Baby blog – Our winter favourites

December 6th, 2019

Well, it seems that winter is now in full swing even though it’s actually not yet officially winter. It’s gotten so cold hasn’t it? The hat, scarf and gloves are out and it now takes even longer to leave the house! And we have a lot more stuff to take with us - I didn’t even know that was possible.

Wool has been a game changer when dressing Molly. I can take her out in the cold weather knowing she’s going to stay warm and comfortable. I love the outer layers the most because they can go over her normal outfit and I know she’ll stay warm while we’re out and I can take it off if we go inside somewhere. I know wool has properties that keep you cool as well as warm, but I can’t help getting paranoid when we’re indoors somewhere warm so I like being able to remove her wool layers. 

 

 

Here are some of mine and Molly’s winter favourites that are getting us through the cold weather:

New Style Sturdy Wool Coat with Cuffs by Disana - I love this coat. It’s super warm and cosy without being too bulky. Especially because Molly is quite petite. The coat is a little too big for her but it doesn’t bulk up and the cuffs mean that the sleeves stay up on her wrists even though the arms are too long. 

Organic Boiled Wool Baby Pants with Cuffs by Disana - These pants are absolutely brilliant for the winter. When Molly is in her stroller I have a tendency to lose her blankets so I love putting these trousers over her normal outfit to keep her legs warm. It means I can use less blankets and it doesn’t matter if it keeps falling off because I know her legs are kept nice and warm. They’re lovely and soft, again not being too bulky. 

Childs Beanie Hat in Organic Merino Wool by Disana - This hat is great. It’s soft, stretchy and the style means it will fit her for a long time. She’ll barely keep a hat on but when she does she looks adorable in it. 

Knitted  Organic Merino Wool Scarf by Disana - This scarf is super soft and the perfect size for little ones. 

Dungarees in Organic Merino Wool by Disana - These are my absolute favourite item of baby clothing that exists. Molly wore them when she was little and now we’re in the next size up and I still love them. They’re super versatile, they can be worn with absolutely anything. They’re so soft and very flexible so you can be sure that your baby is comfortable in them. The sizes are very generous so will last for a decent amount of time. Molly was wearing these last week when she had a terrible poop explosion while sitting in her car seat. The wool dungarees contained this completely protecting her car seat which I was amazed at and so grateful for. I put the dungarees in the washing machine on a wool cycle with wool detergent and they came out clean and smelling fresh. 

Baby Jumper in Organic Merino Wool Melange by Disana - I love this jumper for the same reason as the dungarees. The material is super soft and flexible and I absolutely love the colours they come in. 

Delicate Wool Blanket by Disana in Organic Merino Wool - The delicate blanket is an absolutely gorgeous baby blanket that is super soft and perfect for little newborns as well as older babies.


Baby blog – This wasn’t on the list!

November 29th, 2019

Last week I wrote about 12 things I wanted to do with Molly before she turned 1. Not included in that list, however, was to have the whole family knocked for six by a rather persistent sickness bug. That’s what happened to me, Sam and Molly this week and I can quite easily say that it’s been one of the worst and most difficult weeks we’ve experienced this year. 

The whole thing started last Thursday evening when we were up with Molly who spent half of the night vomiting. Poor baby. It was so heartbreaking to watch her go through that. The next couple of days were fine though, she was just a bit more sleepy than usual so we thought that was that. Then we were all hit with it on Sunday. It lasted then until yesterday so it's been a rough few days.

Looking after a baby, or rather, trying to look after a baby while you’re poorly yourself is an arduous task. When that baby is a needy, whingy, poorly baby, it makes things a whole lot harder. Luckily (I think) Sam and I hit our worst points at different times so there was always one of us available to care for her. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. My hat goes off to all those single parents out there. I genuinely have no idea how you manage!

