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Pregnancy and Beyond: Book Reviews

Recently in a live video (see our facebook page) I poo pood What to Expect When Your Expecting! Yup that amazing multi million best international seller wasn’t for me! I found it sucked all the joy out of being pregnant and was so matter of fact! I was dissappointed reading it especially the first few chapters as it made out having a baby was a monotonous affair. Instead I read books like Pregnancy for Men by Mark Woods and combined it with pregancy apps like Ovia and Pregnancy plus. I did get other apps but these were by far my favourite as well as my NHS issued ready steady baby book.

Pregnancy for Men was such an awesome and informative book to read ad it made sure I was aware of what my oh was going through too. Because its very easy to lose sight of your partners’ emotions as they embark on this huge change too – though i do think they could change the title to pregnancy for partners lol?!

And ofcourse good old – internet is a gem and a disaster for information!

You might be thinking what? This lady has her head in the clouds! But I assure you I was very thorough during my pregnancy including learning when the intestines go into the stomach, how the heart and brain are formed, the three main Chromosome abnormalities that can cause certain conditions in your baby amongst other things. And ofcourse what a good old episotomy is – I was kindly informed by two fathers in the workplace what i could expect during my labour/birthing experience including that! As well as other details their wives wouldn’t want the world to know!

Other books I read in preparation of baby’s arrival included:

Gina Ford – The New Contented Little Baby Book

Steve Biddulph – Raising Boys (very good for emotional development – for both child and parents)

Brain Rules for Baby – also have a facebook page which I liked albeit the book is ok

Alvin Eden – Positive Parenting – my best book yet! Apart from anecdotes it takes you from birth to three years about what your child should be doing. Physical, Motor developments as well as social skills. Theres even a suggestion of toys and games to play with your child. There is parts discussing breastfeeding but I chose to ignore that bit! I am obviously still using this book today.

What books do you use/recommend and why?

I had scans at 6, 8, 12, 18, 20 and 34 weeks due to bleeding, routine, gender reveal and reduced movement.

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Stopping Co Sleeping: Before you start

I feel it necessary before we start to advise of our ethos: we don’t judge ever!

So before we receive any judgemental posts about Co Sleeping etc we don’t care for those opinions. 

We did what was right for our family in order to give us all peace of mind and we believe that’s what we’re all trying to do at the end of the day.

Now that’s been said: we will begin with our journey;

It was the night after having our little one an anxiety switch flicked inside me and I couldn’t put him to lie down in the bassinet next to my bed on the maternity ward. All the crying babies; the lady next door…we’re all too much for me to bare including the added pressure of not being able to feed my little one. So I propped us up in bed and held him all night. 

There was also the fact he coughed and choked whilst laying on his back that made me change my entire thinking about the advice of putting babies to sleep on their backs.

So on the second night of literally no sleep, I contacted the other half and said we were ready to come home.

His Moses basket was ready. But no matter what we did he wouldn’t settle in there. He cried grunted and griped all night. He had colic. He wasn’t doing well with the formula we were on either.

He was settled only if he lay on a pillow for this heightened my anxiety further as I was scared he’d die. SIDS is a huge worry for me as a loss in my extended family had already happened years ago.

So much so I was crying out in my sleep asking for the baby, scared if my oh took him away out of the room so I couldn’t hear him cry. He was so precious I turned into a nightmare of over protectiveness that at nearly 17 months is just about easing.

The nightmares were vivid and the fear was controlling my every waking moment.

We researched how to cosleep safely with a baby. No duvet near them (you’d be surprised how quickly you get used to a colder upper body), no pillows & sleep with an arm stretched out to prevent you rolling. My oh also began sleeping in the spare room to give us more space.

So in January we decided (after numerous earlier attempts) he’d be in his cot by 18 months… Crazy New Year Resolutions

Fast forward 5 months and I’d finally psyched myself up to do it: sleep separately from my son.

It’s been no easy feat, but we know he sleeps on his own at Nursery. So we thought we’d give it a try.

First night we tried we were unsuccessful whether he could sense my nervousness and then stress, whether it was because it was just me trying to do it without the presence of my other half – who knows but after an hour or more of tears and not settling we aborted. I remember this was a Saturday night.

Over the lifetime of our little one we have researched several sleep training methods but a key thing that’s stood out to us, one advises your child will not be ready to transition if they cry for three hours! Im not going to distress my kid for 3 hours! 

So we decided if he wouldn’t settle after an hour we’d abort! So we did.

