Archive for the 'new mummy tips' Category

Teething Traumas

Yes, the teething gremlins have arrived chez Little Dude.

Technically, they arrived about a month ago, bringing with them great excitement at the first sighting of a tiny white sliver of tooth (bottom middle right if you’re interested).  It was quickly followed by its neighbour – and a tear or two was shed about my baby boy growing up.  I was also super impressed that his first two toothypegs had made an appearance with little more than a hefty portion of drool.  Oh how naive I was.

At the risk of sounding smug & making you all hate me – I’ve been blessed with a really chilled out, happy little baby, who rarely cries, certainly not for more than 5 minutes.  He grumbles if he’s hungry, has a full nappy, or gets overtired.  That’s about it.  Or at least it was.

Yesterday, he cried for Three. Hours. Solid.  And I don’t mean grumbled.  I mean properly, really cried.  Horrible painful screaming, utterly inconsolable. 

Calpol, Bickipegs, gel, teething ring, frozen carrot stick. 

Fail Fail Fail Fail Fail. 

I felt like the worst mummy in the world, there was absolutely nothing I could do but cuddle him, pace around, and cuddle him some more.  I was so not prepared for so much crying!

He finally gave into sleep just after 10pm, and then was up & grouchy on and off during the night.  I chalked up about 2 hours of sleep made out of 20 minute bursts here and there.  I’m sure I did better than that when he was a newborn!

Thankfully, today has been a breath of fresh air by comparison.  My smiley little boy is back.  For now at least.

And oh I have heeded the warning!

Some of my lovely twitter chums were on hand last night with lots of good advice, so now we are fully prepared for the next onslaught.  There’s a flannel in the freezer (thank you @violetposy), we have powders & homeopathic deelies at the ready (muchos gracias @suzypink & @Wendymal), a little pot of carrot & cucumber sticks in the fridge (which if nothing else, will make a good snack for mummy when she’s tearing her hair out at 2am), and as a last resort (because I prefer not to medicate if I can possibly help it) there’s Calpol & Chidren’s Ibuprofen (ta muchly @cafebebe & @ilovemonty).  So, hopefully, we can avoid another three hour scream-fest any time soon.  And if not, I shall try to remember the kind words of @porridgebrain & @kellyfairy & @InsomniacMummy – I’m not a rubbish mummy, teething just sucks.  Or words to that effect.

Still, I can’t wait till that gummy little mouth is filled with pearly whites & we can move on to whatever’s next.

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!

Note to self:

Just incase I get all baby-brained in the next few months (which is quite highly likely), I am writing myself this note.
So if anyone catches me getting all misty eyed & nostalgic about being a preggopot, please point me back here!

…………………………………………………………………………………

Dear Leslieanne,

This is what’s left of your sensible pre-mummy brain talking, please pay attention!

Today, you took the little dude to the weigh-in clinic, and couldn’t quite believe that the tiny little person you brought home 15 weeks ago, now weighs over a stone. 14lb 4oz to be exact. We’ve certainly come a long way from those horrible few days back in hospital where he was struggling to put on any weight at all… in fact, that all seems like about a million years ago now.
But I’m steering away from the point.

At the clinic, there were lots of really tiny babies. As in, of the just a few days and weeks old variety, and you struggled to remember the Little Dude ever being that little.
Those dinky pink wrinkly bundles, with their eyes barely open, their arms and legs still curled up tight, their tiny little fingers… well, yes, they made you go aawww, and they made you smile.

And yes, one day, you’d very much like to give The Little Dude a little brother or sister to play with, but NOT YET!!!

So just incase you get too clucky too quickly, and before you launch yourself at The Daddy saying ‘I want another one!’, please remember:

1. Being a preggopot was hard work, and you promised yourself at least a 2 year break before doing it again.
2. There are no more free rooms in the house!! Do you *really* want to move again already?
3. You are *this* close to being back in non-preggo jeans. Let yourself enjoy being vaguely skinny again for a little while at least!
4. The Little Dude is now giving you a good solid 6 hours of sleep most nights – it did not start that way!! Do you really want to go back to an hour or two at best just yet?
5. The Little Dude is amazing. He is changing & learning & developing daily. He’s coming up with his own little personality & picking up new skills (and anything else he can get his hands on) all the time. He makes you beam with pride on an hourly basis. Do you really want to miss one single moment of the excitement because you’re too tired being all pregnant with numero deux? No.

Our time will come again, and it’ll be magical all over again, but for now, let’s just enjoy what we’ve got!

Still, can’t hurt to carefully pack away all the tiny little clothes the noodle is growing out of… just incase 😉

Rebel with a baby – I mean cause.

I have come to the conclusion, that I’m a rebel mummy. Yep, I am.

When I got pregnant, I read a stupid amount – books, websites, articles, leaflets from the midwife – everything I could lay my hands on.
I was going to be the best read, best prepared, most perfect mummy EVER.

HA!

Having had a real life baby for a little more than three months (rather than the little text book version who feeds 3 hourly on the dot, naps with military precision and never ever cries for more than a few minutes {really, Gina Ford, really?!}), I know now, that pregnancy books should be viewed as a rough guide. A jumping off point to start negotiations if you will.

Here are just a few of the mummy rules I’ve already broken…

Do not mix breast & bottle in the first months. Check.

If breastfeeding, do not offer baby a dummy in the first months. Ooops. (I was not prepared for the 40 minute cry-a-thon on day 4, having slept for about 6 hours since the little dude’s birth – so the dummy that came free with our steriliser was an absolute godsend. I am glad though that the noodle only uses it for maybe 5 minutes while he’s settling down to sleep.)

