28 things I wish I knew before I had a baby

28 things

 

From the moment those double lines show up on the pregnancy test, we start planning. Just 9 months until your lives are changed forever, and you’re graced with a little mini you. 9 months until you’re responsible for a whole tiny human.

I was over the moon from the moment we found out we were having baby D, but I was also terrified. How could I be responsible for a human life? An entire person?!

There was so much to learn. So many books read, so many apps and websites I signed up to, to try and prepare me for what was to come. People offer out so much advice to help, but unfortunately with me, it went in one ear and out the other.

I invited other parents to share the things that they wish they knew, before having their babies.

Take a look at what they said below:

 

“The pushing part isn’t the bit that hurts the most… It’s the contractions leading up to it that really hurt. When they tell you to start pushing, it’s almost a relief to be able to use the contraction to push your little one out.”

Laura, at Dear Bear and Beany.

“I wish I knew that the baby couldn’t care less whether I have a top of the range changing table (which became a clothes dumping ground), a nappy bin (a regular bin works too you know), 100 different bibs (you pick 3 and rotate), baby shoes (…I won’t state the obvious) and fancy baby food making gadgets (my hand-held blender does the same job)!”

– Gina, at Skint Momma.

“I wished that I knew that, Pethadine makes babies that are going to be breastfed very hard to feed for the first 3 days as it stays in their system and effects them latching on”.

– Kirsty.

 

“Poo comes out in the rain – despite having an expensive washing machine, the best thing I’ve found to get poo out of muslins and clothes is to leave them out in the rain- I think it’s the combination of UV light and volume of water that does it!

– Heledd, at Yummy Blogger.

“How quick they grow!!! To enjoy every precious second of that tiny little bubba..even the colic screams!!”

– Charlotte.

“I wish I knew more about pushchairs. I spent so much money on a pushchair that didn’t suit my lifestyle as it was so big and bulky and could barely fit on a bus. I then replaced it with a stroller to realise my baby was too small for one.”

– Carly, at Mummy and the Chunks.

“Instead of not being able to do things when you have a child, you get to experience more things (albeit maybe different things). I always wonder when people talk about wishing they had travelled before babies, we have actually visited more things with children than we would do without. Having a family is brilliant!”

– Helen, at Casa Costello.

“People kept telling me how the sleepless nights would be a shock when baby arrived… Nobody told me that nearly 2 years on I would still feel exhausted!!!”

– Heledd, at Yummy Blogger.

“I wish I knew in advance how messy babies and kids were! From the day they’re born, you become a human towel. Vomit down the back and wee all over you during nappy changes. Baby food thrown at you during weaning. Grubby hands wiped down you as toddlers. There’s times when I’m genuinely scared to wear smart clothes!”

– Alex, at Random Geeky Dad.

“Breastfeeding hurts, all the books and even the lactation specialists say that if you are breastfeeding correctly it doesn’t hurt. Lucas latched on and fed well and it still hurt, perseverance and Lansinoh did the trick until it stopped hurting and was well worth breaking through the pain barrier.”

Jenni, at Chilling with Lucas.

“How hard it would be to just pop to the shop or just pop anywhere!”

–  Amy, at The Smallest of Things.

“Not to bother with actual clothes for babies until around 6 months, as soon as you pop on the tights, vest and dress combo they will only puke or poo.”

– Clare, at Emmy’s Mummy.

“I  wish I had known more about colic and how to help soothe it. I had heard the word thrown around before but dismissed it and didn’t think it would apply to me. It was a horrible time and wish I had been more prepared!”

– Amy, at This Little Life.

“I wish I knew about colic – and specifically just how difficult it was going to be, and how helpless I would end up feeling because nothing I did helped soothe my baby. Also, when people tell you that colic only lasts 3 months…. all lies.”

– Cat, at Pushing the Moon.

“When you have a baby so long she goes straight into 0-3 make sure you check the baby bag you lovingly packed weeks in advance (months maybe!!), doesn’t just contain beautiful tiny newborn clothes or you may find yourself in a extra large Asda miles from home dealing with a major major poo-splosion & a long queue forming outside the only baby change waiting for you.”

– Louise, at Pink Pear Bear. 

“I wish I REALLY understood that birth plans are not really plans and knew about different ways to birth. This would have enabled me to consider what I would prefer in different scenarios instead of having to make life changing decisions during very difficult moments.”

–  Mo, at  Adventures of a Novice Mum.

“I wished I was prepared for how much pain I would be in after birth. No one tells you about that part and I had no idea it would be so painful for me.”

– Kirsty.

“I wish I’d known not to doubt my instincts. I did know best for me and my baby and everything was going to be OK”

– Laura, at Wafflemama.

