Archive for the 'feeding' Category

He’s been out as long as he was in!

By which of course, I mean, my little boy is NINE months old.  Yikes.

Actually, he was 9 months old last week, but as you more experienced mummys will know, 9 months is a delightful age where suddenly NOTHING is safe, and you can’t turn your back for 5 seconds, or sit down for 3 without having to jump back up, fly across the room & run interference between your little darling & some form of impending doom.

It’s certainly keeping me on my toes.

But, you know what? I’m loving it.  I really am.  When I was pregnant, my friend (who had 2 under 2 at the time), told me ‘every stage you get to, you’ll think it’s the best yet’ – and she was so right.  The 9 month mark is the most fun we’ve had so far, for sure. The nine best bits being:

1. Kisses. Okay, his technique needs work, in that he basically opens his gob & plants it on my face, but saying ‘kiss for mummy?’, definitely gets a reaction – and it makes me super gooey 🙂

2. Cuddles.  Real, proper, clings on for dear life cuddles.  They are THE BEST.

3. Talking. Or at least trying to. He has certainly found his voice, and is having a whole lot of fun exploring what he can do with it. So far we’ve had a lot of da da da’s, a lot of DO which I’m sure is an attempt at dog, lots of gollygollygolly, and most recently, bobobobob.  I don’t know who bob is, but the little dude seems to be a fan.  The first Mummy will be any day now… right?!

4. Playing.  All of a sudden, play time is so much more fun, so much more interactive, I’m loving it.  I build him block towers, he crashes them down, then trys to rebuild.  He loves to line his stacking cups up, upside down, so he can put smaller toys inside – that can last for hours.  And of course, the old faithful – peekaboo – oh how we love a game of peekaboo – never fails to make him chuckle away in delight 🙂

5. Stories – It seems to have happened overnight, but suddenly rather than books being just another something to gum, the little dude now loves to sit & listen to a story – pointing at the pictures, turning the pages – he loves anything of the ‘touchy feely’ variety, and The Very Hungry Caterpilar is proving to be an early favourite.

6. Clapping – my little man has officially nailed clapping, and it might just be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  He gets so excited & looks all pleased with himself. It’s brilliant.

7. Food!  We’ve been baby-led-weaning since 6 months, and it’s one of the best decisions we’ve made. (It should really have it’s own post – *adds to list*) – The Daddy & I are both total foodies, and it seems to be running in the family – there is nothing the little monster won’t eat!  I’m so proud of the variety of things he’s tried, and how much he seems to enjoy munching his way through his tasty noms 🙂

8. Early attempts at toddling. I shed a little proud mummy tear the first day he pulled himself up onto his feet – little did I know what was coming next! He never stops. Just desperate to be on his feet – exploring – getting into *everything*. he scoots around so quickly in his walker, I doubt it’ll be long before he’s walking solo. Then I’m in trouble.

9. The mischief.  Much as he is exhausting me with his new found crawling, standing & wobbling skills, I just love watching his personality developing.  He is such a monkey – absolutely understands the word NO, but chooses just to grin and carry on with his mission of mayhem.  And I can’t help grinning back.  I suppose I should work on that.

It’s hard to believe this adventure only started 9 months ago.

What’s scarier, is that in 3 months, I’ll be telling you all about his first birthday. Gulp.

The Six Month Milestone

Okay, actually, it was 6 months last Tuesday, but what can I say, being a mummy is a busy job, and it’s been a week filled with plumbers, and coffee dates, and a mummy & daddy date, and distractions. And a stupid cold. So, y’know…

Anyway.

The Little Dude, is six months old. One hundred and ninety days today to be exact.

It’s an odd feeling – on one hand, I absolutely understand what everyone means now when they say ‘enjoy it- it goes too quickly!’ – and on the other, I can hardly remember what life was like before being a mummy. (in a good way I mean, not just because of the perpetual exhaustion!)

It’s amazing how much has happened in such a relatively short space of time.

