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The First Week of Sleep Training My Breastfeeding Baby


If you follow my blog, then you will know that I've had broken sleep since Freddie was born. Actually, I had broken sleep for the last month or two of my pregnancy too. So roughly one whole year of crappy broken sleep. In the beginning, it didn't bother me. I didn't mind the hourly or two hourly wakes up calls through the night, every night. I was just happy that I had my little baby boy. You could say that I was in that 'newborn baby stage', but as the months were coming by, I started to realise that he just hated his sleep. Whether it was during the day or the night. He was terrible. I was (still am) sleep deprived, and it's horrible, especially having two other kids to look after as well as everything else. As he's not bottle fed and always been breastfed, it was always me getting up during the night, and I can put my hands up, I was jealous of my partner being able to sleep. But since we moved him out of the snuzpod (which is amazing) to the big cot, I decided to tell my partner that he was to wake up during the night sometimes and pass Freddie to me if he was to wake up during the night.

Four Years


When I met my partner six years ago, I was a nursery assistant at a local nursery and after school club daycare. It was the job I'd dreamed of, but in reality, I hated it. I loved working with the kids, and I have some of the parents on my personal Facebook, and it's lovely seeing updated photos of the kids and how much they have grown. Most of them are roughly the same as Mia too. It's a little scary how fast time goes. When I fell pregnant with my second, Elliw, my partner and I decided it would be a good idea to move in together before the baby arrived. It all happened so quickly. We moved in together October 2011, and I gave birth in March 2012. In April 2012 we moved to our second private rented house. During my second pregnancy, I was still going to work, but I had to travel on bus 2-3 times a week. It was a 25-30 minutes journey on the bus, as I couldn't drive. I suffered from nausea, really bad. I also had a severe back ache. I decided to go on maternity leave at 30 weeks. It seemed the right thing to do as I knew I'd be in and out of hospital each week once my liver disorder, Obstetric Cholestasis started and it did, not long after. I was due to go back to work around September but decided to quit my job instead. It was the right thing to do as Mia was starting pre-school and I wouldn't have had enough money to put her in a nursery while I worked, as well as travel costs.

Vital Baby 2 in 1 Steam Blend Review


I started weaning Freddie at around four months old, and it was one of the best things I did for him. He absolutely loves his food. He went through a stage where he was quite fussy, but after those weeks had passed I realised he started to try out newer foods and textures. One thing I thought I'd never buy was a baby food blender. In all honesty, I never actually looked one up. I was asked if I'd like to receive some Vital Baby products and a 2 in 1 Steam Blender to review. I jumped at the chance as I've always liked their products. When I received the pack, I was overly excited about all the different kind of items I received. I couldn't wait to try them all out.

Vital Baby offers a vast range of weaning products for babies. From spoons to bowls, to steam blenders. My most favourite product are the soft tip weaning spoons. They come in a multi pack of four or five. They're suitable from 4 months onwards, and the shape of the spoon is perfect. They're not too big or too small. Freddie loves biting them, especially when he's teething. Although they now have lots of teeth marks, there's still tonnes of life left in them, and they're the spoons we use daily. They are also safe from BPA.

The Vital Baby 2 in 1 Steam Blend is perfect when you start weaning. There are three different blend modes, so it grows with your baby as they learn new food textures. You can go from pureed food to lumpy foods. The best part of this 2 in 1 Steam Blend product is it steams and blends in the same bowl. There is no fuss or mess of having to swap the cooked food into another bowl. Once the food has been steamed and blended, the machine with switch off automatically. The blender is easy to take out of the bowl for easy cleaning. The blender can steam and blend various foods such as any vegetables, fruit, meat and fish. Another great feature of this Steam Blend is the large 600ml capacity. This allows you to batch cook which saves you time and perfect for not wasting foods. To store the food you can use Vital Baby's Twist and Lock Freezer Pods which are perfect for storing leftover food.


