Staying Organised With a Baby

When you have a child it’s so hard to keep on top of everything and sometimes that’s okay, because sometimes you really don’t have the energy for it.

Sometimes it’s okay to leave the laundry, to leave vacuuming and to leave organising the washing and ironing, but let’s remember to not leave it to the point where you’re pulling your hair out.

I will also say that it’s sometimes boring doing the same routine every single day. You can switch up your routine and by making days out even if it’s to your local park, library and to a friend or relatives house, getting out the house will make your routine less boring.

I’d recommend researching your local play and stay groups, speaking to other moms is like therapy I tell you because you feel like you’re normal after talking to them about how you feel. Also going to art and craft places for children, researching sensory and activity play for them and taking them swimming is also a good idea.

There’s plenty to do that will stimulate them and keep them occupied!

Anyway..

Here’s my tips that have helped me stay organised with my little munchkin pie, and I hope they help you.


Pack Your Changing Bag The Day Before

Honestly. Have you ever needed to go out the next day and you’re literally stuffing your changing bag with everything possible because you ”might’ need it without actually thinking about what you’re actually putting in your bag? It’s also the panic too and making sure you have all of your baby’s essential items.

Packing your changing bag the day before you’re due to go out is so much easier and having food ready in the fridge so you can just take them out the next day and pop them in your bag.

Packing your nappies, wipes, a spare set of clothes, a toy and your purse and items you might want in your bag will take away the stress of sorting it the next day. You’ll be getting yourself and baby ready anyway which is hard enough!

Set Both Of Your Outfits Out Just Before You Go To Bed

Kind of like the changing bag situation. There’s nothing worse rushing round looking for things to wear and then trying to figure out what you want your baby to wear. I normally check the weather the night before and pick out his outfit and put it on my wardrobe door along with my clothes (I normally leave my clothes in the bathroom on the coat hanger.)

Obviously if the weathers changed you’d change the outfit, or maybe get two outfits out ready so you’re prepared. Having an outfit prepared will be so much straight forward for the next day.

Buy Toy Boxes & Storage Baskets

For your little ones small toys and teddy bears, a toy box is essential so that you can put away the toys rather than them being scattered all over their nursery or in your living room. Even show your baby that you’re putting them away.

When my son was 11 months I’d say “put toys away then” and he wouldn’t do anything but just observe, id do this when it was bath time because normally I’d Bath, read and then it’s time for bedtime.

Doing this will intrigue them and now my sons 18 months I’ve continued doing this and he helps me put away his toys in his toy box. It’s nice when you’re child helps you tidy up haha.

Set an Ironing Day (Mines a Sunday!)

Who even likes ironing anyway? It’s one of the things that bugs me but I know it needs to be done.

I set a whole day where I can iron, I either ask my mum to have him for the day or I iron whilst he’s napping or when he’s in bed.

Depending on the day though if nothing’s gone to plan I’ll iron clothes the day before wearing them so they’re not creased. I find though if I get all my ironing done and his ironing done and on the wardrobe, there’s less stress.

Set Days For Weekly Chores e.g. Change Bedsheets On a Saturday

On a Saturday I’ll strip down mine and my sons bed and change the sheets and on a Friday I will polish everywhere, scrub the doors and handles, and I’ll vacuum the ceiling (yes the ceiling because cobwebs and dust). Setting days and spacing it out will not only be easier than just doing the whole thing in one day because your body will be in utter shock, but you will feel better that you’ve got these things done.

I normally change my sheets just before bath time and I try and get my son involved now that he’s walking. Before I would stick him in his bouncer or his walker, while I went on to do what I needed to quickly do.

Freeze Meals (But Remember To Take Them Out The Day Before!)

Freezing dinners can be such a great help. For example if you make a big dinner and you have left overs, it’s always great to freeze it. Such as spaghetti Bolognese, baby puréed food (in ice cube trays it’s such a great thing to do). You can basically freeze anything just make sure you do a little research.

Like I said about baby puréed food if you make your babies food yourself you can always put them in an ice cube tray, and freeze them and then defrost the ice cubes the day before when you’re due to use them the next day. This helped so much. It takes away the stress of constantly having to make dinner every single day, it’s a quick and easy fix.

Wait Until After Dinner To Vacuum

I’m not sure why but I used to her so stressed trying to constantly clean up after my son throughout the entire day. Now I literally let him trash my place until after dinner time (which is when I’ll normally Bath him anyway) and then I’ll begin to clean up properly.

I make sure I vacuum daily just because he picks up the bits from the floor, but I make sure I leave this until after dinner because there’s nothing more frustrating than vacuuming then dinner time comes, and the floods are ruined again.

Make sure you empty your vacuum though afterwards and pick up any big pieces so you don’t clog your vacuum.

Plan Meals Throughout The Week So You Have an Idea On What You Need To Buy

If I don’t plan what I’m having for the week then I will go to the shop and buy unnecessary things. I’ll also spend twice as much and come out with more junk than actual food.

Planning what you’re having for the week ahead and then going out to buy the food that you need will prepare you and you will have bought everything you would need for the meals ahead rather than just guessing and getting whatever.

Put a Load Of Washing On Before You Go Out or Whilst You’re Doing Dinner

Just remembering to put a load on whilst doing dinner or just before you go out is just cutting down your wash load. By time you’ve came back or by time you’ve finished or ate dinner the load will be done ready to hang out the clothes.

