The month number nine is here, and we already experience some of the feared changes happening at this stage of Lavinia’s life. Sleep regression, growth spurt and all that jazz, plus a new post-pandemic entry.
What’s going on
The notorious nine-month milestone approached. It arrived so fast that we noticed some changes in Lavinia’s behaviour and routines from the middle of July.
For starters, she’s hungrier. If you think there could be no such a thing as a hungrier Lavinia, you think wrong. I figured that while meal prepping: for three times in a row, she ate two portioned meals I prepared for her in advance. That’s a clear sign that I had to increase her portion size for the solid food. I thought she would have less milk at this point, but I was wrong again.
Chances are that the infamous sleep regression hits us on the naps department also this time around. That would be way better than a night’s time sleep regression, so we’re crossing our fingers.
Like the last time we dealt with the sleep regression, Lavinia struggles to fall asleep when it’s nap time. She shows clear signs of tiredness, and kind of falls asleep in our arms; when we put her down in the cot, though, she bursts into cry.
Thankfully this is not our first rodeo anymore, so we’re managing it – even though it’s still frustrating also for us, not only for her.
On the other hand, she’s having fewer night terrors, which is excellent. We also upgraded her cot to a bigger one as she outgrew the one we bought a year ago (a year ago! 😱) , which hopefully will accompany her until the latest stages of her childhood (it turns into a bed).
Related to the above, Lavinia’s begun an intermittent and annoying bottle strike. While she keeps taking the breasts with no problems whatsoever, she’s stopped taking the bottle and the teats.
When I nurse her when she’s drowsy, I manage to switch my breast with the bottle, and then she has it all. Otherwise, either she turns her face and shuts her mouth, or she has just a little in a sitting position. The sippy cup helps, especially when having solid food.
I suspect she’s naturally weaning herself out of the bottle, but not out of the milk! As her appetite increased, she still needs a considerable amount of milk. Even if she refuses the bottle, she still enjoys her milk with oats and wheat biscuits, so these are now two solid staples in her meals routine – pun intended.
Here’s a curated series of images taken mostly from one of her favourite morning spot: my breastfeeding pillow on the sofa while watching BBC Weather.
Teething monster transformation
After so many months of “feeling” a tooth right below the gum, it finally happened – the tooth cut the gums, and it’s been such a painful moment for the three of us.
Lavinia started acting very weird on a Thursday afternoon. She’s been an utter antichrist nightmare mostly no-stop. She looked distressed and in pain, and she was wasn’t very hungry (which made me worry!), so I thought it was something she ate that wasn’t playing well with her tummy.
After two almost-sleepless nights, on Sunday afternoon, I found out while nursing her (OUCH!) that her teeth are finally cutting.
One night I ended up “sleeping” on the carpet, holding her hand through the cot (it’s not safe to co-sleep with her). She didn’t even want Franz to soothe her. She wanted to stay only in my arms. She gave me lots of drooled kisses, though! When I finally managed to put her down, this was the only way to have her rest a little.
Her crying for pain is excruciating. Luckily she’s never got sick so far, so we had no idea how this cry sounded like.
The strolling continues
I’ve resumed our pre-pandemic walks. I also tried the baby carrier instead of the stroller, and it’s not that bad – it’s quite a cardio exercise since Lavinia is almost 9kg (19.8lbs) now.
I put her front-facing in the baby carrier, so she can also see the world and not only my face all the time. She quite liked that! I could also see that from the smiling faces of the people crossing us along the path.
Lavinia, meet Hailey!
July is a memorable month as we finally can send Lavinia to the childminder. She should have started at six months old, thanks for the delay, stupid pandemic!
It’s such a relief for us, not only because we can finally have a break from the hectic working/baby duty routine, which was affecting our mental health and quality of the time we spend with our daughter.
Most importantly, Lavinia now will meet other people and kids, and can get what we cannot give it to her because we don’t have the right skills: a proper education.
We had some preliminary meetings with Hailey, our childminder, to introduce her to Lavinia and feel the vibes, and all went well.
We expect that the next few weeks and months will be a massive adjustment for Lavinia, especially now that everything is changing again for her in terms of growth spurts, cognitive developments etc. Maybe this new adventure will mitigate the changes ¯_(ツ)_/¯
These are a few pictures Hailey sent me whilst she was with Lavinia. At home, Lavinia still acts as my personal assistant when I work from my desk, and also when I am on housework duty (see the video)
Motor skills FTW
A quick follow up about Lavinia’s motor skills because we shot some funny videos of her first crawling attempts.
She dramatically improved her crawling very quickly, even though she still commando crawls and prefers rolling than crawling. We noticed that chasing food is the best way to have her practice her crawling, even though she likes chasing objects too.
Related to food, she masters her pinching reflects now, and most of the time, she prefers eating with her hands than using a spoon. We are letting her practice also her spoon self-eating skill, which means lots of food everywhere, not only on her mouth!
This is the curated monthly selection of funny Vinnie’s videos. Enjoy!
In the next episode
I hope to hear again what I might have heard by accident the other day. Lavinia has always been veeeeeery chatty, but she’s never said any words on purpose, if you see what I mean. Well, until the other day 🙃
I expect a good consolidation of her crawling and things going smooth and happy with Hailey too.