Tag Archives: baby

Leave the baby alone

Ru and Oscar

Nom nom nom

And other choice phrases such as “No.” and “Get your foot off his head!” are just a few of the things that you, if you were my next door neighbour, would hear me say.

You might even go so far as to wonder whether it’s actually a recording which fires with alarming regularity. When you find out it isn’t a recording, you’ll wonder why the hell I DON’T record it because the kids might possibly take more (some as opposed to none) notice of a broken record.

Sometimes I wonder the same.

Oscar is so obsessed with his brother he is constantly touching and stroking him. This would be lovely if he didn’t also feel the need to occasionally try and remove Ru’s eyeballs.

Let’s add “Not in his eyes!” to the list.

Thing is, my kids are not very responsive. Rarely, I’ll get a sideways glance, sometimes even s dirty look.

Most of the time, I get ignored.:

Poke, Poke, Poke

“How many times do I have to tell you to leave the baby alone?”

Poke, poke

“Baby’s cryin'”

“He is now that you’ve put your fingers up his nose, yes.”

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The sleep weaning thing

Before I launch into this rant, I have to add a disclaimer.  All babies are different, not all methods will work for every baby and this is all personal opinion and not an attack on people who suggest things or chose to use certain methods with their children.

Right, I’m a little saddened I’ve had to write a disclaimer like that to be honest as health visitors wouldn’t write a disclaimer before suggesting water or a bottle before bed but there we go.

It is totally 100% normal for babies not to go through the night until…well, I’ve heard of some kids not going through until 18 months or beyond.  Mind you, think about it, do you sleep all the way through with no moments of waking?

My son does not go through the night.  We sometimes get 6 hours, but mostly it’s around 4 hours and it’s consistent. He is a breastfed baby.  He has had 3 or 4 puree meals (no excuses, we tried it) and he is 21 weeks old.

I moan about not sleeping.  I’m allowed to.  I’m exhausted. But this does not mean I don’t accept the above.  As much as I bitch about living on 5 or 6 hours of broken sleep a night I accept that O is waking and he needs feeding or comfort.

I know he needs feeding or comfort because he can self settle.

So, if he wakes me I know it’s because he needs me.  And he needs me 2 or 3 times a night.  Not too bad considering life is still pretty new to him.

I’m sure everyone has heard “he’s feeding too often, time to wean.” Or “if you feed him solids he will start going through the night.” Or “when he wakes up, give him some cooled boiled water.” Or, my personal favourite “try giving him a bottle before bed.”

As above, if these methods have worked for you then hurrah! But my instinct just…well, I’ll run through them. (I only know about breastfed babies.  The formula thing is alien to me.)

“He’s feeding too often, time to wean him.”

The boy loves food.  He loves booby and he adores cuddles and kisses and fuss.  My girl likes to cuddle too.  O watches us eat with fascination.  He loves it.  If he’s offered a spoon, he launches himself at it with gusto.

He also has an immature gut. 

When we weaned The Toddler, we started at 16 weeks with puree. I was desperate to stop feeding her every couple of hours.  Weaning went ok until we had a tummy bug and then she had awful constipation.  I don’t just mean not going for a few days, I mean straining and screaming.  When she finally did go, it was like a yellow paste. I would have to sit on the floor with a towel and nappy under her, rubbing her tum, pedalling her legs and wiping her sore bum while she tried to push out the solids her body wasn’t ready for.  It was pretty horrific.

So after we gave O some puree which caused him not to go, I’m reluctant to carry on.

He doesn’t feed too often.  He nurses. He does it for comfort, because it calms him, because it soothes a sore belly, because he wants cuddles, because he needs a drink.  It’s not just about filling his tum up…

Which actually brings me nicely onto point 2.

“Weaning will make him sleep through.”

I’m sorry, but will it?! I’m fully weaned and even when I’m not in demand and not pregnant I still wake up in the night!  I still get up for a drink at 4am.  Sleep is not a hunger/weaning problem.  Babies wake up at night.  If you feel your baby is waking more than they should, then address this with your GP.  People wake for a multitude of reasons from hunger and thirst to sleep illnesses such as sleep paralysis (which I get) and sleep apnoea.