I always put a load on while doing dinner or if I’m cleaning the kitchen.

Sorting your washing into colour piles on the floor whilst putting in the loads is also less stress than going through your pile of washing and just picking out clothes then and there.

In The Morning, or Just Before Bath time Place Bedtime Things On The Bed

I’ve only just began doing this but it’s so straight forward to just get them from the bath, straight into the bedroom to get them changed for bed.

Every morning now I will make mine and his bed, and I’ll put a few nappies, his lavender baby powder and his bedtime clothes on my bed and a fresh towel ready for bath time.

You obviously don’t have to do this in the morning it’s just that we never really go back into my room unless it’s time for nap, but he goes into his own bed now.

It’s just so much easier to sort out in the morning rather than getting them out the bath then remembering to get their clothes.

Try and Stick To The Same Routine

When I say stick to the same routine, I mean breakfast, lunch, dinner, bath and bed.

I mean sometimes times will differ. I always make sure though without fail I will Bath my son around 7:30pm or 8:00pm so he knows bedtime is coming soon.

It’s good to keep a good bedtime routine around the same time so that they will go to bed easier.

Not all the time are you going to get them to bed at the same time all the time and sometimes they won’t sleep through which is perfectly normal. But you want them to be aware that this is now night time, so they’re mentally ready for bed and they know bedtime is soon.


Even though it’s hard to be organised with a child, it’s just nice to have tips here and there so you don’t get too stressed.

I remember the days that every day blended into one, everywhere was a mess and I was exhausted but as they get bigger it’s so much easier to get things done.

Like I said at the beginning it’s fine to sometimes have lazy days, you’re entitled to them but we need to remember to not let it get out of hand.

If you’re finding yourself too overwhelmed and you can’t get things done, ask somebody to help you. Ask someone to have your child so you can get the house or dinner sorted in your own time, or even if you just wanted a break the entire day, that’s absolutely fine.

Love,

Louise oxoxo

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Every Child Is Different

Each and every person is an individual being, with different emotions, different developmental goals and each of us will reach milestones at different stages.

Each of the child's developmental sectors (social, emotional, intellectual and physical) should be taken into consideration and parents shouldn't apply pressure on their child if they see another child hitting milestones. They will hit the same milestones at a different time when they are ready.

Who even knows, they might be focused on a completely different milestone such as walking, or talking (as the brain doesn't allow your child to focus on the two).

When one child is ready to potty train, another won't be. When one child cuts teeth early, one won't until a couple months down the line. Your child might walk early, but may not be great at speech just yet which can make you worry, vice versa, but once your child feels fulfilled and confident that they've reached their goal they will focus on something else.

There's so much pressure from adults and normally this stems from their doubt that they aren't doing a good job, this feeling is natural and we will always question ourselves.

It can also stem from other mothers constantly comparing their child to yours, or when you hear other children speaking well, see other children eating healthy or maybe down to your child being shy and seeing others be confident.

You must remember that every child is different you can always encourage them to learn new skills, and of course encourage them to become more confident and out spoken but never pressure your child because of others, in good time they will also hit that milestone.

When I moved out for the first time I was surrounded by young mums.

One kept comparing hers to mine because she had a child the same age, he was always a healthy eater, mine wasn't at the time, he slept through the night, mine still doesn't but she used controlled crying which worked for her but I'm uncomfortable doing that, and whatever my child was doing, he would always seem better.

This really began to play on my confidence as a mother until I did my own research, and instead of questioning myself I began to sit back let my child explore, I kept my old routine as I was trying to change things to how she did things which didn't work for us.

Each households values and routines are different too, what works for you may not work for another family.

I feel like adults should keep in mind every child is different. It's like when a child misbehaves I hear mums complain about the child instead of thinking "oh well, he could be teething", "she could be unwell", there could be many reasons why a child is the way they are.

I also hear mums say "her speech isn't good for two", "he isn't even walking yet and he's one", "she still breastfeeds and he's well over one now", she's made a rod for her own back by allowing that child in bed with her, I couldn't do it". Of course everyone has an opinion on everything but I feel like no one should judge or even come across like this especially when it's to do with the way a mother parents her child, and about children in general.

If parenting is positive, baby is healthy and happy and If that works for their child then great. If there's delay in speech or walking, let them deal with that. No need to add to their load of worries (as we already do as parents).

Be mindful, positive and always support your fellow parent. Times can be rough and if someone seems like they're struggling, offer a helping hand. They will be grateful and who knows you might be the one person to pick them up off the ground to continue with this magical journey of parenting.

Love,

Louise oxoxo

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Breastfeeding For Over a Year: What now?

I’ve been breastfeeding for a year and 6 months! How time flies.

My son is thriving and I’m happy I’m continuing my journey with breastfeeding however now my son is one, I’ve been getting a lot of pressure to stop breastfeeding and to wean him by health professionals and by family members and peers.

However doing research on the Kellymom website, I’ve gained a lot of confidence knowing I don’t have to stop just because other people have different views on what’s the norm.

I’m being told by people continuously when I mention “I’m going to stop when my son decides to self-wean” that “he won’t self-wean, he’ll be on the breast until he’s 10!” Of course it’s banter and it’s them being uneducated in that department.