My little boy has gone from a tiny little wrinkly pink bundle, just short of 7lb, who didn’t care for much else than sleeping, pooping and mummy’s boobies, to a wrinkle free 17lb of inquisitive little baby boy, complete with a tooth, who grins, and giggles, and is interested in just about anything and everything he can get his chubby little hands on. (particuarly my mobile, the tv remote, the dog…)

In the early days, we used to spend hours just snuggled up together – in bed, or on the sofa – the little dude feeding or snoozing – gently snoring and blowing tiny bubbles in his sleep – me, gazing in complete awe at the beautiful little person I’d made. (with a little help from the daddy, obviously ;D) From day one I was so thankful to the baby gods for blessing me with such a happy, chilled out little boy – and he was a sleeper too! I kept expecting the bubble to burst, but touch wood, it hasn’t! Yay!

Now, our days are spent rocking to mummy’s favourite tunes (he particuarly enjoys the work of Maximo Park, The Guillemotts, and ELO – good boy!), dancing, chattering about nothing, going for walks, play dates, and mummy indulging in all manner of silliness to encourage those delicious little giggle-fits.

He’s gone from not being able to hold his own head up to rolling around the floor at will, pushing himself up, grabbing anything that looks interesting, just about sitting up unaided, and looking likely to start crawling at any minute.

And then there’s the weaning! I love watching his little face each time he tries something new – and the look of sheer joy when he has a fist (and face!) full of rusk, is priceless.

In short, it’s been an eventful half a year.
And it’s been wonderful. Everyday brings something new, and I’m loving every minute of it.

I can’t wait to see what the next six months have in store.

If it ain’t broke… don’t be a lazy bum & stay in bed!!

Today has been something of a rite of passage. Not a good one though.

Let’s rewind…
Friday: Let the daddy’s 4 day weekend commence! Much joy, quickly cancelled out by the dread that was the mummy having a date with the dentist to have 2 wisdom teeth yanked out. Ouch 😦 But an hour or so later, still numb, but determined not to waste any more weekendie goodness, we trundled to town in search of lunch & cold drinks. (medicinal purposes, obviously.)
Whilst lunching, got a text from a friend to say she’d had her baby in the early hours of the morning – yay 🙂
So, off we trundled to the hospital for a visit. (via mothercare for teeny sleepsuit purchasing – little minx had decided on being 2 weeks early so was weeny, very cute though. But didn’t make me want another. Honest.)Finally got home at around 7pm, having been out since 8.30am. Loooong day.

Saturday: *gawjuss* sunshine, so despite much leftover dentist pain, decided it was too nice to stay in, promptly went for a long walk along the seafront with the Mr the baby & the dog, stopped off for pub lunch in the beer garden (pear cider- far better wisdom tooth painkiller than ibuprofen!), long walk home, crashed out in front of rubbish Saturday night tv. Looooong day numero deux.

Sunday: Again, scrummy weather, decided it’d be a good idea to jump on the train & go to Brighton. Much pounding of highstreet later, got home, cooked dinner, zonked. Yeah, Looooooong day hat-trick.

Monday: More sunshine? Why you are surely spoiling us Madame Nature! There was a big ol’ fete/procession/charidee affair on in town, so we went & had a nosey at that, and then as is tradition on Bank Holiday Mondays, headed to the pub for their daytime-kids-welcome-karaoke affair. (My sister works in the pub & one of my best mates does the karaoke – be rude not to :D)
Got home all walked & sung out, and yes indeed, that made 4 on the looooong day tick chart.

Back to today…
the little dude was awake at 5.30am. Bear in mind that he is a dream baby who usually lets me sleep till at least 6.45, and had hardly any naps yesterday, so I was (foolishly) hoping for a reasonable lie-in. Still, he was quite happy laying in bed with me till about 7am, then started shouting for a bottle.

Here’s where it all went wrong.
Usually, we get up at 7am, Dylan enjoys breakfast while watching GMTV, we play for a while, then he goes for a nap at about 9. That’s been our routine since he was about 4 weeks old.

