Life With My Baby – 8 Months

Who said life gets easier as baby gets older? Our little girl has gone mobile and needs to be watched all day long! “No, Maria, you can’t have our phone/laptop/charger/book/you name it.”

As we can’t keep our eyes on her at all times – and we don’t wanna be those parents who tell her “no” every five seconds – our house has become rather empty. The books, pens and magazines under the coffee table? Gone. Our chargers? Gone. Pile of stuff on the floor? Gone. Or rather, they have all been moved. To higher places, to the bedroom. Until she can reach those and we will have to find new solutions.

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Listening attentively (Photo credit: Petri van Beuzekom)

It is incredible, though, how fast Maria has progressed from rolling to crawling, and it is such a delight to see it. The logistic and safety issues aside, I love to watch her determination to get somewhere and how she keeps practicing push ups, planks and crunches. If we, adults, only had a quarter of the perseverance she has…

All the more frustrating is it for her if she can’t get to where she wants to be or can’t grasp the ball that is rolling away from her or isn’t allowed to play with the charge cord. And she has no problems communicating to us her irritation when that happens. Her cry repertoire has certainly grown.

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And so has the rest of her repertoire to express her happiness, excitement, surprise or tiredness. My heart melts when she is in her chatterbox mode. Needless to say, I happily bababa and mamama back to her.

One vocal moment is usually when we go out. As I put Maria in the stroller and walk out the door she shrieks with excitement. This girl loves going out and meeting new people. Her squeals and smiles are quite contagious, lifting up not only my mood but those of passersby as well.

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Her openness and easy-goingness (is that even a word?!) notwithstanding, we have been noticing some separation and stranger anxiety these last few weeks. On several occasions, Maria began to cry when Ahmed or I walked away from her. When a stranger approaches her, she sometimes hesitates between a smile and a cry. Usually, this doesn’t last very long, and she quickly goes back to her smiling and chatting mode.

Apart from exploring the familiar surroundings of our home, we went on a four-day road trip with my family to Wellington – on the other side of the North Island – and back, among other things to get Maria a Dutch passport. I will write more about our trip in a next post, but I can say that Maria kept very well during the long drives, the many hours in the stroller and the nights in strange portacots. Travel zest must be in her blood!

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Going for a walk during our road trip (Photo credit: Petri van Beuzekom)

More exploring also happens on the food front. Since my parents’ visit and as Maria is getting older I am more confident about giving her new foods to try and focus less on what the experts say I should and especially should not give her. I believe some sugar in her diet is better than avoiding sweets altogether, and the more variety in tastes and textures I give her the better her palate develops.

Luckily, Maria likes most things I present, although her appetite varies from day to day. And she is normally not so keen on eating in the morning. I’m not sure whether it’s the foods I give her then (mainly fruits) or the fact that she is not hungry enough after having a good feed first thing in the morning. I suspect it’s the former: She just doesn’t seem as interested in apple or strawberry as she is in beans, potatoes, carrots and other legumes and vegetables. However, even if she does not seem to like a certain food, I keep offering it to her over and over. Don’t they say it takes about 10 to 15 tries before you can say you don’t like a food?

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Enjoying her meal! (Photo credit: Petri van Beuzekom)

A few more things:

  • Maria’s upper teeth cut through! That gives her a total of four lovely teeth that, to her dismay, need to be cleaned every single day;
  • I am probably jinxing myself here, but sleep has been pretty good! Maria slept through the night on several occasions but on average wakes up once. Slowly getting there, I hope…;
  • Maria loves reading! She can’t get enough of all the books she has;
  • Our favorite moment with her is still getting her out of bed in the morning. She gets so excited when we walk into the room and is totally ready to tackle the day;
  • Nappy free time gets more challenging by the day. We’ve had several accidents and now put a big piece of tarp on the floor to protect the carpet. We also only give her some bum time when she is tired in the hope that she stays where she is…
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