If you’re breastfeeding and wondering if you need to stop just because of their age, If you’re enjoying breastfeeding and feel like your little one isn’t ready to stop then don’t wean your child because of the comments from other people or health professionals unless there’s a problem with weight gain, or any health conditions that is interfering with breastfeeding.

I’d recommend to find a breastfeeding support network in your local area, or to seek advice with the breastfeeding support team and phone them for more information.

The longer you breastfeed the longer your child is getting nutrition and there will be a time where your little one will self-wean themselves from the milk when they’re fulfilled in other ways and drinking and eating well. Read more about self-weaning here

Also, if your little one isn’t sleeping throughout the night and people are telling you it’s because you’re breastfeeding, they’re wrong. 

If you’re uncomfortable to do controlled crying like myself, there is no need to do that. Even though it’s frustrating that your little one doesn’t sleep throughout the night, they will hit a milestone when they feel ready to sleep through the night and that’s without doing controlled crying and forcing them to sleep through. 

The reason I was put off controlled crying through the night was it apparently has negative effects on their emotional state. It causes baby to feel as if no one is going to meet their needs, there’s more information here.

However saying this, plenty of family members have done controlled crying and it’s worked brilliantly for them. I just couldn’t bare doing it.

If controlled crying works for you then that’s great, every family does things differently and it works for them.

Just because you’re breastfeeding doesn’t mean your child isn’t getting enough. If anything they’re getting more than enough, I’m not sure why people act as if breastfeeding isn’t a natural thing when your body produces it and your boobs know exactly how much your baby needs and what nutrients they need! Which is impressive if you ask me.

If you do want to wean your child, that is your choice but don’t think you need to wean if you are starting work or other factors because you can continue through expressing bottles or expressing and putting it into a sippy cup.

Your child might even not depend on it as much during the day, and may want it on the night which is the case for my son at the moment because he’s so active and on the go.

Don’t feel pressured to stop if you feel like you’re not ready or baby is not ready. Please seek more information to gain more knowledge which will also build your confidence!

Love,

Louise oxoxo

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My Birth Experience – Share Your Experiences In The Comments

Hi lovelies,

I was thinking about my birth experience and a few people at play groups have asked me what my birth was like, so I thought I would write my experience and I’m hoping you’d share yours too!

My due date was the 15th of March 2016, but he arrived on the 22nd of February 2016, he was born just under 4 weeks early bless him.

It was a Monday when he was born, and on the Saturday my family threw me a surprise baby shower.

I had no clue what so ever, so I turned up with no makeup on, with scruffy clothes on and I looked like a hot mess. I was so unhappy because I was extremely uncomfortable and I kept crying on and off that day.

After the baby shower when everyone went, my cousin took one look at me and said “you look like you’re about to cry”. That was it, I started crying my eyes out, I couldn’t stop! I was so upset and uncomfortable. She then said to me “you’re ready to have this baby, I have a feeling you’re in slow labour”.

So on the Monday, my waters broke at 5am. 

I woke up in a puddle of water, I was questioning if I actually wet myself, so I popped up to my cousin and told her what had happened etc. She told me to go and wake my mom and that I need to contact the hospital because my labour could move very quickly.

So I woke my mom up. I had no pains what so ever, so we made breakfast and I was convinced that I would be like Kourtney Kardashian, I would be able to gracefully have a shower, pace myself, do my makeup.

No. Pain began to hit. And it was all in my back and it was no joke.

This was around 8am. I had phoned the hospital at 6:30am explaining my waters had gone, and they told me to go to the hospital for 9am If I’m not getting any pains and to my hospital bag because they would keep me in because I was 36 weeks.

So this pain was horrendous. I like to think I have a high pain tolerance level but labour pains are unexplainable.

Every contraction was exhausting from the get go. My back felt like it was breaking. 

When we first got to the hospital the midwife said to me “it might be a water infection” I completely lost it and shouted at her to check me because this was definitely not a water infection! 

I was 3cm dialated when they checked me. I went to run a bath to help the pain, but I couldn’t get comfortable because of my back.

I had signs a few weeks before of my mucus plug, but during my labour the full show was there.

When I was 5cm that’s when they moved me into a room and that’s when I could use the gas and air which was amazing.

I also had pethadine which made me very sleepy. 

Because my blood pressure was so high, and because my little ones heart beat was mimicking mine, I had to be laid on a bed with a monitor on my stomach, a heartbeat monitor on my baby’s head and also someone checking my blood pressure constantly.

When I got to 7cm, every time a contraction was coming my whole body would shake and I’d feel cold. My mom was scared that there was something wrong.

I opted for an epidural at some point and I had the man tell to me about having it and what he was going to do. If I’m honest the pethadine made me so drowsy I kept falling asleep on him and I remember saying “I am listening, I’m just closing my eyes” 😂.

I was very close to having a c-section.  

I got to 10cm very quickly, and that’s when I shot up alert. I needed to push! 

The midwife tried stopping me before checking me, and my mom stopped me because of what the midwife said. 

Because I was strapped to the bed and I couldn’t get up to move, the sensation was so intense I even begged her to let me go to the bathroom.

She checked me, and as I looked at her she was smirking and I knew she could see my baby.

She then gave me the ok to push, so every time she told me to push I did. It was so exhausting but at the same time my body had the urge to push it was such an unexplainable feeling.

When his head came out, I remember when I was pregnant people called this the ring of fire, and I would honestly say that was the second most painful thing in my whole labour, but it didn’t last long.

