Archive for the ‘Cambridge Baby Blog’ Category

Developmental leaps

Posted Saturday, April 20th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

Have you heard of developmental leaps? No? Well neither had I until I read about it in a leaflet given to me by the hospital. Leaps are sudden changes in a baby’s mental development. They occur around the same time for every baby and, thanks to this wonderful app I downloaded, I can track them all.

Molly is quite a relaxed baby. She has been for as much as I can remember. Even in labour, the midwives kept checking her heartbeat and saying she was a very happy baby. That was until this week. I feel like she’s making up for 3 months of peace. I can’t complain too much, she sleeps through every night so at least I’m getting sleep. She will not, however, sleep during the day at the moment. I try everything. I’m now that parent that walks around with their baby in the pram just so she can get some sleep.

I’ve also spent a lot of this weekend walking around the living room bouncing a screaming baby. My baby that, at one time, rarely cried. Especially during the day. I’ve not had a moment to myself. I’ve not even been able to put her down so I can go to the toilet without her screaming. And it’s proper crying, with real tears. It’s heartbreaking.

I’m mentally exhausted. More than once this week I’ve wondered why I wanted a child. And then I spend the rest of the day hating myself for even thinking it. She’s worth it though. One flash of that cheeky little smile and I’m reminded why I do it all. I wouldn’t change her for the world. But I cannot wait for this leap to end and have my chilled out baby back please!

It’s not all been bad. Look at her first time in her chair! I can’t believe my tiny baby is sitting in a chair all by herself!


Decisions, decisions…

Posted Friday, April 5th, 2019 by Sam CambridgeBaby Test in Cambridge Baby Blog

Since becoming a mum I see the world in a different way. It’s no longer only what will affect me in my lifetime that concerns me, I also spend a lot of my time thinking about what will happen in my daughter's life too.

I don’t want to get political here, but, there are many things happening at the moment which will affect not just the country we live in, but the entire planet. Before getting pregnant I would only have had a small interest in these issues but now I feel like I have to get involved for the sake of my child. My actions are going to shape my baby into the child, teenager and the woman she will become. I want her to have all the opportunities that I had and more. I don’t want her to have to worry about things that children shouldn't need to be worried about.

It’s not just the outside world. Almost everything I do now concerns my daughter and I spend much of my time wondering what the consequences will be for her. Obviously, I want the best for her, the same as any other parent, but, quite frankly, I don’t think there is a consensus on what is best. I’m willing to bet that even my husband and I have a different view on what is best. It sometimes feels like parenting involves a lot "winging it" and that’s rather scary.

We’ll be making a lot of decisions throughout her life that will affect her, directly and indirectly, and it seems like there’s so much pressure to get them right. My husband asked me the other day if I thought we should put her name down for a nursery. I was completely shocked. She’s 11 weeks old. But apparently, that’s what people do. Who knew? Not me! But it got me thinking about when it is time for nursery, and school for that matter. I want her to go to a good school, but, I also know we'll probably end up moving in the future, so that’s another decision to make. Wherever we choose to live needs to be right for Molly, just as much as for me and Sam.

It’s so strange to suddenly be responsible for another person. The things I do not only affect me now so I feel like I have to be a lot more careful and mindful before I do things. It’s a lot of pressure. It’s scary, but I can’t spend my time in fear because that will only teach her to do the same. Parenting is hard. In the moment it’s easy, but looking at the bigger picture, it’s going to be the hardest thing I have ever done. All I can do is my best and hope I make the right choices for Molly. Only time will tell.


To routine or not to routine?

Posted Friday, March 29th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

That is the question I’ve been asking myself this week. So far we’d been going with the flow and it had been going really well. Until recently. More than once the past week I had the pleasure of spending the evening with an overtired baby. Not fun. Who even knew that babies could get too tired to sleep? Nightmare. So I decided that we should probably try and get her onto a nap schedule. Theoretically, that would mean that she would never get too tired because she would have scheduled naps, right? How hard can it be, I thought. Well, from my experience so far, the answer is very.

Perhaps Molly isn’t ready for scheduled naps right now. I have no idea. The thing about being a new mum is that you have literally nothing to base it on. I don’t know if she’s ready for a nap routine or even if I should be implementing something like this while she’s so young. But I know I have to try something. An overtired baby is fun for nobody and I feel it’s my responsibility to make sure this doesn’t happen.

I tried putting her down for scheduled naps which just did not work. Her wake times were never the same. Sometimes she could go for 2 and a half hours while others she was tired after just 1 hour awake. So instead of sticking to certain times, I started writing down when she napped and when she woke up so I could keep track of how long she’s been awake and if she was probably ready for another sleep. I think I’ll continue to keep note because this might help me in the future when she is ready for a nap schedule. Maybe? Hopefully!

