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The claws are out!

We had the nicest family day at a Marsh Farm last week. I went on my own with both children and it was a ridiculously warm day. 

We had a fantastic day, we fed animals, played on the park and had a tractor ride. The parks are huge and so much space for running around, in fact, the staff are also incredible and make the day even better for your family. So child orientated and animated. Each and every time we have been, they’ve entertained us no end. There is just so much to do, endless fun.

The fun had to come to an halt whilst I fed Emeline, as it was so hot, I took Jenson in to soft play and say where I could see him. Feeding Emeline, I sat and watched him like a hawk. At 4 years old, this is the first time he has ever been in to soft play alone. Protective Mummy has always sent Mummy in with him and today proved why. 

Whilst I sat their watching Jenson, I noticed his smile as he ran around bouncing and jumping, up and down different parts and sliding down slides. Then he stopped. He didn’t go down a slide, and instead it looked like he fell backwards, the prickles of my neck were up. At that point, he came running to me, sobbing with tears streaming down his face, a picture that I never see and cried out 

“Mummy, a boy is fighting me” 

My heart shattered and I was immediately up on my feet, Emeline in shock that her feed was cut short and outraged that I had started to put my boob away and finalise her feeding. I immediately went to find the child and the parent, as we approached them, another parent was already discussing the kids aggressive and violent behaviour. Not only had he punched Jenson in the stomach and face, he also hit two other little girls. 

The bit that bothered me the most was the mothers inabability to recognise her child was in the wrong, there was no way of her child apologising or for her to make him. His behaviour was not okay and it wasn’t picked up on nor was he provided with a consequence for his actions. His mum palmed it off as childish behaviour. No thanks. Sort your kid out. I found myself becoming more and more angry at the mother and how poorly she dealt with it, making it seem to Jenson that the actions of the little boy were okay when they were absolutely not okay.

I understand that not everyone parents the same, I just felt such injustice for Jenson. It is my job to protect him and I struggled so much to deal with the fact that I didn’t, I was so upset that I was feeding Emeline so I therefore wasn’t there for Jenson and someone else hurt him. I then couldn’t do anything to help him by showing him that what the little boy did was wrong. Jenson knows right from wrong and I am so proud to have taught him that and that he didn’t retaliate. Naturally, I told him that Santa won’t be sending him anything so thay reassured him slightly! 

To make it slightly better, I made sure we were able to stay a little longer and do some more activities. I let him choose where we were going for dinner and generally spoil him. For now, I am proud of my wonderful child and I am winning at parenting with his behaviour and manners.

Karma will get that kid… more fool him! 

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Everyday she does something different 

It goes so fast” – the line you hear throughout your parenting life and the line you say over and over constantly.  Whether it be when you’re watching them do something new or cradling them in your arms. It’s so true. There is nothing faster than looking back at the years, months or days of your child. 

Looking at Jenson, I am astounded at how old he is, how clever he is and what he can do. I remember the moment he was born and we cuddled for the first time. I was so mesmerised and completely overwhelmed. I had no idea what to do or how to feel. Then we had weaning, teeth, crawling, walking, running, talking, counting, reading, riding a bike, scooter, eating his own dinner… it’s endless. 

Amazingly, I am surprised each day by Emeline’s accomplishments. Every day she does something new. The beauty of the baby years. They change in a snap shot. Emeline is 7 months but I still look at her and see the tiny, warm, slippery baby that I delivered in the water 7 months and 4 days ago. 

The growth spurts and learning come hand in hand. She has two little teeth and she can say ‘mama’, ‘dada’ and ‘na na na’ as well as other sounds, she is learning to wave and she dances to familiar music, Emeline signs for milk and recognises familiar people. We have also experienced the attachment phase. Crying when she is put down or I leave the room. My ultimate favourite thing she does at the moment is drop things and cry, or cry when things are taken off her or she can’t reach something. The cause and effect stage. It is so frustrating for her and utterly traumatic but it makes me smile, it shows her ever developing little personality which I can’t wait to learn more about. 

There is definitely a difference between the first and second child when it comes to their accomplishments. I remember cherishing every moment Jenson did something, being utterly proud and mega excited for the an extra achievement. This time, I am still so excited but I want Emeline to slow down. The excitement and pride rushes over me and then the sense of disbelief that my 5 minute old baby can dance and clap! It makes me realise how quick it is going. I couldn’t wait for Jenson to have tummy time and get crawling, with Emeline, we avoid tummy time at all costs!! 