Soon after his whole body came out and we could hear him cry instantly. My baby was finally born at 1:31pm.

They put him on me for skin to skin and this was the most amazing moment of my whole life.

His eyes opened to take a look at me and I instantly fell in love.

He took his first feed and latched on straight away. It was all amazing, but also very quick because he was drowsy.


A lot of moms said that they needed an injection to deliver their placenta, but my midwife just massaged my stomach and it sort of just came out. I didn’t see it and didn’t want to if I’m honest. 

I was examined and was told I needed stiches. I had a lot of grazing and a 2nd degree tear. 

They numbed me which was actually the 1st most painful thing in my labour experience because the injections stung severely, and then they stitched me up.

The stitches were uncomfortable but they were the last thing on my mind. 

Afterwards they gave me tea and toast and told me that I could get up for a shower. Looking at my stomach flappy, and different now that I had given birth was so weird.

Throughout hospital, I struggled with breastfeeding. I felt that I didn’t get the right support in hospital but I got great support once I got home.

What was your experience when giving birth? Did everything go to plan?

Leave your comments below, I love hearing different experiences.

Love,

Louise oxoxo

10 advice notes for New mothers 

Do not feel bad if you want space from visitors!

Ok, I get that every single family member, friend, neighbour etc want to have a cuddle with the newborn. But you have just had a baby and you need time to adjust, heal and get settled in. Maybe you’ll only want one close family member or friend around to help out or perhaps you will just want some alone time to settle in. 

Of course it’s different if you are feeling really emotionally upset and are turning people away, then I do think it’s best to talk to somebody about how you are feeling. It doesn’t mean you’re not coping what so ever and there are people to help such as your Heath visitor or midwife.

If you genuinely do want space from people to adjust to motherhood and to get to know you’re little one now that they are born, don’t feel bad. If they were there for you, they will understand and allow you to bond and heal. 


Everybody is going to have an opinion on how you choose to parent.

Unfortunately it’s true and people will give you tons of tricks and tips on feeding, sleep routine, weaning.. The list goes on. 


AND
they won’t be afraid to give out their opinion even when it’s not wanted. If you want to do something your way as long as it’s safe, then do it your way and be confident in your decision to do so. 

Kindly accept their opinions/tips but don’t take them on board. Do your research, follow your instincts. Every household and parent do things differently as every child is different!


If you want to breastfeed/bottle feed then so be it!

It is completely up to you how you feed your child and you don’t need to answer to anybody. As long as your baby is putting on weight, is healthy and you are following safety guidelines I think the way you are feeding your baby doesn’t need to be explained. 

I breastfed my son and I’m still going, so I can only relate on that level. A lot of people will be happy to sway you from breastfeeding or try and give you advice when they have been poorly educated or have heard tales. 

If you want to breastfeed then do so, make sure you have a great breastfeeding support team to help you with any problems or enquires you have whilst feeding your baby and don’t feel pressured to stop before baby and you are ready due to other people’s opinions. 

Research on the Kellymom website really helped me feel confident after hearing people say “how do you know he’s getting enough?” “He’ll sleep better if you just gave him a bottle” “he’s one? And you’re still breastfeeding?” Also my local breastfeeding team really helped me. 

There is also a national breastfeeding helpline available to contact that I will link.

The same applies to bottle feeding. If you’re happy to bottle feed as long as you are safely following guide lines, baby is putting on weight etc then perfect. Other mums I’ve spoke to have told me they feel guilty that they bottle feed, but if your baby is well you should feel confident in your decision to feed and as long as baby is healthy, and happy you are doing a great job.


Keeping your baby close is not going to make a clingy baby.

I’m not sure if you have heard this but speaking to my friends who are mums have all said that they have come across this saying when their baby was a newborn including myself! 


Think about it
. Your baby was in your womb for 9 months. They were always close to mum. They know your voice they know your smell, they want to be close to Mummy. 

You will certainly not make a clingy baby if you want cuddles, allow them to sleep on your chest and if you pick them up. Do whatever you feel is natural and follow your instincts. A baby who is picked up more, attended to more and is close to mum is a secure and happier baby.


Age and circumstances do not have an impact on how well of a mother you are

If you’re a young single mum like me, no doubt people have judged you and spoke to you like you are naive and don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. 

Age has nothing to do with how amazing you will be at parenting. Just do your best and I swear by research and instinct! 

Never ignore your instincts. Your baby is an amazing bundle of joy who needs protection, warmth and a lot of love and you are not incapable of doing a great job just because of your age or circumstances.


It’s okay to not have your sh*% together some days

You have just had a baby you’re adjusting to broken sleep, this new precious life and also trying to keep sane at the same time. 

Your house is probably a mess and you probably don’t even know what day it is and the last time you actually had time for yourself to have a shower. 

That is completely normal. When you’re having one of those days when things seem to be on top of one another, just take it as a bad day. 

Leave the chores, forget the fact the house is a mess, get somebody to make you dinner, let somebody that you trust have your little one for an hour or so, just so you can have that hour to yourself. 

Invite someone over that you can talk to, do whatever you need to feel better.


The worst thing to do is to go online on social medias. 

We all have that one mother who were envious of because her hair is always sleek, her makeup is on, her house Is immaculate and her child is 24/7 smiling and never seems to cry but the truth is in reality that one picture took a second to take. Reality is, not every mother is going to have amazing, stress free days and that’s absolutely fine and don’t feel bad or guilty if things don’t go to plan that day. 


