When you are pregnant, suddenly everyone feels entitled to offer their ‘advice’. Most of the time it is well-intentioned but it can be a bit intimidating as first time parents. I remember being told to ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps!’ and that turned out to be impossible to do safely as Freddie would only nap in the sling/on me until we did some nap training at seven months old.
In my experience, a lot of the advice is completely useless! However there are a few things that I was told, that I agree with and I think you should listen to.
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Before I had Freddie, I tried to keep an open mind about what motherhood would entail and the sort of Mama I wanted to be. There were a few ideas and opinions that I was pretty certain I could stick to, but of course, Freddie had other ideas and I have compromised most of them during the last eight months! Here are the ten things I said I would never do.
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Having had a much more settled last few months where I have felt more confident in my parenting choices and that I really do know my baby best, I have been reflecting on some of the things that were said to me as a new mum. The majority of family, friends and complete strangers were overwhelmingly supportive but I did have a few experiences that were completely rude, unnecessary or thoughtless and from talking to other new mums (and reading other blogs/social media!) I know I am not alone. Here are then things not to say to a new mum- I would love to hear if you can relate to any of these!
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I spent the first few months of Freddie’s life in survival mode. He was quite an unhappy, little baby with Silent Reflux tainting quite a lot of our time together. I was hanging on for the magical three-month mark when every book, blog and person had told me that things would suddenly get easier. And then they didn’t. Of course I loved Freddie as soon as I met him, all tiny and wrinkly and brand new. Of course we had many special moments together where I laughed and snuggled him and I felt- and still do feel- like the luckiest Mama in the world. But for those first few months, I found motherhood a real struggle and when it wasn’t suddenly easier I had some pretty low moments.
Having said that, at around five and half/six months everything did suddenly become so much easier. Freddie had a much more predictable routine, he began to nap at roughly the same time, his sleep improved again, he was content to play on his own for longer periods and he seemed to learn something new everyday. Since then, it seems to get better and more enjoyable and I genuinely enjoy each day with him. He is my little pal, he’s hilarious, stubborn, mischievous, affectionate and intelligent all wrapped up in an adorable bundle of big blue eyes and tufts of curly, blonde hair. This post is for any other Mama’s out there who have felt the way I did, who have found the first few months really tough and wondered or are wondering when it gets easier. Here are seven things I love about my seven month old. View Full Post
Ever since Freddie arrived like a whirlwind into our lives it has been a constant struggle to keep up. Without ever intentionally deciding to, I have followed his lead from the very beginning. He slept when he wanted to sleep, breastfed on demand and we worked around him.
Having a baby-led ‘routine’ was especially helpful as a first time mum with no real understanding of what my baby should be doing and when- or in indeed if he should be doing anything at a particular time at all. That being said, we naturally fell into a bedtime routine when Freddie was around seven/eight weeks old. He would no longer to settle to sleep in the evening downstairs with us and we felt he was probably wanting a quieter, darker environment. So gradually over the next few weeks we transitioned from him sleeping upstairs on his Daddy in the evenings to a proper bath/bedtime routine and being put down in his co-sleeper with his Dad or I in the room with him. To, at around five and a half months, going to sleep upstairs with the monitor on.
This worked really well for us and by around ten/eleven weeks Freddie started to fuss and get upset if he was not upstairs for his bedtime routine at the usual time. Daytimes were a different story though, apart from aiming to get him to nap after an hour of awake time (in the carrier or on me of course… this baby did not want to sleep on his own!) we had no routine to our days at all. I had a few failed attempts at around three/four months trying to implement the E.A.S.Y routine (it wasn’t at all easy in case you were wondering!) and then gave up. It surprised me how much this really didn’t both me considering I have always been a creature of habit and very much like a routine to most of my days.
However, at about five and a half months a routine started to emerge on it’s own. View Full Post