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Early years

19th Nov 2017

Síle Seoige: So baby Cathal is now 15 weeks’ old… and he’s already teething!

Plus the 8 things she's getting to grips with this week.

Baby Cathal is 15 weeks’ old… and he’s already teething!

He started to show all the signs at two-and-a-half months and we are no longer in any doubt: drooling, chewing, flushed cheeks, and the inevitable bouts of irritability. Yes, teething has well and truly begun in our household and my heart goes out to him, especially as he is so young to be sprouting his pearly whites.

But, aside from managing a teething little one, here’s what else I’m getting to grips with this week…

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1) Mindful eating

I’m on a health kick (well I’m trying!). I’ve ditched the bread (but I can’t let go of chocolate!) and I’m upping my fruit and veg intake massively. I’m putting the runners on and getting out for more walks with the lil man. I always feel tons better when I get out and about and it’s great for my mood as well as my body.

I did an early morning spin class recently too though and despite the fact that I felt like Superwoman when I got back home that morning, by 3pm I was fit for the bed and stiff as a board the next day. So I might just wait until I’m a teeny bit fitter before blasting another session.

2) Respect

I had no idea how challenging parenthood was until I became a mother myself and it has given me a completely different level of understanding, appreciation, and most importantly compassion for the daily juggling act that is motherhood. Mommas, I salute you.

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3) Acceptance

‘Every baby is different and develop at their own individual pace.’ I read this line recently and it’s so true and really important to remember when (if like me) you google what milestones baby ‘should’ be hitting and when. Don’t freak out. All babies progress at their own pace.

4) Sleep schedule

We’re starting to bring in a night-time routine and for now (luckily!) it seems to be working. TV off, soft lighting, low voices, gentle lullabies (the same every night), some gentle baby massage and off he goes for a good five to seven hours which is heaven and a world away from the two and three hour feeds through the night in the early weeks.

5) The struggle is real

It’s getting harder and harder to leave him for an hour here and there. And even though it’s tough on me, I feel it’s good for him to have quality time with his daddy and grandparents without me being around all the time. It’s also healthy to take some time out and do something for yourself too, even if it’s simply to go and wash your hair; it’s important to look after momma too.

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6) Checklist

Other than needing cuddles or playtime, I find going through Cathal’s top five annoyances helps in figuring out what’s up when he cries or complains. And it’s usually one of the following; Hunger, Nappy, Wind, Tiredness, or Teething. Running through them in your mind quickly when he/she gets agitated can help decipher what’s bothering baby.

7) Write it down

Keep a record of feeds! I put the times and the amounts taken into the notes feature on my phone, so whether you are breastfeeding, combination feeding, or solely giving your baby formula, it’ll help you to recognise baby’s hungrier times of the day or how often they are feeding and over time you might start to see a pattern forming.

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8) Information is power

There are a load of baby apps available to download but the three I have on my phone are BabyCentre, Ovia Parenting and The Wonder Weeks. They help you to understand the various developmental leaps your baby will go through and what to expect from week to week which in turn deepens your understanding and compassion for your little one with what he or she is experiencing

It’s empowering and ultimately easier for you if you do your homework and get to grips with whatever phase your lil one is going through.

Until next week…

Remember to be gentle with both you and your lil one. Everyone is different; motherhood and babies are not a one-size-fits-all so stop comparing yourself to other mums and their bundles. Give yourself a break and breathe. And if that doesn’t help, I find tea and chocolate does the trick!

Grá mór, 
Síle xxx

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