October-firsts-unlikely-mum
Baby M's firsts, Parenting

September Firsts

11 months into his wee life, and we are still experiencing so many new firsts. September brought a lot of firsts and happy memories, with quite a few of the big “important” (well, what people regard as important or milestone) firsts happening this month. There will be nothing new left to do soon!

First holiday abroad
This was a first we knew was coming since booking it in January/February time. How fast those few months flew! On 5th September we headed off to Fuertaventura as a family, with my bestie, Travis’ bestie and his dad (who is Travis’ new bestie!). We were there for 10 days and honestly he took to it so well. There was no sunburn, plenty of naps, lots of hydration and no bother trying new foods. His sleep overalls as really good but I think it helps that there’s no time difference in the Canary Isles which makes things simpler. Being around his bestie so much he also picked up a lot, like playing with wheely toys like cars, planes the like, and he also quite easily cut out his morning bottle which was a surprise to us all. I would definitely recommend taking an infant away in September when most schools seem to be back, the temperature isn’t unbearable and it’s generally calmer and more relaxed than the peak months.

First feeding animals
Ok so he had help from his dad and we made sure no animals would bite Travis (and the other way around), but he still managed to help feed a giraffe (His favourites) and camel while at the Oasis Park on holiday. He wasn’t very impressed, particularly as the giraffes eat the same snacks as him- carrots and other veggies!

First proper hands and knees crawl
Another first which happened on holiday was the first proper crawl! On 12th September, the wee man was no longer bum shuffling or army crawling, he actually used his knees to move himself forward! I was beginning to think he’d never crawl and go straight to walking, but in the last month, he’s been unstoppable on all fours.

First steps unaided
We thought we had a good month when the crawling began, but it was shortly followed by walking! I say walking, but I mean taking a few steps unaided. On 14th September (still on holiday!) he took a quick 1-2-3 towards me from the table he was stabilising himself on. Since then, he has been building his confidence, strength and balance, and has been taking more and more steps on his own. Now, in October, he can pull himself up, position himself and walk across a room no problem.

First sharing
Firsts appear to be like buses (no pun intended!) as we welcomed another first the very same day as those big boy steps. As we were on holiday with his bestie, Travis spent a lot of time learning from his buddy who is 7 months older than him. They played a lot with the same toys, but unfortunately my munchkin hadn’t yet become accustomed to the concept of sharing. However he did manage to pass his toy to mum and to bestie and to dad in some form of sharing on 14th September. This quickly moved onto food – he will mostly put it in your mouth and make you eat it – and he’s now becoming a sharing pro.

First foods:
So many to mention! As we were on holiday in an all inclusive resort, there were plenty of food options each day, and Travis was actually really good at trying most of them. Notable firsts include scrambled eggs and baked beans (think this might be a new favourite breakfast!) custard, jelly, and many fruits and veg in their whole form rather than pureed or mushed into a jar.

babys-first-year-july
Baby M's firsts

July Firsts

So it’s finally happening, the rate of new experiences is starting to slow down. Don’t get me wrong, that’s partly our fault for not seeking out many new things to do in July, as a result of work, timing or just plain lack of creativity!

However we did manage to get up to a few new things last month, so here are our July Firsts:

First Highland Games
The Highland Games are a great Scottish tradition encompassing what I can only describe – for those of you unfamiliar with the concept – as a ridiculously Scottish sports day. There are events like tug ‘o war, tossing the caber and more alongside the normal stuff like running races. Adults get fiercely competitive, probably more so than the kids, and in case it didn’t sound that Scottish, girls and boys from all over the world come to compete in Highland dancing. The games take place in loads of towns and villages up and down the country throughout the summer, and our local one was on 14th July. Typically, you know when the games are on because it’s usually pouring with rain, but as with our uncharacteristic summer, it was actually a beautiful day so we couldn’t pass up the chance to take the wee man for his first Highland games experience.

