Cosleep no sleep part 2

Sorry blog I have been seriously neglecting you. I don’t know how all you busy blogging mums do it. How do you find time for parenting, possibly a job and blogging once or twice a week or more!? I really do struggle to fit everything in! I don’t feel too bad though because I am due back to work in a week and any spare time I have I just like to sloth around and enjoy the company of my beautiful son and husband. And I do really need all the slothing and rest I can get as the battle of sleep continues… almost 9 months old and baba is still waking in the night. Now obviously this can be a problem like when I am so tired I cannot funtion properly and feel like a crazy person but I really do try to be positive and keep going. Funnily enough it can actually bother other people more than it bothers us and we are the ones that are sleep deprived!

So many people ask about my son’s sleep which can be exhausting and fustrating!! And why do people have to look at you with such pity and make out like your child is naughty or you are a bad parent “Oh he STILL isn’t sleeping through? He is a pickle!”  “He comes into your bed? You want to stop that before it becomes a habit!” Yes it can become a bit of a habit but I’m sure he won’t be in our bed until he’s 18 and to be honest I actually like cosleeping with my child! Our culture frowns upon it but it’s completely natural. You wouldn’t tell your partner to go sleep in a different bed in a different room on their own so why do we expect this of our children? Especially as they spent their first 9 months if existence being with us every second day and night in the womb. The thing is, I know people mean well and they are probably genuine. I appreciate the concern, I really do, but it still makes me feel like I have somehow failed as a mother because I haven’t helped my child to sleep through the night.

Many other cultures across the world sleep with their children to nurture them, bond with them and feed them throughout the night so that they may thrive. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to hold your child in your arms all night and this phase doesn’t last long as they grow up quick! Why do we wish them to be independent from so young? Don’t get me wrong if your baby has been happy in their own bed in their own room from early on then that is great, it was obviously natural for them but for other babies it is not. The main thing is that the whole family gets the rest they need and everyone is happy. I think we should all respect other peoples parenting decisions and be more supportive of each other.

However, although I do enjoy cosleeping it’s getting to the point where little A is getting rather big and taking up lots of room and there is an awful lot of kicking and fidgeting going on which means my night is not so restful. It also means that it is difficult to leave him with someone else for an evening/ night as he will wake in his cot and freak out that he is not in our bed and we are not there. Plus returning to work means I really do need some decent sleep and as he is 9 months I think it’s healthy to start delveloping some independence.

Ofcourse trying to get him to stay in his bed and asleep is a mission impossible!! You do have to give the kid the benefit of the doubt as before 5 months we were unaware of his cows milk allergy and he was probably waking due to major tummy ache and reflux. Then between 5-7 months 7 pearly whites struck though is gums and then he had to deal with weaning off the breast!! It seems we hadn’t had any good opportunities to try and train him to sleep independently before then! At 7 months we seemed to have a break so between then and present we have tried various strategies to help him sleep better. These have been gentle approaches which include; a positive bedtime routine, lots of cuddles, kisses, back rubbing and shhhushing. For a while it seemed really positive and he was having longer stretches of sleep. There were even about 4 nights where he slept through completely and we were so excited but now I think we realise that these were times he was having growth spurts as the days following this he was bursting out of his clothes and we had to move to the next size up!! Damn, so close….

After speaking to health professionals our next option and perhaps one of the only options left is to try the ‘controlled crying’ approach. But as you may know this method is not for the faint hearted. We have already tried to leave little A to cry for a very short periods but I have rushed in after 2 minutes feeling awful at leaving my baby upset. I am just not sure I have it in me! It’s heartbreaking to hear their cry go from sad to frustrated to really cross. Surely there is another way? I have plenty of people who reassure me it will work and it is not harmful to the baby but it just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what to do!!

Has anyone else out there tried this method? Anyone got any alternative ideas? I’d love to hear from you.

