I honestly can’t even comprehend where the past six months have gone!? In a blink of an eye, my teeny squishy newborn baby has already changed and grown up so much, into this gorgeous, cheeky little baba! She has the most precious personality and amazes me with every milestone she achieves!! I am such a proud mummy! So I thought I would round up everything that we have been through for you all, giving you a full update on Maddison’s development!
I thought I’d start with Maddison’s movement, because OMG is she a wiggler!!! She is so so desperate to crawl, walk and explore! So Maddie first rolled over at 10 weeks old – I couldn’t believe it! This didn’t seem right.. not already surly?! 3 weeks later she totally mastered rolling onto her belly from her back! We’re still working on front to back.. it happens occasionally but 90% of the time it’s by accident hehe! Maddison has always preferred to sit upright and be involved in what’s going on, and she first was able to sit unaided (okay for only 60 seconds..) at 4 months old! 2 weeks on, she was happily sitting up all on her own, no support, playing and taking everything in! She loves sitting bolt upright and tall like a little meerkat hehe! She is now on the verge of trying to crawl!! From sitting, she will go forward onto her hands and knees but can’t quite master moving a hand and falling onto her face bless her! And during tummy time, she will do this caterpillar/army crawl across the floor to try and get to her toys! So maybe not long now till we have a crawler…
We are also now onto solids! Maddie took to food really easily and I have to say.. she’s not as messy as I expected... (please say I’ve not just jinxed myself by typing that hehe!) She managed to take food off the spoon, chew and swallow like it was second nature! Although she really doesn’t like having water yet! She’ll start sipping, realise it’s not milk and then spit it out everywhere, I’m sure we’ll get there! She always seems so proud of herself when she has her finger food! I always get the biggest smile out of her as if she’s saying “look mummy, look what I can do!” She absolutely adores, bananas – my little monkey! And lots of veggies! Josh is desperate to get her on avocados because of their good healthy fats and omegas.. but it’s the one food (so far) that she hates haha!! Also cold cucumber sticks are AMAZING to help her sooth her little teething gums!
And speaking of teething… we now have 2 teeth!!
It’s felt like FOREVER this teething business, and I know we’ve still got a long way to go.. But last week, within a matter of days, toothy number 1 popped through and then toothy number 2 was right behind! Bingo! It’s so adorable when she smiles seeing these teeny tiny little nashers!!
So far it’s all sounded like we’ve been doing well.. but the nights have become a bit of a battle! The other week I wrote about us preparing to put Maddie into her cot in her own room! (Click here to read about crib to cot) Which we are now doing, but the nights are so hit and miss! I have to admit, the lack of sleep is really starting to hit me and I'm worried about getting run down and cranky. I'm struggling, but that's okay! I know it's normal and motherhood isn't a peachy perfect easy ride! Of course there are highs, but there are also lows. One night, Maddie will go down no problem, but then wake up 5 times in the night! OR take 10 attempts to settle but will then sleep through the night or just wake once for a feed?! Sometimes she won’t wake properly, it’s just be a case of me popping her dummy back in and she drifts right off! Problem is, I'm then wide awake! It’s so hard to work out what it causing our varied nights.. it could be her teething pains, it could be getting used to her own bed still, it could be separation anxiety, another leap, growth spurt.. who knows! But we are getting through it… Gosh do I miss my baby that used to sleep 10 hours straight!! Where did she go haha?! As long as we keep pursuing, I’m sure we’ll come out the other side eventually..
Maddison has also become SUCH a chatter box hehe!! She’s forever babbling and cooing away! She has just started saying “ba-ba-ba” and I swear it has even come out like “ma-ma-ma” sometimes (maybe I’m just getting over excited but I could’ve sworn that’s what it sounded like!!!) It’s amazing having her communicate, I can’t wait to find out what her first word will be!! In all honesty, I can’t quite remember when Maddie first laughed, but I know it was fairly early on.. you can’t get her to stop giggling or squeaking!
Finally, and I find this one hilarious… Maddison has just become obsessed with sticking her tongue out and blowing raspberries haha!! It’s like she’s just discovered how much she can move her tongue on it’s own, maybe the eating has helped that? Or it’s like she’s intrigued with feeling her new teeth with her tongue! But the raspberries are just adorable! Maybe I’ve influenced her by blowing too many on her belly (which always makes her laugh!) and now she’s copying mama!
So I think I’ve covered most things.. it honestly has been such a whirlwind but the best journey of my life! Here is to the next 6 months when Maddie will turn 1 year’s old!!! Eeeekkk!!
Lots of Love, Bethany xxx
I think we have reached a milestone that I was dreading. Not dreading in a bad way, but dreading because it means my baby girl is getting big and growing up!! And that is.. moving into her big cot in her OWN room!
