And with the snap of a finger my little baby girl turned 4 months old. I don’t know how you feel but pre-baby 4 months was quite an amount of time for me. I had my routines and time seemed to stand still sometimes. But now, wow! Time flies! The little one picks up new habits and skills from week to week, sometimes even from day to day. It is fascinating to see how she’s growing and developing – but it’s scary at the same time. I think she will apply for her drivers license next week! 😀
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How is the little one at 4 months?
She is very fine with laying on her stomach for some time now. We have bought her a play mat with a “pond” and plastic fish in it. It keeps her entertained for quite some time.
Some more fun things she can do now:
- grab her feet and suck on there big toe (too cute!!)
- roll over (she has done it a few times two weeks ago but at the moment she seems not interested anymore)
- grab for toys, food, my hair… very well directed
What she loves:
- when we sing to her (poor child, as she has not much comparison she must think we are good singers. Spoiler: I suck at everything musical… :-D). Some of her favorite songs include itsy bitsy spider, brother Jacob and some German songs (Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer, Heut ist ein Fest bei den Fröschen im See…). It can totally crack her up.
- watching water flow out of the tab
- watching us cook (we have put this rocker from Babybjörn [affiliate link] in our kitchen. Just the other day she found out that she can make it bounce herself. She LOVES it!)
- watching us eat/chew something. Last week she grabbed for our food for the first time. We were having steamed vegetables so I handed her a piece of carrot and a piece of zucchini. The carrot she didn’t like that much but she loved the soft part of the zucchini!
- dancing with me. I put her in the baby carrier (we have this one from ergobaby [affiliate link] and are very satisfied), turn on some music and dance for 45 minutes to one hour with her through the house. So far we have danced to songs from Abba, The Beatles, Bob Marley and a German singer singer called Dieter Thomas Kuhn who makes fun of old German “Schlager” music (old fashioned pop/folk songs, super cheesy but easy to sing along :-)) Any other suggestions for child friendly, danceable music? I actually need some new tunes in our dancing routine!!
What we’ve been up to this month
I have started working out twice a week with LAUFMAMALAUF (run mama run :-)). Friends of mine went to their outdoor classes when they were pregnant and then switched to the mom classes that allow you to bring the little one in the stroller or baby carrier. They convinced me to try it, too. At the beginning I was a bit worried because it’s winter now and I don’t want neither me nor the little one to catch a cold. But obviously you get warm very quickly when working out and the little one is comfortable and warm in her pram (for her it’s not different to when we take her out for a walk).
They offer classes all over town. So far I’ve been to the one at Karlshöhe (man, is it hard to push the pram up the hill! Great workout though :-)), Schlossgarten (right across from the opera) and Möhringen (next to Probstsee). It feels so good working out again and being outside at the same time. I’ve booked a 6 weeks course that allows me to go to two classes per week. If you want to work out again, too, but are worried that you might not understand the class as you don’t speak (much) German: one of the trainers, Catherine, is a native English speaker!! She teaches the Tuesday class at Bärenseen and the Wednesday class at Karlshöhe -in German though but of course she can translate everything for you. You can reach her directly via email: email@example.com.
Fun fact: LAUFMAMALAUF might start a course especially for English speakers! Yeah At the moment they are thinking about where the best location for such a course might be. Question for all of you who might be interested in joining an English mama fitness course: Where in Stuttgart do you live?! Where would you be able to attend a course? Please use the comment field or write me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
International playgroups and mom meetups
I have tested some playgroups and mom meetup groups recently. I have been going to the International Baby Meetup/Internationaler Baby Treff at Arche Nora in Leinfelden since the little one was 7 weeks old. This group is open for kids between 0 and 12 months, free of charge and there are always two nursery teachers present who support the moms, look after the little ones and answer questions. For a donation of only 1 Euro you can have cake, Brezeln, tea and coffee. My little girl slept through the meetings in the first weeks but now she is mostly awake and loves watching the other kids and playing with the toys they provide there. At the moment the main language we speak is German as most moms are fluent in it. But everybody is able to speak English and we have moms from various countries. The International Baby Meetup takes place every Thursday from 9:30 to 11:30 am at Arche Nora, Geranienstraße 11, 70771 Leinfelden.
Then I have been at the Bumps and Babies Playgroup organized by the International Women’s Club Stuttgart (IWCS). They do a meeting for moms and babies between 0 and 3 years that is free for prospective members every month at Ekiz in Stuttgart-West. It was fun meeting moms from all over the world and speak English for two hours straight. I even met another mom who lives literally 5 minutes away from where we live! What a coincidence! And I really liked the location. I have heard good things about Ekiz before and wanted to visit is one day anyway. If you want to join the group on a regular basis you would have to join the IWCS and pay the annual fee.
And last but not least I have found the lovely Bumps Café! They organize a meeting for (expecting) moms every second Thursday from 10 to 12 am at Karl’s Kitchen on the top floor of the shopping center Breuninger. Joining their meetings is free of charge, you simply have to pay for the coffee and/or cake you consume. When I visited the Bumps Café Kira and Christine from Kiramiga were present, too. Kiramiga supports (expecting) moms with a bunch of services and Christine is a doctor who can answer all your questions about pregnancy and giving birth. Older kids can use the play area of Karl’s Kitchen while the mamas chat. A win-win-win situation 😀
First aid course
Recently I have visited an amazing first aid course that focuses on emergencies with infants and kids. I had planned on doing that even before the little one was born and when I found out that Arche Nora organized one, I signed in instantly. The course was presented to us by NotSim, an Institut for emergency management and simulation. They usually do trainings for doctors and nurses. This is the only course they offer for “normal” people. In about three hours we learned how to react in various emergency situations: when the little one fell from the diaper changing table, when he/she gets burnt, is bleeding, can’t breath anymore… I got amazing tips from this course. What I liked best was that we were able to train mouth-to-mouth/nose insufflation and cardiac massage on a baby- and a kid-dummy. Oh my god I SO HOPE that I will never, never, never be in a situation where I need it but due to this course I could at least do something in case of an emergency. I attended a training in German but they can perform it in English, too. And they even come to your place when you are a group of 4 or more people! I totally recommend attending such a training at least once in your life. So helpful and important.
Visiting Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt with a baby
As it is December, I have of course visited the Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt with the little one (check out my post about the Christmas markets in the region for some inspiration). When you plan to visit one of the markets with your baby as well, here come some tips from a local mom:
- Try to go during the week as the markets are even more crowded on the weekends.
- Leave the stroller/pram at home and use a baby carrier.
- At Stuttgarter Rathaus they offer child care services for free!
- Over at Kiramiga they have put together a list of fun things to do at Stuttgart Weihnachtsmarkt with children.
- Even when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding you can enjoy a Glühwein as there is an alcohol-free version called Kinderpunsch. But make sure not to spill the hot drink on your baby when it is strapped to you in a baby carrier. My personal life hack: Use a reusable coffee-to-go mug, put the Kinderpunsch in there, close the lid and – enjoy!
So that was my last month with the little one. I will put up posts like this on a regular basis now so if you want to know or read about anything specific, let me know 🙂 And don’t forget to tell me if you’re interested in an English mom fitness course and where you would like it to take place.