“Just give him a bottle of water when he wakes.”

Again, breastmilk is for thirst as well as hunger.  Water may quench his thirst but it’s not going to help if he wants to nurse because he has had a bad dream. I just don’t understand what good bloating him with water will do.

“Give him a bottle of milk before bed.”

I love this piece of advice. I’ve heard two mums discussing this at playgroup.

Mum 1: she started giving him a bottle before bed and he slept through.

Mum 2: aww, that’s good.

Mum 1: yeah, she was starving him feeding him breastmilk through the night.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!

I almost said something.

Formula is harder to digest. This is a fact.  So, what happens is yes, baby sleeps better but it makes their bellies work harder.  Personally, I don’t like going to bed after a huge meal. So this piece of advice makes me cross. I’m not going to fill up his little tum with formula just to make my life easier.  He cluster feeds to prepare for a night.  My milk is bloody good stuff.  There’s no reason he should give this up.

We also have experience of the bottle before bed thing. We were absolutely desperate to get the Toddler to sleep and stop screaming (she had pretty terrible colic) so we gave her a bottle before bed.

Not only was I uncomfortable so didn’t get to enjoy her sleeping, she went down well, then woke up a couple of hours later screaming and covered in milky vomit.  Needless to say, we won’t be trying it with O.

So yeah.  Rant over.  And breathe.

Thursday nights

Feeding O hasn’t really progressed.

Actually, that’s a big fat lie.  He has taken a bottle and will eat baby food.  He prefers the baby food to the 5oz of breastmilk I pump between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  The breastmilk ends up in the sink. I could cry, I really could.  But I don’t because if I cry about anything, the crazy might come out and I won’t stop.  So I just look sad.  Like cute puppy dog needing a home sad.  Or cute kitten.  Ok, I make the same face as the animals in the RSPCA adverts, ok? Can we move on?

So, breastmilk flushed down the drain…

He feeds when I get home (normally, not always) then the night begins.

Now, he can go 6 hours over night.  He usually manages 4.  I can cope with 4.  Eight to midnight, one to half four, five to nine.  Yep, we can work with that, especially if I go to bed about 10 and get a couple of hours kip in before he wants feeding.  Or I pull off a dream feed.  Either way, if he must wake in the night, this is the pattern I like.

Except on Thursdays.

I get home at 10, feed.  Go to bed a bout 11, get woken up at midnight to feed. Get back to sleep at 1 ish, wake up at 2 to feed.  Bed at 3, back up at four.  He might then go until she comes in at 7.30.  Maybe.

Then I spend all friday comfort feeding him.

All this because I left him for five hours.

Sigh.

My rollercoaster week

After the panic attack last week, I’ve been on a bit of a slippery slope.

Stress induced nausea is not fun.

Monday saw me trying to get an appointment at the Doctors, failing and feeling really shitty and as if no one wanted to help me.

Tuesday I went to a playgroup, knew no one, heard some women talking crap about breastfeeding and almost had a go at them.  I also found the staff member who came over to introduce herself quite condescending.  Oh and L wanted a drink, they told me snack time was over and then I caught one of the Cousins with a juice and a snack! So yeah, really not fun.  But I did get to have a heart to heart with OHs sister which I really enjoyed.

Ballet in the afternoon made me feel even worse when one of the other mums that I sort of know in passing turned up with her toddler and a 13 week old (I didn’t know she had two).  Her hair was done, she was wearing makeup and her kids behaved beautifully.   I hadn’t bothered to brush my hair, I was sweaty from a morning of chasing the toddler around and the Toddler decided to climb on the stage and refuse to go back in the car.  Oh and O needed to be fed all the way through.  So yeah, that left me feeling pretty crappy.  Especially when this woman started saying about how hard it was having 2! I know, I don’t know what her story is, and I don’t know that she didn’t just make herself up and things so that she didn’t feel shitty.  I’m probably being a bit unfair, but I was struggling.