Okay, so little background of Maddison’s sleep pattern.. and I feel we have had quite a journey. From about 5/6 weeks old, till about 4 months, she would sleep a glorious and ridiculously satisfying 8-10 hours at night! (Click here to read about our bedtime routine). This then changed at about 17 weeks old, when we hit the dreaded 4th leap – which for us personally was the worst! I barely noticed any of the other leaps, but this one was draining! Maddison started to wake anywhere between 2-4 times a night, which I know isn’t horrendous, I know there are some mama’s that have babies who refuse to sleep at all! But it was definitely a shock to the system for me! After that, it had calmed down to waking only once in the night (minus the week when Maddie had an ear infection – that wasn’t fun at all!) which is fine! Once in the night is still good, she’ll sleep about 6 hours, wake for a feed then sleep another 2-3 hours, so I’m still grateful for that!!
This past week though, Maddison’s woken up for the feed like normal, then absolutely refuses, despite how ever much I try, to go back to sleep in her crib. She will only sleep in our bed. She tries to settle bless her, but just lets off this squeaky cry! But as soon as I pull her next to me in our bed, she’s fine! It’s like she wants to sleep, but just isn’t comfortable in her crib!?! Co-sleeping is something that I never really imaged doing much, but when you are so desperate to get back to sleep.. you’ll do anything!! So not only is Maddison preferring to sleep in our bed at night, but she always seems to have the BEST and longest naps on our bed too! (Which is great for me so I can actually get some housework done haha!) But it got me thinking.. maybe she’s enjoying having the space?
Up until this point, Maddison has been sleeping in a crib next to my side of the bed in our room. It was actually my cot I had when I was a baby – so special! But I have noticed her head and feet getting closer and closer to the ends.. she never looks squished, but she does tend to spread out and sleep like a starfish haha! So with her ever growing long limbs, maybe she just needs that bit more space now?
The problem that I’m having is, I want to give her more room, but don’t feel ready to let her sleep in her own room yet! Unfortunately, we live in quite a little house, and there is just no room for her big cot in our room with us, so that’s not an option!
Do I just need to relax and give it a try? Is this just one of the many times I’ll have to learn to let it go as a mummy? I’m not being clingy am I? At the end of the day, obviously I want what’s best and most comfortable for her (plus I’d love to have a good nights sleep myself again haha!) I guess the worry is not hearing her wake in the night before it turns into proper hysterical cry and needs me for whatever reason, also I find it so relaxing hearing her squeaky dream snores! But I think that’s normal and what every mum goes through, right?
So I’ve come up with a plan to try and meet in the middle! A transition point I guess…
The other weekend, I went to stay at my mum’s house. Rather than taking the crib with me, we bought a travel cot for Maddison to sleep in. Which seems huge compared to her crib, but still not quite as big as her cot! And Maddie actually slept really well in it! So the plan is, to set that up by our bed in our bedroom (which JUST about fits!) so she’ll have more space to sleep, but still be next to me. I think that’s a good meet in the middle point for now!
IF that goes smoothly, I will then just suck it up and take the proper plunge of putting her in her own room, maybe in the new year once she’s just turned 6 months!
Will keep you posted on how it goes, but hopefully that’s the answer to our sleep woes right now! Can’t believe how fast she is growing!!
How did you cope with baby going into their own room? Did you try a transition like I’m trying? Any tips or advice? I’d love to hear as always! Lots of love Bethany x
Over the past month or so, Maddison's interest in our food has become un-be-lievable! We cannot sit down at the dinner table without her glaring at our every mouthful with big inquisitive puppy dog eyes, and sticking her tongue out at us - as if she's trying to join in! (It's actually pretty darn cute!) Maddison is now 21 weeks old (5 months on Friday). I had always planned that I would breastfeed till 6 months and would then start weaning her. However as we all know, planning and babies don't exactly go hand-in-hand!! For a start the breastfeeding for me unfortunately didn't work, (read my breastfeeding journey here.) so Maddison has been a 100% formula fed baby for roughly the past 6 weeks now. Secondly, I know that all the standard weaning courses and NHS say it's best to wait till 6 months till you wean baby due to gut development. But now I know my little girl, and for various reasons have had it suggested to me we start, I've been deliberating the idea more and more...
I've discovered that Maddison is doing every milestone ahead of her time, she's seems to be developing unbelievably fast and doing things wayyyy before the "average" age that babies would normally do. For a start she's pretty much had amazing neck control from the day she was born, looking up and around. She first rolled over at 10 weeks old and then nailed it by 13 weeks. Was reaching, hitting and grabbing things since 8 weeks old. Has now been sitting up on her own for the past 4 weeks. The list goes on! Every time she's achieved a new milestone, rather than jumping for joy I was like, "nooo this can't be right?! How the bloody hell did you do that already?!" so any reading of the baby books I did do, has basically gone out the window and I've given up on haha!!
She is already giving me all the "signs" I've read or heard about, that apparently mean she's ready to start weaning (and has been doing so for the past 3 weeks at least!). She can sit up in her highchair on her own (so fine to swallow). Is ALWAYS interested in and watches us eat our food. While we eat she sits there licking her lips, sticking her tongue out and doing what looks like chewing air! It is hilarious! Anything and everything she grabs goes straight into her mouth, so she has mastered that hand-eye coordination that babies need to start weaning. We have never had a problem with her bowel movement, which I guess is a good indicator her digestive system and gut is working well? (not that I'm a pro!) And I'm not thinking I need to wean because she seems extremely hungry! Just more a case of her curiosity. So due to all these signs she's been giving me... it has been making me more and more tempted to start weaning Maddison fairly soon.
