Toddler on tummy

5-month-old milestones with Cassidy Mason | S2 Ep39

5-month-old milestones are on today’s agenda in the latest episode of Sense by Meg Faure. Cass is back from their first family holiday and gives us an update on life was like travelling with Max and since they’ve come home.

Routines & awake times

Cass talks about how much more development she noticed having had Max out of his familiar surroundings and Meg discusses giving our little ones the opportunity to practice their ability to self soothe and stick to their familiar routines. They also talk about the importance of setting up routines early to free you up later on – when travelling for example.

Cass also now swears by ideal awake times, that she used extensively while they were away. This leads them onto discuss Max’s ability to s. They also talk about the changes that Cass is likely to experience in Max’s routine as he approaches 6 months.

Restarting your weaning journey

Meg & Cass catch up on Max’s weaning journey that started just before their family holiday. Cass explains that she had stopped solids a couple of days before they left because of an upset tummy. She admits that while they were away it was most practical to continue with milk feeds and Meg agrees. Meg shares some ways Cass can restart her weaning journey and how to use the Parent Sense app to guide the journey now that Max is a month older than when he first started solids.

Milestones big & small

Meg and Cass also talk about milestones. Cass has some questions about Max’s rolling, whether he still needs tummy time and what some of the milestones within the Parent Sense app are like pushing up and babbling. Meg gives Cass a crash course in how babies learn and master gross motor and emotional skills and remember them when they need them. Listen for all of this and more with Meg and Cass.

Guests on this show

Cassidy Mason

Cassidy Mason

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5-month-old milestones


Welcome to Sense by Meg Faure, the podcast that’s brought to you by Parent Sense, the app that takes guesswork out of parenting. If you are a new parent, then you are a good company. Your host, Meg Faure is a well-known OT infant specialist and the author of eight parenting books. Each week we are going to spend time with new moms and dads just like you to chat about the week’s wins, the challenges, and the questions of the moment. Subscribe to the podcast, download the Parent Sense App, and catch Meg   here every week to make the most of that first year of your little one’s life. And now meet your host.

Meg: Welcome back everyone. I’m Meg Faure, as usual, I’m with you every week chatting to new moms generally, and we talk about the highs and lows of parenting. So those things that keep you awake at night other than the fact that your baby’s waking you and the things that worry you as well as the joys and the delights that come along with having a newborn baby. Now, over the last four and a half months, we’ve actually been tracking the life of Max and Max was born and had a little bit of a tricky start. If you haven’t heard that episode, it’s episode two. Go and listen to that. And he is really a thriving, gorgeous bunny boy who is now…Cass, how old is Max this week?

Cass: It’s his birthday. He’s five months old today.

Meg: Oh my word. Can you believe he’s been in your life for five months?

Cass: In some ways it feels like he’s been in my life forever. And in some ways it feels like the time’s gone so quickly. It’s, yeah, it’s crazy. I still always hold on to…I’m not sure if I’ve said it on the podcast, but a friend of mine said the days along and the years are short. And the more time goes on, the more that sentence makes sense to me.

Meg: Yeah, and you know, it’s such a conundrum because in that process there’s days when you’re wishing it all away because it’s really, really hard and the days are really long. So by four o’clock in the afternoon when you’re waiting for Alex to come home from work, it’s like, just get the stay over, I’m done now. And then there’s the conundrum of, you know, wanting him to be little for longer and wanting him to be as gorgeous and cuddly and small as he is now, and not a raging two year old or a rover 15 year olds .

Cass: It’s actually, it’s funny, I felt that more than ever this last week because as we were talking about last week, we were in England and my sister-in-law had a baby in December. So her baby’s only about eight weeks old. And I held my niece, and I was just suddenly so overwhelmed with how quickly time has gone and how and I was just like, “Oh my gosh, I want a newborn again.”  And she was so tiny, and you know, Max is a very robust, I mean, when we were traveling I think a lot of people looked him and thought we were joking when we said he was five months old because he’s quite…He holds his head up. He’s very strong. He sits up, he’s very engaged. I don’t know what the benchmark is for five months old. That’s all I’ve got to go on. But you know, it was amazing how it suddenly became so real, how fast that time has gone since he was that little newborn at eight weeks, four-eight weeks old.  It was a real shock moment actually that I hadn’t quite appreciated.