“I wish I had known that all the horror stories aren’t always true and actually having a newborn can be a wonderful experience. I would have been able to enjoy it more, without worrying if I was doing it right!”

– Lucy, at The Parent Game.

“Sleep. A full nights sleep. Instead of telling mum’s and dads to make the most of sleep before the baby comes, tell them to instead set their alarms to go off every 3 hours at a ridiculous volume.”

– Becca, at Mrs Flams.

“You buy the best you can afford to turn your little one’s toy box into an all singing, all dancing, battery guzzling, award winning pre-school paradise. Your baby prefers to play with the remote control and an empty crisp packet.”

– Jessica, at Babi a Fi.

” How important it is to look after yourself. If you burn out everyone else struggles too.   ;) still learning this one.”

– Alexandra, at I’m Every Mum.

“I wish someone had told me – identical twins really can happen to you even when there’s no twins in the family and that make you very -very- grey!! (But are bloody ace!!)”

–  Beth, at Twinderelmo.

“That one spare outfit for a day trip is never enough”.

– Julie.

” I wish someone had told us that if you had a baby boy that you should point his *ahem* downwards when changing his nappy! We found out the difficult way ;)”

– Laura, at Mummy Lala

“How little I’d care about make up, getting my hair done or even wearing clean clothes in the early days!”

– Cat, at Rock and Roll Pussycat.

“That mummy guilt is very real and you will feel guilty for the most irrational things but it’s just another sign of how much you love them!”

– Kathryn.

And finally, Kez at Coupon Mama UK pointed out that you can get TONS of free stuff. You can find a bunch of these at Coupon Mama UK, they are super helpful. Take a look here :)

Hope you enjoyed :)

Sam xx

Super healthy, detoxifying Banana & Pineapple smoothie

Bananasmoothie

This smoothie is packed with nutritious, detoxifying ingredients. Pineapple is rich in vitamin C, and together with avocado (if you choose to add it, of course) it is packed with powerful antioxidants – great for the skin! The flaxseed kicks it up a notch by adding Omega 3, protein, iron and magnesium.

This dairy free smoothie is the perfect pick-me-up to keep you going through the day.

(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

1 x frozen banana

1 handful of frozen pineapple

1/4 cucumber

1 handful of spinach

1 x tablespoon of flax seed

Unsweetened almond milk – amount depends on how thick you like your smoothies

Optional:

Add 1/4 avocado, for extra goodness (it will also make it more creamy!)

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

 

Directions

Throw all the ingredients together into a blender, and blend away until smooth.

Peanut butter, Banana & Berry smoothie

PBJ

This one is real tasty. Peanut butter is my absolute favourite, so anything with peanut butter in is a win for me! It’s dairy free, healthy and keeps you full for a long time – an all round win?!

See below the ingredients and method:

(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

1 x frozen banana

2 handfuls of berries (I used Tesco’s frozen bag of mixed berries, but you can use any)

1 x tablespoon of smooth peanut butter

Unsweetened almond milk – amount depends on how thick you like your smoothies

Optional:

I added 1 teaspoon of flaxseed to make it extra healthy.

Method:

It’s pretty simple, chuck it all in a blender and give it a whizz :)

 

 

4 month update

Little Dom is now 4 months old. Time seriously needs to slow down. I’m enjoying myself so much right now, every little moment is just so precious, but time really seems to be slipping away. I just had a little read of my 3 month update post, and it feels like I’ve only just written it. Was that really a whole month ago?! Before I know it, he’ll be 12 months old and I’ll be back at work – SOBS! But I’m trying to keep that at the back of my mind for now.

Anyway, here goes.

Baby

I feel like he’s changing like crazy at the moment. Every day he’s becoming a little stronger, he’s using his hands more, his head’s steadier and he’s finding joy in his toys like he never has before.

Last month I mentioned him being more vocal. Last month isn’t a patch on this month. It’s constant squealing and shouting (good shouting) at the moment. He’s found his voice, and he really wants us to know about it! We surprised my sister-in-law on her birthday recently, and he nearly blew our cover while we were hiding with his new found chattiness.

Last month I also mentioned that he was sleeping a lot more. Well that’s gone out the window. If you read my most recent post, you’ll know he’s no longer sleeping like he used to, so in turn, I’m no longer functioning like I used to. Enter, zombie mum (again!). I believe this is the four month sleep regression taking its toll. See here, for that story.

He’s become much more interactive now too. Probably something to do with the masses of toys we’ve acquired over the Christmas period. We now have play ‘stations’ for him. The Baby Einstein jumper being one of them. It’s amazing! It’s very similar to the Jumparoo, which you’ve probably heard of. It is a God send.

IMG_5277

The Baby Einstein in all it’s glory.