I guess when it comes to it, my plan is to literally start with the basics initially, I'm not going to go all Jamie Oliver on my baby and creating loads of extravagant and overly complicated meals! I'm talking trying a tiny bit of Baby Rice, which I'll make with her formula to see how she copes with the chewing and swallowing. Then if that seems okay, move on to the good stuff like a bit of blended/mashed up veggies or fruit. I'm certain as well she would LOVE to get her hands (and gums) on some cooling cumber sticks to help her teething - hehe! So really basic to start, then take it from there! I was very lucky to go to an event a few months ago to celebrate the launch of a new baby food brand My Little Piccolo, where we had a weaning workshop lead by one of their wonderful nutritionists and recipe creators Alice. So I feel totally swatted up in what to give Maddison from all her tips and knowledge and what to do when she's learning to chew/swallow and overcome chocking etc.!
One of the best things I think I learnt on the weaning workshop, was not to be scared of flavour! When it comes to seasoning.. go for it! Add in pepper, paprika, chilli, garlic, cinnamon etc! Apparently if you give your baby bland foods, then they're more likely to become a fussy eater! So that'll be fun to try! Also I never realised the importance of (healthy) fat for babies! Apparently they need higher fat diets to give them more reserve, Josh will be pleased to hear that! He'll be giving Maddison lots of avocados for the healthy fats they contain I'm sure! (We love avocados in our house hehe!) Also, how important it is to watch out for too much sugar in babies food and diet. A lot of branded supermarket foods, put wayyyy too much sugar for kids in their products! So finding good brands, that are aware of sugar, or just simply making things from scratch at home are best to avoid any nasties!!
I personally, don't see it as the end of the world starting to wean little one slightly early. I know from speaking to other mums that formula feed their babies, they started before the general 6 month mark. And I know there are some circumstances/situations where little one needs to start earlier, which would be consulted with a doctor! I think it all goes back to remembering every baby is different, develops differently and so you can't really compare! I know one mum who weaned both her babies at 4 months and they've never had a problem - they loved it! On the other side, I know someone's baby who refused anything but breast till 7 months! It completely varies! Back in the day, my grandma gave my mum solids in her first week of being born!! Obviously, times change and we have MUCH more knowledge and research now, but she's never had stomach problems, allergies or IBS etc! Of course, if it doesn't agree with Maddison (and we maybe get a few poo-narmis!), it's not like we can't just go back to the bottle for a few more weeks and then try again later!
At the end of the day, no one knows a baby like their mama does. I don't think it's fair for anyone to judge and start jumping on another mother when they don't know that individual baby or their history... I feel much more confident about the thought of starting weaning soon as when I met a nutritionist the other day, she just saw Maddison's behaviour as I was trying to munch on a protein bar and she just said, "omg that baby is SO ready to wean! Go for it!". And I have also had it recommended for my baby by our doctor due to other reasons. It's so reassuring that a professional agrees with all the signs or suggests giving it a go, it makes me feel I'm making the right decision for MY baby. (Of course, it's always good to check with a health professional either GP, Health Visitor, Nutritionist etc!)
Now I've pretty much made up my mind to give it a go soon, I'm getting myself all prepared trying to find baby spoons, bowls and more durable bibs, ready for her when that first feed comes! Any brand recommendations of good baby bowls/spoons etc. please do let me know mamas! Also if you have an great baby food tips/recipes also let me know! With Maddison's ridiculous amount curiosity I'm sure she'll love exploring new tastes! And I can't wait to see her facial expressions as she's trying everything hehe! I've also stocked up on the antibacterial wipes, as I'm pretty certain things are going to be getting messy in our kitchen haha!! I guess sterilising bottles will seem like a breeze compared to having to clean up after preparing, cooking, blending and feeding Maddie our mushy baby creations!!
Mama's.. give me a heads up.. which foods stain clothes the worst and I should definitely watch out for haha?!
My mum also gave me a tip... she said she used to make up a load of baby food and then store it in the freezer in ice-cube trays! She said they were the perfect size for a baby portion to start off with! And it saved having to make a mess everytime we needed feeding! She just used to take out a cube of blended spinach or something and warm it up! Always get the best tips/hacks from my mummy hehe!
When did you start to wean your little one? How did it go? Any tastes they particularly loved or hated?!
Lots of Love, Bethany x
Safe to say we have had a VERY difficult couple of weeks. Maddison has not only been going through the 4th leap, which I have to say has been a bloody long and draining one! (Sorry to any mums reading that have it yet to come!) we've experienced a few weeks of sleep regression.. which thankfully seems to have passed now (fingers crossed)! BUT on top of that, she has been really struggling with her teething!!
