For some people there’s nothing more irresistible than a newborn. They’re all scrunched up and tiny and they make the cutest little noises. Plus the giggling in their sleep, that’s enough to melt the heart of even the stoniest of the stone cold.
But for me the newborn phase is totally overshadowed by the second half of the first year. It’s a time of huge leaps in development and when your baby’s personality really shines through.
It’s also around now that you as a mum start to feel a bit more human so you can actually enjoy your little bundle of joy without feeling so bleary-eyed all the time.
This is why I prefer the second six months of baby’s first year:
The little one is babbling away and copying noises you make. If you blow a raspberry, they blow one back. When I hand toys to my seven-month-old daughter she looks at it then at me with such a delighted expression on her face, like she’s saying thank you. So adorable!
Smiles and laughter
I spend ages every day trying to get laughs out of my youngest. It’s funny the lengths of clowning about a parent will go to just to elicit a tiny giggle from their little one. She is an incredibly smiley baby. The biggest smiles are reserved for her big sister, who she absolutely adores. Whenever my toddler is doing something, or even if she just walks into her line of vision, my baby’s face lights up. I really hope this continues!
Sleep is still closer to a six than a 10 out of 10 right now but things are certainly better than they used to be. In the first four months my baby was up every one to two hours all night and I very nearly lost the plot on some days. Coupled with the nightmare that was nap time, read my struggles with that in this post here, where she just wouldn’t sleep without a lot of help, meant I was struggling a lot at one point. Now I pop her down for sleep and she nods off all by herself.
I love how my little one stares around the room or park with so much interest. She often lurches forward towards interesting objects or people she has seen while I’m holding her. Her face will crumple into a little frown when she’s trying to figure something out. It’s amazing to watch someone discovering the world.
Learning new skills every day
My baby is now rolling, babbling mama and dada, working on getting a drink from her water cup and trying desperately to sit herself up. The first six months is all about growing and then the second six months skills development moves up a gear. How strange and lovely it will be when she’s on her feet and walking. I might be feeling a bit different about that when I have two toddlers running round like Wreck It Ralph in my house.
No more constant feeding
Those early weeks where baby is permanently attached to the boob are so draining. The night time cluster feeds were particularly gruelling as they were accompanied by my daughter’s very fussy period (see more on the Witching Hour here). Now my baby is still feeding once or twice overnight but not every hour.
You feel more confident
I already felt a bit older and wiser this time around thanks to Bubba One (read more on my thoughts on how having a second child is different here) but six months with two kids has made me feel like I could take on anything! I’m increasingly nipping it in the bud when I start to second guess myself. I don’t get so stressed out if everything falls apart one day. Tomorrow is another day!
You’ve established a routine
Even if it’s a loose routine you feel much more in control by this point. The first six months with my second were total chaos. With two kids under two to look after I was just constantly putting out fires left and right (not literally of course). When one was settled and happy, the other kicked off.
They’re less fragile
Floppy and cuddly newborns are sweet but their wobbly heads and spindly limbs make handling them a bit nail-biting for new parents. Now my daughter is holding her head up well and doubled in size since her birth I’m much less worried when getting her in and out of clothes and picking her up.
Love grows with time
I loved both my babies as soon as I met them. But this has evolved to something extra special with time. As I get to know little quirks of their personality I just love them that little bit more. I think we all love our children unconditionally but there’s an extraordinary kind of love and bond that grows from spending time together.
What’s your favourite period in baby’s first year? Are you a tiny newborn person or a baby growing into a toddler person?