The Devil Mum: The Sleep Diaries, part 3

Devil mum

Once again, it’s been a long time since I last posted, and a lot has happened.

You may remember from my last post in the Sleep Diaries, that me and my beloved had parted ways. I was at my wits end, and wanted nothing more than his return. Well my friends, it is with great pleasure I can declare that we’ve been reunited once again. And boy, what a beautiful time it’s been.

Who do I have to thank? Well, that’s my not so public relationship with sleep training (until now).

*Waits for judgemental stares……*

Yep. Sleep training.

Almost everyone’s face drops when I tell them. I can instantly see the judgement in their eyes…

“She lets her baby cry? What a she devil!!”

Not everyone realises that sleep training doesn’t mean ‘crying it out’ and leaving your baby to cry all night. There are SO. MANY. METHODS. I place emphasis on this, because as a severely sleep deprived Mum, I wanted nothing more than to scour through pages and pages of information about which methods would make me a ‘good’, but unhappy Mum, or a ‘bad’, but rested Mum. After a lot of research, and I mean ALOT, I decided to try out the ‘pick up put down‘ method.

This lasted all of 45 minutes.

While it may work for other families, picking up D proved too stimulating for him, and just made things 10 times worse. All of that research I’d done to reach this decision, out the window in just a few minutes. Within the following 2 minutes, I changed my mind and decided to go with ‘controlled comforting/crying’.

As I said… Devil mum, I know.

I did alter the method to fit with what I was comfortable with though, which I won’t bore you with the details, but it was a bit ‘gentler’ than what the standard method suggests. Mainly because I felt God awful about doing this method before we actually started it. I scoured through forums, trying to find likeminded women to try and persuade myself that I wasn’t a horrible person, and that I was doing the right thing. This link best describes how we went about it. Good ol’ Jo Frost.

At first I thought I could cheat… I would properly follow the method at bedtime, but when he woke in the night I quickly gave up and started feeding him the second he became unsettled. I also thought getting into his cot with him and feeding him laying down wouldn’t count, as I wasn’t picking him up. Nobody would know, right? Well, nobody other than my baby… you know… the one who I was trying to sleep train. So, yeah… that didn’t work. Day by day his sleeping got worse and worse.

The following weekend, I decided to go all out.

I COULD DO THIS.

Within 2 nights D was sleeping better. Sleeping in 3 hour intervals rather than the 1 hourly wakings I’d grown accustomed to. Sure, I was up with him for a while at each waking, but he was waking less often.

Fast forward a few weeks, and he’s now waking once, maybe twice a night on a typical night. And it really shows – in both of us. D is so much more alert and happier in the day, and I’m actually functioning like a normal human being again.

No longer do I feel the need to call my husband crying because “my baby won’t sleep!!!!!”.

No longer do I spend my days searching the depths of Google, desperately trying to find out how to get him to sleep.

And no longer do I feel like an awful Mum, for sleep training my baby. I can now be the best Mum I can be, because I have the energy to do so.

And we all lived happily after.

The end.

(I hope…)

Little Pickles Market

Today Dominic and I took a little trip to Little Pickles Market. I’m not usually one for markets as they’re so busy. And I hate busy. I’m the same with sales, with clothes in piles everywhere, it’s unorganised and people bump into me left, right and centre. I can’t stand ’em. And if I hated them before, I hate them 10 times more now that I’m pushing a buggy around.

Despite my feelings for unorganised, busy places, today I wanted to give it a go.

As I’d expected, it was manic. A fairly small hall, filled with parents upon parents, most of whom where pushing around prams. I had to do a few circuits before I actually managed to get close enough to a stall. But when I did, I was pleasantly surprised.

There was a huge selection of boys clothes to choose from, and it wasn’t a huge jumble, it was all actually very organised. There were a lot of toys too, but Dominic has far too many, I didn’t want to clutter up our house even more. The people running the stalls were lovely too – for some reason I had it in my head that they’d be grumpy and disinterested, but having said that, the market only ran for an hour and a half, so they didn’t have much time to get bored!

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The front one is my favourite. DINO-SIR!