I feel like this teething process has been going on, and on, forever now!! Maddison first starting showing signs of teething at 10 weeks... I know right?! I didn't quite believe it myself at first, till I told my GP and she confirmed my suspicions! The endless dribbling, the need to bite her fists and fingers and everything else for that matter! Rosy flushed cheeks coming and going. She had also started rubbing her face like mad, I thought she just had a really itchy face at first and maybe this was the start of eczema or something? But no, it was teething. The average baby starts teething around the 6 month mark, but it can start anywhere normally between 3 months - 12 months old! And DID YOU KNOW: 1 in 2000 babies are actually born with a tooth already! These are called Natal Teeth!
Anyway, fast forward to today.. still teething, but no sign of any teeth yet?! I feel like every morning, I'm always checking her gums to see if any pearly whites have decided to break through those little pink gums. Only to be disappointed once again! I do feel like we could be getting close to a break through now though. Maddison is becoming more grizzly and irritable everyday, despite the Wonder Weeks app telling me she should be a happy sunshine at the minute! I feel like we are on a teething rollercoaster going up and down constantly, one minute she seems happy and chirpy, then two seconds later she is screaming the house down! Somedays her cheeks are so flushed it looks like she's raided my makeup draw and taken inspiration from a pantomime dame haha! Plus her bite is becoming painfully strong! If she decided to grab your hand and bite your finger, you'd be in for a shock! A toothy must be appearing soon.. right?
I don't think I also quit realised just how long the teething process would take. Obviously I knew it takes a while for a tooth to come through, but living and going through it all with Maddison.. wow it does feel never ending! The discomfort of their little teeth moving around and slowly making their way up through the gums can go on for months without having any teeth actually appear! It will be amazing when that first tooth does finally make an appearance!
I can completely sympathise with my little Maddie at the moment, because I have a Wisdom tooth breaking through and that is most uncomfortable! But at least I guess we are going through the pain together! Although I do wish I could just take all the pain away for her and suffer alone!
We have tried various methods and products to help with her teething. For example.. we tried gels like Bonjela, but that just was messy and didn't seem like it helped, either that or I missed her gums completely haha. We've tried the infant teething powder, which did seem to help her grisliness but that went EVERYWHERE and seemed to give her a little reflux, so abandoned that also. Personally I've found the good old classic teething rings (the ones you can put in the fridge to cool) the best, as Maddison loves to grab and bite everything so it works! Plus I'm lucky that she will actually take her formula cold from the fridge! Which obviously makes life easier for me not having to heat it up, but I think the cold milk also helps soothe her gums!
So for now I guess it's just a waiting game for these little toothies, and finding as many ways as possible to keep her happy and the dull the pain the best I can!!
When did your little one get their first tooth? Anything amazing you discovered to help baba while their going through the gummy aches and pains?! I'd love to know! Either comment below or feel free to message me! Thanks for reading!
Love Bethany x
So I have been on such a rollercoaster of a hair journey throughout my whole pregnancy and into motherhood! I am still going through one now! And I'm not talking just about hairstyles, I'm talking about horrific hormones and now the dreaded postpartum hair loss has kicked in! It's not something I've really spoken about till now. I've just been keeping my feelings and worries cooped up to myself, which I know is not healthy! So here it is...
I have always felt really protective over my hair. When I was younger, I always dreaded going to the salon as I had such bad trust issues with hairdressers! They honestly used to scare me! I think also, having good hair is so important for me personally because, if you have a spot on your face, all you need is a bit of makeup and its covered up no problem! Bad hair day though.. and there is NO hiding! Plus, if you're dealing with a spot on your face, you want good hair to balance/counteract the spot.. You know what I mean ladies??!
Throughout my pregnancy I struggled so badly with dandruff, as soon as I hit the second trimester I was cursed with looking like I'd just been outside and it was snowing! (URGH!) I never had a flakey or sore scalp, just out of nowhere was this constant supply of dandruff! I felt so so miserable.. not only did my hair look crap, but I also had awful pregnancy acne (talk about bad luck!) Just give me one or the other?! Not both?! I just wanted to walk around with a paper bag on my head and cry!
After many many product trials, I finally found a combination that kept the dandruff at bay! I would first wash my hair with Neutrogena's T-Gel shampoo for sensitive scalp and then I would wash my hair again with The Little Goat Soap Company shampoo bar. This shampoo bar is actually designed to help with eczema of the scalp, but it totally did the job with my dandruff! I couldn't use ANY other products on my hair other than these two, and conditioners definitely didn't agree with me!
As soon as I gave birth, I had this incredible mane of glossy and dandruff free hair!! (OMG IT WAS AMAZING!) Okay, somedays my hair was slightly greasy due to Maddie being a newborn and me not having a lot of time.. but at least it was flake free! Or so I thought... At 12 weeks postpartum, I started to notice the dreaded dandruff coming back! I was so unbelievably frustrated! I had NEVER had a problem with dandruff my whole life, so now I'd given birth.. why the hell was I having problems again?! I thought those hormones had gone once I'd given birth?
Little did I realise.. This was the start/lead up to the dreaded postpartum hair loss..
