Monday 23 April 2018

AJ's first two teeth popped up

Emma and AJ Leahy

Emma and AJ Leahy
Emma and AJ Leahy
Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith

EMMA Leahy (31) is married to chef Dan Leahy and they live in Cork. They have two children, Hannah (3) and AJ (nine months) and Dan also has a son Shane (17). The Dubliner is a stay-at-home mum.

AJ's development: "AJ's first two teeth popped up within days of each other. He had been teething on and off since about four months, with rosy red cheeks, dribbling and gnawing his fists, but since the first tooth appeared, the symptoms have seemed to ease somewhat.

"He has also learned to sit up unaided. It has given him the little bit of independence he needs to explore his surroundings further. He is a very sociable baby, so being able to sit up and interact with everybody is such a thrill to him."

Schools and education: "This is a topic that comes up again and again, and having recently moved to a new area, it is something that we have to re-evaluate all over again. We both come from very different schooling backgrounds.

"Dan went to small country schools with very low pupil/teacher ratios, and I went to schools where there were five or six classes in the same year, and a much higher ratio.

"At the moment, we are gearing towards a Gaelscoil. However, regardless of preference, unfortunately we may not have much of a choice when the time comes, as there is such high demand and only a limited number of places."

Classes: "AJ and I have taken swimming classes together. Baby swimming classes are brilliant, and it's fantastic seeing your little baby holding his breath and opening his eyes underwater. It's only for a few seconds. but it's amazing. The instructors are so well trained and really put us at ease. Along with the fun side, you also learn basic water safety, which is always great to know. It's also a wonderful bonding time - the skin-to-skin closeness is great too."

Advice: "Unfortunately, there is lots of unhelpful advice out there, and it usually comes from people that you think should know better.

"Those who have been in your shoes, but have quickly forgotten that they too paced the floor in the early hours.

"The most unhelpful advice is from those who dismiss or rubbish current guidelines with regards to sterilising and weaning.

"The best advice so far has come from my granny, as she has always told me to follow my instinct as mum always knows best. As mums, we can be so worried about doing the right thing, that we don't end up doing what's right for us and our baby."

Worries: "I have an unnatural fear of missing something with AJ, because he is our second child and doesn't always get 100 per cent of my attention. I worry that he will feel second in line to his big sister.

"And although I don't parent him any differently to his sister, I worry about turning into that 'Irish Mammy', who mollycoddles her son and keeps him at home until 30."

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