Wednesday morning, shitting myself, I went to another playgroup with OHs sister….

And loved it.

The group has a very women friendly community feel.   The kids are in an entirely safe environment.  Everyone pitches in.  They have an arts and crafts half hour, which L loved.  They even got out the bouncy chair for O so I didn’t have to carry him around.  The other mothers were lovely and the ladies who run it were absolutely magnificent.  Loved it loved it.  Hearts.

Wednesday afternoon I went to view a preschool for L while we are still having issues.  Ended up enrolling her.  There was another woman there whose little girl and L kept fighting.  When I say fighting I mean they kept trying to sit on the same chair.  L is VERY strong-willed (why we clash – she’s as pig-headed as her mother!) and if someone is doing something unfairly, she will correct them.  (I caught her telling older children off for going up the slidey bit of the slide on Tuesday!)  Seeing as The Toddler seemed pretty at home there, we went for it.  Plus they gave us free food (always a bonus!)

Thursday I spent the morning with OHs sister again.  More bonding and chatting.  I wish there was something I could do to help her just get some time to herself at the moment so she can finish the things she needs to do, but short of taking her kids in place of my own, right now I’m helpless.  All I can do is go round there and make sure cousin 3 and cousin 4 and L and O don’t kill each other.  Maybe that’s enough for now.

Then today.  Today was L’s first day at the preschool.  We dropped her off (late) and then came home and did some housework.  We now have a nice clean bedroom (you couldn’t see the floor for laundry before) and O and I had some lovely cuddles and spent some time together just laughing at each other.  When she came home, she napped and then seemed a lot calmer than she has been.  She was well-behaved there too.  I think this is going to be good for her.  I’ve booked her in for Mondays and Fridays for the next couple of weeks.  I still have no idea what I’m going to do once our Childminder comes back, but I’ll worry about that when we get to it.  For the moment, I have two days a week which aren’t costing us any extra where I can actually get the house cleaned up and not looking like a crap hole.

I made a wanker sign at some impatient idiot who then pulled up beside me at the traffic lights.  What a dick (me!)  I seriously thought he was going to get out and twat me one.  It’s horrible having to avoid eye contact with the driver in the car next to you knowing that you just called him a name and he’s probably seething and thinking “There’s enough time for me to get out here…” Luckily he didn’t and the whole incident was a bit of a misunderstanding anyway.  I could have talked my way out of it.  Probably.

This evening I had to go out and feed mums cat, who is really very lonely already and it’s only night 1.  I did give her some fussing and made sure everything was clean ready for my bro in the morning, so she should be ok. I’ll go and give her some more love tomorrow.

On the way back, without the kids in the car and driving around in the dusk, I realised that when I start the massage part of my business, this is the time I would be going to work.  And it felt GOOD.  Now I can’t wait for the journey to begin.

O and the booby.

My kids are both very different.  I should have known that right?

For a start he is totally placid and she…well, she has my temperament.  So when their feeding habits and relationship with the booby differed, I shouldn’t be surprised.

But I am.

She loved booby. If I let her she would be there 247. She wanted nursing for comfort, food, to help her sleep, if she was in pain. And she would eat everything booby had to offer, day or night.

O is different. He loves his food, but if he’s just suckling, which he does, and I have a let down, he’ll pull off and spit it out.  When he’s tired sometimes he’ll want feeding, but he gets quickly frustrated by full boobs if he’s not hungry or empty boobs if he is.  It’s a bit of a gamble as to what he’ll take. The hardest thing for me is he will not nurse at all if he’s upset or in pain.  For example, after his jabs, he outright refuses even if I’ve been holding off so know he’s hungry.  The only way to calm him is to cuddle him on your shoulder and rock.

See, even second time round I’m winging it!

The wall

Granted, the wall was only about six inches high and I could step over it so giving up isn’t an option, but the pain that morning made me think twice.

