Weaning!!!

The cover picture for this post is literally me at mealtimes

It’s official. N is eating food! Things just got a WHOLE lot messier and smellier in our house. I learnt the other day we have actually adopted the ‘baby led’ weaning technique (letting them pick up their food and figure out how to eat it). Apparently this is actually a thing and not just me being lazy, who knew? It’s going pretty well so far, no choking yet  and letting them feed themselves seems so much easier then making & storing purees.

A few top tips and things to know when weaning:

 

  • Rusks and Weetabix dry into a substance stronger than cement.
  • The straps on a highchair are made of ridiculous material that turns a horrible brown colour after a few uses and coatings of baby puke. Don’t bother trying to keep them nice.
  • People will try and feed your baby anything ( literally – beer, sweets, icecreams) if you don’t want them to, put your foot down!
  • They make spoons for weaning (this sounds so obvious but I didn’t know this and used a standard baby spoon which was too rigid and big). Home Bargains do them cheap.
  • They don’t eat a lot at first but don’t worry, soon they’ll be cramming it down faster than a pregnant lady at a buffet. I speak from experience.
  • You’ll probably have to up their daily washes. N currently has 2 full baths a day and I still find food in his ears at bed time.
  • Invest in a few of those full T-shirt bibs, they were a gift from God I’m sure.
  • Be prepared for some funky looking poop.

Another great thing I’ve discovered whilst weaning is the Ellas Kitchen melty puffs. I wanted to stay away from the mushy foods and needed something to take out and about in a rush. These are essentially baby friendly Wotsits made from veggies and N loves them! They dissolve as baby eats them so no choking worries and are a great size whilst their learning to grab things. They also taste good (I’ve nicked a few) and for around 70p a bag their budget friendly too. Definitely recommend!

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Everything smells…

First of all, apologies for not posting in a while. N has been suffering with puking literally all day non-stop. It’s an absolute nightmare. It’s not even just milk sick, it’s gross curdled sick that’s so thick he chokes on it. 5 trips to the doctor later and we still have no diagnosis as he’s putting on weight fine. What do you do when the professionals say everything’s OK but your house smells like there’s a Mcdonalds milkshake festering away under the bed? Panic and buy everything possible to help it stop. We’ve switched his formula brand, were forcing Gaviscon down him at every opportunity and getting through Colief like it doesn’t cost ELEVEN POUNDS a bottle ( the bottle is the size of my thumb). By the time we figure out what’s wrong he’ll be moving out..

On a lighter note, we had a baby date last night. Our friends had a little girl exactly a month before N and we piled round to theirs,  as that’s just what you do when you both have babies. Now, it’s not that I don’t like seeing them but they make me look like such a bad mother (it doesn’t take much). She breastfeeds, she swaddles, she slings, she uses reusable nappies and god forbid you offer her a baby wipe. She was a nanny before she went on maternity leave so I like to think she had a head start with the whole kid rearing process. We’ve been messaging for a while and by the sounds of it, her baby is like N.. She won’t take a dummy and get’s bored of things easily. Hurrah, someone in the same boat as me! This could not be further than the truth. We get there and N’s just woke up so he’s being pretty cute. Lots of babbling, smiles and happily entertaining himself with toys. Eventually the 30 minutes he can stand outside our house is up and the winging begins. Meanwhile, her baby is being absolutely perfect and her version of a ‘cry’ can best be described as a mild squeak. I hate her. I feed him again and he immediately vomits all over their floor. 5 minutes later he vomits on their sofa and 5 after that he pukes all over their baby’s Jumperoo. I am mortified. 1 because he’s staining their furniture but more because I can’t stop it and when they ask me what’s up with him I just look at them blankly and say ‘the doctor said he’s fine’. Being a mum with a fussy baby is hard but having friends with babies who are absolute delight’s makes it 1000% worse.

I feel they should organise baby groups for tricky babies so you can all just sit and wollow in your self pity whilst they scream. Anyone know any?

Don’t believe everything you read..

When I was pregnant, me and J took advice from everyone. The sales assistant in Mothercare, family members, on line articles, strangers, absolutely anyone who had something to say – we listened. We took the advice like God himself was bestowing wisdom upon us and followed it all to the letter.

