Where have we been?

We haven’t posted in a while? Why? Because we’re exhausted.

LM is currently on his way out of Leap 6. He hasn’t slept well for about 3 weeks now and has been up for an average 5 times a night. Add this to the fact that I get next to no help with night wakings and the icing on the cake has been being ill. 

The wonderful (!) outcome of this is bring constantly tired and stressed. I’ve written and deleted 4 posts about how unhelpful my husband has been but didn’t feel to post them as the person I need to discuss this with is him. I’ve also had no help from my family (they haven’t even asked how we are!)

I hope to start a new routine with LM on Monday to try and reduce the night wakings, give me back some time in the day and prepare him for nursery. I’ll keep the blog updated if I can! 

Wonder-ful weeks

Little Man is now 36 weeks old. Since he was born I’ve read a number of parenting books to discover when he should be hitting particular milestones and why he behaves in a certain way. 
Every book that I’ve read has slightly different guidelines than the last so I quickly learned that there is no strict rule as to when babies hit milestones and that I shouldn’t read so many baby books! 
I’ve stuck by 2 books/series as they seem to be based on studies of actual babies and parents as opposed to just opinions of parenting “experts”.
The first of these is the Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Ploot. I have also got the app (App store on iPhone). 

Their theory is based on studies of babies who’ve displayed the same behaviours at the same time since the due date. These periods are then linked to developmental leaps. The leaps then translate into skills. 
The Wonder Weeks book describes each “leap” in detail. I’ve followed this since LM was 8 weeks old and it’s been pretty spot on to predict when he’ll have a leap in development. He’s cranky, sleeps poorly and is clingy pretty damned much when the book says he would be. 
He’s currently on Leap 6 – the World of Categories. He’s a little “behind” in terms of the skills that he should display after each leap. He’s currently mastering some skills from Leap 4 – The World of Events and Leap 5 – The World of Relationships. All babies will master the skills that they’ve acquired at different rates and different orders. LM tends to master the Body Control skills before the others – this week he’s mastered attempting to crawl. 
The book has helped me understand why LM is grumpy and sleeps poorly at certain times. It also suggests games, activities and other tasks which can help Baby and therefor help you.
There’s also a Milestones Guide – I’ll review this another time. 
If you’re a new parent and have an interest in why and when your baby will develop mental skills, then translate them into physical skills I’d recommend reading this book. It’s available from Amazon and most good book retailers. 
The second series is Gentle Parenting by Sarah Ockwell-Smith. I’ll review this later. 

Judgy bitch

Before I became a parent I used to be a judgy bitch. I hated crying children and would always think “why did you have that child if you can’t control it?” when I saw a child misbehaving. I used to wonder why Mums took their babies to Cafe Nero when all they’d do is cry and disrupt everyone else’s coffee. I also used to silently accuse Mums who gave their children crispy-style snacks in their pushchair of not feeding their child healthily and of parents who let kids watch kids tv of not stimulating their children enough.
I now hate people like the old me. How can you judge something that you know nothing about?
I now know that children have tantrums and that it’s natural. They are learning everything as they go and sometimes it gets a little too much for their little brain. They don’t understand that the toy they so dearly desire costs money that the parents might not have, or whatever conflict is causing that current meltdown . Instead of judging these parents I now sympathise as I know my little one will be in the same place in a couple of years.
Instead of tutting at the lady who’s baby is crying in the coffee shop I now smile at her and even offer to hold baby while she gets her much needed caffeine fix! It ain’t easy functioning on very little sleep, especially when you’re at home alone with a little monster who won’t sleep/ shut up. Sometimes you need a change of scenery and the local coffee shop is a great idea. The barista at Cafe Nero in town knows my order by heart. 
I salute the parent who gives their child snacks to keep them quiet, sometimes you need the break or the quiet. I’ve been there! Organix snacks have become a staple on my pushchair journeys! Yes If rather LM has cucumber sticks and hummus, but these just aren’t practical and take time to prepare. 
I applaud the parent who uses the tools around them to occupy their child when they need to get the house cleaned/ get the calls made etc! At times Thomas the Tank Engine has been a substitute baby sitter for me. I’m cool with it. I’m sure that a little TV does not a psychopath make.
To anyone who I’ve judged, I’m sorry. I was a 20 something non-maternal lady who thought she knew all about the world. I’ve heard it said that Parenting is the easiest thing to advise on but the toughest thing to do. It’s so true.
To anyone who secretly judges parents. Please don’t. Smile nicely at them, offer help if you feel necessary. Parenting is tough enough without the eyes of strangers on you.
To parents going through it. May the odds be ever in your favour! Do what you have to do to stay sane and keep your little one happy! Screw anyone else.

