About Me

A first time mum blogging the journey.

Monday, 28 January 2013

They grow so fast.

Poppy will be seven months this February.  Here is a picture from this weekend of me and my big girl.  Thanks to all those reading this blog!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Baby Buys - the essentials.

Baby clothes can be very expensive, especially as babies grows out of everything so quickly!  So here are a few tips for keeping costs down.  For those in the UK, get your baby essentials, such as vests and babygrows, from Boots, using a parenting club card (just pick up a form in store).  You will earn lots of points, useful for buying other baby essentials.  They are good quality and fairly priced.  Then buy the odd special outfit from mamas and papas/mothercare etc.  when you get a Boots parenting card you will also receive a free changing bag.  I still use mine now.  If your are planning on bottle feeding you may need a bigger one as its a little on the small size. 

Whilst I was pregnant I was tempted by all sorts of adorable outfits, once I was a mum I realised babygrows are a mums best friend.  They are easy to undo, essential when changing so many nappies!  The baby is very easy to hold.  With dresses and skirts they always ride up.  They keep your baby's hands and feet warm.  If you are having a winter baby make sure you have outfits with feet.  Lots of outfits have leggings and you need socks to go with them.  Trust me socks do not stay on!  When buying outfits always think about when in the year your baby will be wearing them.  Pramsuits are a must in winter.  Easy to get on as you don't have to worry about your baby losing a mitten or sock.  It also doesn't matter if they wriggle out of their blanket.  To see Poppy's pramsuit check out my post 'A winter walk'.

As I mentioned in my post 'caring for a one week old', you should dress babies in a vest first, then layer up.  So even in winter you will need short sleeves vests.  Usually they come in multipacks, they are rarely seen so do not need to be expensive.  Also try to buy outfits with vest rather than tops underneath.  These cover the nappy and keep your baby warm and comfy.

If you know someone who can knit, knitted blankets are lovely and warm, they will last a long time and look beautiful in the nursery.  A few knitted hats and boots are also useful. It is handy to have a few cheap plain blankets for prams and going over your baby in a quick journey in the car.  You will not needs lots of duvets as babies do not get that cold.  We loved our moses basket, however it wasn't essential.  So if you are cutting costs maybe just have a cot.  You will also need a few cot sheets.  Sleep pods are another thing which are useful but not essential.

Before Poppy was born we had lots of hats and scratch mits. These fall off and aren't necessary for very long.  So just get a few pairs.  Muslins are very useful however.  Lots of them, you can buy thm in most baby stores are supermarkets.  You can put them on the changing mat, over your shoulder, to wipe a dribbly chin.  Old towels are useful like muslins, so if a relative has some old towels stock up.  Other essentials you will need to get before your baby is due are nappies (newborn size), wipes (or baby lotion), cotton wool and nappy sacks.  Don't worry about using bubble bath and shampoo until your baby is a few weeks old but stock up whenever you see them on offer.  Bedtime babble bath is good for getting your baby sleepy in the evenings.  We found a bath support incredibly useful, we still use it now in fact.  This saves you from buying a baby bath which your baby will soon outgrow.  Poppy does or have a dummy.  Not all babies like dummies so wait and see if your baby might need one for comfort.  When weaning bibs with sleeves are a life saver.  Trust me.

Your baby won't be able to hold toys for quite a while so just a few soft animals or teddys to make the nursery look nice is all that's necessary really.  What I found invaluable was a playmat.  They have rattles and toys hanging close enough so that your baby can watch them.  When your baby is young they will not want to be put down, a play mat can be distracting enough to give you a free minute to do something or even sit and have a cup of tea.  Lots of mums swear by musical swings and bouncy chairs too.  So I would buy at least one.  A cot mobile is also a nice feature in the nursery and babies love watching them.  Some babies find them soothing and fall asleep watching them. 

For the medicine cabinet we have so far used Calpol for after jabs.  The infamous Infacol for wind.  We have also used Snufflebabe for decongesting during a cold.  For teething Dentinox is a good place to start.  Babies can't have most medicines until they are at least three months old.

I hope you've found this useful when preparing for the arrival of your little one!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


If you live in Yorkshire and you are interested in sling and carriers for your baby then check out Doncaster Babywearers on Facebook.   They hold meets where you can try out different slings, have a chat and a coffee.  You can also contact them at babywearing@live.co.uk.

