6 months breastfeeding

I managed 6 months of breastfeeding and this was always my initial goal. Woohooo!! My stretch goal is 1 year, the recommended time by the AAP.

Aviana hasn’t been ‘exclusively’ breastfed in the truest sense as we supplemented for a couple of weeks in her first weeks of her life as her weight dropped and was born with IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction). We have also used supplemented when I had problems, unknowingly, with high lipase and Aviana was rejecting my frozen milk. We also supplemented when I was away with work travels to Europe because I had to start my Freezer stash all over again due to the high lipase issue. We have also supplemented here and there on occasion due to convenience when traveling. We have no worries with supplementing, I try to avoid it so I can keep my supply up and avoid needing to pump. But I’d say 95% of the time Aviana is exclusively breastfed.

I have had a relatively easy breastfeeding journey compared to some mothers I have met along the way, listening to stories family & friends have told me. Aviana latched almost straight away, I worried I wouldn’t be able to experience breastfeeding. To me it was an experience I felt like I wanted in my life. After all the infertility treatment, I wanted to experience my body doing something it should ordinarily be able to do without medical help! I also wanted to save some $$, which breastfeeding can enable! Formula is expensive! 

I almost gave up breastfeeding when she became almost impossible to feed when she was in her ‘distracted nursing’ phase. It was frustrating and painful as she bobbed on and off the boob. This phase lasted for a couple of months and I found it impossible to feed her when we were out and about. Even when I did find a quiet place she would only stay on the boob for a few minutes. I was consumed with worry she wasn’t getting enough food. 

We got over that hurdle, and now there is the hurdle of working and traveling. Pumping/expressing is not a walk in the park, especially when on the go. It requires organisation, time and patience. Plus some extra $$ to buy items that help make pumping life easier! Pumping means I also miss out on the nursing bond with Aviana which is one thing that keeps me breastfeeding that I enjoy and love about it. There are days when I’m dreading hooking up to the pump because my boobs are feeling tender. There is also the stress of whether I’ve pumped enough for Aviana’s requirements. I literally am a ‘just enough’ producer, if I get 5oz to freeze at the end of the week it’s been a great week! So the pressure is always there and that’s mentally exhausting. During the week I only nurse her once in the morning and occasionally in the evening (my favourite time with her).

I have now got to a point in our breastfeeding journey where I feel like I shouldn’t talk to other mothers about it because many of my friends stopped breastfeeding for various reasons before 6 months. Some of them stopped against their wishes. I don’t talk about it because I sense when I do that they are upset they didn’t get to breastfeed for as long as they’d have liked, or that I am judging them for not breastfeeding (which by the way, is simply not the case, how anyone chooses to feed their baby is their right and I respect it greatly). I choose my words carefully, conscious that I can easily offend.

I will say that I am proud I have been able to breastfeed for 6 months because I feel like it hasn’t always been easy. There will be new challenges ahead for sure, more work travel, teeth! Aviana’s growing independence or dependence on me!! I’m not sure what the future holds for our breastfeeding journey. I’d like to aim for 12 months. I do cherish the times I get to nurse Aviana and I can’t imagine giving that up. A friend said to me that breastfeeding is like a drug, it gets tough to give up. And I’m not ready for that drug withdrawal just yet! So for now, I’ll keep pump pump pump pumping it up!!!

We will never be equal

Last night after Chris read my blog post Chris told me the truth of the matter….we won’t ever be equal because of my work travels. And he is right. If I travel 8-10 times a year, some of these trips being 8 days long then I will struggle to make that up to be equal. Admittedly he will travel occasionally for work but it would be in the US and not transatlantic and for a few days at a time. Also, if he travels I have the leave to be able to travel with him (if he gets to go somewhere fun!!).

We have talked about this quite a bit recently and it’s going to be tough. It’s not exactly a holiday for me, but I will get a ‘break’ from parenting (except the huge guilt I will feel) and he won’t. We have a nanny once a week and maybe we can use her to help out Chris a bit more when I am away. Only time will tell how tough it really will be. Almost everyone else in my team has children and they survive. Just got to figure out how they do it well!