Meg: No, it’s so true. So you speak about him being really robust and sitting and I mean it might be quite a nice thing for us to just have a look at what milestones he’s been doing in the last week or so and what you’ve noticed for him.

Cass: Yeah, so the, well two things. One, I wanted to actually talk to you about the milestones area on the app, but, so I’ll come onto that. But in terms of this week, traveling with him has been…I was a bit apprehensive because I didn’t know what to expect and how well he’ll be traveling, that sort of thing. But it’s actually been the best thing. It’s almost forced us into situations that’s allowed him to show how capable he is. Because I think previously you sort of say, Okay, well he can’t do that or he won’t like that. Or you know, you kind of make assumptions of the situations that he’ll cope or won’t cope in. And I’ve always put him in the pram being like, right, I better take him for a walk for example now and for his pram, you know, and usually that is because I want to go for a walk.

But when we were away, there were situations where it was coming up to his sleep time and I was at a lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen for three years or something like that. And I can’t just sort of say, “Sorry, I’m going to have to go for a half an hour walk because my baby needs to sleep in the pram.” So I found myself having to put him in the pram and kind of just in my head thinking this is going to…I don’t know what’s going to happen here. And the next thing I knew he was fast asleep. He’d put himself to steep, I’d given him the dummy, I’d put the herd down and I’d given a little rock. And obviously I’d watched the awake-times very carefully. I have to say more than ever I understand awake-times having done the traveling. Because it does make your life so much easier if you can get those right because he would just put himself to sleep. And there were so many things that we’ve come away, I feel, whether it is because he was in situations that we wouldn’t have put him in otherwise, or he has just suddenly grown up in the last two weeks. I don’t know, but it seems a bit coincidental. But while we were away, he seems so much more grown up now and so much more capable, and I find myself even saying a sentence, “Oh yes, when he was a baby…” And people are like, he’s still a baby. He’s a baby. No, I feel like he’s not anymore.

Meg: He’s not.

Cass: He’s becoming a little boy.

Meg: Yeah. He’s not an infant. He’s now a baby. It’s really interesting. It’s so interesting that you say you would just put him in the pram, you know, cover it down and he’d just fall asleep. You know, I think that babies actually, given the opportunity, would surprise parents more than we realize. And I think what happens is that we feel like we have to support them all the way to sleep; either rocking in the pram or you know, feeding to sleep or whatever it is or shushing or carrying or rocking in our arms. And so we end up, in particularly at this age cast, we end up falling into the trap of doing that which actually, as we know, this is the age where habits have formed. Before now, it wasn’t really an issue, but now this is it.

An American researcher and is actually kind of coined the term self-soothing, in the research he did, which was very interesting research where he had cameras over cribs to see how much babies work at night. He found that all babies work, but some babies were signals, some babies were self-soothers. The ones who were self-soothers were the ones who were doing it themselves at sleep onset. It puts a lot of pressure on mums because then we feel like, oh my goodness, we’ve got to have our little ones self-soothing and this is the critical age, five to seven months and how are we going to do it? But the reality is, is actually just giving them the opportunity to do what you did with Max is actually really important.

Now that doesn’t mean he’s going to get it right. 10 out of 10, he might only get it right 4 out of 10 at the moment, you know, but give him the opportunity, put him down, walk out the room and give him the opportunity. And then only go back if he’s iffing and butting and crying, you know, more than iffing and butting, iffing and butting is that kind of mm-mm-mm. Leave him alone for that. And this is the age where…And in fact that particular research from Anderson, and as I was just reading it again this week showed that if you just do that, so you do support them, you do put them to sleep if you need to, but if you just give him the opportunity every single sleep and then if they don’t get it right going and respond, those babies start to get it right. And that’s really what he was saying to you, that he can do it. He can go into a pram, cover it up, and he can fall asleep.

Cass: Yeah. And I think, you know, I’ve worked, we’ve worked really hard on the cot environment and I know that I can just put him in his cot, I put the white noise on, I put him in his sleeping bag, he’s given his comforter the certain criteria. But in his bedroom, in his cot, I knew he was capable of that, but I never thought…He didn’t have a sleeping bag. He didn’t have his comforter. All he had was the pram and the dummy. And I just had never thought that he’d do the same in his pram as he’d learned to do in his cot.