Talk to other mums

I was the first friend out of the group to have a child and whenever I spoke to them they couldn’t relate so I’d feel like a failure and as if I were an alien. 

When I began attending mother and baby groups, speaking to other mums I realised its normal to feel the way I do sometimes. It’s completely normal that my son is doing certain things and I stopped feeling crap about my parenting and began to get confident in what I was doing through speaking to other down to earth mothers.


Never compare your child to anybody else’s child

Even though speaking to other mums is great and you do feel human, but when they start saying things like “well he started walking at 7 months”, “oh well, my daughter started speaking sentences from 5 months” “he rolled over when he was a day old”. I mean what I’ve said is over exaggerated but it can make you feel like ‘well why isn’t my child doing this?’ 

Honestly the amount of time I wasted always worrying about my sons development, he didn’t crawl but once he started cruising and taking his first steps that’s when he began to crawl. Every single child hits milestones at different times. 

When one child is learning how to talk, the brain doesn’t allow them to learn how to walk at the same time, vice versa with learning how to walk. 

Every child develops differently as long as you are doing all you can and if you are concerned then speak to a professional such as your health visitor and see what they suggest but 9/10 they will reassure you that nothing is wrong as you are doing a great job.


Don’t feel bad if you want time for yourself 

As mothers we carry a lot of guilt. Having a baby, trying to cook, clean and keep sane is exhausting and every single mum deserves a break now and then. 

Don’t feel guilty for that as you are only human. Arrange with someone who you trust to look after your little one so you can have a day’s rest and to catch up on house work. Even if its for a couple of hours.


Enjoy the journey of motherhood

At times it will test you to the maximum at some points in the day. Your little one will also make you laugh so hard and you will appreciate all these amazing moments. 

Just remember they think the world of you and they love you so much. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t got the high tec stuff for your child, you’re all that they need.

Have an amazing day, 

Louise oxo

WHATS IN MY CHANGING BAG | PARENTING | LIFESTYLE | 7 Month Old

My son is turning 7 months this month, and there’s been times when I’ve been out thinking “I wish I had this, I wish I would of packed this” so if I know I’m going to be out the next day I try to pack it the day before so I’m organised, I can get baby ready and myself ready without worrying about the changing bag. 


My changing bag is called ‘Babymel Grace Changing bag‘ from John Lewis and I love it. It fits everything in, and it looks lovely.

Here are the things that I put in my changing bag which are essential.

Nappies: Of Course the number one thing. Anything could happen, accidents can happen and it’s not fair to leave your baby in a dirty nappy for hours. It’ll be uncomfortable for them. I take about 5 nappies just in case, and fit them in one of the pockets in my changing bag.

Wipes: Again something that is essential. If he’s sick, wet wipe at hand is handy. I need wipes in order to change him, wet wipes are handy for anything even myself! But we’re talking about baby. When he begins eating I will probably be using them all of the time. It’s a must to carry a pack of wet wipes in my changing bag at ALL times.

Baby petroleum jelly: I use this as a protection barrier when I change my child. I used to use Vasaline but switched to Boots baby petroleum jelly. I love it it’s exactly the same as Vasaline but stretches out better and is cheaper. This helps prevent sores and helps him not get sore from his nappy. 

Three toys: Distraction is handy when baby is close to tears and irritable. Toys are needed in situations when you need to distract them or keep them entertained. I put three of his favourite toys in my changing bag so if he gets bored of the one, I’ve got two more to keep him going! 

Two bottles: I’m currently breastfeeding at the moment, but I like to do a bottle of expressed milk just in case and a bottle of cool boiled water. It takes me an hour to express just 3 or 4 ounces. It depends on the day in all honesty I’m not too sure why because when feeding my child, he’s content and he’s gaining amazing weight so I’m unsure why I can only express 3/4 in one hour with breaks. 

Jar of puréed food: he’s began eating now, and the amazing thing about that is I don’t always have to go and find somewhere to breastfeed him. And like I said above its sometimes hard to express milk some days, and he loves his food so this is a must for my changing bag. Just don’t forget a spoon!

A reading book: He’s really into reading at the moment, especially the sensation books where they can feel different things such as fur imprinted in the books to go along with the story. It’s a great distraction and good development for them. If you think babies are too young to be read to, your wrong! It’s good to begin reading as soon as they’re newborn. It’s great development and good for a routine, such as if your getting baby ready for bedtime. Bath, then reading a book is good to help baby wind down. 

His red book: Anything could happen, I just love to keep it with me. The baby’s red book holds down any medical information and is available for doctors or nurses to write in anything they feel is important. You take this book to his injection dates at the hospital or doctors surgery. Not everybody brings their red book out with them but I feel at ease doing this.

Dummy: Again another distraction! If there is no hot water to heat up the bottles, or if I can’t breast feed my child there and then a dummy will keep him ‘satisfied’ for a few minutes until I can go back to my car to breast feed, or somewhere where I’m comfortable to breastfeed. Also the dummy helps him self soothe.

Two vests and Two sleep suits: Anything could happen. He could be sick all over his clothes so I would have to change him, he could get really messy and soaked when feeding, he could have an accident where I’d need to change him. Carrying two is important and always prepared. If I would only bring one pair out and he were to soak it with his dribbling again as he’s teething and hates wearing bibs all the time, then I would have no other clothes to change him in. It’s always good to be prepared!