The dream? All working parents created equal

I was inspired to write this post after I read a ‘Working Mother’ article “14 things my parents never had to do because my mom didn’t work“.  It was going good up until points 10: Manage the household from the office; 11: Manage the household at home; and 12: Worrying about traveling for work.  The author says that she has to “…make doctor’s appointments, go grocery shopping, plan birthday parties in between meetings.  This is true, it’s got to get done at some point during the working week.  But your working husband also probably can do that stuff too? Right?  She then says she is “…still primarily responsible for cooking dinner, cleaning the house and organizing their social life“. Hmmmm, your husband can also do that too, no? Finally, when she goes on work travels she has to “…prepare everything in her absence from my daughter’s wardrobe to preparing frozen meals for my husband“.  OK, so yes, sure, when a partner goes away on work travel you need to be supportive and help make it easier on the person left behind.  But the choice of ‘chores’ that need to be done are soooooooo stereotypical.  Really?  Your husband can’t make wardrobe choices on his own?  Is he able to dress himself?  I presume so because it sounds like he still makes it to work everyday without getting fired. So why can’t he dress a child?  He really can’t cook his own food? My goodness, how did he ever survive before he met you?????  After reading this and getting me mad and upset, it got me thinking more about the ideal working parents situation and equality.  Are all parents ‘created’ equal?  Is it actually possible??

Chris and I are pretty equal in most things.  Before Aviana arrived into our world we shared chores.  There are some things that Chris is better at doing than I am and vice versa.  There are also some things that Chris prefers doing than I do and vice versa.  So we always tried to make things equal: one night Chris would cook and I would wash up, then we would swap the next day.  I would put the washing on, Chris would hang it up, the next time we may swap.  And then we negotiated on other chores.  I did X if Chris did Y.  We also hired a cleaner (Something I would happily give up anything else for….clothes, tea, haribo, driving to work….if we ever needed to financially cut back somewhere, it’s a marriage saver in my mind). Grocery shopping, decorating, tidying, gardening, organising, bill paying….etc.  we are pretty equal.  Yes, there are odd times when we have to assess the balance, but we often do it on conditions at the time: our health and work.

We are also pretty equal on the work front too.  We take home similar amounts of pay.  Although Chris gets a bonus whereas I do not!  We are also the same age, and therefore have similar amounts of work experience.  We are progressing similarly in terms of accountability and responsibility, although we do very different jobs, and therefore different types of stresses, but our workloads ebb and flow for both of us.

Now we have new jobs to add to our life resumes/CVs.  Parenthood!  We are equally experienced in this new role…as in, we both have very little experience!  The question I have is, is it possible to be equal parents in life too?  Does it matter if Chris is mummy and I am daddy?  Do these labels mean anything in terms of the roles we play as parents and how we raise our daughter?

Currently there is an imbalance.  First of all, physically I grew Aviana inside me and I am also the milk provider.  Chris does feed her bottles, so it’s not like he has zero responsibility for this.  Secondly, I have just spent almost 7 months off work on maternity leave.  I have been Aviana’s caregiver during working hours and weeks and past couple of weeks I have been on ‘vacation’, getting things in order around the house, enjoying two weeks of holiday with my family and relaxing a little bit.  Although I have been back to work for a couple of odd weeks during my maternity leave and a few days here and there, this week I am back to work officially, properly, full speed ahead.  Eeeek.

The balance will shift.  But to what? Will it be equal? How will we adjust to our ‘ideals’? How will we negotiate chores?  How will we decide whose meeting is more important when we have to pick up a sick Aviana from daycare?  How will we decide who does each parenting task like feeding, bathing and dressing our baby?  Because we are both equally capable of these tasks.  And pretty much any other future task.  Party planning, birthday gift buying, holidays, doctors, caregivers, blah blah blah.

How will we adjust when we have different ways of doing these parenting tasks?  What will we do when one of us thinks we are doing it wrong, do we let it go?  Do we debate?  Do we continue to negotiate?  Do we have time to be equal?