Meg: But you see now, that’s the beauty of sitting up something consistently in the perfect space because when you’re not in the perfect space, they can actually transfer it over. And a story I’ve often told is when we had very young children, so we had, James was four and Alex, my middle child was two, my third child wasn’t born yet. We decided to do a trip around the world. We sold our house, we gave up our jobs and we just went. And people said, you guys are completely mad to do a trip with a two-year-old. Like who would do this? But the absolute incredible thing was, and it was no matter where we were, if I put Alex into the pram and covered the front of it…So she was two and we had stroller, covered the front of it at 12 o’clock every single day of that entire trip without fail and we traveled and we traveled and we traveled. She would have a midday sleep at 12 o’clock. I’ll never forget the one day, we’d actually been traveling through Namibia, which is…You’re familiar with Namibia and it is probably one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Grand open spaces, the kids were in the car a lot because we traveled all the way from the South Sossusvlei all the way up to Etosha Pans, and so we had these extensive kind of distances, but her routine was kept all the way. But we were in a car, so she was falling asleep in the car sort of, well that’s obvious.

Anyway, we flew from Windhoek in the middle of this wild African landscape straight into New York City, and the first day completely jetlagged, we are walking around at 12 o’clock noon at Times Square, and she’s in the pram at Times Square at this point. And I had actually just switched into awake-times, which is exactly what you must do when you’re traveling because there’s no way that you can get, especially if you’re transferring time zones, you can’t get it right any other way. And so 12 o’clock after x number of hours of awake time, I put in the pram in Times Square with bright lights like complete contrast to that African Savannah threw a blanket over the front of the pram, and within three minutes she was asleep. And that’s the beauty of having really rigid routines for little ones. It frees you up, you know. And she did that no matter where we went around the world, she did that mid-day sleep.

So, what you’ve experienced is actually what I experienced as well was, you know, having set up the stage very early on, you then able to be like much more flexible when you do things like travel.

Cass: You right, but it does lead me onto a question because he can now go to sleep either being walked in the pram or put in the, or whatever and in the cot he goes to sleep. In the pram, when he puts himself to sleep or he’s walked to sleep, he will easily do two hours sleep, in the cot…

Meg: 45 minutes.

Cass: He will not do for 45 minutes. Why, Meg?

Meg: All right. So, this is probably one of the other most common questions at this age, exactly. All right, so what is going to happen, and we going to work on this Cass over the next couple of weeks is that we only want one of his day sleeps to actually be linked and that’s his midday sleep. So in an ideal world, you’ll do 45 minutes in the morning, and so in a month’s time, this is your and my goal, we’re going to have 45 minutes in the morning at around about 9-9:30 approximately, depending on what time you work in the morning. We are then going to have a 12 o’clock, one and a half hour sleep from 12 until 1:30. And then we are going to have another nap in the afternoon of about 45 minutes. So that’s where we are heading, and that will happen at around six months. And there are a couple of things that will lead us there and, and I’m going to guide you and you can, you know, over the next few weeks work on this and we’ll see when it starts to fall into place.

The first thing is that he needs to be on three solid meals a day. Now we’re going to talk about his weaning just now because I’m dying to hear how that journey is gone because he just started when you went off from the trip. But for now you’re going to be on three solid meals within the next month. So by six months old babies must be on three solid meals. The midday meal must have really nice protein and fats in it. So, it’ll be like a chicken or a fish or an egg or nut butter, there’ll be nice proteins in that meal. And as he finishes off that solid meal, we’re going to give them a little top up bottle, which won’t be time for it actually, or breastfeed. I know that you’re bottle feeding now. So a little top up bottle feed just after that meal and it won’t be time for that feed. But what we do is we going to get their tummies really nice and full, we’re going to give them a little bit of tryptophan, which is what is naturally occurring in milk. We’re going to give them all the lovely kind of fatty acids that are needed for sleep and proteins and so on. And there’s an African saying, I come from South Africa, there’s an African saying which is  “Maagies vol, oogies toe,” which basically means when your tummy’s full, your eyes will closed. That’s what we going to…

Cass: I know that feeling.

Meg: Yeah. So we do, we do. So that’s the first thing we’re going to do. We are going rely on food to actually help and when I say a little feed, I’m not saying bottle feed, I’m not saying feed to sleep, I’m just saying little bit of milk. We’re then going to put him down and that’s the only sleep of the day that we will make similar to the nighttime sleep. In other words we will have the room pitch dark, which we do for other sleeps, but sleeping bag on, white noise on. So that’s the sleep that we’re going to do that for. The other sleeps will be naps, so they won’t be as differentiated from the night. And then we are going to, if he wakes after 45 minutes, we’re going to go in and we are going to hold him, pop his tummy back in and contain him until he falls back asleep and he will start to do that. So you can start to work on it now, but he’s very unlikely to do it until he’s on full solid. So at this stage I wouldn’t be stressing it. You can do the little bit that I said which is differentiate that midday sleep and try the shushing and patting to try and get him back to sleep. But they very often won’t do it until they’re on full solids.