You’ll read a baby’s bath should be about 37 degrees. This was way too cold for N and he screamed his way through every bath we gave him at first. Eventually I figured it should be warmer and now it is, he loves a bath and could stay in for hours. We also looked at how often/how much a baby should be eating. When you read the side of the formula tub (if bottle feeding) it looks like a new born should be feeding around 8 times a day – N would feed every 1.5 hours. It’s just how they are. Adults have preferences and so do babies. We also went out and bought everything a baby could possibly need. We have the Chicco next to bed crib and he slept in it about a week. We have tonnes of dummies and he never took to them. We stocked up on so many nappies and he grew out of them before we used them. We also have the ‘safest’ (and most bloody expensive) car seat on the market and it’s too heavy for me to carry with N in it.

Don’t get sucked into buying stuff just because it’s recommended or looks nice. You need what works for you and your situation. The amount of money we (I) wasted on baby things because they looked good rather than being practical! Figure out what your baby likes and don’t be afraid to stray from advice if it works for you. As long as you have a place for baby to sleep, nappies, clothes and means to feed them, you don’t need much else before they arrive – Don’t be scared to wait and see what you really need before going shopping.

Hermit

So I’ve come to the realisation I am in fact a hermit. Giving birth has resulted in me being happy to stay indoors 22 hours a day. Me and N usually go for a walk in the evening when J gets home from work but apart from that we stay in when were alone together. It is winter.. is that a viable excuse? Probably not. I’m probably damaging N’s mind and he’ll grow up fearing sunlight and have see through pale skin but it’s just so easy. I’d rather stay in and play with him whilst streaming the latest series of The Walking Dead then go through the whole rigmarole of getting him ready; sort out his bag, a bottle, wrestle him into his car seat, drag everything out the house, lock up, get it into the car, listen to his ‘I’m in the car and hate it’ screams. Why bother. Well probably because I’ll end up senile and so fat they’ll have to cut me out of my house when I eventually do need to leave. I really should get out more but I hate baby groups and general mum activities. Any suggestions are always welcome..

 

The cotton bud trick…

Now before I write this and you read it, understand this is not something I ever wanted to admit but desperate times call for desperate measures…

Baby constipation is no joke. When N’s constipated he is inconsolable. He screeches for hours and throws his body around as if he’s possessed, think ‘the last exorcism’ and your half way there. The first time it happened I inevitably Googled baby constipation relief, (what else are you to do when your a mum and have no idea what your doing?) After bottles spiked with prune juice, multiple baths, belly massages and yanking his legs around I stumbled upon a more direct approach. A cotton bud, some Vaseline and a changing mat; use your imagination.

So I’m setting up to try it. J has washed his hands of the whole thing and is sitting across the room. We’re half expecting social services to burst through the door at any moment. I’m not going to lie, it looked like something out of a seedy massage parlour but I’m willing to try anything. To cut things short, you have to pop the end of the cotton bud in their bum, wiggle it a bit and wait for it to work, all the while avoiding eye contact as what you’re doing is a bit creepy. You have to wait about 2 seconds before the gates of hell open. I can only describe it as similar to one of those play dough fun factory’s. I’m positioning nappy after nappy but it just keeps coming. It’s not normal baby poo either -no wonder he was constipated. You wouldn’t think a tiny body could harbour it all. It’s a bit mortifying to do but boy is it effective! The look of relief on N’s face is incredible and I can see why. Be prepared, when you think it’s over, it’s not; Grab a few nappies and give it 20 minutes.

The things you have to do as a mother only get grosser but this does work so keep it in mind, just maybe don’t admit it to anyone else…

After the big event

Everything after birth feels like an absolute dream. You can’t quite believe it’s over with. 9 months has led up to this and it’s over, you’re a parent and your life is changed. Everyone is over the moon. It’s amazing how much joy a baby brings on everyone in your life, not just you. It’s beautiful really. You’ve created something that makes everyone else happy and there yours to keep forever.

But it’s not all rainbows and flowers.. From what I went through, I’ve made a list of the troubles you’ll go through after giving birth;

