It’s a little while since I have written about Charlie, his routine or development. I find that the older he gets, the less reassurance I need that I am doing “a good job”. When Charlie was newborn I was constantly seeking advice on what others were doing in terms of parenting, and how other children his age were developing. I was constantly comparing and needing reassurance. I think that with time, confidence as a parent grows. Like with everything, the more you do something, the more you find your own style and approach.
Our bedtime routine goes like this; by 6pm Charlie has eaten his tea and this is when my husband and I eat. Charlie usually has a pudding or entertains himself with his toys while we eat. Then it’s time for his PJ’s and either more playing, or a bedtime read. He has an 8oz bottle of formula before bed at 6:45pm. We take it in turns to settle him in bed. First we change him in to a bigger nappy (to help prevent leaks), then we pop him in his sleeping bag (making light of it by saying “pooooooooooo…P” as we pop the press-studs, then “zip zip”) as we zip him up. He always laughs at this and I like him to go to bed laughing. We put 15 minutes of bedtime music on his Scout toy and stay in his room until the 15 minutes is up. We just sit by his cot, not interacting unless just to shush him. He usually falls asleep within this time unless he’s too hot or not feeling too well. He usually sleeps 11-12 hours, waking up around 6 or 7am. Again, there are times when he is not feeling well that he may wake in the night.
Daytime naps have reduced to just one, and this is always in the car. He refuses to go to sleep at home. He has never had naps in his cot, he used to fall asleep in my arms but he is so big now that he fights when I try to cuddle him. So I have taken up going for a drive until he falls asleep, then I park up, put Classic FM on the radio, drink from a flask of coffee, have a cereal bar and read my book. This nap usually lasts 1 to 1.5 hours and is usually around 11am. Charlie rarely has another nap after this.
As mentioned earlier, Charlie has an 8oz bottle of milk before bed. He is now drinking Soy based formula due to having a reaction to cows milk when we first introduced it at 12 months. After 2 weeks of Charlie waking 2 or 3 times in the night with obvious stomach ache and wind, I took him to the doctor who said that they symptoms sounded exactly what he would expect from a baby who is not taking to cows milk very well. The symptoms included night wakings, in a lot of pain with stomach cramps, wind, soiled nappies 3 or 4 times per day that were extremely loose and watery. Since then we have avoided cows milk, he still has cheese and yogurts, but we have been making porridge and weetabix with water. He does need to be introduced to cows milk again but following the doctors advice it was to be avoided for a few weeks and then gradually introduced, in a watered down form.
For lunch Charlie has either sandwiches, wraps, omelettes, scrambled eggs, cheese on toast, a platter of different veg, breadsticks, crisps, yogurts and fruit.
For his evening meal he has a hot meal, based on either chicken, fish, beef or lentils. Occasionally he will have fish fingers with potato waffles. He loves bolognese, mild curry, chicken stews, fish pie. Pudding is usually a yogurt, fruit, a biscotti or a cake.
Since January I have taken Charlie to a local music based baby group once a week. He seems to be a shy boy at the moment, I don’t know whether this is a personality trait or just part of his character at the moment. He is going through a very clingy phase, I am attributing that to teething and from Google I see that a lot of children his age go through this phase. I think it is even more important now to get out into different situations to boost Charlie’s confidence.
We will soon also be starting swimming classes once a week. I am really excited about this, I am fully prepared for Charlie to hate it at first but I am confident that he will learn to enjoy it and his confidence will grow. I am also looking forward to having another place to interact with other parents. I am happy with my decision to take a career break from work but I would be lying if I said it isn’t lonely at times. Another weekly baby class will do us both good.
I take Charlie to the local park to have a go on the swings and roundabouts etc. This is also a good place to get Charlie close to other children. Although he doesn’t necessarily interact much at the moment, I like to take the opportunities to get him in the presence of other children.
I am lacking in friends with young children, however i do have two who have children of a similar age. I try to meet with them as often as possible to either have lunch dates, go to soft play centres or just meet for coffee. I really am keen to get Charlie used to being with a mix of different people and children I order to grow his confidence. For years I was so shy and felt less self-worth than many of the people around me. I no longer feel that way, and I don’t want Charlie to ever feel like that.
Charlie has recently learned to walk. He never wants to sit still, he wants to be constantly exploring. At home he loves to watch the washing machine, the microwave, chase our dog, open and close cupboards/drawers. His favourite toys are balls (flashing ones, smelly ones, spiky ones, soft ones, hard ones, big ones, small ones), stacking cups, maracas, his plastic firemen and farm yard animals. He loves to go on the swings at the park. He absolutely loves his trike, and enjoys going in trolleys at the supermarket.
He currently hates going in to enclosed spaces – public toilets/changing rooms, lifts, small cluttered shops, dark coffee shops etc. He cries to loud and can sometimes be inconsolable. If he is doing something he enjoys and you stop him for whatever reason, he has such a tantrum. I usually find that distracting him with his favourite toy or a snack usually does the trick.
All in all, Charlie’s physical development seems to be going great. He walks, crawls, feeds himself, settles himself to sleep, claps, waves, high fives, puts his hands in the air, stomps his feet and sticks his tongue out. He squeals with excitement, he says mama, rah rah, bab bab, and various other noises.
I would say that most “challenging” part of this phase of development is that Charlie is finding his own mind, and definitely let’s it be known what he does and does not want to do. When it comes to the end of the day I am exhausted from all the playing and walking around we do. I absolutely love how interactive he is so it is worth feeling tired.
I have become less concerned if I don’t get the time to do household chores or other things that I wanted to do. I cherish the time that I get with Charlie, because he really is growing up so fast before my eyes.