Gabriel is eleven months old

I only got round to writing Gabe’s 10 month update a couple of weeks ago so not much has happened since even though this update is slightly late too. Eleven months old seems to have come round very quickly – I can’t believe Gabe is going to be one next month!

Gabriel is eleven months old

We’re still waiting for tooth number eight to appear so there’s been quite a lot of whinging still, and for the about a week he’s being refusing to eat anything much apart from fruit pouches. The last day or two he has started eating again but still no tooth!

Of course the lack of appetite could also be a bit of a reaction to the total disruption to his routine and the heat – since last Thursday we’ve been living with my parents until hopefully we get the keys to our new house next week, so everything has been different for him the last few weeks.

Despite my high hopes for Gabe’s new reflux medication it hasn’t quite been the wonder cure I thought it might be. He does seem marginally more comfortable at night he is still waking up at least a couple of times and often wants to get up around 5 am. Having said that, we have had a couple of nights where I’ve brought him into bed with me sometime in the early hours of the morning and he’s slept until nearly 7 am so maybe the tide is slowly changing…

Gabe standing at the TV

Gabe is the most active baby I’ve ever seen though so I don’t know how he manages on so little sleep sometimes. He never sits still, he’s always crawling off or pulling himself up. If you try and hold him he’s super-wriggly and often will try and dive out of your arms onto the floor. He is cruising round the furniture like a pro now and doesn’t seem to need to hold on for balance quite as much any more. I don’t think it will be too long before we see him standing on his own and even walking.

Gabe sitting in the bath

He’s loving the bath now too – he’s always quite enjoyed it but up until the last week or too wouldn’t sit in the bath so he couldn’t really do much. He’s decided he’s happy to sit now though so he can play with all the toys and the bubbles. We might even brave trying to give Toby and Gabe a bath together soon.

Gabe is eleven months old

Apart from the teething and lack of appetite Gabe has actually been much cheerier for the last few weeks. It could have something to do with the fact that we have actually, for the first time in what feels like months, had a couple of weeks where he hasn’t been ill!

That’s about it for this month I think. Gabe is eleven months old and I still can’t believe that next month I’ll be writing that he is one! And hopefully we’ll be all settled in our new house and I’ll be telling you that he’s sleeping through the night…well I can dream right?

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Gabriel is ten months old

Yep. That’s right. Gabe is ten months old. Another two months and he’ll be one. And actually because I’m so late writing this month’s update he’ll actually be one in just over six weeks!

Gabriel is ten months old

When I wrote Gabe’s nine month update he had about 10 chicken pox spots and I was hoping he was going to get away with a mild dose but no such luck. A couple of days later and he was covered; they were all over his body, his bum, his face, his head, in his ears, eyes and mouth….it was horrible and he really suffered for the next week. Despite not scratching any of his spots he has ended up with a few scars on his body and one right between his eyes – hopefully it will fade a bit over time but I don’t see what else we could have done to avoid them.

And it just doesn’t get any better for my littlest bear – the week after he had recovered from his chicken pox he got another stomach bug. He was sick one evening then seemed OK overnight but was sick five times the next day. After he’d got over that he seemed to be really struggling with his reflux and then started teething again… It really is never ending! Despite all the illness we have still managed to get out and about a bit this month and Gabe seemed to enjoy having a go on the swing a few weeks ago.

Enjoying the swing

Hopefully though there is some light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel. I can actually feel a tooth on one side and the other one doesn’t seem to be too far away. And last week we finally got to see a paediatrician at the hospital after being referred back in April. The doctor has prescribed Gabe some new medicine and so far it does seem to be helping so fingers crossed things are on the up at last and we can all start getting a bit more sleep soon! At the moment Gabe is still up at least once or twice a night (and often more) and is usually awake and wanting to get up at some time between 4:30 and 5 am. Most nights he ends up in bed with me in the early hours too. I wouldn’t say I was an enthusiastic co-sleeper but I just do whatever I can to get as much sleep as possible at this point.

In spite of all the illness Gabe has made some big developmental leaps in the last month. He is super speedy at crawling now, making it very difficult to get this month’s milestone card picture!