I used to joke and say, "I know why women get postpartum hair loss, because the babies pull it out!" (at that point Maddie was 10 weeks old and started to pull and grab everything in her sight including my hair!) Inside however, I could feel my stomach tightening at the thought of loosing my hair. That protectiveness over my hair started creeping back inside of me. From 15 weeks postpartum to now, I have noticed more and more of my hair falling out. When I brush, wash, blow-dry, curl, or even run my fingers through my hair! Plus there's a little cheeky madam that also likes to pull my hair out - thanks Maddison! I have this constant stream of hair falling out all over the place! It really is deflating to see, because there's not a lot I can do other than condition and protect my hair with masks etc! I am lucky however that I have seriously thick hair (and a lot of it), so it's not noticeable. But mentally it's horrible to go through! I recently did treat myself to a colour change of my hair and had a full head Balayage done at Micheal John salon in Knightsbridge by the amazing Despina! It has made me feel more confident and better about the whole hair loss situation, and it was a change I felt happy with because no dye was applied to my actual scalp in the technique.
I believe hair is such an important part of your identity, for men and women! There are so many styles and colours you can have that these days to make you feel like you. So the thought of loosing part of your identity, something that makes you you, is just heartbreaking! I can't even imagine what it's like loosing ALL your hair through something traumatic like chemotherapy..
As hard and as deflating as it is to go through, stay strong mama's! I know seeing clumps of your hair fall onto the fall makes you want to cry (I've been there), but the good thing about hair is it WILL GROW BACK! Normally between 85%-95% of the hair on your head is actively growing! (Click here to read more about Postpartum Hair Loss from BabyCentre.com) And it's not like we are going through this for a negative reason.. What's a bit of hair loss when we have a beautiful baby in front of us?! Hell, I'd definitely take hair loss any day for my Maddie!! (Despite being an overly protective hair freak!)
I'm currently still going through the loss, so no idea when it'll calm down and stop! I'm hoping it'll be soon! I've read that women can experience it between 3-6 months, but that it should all go back to normal by 1 year postpartum! Anyone further ahead of me that has come out the other side of postpartum hair loss? I'd love to know!!
But like I said, remember ladies, it's worth it for our babies!! I have to tell myself that every whenever I'm feeling low about it!! Feel free to share your experiences below or contact me via the social page! Lots of Love x
I never expected to say this so soon after having Maddison but.. I'm feeling ridiculously broody?! "But you already have a baby?!" I hear you say, I know! But for some reason I just can't stop thinking about the next one!! Obviously I'm not wishing time away with Maddison, I love and adore her more than I ever could have imagined! I am making the most of every second of every day, because time goes just way too fast! I still can't believe she's 4 months old already. But there is just something so so incredible about having a teeny tiny newborn curled in your arms!! You know what I mean? Please say you have this feeling too?!
Whenever I'm not with Maddie and I see another baby, my heart just jumps and I want another! Or if I'm with friends and hold one of their babies, I want another! Watching "One born every minute" (which I have been obsessed with since being pregnant!) Makes me want to have the whole experience again! I find myself everyday saying something to Josh along the lines of "when I'm next pregnant.." or "when we have our next..", "If we have another girl, do you like this name?" or "oh I must save that ready for the next baby!" etc. etc.... I must sound like some baby obsessed lady! Like one of those crazy cat ladies, except with babies haha!
I often think to myself.. is this normal? Is it usual for women to get sooo unbelievably broody after having a baby?! I just enjoy every single minute of every day with Maddison, every tear, every poo.. it's all worth it! I also feel because I was lucky in having a fairly straight forward pregnancy and labour, it is another reason why I am so keen to have another baby already. Well I say that.. but I think my judgement and memory of being pregnant is clouded because all I can see is my beautiful little girl sat in front of me! I was horrifically sick.. incredibly uncomfortable and large.. awful hip pain.. and my labour was lonngggg!!! As my mum would say, "I'm looking through rose tinted specticals!!" But none of that seems to matter. My experience was definitely not traumatic enough to put me off. I'd totally do it all again to have another little squishy!!
Josh and I have always had a rough plan of when we'd like to have another. We would ideally love around a 3 year gap between Maddison and a second baby. For us personally, we always said we really don't want to do the whole "two-under-two" thing. I know it works for some.. but I always said I wanted Maddie walking around before having another - the thought of having to carry around two babies just seems like a lot of work! Plus the thought of having to re-buy everything because Maddison's not quite outgrown her carseat or cot. I think that makes Josh panic because you can literally see the pound signs pilling up in his eyes haha!! Now I have Maddison though, 3 years feels soooooo far away!! I honestly would get pregnant again now if I could! (In other words... if Josh would let me haha!) I definitely don't want any longer than 3 years though. My sisters and I are so so close and I'd love for my children to have that lovely close relationships.
Another (sensible) reason why we wanted to have a 3 year gap, is because I really wanted to give my body time to fully recover before going through pregnancy again. It is such an amazing but straining and tough journey on the female body.. it takes 9 months of stretching and changing to grow a baba, so you can't expect to feel recovered after a matter of weeks!! I know that is the sensible thing to do.. but my head and my heart are having a completely different conversation right now!
I guess my question is.. how long did you wait till you had your second baby? Was it planned or did it just happen? Please say you got this broody too to make me feel better about this feeling?!