How much do we want to pay for convenience like we do with our cleaners, gardeners and other services such as online shopping, food preparation, holiday planning etc?  How much is our time worth in ‘outsourcing’ so we can spend more time with Aviana?

I’m nervous.  I have expectations to be an equal working parent, but in reality it will probably be different.  I’m just not sure how it’s going to be.  Will my annoyance with that article I read be proven to be naivety on my part?  I hope not.

How equal is your parenting with your partner?  Is it what you thought it would be?  What would you do differently if you could go back in time? Does any of this ‘equality’ ideals even matter?


Let’s just be honest here

Life is like a box of chocolates….you never know what you are going to get (well, if you have the picture guide then it’s not much of a surprise, but hey just sayin’!). It is true that you can’t choose whether or not your child is going to be an angel newborn or satan in disguise.  We all want the angels, but we don’t always get what we want.  I hear you say, “Yes, Dani, we know that”.

Chris and I have differing views looking back at our time with Aviana as a newborn baby.  We also have differing views on looking forwards on the subject of growing our family again.  But that’s OK because we often have differing views on some of our important life aspects and we still survive today to tell the tale.

Looking back, for me, Aviana was not an easy newborn baby, but she also wasn’t hellish either.  There was that time when we were figuring out her silent reflux when I thought what did I do to deserve this nightmare?!  There was the worry of whether or not I was feeding her enough because she was an IUGR baby (I still worry BTW!) There were times when I was creeping around quietly, anticipating Aviana to wake up because she didn’t nap well and I am not a good napper during the day so I struggled with the 2 hourly feeds.  The times when I counted down the minutes to Chris coming home from work because Aviana had been fussy and I couldn’t help her no matter what I did, wondering if I would always suck at being a mother.  The times when I wished our family and friends back in the UK could be there with us to see Aviana achieve her milestones.  But I also put a lot of pressure on myself.  I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months.  I wanted to keep up with my work’s executive development program. I wanted to shower every day – haha!

So being honest, looking back at the newborn months, it was tough.  And now it isn’t so tough – it is actually fun!  I wanted the newborn phase to pass quickly, in the moment it seemed to drag.  Now here I am looking at my daughter wondering how she grew up suddenly as an almost 6 month old, eating solids, giggling, interacting, playing, standing and sitting up.  I can already sense she will want to be an independent kinda lady.  And I’m cool with that.  And now I want to spend MORE time with her, not less which was how I felt at times during the newborn phase.  May be it’s because I know her better, I know myself better and I am catching on to the parenting thing that it seems easier.  But raising a newborn baby is hard, and it does get easier (Although I am not naive to think that there won’t be tough times in the future, so I’ve been told teenagers are the worst!!!)

Would I do it all again?  Yes.  Would I do it all again with a toddler?  Yes.  Would it be harder?  I think yes and no.  Many of our friends are on their second child and I get a sense that I’m on the right track with this answer.  It’s only until the next child comes along that they  ever realised that they had an angel or a devil newborn baby.  And their second one usually ends up being the opposite of their first.  Because that is the whole life is like a box of chocolates thing  (and it sucks if you were lucky to get two angels in a row then get a devil for the third!!)  So this leads Chris and I to have the conversation about what Aviana could be considered as (angel or devil), what would our second baby would be like (with a toddler in tow don’t forget!) and do we want to make life harder for ourselves?

Why does this all matter?  Because it begs the question what is next for our family (Oh and of course everyone always asks us if we will have another baby!).  For those of you who may remember from the great pudding club hunt, we still have one frozen embryo stored away (that we pay $60 a month to keep there).  It’s not an easy question to answer because we don’t have the luxury of planning when we can procreate another child.  We are infertile and unexplained infertility means our future remains hazy.  Plus there is the added risk of an IUGR baby again, we were lucky the first time that Aviana has not been affected too much, we may not be so lucky with a second.    All of this confounds the basic question of do we want to grow our family for the second time?  And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that Chris and I have different views on siblings and age gaps….. :-p