Today, I was an exhausted, sleepy, lazy mummy.
So when Daddy made up a bottle & brought it into the bedroom, I thought ‘Ah what the hell’ propped the little dude up in our bed, and fed him there. All good. Don’t know whether he was just super comfy or exhausted from the full on weekend, but he fell asleep again pretty much as soon as he was finished, for a good 2 hours.

He woke up FULL of beans, demanding to be fed, entertained, changed – all the usual.
The window for his afternoon nap came & went.
His afternoon feed came & went. Still no sign of sleep.
We played, we danced, we listened to The Guillemots.
Nope, not tired.
We read a story.
Not tired.
Got to about 4pm & the cranky kicked in with a vengeance.
Cuddles didn’t work, rocking didn’t work, singing didn’t work.
He cried.
I cried.
Daddy got home at 6.30, mummy was frazzled & relieved.
7pm bottle came and went.
8.30 – FINALLY, a sleeping baby.

So now, my head is pounding & I’m twice as tired as I was this morning.
Lesson learned? Do not mess with the routine.

Not ever!

What a difference 16 weeks makes!

The little dude has been here for 112 days today!
It amazes me how much he’s changed in that time – aside from over doubling in size! He’s constantly smiling now (oh how I love that big gummy grin when I get him up from his naps!), getting more vocal by the day, and *this* close to sitting up unaided!

He’s so much more interactive too – with me, his daddy, other babies – the dog!
Rather than just looking all cute and dinky & sleeping & pooping, he’s developing a proper litle personality – he’s a total chatterbox, grabbing everything he can get his hands on, always looking round, taking everything in. He’s brilliant.

And of course, I’ve done 16 weeks of intensive mummy-training too, and d’you know what? I think I’m actually getting pretty good at it!

– I can change even the most explosive nappy in less than a minute
– I can get the LD dressed in less than 5 – without worrying that I’m going to bend an arm the wrong way or twist an ankle! (his, not mine :P)
– I can (at a push) have us both washed, dressed, fed & out the door before 10am
– I can tell the difference between cries for ‘I’m hungry!’, ‘I’m bored’, ‘I need a new nappy!’, never believed that would happen!
– I can trust myself to know that the LD is well fed without having to neurotically set alarms on my mobile to make sure he’s feeding 3-hourly-on-the-dot-like-clockwork (I love that one!)
– I can pretty much count on getting at least 6 hours of sleep at night! (Love that one even more!)
– I can do a whole bunch of things one-handed.
– I can multitask like no ones business – loading the washing machine while making bottles, eating toast & brushing my hair? No problem.

Don’t worry though, I’m not about to get to get all smug & complacent – I’m well aware that there’s still lots to learn!

The LD will be crawling before I know it (what do I do then when I need to nip to the loo? Can’t just leave him lying on his play mat, safe in the knowledge he’ll still be there when I get back!!), and of course weaning is on the horizon (am currently reading up on babyled weaning after everyone’s advice – interesting stuff!), plus a million other new challenges I haven’t even thought of yet.

Honestly though, I’m loving every minute of it.
Who knows what the little dude & I will have learned in another 16 weeks?
All I do know, is that I can’t wait to find out.

I weally weally wanna wean!

So the little dude is now 15 weeks old – still two weeks away from what ‘they’ (the all knowing, all powerful, super health professionals!), say is the absolute earliest a baby should start having solid food. (not that baby rice strikes me as all that solid, but whatever.)

The signs ‘they’ tell you to watch for, include:

~Attempting to put things in his or her mouth – has been attempting to get his whole fist in his mouth since day one – is now also trying my fingers, any and all available toys, muslin squares, his feet, and occasionally, the dog.
~Making chewing motions – again, since birth!
~Doubling their birth weight – check.
~Holding his or her head up and controlling head movements ~Sitting well when supported – yep & yep.
~Displaying curiosity about what you are eating. – And then some! I was having lunch with a friend yesterday, LD was sat on my lap, dropped his squeaky giraffe, as I leaned over to retrieve it, he launched himself at my sandwich!! Don’t try & tell me that wasn’t planned – the little monster is smarter than he lets on!!