Babies love to be held and to be close to you.  Slings are the perfect way to keep your baby close during the day but give tired arms a rest.  They are also great for going out and about without the need for a pram.  Keeping your newborn baby in a upright position is beneficial for babies with colic or windy babies. So if you live near Doncaster, check them out! 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

First Christmas.

A baby's first Christmas is a really exciting time.  Poppy mostly loved chewing the wrapping paper but is now loving her new fabric cubes.  She is also intrigued by the new coloured ducks floating in the bath!  I have to admit she wore a disgustingly cute Christmas pudding outfit on Christmas day.  What presents did your baby like the best?  Here are a few festive photos from around our family home.

Poppy pigs papaya!

As you know we have begun weaning and we have gone for the baby led weaning approach (check out my post on baby led weaning for more information).  Essentially we just give her pieces of soft fruit or vegetables and don't bother mashing.  The lazy mum approach!  It certainly feels very natural and Poppy is doing great.  So far she is loving food and has eaten everything we have put in front of her.  Yesterday evening Poppy had a papaya for her dinner.  So I thought I would share a few papaya pictures with you.

Very easy preparation.
Simply remove the seeds and the skin.
Forgot the bib!  
First expression!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Baby led weaning.

Weaning has begun!  I thought I would do a more up to date post on what is happening in our lives today.  Poppy is six months old now (such a big girl!) and so weaning has begun.  It is recommended you wait until six months before giving your baby food so that they don't develop food allergies and so that their digestive system can handle food.  If you think your baby may be ready before this it is best to wait as long as possible but mums know best, go with your instincts.  I felt it was important to wait until Poppy could sit up really well as it doesn't make sense to feed a baby that can't sit up.  If your baby is waking up a lot during the night this may not be hunger but may simply be a growth spurt or teething.  For a few weeks before she was six months we would give Poppy a piece of cucumber to gum with us at dinner time to get her used to holding food.  It is also great for teething as it it cool on the gums.  

We have gone with the baby led weaning approach.  This means no puréed food, but simply giving your baby soft finger food for example cooked carrots, parsnip,sweet potato, or soft fruit such as banana or avocado.  She has had some mashed food too at her grandparents house.  A lot of people worry about choking on chunks of food however babies are actually really good at eating.  I am pretty sure babies have survived for years without food processors....  Just avoid small food or hard food.  If you have waited until six months to wean then your baby will be ready to chomp and their hand eye coordination will be good enough to feed themselves.  If you have weaned a little earlier maybe start with mashed avocado or banana (check out my post on mashed avocado for the family). 

It is really nice for my partner to feed Poppy, it is something new for him and he is really enjoying watching her facial expressions while trying food.  So far Poppy has not rejected any food, she has tried banana, avocado, red pepper, pear, carrot, potato, cucumber, sweet potato and parsnip.  I think banana and carrot have been the favourites so far.  We also give her a sippy cup with cool boiled water with her food however don't worry too much as milk will still provide most hydration.  If you have exclusively breastfed then your baby will not need a bottle and can move straight on to a free flow sippy cup. 

So what can I tell you about weaning..... It's messy.  If you are weaning soon, BIBS, BIBS, BIBS!

Friday, 11 January 2013

A breastfeeding survival guide - Latching and let downs.

If you have arrived on this post then it's is probably because you are  having difficulty breastfeeding or have questions about it.  I have frequently trawled the internet looking for answers to whatever new hurdle breastfeeding has thrown at me.  Basically, it's not easy, some find it more natural than others and its forever changing with your baby.  Hopefully you will pick up a few tips from this post and find the experience as enjoyable as I have.

So you've had your baby.  Up until now your body has done all the work and suddenly you're faced with a hungry little creature crying for you.  In the first few days your baby does not require much food (they actually lose a little weight for the first few days), the milk produced is rich and creamy.  It is called colostrum and is the milk which is full of all the good stuff for your baby.  Your body will make it right away, so as soon as you're ready, try latching your baby, skin to skin.  Breastfeeding is not just for food, it's also about comfort.  Your baby seeks your breast because she is seeking you.  Smell and skin to skin contact are your baby's way of recognising you and feeling safe.  Suckling will give your baby a little colostrum and will also help your baby to sleep.  Often newborn babies will fall asleep while feeding, in fact this lasts until they are months old.  You soon begin to recognise the difference between feeding and suckling in their sleep, so if you are wanting to delatch your baby, gently pop a finger into her mouth and slide your breast away. I find Poppy was always quick to stir as soon as I moved her away from the breast so I recommend cuddling and rocking straight away to soothe and send your baby back to sleep.

