Monday, May 22, 2006

Injections, Sleep and Fork-incidents

Amelia had her last injections today: the third and final set of initial injections. (There will now be no more injections until her MMR at 12 months.) This third set of booster injections normally takes place at 16 weeks, but she is 18 weeks old this week. We 'slipped' a little: her first injection was a week late as she (and I) was a little unwell, her second was a week last as it was due on Easter Monday which is a Bank Holiday. Before taking her for her injections (and Sheep came with me as I am really pathetic about injections) we took her to the health visitor's clinic to get her weighed. I wanted to ask the health visitor about starting Amelia on solids.

Today she weighed in at 6.22 kg or 13 pounds and 11 ounces. I was slightly concerned about her sudden interest in food and whether this was because she was losing weight, perhaps because she was feeding less or that the breastfeeding was ceasing to meet her nutritional requirements. The health visitor plotted her weight on her growth chart and she has slipped off the 50th percentile (the average) and is now nearer the 25th percentile than the 50th. Namely she has lost some weight (well, not 'lost', but not gained consistently). So, I asked the HV about solids.

She was quite shocked that I seemed to be contemplating solids so early! She said that although they state 4-6 months as a good time to start, the common wisdom now is to wait until 5 months and, in her opinion, she would not start Amelia on solids for at least another 3-4 weeks. Three weeks from now would be 12 June: four weeks from now would be 19th June (or just over 5 calendar months). I asked whether they take account of the fact that she was nearly two weeks late. She replied that they certainly take this into account if babies are early (as their digestive systems are more immature than their contemporary, full-term babies. But, she went to say, they do not take this factor into account if babies go beyond full-term. This seems strange to me. If one should make a difference, surely so should the other? However, I will wait longer to start Amelia on solid. Perhaps Sunday 18th July would be a good date anyway, as she will be exactly 5 calendar months old.

Another aspect of parenting that has been weighing on my mind over the last couple of days is about co-sleeping. With Barnaby we co-slept, to the extent, that he had no other place to sleep! With Amelia we've taking more of a lackadaisical approach. We have a cot by the bed and Amelia does sleep in it from time to time, but as often as not, she'll sleep with me as she always falls asleep in the big bed and even if I move her when she is asleep, she mostly ends up staying there after her later feed, as we both just fall asleep on the job! I was so pro co-sleeping with Barnaby as I had read that it significantly reduced the risk of cot-death (SIDS). Given all the constant bombardment of information about cot-death, I remember being terribly anxious about it when Barnaby was a baby. Over time, I think I just found it more convenient and it seems very natural. (Afterall, parents have been sleeping with their babies since the beginning of humanity). All the advice about co-sleeping stated that there was no risk to the baby as long as you didn't do it when you were drunk or on drugs.

Over the weekend there was a report on the BBC news about a coroner calling for advice to be issued against co-sleeping, as he had seen a sharp rise in the number of deaths from babies sleeping in the parental bed. In his estimates, there could be as many as 300 deaths per year in the UK (I will post this article as a separate entry). Well, yet again, I have a new concern. Sheep and I have decided that we need to move Amelia fully (rather than partially) into her cot - but I think it will take a week or two to get her re-settled and is likely to mean a lot less sleep for me for a couple of weeks. We will start tomorrow night (Frankly, I need some sleep tonight).

Well, I did finally finish Barnaby's astronaut costume and he took it to nursery today. The theme at his nursery this week is space travel. Today he joined the Oaks. He had a very good day (in his space suit) but there was a worrying 'incident' at tea time. For no apparent reason he picked up his fork and, well I hesitate to use the word stabbed, but I don't know what else to say, another child in the face: enough to leave a puncture mark, so the nursery reports. I had to sign an incident form about it. Luckily it wasn't in the other child's eye (What a horrendous thought!). What is bizarre is that there appears to be no rhyme nor reason for it taking place. He wasn't being provoked at all. The only thought I had was that Barnaby had a very disturbed night last night (he fell asleep early at 4:00, having missed his afternoon nap, slept until midnight and was then awake and grisly for much of the subsequent night) and that often these 'incidents' at nursery occur on days when he's had a bad night. With this in mind I did warn them today that he'd had a bad night, but they could not have seen this coming. He did appologise, but didn't seem aware of the magnitude of what he had done, neither did he seem suitable contrite. The nursery were conforting. They said that once he had adapted to the change (the move from the Squirrels to the Oaks) he would probably settle down quickly and hopefully such 'incidents' would cease. Yet another thing for me to worry about. No wonder I am going grey!

I must say, he had a very good day otherwise. When I went to collect him he was playing on the computer (in the nursery!), playing a game which involved matching shapes and moving them by clicking and dragging with a mouse. He was surprisingly good and quick at this. I was very impressed, both by his mouse-control and dexterity as well as his concentration (he didn't notice I'd come in for quite some time).

On a happier note still - here are some photos (of Barnaby in his space suit and some from Amelia I found on the camera):


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