Weaning decisions: in the beginning 

When I say weaning decisions I mean weaning onto solid foods! I bought a couple of books and followed many conversations about weaning solids with breastfed babies. Is it any different? No, not really. What does seem to be different in opinions is WHEN to start solids. Our pediatrician said at Aviana’s 4 month wellness visit that she could start solids from then. She should first try with oatmeal cereal, then puréed orange veggies, then green veggies. But then there is also guidance from various professional bodies that say to wait til 6 months. Plus they should have all the physical signs they are ready to start solids. Kellymom.com says this:

So we made an informed decision and decided to wait until after 5 months and see her development. We thought she definitely wasn’t ready before that. When I got back from my work trip she was just over 5 months and met all the key milestones, so we tried oatmeal baby cereal. And she really enjoyed it. 3 days later we tried carrot, then we flew to the UK so we did a bit more cereal mostly for convenience and to keep her in a routine, then she tried broccoli, which she wasn’t keen on, unsurprisingly, but when we mixed in with cereal she liked it. And that’s as far as we have got. 

We have had to change our routine a bit to make sure we eat with her. She wakes up, gets breast milk at 6am, we sit down for breakfast together after that and she gets the solids and a sippy cup of water (working on that still!) then I feed her breast milk again and pump because I always have a bit left over from the night. She then has regular breast milk at 4 hourly interval feeds til dinner. We are trying to sit down and eat at the same time – around 6pm. She then has bath and last feed of the day (usually just a top off), then she is away with the fairies for the night at 7pm. It’s a good routine That’s working well for all of us.

I spent a few hours making up purée cubes of various types…carrots, apples, squash, sweet potato, broccoli, spinach (home grown!!!) and blueberries. They all got frozen so are ready to whack on the microwave. Probably a couple of weeks worth of food.

Let me tell you – it’s messy and time consuming steaming and puréeing all of that! Having said that, it’s cheap and convenient. We anticipate trying baby led weaning when she hits 6 months so that’s probably a bit too much purée there (although we can add the purée to other foods such as the fruit we can mix in with yoghurt.)

I’m happy to listen to anyone’s views about when to start weaning. But the way we came to a decision about it was well informed. Having said that, it is tough to make that decision because of all the competing advice out there. All I know is that for now Aviana is enjoying the experience. ‘Food before one, just for fun’ is the mantra we are going to follow, then really we can’t go wrong!!! This is just the beginning…..

Facebook parenting groups 

Facebook parenting groups or should I say Facebook shaming groups. Aghhhh. I hate the ones that have a weak admin presence. I am all for free speech and informed debates in these groups because there are many different ways to raise a child. But to put another person down because they make a parenting choice that is different to yours?  No. it’s not cool. I don’t respect you or your opinion if you are going to be a twat about it. 

I am part of six private Facebook groups for parenting (mostly mothers)…local Infertility group for moms, IUGR babies (international), UK babies group, local breastfeeding support group, local baby wearing and pumping moms (international). Some of these are better than others in how they are run as an online community. I find all my local ones respectful, probably because we might run into each other so we are nice to one another, I don’t know. My IUGR group is super because I feel like that we have a mutual respect for our tiny but mighty babes. And some others? Well the admin doesn’t stop or prevent trolls and I HATE it because I am always biting my tongue to intervene. And then when someone replies to my comment with nastiness I just want to slap them in the face and say – HEY, look, I’m not forcing my ideas on anyone, I’m respectful, I have a choice, you have a choice, the original poster has a choice, I’m a smart woman and don’t need to defend my choices to a random stranger. Take it or leave it, my thoughts are equally as valid as yours, it’s simple! I will respect your opinion, so why do you have to put me down? How you choose to parent is your business, unless of course you are abusing your child, that’s a different story. These Facebook groups are all SUPPORT groups, so why be the opposite of that?! Why do you feel like you have to make other people feel like shit? Why are you telling me I am absolutely 100% wrong? Is there a best parent award competition out there that you need to prove yourself for or beat me to it? 

 I don’t know why I get involved…well I do, I like to share my experiences because I like to read about other people’s experiences so I know I’m not alone and crazy. 