I try so hard to treasure every moment. To live for every minute and capture a snapshot and memory together but I also love every stage. I don’t want to wish their lives away but I have high hopes for them and their future. I don’t care what they do as long as they make themselves proud. I will always be proud of them.

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My breastfeeding journey


Breastfeeding causes such controversy. Some people agree and others don’t, it gets caught up in the headlines and as usual you have the odd incident which causes uproar. I feel very level headed about feeding, I have fed both my children, I am fortune enough to have done so, it wasn’t easy but I persevered. Nonetheless, I am by no means a breastfeeding ‘promoter’. How you feed your baby is your choice, like it was mine. I disagree with women being made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding and thankfully I haven’t been subjected to this negativity. 


I was quite a young Mum, having Jenson before I turned 24. I never really knew that I wanted to breastfeed, I knew I would try but I hadn’t made my mind up with Jenson. I wasn’t really sure what to expect either and I was very laid back about the whole feeding thing. Emeline’s journey was different, I loved feeding Jenson by the end and knew that I wanted to feed baby two.

Jenson’s feeding journey

Once I had delivered Jenson in the pool, he was whisked off for some oxygen. I laid on the bed and waited for him to be handed to me for my first cuddle, it was a whirlwind and I remember feeling so overwhelmed. We cuddled and cuddled. It was a good few hours before a midwife suggested that I tried to feed him. I had no idea, I didn’t even think and actually he was 4/5 hours old at that point and he should have been fed before. He had a little feed and then slept for the majority of the night. He didn’t make a peep. I spent most of the night watching him and weeping after the ridiculously amount of water I drank! The next morning, I fed him again around 11am, so in 14 hours he only had two tiny feeds. I had no idea what to do or how to do it. I don’t think there is enough midwife support with breastfeeding and still to this day, I feel the advice is inconsistent and not always accurate. 

Our journey with Jenson was a slow one. Two days after his birth he was still slow at feeding and I wasn’t sure on what I should be doing, we were admitted to stay at our local hospital for some jaundice treatment and Jenson had time on the sun bed! I could not fault the support we had there, Jenson needed food and we had a two hour plan, every two hours a midwife came in to support me and help Jenson latch. From there on, things started to work out. As expected my boobs became so painful, something that creeps up on you. I used some different techniques to help me manage the pain:

  • Breast shields
  • Nipple lotion – in my opinion there is no other cream that does it better than than Lansinoh.
  • Cold drinks – my husband would always have a really cold drink ready with a straw for me to drink as Jenson latched on.
  • Stress balls to squeeze


I finally felt like I was getting the hang of feeding. My boobs were still sore and incredibly full, they looked amazing, however, the constant weighing of Jenson brought the negatives. Jenson lost more than the 10% during his first 10 days. He was on the 9th centile, he stayed there but was slower at putting weight on, I was therefore hounded by health visitors telling me to top up with formula, pump breastmilk and see how much he is taking. I was unbelievably strong for a first time Mum and trusted my body and my own instincts and decided to ignore their advice, I knew he was putting on weight and he was such a happy baby that I didn’t feel I needed to give him formula. I had pumped but he wasn’t particularly interested in a bottle, in fact, he didn’t take a bottle until much later on and I wasn’t fussed by this. When I returned to work, I tried to express but I couldn’t really and he began to go off milk and opted for his food over milk. He would have follow on formula when he fancied it and I would feed him when I was off and morning and night. 

We got there.

After a year of breastfeeding, with his little teeth, he bit me. It bloody hurt. It also bled! At that point, I decided to call it a day. Jenson had his last nighttime feed and he didn’t bat an eyelid. I also felt relieved to be free again too a little. As time went on, I felt sad, I missed the closeness and the cuddles and I saw others feeding and looked on with gratitude to have experience that moment. 

Emeline’s feeding journey. 


The two of them could not be any further from the same. Same Mumma so same milk! Proves how every baby is different! I fed Emeline when she was just an hour old, mainly to get the placenta moving as I wanted a natural delivery. She latched on perfectly almost every immediately and suckled away. From there on, she fed every 2-3 hours and she was an incredibly efficient feeder so she fed for 10 – 15 minutes a time. 