First roallercoaster/fairground rides
Alongside the sports and the dancing and the bagpipes and the Scottishness, there are plenty of kids activities at the games, from typical fairground stalls like cans and shooters to bigger rides like teacups, mini-roller coasters and bouncy castles for example. The bouncy castle looked like UFC for kids so I didn’t fancy taking Travis in there, but we did sit nice on the teacups and wave at dad from his first fairground ride. Then dad ramped it up and took him on the mini-rollercoaster. It was one of those little circle tracks with one main up-and-down part, but I don’t think Travis particularly enjoyed it – that was probably a first that could have waited another year or so!

First trip in the double buggy
We are heading on holiday in September, with my bestie, Trav’s bestie and the manchildren, and thought a double buggy would be a practical solution to getting around while we are abroad. Also, my bestie sometimes takes Trav for a day a week while I’m stuck at work, so it’s easier for her to get out and about with a double buggy than either make her little one walk (he’s 6 months older than Trav and 100% confident on his feet) or make sure her other half is there so they can go out with a pram/buggy each.

We had ordered the buggy a couple of weeks before, but hadn’t really had the chance to use it, so one Sunday we decided to venture out together and see how the kids got on. The buggy itself is a Hauck tandem or inline buggy (this isn’t a buggy review or sponsored thing so I’m not going to check specifics soz) and is the perfect size for the boot/trunk of my medium-small car – so that’s already a bonus! Both boys seemed fine, and we tried each in both the top and bottom seats and neither seemed to mind too much – their only moans were for snacks so that can’t be a bad thing!

First pipe band championships
Just in case we weren’t having a patriotic enough month, we decided to pop along to the Scottish Pipe Band Championships in Dumbarton on 28th July. For the uninitiated, it’s basically a really long day of pipe bands from all over Scotland competing for a place in the final at the World Pipe Band Championships in August. There are loads of different categories of pipe band, people of all ages and backgrounds taking part. Like the Highland Games, there are plenty of stalls, activities and rides for kids to enjoy. The weather for the pipe band championships was unfortunately not as good as the Highland Games so we didn’t stay too long. Travis enjoyed waving at some pipe bands as they marched past, ready to go into the arena and compete. Mummy won him a little dinosaur teddy and he got his first ever shot of a see saw while we were there.

First foods in July:
At the beginning of July, Travis turned 9 months old, so he has been able to try more and more new foods as the month has went on (and will no doubt continue to try more and more new solids as we continue our year of firsts). This month he tried a lot of new foods at nursery, as part of their snack menu. He got to try potato scone which he loved, pancakes – which have now become a staple snack in our house, because, well, yum – and also buttered rolls. I wasn’t sure about the latter as I wasn’t sure how much butter and dairy in general he was allowed to have, but he has been fine. At home, he tried some totties and mince for dinner (again with the Scottish theme!) and also some wee willy winkies with potato waffles, which are another favourite. Thanks to Aunty Kristen for letting him steal peas off his bestie’s plate too – he really enjoys them much to mum and dad’s dismay as we hate them!

Baby M's firsts

February Firsts

We were very fortunate to have another month full of firsts in the life of our little boy. Not all necessarily milestones you’d mark with a photo card, these firsts meant something to us and hopefully made memories for our little munchkin.

First seat in high chair
So in January we tried weaning, with the wee fella enjoying his first tastes of a variety of foods. Unfortunately, as he was weaned earlier than recommended, he wasn’t quite strong enough to sit upright in a high chair for the amount of time it took to feed him. So, we had to wait until he was a bit bigger, and on the day he turned 4 months old (6th February) we put him in his Chicco high chair for his breakfast (banana porridge since you asked) and haven’t looked back since. The Chicco high chair we chose has three different reclining points so it means Travis doesn’t need to sit absolutely straight, and it has proved a great help in terms of limiting mess when feeding and also encouraging the wee man to sit up on his own. This particular version is also designed for travel, folding neatly and with a useful handle which makes carrying easier. It will be very handy if we make road trips which involve staying over or for at least most of the day.

