7 months with Bea…

It feels like Bea’s sixth month has been full of big changes. We moved her into her cot, dropped her dream feed, she slept through the night, stopped sleeping through the night, there have been ups and downs!

Early in the month, as you all know already, we started weaning. That was a massive adjustment for me, trying to fit everything in between milk feeds and solid feeds. Between that and Bea’s new found mobility, it seems to be all go. Gone are the days I can go out for a coffee with friends without moving EVERYthing away from within Bea’s swiping reach!

It’s funny, it seems that (as with all babies I suppose) with some things Bea seems to do them really early and others she doesn’t get until late. Only at 28 weeks did Bea start banging things with her hand – slapping it down onto the table top or banging a toy down, when I have friends with much younger babies doing it much sooner. At 29 weeks she really discovered splashing in the bath. Before that she used to lie there looking very chilled out and now it’s all about slamming her legs down at 90 degrees to create maximum tidal wave style splashes!

28 weeks also marked the end of me being able to leave Bea and find her in the same position. She’s been rolling for a couple of months already but now, rather than crawling, is using rolling as a means to get all around the room. Once she added spinning on the spot on her tummy to turn 90 or 180 degrees, she could pretty much get anywhere.

At 29 weeks, she started pushing herself around backwards, using her arms to push her whole body back along the floor. I was sure this was a precursor to crawling and pretty much all month I would say I’ve felt it was sure to be something she did in the next week or so. But at 32 weeks now, we’re still waiting!

29 weeks also marked another sleep hiatus. Another cold stopped Bea sleeping and we were having lots of night time wakes. I always feed her if she wakes, partly because it’s a guaranteed way to get her back off to sleep and partly because I think, if I had a cold and woke up, I’d have a dry mouth and want a drink. When it turned into 4+ times a night however I got worried and even more so, when as the cold started to improve, Bea was still waking at 12 and 4ish, with habitual regularity. I had no idea what to do. Sometimes I wish I had done something to produce a (generally) good sleeper, so I knew what to do when it went wrong, but I don’t.

We have always put Bea in the cot rather than our room for the first part of the night (bed time to dream feed, when we move her in with us) and after a run of waking at about 12am I decided to just leave her there rather than wake for a dream feed, and get up when she inevitably did a couple of hours later. Instead she woke up at past 8am. We concluded that in fact it had been us waking her up rather than the other way around and she’s been in her cot all night ever since. I was so sad, but in a way it spared me making the ‘big decision’ and knowing it was better for her helped, even though it inadvertently came from desperation on our part!

I’d love to say that was the solution to the sleep issues but after 10 days of sleeping through until 7 or 8am-ish, we’ve been back to waking in the night again and then back again to sleeping after I restarted the dream feed. I actually don’t think it has anything to do with whether she sleeps or not, but it’s a vain attempt to improve things that sometimes works!!

The other big thing has been a few afternoons I’ve spent without Bea. At the time of writing, I go back to work in 2 weeks and I was already getting nervous about leaving Bea. Not just because I didn’t want to leave her, but because the people who would be looking after her (my mum and Pete,) hadn’t really looked after her at all yet. – I had left her with both of them, but only at night when she had slept anyway, so I was worried they wouldn’t know her little cues and quirks, or how to manage her routine (which is a bit haphazard!) I had booked a course for work in anticipation, and my mum spent 2 afternoons while I was at the course, looking after Bea. Fortunately it went very well – Bea was happy as larry and her afternoon with Pete while I went to a Spa was similarly successful. So I’m feeling happier that she won’t feel too disrupted without me.

Every week I go to my Yoga group and we all start by talking about something good that happened that week and something bad. The bad part is always sleep! How is sleep going for those of you with babies? And how did you start to get them ready for your return to work?