This time I have had an easy ride of breastfeeding with the worst thing being some initial trauma as we got the latch correct. Oh and the vomiting caused by gluttony. But no mastitis, no thrush, no other issues…

Until now.

The nightfeed was painful. Pain ripping through my poor booby. I corrected his latch twice and persevered. After feeding, under my arm still felt full and achy but the boob seemed empty. Too tired to sort it, I went to sleep.

Woke up in the morning, latched him on again and held back a yowl. The whole thing just hurt! Again, I completed a feed but not without considering thrush or mastitis.

I’ve never had mastitis. Lucky lady. I have had thrush. It’s like white hot needles being pushed mercilessly into your nipple for each and every move baby makes. It was also a nightmare to treat. I think it was picked up by my mw as Toddler had it in her mouth too. I went to the drs to get some meds. They prescribed daktarin. Cream for my nipple (not safe for internal use) and gel for her mouth (which she gagged and choked on). I ended up using the gel on my nips too but each feed was just a battle and we weren’t clearing up. Then it was suggested we try flucanazole (sp?) pills. A week after treatment, we were clear.

So, you can see why I would be dreading needing any kind of treatment!

I had a feel about and found a lump where the pain seemed to come from, so after getting some advice from the lovely bfing community on Twitter, I fed O and gave the boob a massage. I also had a shower and massage.

Looks like that cleared it. 3 days on and the pain has all but gone. Phew!!! I had visions of major problems again – something I just don’t need right now.

The perfect pushchair…

Doesnt exist.

I’m a pushchair moron. Anyone who has ever seen me try to steer my pushchairs around anything will know that. The people who have had their feet run over by said bad steering will also know that.  Before you ask, yes my driving is awful too.

Anyway, having finally lost the last end of my rag with the Phil & Teds after a seat catastrophe and then a tyre catastrophe and being housebound for a week, we decided to go and purchase a side by side double stroller.

We went into Babies R Us at the weekend and looked at the Cosatto You 2 twin.  We had a short test drive and then came home to order the Polka Dogs version from Amazon.

So, today it arrived.

I took it out of the box, started to build it (sunhoods, adjust seats, footmuffs, test brakes etc) when Toddler brings me a small piece of grey plastic and asks “What’s that Mummy?”

Well, I’d heard a bit of a snap when I’d tested the brakes but I know that these things can make a noise when they click in, so didn’t think anything of it, but upon checking, one of the back wheels had cracked.  Not the most awesome start, I must admit.

I got straight on the phone to Cosatto and they were fab.  A new wheel is coming tomorrow, no questions asked.

So ignoring everything I know about health and safety and being a bad parent, I decided to take myself and my stir crazy kids out for a walk.

I have yet to brave the supermarket so these are early impressions.

Let me hit you with the Cons first:

1. It’s wide.  I can’t fit it in the house, but we expected this.  I’m a bit concerned about getting it through narrow doors elsewhere but I can’t think of anywhere I go regularly where I can’t either leave it outside or get someone to help me.  So more of an inconvenience really.

2. The wheels.  They are plastic, as is common with this type of stroller.  This makes for a bit of a bumpy ride as we have a lot of the textured paving around our way.  However, the pro of this is that the vibration seems to make the kids sleep.

3. The raincover covers both sides at once (although I don’t think this can be done any other way.)  It did mean that when she decided she absolutely did not want the rain cover on, it mean that he had to get a bit wet too.

4. It’s quite bulky – even when folded up.

Hmmm, I think that is about it for the moment.

Pros:

1.  My two love being next to each other and he really enjoyed being able to see everything and having the wind/rain on his face.

2. No possible way it could have a puncture.

3. She can’t kick, punch or poke him too hard from a sideways angle.

4. It’s not heavy to push.  Surprisingly, and even with a Toddler and a 3 month old seems fairly well-balanced (although you can feel the weight difference when going up or down hills.)

5. Goes very easily up kerbs and doesn’t feel like it’s going to tip at all.

6.

So there you have it.