates being laid down anywhere at the moment so it's an ordeal to say the least when we attempt to use it. I've been using our Connecta a lot these past few weeks and she seems to love it... I do too but there are times when I wish she'd go in the pram for me. Selfishly just so I can have some free body time where she isn't attached to me.. I breastfeed her a lot night and day so sometimes I just feel like I would love my body back, just for an hour. But again, i know it's just a phase.
She's obsessed with me- of course this is the most loveliest feeling ever but it's like having a mini stalker.. if I'm out of her sight for a few minutes she starts to get tetchy and crys for me. I had my first evening out this week and as hard as we tried it only lasted 2 hours; she was distraught and wouldn't calm even though she was with her daddy :(
She loves to listen to me sing- I find myself singing about all sorts of crap.. the washing i'm folding up, my make-up routine, the food shopping order... basically, if I want to get anything done around the house I just sing about it and within seconds she's coo-ing and smiling away! So very cute. We've just enrolled for a sing and sign course that starts mid january which i think she's going to love!
I'm so enjoying spending my days with the little babe and I cant wait to see what the next 3 months bring!
Have you recently had a baby? Tell me about your first few months!