8 Months Old

Age: 8 months old already. That’s practically a toddler right?! What a bloody month it has been too. Gastro, a cold, teething, the 6th leap in development and of course the big fall down the stairs. And still, he is just a delicious little ray of sunshine. I mean the grizzling and whinging have been dialled up a notch, but nothing out of the ordinary for a teething baby.

The leap and teething have been a little bit challenging, but I now know that it’s a phase that will pass. I used to get a lot of anxiety whenever he wasn’t a 100% happy bub, but I can relax a bit now and know that it’s all just a phase. It will pass.

He’s getting more cuddly this month. He’ll nestle his little face right in my neck for cuddles. At night when I put him to bed he sucks on my cheek, which I tell myself is a kiss goodnight. He is pretty wiggly and it can be hard to get him to sit still, so when I get a cuddle I enjoy it!

Feeding: Not much has changed this month, he’s still drinking 5 bottles a day of about 150 ml. Plus 3 meals a day. By eating 3 meals a day, I mean he throws food on the floor 3 times a day. I’ve tried cutting one bottle to try and get him to eat more, but I’ve been unsuccessful. We took a big backward step when he had gastro and was too sick to eat anything, so it’s like we are learning how to eat again. In saying that, I give him pretty much anything to eat from puréed food to lamb chops, basically anything that we are eating, so he gets to try plenty of foods. The only thing he really loves is meat. He never throws that on the floor!

He’s also finally mastered drinking water from his sippy cup. He bloody loves drinking water now, much prefers it to eating. Crazy kid.

Sleeping routine: It’s been a month in two halves: before the leap started and after the leap started.

Before the leap he was sleeping 6.30 pm – 7.30 am with two naps a day of 1 – 1.5 hours. Then the leap starts and he suddenly starts waking up needing cuddles and play time around 8.00 pm. Generally I can get him back to sleep after an hour or so and he’ll stay asleep. He is making a lot of noise and little cries throughout the night too. It’s amazing how these development leaps affect his sleep.

He’s also been teething, so some nights he’s been very sad and I’ve needed to give him Panadol to settle him. Poor little boy. He’s had a tough month.

At the start of the month he also naturally dropped his first morning sleep. He used to always have a sleep around 8.00/8.30 am. He skips this nap now and just has a longer mid-morning nap at about 10.00 am. This is great because I am pretty much set my clock by the morning nap now and I might even start using that time to work from home soon.

Firsts: A big month of firsts!!!

Crawling- he’s on the move! He is mostly commando crawling, but he can crawl properly as well. The maternal health nurse said he might prefer commando crawling because we have hardwood floors and it’s just easier. We now also have stair gates and a playpen to keep him safe! It’s so much fun playing with him now that he can move. He can chase you or you can call him and he’ll (sometimes) come over.

Tooth- FINALLY! It’s felt like he’s been teething forever. He cracked his first tooth (bottom front right) and then a week later the one next to it popped up too. Oh man does it hurt when he bites my finger now. I can’t imagine breast feeding…

Waving- he waves hello now. Well he does when he feels like it. Sometimes you say hello and he just stares at you like you’re an idiot.

Blowing raspberries- he loves blowing raspberries on my legs, arms, chest… basically anywhere he can find some skin. It’s quite cute. And slobbery.

Achievements: Well it’s been a very tough month with Augie’s accident (see last post if you missed it, I can’t link because I’m on my phone). Augie recovered incredibly well, but AJ and I are still struggling with guilt and going over and over in our heads how we let it happen. Anyway, we all survived. That’s an achievement right?

Things we have learned: To put stair gates on. Enough said. 😥

Appearance: He’s still my little blonde, blue eyed boy. I never would have thought in a million years that I’d have a blonde haired, blue eyed boy. I wanted a dark haired, dark eyed little girl, but lucky for me, I got Augie.

We had an 8 month appointment with the maternal health nurse and she weighed and measured him. He’s 71 cm and 9.1 kilos, which puts him slightly above average for height and weight. It’s quite funny, there are two babies at mothers group and one is born the day before Augie and one is born the day after (both girls). One is 7 kilos, one is 8 kilos and Augie is 9 kilos. All are healthy and perfect, just completely different!

Mummy update: I am struggling. I had always heard that being a working mum was hard, but it’s been difficult in a way that I wasn’t expecting. The balance isn’t too bad because I’m not over-loaded at work and AJ is managing very well looking after Augie while I’m at work. What is hard is feeling kind of useless as a Mum and employee.

As a part time employee, I am left out of all major projects, decisions and meetings. I am just being delegated pieces of work. I have no responsibility. I feel like I’ve been demoted.

As a part time Mum, it’s hard to lose control. I really like to be in control and I have to let go. I was caring for Augie 24/7 for the first 6 months of his life. AJ helped, but let’s face it, I was the primary career. I want Augie and AJ to have that time together, but I hate missing out too.

