Getting Real About Expectations! - FOX Carolina 21

Getting Real About Expectations!

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Stella working hard at tummy time! Stella working hard at tummy time!

It's amazing how much can change over the course of a week or two when you are raising a 5 month old!  Stella has been making lots of progress toward sitting up, pushing herself up off the floor and grabbing things more easily.  It's a neat thing to see her progress, but you can really drive yourself crazy if you read all the books about where your child "should be a week 20" or what is "typical for a 4-5 month old". I've learned that every baby is different, and truly advances at their own pace.  Accepting that helped me stress less in the beginning, when Stella seemed to be behind on EVERYTHING! 

For the longest time, Stella would NOT do anything during tummy time except grimace and cry.  She would just lay there after lots of fussing, then I'd eventually pick her up.  Also, when I'd hold her, she wouldn't have ANY neck control.  Her head would just flop over on my shoulder, while her peers were holding their heads up for periods of time.   I was really concerned about it… so many things went through my head!  I thought maybe her head was so large that her little body couldn't support it, or that something was wrong with her arms.  Turns out she just wasn't ready!  Around 3.5 months she finally started raising her head and working harder on her belly.  Now she is much stronger and starting to get her legs under her in a crawl-like pose! 

It's funny that we tend to start placing expectations on our kids even as babies.  I'm trying to learn from this experience, so that I don't constantly compare Stella to other kids throughout her childhood.  In fact, I hope to encourage Stella to be an individual.  I want her to work hard, but not be constantly trying to be like the other kids. 

I will say that at this stage, Stella is even more fun to be around. Whenever I'm with her, I just want to play with her!  This makes the night feedings a little tough, because I'm told NOT to make those late night encounters fun!  They need to be brief, to the point, and back to bed!  Luckily I'm so tired that I can usually accomplish this!  She does try to engage me in playtime at 4am, and only gets me on occasion!  Usually it's when I've had a long day at work and haven't seen her much. Oh well, eventually she will sleep through the night! Until then I'll keep being grateful for those few minutes with her when the whole wide world is asleep (not really, but sometimes it feels that way!). 

OK, so here's the point where I ask for your feedback.  Here are my questions for this week… have you dealt with the "expectation anxiety" as I described in the first couple of paragraphs?  And when did you get to the point where you stopped going to your baby in the middle of the night? I think my doctor said around 6 months is when babies don't NEED the overnight feedings, but I'm pretty sure Stella will still want them!

Thanks, as always, for all of your wonderful comments, messages and emails. It means the world to me!

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