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Savannah – 9 Month Progress Update

My last update of Savannah was at 6 months. It’s time for another, there have been so many changes.

8 month old baby girl

Sleep
Can you believe my 8 month old was STILL not sleeping through the night? My heartache of being sleep deprived was laid out to bare last month. But fingers crossed at 9 months she has recently began to sleep through, long may that continue! How did we finally accomplish that?

We tried sleep training at 6 months which went horribly. So 3 weeks ago we decided to try and wean her off the bottle over night using a more gentle approach, which I did successfully with Nate but did not work for Savannah.

what age can baby feed themselves?

We reduced her formula slowly, 1oz at a time and then replaced it with water. So she got a full feed at 10:30pm but then when she woke overnight (usually between 2-5am) we gave her a bottle of water, usually 5 or 6oz and she drank all of it, every time! Supposedly, if you only offer water at night babies are supposed to stop waking up, but after 4 weeks she was still waking! I tried the controlled crying technique of shushing and patting when she awoke but that just made her worse, therefore the only method left was letting her cry it out. I prefer to think of this method as ‘letting her sooth herself’ rather than cry-it-out as it sounds better and we are basically trying to help her help herself, she needs to learn to sleep. So that is what we did.

It went like this:
Night 1 – cried for 1.5 hours (and so did I, it was horribly painful for me)
Night 2 – cried for 35 minutes
Night 3 – cried for 10 minutes
Night 4 and 5 – she had a bad cold, so I didn’t feel that I could let her “self-soothe”, I gave her water,
Night 6 – back to scratch she cried for 1 hour 10 minutes
Night 7 – cried for 20 minutes
Night 8 – she slept through the night

Of course we are probably going to have to sleep train her again to wean her off her 10:30pm dream feed – unless she miraculously drops this feed herself.

Weaning
This has been a mixture of hard work and fun, from 5.5 months Savannah has chosen the baby-led weaning approach. She would not let me put ANYTHING in her mouth, no food, no spoon, no medicine even! If I tried to spoon feed her she would just spit it out! So for those who disagree with spoon feeding because they think you are force feeding your child, I can tell you now – you cannot force-feed your child! Your baby is always in control of the food they swallow no matter how you feed them!

But all that changed last week and she is suddenly hungry and letting me feed her! She seems to be really enjoying the food too. I’m still letting her feed herself though so I guess we are combination feeding now, again I’m taking my steer from her so it really is baby-led.

8 month old eating brocolli

Her favourite foods right now are brocolli and corn on the cob. When we are out and about we tend to give purees as it is less messy and it is more convenient. We did start with Ella’s kitchen, but actually now I prefer cow and gate/Heinz or Hipp Organic jars as they actually look like real food they actually have rice and pieces of vegetables, Ella’s Kitchen pouches are so pureed that they don’t look real. But that’s just my personal preference.

Verbal Development
Savannah is doing very well with talking. She can now say Dada, Mum and bye-bye (she also waves with that one). She is a right chatter-box, she pretty much says da-da all day long and basically chatters away most of the day and even over night!

Physical Development
She can sit up unaided but still cannot crawl properly yet though she can get around. She spins herself around, goes into a crawling position and sits herself back up, rolls all around. She can wave and takes great enjoyment out of playing with her toys. Thanks to baby-led weaning she can pick up small pieces of food between her finger and thumb and pass them between her hands. She can fed herself her bottle, which is super helpful, and she can pick it up if she drops it.

She has two teeth and two new ones are starting to break through.

Family Holiday

family posing on lake at centre parks

Since the last update we have been on our family holiday, which was to Center Parcs at Woburn. We had such a great time, it was exhausting obviously, as family holidays with a young child is not really a holiday so much as a change of location of the madness but we did love it. The staff were amazing with our kids, they seriously went above and beyond. The restaurants (all but one) all have soft play in them, which meant that we were able to eat out every night and enjoy it, as Nate (our 5 year old) was entertained. They provide free baby food (cow and gate jars), bowls, spoons, bibs, wipes, bottle warmers and microwaves in all of their restaurants and the main sports plaza, which is a lovely touch that we took full use of. The Sub-tropical paradise swimming pool was the winner though, we went everyday. It is free, immaculately clean, still looks new and is so much fun. My son and I have a fantastic time, and even though he is a stage 2 swimmer we decided to brave the wild river rapids (with him on my lap) and we both absolutely loved it – we went on 7 times in a row at one point.