I will try not leave it as long between now and my next post but  until then goodnight (currently writing this in bed) and I hope you have a peaceful sleep. Someone around here has to!!

peace2

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Things I am grateful for #6

So ….. sorry it’s been a while but things have been pretty busy with us. There has been even more birthdays, hen dos and outings, amongst other things. More significantly we have come to a conclusion on the allergies front. As you may have read on this blog before, we have been investigating whether Arlo has an allergy that could be the cause of his discomfort/ reflux/ general tummy troubles!! We have been to see a paediatrician and it seems Arlo has got a moderate milk allergy. It’s useful to know what we can avoid to make him feel better but he is currently going through a epic teething patch so it’s hard to see the improvement!! But this post it supposed to be about being grateful so let’s get back to that…

6 things I am grateful for in the past month…

1. Living out some childhood classics with Arlo such as feeding the ducks! It’s so fun to do proper mummy things with Arlo like going to the duck pond. Its the kind of thing I loved doing as a kid. There are so many other classics such as going to the park, getting excited when you hear the ice-cream van coming into your street and rushing out to buy one, camping in the garden, playing barefoot outside, making mud pies…. I could go on forever. I can’t wait to see Arlo experience all these and more. A lot of the best ones are outdoors too, mother nature has a lot to offer! They are all simple things but they make childhood rather magical….

2. Enjoying some me time. This month I have been rather self indulgent at times and have enjoyed some personal treats. I’ve tried to find time to do my hair and nails, have long baths and I have even been on a road trips and been on nights out in different cities. I think its important to recharge your batteries and do something for you. Happy relaxed mummies are more likely to have happy relaxed babies after all. Although it definitely is not all self indulging and relaxing as the teething & sleepless nights are driving me mad at the moment. That is 7 teeth now! Yes 7 in the space of ten weeks… its mad as it seems he is getting them all at once ….but we weren’t talking about negative things remember!! I suppose I should be grateful we are getting it out the way….

3. FINALLY getting a diagnosis for Arlo. Like I said before- Arlo’s allergy to cows milk has been confirmed. Well sort of… it is so hard to diagnose this kind of allergy! All I know is when we tested him with dairy he became super grumpy and poopy and refluxy and really itchy so I’m in no hurry to give it to him again any time soon. It’s a relief to know what has been bothering him but it’s just a shame it took 7 months to get there! Good news is he will probably grow out of it which is positive. For now I just want him to comfortable.

4. A really (surprisingly) fun hen weekend! At the start of the month I went along to my close friend’s hen weekend for 2 days & nights. It was the first proper time away from the baby overnight. I was so nervous and thought I would be miserable the whole weekend but it was actually a right laugh and it was good to let my hair down!

5. A super daddy! Antony gave me no reason to worry while I was away and he and Arlo got on just fine without me. Even without the boobs! He sent me this picture of the two boys (baby & cat) napping together while I was away – very cute.

6. Mummy friends! It sounds lame but that’s what they are; other mums I have made friends with since having Arlo. It’s good as we have a bit of a moan & get things off our chest that our other friends without kids would get bored of hearing! We also have a laugh and it means Arlo has developed his own group of friends.

Once again lots to be grateful for. I will try and not leave it so long next time. Thanks for reading!

 

peace2

Mums' Days

Things I am grateful for #5

Another fortnight and another load of things to be grateful for! This fortnight I am truly celebrating my son. I am so amazed at how these little beings manage to soak up so much knowledge and develop so many skills in such a short time frame. He just amazes me every day. I really love this age, I feel like the fun is really just beginning! Its been an added bonus that the weather has been so great and we had the Easter holidays with our friends and family. 1. More milestones! It seems that our little boy is developing lots of new skills all at once. This week he mastered sitting up. He seemed very pleased with himself!

2.Becoming more adventurous. As Arlo has become stronger he has been able to enjoy more exciting activities such as jumping in his bouncer!

3. Days out. We have enjoyed great days out to the beach, to the farm and picnicking in the New Forest. as its been the school holidays we have been able to share all the fun with all of my teacher friends. A highlight was definitely our visit to Longdown Activity Farm in Ashurst. We got to hold chicks, feed calves and stroke bunnies. Arlo’s favourite thing was riding on the bumpy tractor. He found it hilarious 😀

4. Springtime. Arlo is so much more aware of his surroundings and has been loving our springtime walks in the sunshine soaking in nature through sight, smells and touch. The blossoms are so beautiful at the moment.

5. Beautiful weather. To continue with the theme above the sunshine has inspired us to spend more time in the garden. We bought a paddling pool and garden toys and Arlo has been loving it! We hope to get a sandpit too at some point.