Use Controlled Crying – nope. Tried it once, felt like the worst mummy ever, not doing it again.

Make a bath part of baby’s bedtime routine every night. Much as the little dude quite enjoys a splash in the bath, it’s still a bit of a large scale operation – and frankly far too time consuming for every night. Plus, he’s a baby, apart from the nappy region, he doesn’t get all that dirty. So he generally has a bath 2 or 3 times a week, and gets topped & tailed daily instead.

Mummy should sleep when the baby sleeps. Nice theory, but when am I supposed to take a shower, do laundry… eat?

Don’t let your baby fall asleep in your arms – always put them down awake. This is the one I hate the most. I love cuddling my baby boy, and when he gets sleepy, I love the way he snuggles right into me (especially now he’s learning to cuddle properly – chubby little arms grabbing you tight :D). We settle down on the couch together, I sing him a song, and he soothes himself off to sleep. It’s not all the time, but yes, it’s at least once a day, and yes, I enjoy it. So there. Sorry Ms Ford, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.
(and he’s still quite happy to settle himself down too, so I’m not making a rod for my own back!)

So does breaking the rules break your baby?
Of course it doesn’t.

My little man is amazing (yes, I know I’m biased, but it’s true!), he hardly ever cries unless he’s hungry or in need of a new nappy, he’s almost sleeping through, learning new things crazy-fast every day, and is definitely not suffering as a result of his mummy making up her own rules!

All the books and what not are all well and good, but they really shouldn’t take over from the most important ruling of all – mummy instincts.

However, for a little light relief, these baby do’s & dont’s are well worth a look – I’m emailing the link to all my pregnant friends 😀

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 🙂

Relatives, Restaurants & Reminders

So I’ve been a little quiet on the blog front, because we had visitors – my auntie & uncle came down from Glasgow to meet the little dude 🙂

It was lovely actually – I hadn’t seen my auntie in *ages*, so it was good to catch up, and she was more than a little taken with her great-nephew (despite the fact that the ‘great’ bit makes her feel everso old!!) – hence the big chunk of spoiling & me not getting a look in at pushing the pram for the last few days!!
(Have noticed a trend there – whenever a relative visits, they insist on pushing, don’t they? Which is all well & good, and it’s nice to have a rest – but I get so used to being attached to the wheels, I don’t know what to do with my hands when someone takes over!)

She also insisted on taking us out for dinner – Little Dude’s first restaurant experience! Having asked google for baby-friendly-eateries, we decided on ‘Ask’ for a spot of Italian. I got the little man all dressed up, packed everything but the kitchen sink into the nappy bag (bottle, bib, burp cloth, toys to keep him amused, dummy just incase, cuddly toy and so on…) and… he promptly slept through the whole 3 courses! absolutely good as gold, didn’t make a peep!
Ah well, perhaps he’s a little young to care about fine dining 😉
We had a lovely meal though – and I managed a new PB of *three* glasses of wine – hic!!

And now we’ve sen them off, it’s back to what’s curently passing for normal!
Which brings me to reminders – my new best friend, is a pad of post-it notes. Since becoming a mummy, my multi-tasking skills are better than ever. My memory, is not. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve got to the shops with absolutely no idea what I wanted. Our tax credit form has been on the to-do list for about a month because I keep forgetting about it. I have called the daddy 3 times today to ask what time we’re meeting friends at the weekend. My head is like a sieve, and unless I write things down, they just don’t happen. And sometimes not even then 😛

Any more experienced mummies want to tell me that the memory loss gets better? Or have any top reminder tips to share?!

Oh, and lastly, just wanted to say a very big thank you to the lovelies who have left me blog awards & things lately – i’m very flattered!!
I haven’t had a chance yet to put together the posts you’re supposed to do & then forward & what not – but I’ll get to it soon, promise! 😀

Eight weeks of baby bliss…

Have I really had him for 56 whole days already?
Apparently so.
Everyone tells you how fast time flies when these gorgeous little people finally join the world, but you don’t appreciate how true that is until you’re living it.
Or how brilliant every minute of it is 😀

So other than the fact that my delicious little boy is the world’s biggest time thief, here are 8 more lessons I’ve learned in my first 8 weeks of being a mummy:

1. new parents can survive on surprisingly little sleep.
(by survive, I do of course mean ‘maintain basic body functions & do everything baby demands, when baby demands it.)
2. leaving the house is now a military operation. and no matter how many times you check the nappy bag, you’ll ALWAYS forget something.
3. old people LOVE babies. admittedly, I live in Worthing, affectionately known as ‘God’s waiting room’ on account of it’s high percentage of pensioner-plus-aged residents, so maybe it’s more noticeable, but they DO! not once have Dylan & I been out & about without at least one member of the older generation stopping to coo. which is nice really, but a little strange the first few times!
4. always , always, always, take a baby’s socks off before his nappy. it’s far easier to clean poo off his feet than his socks!!
5. and while we’re in the nappy area – in the case of little boys – always make sure he is pointing DOWN! (they don’t tell you THAT at ante-natal classes – took me several wet sleepsuits to work it out!!
6. it’s amazing the amount of things you can learn to do one handed.
7. it’s a tad embarassing when you forget to switch out of baby-talk mode before answering the phone. helllooooooo!! (luckily, it was only telesales!!)
8. a nappy full of what seems like more than baby’s weight in poo, followed by an hour of inconsoleable crying, is forgotten in a flash when your baby grabs your finger and looks at you like you’re his favourite thing in the world.

and when they start finding their smiles, as the little dude has done in the last few days, well there’s absolutely nothing that can’t fix.
it’s the best thing in the world 🙂


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