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Eureka! The MilkChic Sanity Solution (Toddler Edition)

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If anyone has found this post hoping for salvation, I apologise now. It’s probably not quite that good. But it worked for me.*
*this morning, so far…

Small one slept like a dream as a baby, sleeping through from 6 weeks. She’s got over that now, and while the new house and a more stable routine has meant bedtime is starting to be less painful she usually wakes up in the middle of the night and ends up in with us. We’re trying to get to bed earlier ourselves so we can deal with it, but with trying to do the websites, unpack boxes, and find time to spend together, we usually end up passed out on the sofa and creep to bed about 1am.

This morning, small one held out til 445 before announcing it was morningtime and she wanted to get up. Even after an hours extra sleep, we were so exhausted we accepted her assessment of the situation without question and, having got her playing with toys, curled up in the foetal position hoping for another 15 minutes.

By the time we’d figured out how early it was, she’d been up and playing happily for a while and was demanding milk with menaces (amazing how aggressive “please” can sound…). Figuring I might hold out til the sun came up, I duly went downstairs and came back with milk and breakfast.

The effect was magical – she quietly ate ALL her breakfast, played for a little while, then climbed into our bed for a nap, waking up at 830. I should probably have got up and spring cleaned or done some domestic goddesstry, but I’m saving that for next time. I had a lovely rest, she woke up gorgeous and joyful, got dressed, had a second breakfast and helped me tidy her toys.

So maybe ridiculously early breakfast is the solution for us. If we are less sleep deprived, an hour in the morning to get organised while she naps could be a complete sanity saver.

I’ll let you know how it goes…*bounces away full of the joys of spring*.

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Lightweight Baby Sleeping Bags for Summer

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This hot weather is taking me right back. I had real difficulties getting the clothing / temperature levels right and from day 1, the small one would throw all her blankets off and then wake up frozen in the middle of the night

I found baby sleeping bags a godsend but the usual summer weight is 1.0 tog, which can still seem quite warm. There are 0.5 tog options available, but but usually at a price.

If you’re also a fan, the cheapest selection of 0.5 tog baby sleeping bags I have found are at Amazon and start at £15.99.

 

I’m very grateful that small one has better “central heating” these days as she seems allergic to bedding of any shape or form and if it’s cold I just have to wrap her up in layers of pyjamas. Tonight, I think she’ll be sleeping in just a nappy!

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Crimes of Breastfeeding

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In honour of Breastfeeding Awareness Week (19th-25th June 2011), I intended to write a post a day about my breastfeeding journey. I’m a few days behind, but I’ll get there in the end. Like breastfeeding, I am taking it a day at a time…

The more time I spend on baby and parenting forums, the more often I see the phrase “a rod for your own back”. It seems that everything you do as a parent is setting yourself up for future issues.

This is my guide to the heinous crimes committed by breastfeeding mums:

1. Feeding to sleep
caring mother by limaoscarjuliet - http://www.flickr.com/photos/limaoscarjuliet/154567026/Don’t do this. Not under any circumstances. If you feed a child to sleep, they will NEVER learn to go to sleep alone.

Bad mum tip: Breastfeeding makes babies sleepy. Fast. You get little enough sleep. Why spend hours rocking or try to wake a baby up again when you could have a nice cup of tea and a biscuit. Make the most of it. They won’t always be so easily manipulated!

2. Feeding for comfort
Congo: A Mother's Comfort by babasteve - http://www.flickr.com/photos/babasteve/4557682552/Don’t let your child use your breast as a dummy. You are just spoiling the child… Mothers are for nourishment, not for comfort!

Bad mum tip: It is OK to comfort your child. Babies need to suck. Don’t tell anyone, but breasts are surprisingly effective for this purpose. They are a similar shape to dummies, cheaper and don’t need sterilising. They are also very comforting… Breastmilk cleverly adjusts in line with your child’s needs so your “atrocious” parenting will have few ill effects. The only time you need to change it, is if it is making your breastfeeding relationship difficult. If it works for you and your child, it’s right.

The facts: Kellymom on comfort nursing and feeding to sleep.
3. Not having a “routine”

Copyright © 2010 Umbrella ShotYou are making a rod for your own back if you don’t get your child into a routine as quickly as possible. Babies don’t need feeding more than 4 hourly, they are just snacking…

Bad mum tip:Feeding on demand” is the most successful way to establish, and maintain breastfeeding. When you follow their cues, babies are less grumpy and give you an easier life, so why fight it? Besides, everyone knows that the ideal place for breastfeeding when out and about is a coffee shop. Treat yourself to cake while you’re there! Baby will settle into their own routine before long anyway. It will change if they’re teething, ill, they’re having a growth spurt, or even in hot weather to make sure your milk always meets their needs.

The facts: Is snacking that bad? Great article by Diane Wiessinger.
4. “Still” breastfeeding (at any age)
At some point in your breastfeeding relationship, you will hear the dreaded, “are you still feeding?”. Depending on your particular circle, it may start earlier or later… but it will start. It usually comes just at the point when you feel you are finally getting the hang of it. It’s sometimes curiosity, often well-meaning, and occasionally downright rude, but the effect is always to undermine your confidence when you’ve worked so hard to get to this point.

Bad mum tip: There isn’t one really. They are wrong. The WHO recommends exclusive feeding to 6 months, and breastfeeding alongside solid food to 2 years at least. The proportion of mothers in the Western world that manage that is tiny so to criticise a mum who is trying to do the best for their child at any age seems incredibly harsh. If you are “still” breastfeeding, whether at 4 weeks or 4 years, you probably know why you are doing it. This is my favourite list of responses for those times when the criticism gets too much.

I have made lots of rods for my own back. I chose them myself and, so far, they are wonderfully supportive rods and I don’t regret the hard work at all. Of course my daughter will probably grow up to be clingy, spoilt and dependent. You are welcome to tell her that… if you can catch her…

The other posts in this series are My Breastfeeding Journey: Pregnancy ; My Breastfeeding Journey: Breastfeeding a Newborn ; My Breastfeeding Journey: Finding My Style

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