It’s been a very stressful week. We've had a couple of good days in a row though and some beautiful cuddles while she slept on me. I just think I probably put a little too much pressure on myself. She has been napping, which is all I wanted, and she seems to be getting enough sleep during the day now. It certainly isn’t a schedule but I’ve learnt to notice her little signs for when she’s tired and how long she’s able to stay awake without being grumpy. A routine isn’t for us just yet. It’s a bit too soon perhaps, but this has been a great learning experience.


A first time mum’s thoughts on dressing

Posted Friday, March 22nd, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

So, you’ve been home a couple of weeks now. You’ve gotten the hang of feeding and sleeping, you’ve probably figured out how to get a quick hot drink at least once in the day and, if you’re really lucky, you’ve even found a way to fit in a shower. Then the time comes to venture out of the house and, if you have a winter baby like me, there’s a whole new world to figure out. What should you dress your baby in?

The basic rule is one extra layer than you are wearing. I don’t know about you but I think this rule is rather ambiguous. How do you know your baby will feel the warmth the same way that you do? I know that me and my husband feel very differently about the weather and sometimes he’s wrapped up in 5 different layers and I’m only wearing 2 so which person’s layers do you base it on then? It’s basically just trial and error. As a new mum it can feel like there is a lot of pressure to get everything right the first time, but, it really isn’t the end of the world if you get it wrong for those first few outings. Or if you forget the rain cover for the pram and end up walking home really fast hoping the rain doesn’t start to soak through the not so waterproof hood of the pram. (It didn’t in case you were wondering. Sam and I were drenched, baby stayed dry thankfully.)

From what I have learned so far it seems that layers are your friend. Especially in the British winter. Sub zero temperatures one week then 18 degrees the next. In those few very cold weeks in January it was easy. A snugglesuit kept her warm and cosy. Now it’s spring, it’s a little harder. It’s cold, sometimes windy and rainy, but when that sun is out it can actually feel quite warm. So it’s good to be able to have the option to take off a layer or two when you feel your baby is getting a little warm. This is also really handy if you’re in and out of places so your baby doesn’t get too warm while you’re indoors.

If you dress your baby in wool then there’s also the added benefit of the temperature regulating properties that comes with it. Wool has the ability to transfer heat and moisture into the cooler environment so baby should stay snug without overheating. Brilliant! If you’re like me though, you may have some preconceived ideas about clothes made from wool. I imagined the clothes to be old fashioned and bulky, and, I envisaged myself stood at the sink every day wringing out masses of hand washed clothes. But this hasn’t been the case and I’ve been thoroughly converted.

I definitely stress less now about what she's wearing when we go out. Sometimes I worry that she's getting warm when we go indoors but I'm confident enough now to actually remove her from her pram in public so I can take a layer off if needs be. Most of the time it's just lifting her blanket off her though, which is much easier and less likely to disturb her because nobody wants to wake a sleeping baby. The blanket is definitely the ultimate layer! As with everything it just comes with practice and experience so maybe I'll know what I'm doing soon!

 

Here are some of my favourite products.

Disana dungarees in Organic Merino Wool - These are gorgeous! In my opinion, this piece of clothing has it all. They are soft and stretchy so I know my baby will be comfortable in them.

Molly modelling the Disana wool dungarees

Disana Baby Jumper in Organic Merino Wool - I love this jumper. I know she’ll be lovely in warm so I don’t need to worry in those lower temperatures but it’s also soft so she’s comfortable in it too. I used to put it over a sleep suit and it never looked bulky.


Molly wearing the Disana jumper over a sleep suit

Disana Wrap Baby Cardigan in Organic Merino Wool - Like the jumper but much easier to put on!

I don't seem to have a picture of her wearing this cardigan. Will definitely have to rectify this at first opportunity. You can't have too many pictures can you?

Wrap baby body in organic cotton with fold over scratch mitts - Baby body’s with built in scratch mitts are genius. They eliminate the need for scratch mitts which I guarantee you will lose at least once.

Molly having fun in the Iobio wrap baby body with scratch mitts

Premature and Newborn Baby pants with feet by Serendipity - Trousers with built in feet! I had no idea these even existed but I’m so glad they do. I love them because it means your baby can wear something other than a sleep suit for a change but still have their precious little feet covered. They also eliminate the need for socks which, again, I guarantee you will lose at least once.

Molly having a snooze in the Serendipity pants with feet


A first time mum’s thoughts on feeding

Posted Friday, March 15th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

It doesn’t matter how you choose to feed your baby, one thing we can all agree on is that it seems like they are constantly feeding. Especially at night when we are all losing out on our precious sleep. And don’t even get me started on that second night. The ‘cluster feed night’ they called it. I think we must have gotten about 2 hours sleep. And it was our first night at home so we thought this was how it was going to be. I have to admit, there were some thoughts of ‘what have we done?!’ It does get easier. Already, at 5 weeks old, Molly is feeding less during the night and the feeds are a lot shorter than when she was a newborn.