6. Lots to celebrate. April brings lots of birthdays & wedding anniveraries in our family. Which means lots of parties and cake! This is Arlo enjoying his cousins pirate party. Ooo Arr!

Have you been grateful of the weather? What fun have you been having in the sun?

peace2

Linking up with #mummymonday

Weaning off the breast- How we did it!

When the time came to stop breastfeeding I felt really emotional. I worked so hard for weeks and weeks to get it right and many obstacles came our way! Despite this nursing became a really special time for just the two of us to stop everything and just…be. We could be in our own little bubble gazing at each other, feeding, cuddling and resting. However it seems to make sense to stop for many reasons. Arlo has slowly improved since I cut dairy out of my diet so this could mean he has an allergy/ intolerance to cows milk. We are still unsure of this and are due to see a paediatrician soon to fully investigate what is causing the issues. Either way I can’t carry on with this diet as it’s stripping me of energy and there are other reasons to stop including; returning to work and the fact that my supply is naturally reducing as he takes more solids. Plus I am dropping night feeds in a bid to get more sleep! BUT.. it still feels like the end of an era and I am going to really miss it. We had a good run my boy, 7 months is not bad, not bad at all…

Now I must say that I am NOT any sort of breastfeeding expert but I thought I would run though what we did to wean Arlo off the breast. I know from speaking to other mums that babies who have been exclusively breastfed do not take to the bottle very well and many people really struggle to make the switch. It’s actually been less stressful than expected as we have done it really slooowly…

Here are the steps we took:

1. Slowly introduce the bottle with some expressed breastmilk in it. You may have already got your little one used to having a bottle which will really help when switching to formula. We tried to offer EBM from 6 weeks every few days which went well at first but when he hit 3 months he decided we would not take a bottle anymore. 3 months on and we have persevered which means he is starting to get the hang of bottles again. Yay!

2. Offer a little bit of formula in the bottle in the middle of the day when baby is not too hungry and not needing comfort. Timing is everything! If you dive in at the bedtime feed with this foreign milk then your baby is likely to be rather p***ed off! Trying offering the formula when they are relaxed and not starving. Arlo started off by just chewing the teet and getting a taste for it. Soon enough the chewing turned to sucking. Also I will emphasise just giving a little formula. It’s expensive stuff to be wasting if baby is refusing to drink it and you cannot reheat it!

3. Offer the breast first and then switch to the bottle half way through the feed. It’s a bit of a cheeky move but it seemed to work with Arlo. He would suck at the breast for a while and I would gently pull him off and place the teet in his mouth instead.

4. Get someone else to do the feed. Obviously as I am the one with the breasts and the warm milky smell that he has come accustomed to. So, if I try to stick a bottle in there he looks at me as if I am mad and pushes it away. Therefore, we have got Dad to offer the bottles more often than myself and to start with he appeared  to take more of the milk this way.

5. Make sure it’s warm! Breastmilk comes out at body temperature so this is what your babe will be used to. We have found Arlo even prefers it a bit warmer than body temperature. If you heat it a little extra it is likely to stay warm for the whole feed.

6. Get them sleepy. Antony tried rocking him until he almost entered a state of sleep and then gently placed the bottle in his mouth. He happily suckled away in this dreamy state and this is when we finally got him to take a decent amount- about 4/5oz.

7.Mask your scent. When Dad was not around I tried number 3 but I also tried to wear a t-shirt that my husband had been wearing for a day. It smelt of his deodorant and his general manliness so it masked the scent of breastmilk (well a bit anyway).

8. Swap just one feed a day. Slowly but surely we having been swapping one breastfeed for a formula feed each day. I thought if we tried to do too many at once then both myself and baby would get very stressed. We started off by swapping feeds in the day and then more important feeds like the bedtime feed.

9. Go cold turkey. This weekend I went to a hen do. It will be two nights away from the boy and I was so nervous. Nervous about how he would get on with the milk feeds, nervous at how he would sleep and if my husband would cope on his own (we’ve both been in it together so far) but mostly nervous at how I would feel without him! It felt like I had lost a limb it was very strange but I just kept my mind off it by having fun with my girlies. I guess as I wasn’t there then he had to go cold turkey and perhaps that was the best way to wean him off completely.