So my question, is this:
Am I being an irresponsible mummy if I go for it at 17 weeks, rather than waiting for the more widely recommended 6 months?
Mummies whose monsters are already munching (loving the alliteration today aren’t I?), when did you start?
And also, what do I need?

I’m very aware of not wanting to feed the little dude jars of processed mush – I’d much rather he had home cooked mush. So is it as simple as just blending tiny portions of whatever we’re having? Or do I need to make separate cuisine for mushing up?

I know, I am the picture of cluelessness!!
All I am good at so far, is gazing lovingly at all the tommee tippy spoons, and bowls, and dinky little pots for putting stuffs in (I don’t know what stuffs though), and some more cute little bowls… and maybe a sippy cup… oh, and those bibs that are like overalls! God I love baby shopping 😀

Need help please!

The controversy of boobies!

So as a new mummy, I can’t help but keep up with the mountain of media coverage breast feeding has been attracting lately.

My first thought on the whole thing, is why is it all such a big deal?
Why do so many people who aren’t even mothers, care so much about how those who DO have children, feed them?
(prime example – the breast feeding consultant who ‘helpfully’ manhandled my boobs in hospital, has no children, yet made it her mission to get me lactating like a jersey cow. go figure.)

Secondly, those who apparently find breast feeding in public ‘offensive’ or ‘inappropriate’- what exactly is your problem please?
If you find it so terribly awful, here’s a suggestion: don’t look.
We are not doing it for attention, it’s not a peep show (in my own experience, I’ll use anything available – blankie, bib, babies head – to make sure I’m flashing as little boob as possible!), we’re doing a job. Would you rather a hungry screaming baby interrupt your oh-so-civilised cappuccino & browse through the times? Thought not.

Thirdly, those of you out there who are so fiercely pro-breastfeeding you view formula as the devil’s baby juice & mums who use it as unfit, selfish anti-mothers, how about sparing a though for those who can’t breastfeed?
Oh I know I know, ‘it’s the most natural thing in the world’, ‘breast is best’, blah blah blah, but as with most things in life, sometimes it just doesn’t pan out.

And the last thing a new mum who can’t, or has decided not to breast feed needs, is someone who doesn’t matter judging her decision.

Because ultimately, that’s what it’s all about – each individual mother making her own choice. And it should be an informed choice – as my good friends cafe bebe & OMG Pregnant have been discussing, and it should be respected.

Personally, I always wanted to breastfeed. I didn’t even think about it, just assumed it’d all fall into place.
WRONG!
My birth was traumatic.
Afterwards, I was exhausted, and the little dude was too.
We tried almost immediately, he wasn’t interested.
A little later, the breastfeeding consultant came to visit, poked, prodded, and shoved my boob into the little dude’s face, not happening.
A little later still, he woke up from a nap & I tried myself, he got there. I was full of joy. For about 7 seconds.
Oh my God it hurt.
Nobody had told me ‘the most natural thing in the world’ would make me want to swear like a sailor.
But I persisted. After a week of feeding on demand, often 2 hourly for an hour at a time, my boobs, and me were a mess.
The HV came round to weigh the little man, he had lost 14% of his body weight. I was distraught. I was so disheartened. I felt like a failure.
We had to take him back into hospital, he was weak & listless & just didn’t have the energy to feed.
They gave him some formula through a tube (which utterly broke my heart) & encouraged me to express as much milk as I could, which went down too.
(NB: they lent me an electric breast pump – that did NOT help my painful boobs one bit. Imagine a hoover latched to your nips. Yeah, owch.)
Withing 48 hours, he was back at my boobs.
It was still killing me, but I was so relieved, I grinned & bared it.
The doctor’s guessed that he may have been ‘lazy feeding’, I didn’t care, it all semed to be fixed, we could take him home, I was happy.
A week later, still feeding on demand what felt like a thousand times a day (and night!) the HV weighed him again, he’d put on 3 ounces.
That was my lowest point.
HV suggested topping up with formula after every feed, and after she left, I reluctantly sent the daddy out to get a pot of Aptamil.
I cried for over an hour.
Within another week, we were officially combination-feeding – alternating one boob, one bottle through the day, and just boobs at night.
And we were all SO much happier for it.
The little dude started gaining weight beautifully, my boobs started healing, the daddy stopped having to watch me cry every time I fed.