Cass: Okay. Yeah, because at the moment he…And this kind of then leads onto another question, unless probably happened more when we were away than it would happen now, but you know, life happens and sometimes he would have a long sleep or just he would happen to wake up say at three o’clock and so his two hours of wake-time means that then he should be going down at five, which is too early for bed. And there was one day and there’s so many times now where I’ll be with my husband and say, I’m going to talk to Meg about this about the week, I’ll make a quick note because we were walking around, we were staying in London and we were walking around trying to get him to sleep at about quarter to five because I thought I just need him to have almost if he has just 15 minutes. Because then we can get…He might have a later bedtime but at least we can get him to sleep.

Meg: To not be miserable.

Cass: Yeah. But he wasn’t interested. He’d had quite a stimulating day. We’d been out for lunch, he’d had a long sleep but he’d met lots of new people. He’d been in a really, really cool pub in Chelsea. So, he just wasn’t interested in sleeping. Eventually I could see he was starting to get tired, but now we’re at about quarter past five and it’s late, really didn’t know what do I do in that situation because we are now past awake window. Even if he does 15 minutes, we’re then looking at a much later bed. I just didn’t know how to manage that situation. So I turned to my husband and I said, I’m going to talk to Meg about this.

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Meg: It is the conundrum and it happens when awake-windows actually don’t allow you to fit in that last nap of the day. So first of all, your response of doing 15 minute catnap is exactly what I would’ve re recommended. So if he wakes at three and you’re going to put him down at, I mean you’ve got two options really. You’ve got an option of putting him down at seven and letting him have a cat nap at five, which, which will give him an hour and 45 minutes awake time until seven o’clock. So it’ll work not a deal for him because he might fight sleep a little bit at seven. The other option is that if he gets to quarter past five for instance and hasn’t gone down is to bring bedtime forward to six, which will give him a three hour wake time, which is a little longer than he’d be okay with, but that’s what happens.

So it’s kind of juggling that awake-time between 1 hour 45 and 3 hours depending on whether or not he’ll actually take that catnap. But that catnap when that starts to happen to moms. And this by the way happens at this age, but it’ll happen again at nine months old quite significantly because at nine months old what’ll happen is that you’ll be having three sleeps but he won’t quite be able to fit in that last sleep of the day. And so then it’s kind of between two sleeps and three sleeps. And you and I will be talking about this exactly then. And what my recommendation is to put him into pram or carrier, however he falls asleep most easily and go for a walk with the dogs or go for a walk around the block or whatever it is to hopefully get him to sleep and don’t worry about trying to put him to sleep in his cot at that time. So, in other words, at that time you use any crèche to get him to sleep at five because he’s not really drowsy enough and you want him only to have 15 minutes and then the minute you get home from your walk, pick him up, get him going, he’ll be a little bit grumpy for 5-10 minutes, but he’ll go back to sleep properly at bedtime by seven o’clock.

Cass: Okay. Yeah, because I wasn’t sure if trying to squeeze in that nap was…

Meg: You did the right thing. You squeeze in that nap if it’s…If you can do it and say if the awake-time is two hours and now the wake time’s going to be one hour 45, squeeze it in. But if the awake -time is two hours and now it’s going to be an hour’s awake-time, don’t do it, you’re not going to get him back to sleep at seven o’clock for sure.

Cass: Yeah. We sort of decided we would just…We had the flexibility to just push out bedtime a little bit. I mean….

Meg: You gave him a little nap and then you’d let him go to sleep a little later.

Cass: Yeah, I mean he went to bed at 10 o’clock the other night because we were on the ferry and it came in late and you know, so it’s just, but last night he did the most amazing sleep. He slept from seven till two, did his feed, and then he slept till 7:30.

Meg: Oh, my word. Now that’s awesome. So at five months old that is like textbook. That’s exactly what we want, you know, especially being that he’s not really on solid’s proper yet. So I mean do you want to talk about your solids journey? Because there’s also been a juggle with traveling.

