Monday, 17 December 2018

Motherhood Musings - Last Baby Turns One!


The first couple of years of a child's life are incredible. They start out as a tiny, helpless bundle unable to do anything for themselves but over the space of two years they learn to sit, walk and begin talking. One of the biggest joys of having children has been to watch this remarkable transformation unfolding before my eyes. I just love to witness each milestone and watch my children grow and develop, learning all the skills they need for independence.


Each phase is so precious and exciting but there are definitely some challenging times along the way! Funnily enough, I never found the newborn phase particularly difficult. I was lucky enough to have quite straight forward births so my recovery afterwards was relatively quick. Then, once I realised co-sleeping was an option, I no longer felt the tiredness a lot of new mums experience. Furthermore, newborns simply sleep for most of the day, leaving you time to do other things (in my case, homeschool my other three children by day and work on my blog during the evening). 


Precious milestones


I will never forget the absolutely blissful feeling of a newborn resting their sleepy head against my chest, so light you hardly feel the weight. I will never forget those snuffly sounds they make and the teeny tiny clothes that overwhelm their curled up bodies. I will never forget those big, inquisitive eyes staring into mine, trying to make sense of the world they've just become a part of.

Then, before you know it, they nap less during the day. They want to look around and take in the sights and sounds in their environment. They begin to smile and start to interact with the people around them. They become interested in objects. They begin to grab at toys and put them to their mouths. They learn to roll and sit and, before you know it, they are crawling around independently which enables them to get to where they want to go.

They take their first mouthful of food, oh what fun! It is fascinating to watch their facial expressions as they experience new tastes and textures. Baby led weaning has been a godsend. It made weaning much easier and more enjoyable. With this method, baby is able to refine their fine motor skills and quickly learn how to chew and swallow and eat whatever they choose.


Before you know it, baby learns to walk and then there is no stopping them. They toddle around, falling lots at first, but soon get up again. Their resilience is inspiring! Then comes the climbing and you know you're in trouble. You spend your days saving them from chairs and tables and generally trying to remove hazards and prevent accidents.

Then, one of the most exciting milestones of all; baby starts to talk. What an amazing moment when your baby says their first word! Normally around 12 months of age and usually 'mama' or 'dada' or some variant of those. Before long their vocabulary increases until they are start chattering away in short phrases which soon turn into full blown conversations. 


Baby's 1 year update


Recently, my fourth and final baby turned one. The first birthday is such a big milestone, but what is it like to experience this milestone for the last time? To be honest I am trying not to think about it. She is still very much a baby in my eyes, perhaps, as the youngest, she always will be. However, there are lots of signs that she is growing up and I wanted to document them before I forget.

A began to walk at 11 months. I always knew she'd be an early walker; she always wanted to stand. She has not been my earliest walker, that would be R at around 10.5 months. The other two started to walk at 12 months and 13 months. I have always found early walkers to be slightly more difficult, to be honest. They don't quite have the perception that later walkers have, due to their lesser developed cognitive abilities. Therefore, they tend to fall down steps more as they cannot perceive depth so well.

Despite being an early walker, she was the latest crawler, probably not starting to crawl until around 9.5 months which meant that she wasn't crawling for long before starting to walk. She clearly just wanted to walk!

Now she is a confident walker, as well as an enthusiastic climber. She climbs on everything in sight! This is actually proving to be quite difficult for me as I am constantly having to take her off things. She can climb onto a chair and then right on top of the dining table in no time! As soon as I get her down, she's right back up. I can't take my eye off her for a second!


She is very inquisitive and loves to explore new objects, turning them over carefully in her hands and putting them in her mouth. She still mouths objects a lot so I have to watch out for that too. This age really is hard for us mums, constantly trying to eliminate risks and hazards.

It is starting to feel like she understands a lot of what we say. She often points at objects or places after we ask her where something is. She answers to yes/no questions, but not with clear words. She has started to say a few words now, 'mama', 'baba' and 'shoes' are the main ones - she loves her shoes! As a Speech and Language Therapist, this is the most exciting thing for me to see. It is such a pleasure to observe her language skills developing and helping her along the way with my tried and tested tips to aid speech and language development.

Not only has she started to say a few words, she has also started to "sing". Her first song was the classic, 'Twinkle, twinkle little star' but she has now moved over to Turkish, the song 'Ari, viz viz viz' being her absolute favourite. As we are a bilingual household, A will be hearing both English and Turkish on a daily basis. If you would like more information about raising a bilingual child, click here.

A is such a happy little girl and I feel so lucky to be her mother. I cherish each and every moment with her, as I do with my other children too. Each moment is precious and before long it will only be a memory. As my last baby, A's first birthday is a bitter sweet moment. I am aware that I will never again experience pregnancy or hold my newborn in my arms. However, I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life and everything it will bring.

How did you feel when you had your last baby? 



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