It’s just a shame because I want to leave one group in particular because of all that, and she yet it’s one I feel like I need support with. Guess I need to look elsewhere 😔 

Dads don’t babysit

You’ve seen it before on the movies and TV, society tells us that when the mother goes away for work, the household will fall apart because dad is “babysitting”. Ummm no, just no! it’s impossible for a dad to babysit.  He isn’t getting paid for starters, and second of all it’s called parenting!  The term babysitting implies it is not permanent., you can hand the kid back when you like.  Parenting is a permanent responsibility, wherever you are, whenever, 24/7/365.  Dads ‘babysitting’ also implies that they are second rate.  Yes, I am primary boob milk giver, but that is the one and only difference in our roles.  We are equal.  And of course, at some point Aviana will choose her favourite parent…but our responsibilities will remain equal.  We are equally qualified (or unqualified more fittingly?!).

Could you imagine, one day if I was asked, “what are you doing this evening?” and I replied, “oh I’m babysitting whilst Chris stays late at work today”. How ridiculous would I sound?  And yet, if the roles were reversed, the probable response would be “Oh good luck with that!” or “Hope Aviana is good for you!”.

Just NO.

I went away for 8 nights on a work trip, to another continent, and Chris had the sole responsibility for Aviana for the entire time.  Except for one evening when our regular nanny was working.  But guess what Chris did that one evening he could have been taking a break?  He was babysitting our friends’ two kids.

Guess what happened when I was away?  Aviana got sick, her first cold.  It’s tough when your baby gets ill, they are cranky, miserable, don’t eat, sleep, poo or breathe well, they need love, cuddles and constant attention.  But guess what also happened when I was away?  Aviana cooed, played and was freaking adorable, Chris sent me videos everyday of Aviana doing new and fun stuff that I was missing out on. And amongst all that, Chris held the household together.  He didn’t let the dishes pile up, he did the washing, he cleaned up the garage, he put up the blinds (something on our to do list for nearly a year!), he arranged to get a quote for putting in a patio in our garden, he went to work, he paid the bills, he did the shopping, he ate salads for lunch and proper hearty meals for dinner.  The house was clean and tidy when I got home, it was like I never left, in fact it was probably tidier than when I left! Basically, life still went on.  It didn’t stop.

Now, I’m not saying it was easy. No.  He was tired, he craved adult conversation and didn’t achieve quite as much as he thought he would.  He admitted that one morning when he dropped off Aviana at daycare he cried and the teachers gave him hugs.  But you know what?   Anyone of us, mothers or fathers, would have felt the same as a single parent.  Being a single parent?  Guys, kudos, I don’t know how you do it.  I did it for a couple of nights and it was tough, if I’d done it for 8 nights I probably would have cried too, but cried in the car on my own, hiding it.  But he nailed it better than I could have.  He didn’t just babysit, he parented.


Ps.  I’ve written about this before Aviana arrived in our lives on my other blog The Great Pudding Club Hunt: https://thegreatpuddingclubhunt.com/2016/05/11/dads-dont-babysit/

Also there are some cool t-shirts with the slogan Dads Don’t Babysit: https://www.facebook.com/dadsdontbabysit/




The guilty mother

The guilt is bad enough going back to work when your baby is only 5 months old, but to leave her for 8 nights and travel to a different continent for work?  The guilt just pours out of me.   Eughhhh.

It was a tough week leaving Aviana behind.  Especially as the first night I was away she decided to wake up three times in the night rather than sleep through (typically what she has been doing for the past few weeks).  Poor Chris has had to deal with that, and on top of that, she caught her first cold.

I feel guilty that I was not there to cuddle and soothe her when she wakes in the night, I feel guilty I was not there to share the load of care, I feel guilty that my husband doesn’t get a respite, I feel guilty that I get to sleep without being woken by a crying baby (although I did have several dreams where I woke up in a panic that I had lost Aviana somewhere in the hotel room!), I feel guilty that I couldn’t store enough breastmilk for Aviana to have the entire week (I was only able to freeze 70oz and I needed twice that), I feel guilty that I couldn’t nurse her.