Cass: I will say solids has possibly been a fail. So there were two factors that came in. I think we spoke a couple of weeks ago, he had a very upset tummy and he wasn’t doing very well and I didn’t know because we’d started him on solids quite early. I wasn’t sure is it that solids are causing a problem because it was around a similar time he started sicking-up quite a lot and I also stopped the souped up formula that he was on and 24 hours after that he’s settled down.

Meg: He’s kind of settled, yes.

Cass: I do think it was the formula but now we are on the day that we are going off traveling and I’d stopped solids for two days and I just…I think it was the wrong decision because I think you’re supposed to, once you start, solids remain pretty consistent, I don’t know.

Meg: Let’s talk about that when you’ve done, yeah.

Cass: So, for the whole time we’ve been traveling he hasn’t, he’s just been on his milk. So we are due to start in a very consistent, we’re not going anywhere, we’re not doing anything. We’re going to start again being very consistent and start again from solids.

Meg: Okay, excellent. Well you bring up a couple of things. First of all it’s a question mark lots of mums have; if I’ve started solids, is it a transmission if I stop solids in the early days? And the answer is absolutely no problem at all. And in actual fact lots of babies will start on solids because their parents feel they’re ready let’s say at four months. And then the mums just realize that they really aren’t ready, and so then they wait, turn it off and take it up again in three-weeks-time when their little one’s five months one week. And that’s absolutely perfect.

So, the first thing is, and I think the very important principle and you know you should always be, your decision making in parenting, in life should always be principle based. And the principle around solids between four and six months of age is not for specifically for nutritional reasons, it’s for exposure and experimentation. And it’s just for them to really take in the new flavors at a time when they’ve taste buds are very receptive to new flavors. So the first thing is that if that experimentation means that some days solids happens and some days solids doesn’t happen, that’s absolutely okay. You know, so it’s like he doesn’t get a walk out in the fresh air every single day or whatever it is, you know, and that doesn’t affect his visual development. So solids are the same. So don’t freak out about it. The fact that you stopped and probably at a time when you’re traveling was pretty sensible, I would reckon.

Cass: Okay.

Meg: The next thing I do want to chat about, and this is really interesting Cass, and I actually have just recorded an incredible podcast on weaning. It’ll already be up by the time that this that our podcast actually fly’s. So moms must go back and have a look. It’s the one with Kath Megaw. And we started to talk about what should babies be weaned onto? And you and I had had a conversation around what you chosen to wean them onto and you had read somewhere that you must introduce little ones onto more bitter foods like your green flowery vegetables like broccoli and so on because otherwise we’re going to wire them for sweet taste. And so I brought this up with Kath because I wanted to understand what it’s all about. And it turns out that this has been researched actually quite extensively. And what they’ve found is that the bitter sweet taste bud does not develop until after baby is a year old. And so that’s part of the reason why we introduce solids fairly early because we want their…It’s a good time in terms of receptiveness and I can tell you now that when Max is 14 months old, he’s going to be more of a picky eater because that’s what happens. Toddlers become more picky as this taste bud comes in.

So at this age it truly doesn’t matter if you introduce sweet or bitter at all. So Kathryn and I have always recommended the starchy vegetables to start with. So things like butternut, sweet zucchini, pumpkin. And my suggestion to you is that maybe you go in that direction now as opposed to going in the bitter veggies direction. There’s a couple of reasons for that, but one is that they’re a little bit more gentle on the tummy as well. You know, they’re less likely to create kind of gassy feelings and so on. So they just are more gentle. So, that’s why if you go according to the app and so if you, maybe you can actually switch off your solids.

Cass: I have done, yeah.

Meg: Good. Okay, switch it off and it’ll start you again. And what’s really fascinating Cass, is in the app, in the Parent Sense App, if you started solids and flicked the switch at four months, he would’ve had a very different journey to what you’ll experience when you flicking it at five months. So when you flicked at four months at the time you would’ve seen that there was one solid meal a day for quite a period of time because we go slowly and the introduction of new variety is slower. Whereas now that’s five months you’re going to have a more accelerated version and that’s so that you get in more flavors and prevent allergies more efficiently with this swinging plan. So the weaning plan has an algorithm that’s very specific to how quickly solids need to be introduced. So that’s what I would do. I would go ahead now starting this week, flick it across and actually see following the app how it works for you and obviously make up quite big batches because what you’ll find is that there’s quite a bit of repetition in the first few weeks.

