Letter to Leila – 5 (and a bit) months



In the tradition of Dooce and Fat Mum Slim I decided to try and articulate with a reasonable frequency what is happening in the life of Leila, and Ben & I, so that we have a record of it.

I can’t attempt to catch up on all the happenings and transformations up to this point. Lets just say that you have changed our lives in a permanent, extreme and generally lovely way. It is incredible to realise just how self centred we were able to be before you were born. Want to go out for dinner? Sure! Want to sit in the park and drink a bottle of Veuve? Sure! There is very little spontaneity to our lives any more, and I have never spent so much time in the house, but my goodness you make up for it.

It is tempting to talk about how magical the experience of parenthood is, and it absolutely is, but I want to be real. Truthfully the last month has been rough. You decided at 4 months old to stop those lovely 6 hr and 7 hr stints of sleep and need feeding 2-3 times per night. This made mummy not much fun to be around. But we got a sleep consultant, we started solids, we got through the month and lo and behold, you are sleeping from 7pm till 7am without needing us. Your Daddy and I haven’t quite caught up with you so we are often awake at 12-3-5 having a chat about how amazing it is that you are asleep, or that you are waking up and PUTTING YOURSELF BACK TO SLEEP! This is unbelievable!

You are very vocal at the moment. No words but lots of shouting and gurgling and laughing. You have a new sound every day and once you find a noise you like you keep making it until I want to beat myself around the ears. When we do baby talk to you, you crack up laughing. I maintain that mumumumumumum is your favourite but I am fairly sure dadadadadadadadad will be your first words.

You are very smiley at the moment. Especially since you started sleeping more at nighttime. You will smile at strangers, and whereas your Dad used to have to work for smiles and laughs, you will smile as soon as you see him now. That makes me a bit mushy. My favourite time is probably when you wake up, or when we have to wake you. You keep your eyes squished closed for a while but if I start to sing you one of your favourite songs (Old MacDonald for instance) you start to smile and then look for me or Dad. Once you find us the smile spreads across your lips and cheeks and is so big that your nose and eyes wrinkle up. You have a particularly distinctive smile that involves a huge wide open mouth. This often turns into you trying to eat us if we are very close. I think that must be an expression of extreme love, right??

We have just bought a running pram so that we can keep exercising while we take you with us. You don’t get up till 7am though so not sure Daddy will be doing much running with you. I am trying to get a bit fit again though so our 4pm walk is going to become a 4pm walk/run. I am definitely looking forward to it not being so hot, 4pm at the moment is like midday. Sydney is so humid!

You are sleeping in your own room now, and we watch you on a video monitor. It is incredible the positions you can get into and stay asleep. But we are taking a non interventionist approach now – if you are sleeping then that is great.

You can sit up for a few minutes at a time now. You can’t get into sitting by yourself but once you are up you are pretty stable. You are so much more interested in playing with your toys now. You don’t just automatically put them into your mouth either. You hit things and press things and bang them around. It is fascinating watching you change and learn. You have a jumperoo activity centre that you are in love with. We only let you in it a few times a day for a few minutes at a time but you go bananas every time – especially if Daddy and/or I sing or pretend to bounce along with you. That smile 🙂 

You aren’t very good at holding your weight on your legs yet – we are seeing a physio about your wonky right foot. You are very strong everywhere else though so you will catch up. 

You are an incredible eater for a 5 month old. Actually I think you are probably eating too much – but I figure if you want it, it must be ok. From vege purees, to mashed avocado, to fruit purees and baby porridge – you would now much prefer a meal of solid food than a breast feed. You need the fluid though so we persevere. You are very cute to watch sipping water out of a cup. I am not sure how much gets in but we keep doing it for our own amusement! 

You are tiny to us, but pretty big compared to babies your age. You are chubby, and really long. I haven’t had you measured in a while but you were the length of a tall 7 month old when you were 4 months old. Hopefully you will be lovely and tall like your Dad.

I am getting to terms with not being able to do all the things I could do before you were born. For the first few months you and I would be out and about loads and you would sleep in the pram. You would probably still do this but you are happier and sleep better when we spend more time at home. So that is what we are doing. I have enrolled in some online study – more on that later – to keep me busy during your sleeps and not just watching tv or eating. 

We love you so much and can’t believe our luck at having such an incredible (and strong willed, funny, gorgeous) daughter. We can’t wait to see what the next few months brings!

Love Mum x


3 thoughts on “Letter to Leila – 5 (and a bit) months

  1. Ok so now I am balling my eyes out, that was so sweet Ellie. You write so well and everything rings true so much for me too. Happy to join you on those 4pm run / walks, I tried running with the pram yesterday and it wasn’t easy but it’s doable So excited about our swimming lessons tomorrow

    Sent from my iPad


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