6 months, 5 months, 4 months, 3 months, 2 months and the first month with Bea

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13 thoughts on “7 months with Bea…

  1. we had a similar thing where Ruby started sleeping for 7-8 hrs at a time & did a couple of nights straight thru. I thought – great! It must be eating solids that’s helped! – but then the last few nights she’s gradually went back to short stints of 4-5 hrs!! So frustrating!! But I keep telling myself it’s better than it was a few months ago, plus I speak to other mums whose kids are 12 months + and they don’t even sleep thru. I guess they are humans not robots so will always do different things and change constantly… It’s just reassuring to know you’re not the only one up in the middle of the night!!!

  2. G is 9 months now, and his sleep is still really hit or miss. We managed 3 nights from dream feed to 7.30 this week, but last night we were awake from 1-2.30 in the morning for no apparent reason. Teething has been the most recent upset but I don’t think it was this….
    I still have two months before I’m back at work – I feel so brain dead it’s really nerve wracking. My preparation has been reducing the breast feeding- I’m trying to be strict about not feeding overnight, and substituting a few bottles of formula as I really can’t be doing with expressing. Also he’s spending a few hours each week with my mum who will do one day childcare, and closer to the time he will have some settling sessions at nursery. Finding a nursery was a real challenge – you’re lucky not to have to have done that.
    Bea is gorgeous in these photos – those eyes- just lovely

    • We are sending her to nursery Jo, just not until she’s 12 months. When I was planning my return to work, it was initially going to be when she was 6ish months and I couldn’t face sending her that little, so these plans evolved. Since then I’ve stretched out my mat leave as much as I could, so for the first 4 months we have the mum and Pete plan, then from 12months old she will do at least 1 day in Nursery. I think it’s good for children to go to nursery and she’ll do lots there she wouldn’t do with me at home!

      Another post coming soon on BF and work!

  3. Sleep…. Our enemy. We have never slept well and at 5 months having started a bit early with the weaning we started sleeping 7-7 waking once for a feed and a very happy chappy. Result! Only three weeks later we are back to waking every 1.5-2 hrs and wide awake at 5.30!!! Help. I think every time they go through growth spurt/wonder week leap it affects them in some way. Ours is sleep. If you mix that with teething, colds and increased hunger/appetite from being more active, then it is a recipe for disaster! Hang on in there, the words “it’s just a phase” come to mind.

    Love the blog! Best of luck going back to work but nice to know Bea will be with family.

    • Thanks Amy! 🙂

      I’ve been wracking my brains over whether it’s a leap, growth spurt, the fact she’s learning to crawl, not eating enough in the day… who knows. I just know it’s annoying!

  4. Bea is such a cutie. Her eyes are mesmerising.

    I am in a very similar boat – back to work w/c March 16th. I am absolutely dreading it. Willow will.not.take a bottle (and after many fraught sessions of deploying every trick in the book, I have thrown all 1,279 types of bottle we tried in the bin). So, my mum is going to have to syringe feed her which is clearly far from ideal. Due to the bottle situation, I have never left willow for more than a couple of hours (and only done that a few times), so being back in the office is going to be a shock.

    A couple of questions for you on back to work – are you going to continue to BF? Will you pump at work to keep up supply? I have no idea how I will manage this in an incredibly male-dominated office, but I shall have to find a way as formula is met with total disgust/incredulity by my picky baba.

    Sleep is a problem, too. She used to be an absolute champ – easily doing 8 hour stretches and up for only the briefest of feeds before straight back down. Though the latter characteristic has remained, she can be up as many as four times a night. Have experimented with dream feed, no dream feed, settling without feeds, feeds etc etc. It’s all totally hit and miss. I often find the good nights cruellest, as they lull you into a false sense of security and then make the bad nights seem even more disappointing. I haven’t minded too much whilst on maternity leave – but once I am back at my desk for my fairly high-pressure job, I suspect the lack of sleep will start to have more of an impact. The best sleep advice I received was “don’t look at the clock when the baby wakes”….not always easy to resist clock watching, but I did find my sleep FELT less interrupted when I wasn’t seething in bed for ages after resettling her, thinking about how annoying it was that she was waking so frequently. Especially with the inexplicable sense of competition that seems to surround the sleep issues amongst my “mummy friends”.