Emeline loves her milk. Even now, she still loves to be fed and nursed. Her weight loss was minimal in the beginning and therefore her weight gain was on track and we were left alone. I felt more in control of feeding this time and I knew where I was going, however, I needn’t had worried as Emeline was a bigger baby who enjoyed her food more than Jenson. 

My advice

Not that I am really in any place to offer advice, but here goes, this is what worked for me. Some things that I found helped me with feeding, both my confidence and just my ability to feed too:

  1. Take your time – feed when and where you need to, don’t feel rushed or rush the baby. Everything can wait, even if that does include parking tickets.
  2. Feel confident – babies can be a nightmare. The amount of times Jenson would display my boob to a coffee shop was ridiculous. I wore a cape to keep my ‘dignity’ and also had a necklace for him to play with. 
  3. Don’t spend a fortune or nursing clothes – I used a lot of nursing vests and bras, these would be the two essentials but nursing tops are not necessary nor are they particularly comfortable. You can feed comfortable using a nursing best and wearing a normal lose top, also half the price. The tops where you open to pop your boob out did not work for me.
  4. Always carry breast pads – I particularly like reusable pads that I can wash, they need a few washes so they aren’t too fluffy and stick but you never run out, the sticky part doesn’t hurt your boob and they don’t make the papery noise. They also stay in place better throughout the day when you feed and turn your bra and top down.
  5. Wear a comfortable feeding bra – I love Marks and Spencer’s. They offer a good fitting service too and it’s generally advisable to get your nursing bras from 37 weeks onwards. 
  6. Use a high quality nipple cream – do this in advance to toughen up your nipples and continue to do so to keep yourself comfortable. You will still suffer some discomfort but it takes the edge off.
  7. Eat and drink plenty – breastfeeding takes lots of goodness, keep your fluid and food intake up. Keep snacks and bottles of water beside your bed, in your changing bag and at the bottom of the pram. Looking after Mum is the most important.
  8. Use shields – when my boobs were so sore and bleeding, I would use a shield to give them time to heal. I would cover my nipple in cream and continue to feed alternatively using a shield for a feed, then a break, then the shield again. 
  9. Get a good quality breast pump – definitely an electric one. Manuals need to have a good rhythm and take longer, time is not something you don’t have as a parent.
  10. Enjoy it! You have to dedicate your time, you will be the exclusive feeder for your baby, snuggle down, find the perfect feeding positions for you and your baby and enjoy it! Successful feeders are lucky, not every mum has a good journey and this can really upset and unsettle some mummies.

Finally, when Emeline was born, we had some photos taken at home. Our photographer was amazing and mentioned some women having feeding photos, I asked her to take some whilst I fed Emeline and I was delighted with the outcome. It really made me treasure these early days and I’ll look back on them with warmth. 

I feel so lucky to have been able to feed both my babies but also how much I enjoy it. I hope to feed any more we have. 

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Babyled weaning won for us!

We have been weaning Emeline for around 3 weeks now. She is a lover of food. She will try everything and nibble and suck on it. We started our journey using the Ella’s Kitchen weaning guide. Having weaned before, and it was successful, you’d think I would know exactly what to do this time round. Well I didn’t! Ideally, I wanted the same weaning experience as Jenson as that worked really well for us and he is a superb eater.

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I followed a brief plan for what I remembered with Jenson. I started about 2/3 weeks before he was 6 months and I did the same with Emeline. We started with dinner, the easiest time as there isn’t anything to to rush for and she could take as long as she needed. We did this for a week and then we introduced breakfast, once she was 6 months and she could eat a range of food, we introduced lunch. 

We tried puréed vegetables to begin with and Emeline’s first try of carrots was a huge success, then peas and lots of other yummy bits. Emeline then wanted her own spoon, very strong minded for a 6 month old but she was refusing to open her mouth. This solved the problem for a few days but then she didn’t want us to feed her at all. She had tried all the first taste vegetables so I knew her basic likes and dislikes. 

First try of carrots


I decided to just give her some of our vegetables, huge success. She nibbled on them with her two tiny spikey teeth. We haven’t looked back. Some days are better than others and generally she will eat everything and anything given to her. We definitely made the right choice by Emeline. 

