Baby Diana has spent the last few months rolling and posing (her favourite position is on her side, à la some kind of odalisque waiting to be painted), but she hasn't actually displayed much interest in moving beyond that.
In fact, she's sort of been developmentally rotting for the past three months (as a rotter I'm proud of this, as a mother, slightly worried).
Until two weeks ago.
We've gone from a chilled-out baby, content to relax in one spot and occasionally push herself forward on her tummy (although not really bothered about whether or not she gets anywhere) to an infant who:
1) Crawls! Suddenly, baby D is constantly on the move and has mastered crawling. This is very exciting for everyone except Bolshy the bulldog, whose sleep tends to be disturbed by a certain baby D crawling up to him, hitting him repeatedly and tugging on his tail.
Also, it means about a million more dangers have cropped up (Stairs! Tabletops! Bookshelves! Baby D likes to grab books out of the bottom tier; worryingly, Bob Woolmer's Art and Science of Cricket, which is enormous, heavy and about cricket, is her current favourite).
2) Babbles! Baby D's making sounds like ba-ba-ba, da-da-da and ma-ma-ma. However, ma-ma-ma appears to be a cry of extreme distress rather than a lovely precursor to saying "mama." Da-da, meanwhile, seems to express unadulterated joy, much to the pleasure of baby D's dad.
3) Sleeps in her cot at night! We've reclaimed the bed (for most of the night, at least) and baby D is now in her cot at bedtime. She sleeps pretty well there, too, except goes through the emotional breakdown needed to perform a Greek tragedy every single time she goes to sleep: Wailing, gripping the cot bars, screeching, sobbing, thrashing, tossing and turning accompany EVERY single nap and bedtime at our house. These are all good signs for us these days and usually mean we'll have a sleeping beauty within minutes (Bonus? I get a theatrical performance multiple times a day for free).
4) Has broken up with her first love, the nipple! Yep, it's true. Both nipple and baby are doing fine post-breakup. It turns out Diana was after the milk all along - she wasn't looking for a bigger commitment - and now that she can get what she wants from a bottle, she's not really interested in her former beloved.
For me it was the right time to call it quits: I was getting ill constantly, feeling run-down and couldn't take any medication to get better. It feels very strange not to breastfeed (it's only been a week so far) and even stranger to feel like my body is becoming my own again after so many months of pregnancy and breastfeeding. The downside? Mixing formula is not for the lazy, and it's so much easier to breastfeed when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night (admittedly, when they're in bed next to you). So all in all, this is a good thing.
5) Masters yoga poses (see photo)! This is my personal favourite of Diana's new tricks; the day she started crawling she also positioned herself in downward facing dog. I am particularly impressed with this since after years of practising, I still can't do downward dog properly. Also, I hope this means she'll be more zen than her neurotic New York mother.
All of this goes to show that you never know what to expect with a newborn (Well actually, baby D is almost eight months old so I guess she's past the first flushes of youth already and is now considered an "older baby.")
One day, your baby is happily chilling out on her back, the next she is out the door and on the landing, exploring her world. I am truly in awe.
For more musings on new motherhood, follow me on Twitter @JenBNYC.