Cass: Yeah. And I’ve already got in the freezer some ice cube frozen bits of bits and bobs and I know in the app there was a couple that you know are mixed green vegetables with some avocado for example.  So you know, because I’ve got some of those green vegetables that would be quite an easy one to kind of make up.

Meg: It exactly will. And what you’ll find on the avocado side, you won’t have frozen that. So that’s just mums to realize that you’ll be taking the bean veggies and then adding in the avo fresh. So yeah, that’s perfect. Yeah, so I’m excited to see his journey from here, but spot on starting again.

Cass: Yeah. And the other thing I found interesting when traveling, and I think you mentioned before we went to grab a banana or an avocado because at his age I didn’t feel ever comfortable because there was sometimes when we were in a restaurant and I thought oh I could just ask them if they can just mash up some avocado or, but I just never felt comfortable that they wouldn’t add anything. You know, I just… maybe it’s a control freak thing. But I just thought, I don’t know what’s going on in that kitchen and what. It’s very difficult for a chef to completely resist adding a little bit of flavor here or a little bit of salt and pepper or something like that. And there was obviously he’s not at the stage where any of the…I don’t know if it’s because he looks older, but every waitress always asked us, would you like the children’s menu? Absolutely not.

Meg: That’s hysterical.

Cass: I said, “No, he’s five months, he’ll be on the milk. Thanks very much.

Meg: That’s very funny.

Cass: I don’t know, maybe he does look a lot older or they just never had children. I don’t know.

Meg: Yeah, that’s very funny.

Cass: So, but just going back to that milestone piece while we’re talking about the app. So, because I was on it looking at the solids piece and I suddenly realized some of them, I just wasn’t sure if he had reached that diversion of the milestone because I feel like some milestones there are stepping stone of that. So, for example…

Meg: So, I’m just going to guide people if you’ve got your app in front of you, your Parents Sense App, you’re going to click on the pink widget called play and then you’re going to click on milestones and there you can record your little one’s milestones as well as have suggested windows for those milestones.

Cass: And I think those suggested windows are some of the things…So, for example, pushing up on arms. He has been on tummy times, you know, being on his forearms for quite a while, but the pushing up, is that pushing up on his hands, is that how…? Yeah, what is that?

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Meg: So, if you have a look at the suggested milestone for that, it’s 17 weeks to 24 weeks, so that is four to six months. By four months all babies should be pushing up on forearms. So, and he has been doing that some actually started a little bit before that if they’ve got quite good extension, which I know he does. So he potentially actually started that a little earlier. 24 weeks is obviously six months and that would mean full arms all the way up. So, pushing all the way up, so between now and 24 months you’ll be all the way up. But I think you’re right, I think it could be confusing that for moms and maybe we add in another milestone push up to onto four arms and then push up onto extended arms because extended arms does happen closer to six months of age.

Cass: And so that’s on his hands.

Meg: On his hands, yeah. And that’s an interesting milestone because that’s actually a pre-roll milestone because that’s often how they actually start to roll is they pushed up either onto four arms or onto extended arms and then there’s a toy in front of them that’s super interesting and they reach for that toy and then they flip over because they’ve ended up, kind of they’re all slightly off balance and then roll over.

Cass: And just on the rolling, there was a time where we would put him down and he was on his tummy straight away. He was almost slightly obsessive with rolling. And we’ve mentioned before that they then go through a period where they kind of almost like they forget about doing that milestone. It’s not that he’s forgotten because every now and again he’ll do it now. I mean we’re…

Meg: But he’s not practicing it all the time.

Cass: He’s just not practicing. So should I be doing more tummy time again because he’s not…I sort of became less focused on tummy time because he was putting himself in his tummy. So do we need to be doing concentrated tummy time now because he’s not rolling as much?

Meg: No. So that’s exactly what little ones do, they do…Once they learn a milestone, they obsessively go through that milestone for like almost, and you’ll see it when he learns to say a word, it’s no, no, no, no, no. It’ll be obsessive around it and then they forget it, which is competition of milestones and then they remember it, but they’ve consolidated to a point where they’ll use it if they need to, but not all the time. So, that’s perfect. In terms of does he need tummy time right now? The answer is, yes, he still needs floor time. So at this point you can start to call a floor time and the important principle is whenever you are somewhere that you can, take him out of the pram and put him on the floor, either on his tummy, or his back, it really doesn’t matter. You know, obviously when you’re traveling around London and you in restaurants, you’re just going to keep him in his pram, you can’t put him on the floor. But if you do carry a mat with you at the bottom of your pram, to actually pop it on the floor immediately and let him be on the floor is a better principle because then he will actually be practicing his rolling and his crawling and so on.

