The naughty baby and the negligent mommy

A couple of nights ago, Alex woke up in the middle of the night, 2.30am to be exact. It wasn’t time for him to wake up for a feed since he had one four hours ago. But my husband told me to prepare a bottle for him, so I did. He didn’t finish the 210ml milk which had 30ml left. My husband tried rocking Alex to sleep and it seemed he had settled down. But once my husband put him on the cot, he started whining and wouldn’t stop even when my husband gave him the pacifier. So my husband had no choice but to pick him up again. This went on a second time and my husband had to put him in bed with us.

Once on our bed, Alex didn’t settle down. Instead he got frisky and started wriggling and kicking around. I couldn’t sleep with his legs pushing against my tummy, so I picked him up and put him in the cot, determined that he should learn to settle down on his own. The naughty boy decided to have a match of will with us. He has recently discovered his voice, and is eager to exercise his lung prowess. So you can imagine a baby with no volume control in the middle of the night; though he doesn’t have a high-pitched tone and doesn’t scream, it was loud enough to wake the dead!

Suffice to say, my husband and I took turns to try to settle Alex, who kept throwing one pacifier after another on the floor. When we tried putting him down on his back, he would turn and lie on his tummy, and then sit up. Yes, he’s been able to sit up for some weeks now. (Initially he would fall backward for us to catch him, and we had to either sit behind him or place lots of cushions behind him.) When my husband got up to sooth Alex for the umpteenth time, he discovered him sitting up on the cot, holding on to the top bar with both hands and his feet sticking out of the slats. My husband had to remove a small fan that is attached to the top bar, because Alex keeps trying to tug at it.
He can easily switch from lying on his tummy to sitting position. Many times we find him sitting up on the cot after he wakes up.

Alex has tried pulling himself up once, at least that was what my in-laws told us when they baby-sat for him a couple of weeks ago. He crawled to the dining chair and tried pulling himself up. My husband thinks that once he’s able to do that, we have to lower the base of the cot, but it will be difficult to put him down asleep. Anyway he is still doing the combat crawl, he hasn’t gotten to crawling on all fours. A couple of weeks ago, my husband couldn’t get him to sleep in the middle of the night, and so he placed him on our bed. I was lying next to Alex and drifted off to sleep. Suddenly I heard a thud, I jumped out of bed, switched on the bedside light and rushed to the foot of the bed. There was Alex on the floor, face down. I screamed just as Alex started bawling. Before I could react further, my husband rushed in and quickly picked him up. We were worried that Alex might have sprained or hurt himself, but other than the shock of the fall, he was ok. Thank God he’s a tough baby.

As is expected of the development milestones of babies at his age of 8.5 months, Alex has developed separation anxiety and object permanence. We bought him a mobile play pen with gate so that he can safely play on the mat and we don’t have to constantly keep an eye on him. But he doesn’t like playing alone for long. When he can’t see us he will whine in protest.

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When Alex wants to be cuddled, he will whine when we try putting him on the cot or inside the play pen. My husband can’t take his cries and will pick him up. The other day in church, I saw a mother changing her toddler girl on a table. Amazingly the little girl didn’t cry and lie quietly. If it was Alex he wouldn’t hesitate to protest loudly; he doesn’t like to lie on hard or shaky surface. In fact he doesn’t like to be changed since he was a newborn. My husband has to constantly coax him, “Buddy, you must have clothes on. You can’t go around naked.”

After just three months, we have to sell the Baby Einstein Musical Motion Jumper. Alex got bored of it and couldn’t last more than 10 minutes in it. I had initially thought of getting Alex the Fisher Price Superstar jumper to replace it, but my husband thinks it’ll end up a white elephant after a couple of months. Alex’s more interested to crawl around and explore. We also tried getting him to lie on a bigger rocker but he refused. Once he has a taste of movement, he doesn’t want to be constrained, especially since he has a wide area to roam about at the infant care center. I know we’ll have to start child-proofing our home soon. He is attracted by everything; he wants to play with the TV remote controls, the tissue box on the couch, and he wants to play with the cables, the audio speakers and electrical fan on the floor. He spotted the light in the electrical socket some time ago and wanted to touch it. I tried entertaining him with kiddy video or songs on the iPad, which does occupy him for a bit of time.

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I have mentioned before that I previously subscribed to baby TV on cable for Alex but he isn’t interested in it. Instead he’s enthralled by news programs, even CNBC Asia!

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Alex is now 8.5 months old and will reach 10 kg (22 lbs) soon. It’s getting tougher for me to handle him, and he also has a pretty strong grip which takes after my husband. We call him the little Hercules. He’s definitely losing his baby fats since he has visibly slimmed down. But the increase in his length means he’s gaining in bone mass. I’ve even bought a romper for 12 month old baby for him.

The funny thing is it’s only during this past one month that I start shopping for going-out clothes for Alex. Most of his clothes were gifts (for 6-month to 9-month old), which he’s been wearing since he was around 3.5 months old. To be honest some have become a little worn. When we first put Alex in Infant care, I packed old PJs for him, where half of the tops have stain marks. I figured that infant care might be rough and tumble for Alex, so it was alright for him to wear old clothes. I mean, though there were marks, the clothes were clean. After a month and a half, my husband came back with Alex one day and told me the senior teacher asked about the stains on Alex’s tops. After he heard my reasoning, he turned to Alex and said, “baby, mama thinks she can get away with dressing you in stained clothes. This is a dereliction of duty!” Yes I know I’ve been negligent, guilty as charged. So almost immediately, we trooped to town to get some nice PJs and Chinese New Year outfit for Alex. No, I didn’t get any designer clothes for him since that’s a huge waste of money when babies outgrow their clothes so quickly. It’s seriously ridiculous to get a S$120 romper (which amazingly is found in the discounted bin of a designer baby store).

For a long time, Alex wears only romper when we take him out. Recently I put on a romper and pants set on him, which is a gift from my mom. When we sent him to infant care, the senior teacher exclaimed he looked so handsome in his nice outfit. So I
decided to get more pants for him.

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(update)
I just found out from my husband that Alex suddenly stood up in the cot like a grizzly, both hands holding the top bar, grinning away. My husband was shocked; the top bar was only slightly below Alex’s tummy. My husband was afraid that he might topple over. He had since lowered the base of the cot.

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