Independent from the start

“New babies love swaddling – it makes them feel like they are in their mother’s womb, close and safe and sound. Put them in a moses basket – helps them feel contained”.

It took a few weeks before I cottoned on to the full implications of trying to do this. Moo wouldn’t be swaddled, that was clear from the start – she would squirm and squirm until she had freed herself from her prison (although my mum could bind her up so tight only houdini could get out!). But we continued with the moses basket. Even though every time she feel asleep she would wake herself by putting out her arms which would hit the sides.

One night, Hubbie was away, and I decided to try an experiment. Let’s try her in her cot. I’ll sleep on the floor in the nursery, and we’ll see how she gets on. She had the soundest night sleep she had ever had (wish I had – the floor was not comfy!), and the following day Hubbie was sent out to get a travel cot which would fit in our bedroom.

“Babies love milk. It’s a real comfort thing for them, as well as nutrition. Feed on demand”.

That only works if your baby demands food. Fodder for a future post I think, but Moo wasn’t interested, so I had a feed on a schedule, or she would have had 5 or 6 ounces a day.

“Calpol. The drug of the baby masses. Works wonders – they ask for more!”.

Hmmm. Not so much. We have discovered Lloyds Pharmacy own brand paracetemol which Moo tolerates (cherry flavour, don’t you know). But any of the strawberry flavour brands – no way.

“Routine. Babies love routine. Bath, bottle, story – that’s the way to a good night’s sleep”.

Maybe for your child, not for mine. We tried for weeks… But bath, bottle, yes. And then another hour of playing. And then snatched from the toys at the first eye rub, given a 10 second cuddle and chucked in the cot with a “mummy loves you”. That’s how bedtime works best in our house.

“Babies roll around 6 months. Crawl by 10 months and take their first steps between 9 and 12 months”.

Really? Moo is now coming up on 16 months. She has only started to roll in the last month or so. She could do it before, she just didn’t want to. She crawled for the first time last night, only for a couple of feet, but still!

But she moved, boy did she move! Around 10 months, she discovered her own form of locomotion – bum-shuffling. With her little legs going like the clappers, heels dug in, legs moving in a frog like motion to propel her across the floor, arms joining in if she wanted to pick up speed. Her little calves are red raw from rubbing against the carpet, and the bums of all her tights and trousers are ruined! But she was happy doing this. She could carry things, and keep her head up. She never wanted to crawl.

Unfortunately it meant that she was rather Dalek-like, and couldn’t get around if the surface wasn’t flat…

But she’s standing now. Not pulling herself up on the furniture. Just sitting in the middle of the floor, getting her feet under her, hands on the ground, and using her balance and tummy muscles to pull herself up!

And she’ll walk. Not cruising round the furniture, but holding your hands.

And whilst babysitting, Nanny introduced her to the joy of walking up the stairs. Which is now a favourite. Must get that stair gate for the bottom step soon.

She’s doing it all. In her own sweet way and time, but she’s doing it.

And I love her all the more for that.

22 responses to “Independent from the start

  1. My eldest daughter didn’t crawl at all – she went from bum shuffling (Dalek stylee!) straight to walking!

    Another one for the list is ‘babies get their first tooth at 3-4 months old’ – my eldest didn’t get a tooth until 2 days after her 1st birthday!

    • Oh yes, definitely missed a trick there. Moo got her first tooth the week before her first birthday, although it took another good month for it to come through properly. She has 4 now at 16 months!

  2. wish i’d followed my sister’s lead and just refused to read any books. much better.


  3. yeah the pressure to do the “right” thing is immense, even though as it turns out, there is no right or wrong….

  4. If I had a £1 for every time someone told me I need to swaddle my baby or carry him in a sling because that would sort out his incessant crying….(honest he cried from 7am-7pm every single day for about the first 18 months of life, it was horrendous). Every presumed that they knew better, they would be able to stop him etc Arrgggh!!!

    And he didn’t until he was 22 months but he soon caught up!

    They’re all different, there are no rules!

  5. What a lovely post, love the action shots of her standing up. I love the fact she is doing everything her own way.

  6. It’s all to easy to obsess over what the books say your child should be doing and forget that they’re their own stubborn little person and will do things their own way. It’s definitely easier with the second, perhaps cos you realise that with all things, they’ll get there in their own time.

    • Too true! Unfortunately you need the real practical experience to know that, and no matter how often people tell you, it’s hard to believe!

      Just like when people tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps. It’s great advice, but few first time mums consistently take it 😉

  7. Oh how I wish more mums would accept that their kids are unique. It took me a couple of months to accept it but I think by 9 months (which is where we are now) is obvious just by looking at them that they’re all progressing differently. We should celebrate them for their individuality, ot worry about it. You’ve inspired me to write a post – check back next week – I will of course credit you with my inspiration!

  8. aww 🙂 excellent post. Sounds like you’ve got it sussed! Children are all individuals and Moo is adorable!

  9. marcy@mumumumumum

    All 5 of my kids have been different i woory that Jess the youngest is speaking as well as she should be ,but i understand her and she was prem,but being told that as she is now in 3/4 yr clothes at 2 she is obese worried me , for all of 2 mins,she is fiine and has 4 older siblings who talk for her and feed her regularly . She has only vomitted twice and had 3 colds so she is doing ok . your little one will be fine and enjoy her whilst you know where she is it will all change. x

  10. After having 4 nearlly 5 children i have learnt that they all do things in their own time. You can guide them, you can try and make them subscribe to harsh routines but at the end of the day a baby will do what it wants.

    I always let them lead and i will work around them, i love the way your little one has done everything her own way, and well done for just accepting her for making her own choices. Many people forget that they are only little versions of us. xxxx

  11. What has amazed me most is that mini mck has had such definate ideas about how he wants things done from day one. I never realised that babies have such strong ideas so young and all we can do is work out what they are trying to tell is and provide it. Sounds like Moo is the same.

    • She very definitely is! Yes, I did not expect them to know what they wanted quite this early, but she is very definite about it all – leaves you in no doubt!

  12. I paid a lot of attention to the “guidelines” the first time around. Now on the third I just let her lead the way! Best way to do it 🙂

  13. Noted down the Lloyds paracetamol thing, Toddlergirl will not take Calpol – she’s also a different little thing.

    No walking until 18 months (or toddling) when she suddenly stood up and walked across the room – some of them are just different

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