A blanket: I always make sure I carry a blanket with me for his comfort and if the weather decides to dip as I live in England, I’m prepared by keeping him warm with the blanket. I use the blanket to cover up myself when I have to breast feed him in public.

Teething Solution: I could never leave the house without this. His teething is making him so irritable, so without this he would be screaming and very miserable. This helps numbs his gums and soothes them when they’re hurting him. I have Anbesol liquid as I find its better than the gel and you can get this at boots.

That would be it! 

What do you have in your changing bag? 

Louise.

CREATING YOUR BIRTH PLAN.

You’re probably in the last stages of your pregnancy and preparing for the birth of your little one.

Your birth plan can be very important to you, or you may wish to go with the flow of things and not have one. It’s entirely up to you and it depends on what you would want happening at your birth.

In your birth plan you will have to write down things, such as:

  • WHERE YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE YOUR BABY: some mothers may choose to have their baby delivered at home, or at a hospital. It is entirely up to you and where you find most comfortable. If you do opt for a home birth read about it here, and your options when opting for a home birth.
  • WHO YOUR BIRTH PARTNER IS: this is important so that the nurses understand who that person is to you and whether or not you would like them to speak for you whilst your going through a contraction.
  • WHAT IS YOUR PREFERENCE OF PAIN RELIEF: Some people like myself may choose they would prefer to try and do the birth without an epidural. It all depends on what you want. Here you can read up on the different pain reliefs you’re entitled to and what effect it will have on you and your baby. It’s important to educate yourself, also to bare in mind if you can’t handle the pain it’s okay and it’s okay to opt for another pain relief even if that wasn’t on your birth plan.
  • DIFFERENT POSITIONS FOR BIRTHING AND THE USE OF EQUIPMENT: it’s good if you could try and attempt to attend antenatal classes as they show you through the birthing process, breathing techniques and positions that help during your labour. Speak to your midwife about attending antenatal classes and ask for more information regarding the positions used and the equipment in the room that you will be entitled to use to hell hour labour.
  • HAVING TRAINEE NURSES THERE ASSISTING YOU: everybody has different opinions on this and this may not bother you but I just wanted strictly qualified and experienced nurses at my birth because of family experiences that I wasn’t comfortable about. Of course nurses need to learn in order to become qualified nurses and better at their job, the choice is entirely up to you. I would say if you’re considered high risk to really consider this option.
  • ASSISTED BIRTH AND IF YOU ARE OPEN TO IT: assisted birth is when you would need the help of forceps or ventouse to get the baby out. You have the option to have the help of those when baby is so close to coming out or the option not to opt for that. You must consider the safety of your baby and the easiest way to get your little one delivered.
  • SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT: on my birth plan I made this essential to be written everywhere. Even though I told them not to read my birth plan because I was in so much pain, I think they considered a lot of my points. You have the option to make skin to skin essential right after baby is born to help regulate their temperature, and remember it’s a scary time for your baby as they’ve been snug in your tummy for 9 months, hearing your heart beat and being close to mommy is very comforting to them.
  • DELIVERY OF THE PLACENTA: once baby is delivered you have the option of delivering the placenta naturally or you also have the option of having an injection to help speed up the process. I chose to do mine naturally and while I was holding my baby boy the nurse pressed down on my stomach and massaged it, and there popped out my placenta. Every experience is different and sometimes having the injection is the easiest option as you may be too tired to deliver it.
  • YOUR FIRST FEED WITH YOUR BABY: whether you would like to try and breastfeed your baby immediately after birth, or whether you would just like them to be formula fed. 
  • IF BABY HAS TO GO TO A SPECIAL CARE UNIT: it’s a good idea to write down what you would like to happen, in case this does happen. Would you like to care for your baby as much as possible or would you prefer the midwives to do this instead.

Once you have created your birth plan go over it with your midwife, family nurse, whoever you think would make you think of things to add or think deeply about. It’s important you get your birth plan checked.

MY BABY’S ROUTINE | PARENTING | LIFESTYLE | JUNE 2016

When I was pregnant I was obsessed at looking at routines online because you think whilst your pregnant “how am I going to do this?” “How will I know what my routine is?” Trust me you will!

For me a routine is very important with my son. It allows me to know where I stand, what I’m doing for the whole day and my baby is in a brilliant mood.

Just bare in mind, my child is 4 months old and I am 4 months experienced in parenting. This will be frustrating to read and to follow with a newborn as they’re more needy and feed more regular.

If things are out of line such as bath time, he gets a little fussy and now he distinguishes between day time and nighttime, and goes to sleep for 7 hours before he wakes up ravishingly hungry, and then goes back off to sleep for another 2/3 hours. 

Also bare in mind routine always switches, sometimes things are out of line or are different, this is just what happens on average. Every baby is different so trial and error is a good place to start.

DAYTIME:

My first feed with him will be around 5am or 6am or even 7am. He will wake up hungry, and still tired and I will feed him straight away and he will go back to sleep for another two or three hours. This is perfect for me because I can either choose to go back to bed or get up and start my day which I normally do. This gives me time to shower, eat breakfast, get his daytime clothes ready and just get the whole day started. 