So essentially I feel left out, out of control and not needed as a Mum and employee. I know it’s pretty sooky because I have a great work and home arrangement, it’s just a difficult adjustment. It’ll just take time to adjust.

The Worst

The worst happened. I always feared it would happen, but I didn’t really think it would. Augie fell down our stairs.

He’s OK.

How he is OK, I have no idea because he fell headfirst down 15 hardwood stairs. He didn’t slide down, he bounced down each and every stair. It’s actually very hard to even write that because it gives me terrible flashbacks. Sick to my stomach doesn’t even begin to describe it.

I got there in time to watch him fall and I raced after him hoping that he would lose momentum and stop falling. Of course that did’t happen and I could only scoop up his tiny body when he got to the end. My poor baby.

He cried immediately and then stopped after about 10 seconds of cuddles. He seemed like his old self (though the doctor later told me that he was probably in shock). AJ had raced down the stairs after me and I just said put him in the car, we are going to the hospital.

We are lucky that we live less than 5 kms from the Royal Children’s Hospital. It was a Saturday night and traffic was pretty good so we got there within about 15 minutes of his fall. I sang to him in the car and he laughed in the same places he always laughed and he was saying “ba ba ba” which was what he’d been saying to me all day. He seemed great, but I was actually more worried about deeper injuries that might not be immediately visible.

AJ dropped us off at emergency and went to park the car. When I took him out of his car seat I literally gasped when I saw the lumps that had already come up on his head. I went straight inside the hospital and told them what happened. Within a few minutes we were assessed by a nurse and then taken to a bed to be seen by a doctor.

I couldn’t believe how quiet it was in the hospital. There was only one other family in the waiting room! I later learned that we actually didn’t even make it to the waiting room and were triaged to see a doctor immediately. Later that night I walked past the actual waiting room that was full to the brim.

In our room, a young doctor performed a lot of tests on him, mostly to do with cognitive/head injury. They didn’t do x-rays or other scans because he was simply too young. Their main concern was bleeding on the brain so they continued to check his vital signs every hour until we were past the 6 hour mark, which is then considered fairly safe.

Augie was amazing and didn’t cry or get upset at all. He loved the attention from all the doctors and nurses and all the gadgets they had to perform tests on him. They gave me a cot for him and he slept a little bit, but woke every 20 minutes whimpering and needing cuddles. AJ had to go home once we knew Augie was ok. All 3 of us had a bad case of gastro and AJ was still in the thick of it. He was so sick that he went home and passed out on the bathroom floor. What a fucking night.

They let us go home at 2.00 am after they were confident he was ok. He was so tired and slept until 1.00 pm the next day… despite the fact I poked and prodded him all night to make sure he was ok.

All the doctors and nurses couldn’t quite believe that Augie was ok after such a terrible fall. Well, they couldn’t quite believe a baby had even suffered such a fall. I’m genuinely surprised that I didn’t have DHS out investigating us for being negligent parents. Some people I have told have acted like it’s no big deal. I mentioned that to AJ and said how surprised I was by this and he said those people are just being nice and trying not to make you feel bad. Probably true.

It is hard to explain how it happened. I really don’t know what I was thinking to have spaced out and let him get near the stairs. Or why I didn’t have a stair gate on. I always watch him. In fact, I normally sit with him. That night he had woken up because he’s teething and I got him out of bed for a cuddle. I didn’t even think he could crawl that far. I guess I was wrong. I can’t talk much more about it because it’s too hard to put myself back in that place and remember what happened.

For what it’s worth, AJ and I were both in the room when it happened. We were equally to blame and both feel horrible. In one sense I think we are both relieved that we are both to blame, I’m not sure how we could have forgiven each other if just one of us was to blame.

I’ll never forgive myself. I’m trying not to indulge too much in the guilt and instead focus on being so, so, so grateful that my baby is ok. Grateful is an understatement. When I saw him fall I honestly did not think he would be ok. I feel like the luckiest person alive to have a healthy baby.

One of the hardest things to deal with is that it’s now impossible to trust myself. How did I let this happen and what could happen next? I thought I was a vigilant parent. Obviously not. I don’t know what else I could do to put him in danger. The fear is keeping me up at night.

It goes without saying that we are now going to move house. We have two sets of stairs in our house and they make me feel sick to look at them. I am desperately searching the real estate websites for a rental. Most places in our budget are either tiny apartments or (double storey) townhouses. That’s not going to work. So what to do? I’m not sure yet, but I want to find a solution as soon as possible. I’ll be so sad to leave our place after less than a year, but I just want a house that is safe for Augie and a fresh start.


This is where It happened. As you can see we now have a stair gate up, but it’s still not safe because my bloody skirt got caught while I was taking him downstairs. I fucking hate stairs!

We now also have a cage playpen. Even when I know the stair gates are closed I still can’t shake my fears and poor Augie is locked up. Luckily he loves it in there with his toys (for now).