Lot of love! x
I think it's safe to say that becoming a parent, you go through a lot of changes. Not only physically but mentally and logistically too!! Things that used to seem such a big deal, suddenly become so insignificant once you have a little one! You really do learn what's important in life and what you can just let go and laugh at!
Below are 12 things that I've come to realise since becoming a mummy...
1. Life doesn't stop
This one I feel very passionate about. I have always wanted and loved kids, and I really couldn't understand why some people say "oh I want to live before having kids", or "your life stops once you have kids"... well ladies and gentlemen, I call bullshit! I am here, I'm a mummy, and I've never felt more alive!! Your life is only just beginning! Children bring whole new experiences and opportunities to life! You CAN still "live" and do things for yourself! (It may just require more planning haha!)
2. Dry shampoo is everything
Yup.. I've been there, day 9 of rocking a mum-bun and your hair is so super greasy, but there is just no time to wash it (as per..) so what do you do? Dry shampoo obviously?! And there is no shame in that!!
3. Stretch marks are beautiful
When I was a teenager I used to be so scared of stretch marks, I was always paranoid and checking my body for them. I don't even know why?! Now post-baby, I have them on my belly and my thighs and I LOVE them! They are a reminder of the amazing journey I went through to get my baby! I would take a million stretch marks for my girl! So embrace them ladies, they are all part of the journey and you should be proud!
4. It's okay to have a bad day
Motherhood is hard. And some days when baby is cranky, you are tired, there's endless washing to do.. you just want to sit there and cry.. and that's okay!! Crying is healthy! Not everyday has to be perfect and it's fine to admit that some days, you just don't have your shit together! But you learn from bad days! So if I'm struggling, I tell myself 'it's okay because tomorrow is a new day!'
5. A new kind of love
The love you have for your children is INCREDIBLE and it is honestly like no other love you have ever experienced, and it feels amazing!!!! You know what I mean mamas?!
6. Don't compare
This is such an important one to me. I've learnt not to compare myself as a parent or my baby to anyone else's!! Every baby is different, develops differently, has their own personality.. so why stress myself out?! As long as she is healthy and happy, that is all that matters! And as a parent, just because I can't afford the most flashy stroller, or designer baby clothes.. who cares?! That doesn't define me as a mum! I know deep down I am giving my girl everything I can! It's so unhealthy to compare.
7. It isn't selfish to have some "me time"
Okay, so "me time" might be a lot less nowadays.. but if I don't have that time, how can I be truly myself? It's okay to have a coffee without baby, to have 10 minutes in bed reading, or to go get your nails done! I definitely feel a lot healthier for it. I know I can give Maddison the full attention/care she needs when I am positive and refreshed mentally! And that comes from that little bit of peace, that odd treat and clear head space! It's definitely not selfish to give yourself a little treat every now and then! You deserve it! Being a mum is tough!
8. Everyone has an opinion
The hard part about being a mum, is no matter how well you do, there will always be someone who will want to criticise you.. it's sad but true! As long as you know you are doing whats best for your little one and you know they are safe and well.. what more can you do! Being a first time mum, I probably learn something new everyday with Maddie. Yes experience can help, but remember that every baby is different, and there is a difference to constructive help and criticism.
9. Sleep is so precious
Why oh why, did I neglect the luxury of sleep and the opportunity to have power naps whenever I liked!! I know I am blessed with a baby who sleeps well.. but being a mummy is still full on and tough! So I have learnt, when I do have the chance to sleep.. I NEED TO DO IT!!
10. Go with the flow
These babies like to run the show, and seem to always work to their own schedule! The nightmare of trying to get out of the house to an appointment, meet-up or class.. I am always allowing literally double the amount of time, just in case something goes tits-up! But that's life!! Maddison likes to do things her way.. and I've just learnt to go with it!
11. The microwave is a life saver
Coffees gone cold. Microwave it. Dinners gone cold. Microwave it. Need I say more!!
12. Everyday is a blessing
Seeing as last week was miscarriage and baby loss awareness week, I feel so so grateful for having a easy pregnancy, birth and delivering a healthy baby! I can't even imagine how traumatic and heartbreaking it must feel to loose your child, or any loved one for that matter! Life truly is a blessing and you never know what's around the corner. So live everyday to the fullest, love and cherish every moment. Sending love and strength to anyone who has ever suffered a loss - you are never alone,
I'm sure there is a least one of my list that others can relate to hehe!! Anything particular you've learnt or discovered since becoming a mummy? Oh and by the way.. if you're reading this.. you're doing great!! Lots of love x
This post was written in collaboration with SNÜZ and BUMPPR
When I was pregnant with Maddie, I was so determined to make her as comfortable as possible (like any parent would for their baby!) Being a first time mummy, I had read ALOT of the baby books and I knew how much newborns love to be swaddled, as it reminded they of being in the womb.. Maddison however, HATES it with a passion!