Since I have returned he seems to be quite happy to take formula off either one of us and has dropped his night feeds which is positive! I am really proud of how well he has adjusted. I have been careful and made sure I have expressed a little milk off here and there to stop myself becoming too engorged as this can lead to Mastitis…. I have heard from others that this is really painful so best avoided!

I really hope this will help someone out there. I have appreciated all the advice I have received from other mums so its time to pay it forward.

Thanks for reading.

peace2

You Baby Me Mummy

Miscellaneous mum hacks

Hello everyone. It’s been a little while since I’ve written a post so I’ve got a lot to blog about in order to catch up but I wasn’t sure where to start. I decided that as I’ve only featured one ‘mum hack‘ on this blog so far so I ought to share a few more. Many bloggers have helped me with parenting tips & tricks so I thought I should pay it forward. The hacks this week are all related to digestion- sorry I know it’s a grim topic! As you may have read in previous posts Arlo has had a few feeding issues so we have had to work tirelessly to work out what causes his vomiting/ diarrhea/ constipation and what can ease these symptoms. Isn’t it hilarious that as soon as you have a baby you become obsessed with bowl movements and talk about their colour & texture & frequency!? #rocknroll …Anyway here a few tricks that have helped us recently.

1. Camomile tea for sore bums and skin! When Arlo was a new born he had a BM after every feed! Needless to say he ended up with a very sore bottom. I found that giving lots of nappy free time and keeping the area dry helped. In addition to this I would put camomile tea bags in his bath and use camomile tea and cotton wool instead of wet wipes. This cleared it up really well. We have used this method since- for example when his bottom has been sore with constipation and it has worked just as well as before.

2. To continue with the theme of bottoms haha Dried apricot puree for constipation. Since we started Arlo on solids he appeared to get very constipated. Obviously it is important to get them to drink lots of water (a battle most of the time) but even with water he struggled to go and dry spells could last 6 days (unheard of for him). He has been prescribed lactulose and I have also tried pureed prunes, prune juice amongst other things but the only thing that has really worked has been dried apricot puree! 

 

3. Apple juice in water. As I said above (and in previous posts) it has been a real battle to get Arlo to drink water. A Doidy cup has worked in getting a few sips in him but a friend advised that we add a few drops of apple juice to give some flavour to the water. It has worked! Arlo enjoys the hint of juice he can taste and I am happy he is getting some more H2O!

Anyway I hope these hacks can help someone out there. I know that sometimes what works for one child will not for another but it’s worth a shot!

More hacks will be coming your way!

peace2

Linking up with #SundayStars & #mummymonday

 

Mami 2 Five

We made it!

I can’t believe it but he’s 6 months old this week! Where has half a year gone? It seems it has gone in a flash but at the same time I feel like I’ve known him forever. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster and a massive learning curve but also the most amazing adventure of my life. I have had down days when it has been so hard I’ve sobbed ( I mean proper crying, like a child) and there have been days where I have thought I might combust with happiness. I’m not often proud of myself but during the past 6 months… actually during the past 15 months (including preganancy) I have indulged in a little self respect and pride. I have been amazed at what the human body can achieve and how much we can endure. Here is a list of reasons why I am proud and why other mothers should be too:

1. I grew a human! And it was really difficult at times. Nausea, exhaustion, pain. Pregnancy throws a lot of challenges at you but we overcome them knowing that our babies are growing happily inside. In the third trimester I also suffered from symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), swelling and high blood pressure but everything was always forgotten when I felt him wriggle and kick.

2. I went through labour and surgery. I surprised myself during labour. I handled the pain better than I expected. Although it was tough…really tough…. the strongest thing I felt was excitement. I was finally going to meet my baby! I was doing OK and managing the pain with gas and air but was really disappointed that everything came to a standstill at 9cm dilated and my (rather large) baby was back to back. By this point it was going so slow I needed some extra pain relief and I went on a drip to help me fully dilate but after another wait there was no progress. When I was told I needed a caesarian I felt like I’d failed. All that hard work, so close to the finish line and I couldn’t quite make it… not on my own anyway. I’ve got nothing against having a c-section. I think whatever is the safest way for mother and baby is best but going all the way is something I really wanted to achieve and after all that contracting I felt it was my right as a woman to birth my child. It wasn’t to be. Turns out having a spinal block when your contracting is pretty tough ‘keep still’ they said ‘lean forward’ they said. I can’t! I’m in pain and have a massive bump in the way!! Recovering from surgery with a newborn is pretty tricky too. So I just want to say ‘well done body, you tried and we got our baby here in the end!’

