Aoife Pre Manila

5 days after her 4th month mark and we are noticing more and more things about bubs changing.

She never really went through the indiscriminate swiping and grabbing phase, instead she likes to get to know her toys before she swipes or grabs at them. It took her a while before she finally warmed up to the toys hanging from her cot or the toys on her jumperoo, but these days, the occasional batting and swiping has become an immediate thing every time she's set on the bed or on her jumperoo. She still takes a while to warm up to new toys but looks like I don't have to worry about her not making this milestone.

I know. It feels like with each month, I worry about her not hitting the mark. These days I fret over her sometimes still jerky arm movements. Instinctively, I know they're nothing to worry about as she has good control over them most of the time but I still worry. Even if they only happen when she's tired or sleepy. Even if I know that my baby is still new to the world and just getting to know her body parts. Even if a little voice inside my head is saying its fine, the over analytical side of me is still wondering - what if I got this all wrong? Sometimes I wish all those parenting blogs and forums have videos to show what atypical jerky movements really look like so neurotic moms like me aren't left hanging. Sigh. I so didn't want to be this vicariously hypochondriac mother.

On the plus side, she's also become more talkative with each day and engaging us in "conversations" rather than just wailing or babbling on her own.I like this bit as it somehow feels more meaningful than our previous banters (if that makes sense at all!). On a few nights, she's even done some sleep talking and ended up waking herself (and us) up! Once her eyes were open and round as saucers, she continued the monologue for another hour before she went back to sleep.

One thing that hasn't changed is how daddy still tickles her pink regardless of what he does. It can be quite frustrating to work so hard for her laughs with kisses, tickles and peek-a-boo games where all daddy has to do is show up and say "Hello Ekloki!" and she starts chuckling. She even has that kilig thing where she squeezes her shoulder against her cheek, squeezes her eyes almost shut and scrunches up her nose as she gives a big grin and a laugh for her daddy. Oy, she's so daddy's princess.

We have also noticed that our little bubs is a fan of dresses. I took her shopping once and she kept laughing and grinning every time I'd hold a dress against her to see how it would look. While I do, she giggles, and then would slyly reach for the skirt to try and put it in her mouth. These days, everything goes into her mouth really. But regardless, I am definitely liking her shopping buddy potential!

Speaking of things she puts in her mouth. Its the 2nd week of us feeding her about 20ml of baby food each day. One of the few things I picked up from the Plunket Solid Foods session was that you can start feeding your baby a few teaspoons of stage 1 baby food after four months. Not a full meal, just a few teaspoons, and always about 20 minutes after her bottle (or being breastfed) so she doesn't get trained to replace her milk with the food. It should be more of an exercise to teach baby to feed from a spoon, drink from a sippy cup, and explore solids rather than have them as actual meal replacements.

pumpkin mash
So far it seems she likes her tasteless fish soup best (I am assuming its that bath water thing that I don't get), her Watties Pumpkin & Sweet Corn second, and her Watties Broccoli, Carrots, and Sweet Corn the least. I only stick to one food type a week to make sure I am able to rule out allergens so I try not to do too many combinations. Its always 20 ml of one food type for the week and a few sips of her fish soup after. Next week we might try some rice cereal and see how she likes that. 

While we've started feeding her and she's talking more, bubs is still experimenting with her tongue. As babies' gag reflexes are still pretty shallow and not as far back into their throat as ours -- bubs has been experimenting with gagging herself for fun. She's done this in her third month sporadically, but now its happening more often and mommy is not a fan. She doesn't even need to suck on her finger, fist or anything, just sticks her tongue out and gags. Then giggles when I give her the evil eye. She responds when we say "no, no" but because we've been paying attention each time she does it, the little tyke is now using it to her advantage. These days when she wants our attention and we are letting her self soothe, she starts gagging to make sure we pay her attention. When we do, she stops and giggles. Oy. I really do have my hands full with this one. 
one of bubs many tricks

Next week we go two weeks early for her 5th month check up with the Plunket nurse and her 5th month immunization. Leaving it till we come back would be too late and I would rather she gets looked after and vaccinated before we travel. 

We're now two weeks away from flying out of Auckland and I have started second guessing myself on what to pack for bubs. Fretting that we don't get to bring the swing, or the jumperoo, or her bumbo or her 10,000 other favorite things that make it home for her. I just hope the three weeks in Manila don't set her too off kilter. I am so worried that all the sleep and feed schedules we've established will go down the drain once we go. Anyway, wish me luck friends!


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