The first couple of days when I tried swaddling her, she would just scream and go so red she looked like she was going to explode until I had unwrapped her!! I quickly gave up and accepted that swaddling just wasnt going to work for my little girl to sleep. So we moved onto the blankets, but soon found she would kick them off a lot in the night!! Maddison loves to sleep with her arms up by her head in the "surrender" position and her legs out, as if she is attempting the splits?! I guess she looks a bit like a starfish spread out while sleeping - haha! Despite tuckingthe blankets down the sides of her crib, and even under the mattress, she will always find a way of having one leg sticking out come the morning!! This wasn't much of a problem during the summer, but now the colder weather is upon us, I hate the thought of her waking up in the morning with cold feet...
When I was asked to review the new SnüzPouch by Snüz, I jumped at the chance thinking this could be the answer to our problems!! The SnüzPouch is their new sleeping bag for babies and comes in a 1.0 tog or a 2.5 tog and variety of cute patterns! I have tested out the 1.0 tog and tried putting this on Maddison first, then her blanket over the top (I wouldn't put a blanket over the 2.50 tog though.. as I think that would be way too hot for her - unless you live in an igloo lol!!) So I tucked her in and come the morning.. no cold feet!! Success!! I have actually ended up using the SnüzPouch more for when we are just around the house, especially in the evenings, as an extra layer. This saves having to faf around with blankets that, as usual, normally end up on the floor after shes kicked them off! Maddison's legs never stop moving I swear haha! Maybe she's going to be a runner when she's older?
I think one of the best features of the SnüzPouch is it has a curved zip across the front of the body, making it easy access for any nappy changes. This is super handy, rather than having to pull the whole thing off and then back on again every time, like some other sleeping bags on the market!
So this has totally solved our sleeping problems right now, and I'm definitely going to purchase the 2.5 tog ready for when the winter cold properly kicks in! The next challenge will be when we move her into her big cot (which will probably be soon as she id growing soooo fast!) and keeping her snug, safe and warm! Any tips mamas on keeping baba wrapped up nice and warm when in their big cot? Do you use sleeping bags? Or try to tuck a blanket in down the sides? Would love to hear all your recommendations so we can be super prepared for when the time comes to say goodbye to the baby crib! Lots of Love! x
Well mamas... it looks like its the end of the breastfeeding road for me! So when I last blogged about feeding, I shared how I had been struggling with my milk supply and that I had seemed to temporarily fixed it by eating more carbs! (CLICK HERE TO READ). However, this solution didn't last long...
Eating more carbohydrates seemed to initially give my breast milk supply a boost but within a week I seemed to be struggling again, and my combination feeding soon turned into 50% breast and 50% formula. Maddison seemed happy with this, in all honesty I don't think she really cared where her milk was coming from or what it was, she guzzled it either way! By this point I really was completely lost and had no idea what was going on, so I went to speak to my doctor about it.
I explained to my GP how I'd tried absolutely everything and anything to help my supply. I'd let her cluster feed and pumped after feeding to encourage supply, I'd tried eating more, drinking more water, more skin-to-skin, the retained placenta didn't seem to change much, I'd switch side to side.. the list goes on!! My GP was sooooo lovely and reassuring that I'd been doing everything right to try and help but for some reason she explained, some women just can't produce as much as others! She gave me these tablets (which are the only tablets recommended by midwives and health visitors) that might help give my supply a boost! I think I recall her saying they were actually anti-sickness tablets, but there was something in them that helped women's supply? And obviously safe for baby if you're breastfeeding! So I jumped at the chance of giving these a try! She prescribed me 2 weeks worth of these tablets and if they worked then great, and if they didn't.. then it looked like it was the end of the breastfeeding journey for me. These weren't a long term solution, I couldn't keep taking them forever! But if they were to give me a boost then I thought it was worth a shot!
Literally within 3 days of taking these tablets I was a milk machine!! I seriously thought I could give a cow a run for its money haha! I'd gone from barely being able to pump 20mls from both boobs, to being able to pump a full 125ml bottle from EACH boob?! whhaaatttt?! I was having let down again, had the feeling of being "full", Maddie was in a milky heaven I swear haha!! It was the BEST feeling ever having milk again.
I finished my 2 weeks course of these tablets, and I think it was literally within 24 hours, I was going backwards to what it was like before... boobs never filling, pumping barely anything, and I had to bring back the formula again.. WTF?! Unfortunately for me.. yes the tablets did give me a boost, but it wasn't sustainable and hadn't encouraged my body to produce milk on it's own.
I felt so deflated (literally!), and just cried. I had so desperately wanted to breastfeed Maddison till she was at least 6 months old. I have never had a problem with formula feeding, it's whatever works for you and your baby, everyone's journey is different! But I personally just loved the feeling and connection of breastfeeding! So I was a little gutted. But then something just clicked.. and you know what.. I had given my baby girl the best start I possibly could. Those first few months of her life when she was new to world and more vulnerable, I had provided her with the best possible source of milk I could. I should be proud that I managed to give her that! Yes, the journey stopped sooner than I had planned, but lets be honest.. with pregnancy and babies there is no such thing as planning!! Life will do what it wants, whether you like it or not!