Once he wakes up finally around 8am, 9am or 10am, I’m normally awake before him and I greet him and speak to him so he wakes up really happy and excited for the day. I think it’s easier when your there to comfort them when they wake up. Sometimes my baby has woke me up screaming out of no where, so when you see them just waking up, talking to them is reassuring. 

I take him downstairs to get washed down or top-and-tailed. I wash him down using Johnson products, such as top-to-toe and johnsons baby bath everyday cleansing. I use baby powder on him because he’s a chunk, and has a lot of rolls I like to make sure I’ve got rid of any moisture that could cause him painful sores. It makes baby’s skin super smooth.

After his wash down, I feed him and sometimes he decides to take a nap, 7/10 he will take a nap. If not we play on his play mat until he wears out and eventually takes a nap.

He will nap up until around lunch time hours when he’s hungry again, so I will feed him and play and interact with him. 

AFTERNOON

Around 2pm I try to aim to take him out for a walk around the block just for fresh air and sanity! He’s very alert and loves to observe the scenery. I talk to him show him flowers, we listen out for the birds. I want him to know how beautiful life is. 

When we get home, he’s either knocked out by the fresh air and naps for an hour and half, or half an hour Or he’s hungry again. So I will feed him and then interact and play with him.

If we haven’t been out I just play with him and help him with rolling over and tummy time as that’s very important for development. I also take him out the back garden to listen to birds and show him scenery if the weather is decent. 

I also distract him by taking him in different rooms in the house. He finds that really fascinating and loves the different patterns on the walls.

EVENING

Bath time is at 6:20pm. When in the night garden comes on. He loves the programme and focuses more when he’s in the bath. I’m unsure why but it actually does tire him out. I use Johnsons bath time bubble bath lavender, and once he’s out the bath I use the Johnsons baby powder nighttime blend which is amazing and smells delicious. I highly recommend Johnsons nighttime products they actually work and help promote bedtime. They smell delicious too.

After dressing him which will bring me up to around 7pm, I will feed him again and he will take his last light sleep nap for half an hour or an hour.

I would potter around while he’s asleep, making sure things are clean, ready for bed time, his sheets are changed and my bedroom is clean and cosy for him. 

Once he wakes up from his nap at around 8pm I read to him, talk to him softly so he knows it’s night time and wind down time, not hyper and active, which he loves to coo back to me and look at my expressions. 

We cuddle and watch in the night garden on BBC iPlayer until he gets tired. At that stage I feed him upstairs in my bedroom at 9:30pm/10pm/11pm, with his two night lights on and he will drift to sleep. His favourite night light is the Chicco goodnight stars projector. He settles on my chest and is more comfortable there, so I stay with him on my chest for 10 minutes so I know he’s in a deeper sleep, then I put him in his Chicco next 2 me crib which is amazing if your breastfeeding.

During the whole day as he’s breastfed, and he feeds on demand. There’s no timing or knowing when he will want a feed. 

I hope you’ve found this useful, if you’re anything like me I researched routines and information to help him go to sleep. I’m considering writing a newborn routine but saying this you and baby are both discovering each other and life with parenting so I think getting a routine would be important after 2 months. It’s good to implement it from early but it’s perfectly normal if baby is not sleeping throughout the night, my child only began this at 3 months.

Thanks for reading,

Louise x

SINGLE MOM POST | JUNE 2016 | LIFESTYLE

During my pregnancy, I was so terrified to become a single mother. I didn’t want to burden my mom, I didn’t want to burden anybody. I thought that this is my responsibility so I have to do what’s best and bring up my son the way I would like him to be brought up, I would want to do this by myself because I was the one who got pregnant and it is my responsibility. 

I knew when I found out I was pregnant when me and the father had different views on abortion and keeping the child that I would be a single parent. Not just by that, it’s like I knew deep down and I accepted it and come to terms with it. I was okay with it some days, some days I just wasn’t okay because it’s a huge life change in your life. But I made sure that I was prepared every way possible when he arrived. 

Having said that, my mom does offer her support when I need it. If she can see I’m tired she will take him shopping with her for half an hour, she will bath him for me while I have a nap. The little but helpful things really do help a lot when you are a single mother. It’s okay to take support when it’s offered, and it’s also okay to ask for support by others that are happy to help out. When you’re a single parent a good support system is needed whether this will be authorities such as your health visitor or family nurse, your family members, friends.. Anybody that are genuinely happy to help.

It is hard sometimes because I’m very protective and picky when it comes to people looking after my son and he’s never been out of my sight yet because I feel that he’s too young and I wouldn’t be comfortable with it – I mean this as an over night thing – of course my mom taking him out for the day is the only thing I’m comfortable with, but the first few times I was erratic. Which was pathetic, since she’s had 3 children herself. I know nothing would happen to him, but it’s just an urge to hear that he’s okay and happy.

It’s also important to know that things will work out and things will be okay. No matter how hard you think it is at the time, in a few months time will that problem still matter?

If the problem is to do with the child’s father it’s good to know where you stand legally, such as putting him on the birth certificate, what rights they’re entitled to which you can read about here. Also, if he isn’t paying a penny towards your child and who you can contact and get involved which I will link information about that here. If he isn’t seeing the child as much as he should be for example if he’s drifting in and out of your child’s life, offer a contact centre legally so it’s logged down that at least you have tried. 