It has been a strange first week back to work.  I saw people who last time saw me with a big bump, or people who have only ever known me pregnant!  I reunited with a few people who are obviously sensitive to these things, and gingerly asked if everything went alright with the birth. I was impressed at these people, I won’t forget their sensitivity and made me secretly wonder what sad stories have touched their lives in the past.

The great news is that I can shed some of my constant burden and guilt is that I finally graduated from my 9 month executive development programme!  Whoop whoop!  I presented my team’s project to some of the most senior staff in the organisation and it went down very well.  I’m sad that my team has disbanded, I got to work with some of the best my organisation has, we worked well through a tough problem, through conflict of opinions, and with time always against us, but we got it done, and it was actually fun at times. The past few months of my maternity leave I have always had the weight of our team project on my shoulders, in addition to undertaking all the distance learning modules.  There were times on my maternity leave that I was on a team conference call at 7AM (because they are all in Europe) whilst rocking my crying baby, or writing meeting minutes whilst breastfeeding my baby.  I always felt guilty that I was never giving my all – to both my daughter and to my project team.  But I needn’t have worried because my team never noticed or even had a hint that I was multi-tasking during these calls.  It’s over now and I can finally shed that weight off my shoulder.

I will have to travel for work some more, that is just the nature of my job.  It’s going to be tough on both Aviana and Chris.  I don’t know how Aviana misses me because she can’t exactly communicate it clearly how she feels, but I know it will get harder as she gets a bit older…or may be not, may be she will just be used to it as I travel from an early age.  I don’t know how these things work, we will just have to go with the flow.

So yes, feeling guilty here, I didn’t think I would miss Aviana quite as much as I did.  I missed her so much that when I think about her my tear well fills up to the point of almost over flowing.  I just wanted to run across the airport when I landed home to get back as quickly as possible to see her. Is it hormones?  Is it love?  I’d say probably both.

The greatest thing that happened is when I got home and saw Aviana for the first time in a week…she smiled, giggled coyly and reached her arms up for me. THE BEST feeling ever.  Just wish I didn’t have to feel so guilty when I leave her.

I’m alive!!!

They say that when you become a parent you approach towards risk changes. For example, we love rock climbing, we also have done traditional climbing in the past where you place your own gear, it’s quite dangerous to be frank. I know some people stop doing this type of climbing when they become parents. And to some extent I understand why. Admittedly I poo pooed it and thought that I wouldn’t change my attitude towards doing risky sports just because I have a child. But as my life flashed before my eyes yesterday it got me thinking about this all over again.

For those of you who know about my near death life experience last time I visited Brussels, would you believe me that I had another near death experience in Brussels yesterday?? This time it didn’t involve terrorism or bombs, rather a car and an apple. Ooooh sounds so dangerous!! No, seriously.

We were on a coach traveling down a highway at about 100kph when a car that was overtaking us suddenly lost control, she skidded left into the wall, which then caused it to spin and flip upside down back right in front of the coach, then spin to the other side of the road. I was sat at the front and everything I saw happened in seemingly slow motion, I prepared myself for us to crash straight into the car, but we stopped about with about 5 feet between us and the flipped car. My first thought was the driver surely can’t be alive. It was INSANE. Then I thought, hell, we were lucky to not have crashed ourselves. Our coach driver reacted so well. The driver quickly got out to check the other car. She was alive and talking, a bit beaten up, but amazingly conscious. Everyone on our coach was fine, and those of us at the front, including the driver, were a bit mentally shaken up. We later discovered the crazy driver had been eating an apple when she dropped it, tried to pick it up and that was then that she lost control.

It was like a scene out of the movies in slow mo. I thought about Aviana and Chris in those moments and how mad Chris would be at me to have died in a car accident because I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt (btw no one else on th coach was either, which i know doesn’t make it right, but made it even scarier). It’s incredible how the brain deals with events like this. Very surreal.

