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Tips for managing 6/7 month year old(20 Posts)
I'd be grateful for any suggestions on managing the days with my soon to be 7 month year old daughter.
In the past month I feel as though the days have suddenly become far more demanding again.
She does not nap brilliantly, the longest ones are in my arms. She is still fed to sleep and I am about to tackle this using some gentle sleep training. I therefore at present don't get a few hours each day to myself to relax or simply get things done.
My daughter is practically crawling and does not stay in one place. We have a playpen which she started going in about a month ago but she often whinges after just 5-10 minutes. She seems bored of her toys and not being able to yet sit up for very long alone means she does most playing lying down. I can see her frustrated at not being able to grab things as well as she could in a different position.
We've just put her bouncy chair in the loft as she's now not safe in it but it means one place she could rest and watch me whilst i got on with jobs, e.g. in kitchen has suddenly disappeared.
I'm weaning her at the mo and although it's quite fun at times it's suddenly creating a lot more work and pressure in terms of needing to get things done. I was EBF till we started and I miss chilling out for half an hr several times a daywhilst she fed.
I have a partner who often relieves me at weekends but I also want him to relax too after full on week at work so we usually muck in together.
I am on the go nearly all day and have begun losing more weight than I'd like (am slight to begin with) and now just look shattered and gaunt.
I know this is all par for the course so not so much after sympathy rather practical tips on a) where to put and how to occupy baby b) how to stay vaguely on top of chores/house when it all feels so relentless and c) how to carve out little chunks of rest and time for me every now and again to give me a boost.
I should add that sleep at night is variable. She often wakes 3-4 times a night still but we sometimes get 5-6 hrs sleep in a row.
Can she sit in the highchair while your in the kitchen? I often do this with my ds 7.5 months
Do you have a jumperoo? Great for getting a couple of jobs done. I've always found it easier to either get stuff done whilst they're awake (jumperoo, high chair, etc) or whilst they're asleep in the sling.
Also, can you feed lying down? If so, I'd lie down with your baby for at least one nap so you can get some rest yourself.
It's so hard isn't it? Relentless and exhausting.
But everything you describe sounds completely normal. The only thing I'd say is that this too shall pass. She'll gradually be able to sit longer, play longer, sleep longer but it is what it is what it is.
I think this is a really difficult stage as they usually want to be more mobile than they are.
One thing babies of this age do like is exploring items. There used to be a thing way back when on mumsnet called treasure baskets/heuristic play which basically means get a load of everyday things, not toys - a toothbrush and a stone (big enough not to swallow) and a scarf and a clean washing up sponge, just absolutely anything as long as everything has a different texture or color or weight or whatever it is. Stick them all in a basket and put her down with the basket and let her explore. You do need to supervise vaguely obv but should not get involved in showing her etc as it's for her to look herself. We used to call them 'wanky baskets' because the concept is a bit wanky but it works! Change the items each time too.
Another useful suggestion can be a sling. Back carries will start to be useful now and she's a good age to try, if you leave it she will probably be more resistant. They love to be at your height seeing what you're doing.
She should still be breastfeeding quite a lot even though you've started solids. One way to relax mealtimes (depending on your perception) would be to mix in some baby led weaning where you let her pick up and try the food herself. That's less involved for you so you can sit and have a cup of teaor eat your own lunch, but does involve more cleaning up so some people find it doesn't save any time. There is no rush to three meals a day either. Keep things more loose until you're ready if it helps.
I loved the jumperoo but realistically wouldn't buy one now. As soon as she's mobile she won't want to go in it any more.
Yes yes to either high chair or jumperoo. My two always expected to be fed if sitting in high chair so that one might not work.
Also my large 10mo is still fine in his bouncy chair, are you sure that's not an option?
This is a frustrating stage for them and you. Once they've cracked sitting up and then crawling things will improve.
Will she nap in the pram? Could you bring that in so she can sleep in it in the house. My DD slept in her pram during the day til she was 2.5.
And I mean just sitting in her pram rather than rocking her back and forth.
Mine is exactly the same age so I can tell you what works for me but it is generally tough.
I second the pp who said jumperoo. We bought a second hand one because I wasn't sure if it was worth the full price - she absolutely loves it and if in a good mood, it keeps her occupied for about half an hour. I am careful not to overuse it though as she then doesn't want to to into it. Do you have a bouncy/rocking chair that is suitable for older babies and toddlers? We have one that has a 5 point harness (heard about babies wriggling out of the traditional type and my daughter is a wriggler), I use that while in the kitchen.
I had a nightmare with sleep in the early days where she just wouldn't nap all day and would get progressively cranky so I would be on the go with her all the time and was in the same position as you - lost weight and permanently shattered (plus really worried for her brain development due to lack of sleep). We sleep trained at 5.5 months and the difference has been life-changing. It was 2 really tough weeks with pretty much no rest at all because I wanted to be as gentle as possible but completely worth it now to have her sleeping more reliably and not grumpy all day. I also manage to get her bits done while she is sleeping so just my stuff to sort when she is awake.