We also received the Warm-A-Bowl which is perfect for keeping your little one's foods warmer for longer. It's suitable from 9 months upwards. To keep the food warmer for longer, you need to add warm water to the thermal base. There's a cap to make sure no water will come out once closed - peace of mind. Available in a pink and blue, vibrant colours. Two other bowls that Vital Baby offer is the Travel Suction Bowls and Bowls with Lids these are perfect for home use and travel use. The suction bowl is perfect for those little people who love to throw bowls around. Why? Because it is suctioned tightly to the table, and so the bowl can't be moved. The bowls with the lids are great for storing food in the fridge or packing away to travel, it also comes with a spoon. The Trap-A-Snack is ideal for those little snacks. We use this - a lot. We put Freddie's little rice cakes, fruit or other small snacks in there. Freddie hasn't tried putting his hand through yet, but it's a soft top and would be perfect for toddlers to reach their snacks with no mess.




The Vital Baby 2 in 1 Blend also has suction bottoms so it won't slide on your kitchen counters. The vibrant colour orange is stunning.



* This is a collaborative post with Vital Baby. We were given these items in return for an honest review post. All images, words and opinions are my own. 


This post is linked up on; Tried and Tested

Save Money Whilst You're On a Family Day Out


The weather has been absolutely stunning the past few weeks, except for a couple of miserable days, but we can't complain. I've absolutely loved the sun shining most days recently. It's the perfect excuse to go for late afternoon walks with the kids after school and before their bedtime. During the week I can't do much with Freddie as I need to be in the area for the school run, so I tend to just stick around in the house or go for a small walk nearby. When it gets to Wednesday, I start counting the days for the weekend, and I start planning our weekend days. Another day I plan ahead is the bank holiday. My partner is lucky to have bank holidays off work, and so on those days, we tend to go out for the day as a family.

I Hated You Holding My Baby and I'm Not Sorry For Feeling That Way


When I found out I was pregnant for the third time, I was super excited but a part of me was terrified too. I was scared having to go through Obstetric Cholestasis again, I was scared because of my weight, how was I going to cope with three and most of all incase my depression came back again and worse. After I had Elliw, my second baby, I had bad depression. I've overcome it but not 100%, it's nothing compared to what it was before. Luckily, I've not been too bad since having Freddie. My anxiety has worsen but depression not so much. I guess I can say I am much better than I was after I had my second.

I knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to breastfeed and I stuck to that idea from the beginning. I felt extremley lucky that Freddie latched on pretty much straight away from the first feed and I've had no problems in the ten months that have passed. I have felt overly protective with Freddie, I'm not 100% to why because I was never over protective with the girls. I was confident and comfortable with them being able to stay in a grandparent's house or with a friend if I wanted to pop somewhere quick. But with Freddie, there's this attachment which I think, from experience, could be due to breastfeeding. I formula fed both my girls and it was my choice to breastfeed Freddie. Another reason I may have been (and still am) so attached is because he is my only boy and my last ever baby. Although it would be nice to be pregnant and go through pregnancy and the first hold again, I don't want to have to raise another baby. I feel three is enough for me.


Not was it only me who was attached, Freddie was also attached to me. For the first few weeks or couple of months, Freddie would cry with other people, even his own Dad. It did hurt me a little when he would cry with his Dad (my partner) because I felt guilty but in a way I was happy too that Freddie wanted me. As weeks went by I started to realise that I hated people holding Freddie. I hated going over to people's houses, or visitors coming here and taking him off me. Many of times I had to go to the bathroom, wipe my tears. It sounds really silly but I couldn't control my feelings. Freddie and I were so attached to each other. Watching other people try to soothe and settle him when he was crying broke me even more.

I literally hated it.

But I don't apologise.

It took me a good few weeks for me to get used to my own partner, his own Dad, taking him out for a few hours. At the beginning he just took him for an hour or less. A walk on the local cycle track and back home. Each time after that it was a little longer and I think we did it the right way. Each time he went, although I had tons of work I had to do, hundreds of e-mails to get through, lots of washing to do, I felt lost. I wanted my baby back home with me. Freddie cluster fed, a lot. He was stuck on me pretty much most of the day in the first few months, one of my reasons for weaning him at four months old.

The first time he went with someone else other than my partner was on Mia's birthday party. I was getting the decorations up and my partner was doing the foods. His parents went to take him for a walk so I could get things done. Although I was busy, I wanted him back home. He wasn't out for long as we didn't have much left to do but the time he was out, I was nervous and sad. The second time was with my Dad. By this time I started to get used to him going a few hours away from me as my partner takes them some Sunday's so I get work done. My Dad took him and the girls from about 10.30 until 2pm. It was a nice break but I still found myself lost.