Every time we thought we were all getting better there’d be something else - a new symptom or the revisit of an old one. It didn’t help that I had a few appointments this week too. I had to take the car for its MOT yesterday and I thought we were all over the worst so I decided not to cancel. I loaded Molly into the car and off we went. We hadn’t been in the car 2 minutes when it was filled with the most awful smell and the sound of Molly’s cry. I couldn’t take it anymore. I broke down in tears while I was stuck in the Cambridge morning traffic. This illness has been relentless. It has completely taken it out of me and I’m so glad it’s almost over. Thankfully, after my cry I’d gotten some of my resilience back because after I changed her at the MOT garage she instantly pooped again so I had to drive her home to Sam before taking the car back to the garage. 

I think the end is in sight now. I really hope it is anyway. I just want to look forward to and get ready for our first Christmas together instead of spending all of my hours doing endless amounts of extra laundry or in my rubber gloves disinfecting everything that could possibly have been infected with the virus. I may have gone a little overboard but I just don’t want to repeat what we’ve just been through. It does seem like Molly has developed an awful cough now though. It just never ends, does it? How many days until summer?!


Baby blog – 12 things to do before 12 months

November 19th, 2019

Baby’s grow incredibly quickly. They change so much in just their first year, I can’t even begin to imagine what Molly will be like this time next year. It goes by so quick I think it’s important to make the most of every moment before it’s gone. That’s why I’ve made a list of things I want to do with Molly before she turns 1. Some things I’ve already done and some I’ve still yet to do. I haven’t got long left though so I better get cracking!

12 things to do with baby before they’re 12 months old.

  1. Make handprint and footprint keepsakes - These are very special keepsakes to have and there are so many ways to capture them these days. We just have simple prints in a frame on the wall but you can them made into jewellery now and so much more. We’ve also started to make some christmas ornaments out of air drying clay for gifts but they’re still a work in progress so I’m not sure how they’re going to turn out. I have everything crossed that they work.
  2. Take baby swimming - I have to say I haven’t done this one yet. I have planned to on many occasions but something just keeps getting in the way. I’d love to take Molly swimming, I think she’d absolutely love it. It’s so important to introduce these things at a young age.
  3. Start baby sign language - I came across a baby sign language group a couple of months ago by chance and I’m so glad I did. It’s been great and Molly loves it. She’s picked up a couple of things but I know of some babies now (older than Molly) that can communicate to their parents with signing. Starting them earlier lets them learn what the signs mean long before they’re able to copy them and communicate their needs with them.
  4. Go to a baby class - I’ve been going to baby sensory classes since Molly was about 4 months old and it’s the best thing I’ve done with her. It’s a really relaxed place to spend some time with baby and have some fun at the same time. It’s also a great place to meet other parents and see other babies. I find it’s good to see other babies and how they all develop at different rates. It can be very reassuring. 
  5. Get a photo of the whole family - I have so many pictures of Molly. I have quite a few pictures of Molly and Sam. I have barely any pictures of me and Molly and I think I have only 2 pictures of all 3 of us - and they’re not very good. Make sure you get a picture of your little family while they’re still young. It doesn’t have to be a professional shoot, just a picture of all of you that you can look back on. 
  6. Start a baby memory book or photo album - You can put the pictures mentioned above in a memory book. I have to be honest and say that I’m not that good at noting down when Molly hit certain milestones. I have no idea when she started waving or crawling or pointing. It would probably be nice to have these things in a little memory book but I do have a photo album which I’ve been putting photographs in chronological order. So at least I have that. 
  7. Go to the park and play on the swings - Molly loves the swings! It’s a great thing to do to get out of the house, enjoy some fresh air and have some fun.
  8. Dress them up in something ridiculous for a special occasion or just for fun - Everyone should have an embarrassing picture of them dressed up when they’re a baby right?

Baby blog – 10 ways my life has changed since having a baby

November 13th, 2019

My teeny tiny newborn will be 10 months old in a couple of days. 10 months!  That's double digits. I can’t quite believe it. This year has flown by in a haze of sleepless nights, endless feeds and countless nappy changes. It’s been the most challenging 10 months that I’ve encountered in my years on Earth but I wouldn’t change them. It may have been hard but it’s been amazing to give birth to my own little baby and nurture her into the slightly bigger bundle of joy she is today (most of the time). Life is completely different now to what it was this time last year.