I wiped away my tears and thought, right, Maddison doesn't mind formula, she takes boob and bottle, so lets just go with it and transition fully to formula. It didn't take long, seeing as my milk had virtually disappeared anyway!! I was able to cut back to just one boobie feed in 24 hours, and I made this the nighttime feed or first feed of the morning (if Maddie slept all the way through the night). I found this was the best time to breastfeed as lets be honest.. if your baby wakes at 3am, it's a lot more effort to go downstairs and warm up a bottle than it is to just stick them on the boob! I did this for a good week, and have now stopped breastfeeding completely.
I have now been exclusively formula feeding Maddison for 9 days and she seems really happy and content, and I'm a lot calmer and less stressed as I'm not constantly worrying about bloody milk!! I have got an appointment back at the doctors to report back how I'm doing, and I know my GP said she wanted to do some blood tests to check my thyroid as that can sometimes affect milk supply. But at this point, I'm happy that we have a healthy growing baby and I've discovered there are actually some good pros to formula feeding! These are just a few...
I think the message is at the end of the day, is you do what works for you and no-ones journey is the same! I am proud that I was able to breastfeed Maddison for at least the first 12 weeks of her life as I know some women don't have the option of breastfeeding at all! I am now really looking forward to weaning Maddison and can't wait to start that process at 6 months!! I know Josh is super keen too as he loves to cook and be in the kitchen!
I hope that sharing my entire breastfeeding journey with you all helps any other mums that are worrying or stressing about their journey. Breastfeeding is amazing! But as I've discovered it never seems to be straight forward or as simple as I initially thought! Just remember mamas, don't compare yourself to anyone else, and all that matters is you do your best! Lots of love! x
Now we all hear the term "yummy mummy" being thrown around, I myself know I have used it! But something crossed my mind the other day.. what exactly is a yummy mummy? It's not a title, there's no certificate or award.... so what makes you "worthy" of being called a yummy mummy?
I sat down the other day and wanted to just have some tv on in the background, and I saw this programme listed called Yummy Mummies and reality crappy tv is a guilty pleasure of mine... so I thought I'd give it a go! It's like a "Real housewives" type of reality programme, following these well off pregnant ladies in Australia. And OMG.... literally everything is designer - even the baby dummies! It just felt like another world! One of the ladies even got a £150,000 Range Rover as a push present?! Whaaatttttt!! That's like a deposit for a house?!?! But why do these ladies get to be called yummy mummies... what makes them so "yummy"? Is it because they can afford everything? Is that implying to be a yummy mummy you have to have a perfect glamorous life? I can't deny the programme is entertaining, but it left me feeling upset I couldn't spoil and give my baby girl just that little bit more! And there was one part of the programme where a fellow pregnant women slated another women breastfeeding in public which angered me incredibly - kind of disappointing they aired this, as it makes publicly bashing a breastfeeding women seem like acceptable behaviour?! - NOT cool.
Anyway... The term "Yummy Mummy" used to be something so different to me before I was pregnant and became a mother. When I was a teen I was guilty of the first thing that used to come into my head was a glamorous women, wearing a lovely outfit, great hair and makeup, toned body, and a happy smiling baby! (I am genuinely ashamed I used to think that...) but where did this image come from? Was I influenced to think this? Why would I think that that's what a yummy mummy is?
On social media these days, you see many people comment on these super fit mums profiles with washboard abs and their designer handbags, calling them yummy mummies and dying to look that way... but why?! I have nothing against those mummies that have got their abs back and worked hard for their figures - you go ladies! But we shouldn't pressurise ourselves to all look that way and have that certain lifestyle! Being a mum is tough and a 24/7 job! Plus we all know by now that people only share the "good bits" of their life on social media platforms (such as Instagram).. I think that's why to me personally, it's important to keep it real!!
So.. I think it's time to change these perceptions of what is a yummy mummy - NOW!
You know what I say.. ALL mums are yummy mummies! And you know what makes you even yummier? Being devoted to loving and nurturing your baby!!
Now having been pregnant, struggling with a massive bump, stretch marks, pregnancy acne, horrific hormonal dandruff, postpartum loose skin, retained placenta and living 90% of my life in pjs and oversized sweaters (which may I add are most likely are covered in dribble/spew!) You know what I say.. that's what makes me a yummy mummy!! It's all part of the journey!! We don't have to have our shit together all the time - as you can clearly see I don't from my header photo on this blog post! Washing and cleaning EVERYWHERE!! But that's okay! And who cares if it's day 5 of dry shampoo and you are embracing the "mum bun" to a whole new level... (been there, done that haha!)
I now know the thing that makes me yummy, is my commitment to my little girl. The love I give her every minute of every day. How I still smile and play with her even if she's been nonstop crying and giving me headaches! The fact a poo exploding nappy is just something you get on with. The time and money I spend on her rather than myself.. that's what makes me a yummy mummy! Not designer clothes, not having perfect makeup, not having perfectly blow dried hair, going on fancy family holidays, and not having a perfect postpartum figure... there's no price on being a good mummy. There's no price tag for love.
My fellow mummies reading this...
You ARE a yummy mummy - poop, spew and dribble included. You are amazing. You are doing great! Love x
This section will all be focused on being pregnant, discovering motherhood and baby bits!