We also have a Blossom Farm Sit Me Up which is really good, as it doubles up as a little ring for him to lay/play in (since my Dad mentioned it, all I can see is ribs underneath the pony’s head?! It’s got the bone and everything) This on top of the activity mat we already have, there’s always something to occupy little Dom, so we can rotate around the stations until he gets tired or over stimulated.

IMG_5279.jpg

The Pony Sit up. See the bones??

I’ve decided to start weening him off the boob this month. Due to the copious amounts of dribble, hand gumming, grumpiness and the tiny white bump on his gums, I’m fairly certain that teething is well under way. And I for one, do not want him to be feeding from me when he’s got a nice sharp set of nashers. I’ll still express (I’m still a little too scared to move on from my milk just yet), but feed him with a bottle. The idea is that we ween him off bit by bit, a bottle a day, then 2, and so on. So far, it’s not going so well. The other morning I managed a whole 1/2 an ounce. That’s the most I’ve managed in a while, so I’ll take it as a small victory, and persevere.

Me

As above, I’m a little zombified as of late. More so than when he was a newborn. But that could be do to with the fact it was all brand new before, so maybe it didn’t hit me as hard back then…? Although he always went about 3 hours before waking up,  rather than 1-2, so that’s more likely it.

I feel I’m finally getting the hang of this whole parenting malarky now. I can now do pretty much anything whilst holding Dominic. A multitasking God, if you will… (or something like that…) I’m also starting to trust my own instincts, and my own decisions – something I struggled with before as I was bombarded with other people’s opinions – not always a bad thing, but it can make things harder as my brain was overloaded with too much information. I’m Googling less (which really was a big problem) and just enjoying the time I have with my little man, without constantly worrying something is wrong.

That’s all for this month,  s’later :)

The four month sleep regression

sleep regression

It wasn’t long ago I was feeling secretly smug about my baby’s sleeping habits. He slept well in the day, and fairly well at night. Better yet, he’d even put himself to sleep at night. No rocking him to and fro, no endless singing to try and get him to nod off. All it took, was laying him gently into bed, and he’d put himself to sleep within about 10 minutes.

We had a fairly good sleep routine going. It would involve a bath (every other night), a bedtime story, followed by some breast milk. I thought this was the foolproof way for an easy, stress free  bedtime. During the night when he’d wake, I’d give him a quick feed (only lasting about 4-5 minutes) and then he’d nod off fairly instantly.

I was living the dream. We were genius’ – we’d cracked it! What were people complaining about?

That was until about 3 weeks ago.

Before, little man would only wake once in the night, and once again early in the morning (depending how tired I was, I’d then decide whether to get up or try and get him back to sleep). However now he’ll wake 3 or 4 times, and won’t go back to sleep afterwards.

Bedtime isn’t quite the walk in the park it used to be either. We still stick to the exact same routine, but as soon as little one is put into bed, the waterworks start, and are pretty hard to stop. It now takes a good hour or so of rocking and bum tapping to get him to fall asleep.

After a little research (well, Googling) I’ve discovered that there is a reason to all these changes.

I believe I’ve been cursed with the 4 month sleep regression.

Around this stage, baby’s brain is developing and maturing. They’re now beginning to sleep more like adults. Which means, (apparently) that rather than sleeping deeply through most of the night, they now flitter between light (REM) and deep sleep. And, when they get into their lighter sleep state, they’re likely to wake up before returning to the deeper sleep, as they don’t know how to self comfort yet.

This ‘maturing of the brain’ is also what causes our babies to start doing more things, and being more alert. Which means that they’re switched on for a lot longer. They are also getting ready to drop a nap during the day, which in turn, affects their sleeping at night.

From what I’ve learnt, the main indicators of the regression:

  • Extra wakings in the night
  • The dropping of a nap during the day
  • An extra fussy baby
  • Changes in baby’s appetite

So, if you’re baby is doing this and you’re around the 4 month mark, you’re likely experiencing the sleep regression too.

Something I think I may have been doing wrong is putting baby to bed later, to try and get him to sleep longer. But apparently that’s the worst thing I could have done. Getting baby overtired means that they’re more likely to wake during the night. As such, I’m going to attempt to start putting him to bed a little earlier – I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m also going to stop ‘topping him up’ so regularly, and give him longer feeds at more regular intervals (of course I won’t stop him from feeding if he needs it) so that he can hopefully have a longer, more sleep inducing feed before bedtime.

I’ve also just invested in a snazzy little Grobag to try and help him sleep better, as he always wakes up with his covers kicked to the end of the bed.

Apparently this is permanent (pass me the Redbull…), but with time their sleeping patterns will improve, once they learn to self sooth. There is light at the end of the tunnel!