 

10 ways my life has changed since having a baby

 

  1. Lie in’s are a thing of the past. Well, that’s not entirely true - it’s just that the definition of a lie in has changed. Sleeping past 7am is considered a lie in now. Sleeping past 8 has happened but this is an incredibly rare treat. I can probably count on one hand how many times this has happened since January. Oh, what I’d give to sleep until I wake up naturally.
  2. A late night is now classed as 9pm. I’m not kidding. I’m probably ready for bed around 7 these days.  
  3. I’m rarely seen in clean clothes.That doesn’t mean I don’t wash my clothes properly. It’s just that  nine times out of ten I have some sort of stain on my clothes when leaving the house. Sometimes I know they’re there and sometimes I don’t but I can be sure they were caused by Molly in some way. I’ve given up caring now. Changing clothes everytime I get something spilled on them just results in masses more laundry that I don’t have time to do. 
  4. Everything I do revolves around a nap schedule and sadly it’s not my own!
  5. I’ve become a master planner. Everything has to be planned right down to the tiniest detail. But I’ve also had to learn to let things go. When a baby is involved plans can go out the window faster than my clothes something spilled on them. 
  6. I can never just ‘nip’ anywhere. Leaving the house is a big job and can take at least half an hour. I also cannot go anywhere without at least one big backpack full of stuff that I will probably not need but may need so should always have with my ‘just in case’.
  7. I’ve learned to do everything one handed with a baby balanced on my hip. It’s a great skill to have, though I’m not sure how transferable it is. 
  8. I have a lot more patience. 
  9. I am generally more confident. I have never been a very confident person and I’m still not but now I have a baby I’m suddenly forced into a lot of situations that I usually would shy away from which is definitely making a more confident person. 
  10. Life is amazing. It’s so much better than it was before I had a baby. I feel joy in the little things every day. I get to spend my life with my tiny little mini me and for me it’s the best way to spend my life.  

Baby Blog – Clock Change and Halloween

October 30th, 2019

I woke up at 5:30am this morning. Or, maybe I should rephrase - I got woken up at 5:30am this morning. And yesterday morning. In fact I’ve been woken up before 6am since the clock change on Sunday. I used to love the autumn/winter clock change with the dark nights but now I’ve lost my extra hour in bed I can’t help wondering why on Earth do we need to change the clocks?!

Pre 6am is just a little too early for me to be able to function properly throughout the day. (I’m aware some people get way less sleep than this but I’ve gotten used to sleeping through til at least 6am now so it’s a big change.) So obviously I turned to my old friend Google to see if I could find a solution and it looks like there are no quick fixes for this problem. That seems to always be the case with babies. 

First of all, I came across a lot of forum posts about people in the same boat. Babies like to stick to a routine and they do not care that the clocks have changed.  All of these forum posts had one thing in common: these babies were not adjusting their wake time very quickly. Luckily I’ve managed to alter the rest of Molly’s routine with no problem. We just kept her awake for an extra hour on Sunday, with minimal problems, and her meals, naps and bedtimes have adjusted perfectly. So the only problem I have is just her wake time in the morning.

There were plenty of results on Google claiming that they could help make my baby sleep longer in the morning when the clocks changed. Unfortunately they were all supposed to be done BEFORE the clock change. How was I supposed to know that? I knew that she would be affected by the clock change on the day of the clock change but I had no idea that it would continue. I guess we’ll just have to ride it out like everything else. I’m a problem solver, but babies just aren’t problems to be solved are they? I know she’ll adjust at some point before the next clock change. And if she doesn’t? Well I guess I’ll just enjoy the extra hour lie in I get this time next spring.

 

In other news, we took Molly to a Halloween themed baby sensory session at the weekend. Here’s a picture of Molly dressed as a witch in a pumpkin themed ball pit. Unfortunately she wouldn’t keep the hat so she’s a witch without a pointy hat. 


