BABY ON BOARD Baby updates

Five month baby update

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It literally feels like only last week I was writing my four-month baby update!

Five months is probably THE best age so far! Daphne is such a sweetheart now – she smiles whenever she sees me or Oli, she laughs so much she squeaks and she’s interested in everything. She’s also started putting her arms up when she wants to be picked up, which kind of makes me fall to pieces inside. Every now and then I look at her and think she’s starting to look like a little girl, instead of a baby. It’s quite scary really, and I have to keep telling myself to really pay attention to her every day, and notice everything about her because I can see that before too long she’ll be all grown up!

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No I won’t smile for the camera

For Christmas, Daphne got given a Fisher Price Jumperoo from her Auntie Soph, and she’s currently in it (freeing me up to write this). The music weirdly reminds me of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire but that’s no bad thing and it keeps her entertained for ages – I love watching her reaching for things and trying to decide what to do with them (currently this seems to be putting them in her mouth). Her newest favourite hobby, along with trying to eat EVERYTHING, is pulling my hair – and quite often pulling it out (oh and have I mentioned it’s falling out anyway, by the BUCKETLOAD? Ugh).

She’s not rolling yet but she has started grabbing her toes with her hands and pulling her knees up to her chin, which is really cute – except when you’re trying to change her nappy, when it’s rather infuriating. Thankfully that’s usually Oli’s job, heh (we made a pact when she was tiny that I’d do all the night feeds and he’d do the nappies – HIGHLY recommend this tactic, pays off massively when they poo in the night). She’s such a little wriggler at the moment and seems to delight in any attention you give her – even things like changing her nappy make her all smiley and happy.

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Mummy NO ONE will believe that these Uggs stayed on for more than five seconds…

Bad bits about five months? Well, she is still not sleeping through the night –  she goes to bed at 6pm then will usually wake at around 10pm, 2am and then 6am. The GOOD thing about this routine is it means we get pretty decent evenings together now – we can actually watch TV (or we could, if I could be bothered) and eat a proper dinner together. I usually spend most of this time catching up on emails or online shopping or aimlessly surfing the internet and losing my mind on Mumsnet etc, but I consider all of these things time well spent. I’ve tried everything to get her to drop the 2am wake up – I don’t really feed her much at night if I can help it as usually she’s not actually hungry, but if I don’t pick her up then she will cry and work herself up into a massive state. I feel like I’ve read everything that’s ever been written on the subject of getting babies to sleep through and really, I’ve given up now. I try to sleep when I can (and have been known to fall asleep while putting her to bed, even for her lunchtime nap). It’s not too bad, but there are the odd nights (like last night) where she will wake up at 2am and do a massive poo, and then obviously once you’ve hoiked her off to have her nappy changed, there’s no chance of her going back to sleep again for at least two hours. In which case Oli and I both lie there groaning as she happily chats away to herself in her cot. I have never been as tired as I’ve been over the last month, and I’ll definitely write a blog post on the sleep deprivation side of being a mum…

I know we could try letting her cry but, difficult though it is not getting decent sleep, it’s not annoying me sufficiently yet. I’m so on the fence about the cry it out thing and really can’t decide if it’s good for babies in the long run, or neurologically damaging and means they end up in therapy as adults.

We can’t get her to nap for longer than 45 minutes either, unless we are in the car – in which case she can sleep for hours. It’s so frustrating when you read all these baby schedules that say she should be having an hour and a half’s nap at lunchtime – not a chance! 45 minutes after falling asleep she’s awake again, and no amount of trying to settle her will get her back to sleep. As a result, she has to have at least four naps a day, or she’s a nightmare at bedtime. I’m sure that the nap issues is some way related to her inability to sleep for more than four hours at night but I’m really at a loss as to how to fix it?

Her proper cot arrived today and is sitting downstairs in its box. Lots of my friends who have babies that sleep through have already transitioned them to their own room, but the lazy side of me doesn’t want to have to get out of bed in the night to tend to her if she wakes up. ESPECIALLY not in January #chilly. Currently she sleeps in a cot right next to me (the Chicco Next 2 Me) and I can even lie with my head inside her cot and mush my face right up against hers which helps settle her. I often fall asleep in this position. Obviously I couldn’t do that if she was in a cot in the other room…

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Other weird developments this month: she’s started vomiting a lot more. She’s never been a sicky baby but in the last month she’s had two massive projectile vomiting sessions (always in the middle of the night, always necessitating a complete bedlinen change for both us and her – yay!). It’s horrible and she goes completely GREY afterwards, and looks all sad and exhausted. Really worrying. I think both times have been caused by a cold, as she’s been coughing up a bit of mucus, and I’ve been ill for nearly a month now so I’m sure she’s got it from me. But she’s also been spitting up a lot more after her bottles – not loads, but enough to be annoying. I don’t know if I’m feeding her too much or what, but she always seems super hungry and always stops when she’s had enough. Honest. (Yes I know she looks a little rotund but I am NOT overfeeding her. HONEST).

I’m not sure if she’s teething yet as there are definitely no visible teeth in her mouth, but she has been chewing on things more, drooling and also has bright red cheeks. So I guess she is? The health visitor said it takes ages for the first tooth to come through and that she may be irritable for a long time beforehand, so that’s another yay!