First Valentine’s Day
Of course he didn’t have a clue what was going on, but that didn’t stop me celebrating Valentine’s Day with my little cherub. Any old excuse to dress him up, I bought a lovely heart outfit from PitPat and got a rose for him to give his first Valentine, his gran. Rather than just describe how cute it was, you can see for yourself via my Instagram post:

 

First road trips
This leads on nicely to Travis’ first road trips. As he was born at a time where the nights were beginning to get longer and darker, we didn’t really plan too many road trips in the first few months of his life. Lovely autumnal walks in the park during the day or trips to the supermarket were just about all he saw of the outside world in 2017. With the exception of one trip to Glasgow to visit my work colleagues, he hadn’t been much further than 5 miles from home at any given time. So after the threat of winter weather was over (at least we thought so at the time) with milder, brighter days, we ventured further afield. Firstly we headed to Ayrshire on 15th February to visit his future wife, aka the new baby daughter of one of my friends. Nervously mum sat in the back of the car while dad drove, just in case the wee man got upset or needed fed/entertained at any point. I struggled to make a bottle on the potholed streets of Prestwick, but naturally he was fine and slept until we got there. So you would be forgiven for thinking that we would have gotten braver by the time the Dunoon adventure rolled around on 23rd February, but the same rules applied. Although this time he was much nosier, taking in the lovely scenery of Argyll and Bute on the way home.

First birthday party 
Part of the same weekend as his Dunoon adventure, Travis got to go to his first, first birthday party. My best friend’s little boy turned 1 on 24th February, and was having a Mickey Mouse themed party to celebrate. Of course I went and got the biggest Mickey balloon I could find, and a Mickey Mouse dress-up outfit for my little man to party in style. And of course the hat didn’t fit. Curse his huge head! He definitely enjoyed the party more than I thought he would for someone so young, though that might have something to do with the napping and the feeding mid-party. It’s worth noting that he’s been to a 2nd birthday party already, and went to a birthday dinner for an adult, but this time he was awake for long enough to at least smile at half the guests! It probably helped that it was a lovely day, and that Travis dotes on the birthday boy, but he was so well behaved that I’m now looking forward to his next party invite and him being awake for longer to take it all in.

First night out!
Hardly a big party or anything, but as we’d made a sort of unspoken rule that we wouldn’t take or keep Travis out past 7pm, this was a big step and exciting moment for us. The Botanic Gardens in Glasgow hosted a weekend of mystical magic at the end of the month, promising light displays, sounds and stories, not to mention plants too. Seeing as trees and lights are pretty much Travis favourite things after food, it was a no brainer to take him there. Along with his best pal, we took a trip up for the 6pm walk on Sunday 25th February. It was a fantastic end to a busy weekend for us, although it was blooming freezing! I would say that the wee ones were a bit agitated when the tales of the history of the Botanic Gardens were being told, probably because they don’t really understand ghost stories or tales of Brownies and things yet. Boy did they love the lights though. And the fire dancers. Travis was particularly amused by a lit up skeleton-come-scarecrow which already makes me terrified of what sort of stuff he’ll be into when he gets older.

First snow-in
Of course we weren’t over the winter by the end of February, this is Scotland we’re talking about! So, as the dreaded Beast from the East rolled in on 28th February, we were all a bit miffed but not surprised at this turn of weather so close to spring. However, nobody could have predicted just how much snow we would be left with – a whopping 49cm where we live (the largest snowfall from the storm in the whole of the UK, in case you were wondering). Naturally, as the wee man is only currently 20cm bigger than the height of the snow – also, comfortingly measured in Irn Bru cans here – we ended up pretty snowed in. I can’t remember snow so persistent in my lifetime, never mind the little fellas, but I’ll certainly remember how demented we became as we were stuck in the house for about 4 days. In fact, today is the first day we’ve actually been able to get a pram out (now 6 days post-initial snowfall), and even then it has been a struggle on some streets which have yet to be properly cleared or gritted. Thank goodness for air tyres!

Baby M's firsts, Mother and Baby classes

January Roundup: So Many Firsts!