Baby blog – Stronger than yesterday

October 24th, 2019

I’m channelling my inner Britney in the title there. I just thought I’d give a little life update. Following on from my mini breakdown last week I feel like I have come out on the other side feeling a little stronger and a lot more determined. I’ve recently come across the advice, on more than one occasion, that you should get your own house in order before you can find order in the other parts of your life. That has to be a sign, right? I’m certainly looking to bring some order into certain (most) aspects of my life - family, finances, parenting, work, home - so that’s what I’m going to do. And for once in my life I’m going to listen to advice and I’m going to start with my home. 

So I created a cleaning schedule for myself. We live in a small house (a blessing and a curse) so there aren’t a lot of rooms. I’ve created a schedule for myself where I clean one room (thoroughly) a day. This works for me because we don’t have too many rooms. Each day I have designated tasks for a particular room. This has helped me so much (so far) because it means I’m not overwhelmed by all that needs doing (and so end up doing nothing). I have tasks set out for me each day so I know what I need to be doing and I can just crack on and do it. If there’s one thing I love more than making a list, it’s completing a list! 

 

My sample schedule:

Monday - Molly’s Bedroom

Tuesday - Stairs, landing and hallway

Wednesday - Our bedroom

Thursday - Kitchen

Friday - Bathroom

Saturday - Living Room

Sunday - Outdoors

I’m sure that this is probably not an original idea, there are so many different ideas out there, but it’s the one I came up with that will work for me.

 

Of course there’s still the daily tasks such as washing the pots and cleaning up after Molly etc so I still do these. But I was doing these before anyway. The problem was that I was only doing these things so other things were just starting to get neglected, they were piling up and then becoming a bigger job. A job that I didn’t want to tackle. 

I’ve only been doing this for a few days but it’s already making a big difference to my life. The house is cleaner and I feel a lot less stressed about it. I also feel like I have more time to enjoy with Molly and not worrying about what needs doing. Only time will tell if it’s sustainable or not but I’m feeling optimistic about it. And once my house is in order I will start to tackle the rest. I’ll get a cape and you can start calling me wonder woman. I’m just kidding. If I could just get to the end of each day having not cried and feeling like I’ve accomplished something then I’ll be quite happy.

 


Baby blog – Mum life crisis?

October 16th, 2019

Molly will be 9 months old on Thursday. That means I’ve now been a mum for the same amount of time as I was pregnant. This time 9 months ago I was getting very impatient to meet our little girl. This time though, there’s no magical moment, no new beginning, no moment that’s going to change our lives forever. This is my life now, and that’s taking some time to get my head around. Part of me wants to cling to life as it was before when I could do what I want whenever I wanted instead of revolving my life around a little person, but a bigger part of me loves being a mum. I just need to find my ‘groove’. 

I think I’m going through a little bit of a ‘mum life crisis’. I seem to have lost who I am a little bit. I thought I was going to boss the stay at home mum thing but it’s a lot harder than I anticipated. I envisioned a spotless house, a happy baby and a job where I can work from home so I could stay at home with Molly. Is there an eyes bigger than my stomach analogy that would fit here? Because that’s exactly how I feel. I haven’t been able to achieve this at all. In reality, I only have a moderately tidy house, Molly probably watches way too much TV and I can hardly find the time to do any work, let alone the motivation. The housework and laundry is a nightmare to stay on top of (how is it possible for a tiny person to make so much mess and laundry??) and I hate that I probably spend at least an hour of each day trying to get my baby to sleep. I love her, of course I do, but sometimes I do wish I wasn’t wasting my hours away on her bedroom floor. 

I was always due to go back to work after a year of maternity leave, but it hasn’t worked out that way. I’m no longer going back to the job I had before I went on maternity leave so the plan now is to find a different job when Molly is 1. I think going back to work part time will be really good for me. I can earn some more money and feel like I’m contributing again, whilst also getting out of the house. I don’t even know - I just know I haven’t got to grips with my new life yet. I’m hoping with some planning and better time management I will eventually ‘have it all’ if there is such a thing. I’ll figure it all out and find the right balance for us eventually. As they say - Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

Anybody else find themselves feeling this way as a new mum?


Baby Blog – Our first trip away…alone!