In other news, we’ve started weaning her, and she absolutely loves it – I’ll do a separate post on that. It’s funny, when I read all these books on weaning and they said ‘don’t worry if she doesn’t eat anything to begin with’, ‘don’t worry if most of the food ends up on the floor’ – Daphne has mastered swallowing EVERY. SINGLE. LAST. BITE. And then crying for more. Currently she’s had baby rice, carrot, cauliflower, peas and sweet potato and has eaten all of them happily. I think they make a lovely change from her horrible chemical milk. Fingers crossed it means she’s going to be a champion eater… after having dealt with a complicated pregnancy, her being born tiny, not being able to breastfeed, months of colic and now her not sleeping through unlike many of her NCT peers, it would be great if just one aspect of parenting came easily… please?!

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Stacey Sheppard
    January 18, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    I had exactly the same issues and worries as you about sleep. Matylda never napped for more than 45 mins and I felt horribly guilty after reading that babies should sleep for 1.5-2 hrs. I somehow felt it was my fault and she would not be able to develop properly if she was so sleep deprived.

    She also woke up through the night at exactly the times you mentioned too. And well past the time that other babies were sleeping through. I used to worry myself stupid about it. But I figured there was nothing I could do to force her to nap longer and not wake at night. I told myself that she would get there in the end and she did. In her own time. One day she suddenly napped for an hour and a half and has done since. I’m afraid to say she didn’t start sleeping through until she was 23 months old though. This was when we put her in a single bed and made a big fuss about her big girl bed. She had previously been on a cot in her own room. I was the same as you though early on. I thought there was no way I was putting her in her own room when she woke up so much at night. I was losing enough sleep as it was, I was not about to spend hours in a chair in her room. I took the side off her cot and pushed it right up against our bed. Just try not to worry about what other people’s babies are doing. Daphne will get there when she’s ready to nap longer. And try sleep training only when you feel ready. Xxx

    • Charlotte Duckworth
      Reply
      Charlotte Duckworth
      January 18, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      Oh Stacey, it’s SUCH a relief to hear that you had a similar deal with Matylda! I keep dreaming of the day that Daph suddenly sleeps for longer than normal – ha!

      When you say she didn’t sleep through til 23 months, do you mean she still woke at 2am? I can handle the 10pm wake up – it’s the 2am one that I’d really rather she stopped! xx

  • Reply
    Lekki
    January 18, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    I love your updates! Can’t let you get away with contemplating CIO as “neurologically damaging” – this is my PhD shizzle and we’ve shown that it’s not. Totes does t mean you should do it though – I mean, leaving Caroline at home with my dog while I get a pedi (I really need a pedi) isn’t “neurologically damaging” but I probably won’t do it

    Might change a kid neurologically but us crazy dev psych people call that learning. At least you are reading parenting books – your blog (and previously healthy tipping point’s blog) is the only info I get. I do have an in depth knowledge of all Emma Bridgewater’s pieces on eBay though, so there is that.

    • Charlotte Duckworth
      Reply
      Charlotte Duckworth
      January 18, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Haha about the pedi! I had my hair done when Daphne was four weeks old – I was away for about four hours! I *think* she survived.

      I’m totally fascinated by the CIO stuff, so PLEASE share any wisdom you have… I’ve got friends who tell me it’s barbaric but my mum tells me it’s important to do it if she won’t sleep on her own so that she’s a good sleeper when she’s older. She did it to me and I sleep like a log. I really don’t know – there’s that niggling feeling that if she’s crying and I ignore her, then am I not completely destroying her trust in me? Versus the awareness that children must learn boundaries at some point and not to manipulate. I do leave her to cry a bit now and then – esp when I’m driving cos obviously I can’t do much about it then, and she often falls asleep in the car. But I don’t like it when she gets so worked up she screams and goes bright red and looks like she might vomit… Gah.

  • Reply
    Aimee Carrack
    January 19, 2016 at 6:37 am

    I have a nearly 5 month old. He had 1 night last week where he slept through the night, however he was def lulling me into a false sense of security, as he hasn’t done it since (and last night was up every 2 hours like clockwork…zzzzzz.).
    I’m the same as you with the controlled crying, my mum keeps telling me to do, every time I moan about how I’ve had a bad night she reminds me of the time she left my sister to ‘cry it out’ & after that she slept through, but I just can’t do it to him. I feel like he’s crying for a reason so I should address that reason & it’s also painful to listen to him to get so worked up and not do anything, I can’t imagine him ever calmung down when he gets in such a state!
    I suppose all babies are different, I just keep telling myself he’ll sleep through when he’s ready and in the meantime I’ll rock the tired, dishrevelled mum look for a good while longer & continue to read the entire internet on the topic of baby sleep!

    • Charlotte Duckworth
      Reply
      Charlotte Duckworth
      January 19, 2016 at 9:38 am

      I agree, Daph can cry until she chokes and goes purple, and I really can’t imagine just leaving her to it. Not yet anyway!

  • Reply
    Becky
    January 19, 2016 at 7:28 am

    I think you will know when / if it is time for the controlled crying. I was broadly against it but things deteriorated to the point where she was waking up every hour throughout the entire night (this was at six months, when all my friends’ babies were smugly sleeping through and had been for ages) and after six weeks of that and trying every other trick in the book I realised that there was actually No. Other. Way. It didn’t work miracles but it did improve things and thus far she does not appear traumatised. Oh and has slept through every single night since she was 13 months. Anyway hopefully you won’t get to that point but if you do, fear not, it will be ok.

    • Charlotte Duckworth
      Reply
      Charlotte Duckworth
      January 19, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Ah Becky I remember you saying S was a fussy sleeper. I love that now she sleeps really well – this is the thing, everyone who’s done controlled crying seems to end up with a good sleeper which must be better for the baby in the long run. Short term pain for long term gain?

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