Baby N is now 7.5 months old and I didn’t really do a 7 month update for no particular reason except perhaps laziness. However, I’ve got to say that 7 months old seems to be a pretty magical age. N is now able to sit up happily by himself, which makes for much more exciting playtime, and he finds all sorts of things hilarious these days, especially the cats. It’s like his whole personality has really blossomed this past month and now I regularly describe him as Mr Sunshine or Mr Happy.
I’d like to note a direct correlation for my love for this age group with the fact that N is sleeping much better these days. Usually when I say such things about him sleeping nicely then he decides to not sleep that night so I am reluctant to go into too much detail for fear of jinxing myself. However, on a good night he will go to sleep at around 7.30pm and wake up around 6.30-7.00am. I try very hard not to get out of bed for him until 7.00am but it depends how loud his chattering is. Of course if he cries I get up straight away.
We have had a few instances recently when a full to overflowing wet nappy has woken him in the middle of the night – many a late night curse for the inaccurately named Pampers Baby Dry brand (Pampers, I am done with you) – and this has meant sometimes a night feed or just a cuddle in bed with mum. You gotta do what you gotta do! But actually because I see less of him during the day now I almost miss him and look forward to those moments where we get to hang out at night. I’m sure if I was full time at home with him I would not be so excited by nighttime waking.
Anyway, I was thinking to myself earlier how many unexpected advantages there are of parenthood, so I thought I’d compile a little list of them for a giggle. Perhaps I’ve missed a few or I’m unaware of them yet, so feel free to add your own.
- You never have sticky/dirty hands anymore because you always have wet wipes available! This is a revelation especially when eating on the go. Why did I never just walk around with baby wipes in my handbag before having a baby?
- Ditto snacks. Baby snacks are very delicious you know and they come in handy sized packs.
- Sleep aids are no longer needed. I no longer need any of my relaxing pillow sprays or other tools to help me go to sleep. I’m always so grateful to get in bed that going to sleep is no longer an issue for me. For someone who has been a difficult sleeper since birth this is an amazing development. Of course I also never get a lie-in anymore so this one is not all good.
- Efficiency is beyond belief. I’m so fast at getting ready to go somewhere. I remember the days where on the weekend we would plan to get up “early” to go do something and we’d struggle to leave the house before midday. Midday is practically three quarters of my day done these days! Also, I used to get up one hour before I needed to leave home for work in the old days. WHAT DID I DO WITH ALL THAT TIME? I now get a grand total of 10 minutes to get myself ready in the morning. During that time I need to eat breakfast, clean my teeth, wash my face, apply face moisturiser and style my hair (I put my make-up on in the car). I work in PR and I can’t look like I’ve walked off the streets so every day I marvel at this achievement. I also think of all that wasted time in years previous.
- An ability to go with the flow develops even for type A folks. Babies are a great leveller. You think before you have one that you won’t do what those other people are doing because you will be the Super-parent. And then you find out that being a parent is H.A.R.D. and you come to the realisation that it’s good to start out with a plan, but be ready for when it all goes to shit and you have to turn to Plan B, C or D… or just give up entirely and try again tomorrow.
- You can get out of stuff really easily. Have a party that you don’t want to go to? Tell them you can’t leave the baby. Realistically in the first three months it is hard to go anywhere without the baby or even with it, but at a certain point the baby gets old enough that daddy or a close family member or friend can look after it for a while when you do something. However, you can ALWAYS call in the big cards that the baby needs you when you want to get out of doing something. It’s so brilliant that even my husband uses it sometimes.
- Daytime drinking. When you can’t go out in the evening, you start drinking at lunch. Obviously not enough that you can’t be a responsible parent, but just enough to take the edge off things. Trust me, it’s brilliant. I found a new BFF who has a baby the same age as N so we go to each other’s houses in our comfortable clothes and drink prosecco. I’m not even joking about this. Everyone needs a friend who you can drink prosecco in your pjs with and cry. Also someone who has a baby the same age as yours so if you need to use their change table/crib/baby toys/high chair they are all set up for it, not to mention that they are cool with whatever drama your baby decides to bring.
- You become a better driver. At least when the baby is in the car – strangely the second the baby is not in the car you revert back to your old ways. Is someone a psychologist out there who can explain this? Because when N is in the car I am particularly cautious and drive nicely, even cursing those folks doing dangerous things. Don’t they know I have precious cargo on board?! (Also, please note that you should not drive after alcohol so make sure you stay a long time at your friend’s house and drink a lot of water and have some lunch, ok?)