Weaning, take 1

My Little Man will be starting nursery 4 days a week when I return to work in 4 weeks time. As a result he’ll need to be able to drink formula milk from a bottle as I won’t have time to express enough milk to send to nursery with him.
I’ve exclusively breast fed him for the first 8 months of his life. I’m super proud of this achievement and sad that I’ll need to reduce this bonding time. Due to being exclusively breastfed he isn’t keen on taking a bottle. 
We’ve so far tried 4 different brands of bottle and 5 different bottles before we’ve finally found one which he accepted. I’ll review these in a later post. 
We’ve also tried 2 brands of formula! He flat out rejected the Cow & Gate stage 2 formula, so we tried the Aptimil Follow on Milk, he’s accepted this on the second try. 
I’ve decided to try and get him used to Formula on the bedtime feed first as this is the only feed where my husband is consistently home to help. It’s taken 3 bedtimes before LM has taken the bottle and then gone to sleep. For the next few weeks we’ll continue this.
After a week or so I’ll try to swap his morning nap feed for formula and continue this for a week or so to allow my milk supply to adjust and to enable LM to get used to it. 
After a week of that I’ll do the same with his afternoon feed. 
After this, all being well I’ll pick back up the bedtime feed and swap his early evening feed. The reason for this is that I’d still like to feed my Little Man but I think this will be limited to his wake up, bedtime and night feeds. 
I’m hoping that my body will adjust! I’ll keep the blog updated with my progress. 

Bedtime blues

I went out for the evening to the cinema, leaving Daddy in charge of bedtime for the first time ever.
I got home 2 hours after little man should have been asleep to find that he’s refused the formula milk Daddy made and has refused to go to sleep. Daddy I’d rather stressed and has now gone out on the hunt for ice cream.
LM has been pretty much exclusively Breastfed but has taken Formula Milk when offered it at the Grandparents. Perhaps it’s the brand we’ve bought (Cow & Gate) or perhaps it’s that we’re using medium flow tests and should be using Fast Flow now? 
Whatever the problem, we’ll have to experiment until we find a fix. Either way, I now feel like my Little Man does love me!

Perfect day

Yesterday was my 30th birthday. I’d been fearing this day for a while as it marked the end of my 20’s and made me ponder whether I’d achieved everything that I wanted.
When the day arrived I had such a wonderful time that I didn’t stop to worry about getting old (why the fox did I worry anyway?).
I woke up to my beautiful smiley baby and a cup of tea accompanied by presents. I received a Jawbone Up3 fitness tracker, a rucksack, a personalised cup, lots of chocolate, a scratch card, cash, candles and a bracelet. I’m super lucky to have such amazing friends and family.
When we got out of bed my hubby made a full English breakfast- my favourite- it was delicious!!
I was then taken to a lovely little salon for a Hot Stone Massage. Hubby looked after the Little Man.
We then went to So Thai -my favourite- for lunch. It was Devine and the waitresses were fantastic with Little Man.
We stopped by Toys R Us to pick up a Walker for LM, then headed home.
We finished the evening with a Personalised cake from Choccywoccydoodah -my favourite- and some Edinburgh gin -my favourite-.
I’m sure you can see a theme here. My husband planned the perfect day for me doing all of my favourite things. I know I whine about him sometimes but I am really lucky to have him.

Friday funday

I usually write a blog post, or at least a draft of it, whilst doing a night feed. However for the last 4 nights my Little Man hasn’t woken up for a night feed.

I’m super pleased and feeling a little more energised than I have in a long time but I now feel neglectful of my little blog which has become a mental Baby for me. Like a little outlet of my mind palace – yes! I am a Sherlock fan.

This week I haven’t managed to do much in the way of being creative, but, I have spent a lot of time rolling around on the floor with my son. He’s discovered my ears and apparently these are the most fun things to eat. 

I will need to find another time when I have relative peace to blurt the contents of my mind into my phone and therefor out onto the interweb for everyone to read. Yes – I’m aware that it’s called internet, not interweb. When your day job involves training people on how said internet works and DNS protocol you never want to see, hear or write the work internet again.