Are we winning the 4 month sleep regression?!!

I can barely believe I am writing this….but I think we might be over it!

Our little boy has suddenly started sleeping much better 3/4 hour stints and is also more keen to sleep through the evening. Babies clearly though, “with one hand giveth the other taketh away”.. our new start of the day is now 7:30 ish.

Otis is 4 months 3 weeks and it has been a rough 4 weeks, but it definitely feels like we’ve turned a corner. Onto the next adventure (Leap 5 of the wonder weeks, teething, weaning…)

The fun seemingly never stops and with each development I am thankful another tough spot is over, try to  always”live in the moment” knowing that this time will be over before we know it and we’d give anything to have one more cuddle with our chilled out baby!!

Remember to keep napping, I know there are a million things to do, but you need rest just like your baby and no job is more important than looking after you.

Look after yourselves xx

 

Advertisements

Keeping a sense of identity during maternity leave (and beyond!)

It hadn’t occurred to me that stopping work, ceasing to do jobs on our house renovation, becoming responsible solely for the care of our son might have an impact upon my sense of self, self confidence and sense of purpose. It’s not that caring for our son makes me any less useful or affects my ability to do any of the other things I used to enjoy, but they are just not priorities at the moment.

I hadn’t really noticed how all these changes had affected me, but having a baby does distract you from most things! It wasn’t until my husband took our little boy swimming, allowing me some time to “do some jobs”!! I suddenly realised, while dismantling the many salvaged pallets, that it was the first thing I had done that hadn’t been just for the benefit of Otis and it felt really nice. In the end I had time to break up about 6 pallets, stash the wood to allow it to dry and de-nail half of the boards, I felt tired, my back ached but I’d had a good few hours off being “mummy”.

It sounds silly but just by occasionally asking for some time to do my own thing would be incredibly important going forwards to keep hold of my sense of identity.

No matter how difficult it might be and how guilty you might feel (come on, all we do is feel guilty about every decision we make each day!), take some time to do something you enjoy every week or couple of weeks, so that you keep a grasp on your identity. Your family will manage and will likely get a better version of you than if you hadn’t taken the time.

Look after yourselves xx

 

 

 

 

The “joys” of motherhood

There is no easy way to write this.

My son vomited hour-old milk into my mouth today.

Thankfully my maternal instincts were quick enough to shut my mouth before I got the full load in there, but there is no shifting that taste!

Top tip for parents – when lifting your baby up to play, keep your mouth shut.

Only poo in the bath to go….

Travel with a 4 month old….

I don’t live locally to my mum and many of my good friends, this brings about a necessity to get in the car and drive fairly regularly. My journeys are normally anything from about 45 mins to 2.5 hours, so unfortunately our little boy really needs to be a good traveller.

So, last weekend I was visiting home to celebrate my birthday, my best friends baby shower and hopefully hopping over to the Forest of Dean to see my dad then home. Otis had very different ideas!!

We made the best plans, get Otis bathed, fed, asleep and in the car and do the 1.5 hour drive to my mums…we made it about 50 minutes before the screaming started!!! Not the greatest start to the weekend!

Friday – day off from any major travel (phew!)

Saturday – drive into Bath alone, Otis screamed the entire way and was a tiny sweaty mess when we arrived, then refused to go in the stroller! Drive home with a friend, continual screaming!!

After the disastrous experience so far, I cancelled the trip to the Forest of Dean I just couldn’t face any more screaming car journeys. I also decided that instead of driving home, I would take the train, so that I could feed/cuddle/snooze the journey away! This was a stroke of genius (plus my lovely husband would get 1.5 hours of peace!!)

So, dropped at the train station, had the sling and a change bag, what could go wrong….. just an entire carriage of drunk Harlequin rugby supporters!!! The whole train was rammed, surprisingly there were a few single seats left with the rugby crew, so I went for it. Having a baby in amongst a bunch of drunk men is brilliant, I was offered booze, there were many inappropriate funny songs, Otis was made a fuss of and the journey flew by!

So. sometimes what seems like a nightmare can turn out to be thoroughly memorable experience and it was without doubt, infinitely less stressful than having a screaming baby and just wanting the journey over!

Take some risks, and make your life easy, baby+train+easy!!

xx

“When are you going to….” Please stop asking me this question!

Short post today…but my goodness this is becoming a source of irritation.

For some reason, whatever your choices as a parent, someone will feel compelled to ask you this question.