Following Jenson’s lead


Crackers and cream cheese


One negative that I am struggling with is the amount of mess and food wastage. Emeline likes to squash, squish and throw her food. She has a brilliant mouth aim but once she has had enough, she just moves on so quickly. We have been following Ella’s kitchen on Twitter and Veg for Victory too, with the aim that children’s first taste should be vegetables. It gives the children a good start in life and familiarises them with these tastes rather than sweeter foods. They also run a little competition to win a veg for victory baby grow, Emeline won for being “brave in the face of broccoli“!
I worry about how much food Emeline is taking in and is it not particularly measurable once she has squashed it and thrown it everywhere but if she was hungry she would eat more. Her breast feeding has become more efficient and I know the saying ‘food before one is just for fun!!’ So I don’t need to worry just yet. 

I’ll keep going for now and just pray that she has the same food love as Jenson but Babyled is definitely the way forward for now. 

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Nothing stronger than a sibling bond!

I have adored watching Jenson and Emeline’s relationship develop over the last year, although she is 5 months, the moment he had his own scan picture next to his bed was when he fell in love with her.

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He wished and wanted for a little sister and he was convinved the baby was a girl, we began to question if we should find out incase he had a brother but we decided to keep it a surprise as he would be smitten regardless! Isn’t that the truth!

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We have started weaning…

Scott and I have been so looking forward to starting to wean Emeline, she follows food, shouts and is generally obsessed with whatever we are eating. We presume she will follow the family in being a real foodie.


We had a really successful weaning journey with Jenson too, he is such a good eater and will eat almost everything and I want the same for Emeline. It has always been, within reason, that he eats what we eat, from spaghetti bolognase to Indian take away – he is extremely well cultured food wise. We have also taken him out to lunch a lot, he chooses his dinner and loves this responsibility. 


So far, so good with Emeline. I’ve been using the Ella’s kitchen app and recipe book, although it’s just purées so far so it’s really straight forward. My weaning plan with Jenson worked well and I am trying to remember how we did it, so we are going for this: 

  1. Breakfast – porridge or cereal with baby led fruit.
  2. Lunch – baby led
  3. Dinner – purée for a taste of different foods with some baby led vegetables on the tray. 

We are only doing two meals a day as she is 5 1/2 months. We started with dinner and gradually introduced breakfast and finally we will add lunch. She isn’t overly keen on porridge or breakfast as a whole but loves the baby led part, I wonder if she will opt for that over being fed by us. Around 7 months, we moved totally to baby led and I’ll do the same if Emeline has chosen to do that first. 


It’s been so lovely seeing her try different foods, her favourites are carrots and peas. She definitely doesn’t like broccoli or cauliflower! Everything else she would happily eat but wasn’t over fussed on, butternut squash, parsnip, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and blueberries. Emeline has also been unwell this week so it has been tricky to work out if she was off her food or just didn’t like what we tried, apparently it takes the babies 10 attempts to try something to decide if they like it. 


We are going to start combining vegetables together for different tastes so tonight’s dinner is carrots and parsnip. I make sure I mix all her food with my milk for dose consistency too. I hope it continues to go this well! 

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Caravan holidays

Next week, we are going away and we will be staying in a static caravan. I spent my childhood enjoying caravan holidays and it has given me the best memories from my childhood. 

We are off to Dorset, a beautiful part of our country. I can’t wait. 

Yesterday, I rang to check a few things… One being a travel cot. We didn’t need one as I was taking my own. It was after I got off the phone, I was thinking about the size of the caravans we stayed in. I used my good friend, Twitter, and tweeted the company. They recommended that we keep the cot in the lounge.

Yes. That’s right. My daughter, 4 months old. In a cot. In the lounge, the other side of the caravan with the kitchen inbetween us.

 

Over my dead body! 

This absolutely amazed me! Not in a good way either. There is so much research in to sudden infant death syndrome and parents are advised to share a room with their baby until the baby is 6 months, some parents even share for longer yet a family friendly holiday village does not provide the appropriate facilities for this to operate. Mind blowing.

Scott also agreed that in no uncertain terms would Emeline be sleeping in the lounge and fortunately she is still small enough to fit in her Moses basket, it’ll be tight and the little fidget will probably be restless but there is no way she is sleeping on her own down there. 

I can’t really digest how any parent would be happy to do that to be honest. It’s the idea that the kitchen is between so if there was a fire, you’d have no way of getting to your baby. It seems like she is just so far away. 

I am going to try and ring them again tomorrow to see about upgrading our caravan, I am aware that the space won’t dramatically increase but I’d like to think they have some solutions for me. If not, moses basket it shall be and I’ll learn from my mistake.