Our baby isn’t really a baby anymore 😦 she now looks like a very small child, she’s crawling, standing, babbling away, saying mama and dada, stacking toys and feeding herself competently. At the same time as all of these wonderful and exciting changes we’ve had some less cute behaviours appearing, tantrums when told she can’t do or have something. At the same time as these developments we’ve had teeth popping out every other week – tooth number 8 just cut through her gum and unfortunately for her (and us) Arabella is badly affected by teething.
10 months: A developmental leap apparently
In desperation after a particularly difficult afternoon where a nap was entirely missed (I tried for almost an hour but she wasn’t going down – she usually naps and sleeps well) I consulted trusty google, found a load of mixed information, consulted the apps – The Wonder Weeks confirmed it was indeed a ‘leap’ period and encouraged me to stay strong during the next few weeks. This ‘leap’ is extremely long and a month later we’re still waiting to come out the other side.
If this period is indeed a leap it’s really of little surprise, physically Arabella’s capabilities have changed dramatically over the past month – she’s now crawling, standing, pulling herself up and lowering herself back down, picking things up from the floor whilst standing and her ability to now copy actions continues to amaze me; I caught her trying to put my lip balm on her lips a few days ago, only she hadn’t removed the lid, but the motion was there.
Baby tantrums are cute
If these are some of the physical changes we can see I can imagine that the changes in her mind are even greater, her understanding of what words mean improves every day so I can imagine that the first few times she was told no, and understood what it meant, it was a bit of a shock. It was hard not to giggle at her overreaction to being told she couldn’t tip the dogs water bowl out onto the floor. I simply said ‘uh ah’ firmly, she stopped moving towards the bowl, paused for a moment and then burst into tears, I giggled but then quickly realised I needed to ‘parent’. Technically I’ve been a parent for 10 months but until recently it’s mainly been looking after a small baby who’s depended on me for everything. She can now do many things for herself, with that independence I now need to guide her.
And so, I stopped laughing at the absurdity of her tantrum after being told she couldn’t do something and asked ‘why are you crying? Is it because I told you that you couldn’t tip the water bowl?’ I had zero idea if this was the right line to take, (does anyone really know, is there a right or wrong way to parent?!) she stopped crying and on review it seems she was embarrassed at the situation, although I’ve no idea if she’s able to comprehend embarrassment at this young age(?). I’d managed to catch the whole thing in a video, I was filming her crawling for my husband to watch on his lunch break.
I’ve now watched the video several times, I’ve obviously also shared it with my mum friends and asked what others would have done. The overwhelming response to seeing the video was shock that she listened and stopped, apparently many other babies and toddlers smirk and carry on regardless. For now she’s listening and thankfully I haven’t had to ask her not to do something too often. I’ll have to make the most of this whilst it lasts, everyone’s warned me about toddler defiance.
Teething at 10 months
The tantrums haven’t been anywhere near as frequent as the teething pain, I feel like we’re living in teething hell, and considering I’m quite convinced Arabella began teething at 3 months old, now she’s 10 months… well it’s been going on for quite some time. I mentioned this to the health visitor at our ‘one year’ check up, to which she replied – ‘that’ll continue until she’s 2 love’. Wonderful. I have friends whose babies are the same age whose teeth are popping out and they’re completely unaffected. Arabella has had a teething cold for the past 2 weeks, she is very congested and sounds nasal. To the extent where 10 days into this nasal sound, 8 days after tooth number 7 had popped out I was convinced there must be something stuck in her nasal passage. After checking with husband that he could hear the weird noise from her nose too (looking back I probably forcibly got him to agree the sound was unusal). I called 111, I wanted reassurance I didn’t need to worry. They asked me to go to our nearest a&e to be certain. They didn’t find anything to worry about, and told me what to look out for if she should have something stuck. They also showed me how to do the mothers kiss technique. Which is great to know for the future, if you have young children or work with children I’d strongly suggest you watch a video so you know what to do if it’s ever necessary.
Once fully checked they said it was likely she was really suffering with the new teeth coming through (tell me something I don’t know). I felt a little silly for having gone to the hospital but at the same time, with young babies the doctors reassured me it is better to be safe than sorry.
Despite Arabella’s physical growth seemingly slowing down these past few months (her clothes lasts much longer which is great for the bank balance), her development has sharply stepped up. Now just over 10 months old, she is turning into a toddler so quickly, each day she is less dependent on me. Whilst it is super exciting watching her grow I can’t help but feel loss for the time that is passing.