So starting the year we didn’t really have any resolutions in our household, but we did anticipate an exciting year of firsts ahead. With baby M only a couple of months old at the turn of the year, we knew we had loads of new and exciting things to expect in 2018.

It’s only the beginning of February, and already he has accomplished (not sure that’s the right word. Learned probably?) so much in the past month. From first tastes to first rolls, here’s how our January went:

First food
I know all the guidelines say not to wean your child until at least 4 months, with the official government line being 6 months and not a minute before. However I’m pretty sure the government officials deciding that didn’t have a 17lb, 3 month old baby who was gubbing 40oz of milk a day with his belly physically rumbling at every feed. And that was him on hungry baby milk! So around 15 weeks we started introducing first tastes – fruit purees and spoonfuls of baby rice here and there. It’s been a fun and mixed journey (more poo chat for another day!) but it’s safe to say he’s been far more content and satisfied since he’s started the slow and steady journey to solids.

First massage
Baby massage was always something I was keen to sign baby M up for, as I’d heard that it’s meant to work wonders for colicky babies. Unfortunately, I was unable to book onto the free massage block at the local library (if you’re not fast you’re very much last in these situations!) but I didn’t let that deter me. So I went in search of some other classes around the area, and came across Teddy’s Baby Massage, which was advertised in my local Costa. After speaking to Michelle who runs the classes, we were able to secure the last spot in the Helensburgh block for January. Our first class was on 10th January and we haven’t looked back since. I’ll be sad when these classes come to an end next week, but with a handy massage guide and plenty of oil, the wee man will feel the benefit long after thanks to plenty of home massages.

First hartbeeps
I’ve already written about Hartbeeps, the baby play and development classes, and it’s something that the wee fella absolutely loves. With songs, nursery rhymes, toys and dress up, it keeps him totally entertained and stimulated for the full hour so he’s ready for a much needed rest afterwards! I’m looking forward to Baby M progressing through other Hartbeeps classes, Baby Beeps and Happy House, as he grows.

First yoga
We ran into the same issue with the local, free, Baby yoga classes as we did with massage – block of classes were fully booked on the day they went online for registration. In this instance, I decided to add our names to the waiting list, to see if anything would come of it. I wasn’t as fussed about yoga as I was for massage, though I’d heard there were some great benefits for development of bones and motor skills, as well as moves that would help ease the dreaded wind pains. Luckily, we got a notification near the end of the month to say that there was now a space for us. We missed the first half of the block but still had our first class in January with one more left to go. Since we started, I noticed a great difference in the wee man’s movements and am pretty convinced that baby yoga helped us achieve the next first!

First roll
Ok so it happened just last week on the 31st, but that’s still January! We were at our weekly baby massage class when the wee surprise occurred. It was time for the back massage section of the class, which usually pains Baby M as he hates tummy time if it lasts any longer than 20 seconds. However, much to my delight, he seemed quite happy on his tummy. No screams, no rigid body. And then it happened. He just rolled right back over onto his back. Convinced it was a fluke, I tried not to make a big deal out of it, and carefully placed the little wriggler back on his tummy. As I attempted to continue the back massage he did it again! So far he’s refused to do it when any of his family are watching, and if he’s on his back he can only get as far as rolling onto his side before he gets stuck, but we’re getting there!

First bookbug
Bookbug is yet another local, free service in the area for which spaces are like gold dust. As you can imagine, this early bird was not early enough and so didn’t quite catch the worm. Though yet again, a few weeks into the current block, we were notified to say that we were top of the waiting list and a space had opened up. Bookbug is exactly as the name suggests, a class that encourages your little ones to become book bugs. As far as I know it seems to be a government initiative, with sessions held at libraries up and down the country. For 45 minutes nursery rhymes are sung, babies and toddlers play games and of course sit down for some story time. It turns out the wee man’s big cousin, who’s just turned one, is also at the same bookbug class, so there’s a familiar face for mum and baby!

I can’t believe we’ve accomplished so many firsts in January, it means I’ll need to reevaluate the “firsts list” for the rest of the year already!