Little man N’s development check (and a health visitor rant)

Yesterday we had N’s 9-12 month development check. I’m sure J didn’t have his until he was around one year, but never mind. Being a first time Mum with J, I took everything as gospel and was in a rush for him to do everything, but with N I have been much more relaxed and just got on with it (and let him get on with it) as I know each individual baby/child develops at their own rate and just because they don’t keep up with their peers, or conform to some chart, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything wrong with them. I know I could have refused this check but brushing aside my moans, I always find it interesting to see how they ‘conform’, well, I suppose so I can moan really, ha!

It was a bit different this time and when she arrived I had to fill in a questionnaire which looked like this:

It basically asked a few questions of whether they are doing things yet, in each category of communication skills, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem solving skills, and personal-social skills; each requires a response of ‘yes’, ‘sometimes’, or ‘no’, and then each section is scored according to their ‘chart’.

N scored fairly high in all sections other than communication, and this is all because he wasn’t saying any words yet, just babbling a lot. According to the health visitor, he “should” be saying at least 3 words now and talking in full sentences! (Okay, I might be exaggerating there (only ever so slightly), but that’s how she made it sound!). I told her that J was a late talker too and he never stops now and can say hundreds of things so I wasn’t worried, but no, she kept drumming it in that he should be doing it – imagine if I was a first time mother with low confidence in my abilities, maybe already suffering PND/anxiety, and she had said this? According to her, we don’t talk to him enough. We are always talking to him, and if we’re not, then his brother is! We’re always telling him what things are, we always sing songs together, make songs up, ask him to do things, and he understands. I’m confident of that. Believe it or not, he said “Mama” after she left! He just didn’t want to talk for her obviously.

The other thing the health visitor is concerned about is his weight. He’s currently measuring on the 98th centile (he was born on the 50th – but the same thing happened to J and he is now on the 75th again) and his height puts him on the 75th. Apparently these level each other out, but basically he’s still too fat and needs to lose weight! So what am I going to do, starve my baby? I don’t think so. He still has three formula milk feeds a day and he eats three balanced meals a day so I think he’s doing perfectly fine. Again, I’m not in the slightest bit worried and am confident that when he starts walking he will go the same way as J. I also argued this point to her. But she insisted that a fat baby equals a fat adult when they get to 50 or 60, so a fat baby isn’t a healthy baby. Okay then. I swear above all, she was trying to make me feel bad, but it didn’t work.

I think he is a perfectly happy healthy baby. Just perfect.

When I have visited baby clinic before I have heard people complaining about her too; that she tells them to do things differently even when they have had children before and ‘know what they’re doing’ this time so to speak. 

I’m half considering submitting a complaint about her just in case she does ‘pick on’ the wrong person next time. What do you think?

Little man N at 10 months old

Ten months old. My youngest baby will be turning one this year! In less than two months! (And then for another 18 days I will be a Mummy of two under three). He’ll not be a baby for much longer – heck, it feels like he’s outgrown the baby stage already, sometimes.

He hasn’t been weighed since the last time but I’m not too worried. He has his ‘health check’ soon anyway so we’ll find out soon anyway. I can’t imagine he will have gained an awful lot though as he never stops moving and is a proper speed crawler! He’s still on 3 x 6 oz bottles (sometimes less as he often doesn’t finish them). He’s still loving his food and there’s barely anything he doesn’t like. He is such a gannet though and practically has a panic attack if he doesn’t get his meals straight away! His favourite food at the minute seems to be blueberries, which is a lovely healthy choice.

His own little personality is just amazing (I know, I’m biased) and I just love seeing it developing every day. He won’t let me cut his nails though so I have no end of scratch marks from him! He loves to climb up me – I often have both the boys doing it though vying for my attention! He’s so cheeky – when J is on the step, N crawls there and sits and laughs at him as he thinks it’s a game, so J finds it funny and I have to battle through that too! He still has his diva ways. He screams the house down when he’s having his nappy changed and he can’t get away – I’m sure the neighbours must think he’s being murdered or something… And then after we’ve finished he crawls away laughing!

He has three teeth now! Though his lower right incisor still hasn’t come through, it’s his top left central incisor. They seem to be coming through quicker than J’s did so I’m hoping we’ll have that stage out of the way sooner!

He hasn’t taken any unaided steps yet, though he’s still cruising and will let go for a nanosecond before falling on his bottom. We’ve tried giving him his walker to use but he’s not really interested at the minute – he’s more interested in playing with the activity ‘table’ on the front of it. I’m not going to rush him though as I was desperate for J to walk as all of his peers were and he still didn’t until 15 months! I know he’ll do it when he’s good & ready – I think he’s quite happy with his speed crawling at the moment!

