Babies will have regular health and development reviews during their first few years. It seems that each local area in the U.K. carries these out at different times, but generally they are reviewed shortly after birth, 1-2 weeks, 6-8 weeks, 9-12 months and 1-3 years.
Last week Charlie had his 9 month review and it was great for me to reflect on how well he is doing. After a few rocky patches during which I doubted myself as a parent and felt pressured by health professionals to take a certain route through parenting – I am proud to say that I stuck by my convictions. My husband and I are bringing up Charlie the way that we want to, the way that works for us as a family and at our own pace.
At 9 months old Charlie weighs 10kg which is in the healthy range for his age and height. He is on 3 solid meals a day, doing well with finger food, can feed himself with his cup of water and has just three bottles of milk per day. He can also take hold of the spoon and guide it to his mouth himself – sometimes missing and gettin food all over his face, but it’s all part of the fun 🙂
He has his 8th tooth on the way. He loves to roll on to his tummy although he’s not crawling yet. He can stand himself up against furniture (when he feels like it) and is a pro in his walker.
Generally Charlie is a good sleeper and on numerous occasions he’s slept right through, but more recently he has had many teeth coming through at once so a full nights sleep is something of a distant memory 💤 Daytime naps are still a bit of a bugbear – Charlie only falls asleep in his pushchair, the car or when he’s being cuddled. Usually once he’s asleep I lay him on the sofa and I stay sat next to him – which is somewhat restrictive and painful if I need the toilet! But it does force me to put my feet up rather than rush around doing chores. I am working on getting him to settle in his cot, but honestly it’s anything for an easy life at the minute.
Charlie is certainly developing his own personality and it’s great to see. Some of the things he loves:
- Pointless (to show)
- Alan our dog
- Stacking cups (or rather knocking them down)
- Giving kisses
- Saying “bar-ba-ra” (still no idea who Barbara is)
- Going to Costa coffee
- The washing machine and the microwave
- Drinking out of his sippy cup and feeding himself
Some things Charlie doesn’t like:
- The blender
- Having to wait for his food
- Teething 😦
- Daytime naps
- Being told “no”
- When other people are eating and he isn’t
- Having his face wipes
- Having his hair washed
I’m so proud of my little and the way that he is progressing at his own pace. I am also proud of myself and my husband for what a good job we seem to be doing. It was only a few weeks ago that I was terrified to let Charlie feed himself, I was just so scared that he might choke. I went through a phase of seeing so many other babies, Charlie’s age and younger, feeding themselves and I put pressure on myself and Charlie. There were times when I would put finger food in front of him, only to whip it away before he even got chance to pick it up because I was so scared of him putting it in his mouth! I’ve laid awake at night panicking that my fears were holding Charlie back. But after a talk with my husband (and with myself) I relaxed about it and took my own approach. I started only feeding Charie lumpy textures so that I could be sure he could chew, I started to give him a handful of Cheerios every morning so that he could practice feeding himself safely. And then I moved on to bigger foods – brocolli, cheese, rice cakes, dried apricots, banana, blueberries, pieces of chicken; and now he is eating sandwiches, scrambled egg on toast, cheese on toast. It’s great because it means that we can sit and eat lunch together and it’s a lot more relaxed and fun. From the time that I stopped putting pressure on myself, to now, seems to have whizzed by in a blur and the middle bit seems to have disappeared.
For any new parent, or prospective parent, my advice would be to follow your instincts, you are the parent – you know what’s best for you and your baby. It may sounds cliche but through experience I have found that it is definitely the best approach for a happy and healthy family.