But the night he decided to sleep in his cot we had one of his nursery teachers come over to babysit and put him to bed. And it worked! He was ill that night though so bad timing but from that night he has been in his bed so mid June 2017.

We stayed at night to read him several stories, I slept on the floor and we did the waiting til he fell asleep before walking out and gradual retreating until eventually we can just put him in and walk away and he falls asleep on his own. If he cries out we go in and we still use the video camera to check on him.

He also sleeps with a sleepyhead but like last night he can sleep without it too.

Overall having a little one sleep on their own is great for you getting time back for yourselves but at the same time you should so it at your own pace in your own way x

Please feel free to ask any questions 🙂

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Travelling with Baby: How to make it easier

General advice that’s proved helpful has been to travel whilst they’re ready for a nap. That works in all situations I’ve found bar one : the train.

Aeroplane – take ear defenders and BF as you take off. Check out if the airport has a play area for kids for toddlers upwards. Take a carrier if you can. Book an aisle seat if you can for the extra room.

Train – still working this one out… but other than lots of toys, books and food, I have no other miracles to make this easier. You can prearranged assistance where someone will help you get your luggage on to a train.

Taxi – sit at the back to keep the little one entertained.
Car Journeys – map out where your going to stop, eat and rest – especially the latter every two hours. Give toys & books, prepare to have music or story CDs on the player for most of the journey. 

If you have any helpful tips don’t hesitate to share in the comments section x

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Breastfeeding – Ending Our Journey: Day 13

Officially I would say we are at the end of our bf journey. He barely asks for Boobie and if he does it’s not a demand for comfort. More of a fondness of a well thought of friend.

So now we have moved on to stage two of our plan… ending co sleeping. As I write this it’s 4.30am and he’s sleeping next to me seeking comfort now and again. We started three days ago… we’ll keep a note of that too.

Boobs still have a little milk in them, but nothing note worthy. No pain or discomfort now not that there was much any way.

Thank you for following our journey. We hope it helps you too if you’re contemplating starting yours.

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Fire Safety

The Grenfell Tower fire is an atrocity which is sitting deeply and uncomfortably in our hearts. So many lives were lost, including babies. So I wanted to help raise awareness of steps you can take to help your family.

If you are not confident or had training to deal with a fire, using appropriate fire safety equipment- leave the fire alone! Instead leave the building and raise the alarm!

Equipment that can help, fire extinguishers and a fire blanket.

You should also learn first aid for both adults and kids. So if there was an incident you could help deal with shock and any initial injuries.

Make sure you have the appropriate number of smoke detectors and fire alarms that are in good working order. Test them regularly in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.

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Staying Safe in Summer Sun

Looks like Summer is finally here Everyone!

Still we need to take care in the heat especially if like us you rarely see heat like this!

Did you know in the summer between 11am and 3pm, the sun is at its strongest? 

Babies, young children, pregnant ladies and the elderly can become very ill during very hot weather. Their health can be seriously affected by dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and sunburn.
Try these tips for keeping you and Baby healthy in the heat.

Try to keep your baby cool and protect them from the sun.

Babies less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight. Older infants should also be kept out of the sun as much as possible.

When out, attach a parasol or sunshade to your baby’s pushchair to keep them out of direct sunlight. But do not cover them or their car seats with a blanket or Muslin as these can trap the heat and cause your little ones to get ill.

Apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to your baby’s skin every couple of hours. Apply the suncream regularly, particularly if your child is in and out of the sea or paddling pool. 

Pop on a sunhat with either a wide brim or a long flap at the back, to protect the neck from the sun.

Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids or having ice lollies. So make sure you carry water for yourself and everyone in the family. Plenty of fruit and salad will also help keep their fluid levels up.

Did you know, if you’re breastfeeding your baby, you don’t need to give them water as well as breast milk. Your breastmikk changes consistently to adapt to the needs of baby. But you should offer feeds more than usual.  

If you’re bottle feeding, as well as their usual milk feeds, you can give your baby cooled boiled water throughout the day. If your baby wakes at night, they’ll probably want milk. If they’ve had their usual milk feeds, try cooled boiled water as well. 

Playing in a paddling pool is a good way of keeping babies and children cool. Keep the pool in the shade.   

A cool bath before bedtime can also help at night. Check out what they should wear tonne using the picture in our useful photo album

You can keep rooms cool during the day by closing blinds or curtains. You can also use a fan to circulate the air in the room.  

A room thermometer will help you monitor the temperature of your room. Your baby will sleep most comfortably when their room is between 16C (61F) and 20C (68F).