Cass: Yeah, we have a play mat which we took with us and if he had been out in the pram for example, when we got back to the hotel it was making sure he had that floor time.  But the play mat, I mean it’s a great play mat and he loves it because it’s got a foot piano at the end, but the way it’s designed, it’s actually quite difficult for him to roll. So what I’ve started doing is getting one of those giant muslins and we’ve got a sensory one that’s got all different colors and shapes on it and that sort of thing and putting his toys around him and putting him on that so that he’s got more space to roll because the mat is great, but I wondered if that was another reason he wasn’t rolling.

Meg: Yeah, some of the fancier mats are not great, they’re just…You know the best thing is just like a really basic mat, and you can make it yourself or get somebody to make it for you, or you can buy them, like you could just use a blanket like you’ve said, a muslin,  it’s a really good idea.

Cass: Yeah. And then the final one on the milestones is the babble. What exactly is it? Because he makes a lot of noise, but I don’t know what a babble exactly…?

Meg: So the babbling, I mean he could start to babble within the next couple of weeks is probably not babbling yet, but it’ll be like kind of linking sounds together. Like [babble sounds] that’s sort of babbling. So he’s putting together consonant with a vowel is babbling.  So he’ll do that within…And as the app says, it’s between 21 and 30 weeks and he’s about 22 weeks old, I think. So he’ll start doing that within the next couple of weeks of linking a vowel with the consonant instead of what they’re doing at this stage is often more like ooh and ah and cooing. So, you’ve got the cooing stage, which is more vowels together, like, ah, ooh, that sort of thing. And then they go mama, and then start to link—mama baba, you know, like that sort of thing. So that’s babbling.

Cass: Yeah. He’s certainly in the last couple of weeks decided he loves the high pitched noises that he can make, and shouting.

Meg: They often at this stage start to really seek out pro-perception, which is pressure on your body. And they do it in two ways. One is with squeals and forced sounds. So like [grunting sound], you know, that kind of like pushing sounds against their chest box, or their voice box. And also like very, very stiff movements, like strong extension of their arms and their legs and kind of arching and what they’re doing is they’re getting just lots of pro-perceptive feedback from their bodies. And in fact, I’ve had a couple of mums who in the last few weeks have sent me videos of their babies doing this and saying, is this developmentally something wrong? Like this looks like autism. And of course, it absolutely isn’t because it’s a developmental stage that their typical baby’s going through where they’re just forcing movements and forcing…Or really seeking stimulation from the app pro-perceptive system, which by the way is what autistic, older autistic children do. But at that age it’s not appropriate, at this age it’s a hundred percent appropriate. They’re just really seeking out that, you know, kind of forcing that voice, forcing those arms and legs straight arching their backs, you know, kind of doing those stiff movements so that they can really kind of get all that feedback back from their bodies.

Cass: Yeah. I’m glad actually to hear about that noise you were saying because it does sound sometimes like he’s frustrated or in pain and you think, oh gosh… So, he does that noise and then this really loud shouting and high-pitched squeal, which if we’re alone it’s fine, but when you’re in a restaurant or in a ferry, or something, which we’ve been a lot. I’m of like, “Shhh, no one else on wants to hear this noise.”

Meg: Oh, dear. Cass, well, it’s been a very interesting chat today. Wow, we’ve covered everything, you know, right across the gang, but so very interesting and really good catch up and we look forward to hearing from you next week when Max is 23 weeks old. Can you believe?

Cass: Yeah. Perfect. Thank you so much.

Meg: Thanks a lot, Cass. Have a good day.

Cass: You too. Thanks. Bye.

Thanks to everyone who joined us. We will see you the same time next week. Until then, download Parent Sense App, and take the guesswork out of parenting.

Meg faure

Meg Faure

Hi, I’m Meg Faure. I am an Occupational Therapist and the founder of Parent Sense. My ‘why’ is to support parents like you and help you to make the most of your parenting journey. Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked with thousands of babies, and I’ve come to understand that what works for fussy babies works just as well for all babies, worldwide.