Once you arrive home it is up to you to feed your baby however do not feel alone, midwives will be visiting promptly and there are plenty of breastfeeding groups to help and support your journey.  About three days after your baby is born your milk will come in.  This is the real stuff, the milk you will be feeding your baby with.  Try not to be alarmed by the size of your breasts when this happens!  Your milk will come in excess supply to begin with and your supply will settle down as you and  your baby become in sync.  Your body makes the exact amount of milk that your baby needs, the more she sucks the more you will make.  A lot of mums worry their baby is not getting enough milk or that their body isn't making enough milk, this is rare.  One of the best feelings I had as a new mum was when Poppy was weighed at two weeks old, there is something really satisfying knowing you have fed your baby and she is gaining weight well, I guess it feels like you have really done your job.  

So latching.  This is probably what gives most mums grief to begin with.  Everyone has trouble latching.  It is how you deal with it which determines whether you are going to be a 'natural' or not.  It takes a least two weeks for breastfeeding to become more comfortable and at least six weeks until it is properly established.  I was speaking to my mum recently and apparently she was telling a friend how easy I had found breastfeeding and how it wasn't painful or difficult for me.  I told her this was not the case!  I hadn't panicked about it as I knew it being difficult was only temporary and I had suspected it would be as tricky as it was.  She was surprised as I hadn't mentioned once that it was painful.  It really tests you at the beginning, after being exhausted from birth you are straight away faced with the pain of breastfeeding.  Once your baby starts latching properly you sore nipples really are a thing of the past and your baby will have longer feeds without pulling on and off. I think the most important thing to remember if you are struggling with latching is that both you and you baby need to learn how to latch properly.  With time you baby will get it.  So put down all the pictures of the 'perfect' latch down and just go with it.  Also there is no wrong way to breastfeed. You do not need to be sat in a breastfeeding chair with a cushion.  Laying down feedings were my saviour after having a difficult birth as sitting in a chair was almost impossible. Try different positions and make sure your baby has a wide open mouth, if your baby closes her mouth before latching it can be very painful.  Finally relax. 

When you baby latches they will begin sucking, this stimulates a let-down which means milk comes gushing out.  All mothers have different let-downs, some faster than others.  You will feel a tingling sensation (similar to pins and needles) then you will notice  you baby swallowing, fast at first and then more rhythmic.  If your baby is choking and pulling on and off the breast you may have a fast let down.  I had this problem to begin with.  I would wait for Poppy to pull away hold a muslin to my breast and wait for the milk to settle down and then latch her again.  Breastfeed babies have to work harder for their milk than bottle fed babies which just flows out.  If you have an impatient baby try to feed them before they are too hungry.  Also try to relax this helps your milk come faster.   If you want to express or partially bottle feed your baby try to wait al least six weeks until breastfeeding is established because the may forget how to latch or simply become a little lazy and want milk more quickly from a bottle.  The same goes for dummies.  If you are planning to express milk there is some useful imformation here: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/expressing-storing-breast-milk.aspx

So that's it for my first post on breastfeeding, the next post will have information on over supply, sore nipples and hind milk.  E-mail me or comment if you have any questions or tips.

Get a free baby sleep guide!

If you are having trouble getting your baby to sleep or want to learn a few good sleep habits check out the link below to claim a free sleep guide.  The site also has great information and tips as well as some sleep products such as comforters and night lights.

Good luck getting that full nights sleep!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Breastfeeding is thirsty work!

I am currently writing a few posts on breastfeeding, but here is a quick tip for new mums!  Breastfeeding makes you really thirsty.  Whenever you feed your baby have some water.  I think of it as replacing the liquid that has just come out!  Keep water next to your bed and get your partner to make you a cup tea when you are feeding.  It's important to stay hydrated and healthy to keep up your milk supply.  There is no finishing work with being a mum, feeding is round the clock so you may find you need to have a few snacks in the night too.  Don't worry this is normal and feeding your baby uses 500 calories a day! Exhausting.  I had a jar of dried fruit, nuts and seeds next to the bed, this made sure snacks were healthy, although I do remember the odd cheeky slice of 3 am cheese on toast.....