Breast is best? No, this was much, MUCH better all round.

Now, 3 months on, it’s about half & half. The little dude is happy, healthy & thriving – and seems to be slowly weaning himself off the boobies, which is good,I only ever wanted to breastfeed up until proper-food-weaning, as I personally believe that’s long enough.
(But that’s another story!)
And for the record, my son & I have bonded fantastically despite our bumpy road, so there goes that ridiculous formula = no bond with baby theory.

The best advice I can give to expectant mummies, is go with the flow, and expect the unexpected.
Give it a go, you might be one of the lucky ones – you & your baby will take to it like ducks to water & it’ll be great – but, be prepared to have to work at it, you’re both learning! And, in case it doesn’t go according to plan, have bottle-feeding equipment on hand as a back up plan, and DO NOT beat yourself up about using it.

Those first few weeks are far too precious to waste on a boobs vs. bottles guilt trip – and as long as your little one is full, nourished, and happy, you’re doing a great job, regardless of what you’re using to do it 🙂

the first few weeks…

again, for the sake of continuity, i’ve decided to do a little condensed run-down of the first few weeks -you know, the interesting bits – i’ll spare you the progression of the consistency of baby poo 😉

the maternity ward
i couldn’t get out of there quick enough! don’t get me wrong, the staff were lovely, and i felt very special when the daddy showed up with the biggest bouquet of flowers EVER, and when i was surrounded by lovely visitors cooing over the baby & telling me how well i’d done, but the night time was torture.
seriously, imagine a woman who’s just done the most exhausting job she’s ever likely to do, who is in dire need of a little kip, while trying to take care of the tiny little person she’s just produced… why would you make her share a room with a dozen other sleep deprived women & their screaming babies?! (plus of course, the food was dire.)
so yes, very pleased to get home!

week one
…a blur of hours spent just gazing in amazement at the gorgeous little person we’d just brought home 🙂
plus nappies, daily piles of blue envelopes from the postman, more nappies, lots of visitors, and yes, more nappies. good times 🙂

week two
…was less good. our little man dropped 14% of his birth weight & we ended up back in hospital for a few days 😦 he was fed through a tube for 24 hours, which was horrible, had a cannula in his hand for antibiotics – without a doubt the scariest few days of my life 😦

but, thankfully, he was soon shouting for boobs again, and we got to go home. again 😛
unfortunately, after gaining a bunch of weight, he stopped again. the health visitor thought maybe he was a ‘lazy feeder’, which seemed mad to me as i’d often be sat feeding for an hour at a time, but anyway.
she suggested ‘topping him up’ with formula, which we’ve been doing since, and it seems to be working.
(had a HV visit today & he’s up to over 8lb – yay!)
i’ll probably write more about feeding at some point, since it’s been quite a big issue for us, but i’ll leave it there for now.

week three till now…
having got over the little bump in the road, things have been great since 🙂
there have been a few milestones… registering as an official member of society & getting his birth certificate, first bath (pretty sure I got wetter than he did!), first train ride! (pram + train = tricky, practice needed!), and a whole bunch of other fun, plus a lot of getting to know eachother & falling head over heels in baby love 🙂

now, the daddy has sadly had to go back to work (boo), but the little dude & I are starting to find our feet & getting closer(ish) to finding a daily routine. (ish!)
we’ve been out just the two of us (why was i so scared of that?!), we’re managing to be up dressed and fed before noon each day (!), and we’ve been investigating some groups and other things to check out next week.

all in all, i’m loving being a mum 😀


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