Silica Lodge Winter Wonderland & Santa Visit

Last Friday we had our annual Santa visit, which also turned out to be N’s first of many – I hope! There are two great Santa’s nearby but we decided to visit the one at Silica Lodge Garden Centre as we really enjoyed it last year and it looked much more magical this year. I’m not sure who was more excited to be honest! J wasn’t really too fussed last year as he wasn’t really aware of who Santa was, but he is a lot more so this year and so he kept saying “Going Santa’s house” before we went.

The garden centre also has reindeer there up until Christmas so it was a great chance for J to see Rudolph in real life. Though they also had donkeys and pygmy goats there which he was mesmerised with – he does love watching animals in general though.

I’m glad we chose to go on a weekday rather than at a weekend as we were able to go in pretty much straight away and there was no queue. The visit to Santa starts with an enchanted train ride through a magical winter wonderland; past deer, Eskimos, polar bears, Santa himself, the elves, and we even encountered some snow! J didn’t want to go near Santa at first – I think he was a bit surprised at seeing him in the flesh! – but he eventually spoke to him after some encouragement from me. He told him he wanted dinosaurs for Christmas, and that Noah just wanted a present, bless him. Once we had seen Santa, we got to visit Santa’s toy shop where the boys could choose their own present. there was a great selection to choose from and J chose a clockwork train set, whilst we chose a ‘my first camera’ for N.

Before leaving we visited the animals again and had some photos taken on Santa’s sleigh, out of which J decided he wanted to try and steal a ‘present’! We put it back of course…

For £6.50 I think it is a very reasonable price as J absolutely loved it and wanted to go on the train ride again. I’m just wondering if they can beat it again next year!

I paid for this myself and wasn’t asked to write this review, I just wanted to share our experience!

Little man N at 9 months old

Nine months old. My youngest baby is now three-quarters of a year old. I don’t like it. He is growing up way too quick! He is developing quicker than J did too (I think he was just a lazy baby) which makes it seem faster I think.

I finally made it to baby clinic to get him weighed and he now weighs 24 lb 1 oz which means he’s only put on not even a couple of pounds in the last couple of months. Like I thought, now he’s moving around a lot more he’s leveling out a little bit. Though he’s still my chunky monkey as he’s in some 12-18 month clothes! He’s still on the same amount of bottles that he was in his last update, so 3 x 6 oz (sometimes 4 if he wakes in the night). He is also still loving his food and he eats practically everything. The only thing he’s really spat out is cucumber.

He really is developing his own little personality now and is such a cheeky monkey. He’s going through a raspberry blowing phase again, but he’s also started pinching and scratching, ouch! He’s learned how to give kisses now – when you pucker up and say give me a kiss, he opens up his mouth and then leans in and kind of sucks your lips, it’s so blimmin’ cute! He’s so snuggly & soft, I could snuggle him all day long. He’s still being a diva though and hates having his nappy changed or sitting still to get dressed, and I often have to do it on my knee so he can’t move far!

He’s been waking up a few times in the night recently, I think it’s because of his teething as sometimes he will cry for quite a while before he settles down again. Talking of teeth – we finally have some – TWO to be exact! They came through just before he turned nine months. It’s not the usual two lower central incisors though, it’s his lower left incisor and his lower left lateral incisor, so he looks a bit quirky at the minute – still beautiful though!

He’s a non stop crawler now and I can’t keep up with him, it’s like he ‘run crawls’ and he’s so fast! He’s pulling himself up on absolutely everything too and is often falling down and bumping himself, he’s already had a couple of bruises; I think I’m going to have to watch him more than J! He’s started cruising around the sofas too and if we’re sat eating he will move between us like a little dog! He stands up holding our hands and depending how brave he’s feeling, will take a couple of steps. He’s going to be walking unaided much sooner than J was.

He’s always stealing J’s toys which gets J really frustrated and I really have to watch them and never leave them alone just in case. I can see me having to double up on a few toys, though I’m sure they’ll still steal the same things! N is starting to ‘get his own back’ on J now, when J is having his nappy changed N crawls up to him and starts pulling his hair and smacking him in the face – this also frustrates J and we’ve had to start telling N that it’s naughty, even though he doesn’t really understand at the minute, but maybe it will help him learn from a younger age!

A rainbow Naming Day

Last week was little man N’s Naming Day. One of the meanings of his name is ‘rainbow’ and he is our rainbow baby, so that was the obvious theme! I had been planning for ages and made a few things myself. I love getting creative when it comes to parties as I think it’s so much more appreciated, and I feel like I myself have gotten so much more out of it.

I was getting myself in a flap in the couple of weeks before as I kept getting people saying they could no longer come, then half of the other guests didn’t even turn up on the day anyway so we had a half empty room; it did feel a bit more intimate though and J kept everyone amused by running around with his trousers half way down his bum and running the toy cars over everything! Read more