‘Baby Jude’, as he is most commonly known around here, has turned three months. I’ve definitely noticed with subsequent children that their floor and movement time is much more limited than their eldest brothers’. I wonder how this is managed in other homes as I wish Alice had been given more of an opportunity to lay under mobiles and the baby gym as she was always in the sling or the buggy and out of reach from her brother.
Their age gap was small and he didn’t fully understand this new baby suddenly being part of his life. Although we prepped him as much as we could it just didn’t prepare him for her arrival. Because of this he was quite rough with her and sometimes aggressive. We dealt with it as gently and calmly as possible but one strategy was to keep her out of his reach when we were not giving them both our full attention (like cooking dinner).
I really wanted this baby to be given that space and time to move about, practice reaching and grasping and rolling. Alice learnt to sit up before she could roll and I am sure it was a means to not be so vulnerable to Joseph dive bombs! Our house is very small and not laid out in a way that we can easily utilise space for movement areas. As much as I would like to have a dedicated baby/toddler room, two bedroom bungalow and three children doesn’t really allow for that.
I created (after much movement of furniture, lots of smiles to my husband) an area by my chest of drawers that also doubles up as a changing space too.
This was Jude a few days old. He is on his toppencino and you can see the changing mat under the chest of drawers which slides out for nappy changes. There is a (very) homemade newborn mobile above him. Which was a lovely activity to do when I was pregnant and it involved the other two too. I printed off and laminated some contrasting, black and white patterns which I stuck along the drawers and above the mirror. He would stare at those for a solid amount of time.
When he was around eight weeks old, I changed the mobile for a butterfly one (again, homemade). Now he is able to focus longer and follow moving objects, he enjoys laying under the butterflies and watching them twirl. I have left the black and white images for now but will change them soon to some abstract art that is more colorful like the ones below:
He is also really enjoying being under his baby gym, which is from Ikea and has been used for Joseph and Alice (albeit very limited use!). He is reaching up to try and grab the ring and is spinning the pieces on the side.