So, Brussels…what else have you got for me??? My colleagues now say I’m bad luck because it comes in threes and don’t want to go anywhere with me! 🙄 just got to survive a few more days here before I head home!

4 months

What do the books say about a 4 month old baby??

Growth: baby would likely have doubled her birth weight. Well that was achieved a while ago because she was born 5lbs1oz, but at her wellness visit she was 12lbs2oz putting her up in the 6th percentile! Incredibly her height is 25.5″, which puts her leaping above the 75th percentile where we would expect her to be more or less based on Chris and I’s heights. However this means for her height-weight ratio she is in the 0.1 percentile!!! But doctor doesn’t care because she looked at her physically and said she is just fine ☺️

Motor skills: baby grab and hold things, put them to her mouth.  Aviana can grab and hold onto toys, but her ambition to grab and pick up toys waaaay too big for her is high. So she gets stressed and frustrated when she can’t put a bigger toy all in her mouth. She can put both feet in her mouth!! It’s one of her favourite hobbies – I now know where the yoga pose ‘happy baby’ comes from! (I lovvvvve that pose!)

Motor skills: baby’s head should no longer wobble and hold her head on her own, they can hold their head and chest up when in tummy time. Yes Aviana is doing all this, but her tummy time has only become better in the past week or so.

Motor skills: some babies may have figured out how to roll tummy to back. You’d have thought with Aviana hating tummy time she’d want to roll onto her back! But no, she’s not there yet. No rolling just yet!!! She is able to move around however by kicking the ground and pushing her body up moving it to the side- we wondered how when we woke up in the morning she would be at 90 degrees to how we left her. Then we watched her once on the monitor in the middle of the night. She was kicking like a crazied bucking horse!! 

Sleep: baby should be able to enjoy a full night and can typically sleep 7 to 8 hours. Baby might be sleeping 14-16 hours in 24 hours. Aviana sleeps for 11-14 hours, of which most of that is night time. She can now stay in her crib and go in and out of sleep for 11.5hrs, she started skipping her night feed for about two weeks now. I feel like a normal person again! She may wake up several times a night but gets herself back to sleep, especially now she sucks her thumb!!! We are not entirely sure how much sleep Aviana gets at daycare but they typically put her down to nap theee times a day for 20-60minutes dependent on how she does. I’d say we are exceeding in this area! 

Eating: some babies may start eating solids at 4 months. Our pediatrician said we could start purée solids. But we don’t think Aviana is ready just yet. I’d like her to be a bit more stable when sitting up. Plus it would be better to start her when I get back from my trip to Brussels. She will be 5 months then.

Communication: babies begin to notice that people respond to their cries. I thought Aviana was quite a cry-ey baby early on, but she really isn’t now. She is very chilled. She will let us know when she is wet, when she is tired her cry is very different, when she gets frustrated or bored, that’s a different cry. When she is hungry she will pull a sad face, and when she is scared she will pull a mega scream and sad face as if to say what the hell are you doing??!  (Ie loud bang, knocked herself etc). She loves to smile at people who play with her, she doesn’t giggle regularly, but she does when someone tries really hard.

Other things of note.  I’m still breastfeeding Aviana, she has days when she doesn’t nurse well because she gets distracted easily and I feel like quitting and switching to formula. But then there are the days that I love when I get to nurse and snuggle her. Pumping is also soooo time consuming. I should celebrate making it this far!!

Aviana gets called a boy 75% of the time-mostly because she has a lot of blue clothes!!! But her hair is growing, it will be a while before she really looks like a girl. Her eye lashes are getting longer by the day and if you look just at her eyes you would think they are girl’s eyes! I don’t really mind when people ask ‘how old is he?’.

Story time is becoming more fun and interesting, she currently really likes ‘That’s not my dinosaur!’, she also likes a change in tone of voice when the story is being read to her. She loves dancing with me to the nursery rhymes.

Aviana is very strong on her legs and can hold herself up standing against the sofa! 

Aviana’s height

Aviana’s weight

All in all, life definitely has gotten a bit easier since she hit 4 months, and I feel incredibly lucky to have this little cutie in my life.