  • You’ll feel like you’re peeing acid – pour warm water over you whilst you pee and drink loads of water, it really helps.
  • You’ll be exhausted and emotional so be ready for tears over literally anything.
  • You’ll still get contractions, how outrageous is that!? It’s just your uterus going back to size. Also, they get worse when you cuddle your baby because of the hormones the love between you releases! It’s pretty cool but bloody painful too.
  • As fore mentioned, you will bleed more than you think. It’s not normal bleeding either, it’s massive clots too. It’s gross and creepy but it will happen. Get some granny pants you don’t mind chucking afterwards.
  • If you gave birth vaginally, your fanny will hurt….really hurt.
  • You’ll feel like you’ve got the worst hangover of your life. As hard as it is, drink loads and try to rest. My someone else do everything. You just gave birth!!!
  • You probably won’t eat for like a week. Try too, it’ll only make you feel worse.
  • You might feel like you have absolutely no idea what’s going on, what to do or when to do it. Don’t worry, I’m sure everyone feels like that. Trust your instincts. Do what you think is right. Your baby, your rules!
  • DON’T feel bad if you feel like you can’t do it. You can. It’s like the first day of a new job. Everyone wants to know how it’s going and you probably won’t have a clue. It’s completely normal.
  • There not made of glass. Your baby is a baby yes, but don’t feel scared to pick them up, move them, burp them. I was scared to touch N for a while in case I broke him and now I’m as heavy handed as they come.
  • When your milk comes in, you’ll look like Jordan (it’s brilliant) but it hurts like hell. Invest in a massive comfy bra for these days and get some ice on them.
  • I’ve said it before but do NOT feel pressured into visits too soon. Yes, people want to see your baby but you need time to bond with them and get into the swing of things first. You wouldn’t let someone else try your new Xmas present before you did right? Same ( sort of?) thing.
  • The first few days are weird. Baby’s literally sleep 95% of the time and barely eat at first. Don’t worry. They will let you know if they’re hungry. They’ve just come from one world into another so they’re adjusting. They’ll be screaming at you all day and eating every 30 minutes in no time.
  • If you’re breastfeeding, be prepared for your nipples to hurt. Grab some nipple cream and if you’re determined to breastfeed, persevere. It won’t hurt forever, you just need to get through the first few weeks and it’ll ease off.

You’ll settle into things soon, maybe straight away, maybe after a few weeks. Personally it took me ages to get used to having a baby. It was a huge adjustment and I’m still not convinced I’m doing it right..

Come fly with me (joking, run far, far away)

Me and J have just returned from a long weekend in the South of France with a now 12 week old N. We’re crazy right? Yes, yes we are.

We get to the airport and N’s still asleep as it’s early. We get through security without a hitch, grab something to eat and head for the gate. All is going well, N’s still sleeping and I’m pretty confident he’ll sleep through the flight. We queue up to board and I nip off to the loo as my bladder control isn’t what it used to be and plane toilets freak me out – someone told me once that when you flush you get 10 seconds to get out and it flushes the entire room? I think this is bullsh*t but I never risk it. So I walk back from the loo and it’s all kicked off. I see J holding N and he is losing his shit. Apparently he started screaming as soon as I walked away from his pram… which kind of makes me happy I’ll be honest, maybe he does love me a little. I cuddle him and he calms down. We then had the inevitable argument with the Ryanair staff over the fact N has J’s surname and not mine. Yes I am his mother, no I have not kidnapped him etc.

Eventually we get on and I immediately whip out all the baby tools I have; milk, dummies, toys, ipad filled with baby sensory videos, blankets, muslins. I could set up a store with the amount of crap on my tray table, honestly. Just as the staff start their safety demonstration I feel, hear and smell N do a thunder poo. I know it’s bad. I just know that it’s gone everywhere and that this is going to be a fucking nightmare. Of course the seatbelt signs are still on so I can’t even move. The smell starts circulating so I’m burying him in blankets to try and keep it contained. It’s another 30 minutes until I can finally dash to the loo with him.

I took J with me for back up which was pointless as I could barely fit in the loo by myself let alone with him. I’m on my own in there, OK I can do this. I fold the ‘changing table’ down and I kid you not it’s barely bigger than my seat tray table. Same material too (hard plastic with absolutely no grip). I’ve had to lay N down diagonally just to get him on and he is not happy. As soon as I remove his trousers and baby grow I can see the damage. It’s up the back, it’s up the front, it’s out the sides. Trying to remove a shit covered vest from a baby who is screaming, at 20,000 feet, is nigh on impossible. During the procedure, inevitably, both N and I get covered in the yellow stuff. He is now naked, covered in his own crap and sliding around on this crappy plastic tray whilst I try and scrape the shit off my jumper. He is also screaming so loud I’m half expecting to walk out the loo with him and immediately be tackled to the ground for child abuse. I end up stuffing his shitty clothes into the plane bin, wiping him down with both wipes and tap water and carrying him back to our seats with his baby grow undone.

I’m pretty sure we both stunk of shit the entire flight but he ended up going to sleep after that and I could relax. Why does this always happen to me? Anyway, all that aside we had a lovely weekend. Our first little family holiday!