Ten months later, I'm still feeling anxious when he goes out places without me. I worry incase he needs a feed or if he wants me. Although at the back of my head, I know he's fine. I'm much better at giving him to people to hold now. I don't get all fired up or upset (as much). I have noticed that recently the only people I don't like holding him are people who don't do much with him. Again, sounds ridiculous.

He's been going to his Nain's (my partners parents) once a day, every week for the past month. My partner and I are going out for our first proper child-free full day on the 20th. We're doing something to celebrate six years together. It should be lovely and I'm really looking forward to it. Each week Freddie has gone I've been a little nervous but he's been really good. The first time he was quite upset but the three times afterwards, he's been a star. He's been really good. Which I'm glad.

I've come to a stage where I am exhausted. I'm exhausted from the lack of sleep for over 10 months. I feel like I need a break. These little breaks a week have helped me, a lot. It's helped me catch up with a lot of my work and it's also helped me be ok with Freddie being with other people.

I did feel guilty for having that horrible feeling and not liking people hold my baby boy, but I can't apologise over the attachment I had with my boy and I never will.

Did you ever find it difficult to see other people holding your baby?






Freddie's 10 Month Update


It feels so strange that he's now in the double figures and only two months to until I write his one year update. It's quite scary how time has flown by. I remember feeling absolutely miserable this time last year, but I was looking forward to our 4D baby scan. So many changes in such little time. This month hasn't been all that easy, in fact, it started not to badly but from the second week onwards, it's been exhausting. Really tiring. The joys of the broken sleep every single night. I'm really glad I've written his update every single month, it's lovely to look back on each month. I'm not too sure when I'll stop writing these updates, but I find it comes to a point where they stop changing so much in a month but right now, they learn so many new things at this age.

SLEEP
Oh. Sleep. I miss you. We still do our usual bedtime routine. The girls go to bed by 7pm every night, so it's calmer downstairs for Freddie. I then take him up between 7.30-8pm. I settle him by feeding him and then put him down when he falls asleep. At the beginning of the month the evening was still a hit and miss, but the night time he would just wake up 1am,5 am then 7am. But for the past few weeks now, he's gone back to his old ways. I take around half an hour to settle him. He wakes up half an hour later, every single evening. I think we have got a bad habit, I give in and pick him up. I think I'm going to have to catch up with work big time and concentrate on teaching him that I will not pick him up every single time he cries during the evening. He did this before, and I just remember how down it made me feel, I am feeling it all over all again too. He isn't too good during the night time either. He's been waking up every 2 hours, sometimes every 1 hour. It's exhausting. I'm back to zombie mode in the mornings, and I hate it. I literally hate it. So much. If one thing I could change is his sleeping habits. It's so difficult. Especially having to function for the school runs, keeping up with him during the day and the girls too.

He will nap either once or twice a day. Depending on how long he sleeps for his first nap. He will go down for his morning nap at around 10.30-11am. He will sleep anything from 30 minutes to three hours. If he sleeps more than roughly two hours, he won't have another nap until his bedtime. If he sleeps less, then he will have his next nap around 2-3pm, which he will sleep on the school run. His afternoon naps only last 30 minutes. He did one for nearly two hours one day - which was amazing. The girls were in after school club too which was a bonus as I managed to have time to myself, two hot cups of teas and did some work.

Edit: Freddie had his longest night sleep, ever. I started Sleep 'training' again on the 13th. We are currently on the third night (tonight). On the second night, the 14th, he slept from 9.20pm until 6am which was amazing! I don't think it will happen again, but I can hope!


FOOD / BREASTFEEDING
He has three or four meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, tea and sometimes his supper, depending on when he had his tea. He's really good eating his meals. He eats pretty much anything now which is handy as I just cook him the same as the girls. He's always been good with foods but took him a while to get used to some textures such as pasta. Plus, if something looked strange, he wouldn't touch it. But he's much better now and eats anything. There are still a lot of foods we need to try him with though.

He still breastfeeds. I do plan to wean him off by 12-13 months which makes me super sad because I wanted to carry on until 18 months at least, but that is no way going to happen. I will talk more about my decision in another post. He feeds during the night, in the evening and morning before we get out of bed. He will also feed once or twice during the day, usually before a nap time. If we're out were he doesn't usually feed.