I ended up purchasing 3 t-shirts from a lovely lady, and some dungarees from another. All in all, it cost me £3! I was so pleased. No wonder people go mad for markets. I think today I’ve been converted.

 

Next time I’ll be smart though, and bring Dominic in his carrier for optimum weaving ability, and to spare my sanity a little.

 

p.s. There is another Little Pickles market going on tomorrow in Eastleigh, for anyone interested. They also run Bigger Pickle events for the older ones.

Review: Amber anklets

 

Teething. Ohhhhh teething. The bane of my life. Why is my poor baby being made sad by all these teeth invading his mouth?

Until my boy was about 2 months old, I’d never even heard of Amber or it’s supposed pain relieving qualities. I was at a First Time Parents group, when some of the mums brought it up. Admittedly, at the time I thought nothing of it. If I’m honest, I thought it was a bit silly – how on earth could a bracelet/anklet/necklace stop the pain of teething? And if it really did work, why on earth had I not heard of it yet?!

Anyway, I quickly dismissed the idea of ever using one, and put it to the back of my mind. Who believes that kind of stuff anyway?

Enter, teething.

Once Dom had starting teething, I was very quick to eat my words and jump onto the amber bandwagon. Before I purchased anything, I did a lot of research online. I quickly saw a big divide in people’s opinions. The ‘specialists’, if you like, dismissed the idea that they work, suggesting that there wasn’t enough proof. However looking at actual reviews, other people were suggesting otherwise. The products on Amazon are jam packed with reviews of people advocating these anklets, saying how they stopped the teething pains and dribbling of their babies very soon after using them.

At that point I was pretty desperate. My son had become a regular waker in the night, and was a lot grumpier than usual. And a grumpy baby, means a grumpy mummy. Based on the fact I can actually see the white marks in his gums, I can only assume that this, along with the extra dribbling, and the ear pulling (something I’ve read is linked to teething pain), was confirmation of him teething.

So, off I went to the interweb to order me an anklet. I chose an anklet as I really don’t like the idea of something around Dom’s neck. I feel it would be far too easy for him to strangle himself, and with bracelets I thought that if he broke it, he could easily get hold of one of the beads and choke on it. So, I opted for an anklet that I could secure it underneath his socks and baby grows.

Amber

When it arrived, I was quite pleased with it. I got mine from Amazon from a company called ‘I like Amber’. It was cute, I really liked the design and it was elasticated so it ‘grew’ with the baby.  It was tiny. I couldn’t figure out how such a tiny anklet could cost £12.00. Don’t get me wrong, £12.00 isn’t extortionate by any means, but for that tiny little thing?! Keep in mind when looking at the below picture, I have the hands of a school girl.

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Anyway, I quickly put it on my sons ankle in anticipation that soon, he would be symptom free, and I would finally get some rest at night.

My husband and a number of other people I’d told about it thought it was ridiculous. They kept calling it ‘voodoo’, and made fun of me for thinking that it could possibly make a difference.

From my research, I understood that the warmth of the baby heats the amber a little, which makes the oils from the amber absorb into the skin, and in turn becomes a natural form of pain relief for the child. I felt pretty well researched, and reviews don’t lie, so I confidently stood my ground and insisted that soon, Dom would no longer be in discomfort and would stop dribbling too.

A few days passed, and there was no improvement in my sons mood, and so, no improvement in my sleep. I figured it could take a while, so kept it on him for a while longer. After all, I had heard of cases where it had taken a couple of weeks.

4 weeks on, and my sons teething symptoms still haven’t improved at all.

I’ve decided to remove the anklet, as to be honest, it was a pain in the bum anyway. Despite thinking I could keep it on with socks, it would still manage to escape. Now that he grabs his feet, he’d also try and pull it off when changing him. And, most importantly, there was no improvement in his symptoms.

This is not to say that they don’t work for other babies, as if you read the reviews, other parents swear by then. But unfortunately, in our case, it didn’t work at all.

Whether or not I’ll admit this to my husband, is a different story.

 

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

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.

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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.

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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 :)