There is a huge difference between having a newborn and having a one year old…the most obvious is cost…I’m not kidding!!!
I have to throw a disclaimer in here…as most of you wonderfully supportive readers know I just have the one child, a wonderfully spirited boy who has just turned one so this is based purely on my singular experience with him.
Changing my son’s nappies when he was a newborn was such as special time for us both. He would look up at me and coo while wiggling his little legs. It was lovely. Now it’s a wrestling match. It’s like trying to put a nappy on a really fast but also surprisingly strong rabbit. These have become battles throughout the day when a very angry side to my child erupts bringing with it a flurry of kicks and very loud vocal protests.
Bathing has become so much more fun! Newborn bathing was a little nervy and whilst he seemed to enjoy the gentle swishing through the water, now it’s a whole event and it’s fun as hell. During the week it’s that golden hour… getting Alex ready for bed – I’m not rushing because of work and I can focus on him and have that uninterrupted one on one time with my happy boy.
Newborn dressing consisted mainly of onesies and a small baby who didn’t fight back. Now we have a three to four layers including socks and shoes…it’s not a fun experience at the best of times particularly as Alex is consistently trying to throw himself off his changing table…
Breastfeeding didn’t work out for us and it nearly broke me, but when we switched on exclusively to formula feeding it was an absolute cinch. A bottle every 3 hours that he happily guzzled up. Feeding is a much more interesting experience now. It’s very messy because Alex prefers to feed himself! It is such a learning curve for us and it’s wonderful watching Alex try new things.
Alex sleeps through the night about 70% of the time how and when he does wake up it’s only once (usually) and he has a fresh nappy (which is much easier when he is half asleep) and a bottle and off he goes again! When he’s sick he is up every hour but let’s not count that…as a newborn Alex was a really great sleeper he was up every 3 hours like clockwork and first slept through (six hours) at six weeks – although he didn’t make this a regular habit unfortunately for his dad and I!
Newborns do nothing. Besides waving their little arms around a bit they are like little ornaments. Alex was crawling at 8 months and up the stairs a week later, cruising a few days after that. At 14 months he walked. We were so proud of him. It’s a lot more work when you have a mobile little person but it is so exciting to see him be so strong, inquisitive and independent!
Ah communication! Newborns make the most precious sounds – I have video after video of tiny Alex oohing and aahing, which is cute but not really as engaging as he is now. We currently have a vocab of about 35 words but he understands more and is happy to point out the Christmas tree, giraffe on his wall or his little penguin toy. Alex is also very good at saying no when he has had enough of something!
Leaving the house is still a process although we don’t need to do the whole car seat into pram thing now and if you’re popping to the shop they can go from car seat to the trolley which is much easier. Also by one year old you have a much better handle on things and don’t need to be prepared for every eventuality at all times which makes things a little easier.
What’s the best age?
Alex has always known what he wants and now that he is more verbal it is much easier for him to have a choice in food, drink or activity. He is very particular about how he likes things and isn’t happy unless he’s cleaned up after himself after a meal (long may it last).
Personally I find he gets more interesting as he gets older – as a newborn he was sweet, soft and cuddly but I much prefer this energetic communicative toddler. Behaviour now has a big part so that can be challenging because it’s that awkward period before he understands consequences.
Alex is now a year and a half old and the last 6 months have been my favourite stage so far! I felt quite lost when he was so tiny, he was absolutely wonderful obviously but there is so much more he can do now.
What was your best phase with your child?
What did you think it would be and was it totally different?