3. I’ve fed my child myself. Breastfeeding is exhausting, its frustrating and its awkward but somehow, amazingly I’ve managed to do it for 6 months. I know not everyone is able to breastfeed so I am truly grateful that I can. I wouldn’t have managed without the support of midwives and my husband but mostly I was just really determined. Arlo’s tongue tie resulting in poor latch, oversupply, fast letdown, too much fore-milk, reflux/allergy- whatever breastfeeding threw at us we did what we could to overcome it. There have been a lot of tears but we have really tried. It turns out that Arlo’s reflux could possibly be an allergy (most likely to cows protein). It explains a lot. It explains why feeding has been even more of a challenge than it should have been for us both but we have made it this far and I hope some goodness has got into him even if it has upset his system too! I want to continue for as long as I can before returning to work and I am in the process of cutting foods out of my diet in order to find the allergen. I had already tried eliminating things but chose lactose free products or soya which apparently are not good enough so sticking to oat/ rice/ oil based products instead. I hope I can find out whats causing the problem. I really want my baby to be comfortable and I’m not ready to give up breastfeeding just yet, although even if I did there’s the issue of him not taking bottles- read my ‘Battle of the bottle’ post, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it!

4. I am alive! My baby is alive and we are happy :). I am ssoooooooo tired but I have survived 6 months of motherhood and although there have been a few issues with feeding/ sleep/ illness along the way for the most part Arlo is happy and thriving. Don’t get me wrong there are times when you miss the freedom and  feel like you are going crazy but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Becoming a mother is all I’ve ever wanted. This is just the beginning, there is so much more to come. I can’t wait for all the next milestones and all the exciting things we will be able to do as a family. It’s going to be so fun!

If you are a mother or a father there is a lot you should be proud of too. You are raising a little person and that it amazing. Go you!

peace2

Linking up with #HappyDays Linky and #TheList

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Things I am grateful for #4

It’s been a very busy fortnight (well ok ok it’s been longer than a fortnight but like I said we’ve been busy) and I’ve not had much time for blogging. If your new to reading this then let me explain. Very fortnight I like to reflect on all the wonderful things going on in our life and why I am grateful for them. You can read about my last ‘gratefulness’ post here.

So this fortnight/ month I am grateful for:

1. Making it to 6 months! Read more about our journey during the past 6 months. We had pretend cake, sang to him and he even recieved a pressie and card from one of our best mates!

2. Arlo’s development has come on a lot in the last 2 weeks. His hand eye coordination is improving all the time which means he is beginning to enjoy finger foods. He is also interacting with toys and people more and just generally seems more alert and aware of the world around him.

3. In relation to point 2 above. He can roll over! He’s only done it a few times but can go from his back to his front and vice versa. He’s also getting so close to sitting up independently. His brain has been very busy at the moment!

4. Another mini holiday! We enjoyed a long weekend in Clacton-on-sea with some friends. We had fun swimming, going to the arcades, bowling, playing in the park and chasing bubbles!

5. Being a big kid. Now we have a child of our own its a good excuse to visit the park and have some fun. You’re never too old for the swings or a climbing frame!

6. Easter! Another long weekend as a family 🙂 yay! Although it’s bad timing as I am not eating dairy currently. As I mentioned in my last post, Arlo has a suspected allergy and we are working out which allergen my be sneaking into my breastmilk. Apparently cows protein is the most common culprit so I have started by cutting that out. However, my lovely husband surprised me with lots of dairy free products including a dairy free chocolate egg so that I wouldn’t feel left out <3.

Hope you’ve got lots to be grateful for and I hope you had a HAPPY EASTER! Have some chocolate for me.

peace2

Linking up with Ojo’s World #r2bc & Mummy From The Heart

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