    And it’s so funny – I was just thinking today, after an NCT catch up, how Willow seems miles ahead in some regards, yet behind in others. I suspect it’s a personality thing – they seem to master the skills they are most interested in first. Willow is a very active, physical baby and therefore her mobility has been the focus of ALL of her attention since day dot.

    Gosh, this turned into a total essay. But just want to say – I’m not sure if it’s because I have a similar age baby, or because your parenting approach seems similar to mine – but I really enjoy these month-by-month posts. They are refreshingly honest.

    • I’d never left Evelyn for more than 2 hours before I went back to work and she went into nursery 4 days – you’ll both be OK! I know it seems awful now but it’ll allwork out and you’ll realise how amazing and strong you really are as a working mother.

      As for competitive sleep stories – b@llocks to them all! They are probably lying.

    • Thank you Rosie! 🙂

      I’m doing post next week on BF at work so keep you eyes peeled and hopefully there will be lots of helpful comments from the readers here.

      Sounds like Willow and Bea are very similar – Bea is also v.active. I’ve always suspected we might have this challenge as Pete was a very physical baby/child (and still is very sporty) but she has always been ahead in terms of motor skills… but she doesn’t really babble much at all. I’ve almost 99% sure this waking is all to do with the fact she is pretty much on the point of crawling.

  5. Sleep – unpredictable at best! Evelyn is nearly 18 months and in the last week we’ve had:
    sleeping through for 11 hours (yippee!) – just the once
    a single wake-up – three times (on the boob to get her back to sleep)
    two wake ups – twice (ditto boob)
    4 wake-ups – once (argh!!!)
    She still falls asleep next to me in the double bed in her room (any time between 7.45pm & 9pm!) then I transfer to cot and she may end up in with me, or not. Completely unpredictable!
    I’ve been back at work 6 months and all I can say is: YOU WILL BE OK! I was dreading it but it’s bearable, I enjoy my job and even when I am hideously tired and come in on 3hrs sleep, I somehow get through. It’s been a trying time but I know it won’t go on forever. I have put on weight from all the mochas and chocolate I eat to survive the tired days though!
    Try not to get too stressed prior to going back (easier said than done) and get support where you can.
    Rebecca you are fortunate not to be going through “nursery induction hell” when you return to work, but again that doesn’t last forever and there are positives to nursery too. Good luck!

  6. Maybe its because LMJ is 5 months old today but I’m feeling very nostalgic. I remember coming to see you and talking about starting to think about babies and boom, here we are and **wails** they are growing up so fast!

    Month four for us has been mixed. LMJ has been rolling, rotating on her tummy, started to caterpillar where she either goes onto one side and then wriggles along that way or puts her bottom in the air and uses the momentum to ever so slowly shuffle along front or backwards but GOD sleep has gone to hell. We had a run of waking every two hours around week 19 (I went back and re-read your post about the four month sleep regression and I assure you, it **totally** exists – our naps didn’t change at all but our night times totally did) but, then I found this link and it totally made sense:


    The theory goes that the babies are learning so much that their minds are blown. And then suddenly I didn’t mind so much. Following this, I also fed when she woke up because she has always been such a good self soother (God bless Flopsy rabbit) so I figured if she woke, she was hungry.

    I also think that teeth have played a part too. I’ve noticed more wake-ups for food the redder her cheeks are. She tends not to feed so well so I guess she needs more feeds.

    Rolling with it is HARD

  7. Can I ‘like’ this comment? Seems like yesterday…!

    Yep this is the Wonder Weeks principle Becca… have you looked at the book? I’m not sure I’d say buy it, but def worth getting from the library or second hand. As I said above, I think this is related to Bea trying to crawl. She seems to always wake when she’s trying to turn over or turns then gets up onto all fours and I think she’s half asleep, confused and can’t settle herself like she normally would. Who knows. I just wish she would crawl already so I can see if my theory is right!

    I’ll go check out that link now… x

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