Siblings
Nate is still obsessed with her, always wants to be with her, touching her, playing with her etc. which is obviously very nice, but is also problematic as he simply won’t leave her alone, to the point of making her cry sometimes. He tells me (and her) all the time how much he loves her, which makes my heart fuller than I ever thought possible, so I am trying not to get too irritated when he treats her like a doll. He always means well, he absolutely adores her, more than I thought it was possible for a 5 year old to do. In return, she loves him and appears to worship him already, plus no one makes Savannah laugh as much or as loud as Nate can.

5 year old on swing with 7 month old

What has your baby been up to lately?

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Baby Savannah – 6 month Progress Update

I cannot believe the changes since I wrote the last update about my beautiful daughter Savannah at 3 months old. A lot changes in 3 months, in the world of a baby.

6 month old sitting up

Physical Development

This is the area that she has changed the most, at 3 months she would hit a toy, but now she holds them, puts them into her mouth (everything goes into the mouth) and gets real joy out of playing with her toys. She gets bored if we don’t mix them up, she cries if we take one away from her and she yells if one falls on the floor.

The biggest and most useful change is that she can now sit up unaided, it is great to be able to visit friends and family without having to play “pass the baby” for 3 hours, it also means she can sit in a highchair, in the bath and sits and plays with Nate, which he loves!

6 month old baby sitting up

Language Development

I didn’t know I would be adding this section so soon, but at 5.5 months Savannah said her first word, she said Dada and then later that day she said Dad. I can’t wait to see what her next words will be, Nate keeps repeating his name to her, hoping that she will learn that, so we will see!

Milk and Weaning

At 3 months we were still struggling with her formula feeds, because she wanted a bottle every 2 hours, she would snack, only taking 3-4oz. Then just before Christmas it changed to every 3 hours, and now it is every 4 hours, finally! It means that she actually finishes a feed now, usually about 6-7oz per feed.

We just started weaning Savannah, we started with some baby rice and have now moved onto purees and finger food. She has had parsnip, carrot, brocolli, sweet potatoes, bananas, peppers, corn on the cob, mangoes, toast, cheese. She really loves to feed herself, both her purees and her finger food, so we are sort of unintentionally following the baby-led weaning route as she is very independent though and will not let me put a spoon in her mouth, as soon as a spoon comes at her she grabs it, and is really good and feeding herself. BUT, I do not like the way people are militant and pushy about baby-led weaning, it actually makes me very nervous that she might choke, so I am doing a baby first aid course in a couple of weeks.

6 month old feeding selfbrocolli finger food

Her teeth are coming in thick and fast, 2 teeth over the last 3 weeks!

Out and About

We have just finished Baby Yoga, and did Baby Massage before Christmas, both with the same lady Lorraine at MamaBabyBliss. If you are in Milton Keynes I highly recommend these classes, we have had such a great time. Lorraine is so lovely, she is very accommodating – because I had a bad back, she set me up with lots of cushions and took Savannah off me for the heavy lifting parts of baby yoga. She doesn’t mind if you need to feed or change, or if babies cry, it is such a relaxed and warm environment, and there are only 6-8 people per class, so you really get to know everyone, and she makes us set-up a whats app group, which means you don’t have to work up the courage to ask strangers for their phone number. She also has a photographer (very low prices) take the most fantastic pictures once during the course, with no pressure to buy, but its so cheap you will!

baby massage 4 month old

We have just started the new MK craze – Baby Sensory classes. I will reserve judgement for now as we have only attended one class. It seems that everyone loves them, even though there are 20 people in the class (pretty impersonal).

I am loving my time with my darling girl, she is a very happy baby, always smiling and laughing, and so well behaved. I am so glad I am off work until August. Not only that, but I have this one year to be able to both drop Nate off and pick him up from school every day, it is giving me the opportunity to get to know the school parents and get involved in school life.