Thanks all for the suggestions. Very helpful and good to hear that for some at least it gets easier.
I weighed up the Jumperoo and decided that for its limited lifespan it wouldn't be worth cluttering the house up even more (we don't have much room). Had also read no more than 15 mins per day due to not hampering physical skills so decided not. I will look into chairs for older babies though.
Also like the idea of treasure basket. Am a bit of a neurotic first time and see danger everywhere but with supervision I'm sure she'd love some more interesting shaped and textured objects.
I'm hoping the sleep training will be a game changer so thanks for sharing your positive experience riddles.
Thanks again all.
Organisation and planning. So in the morning before OH leaves we do the following:
1. He makes me tea and toast. And a sandwich for lunch. Sterilises bottles (bf plus expressed milk)
2. Puts on a load of laundry. Takes the dried laundry upstairs.
3. Has a shower and gets ready.
4. In the meanwhile i feed and dress the baby and hand over to DH. I then do a quick tidy of the house, put away laundry, have a 5 min shower and wolf down the tea and toast.
All of this is done in 45 mins or so?
It means that when DH leaves the house it is tidy, we are both dressed, I have had a shower and breakfast and there is lunch in the fridge.
I then try and eke out 3x20 min slots.
First 20 mins I chop vegetables. Any further jobs. Make a cup of tea.
Next 20 mins: cook the food for dinner.
Last 20 mins: Wash any dirty dishes or unload the dishwasher. Dry the laundry. Have another cup of tea!
Every few days in one of the 20 min slots I Hoover downstairs. We hoover upstairs and clean bathrooms on the weekend.
I think you have to break it down to small chunks AND be super efficient.
So when baby is down for the night, I put out our clothes for the next day. And make any food that needs making (any puréed food etc). I don't get much 'me' time in the day but that's par for the course.
We used to go to a group at the children's centre where they laid out different baskets on a blanket for the babies to explore. One basket had things like wooden spoons, colanders, metal saucepans, etc, another had plastic and wooden toys (like little animals, cars), soft balls and so on, another had those musical things like those little jingle bell bracelets and rattles and shakers.
I tried to recreate this a bit at home. Put a mat on the floor and covered with different, interesting, baby-safe stuff and let her explore it a bit while I tried to get on with things...
I think you have to get used to just having short bursts of time. I also borrowed a friend's old bumbo seat and it had a little plastic tray attached. We had a couple of toys with rubber ends that stuck to the table. Dd would knock them off every 5 mins or so! but that gave me a bit of time.
Luchi I am seriously impressed! It does appeal to me and I think it's confirmed in my mind that a daily structure for tasks is probably better than ad-libbing all day with chores left half done as other things that need doing arise.
My 7 month old does
Tiny love rocker - the seat option he fits in still
Foam floor squares to sit on with cushions to catch when he falls, he suddenly got sitting by doing this.
If all else fails we resort to sling, I have an ergo and if I need to wash up he'll go on my back for that amount of time but normally on front.
Most of all I've learn to get naps in before he gets over tired or he won't nap at all. Only 20-30 minutes twice a day and might get a longer one after lunch if we've been out/been busy.
Have you tried swimming? I get a lovely quite afternoon/next day if I ware him out in the pool.
With the house stuff I've relaxed my standards also have a vague plan of what I want to get done so
Monday - change beds
Tuesday - wash kitchen floor
Wednesday - Hoover well
Thursday - clean pets out
Friday - bathroom
It changes day sometimes depending on weather for drying bedding/cleaning bunnies out. I try to get a washing machine on ever other day to keep on top of thing rather than have it pile up. I wip the hoover over something most days but in a 2 minute lick and spit way and quick wip around kitchen tops/loo. When I buy veg I make it into pre prepared veg i.e. peel/chop and place in zip food bag then use it as required.
Ooh good point a door bouncer is a good alternative to the jumperoo.
Sorry I should have said that we have a cleaner once a week.
And that this is baby no 2. We did the same with baby no 1 who is now in school and a big boy (who can and does help!).
With Baby 1 my otherwise batty but lovely MIL had one decent piece of wisdom. She said that instead of getting the baby into a routine we should get ourselves into a routine and then it won't feel so chaotic. She was right. Baby 2 is different because we do already have a routine that he has to slot into now.
Personally I would recommend you lower your standards a bit! Cooking and housework may need to be done in 'bits' rather than in one go like you will have been used to and that's ok! As a fellow parent of a wakeful baby (now 16m) I would recommend you prioritise resting during naps/feeds when you can rather than rushing to catch up on chores. I know it's frustrating when the baby gets in the way of you doing stuff but it's so important to have some chill time!
Highchair with toys in tray, jumperoo, bumbo. Sit her up on the floor with cushions around to break her fall. Good sling so you can get things done around the house while she sleeps. Get early nights. Adjust expectations/lower standards.
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