There are a few things I am pretty determined on,  while raising our baby:

  • I will use cloth nappies whenever possible
  • I will breastfeed exclusively until 6 months
  • I will soothe my baby when he cries be it a cuddle or a boob
  • I won’t leave my baby to cry
  • I will bed share/co sleep if this feels like the simplest thing to do

For some reason though other people (some of whom haven’t had babies) have asked me when I will be “getting him onto formula”, “getting him into disposables”….etc.

For a first time mum I have a few helpful responses to these and other questions:

  • “I won’t”
  • “Because that’s what we do”
  • “there’s plenty of science to back it up” or “there’s no science to back that up”
  • “that’s our decision”

It really astonishes me that people think it’s OK to ask some questions, based on their opinions, or judge how we choose to parent. Carry on and judge what we do, but do it behind my back, like a normal person. I know I must sound abrupt/rude sometimes, but I really don’t care in this instance.

Remember whatever you do, if it feels best for your child it probably is. You never need to justify the decisions you have made.

 

 

 

Why you should go to baby groups (even though staying at home feels easier!)

It has taken me some time to get into mummy and baby groups, but having started going regularly I have noticed some real benefits! Before I let you know why you should go, even if it’s just once a week, you should know that I am quite shy (although not everyone would know that!), I prefer my own company to the company of others and also love being at home.!! All of this does not add up to a mum who naturally seeks chances to get out of the house. But, here are my reasons why I get out regularly:

  1. Getting out, even for half an hour breaks up your day and the days can feel quite long on your own with a baby
  2. There are other mums who will have babies that same age and it is really reassuring to hear that their babies are going through the same as you! Particularly when you are struggling with sleep/feeding/anything!!!
  3. You get free tea/coffee and biscuits at most groups
  4. They are normally pretty cheap!
  5. At play groups you can give your baby the chance to play with things you don’t have and figure out what to buy – really useful as your babies’ skills and interests change so regularly
  6. You can learn things that you can do at home – this is definitely true of the baby sensory class I attend
  7. They are normally local enough to be able to walk to and even a little light exercise after you’ve had a baby will make you feel heaps more like yourself – plus its lovely for your baby to get to see lots of different places from the sling/bassinet
  8. Going regularly will help you develop friendships with other local mummies
  9. The people are nice
  10. Your house will start to feel pretty claustrophobic if you spend weeks on end in it!

Most of these reasons are for you rather than your baby….I think this is probably most people’s experience. Once your baby is a little older, I’m sure groups become equally valuable to them as well as you.

So get out there, meet some people, feel like a human being again!

What do you really need for a newborn?

It occurred to me as I started to clear out and pack away all of the 0-3  clothes (while weeping!) that most of them had probably only been used a handful of times. This is our first baby and so, while we had plenty of friends and family who have been there and done that, no-one mentioned how little you really need in the first few months.

To that end, and to help me if we are lucky enough to do it again, the things I really used and needed in the 0-3 month period (bearing in mind that I do one wash load a day and our little one was born in October):

Clothing

6 x short-sleeved onesies
2 x long-sleeved onesies
2 x Sleep suits
Warm hat
Warm Gloves/mittens
1 or 2 “outfits” (something nice to put on occasionally when you feel like it)
Few pairs of socks
1 jumper

Accessories

Bassinet/Moses basket/Side sleeping cot (we loved the Chicco Next to Me)
Baby nail clippers
Baby snot sucker (nose frida was an absolute godsend when our little boy was full of cold)
Washing up bowl (baby baths are too big!)
2 x Baby towels
Change mat (and table if you have space at it will save your knees and back)
Muslin squares (enough to have 2 in every room you spend time in and a couple for the change bag)
Baby carrier (we mostly used a close caboo for the first  few months and have moved onto an Ergobaby Classic from about 3.5 months onwards)
Red nightlight (so as not to expose babies to “blue light” but provides enough light to breast feed in the early days)
Baby sleeping bag (2 if you can afford in case of late night nappy blow outs)
Travel system/Car seat as a minimum
Car sun shades

Toys

Small rattle toy
Something small that lights up/changes colour
Texture/high contrast book
A few puppets

I personally can’t bear stuff everywhere and try to keep things simple (thanks to this wonderful documentary: Minimalism Film). I also really prefer the idea of giving our son plenty of fun experiences, rather than trying to fill every waking second with toys/entertainment. It’s easy to get over excited and fill every tiny drawer in the nursery with gorgeous things, but there really isn’t any need.

Do your bank balance a favour, make sure you have the essentials covered. When people ask what you need, be specific, don’t feel bad about gifting/selling things you get that aren’t all that useful, buy second-hand, accept hand me downs, borrow the expensive things if you can!

sarah x