Gabe won't stay still

He has learnt to pull himself up to standing which he is incredibly pleased with himself about. He’s started cruising along the furniture too. It does mean we have to be in a state of constant vigilance though as he is still a bit unstable and hasn’t quite worked out how to sit back down properly yet either so he always seems to be seconds away from causing himself an injury!

Gabe only wants to stand up

Our progress with weaning has been slow this month as being ill and teething has affected Gabe’s appetite quite a lot and I think because of that he has’t really grown or put on much weight in the last month either. His co-ordination is improving all the time though and he is getting much better at feeding himself finger foods, although he is still mostly spoon-fed. I’m hoping we can get him more used to lumpier food over the next couple of months and he can eat the same as the rest of the family. He usually has three bottles of milk during the day now, but also has at least one or two during the night as well. I’m hoping that getting his reflux under control will help us stop the night feeds too.

Gabe enjoying some lunch

Gabe has also started making much more distinguishable sounds now too. He says hiya and although we’ve not quite got Dada yet he does say ‘a-da’ instead. It’s very cute.

I think that’s probably about it for this month’s update. When it comes time to write Gabe’s eleven month update we will be mid house move and he’ll have to deal with lots of disruption to his normal routine. We’ll be leaving the house he was born in which is a little bit sad but hopefully by this time next month we will be getting settled into our forever home. And please, everybody, send all your wellness vibes this way because I would love Gabe to have a month where he isn’t ill at all.

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Is seven months too young for nursery?

After three settling in sessions Gabe is having his first full afternoon at nursery today. He is seven and a half months old and technically he doesn’t really need to be there. I’m not working at the moment – I’m still receiving maternity pay from my former employer but as I was on a temporary contract I don’t have a job to go back to. So there is no real reason why I couldn’t look after Gabe at home, like I have been doing for the last seven and a half months.

But the thing is, I’m exhausted. Gabe is not an easy baby to take care of. Whether it’s due to his reflux or just the way he is Gabe is not a baby who will just sit quietly and play for longer than a few minutes. I wouldn’t even mind if he was happy sat on my knee or cuddling with me but he constantly wriggles and writhes, he wants you to stand up with him and when he’s pushing a stone and a half that isn’t easy to do for long.

Oh, and Gabe is not a fan of the afternoon nap either. I don’t really know why – he generally naps well in the mornings, an hour or two in his crib but in the afternoons he will only really sleep either in the car, or sometimes on me at home. I don’t really mind that so much; I get some nice sleepy cuddles and a chance to catch up on some TV but it doesn’t give me chance to do anything else.

Toby already goes to nursery four afternoons a week – he used to go full time when I was at work and when Gabe was born we decided to keep him going part time. He enjoys it, he gets to do things he doesn’t do at home, and if I do go back to work and he has to go back full time then hopefully it won’t be too much of a shock for him.

Gabe at nursery

A month or so ago, after another sleepless night and another minor breakdown from me we decided that it would probably help everyone if Gabe was to go to nursery one afternoon a week too. Barry and I are happy with this decision and yet why, when I tell people do I feel embarrassed? I feel like I’m admitting I can’t cope with looking after my children myself. I know lots of people who’s kids are regularly looked after by their grandparents or other relatives and no-one bats an eyelid but we don’t have that option – our nearest relatives live over 200 miles away.

I know there are probably thousands of mums (and dads) around the country who look after their kids all day every day on their own and seriously, I take my hat of to them. Because I can’t do it. Looking after two little boys is exhausting and I felt like I was going slowly insane. I was irritable and snappy with Toby when he doesn’t deserve that, and I wasn’t giving Gabe all the attention he needs either.

Gabe’s been fine at nursery so far as you can probably see from the photos I’ve taken from his online learning journal. I think it might even do him good to be somewhere else and get some stimulation from being with different people and doing different things.

Gabe painting at nursery

And I’m hoping that this one afternoon a week, when I will have chance to work on my blog, or go to the dentist, or catch up on chores, or even catch up on some sleep, will help me be a better mummy the rest of the time. And I refuse to feel guilty for that.