October 9th, 2019

Last week I went to stay at my mums for a few days while Sam stayed at home for work. This was  the first time we’d been apart since Molly was born and the first time I’d looked after her by myself since being in the hospital. Originally I was supposed to be away from Thursday to Sunday, but, because of rail engineering works, I had to travel home on the Monday. I was away for 4 whole nights, just me and Molly. By the end of it I was more than ready to come home.

Because Molly can be a bit of a pain in the car, I travelled there on the train. I was dropped off near Cambridge station with my handbag, Molly's changing bag and a lightweight travel pushchair and off we went. I had Molly strapped to my front, backpack on my bag, pushchair in one hand and handbag in the other. It wasn't easy but it was manageable. The journey there was pretty much uneventful. We got two seats to ourselves and I gave Molly her lunch to pass half the time. Molly then slept on me for well over an hour and I had to wake her so we could depart the train at our stop. We met my mum at the station and after a quick drive home we had made it in one piece. It was such a sense of relief. I was incredibly nervous about travelling by myself with Molly but I needn’t have worried. She’s such a chilled baby and takes most things in her stride. We just had to get through the next 4 days of solo parenting now.

When we got to my mums house Molly was like a different child. For some reason she’s going through a very clingy phase and will barely let me out of her sight. She stepped this up a notch while at my mums house and decided that she didn't want to let anybody else near her and was going to cry unless I was right next to her. It was exhausting. She wouldn’t let anybody hold her but me so I had to do everything. She accompanied me everywhere and I learnt to do a lot of things one handed whilst balancing a baby on my hip.

It was a tough few days but I managed it. I had no other option. There was a tiny human being that needed looking after and I was the only one to do it. She was really good for me most of the time, having good naps during the day and sleeping really well at night, thank goodness. I think without a decent nights sleep each night I would have really struggled. I definitely take my hat off to all the single mums out there. I couldn't imagine having to do it all by myself every single day.

On the day we were travelling home Molly woke up with a cold which was the last thing I needed with a 2 and a half hour train ride ahead. We got a lift to the train station and my mum helped me onto the train and then we were by ourselves again. This time the train journey was a nightmare. Molly woke up from a 20 minute kip screaming and I tried everything to calm her down. I knew she didn’t feel well, but the train passengers didn’t so I felt pressure to stop her crying. I did eventually get her to stop with the help of YouTube and 20 minutes later we were off the train at our stop and I felt that sense of relief once again. Home sweet home...almost. Just a short walk and car ride away but the worst was over. 

I feel incredibly proud of myself for doing those journeys and looking after Molly alone. I was so scared to do it beforehand but actually it was fine. I'll admit it was stressful, but there wasn’t a moment when I couldn’t manage. I realise now that of course I was going to manage. She’s my child, I look after her everyday so what’s the difference between doing it at home and doing it somewhere else. Yeah, I missed my husbands help, but I don’t NEED it. I do like it though and I have returned home with a newfound gratefulness and I’ll never take him for granted again.

My top tips for travelling on a train with a little one:

  1. Pack light - the less stuff you have the easier it will be to manoeuvre

  2. Take lots of food/milk - Giving Molly her lunch on the train took a good half an hour so it was a great way to keep her occupied for a chunk of the journey

  3. Take toys - Quiet toys are best so as not to annoy your fellow passengers 

  4. Take baby/sanitising wipes - Molly was obsessed with the little pull down tray on the back of the seat on the train so I gave it a good clean with a wipe so she could play to her hearts content without me worrying about germs

  5. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It's not easy getting a pushchair onto a train from the platform and there is usually someone around who's happy to help. I'ts better than struggling.  

Baby Blog – Weaning Update

October 2nd, 2019

I think the last time I wrote about weaning, Molly was 6 months old, eating mainly pureed foods and only eating 2 meals a day. Now she’s eating 3 meals a day and having proper little meals. She even had a baby roast dinner at the weekend. It’s much better now she can have proper meals, although, it is much more time consuming!