It hasn’t always been so easy though. Molly has been a professional at this breastfeeding thing from day one. I consider myself very lucky. I have had days, however, where I have wondered if it was all worth it. There have been days that have been so painful I have considered sacking it in. Engorgement made me feel like I had boulders on my chest and blocked ducts can be agonising. And have you ever heard of mastitis? But I’m so glad I have persevered. It’s an amazing bonding experience with my baby and, once everything has settled down after the first few weeks, it’s actually rather enjoyable.

The basic message out there seems to be breast is best and there is no doubt that breastfeeding has many benefits for both baby and mother, but formula fed babies are happy and healthy too. My baby has had both. When Molly was just two days old the midwife took one look at her jaundice and sent us straight to A&E. Unfortunately, this meant admittance to a ward for some phototherapy treatment. While we were there, the nurses were very insistent that Molly needed to put on weight. We were only allowed to remove her from her lightbox for 30 minutes every 4 hours and because my milk hadn’t come in properly yet, she needed formula top ups. It was heartbreaking to know that I wasn’t producing enough milk for my baby. Even more so when I found that her jaundice may have been exacerbated by my choice to breastfeed. At the time I wish I’d known that breastfeeding can increase the risk of jaundice, but looking back I don’t think it would have influenced my decision to breastfeed. Those formula top ups did the trick and I’m grateful that option was available until I was producing enough milk. I still have some in the cupboard now, just in case, because you never know.

Sam feeding Molly in hospital after admittance for jaundice

If the feeding wasn’t hard enough, sometimes the milk comes back out a lot quicker than it went in! You’ve just finished feeding, you have a nice content little baby, then before you know it you’re covered in spit up and your baby is crying because they’re hungry again! It’s the last thing you need, isn’t it? The laundry basket is full, you don’t have any more clean clothes, so you spend all day sporting a nice white stain on your black top. Muslins are your friend though. They are absolutely essential and you should aim to have one within 2 feet of you at all times so you’re armed and ready for the next spit up accident. They also make brilliant covers for when you want to breastfeed discreetly in public. Just remember to keep a couple handy in your changing bag and/or handbag for every time you leave the house.

My experiences with feeding have made me realise that there’s is no black and white when it comes to the choice of milk for your baby. Sometimes things happen unexpectedly that means our first choice isn’t available or appropriate for the circumstances. As long as baby is happy and well fed that’s all that matters. Let’s keep that in mind, take the stresses away and just enjoy the closeness of feeding our babies, because before we know it, they’ll be grown up enough to be feeding themselves.


There’s a new Cambridge baby!

Posted Friday, March 8th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

My name’s Tanya and my husband, Sam, and I have just had a baby. You’ll know Sam as he answers many of your calls and emails and has probably packed your order!

I’ve been a mum for just over a month now to a beautiful baby girl named Molly. She is pure perfection and I could not have predicted the immediate and overwhelming love I have for her. My husband, Sam, and I were definitely wrapped up in our own little baby bubble for the first three weeks while he was on his paternity leave. Now Sam has returned to work, it’s just me and Molly in our happy little baby bubble. 

Molly under her Disana delicate wool blanket.

Although I have never been happier, unfortunately, the lack of sleep, the overwhelming sense of responsibility and having to accept that my life will never be the same again occasionally (frequently) get the better of me. There have been many times when I have sat and cried. In fact, just last week I did nothing but cry all day. My daughter would not stop crying no matter what I did so we just sat and cried together until my husband had to come home from work early to rescue us both. I’ve never felt as much a failure as I did when she settled in his arms that afternoon. What did he have that I didn’t?? Probably a nice steady heartbeat and breathing rhythm in comparison to me who was so wound up my heart rate must have been in the thousands. Thankfully, I have not been too traumatised by that day and we’ve actually learnt from the experience and have managed a week now, without any mummy tears, while daddy has been at work. Sense of accomplishment has been restored! Note to self: a bad day is not failure and calm husbands are worth their weight in gold.

Actually, surviving my first month of motherhood is a major accomplishment in itself. It’s hard. No amount of books or classes could prepare me for the drastic life change a baby brings. I’ve been assured it gets easier but honestly, I don’t need it to. She’s worth every ounce of effort I put in and I’m incredibly grateful to spend the rest of my life being her mum.

Molly and I are really looking forward to sharing our journey with you all. Here at Cambridge Baby we sell a lot of clothes for babies and I’m sure many of you have been through, are going through or will be going through soon, many of the things that I’ll be writing about. We'll be posting weekly so keep checking back. I hope you enjoy joining us and we’d love to hear from you over on our social media pages!