TEETH / TEETHING
He's still got eight little teeth, and I think he's teething again. He's constantly dribbling and got his hands in his mouth.

SIZE / CLOTHING / WEIGHT
He's currently in size 9-12 months and fitting into some 12-18 months. I am planning on taking out his 12-18 month clothing out in the next few weeks now. He hasn't been weighed by the health visitor for a good while, and she's coming to visit us next month for his next check up. We took him to get his feet measured for the first time and he is a size 3 and a half G. Both girls were wide fitted and a size G too. He's got some adorable pre-walkers which he wears most days now to get used to.


NEW MILESTONES
Freddie has finally mastered crawling - kind of. He goes on his all four's but pushes one of his legs instead of crawling with it, if that even makes sense. It's hard to explain, but it's super cute. He still bum shuffles everywhere though. He's also mastered standing up with support, on his own. He's getting the hang of slowly walking along holding furniture or a walker. He can also sit himself up, which is really handy as he'd got really frustrated every time he fell over and couldn't get back up.

LITTLE THINGS FROM THIS MONTH
Freddie's had a new trike (review up soon), and he absolutely loves it. We go for walks a lot during the evenings before bedtime now seeing as the weather has been lovely. We sometimes visit the park, and he loves sitting and swinging on the baby swings. He laughs if we push him a little higher, which is super adorable. He's super cuddly still, which I love but he can be super clingy too which can be quite a pain at times, but he's only little once.





SmarTrike 5-in-1 Recliner Infinity Review


Freddie is 10 months old now and he's at the stage where he's constantly being nosy. Whether he is in the pram or in the smarTrike. We go out for a walk down our local cycle track, that's only two minutes away from our home most evenings before bedtime. I find the fresh air helps the Freddie and girls get a little more tired, or I'm hoping it does a little at least. We were sent the smarTrike 5-in-1 recliner infinity to review and a part of their #smartDiscoveries project. Seeing as we go for a walk at least once a day and more than once over the weekend, I said yes and Freddie's enjoyed many adventures with the smarTrike since we have received it. It was pretty easy to put together, the instructions were easy to read and I managed to put it together on my own in less than half an hour. I forgot to put the timer on for an exact time. 

The smarTrike goes really smooth just like your pushing a stroller. The trike has five stages and they are;

Stage one; 
For the first few stages your child can sit in the adjustable, tilting recliner seat. Perfect for short naps if baby feels tired after all the nosing around. There's full parent control with the detachable parent steering handle. 

Stage two;
Still with parent control, your baby can be seated in the high-backed seat. 

Stage three;
At around 18 months + you can remove the canopy and safety bar. Parents are still in control of the trike but baby can still explore around and develop confidence, balance and motor skills before the next stage.

Stage four; 
At 24 months, this is the training part. You fold in the footrest and your child learns to pedal. 

Stage five;
The last stage is the classic trike at 30 months. By removing the parent handle you child can start riding their trike independently.




Freddie has loved his little adventures in his smarTrike. He babbles to himself, constantly looks around and looks super comfortable in the padded recliner seat. He's at the age where he loves to sit upright and so the seat only gets reclined if he's a little tired or gone for a nap. As we take most of our walks on the cycle track he's amazed by the cyclists that ride past us and the most hilarious thing that he does one our walks is laughing hysterically at dogs who bark when they walk past us. For some strange reasons he just loves it when dogs bark. Funny enough, our middle, Elliw, is absolutely petrified of dogs. The girls have also loved pushing Freddie in his smarTrike. It's so easy push with the parent control handle. 

The smarTrike is suitable from 10 months to 3 years. It's available in various colours, we chose the stunning navy blue. There are two storage bags, one small one at the top that is perfect for storing your phone and keys. The second is an optional bag to clip on over the plastic back basket behind the seat of the trike. As well as storage space to keep your little one's drink infront of the trike handles. The canopy is perfect for keeping the sun off your little one's head when they are younger. 

Here's a few photos of some of our little adventures with the smarTrike; 
















* We were given the smarTrike 5-in-1 Recliner Infinity to review as part of their #smartDiscoveries campaign. Although, as always, all words, opinions and images are our own. 

Linked up at: Tried and Tested