Molly loves her food. She always has. She eats loads! It’s not very often she refuses something - in fact, I think I’ve yet to find something she doesn’t like! She always clears her plate and usually will start screaming because it’s all gone and she wasn’t finished eating, thank you very much. I’m amazed at how much she eats actually. Sometimes I wonder where she puts it all. I thought it was normal for a baby to eat like this until we spoke to another mum at a baby group we went to. She said her baby hardly ate anything and that opened my eyes to how different each baby really is. I count myself really lucky that Molly is such a good eater. It’s one less thing to worry about and I hope it continues as she gets older. 

I love watching Molly eat. She looks so grown up when she’s picking up each bit of food and putting it to her mouth. It doesn’t seem like she should be able to do it so well at her age but it’s incredible. She can even pick up her cup and have a drink all by herself. I obviously supervise her to make sure she doesn’t choke or anything but I just let her get on with it and eat my own lunch. It’s like having my own little lunch date every day. We don’t eat the same things because I’m a very fussy eater and I don’t want that for Molly so I try and give her a good variety of different meals.

She eats so many different things and, because she eats so much, I sometimes find myself struggling to keep up with the demand. I really want Molly to have good home cooked food and experience a range of different flavours so I often find myself cooking things in the evening to pop in the freezer for later dates. Molly goes to bed so early so we don’t eat together as a family yet which is a shame. I hope we can start to push her bedtime back soon so this is something we can start to do. Then Molly can just have a portion of what we’re having (if it’s healthy enough!) For now though, I’ll continue to cook batch cook baby friendly finger foods in my spare time. I secretly quite enjoy it anyway. I have a lot of new recipes to try over the next couple of weeks so I’ll share a few of my favourites if they go down well.


Baby Blog – 8 month sleep regression?

September 25th, 2019

I’ve always had this preconceived idea in my head that Molly would have 3 solid naps a day, right on schedule and all I’d have to do is put her down in her cot, say it’s sleep time and she’d easily fall right off to sleep and stay asleep for at least an hour. I don’t know where I got this ridiculous idea from. Movies maybe? Or social media? It’s not true! I’m sure it might be for some people but for my baby daytime naps were always a constant battle. I think there was a period of about 5 days where she just didn’t sleep during the day at all. I couldn’t cope. Sam came home one day and I was in tears. I googled and came up with nothing. It’s better now. It can still take half an hour to get her to sleep sometimes but she’ll usually stay asleep for an hour, sometimes more. Most days she’s getting two good naps now.

I guess I’ve always considered myself quite lucky with sleep though because she’s always been a good night time sleeper. We could put her down at bedtime and usually not hear anything from her until probably 4am at the earliest which was great. Usually it was closer to 6! We were getting a decent amount of uninterrupted sleep at night which i knew was great compared to what some people were going through. The problem with this though, is that when it changed it hit us like a ton of bricks.

When we went through the 4 month sleep regression it was tough but luckily it didn’t last very long. Looking back, I can say that it was a very short period of time that really wasn’t as bad as it felt. Now we’re in the midst of another sleep regression, I’m having a hard time believing that it’s going to get better anytime soon. It’s very easy to see things clearly when you look back but during it’s an absolute nightmare isn’t it? I’m not yet feeling the effects of sleep deprivation but I’m sure it’s coming. We’ve been woken up 3 or 4 times for a few nights in a row now and I hate it. I love my sleep and I don’t cope very well without it. 

She’s also started waking up about half an hour after we put her down to sleep and screaming. I have no idea where this new thing has come from! I’ve been on the old Google and it seems as though this age is where they start to experience separation anxiety. They know you’re still near so they cry for you to come to them so maybe she’s doing that? It just means that alongside being woken up multiple times in the night again, we’re also being robbed of our evenings which has been tough.

I’m not complaining (much). I love my daughter and I know she’s still a baby and developing, but I wish there was some consistency. I feel like if she’d been a bad sleeper all along then it would be much easier to cope with when she regresses. I don’t think you could call it a regression then though could you? At least her naps have gotten better - for now. 




(Update - Last night she slept through until 6:45am after her silly wake up 30 minutes after being put down. But trying to get her to nap today took me over half an hour. I just can’t win.)