At a contact centre the parent has to visit there once a week sometimes more depending on what is discussed. If they’re not going to listen to you and cooperate then definetely go down the legal route in case they choose to get authority involved claiming you’ve stopped them seeing their child. It’s best to have it logged down that at least YOU have tried. 

If it’s a situation where you’ve had no choice but to become a single parent due to circumstances e.g. Domestic violence, counselling and help from authorities will be amazing. Organisations such as women’s aid are fantastic. Even going to visit your doctor and explaining to them the situation, they are able to refer you to different services and it’s all confidential. 

There is no point necessary to shout at your child if he’s screaming, if he’s not going to sleep, if he’s not cooperating. It’s not their fault. They’re getting used to this crazy big world they’re not doing these things on purpose and they want to be close to you. Just offer support and understand that they will never always stick to the same routines due to growth spurts, teething and other factors.

Being a single parent at 19 going on 20 is completely different to what I expected in a positive way. I would of thought it would be harder than what it is but saying this I’m only 4 months in. I’m happy with the way I’m doing things, I’m happy my son is a healthy happy bundle of joy and I’m so in love and embracing motherhood. There’s no point crying and running from the situation, you have to make the best of things not make it your excuse to let them down.

Everything happens for a reason, and my angel was a gift from God and I will do him proud no matter how tough things get.
Louise x

10 THINGS I WOULD OF DONE DIFFERENTLY DURING MY PREGNANCY 

My beautiful baby boy is coming up to 3 months old. He’s happy, content and I’m getting the hang of parenting, routines and breastfeeding and he’s getting used to life outside the womb.

I was thinking for a few days of things I would of done differently and things I will do with my next pregnancy, and I thought it would be a good topic to write about. I don’t live to regret these things, I just would like to recommend some tips to those mothers to be out there.

1. ATTENDED ALL BIRTHING CLASSES – definetely number 1 here. Through out my pregnancy I was absolutely convinced that I would be strong enough to just deal with the pain. I would say “I would never embarass myself and scream and shout I think I’d be able to do it”. No. No. No!! You have never experienced such pain as contractions, it’s good to go to birthing classes to find out coping methods to deal with the pain such as breathing techniques, positions you can get yourself in. Instead of pacing round like a raging loonatic shouting and screaming for quiet!

2. SWIMMING – I would of loved to of gone swimming while I was pregnant. It’s supposed to be beneficial and your baby is supposed to like it in the womb. It apparent makes them kick more. I would of benefited from the excercise and I would of thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m not too sure why i didn’t attend swimming classes but I will definetely be doing this next time round.

3. TAKEN CARE OF STRETCH MARKS – this is going to sound ridiculous but I think because I’m young I believed that my stretch marks would magically “disappear” or “I will deal with them after I have the baby”. I just wasn’t phased by my stretch marks whilst I had a huge bump (my excuse), until that deflated. I’m now left with long purple stretch mark scars because I was so big. I think it’s important to start treating stretch marks and even if there isn’t any visible, treat your bump for stretch marks.

4. NOT OVER SPENT ON NEWBORN SIZES – seriously. I went overboard on newborn outfits but didn’t focus on clothes with 0-3 and 3-6 months and so on. My boy only spent 2 weeks in newborn, then another 2/3 weeks in 0-3 months and then he was in 3-6 months. He gained so much weight quickly and he is a long baby. Now he is in 6-9 month clothes and he has just turned 3 months old. So my advice would be to stock up on other clothes in the ranges 0-3, 3-6 months and so on. So if your baby does gain weight and grows fast you’re prepared.

5. I WOULDN’T OF HAD A BIRTH PLAN – I imagined my birth to be a water birth, no pain relief, I could move around breathe, labour my child whilst having the freedom to move and it would be peaceful with aromatherapy oils. NO! Not for me anyway. My case was different my baby was 3 weeks early and my blood pressure was sky rocket so i was strapped to a bed couldn’t move but it was so important because they had to monitor my heart beat, blood pressure and also he baby’s heart beat and check whether he was distressed so I literally could not move. Which was horrible going through every contraction but here we are. When I was going through contractions I couldn’t handle noise. HATED NOISE! Anybody talking I would be shouting Shhhhh! I’m not sure why I just couldn’t focus and get through the pain. Because I wrote a birth plan they kept interrupting me asking me “on your birth plan Louise..” I literally ended up saying “F%#* the birth plan!” It was too much. I ended up having pethadin and Gas and air which wasn’t too bad. I’m just saying anything happens on the day and the birth plan is the last of your worries. I would recommend just going with the flow but also educate yourself with pain relief and the different things your entitled to when you’re giving birth such as an excercise ball that you can roll on, a birthing pool and even running yourself a bath. I remembered the bath before I was given any pain relief and it was the first thing I did. It helped and was relaxing.

6. I WOULD OF BEEN MORE ACTIVE – throughout my pregnancy all I did was stay inside and sleep, or just lounge around. Realisticly I should of went swimming, I should of forced myself to go out of the house but I was just too scared of loosing him for the first 4 months and the other month I was too exhausted and I turned lazy. I couldn’t get out the house I didn’t have the energy to move. This has kind of turned into a good thing now he has arrived because I’m used to staying in the house. But I believe my stretch marks wouldn’t of been so bad, and I think my energy levels would of been higher. 

7. STOCKED UP ON FUTURE SIZED NAPPIES – This is important because you go through nappies like no tomorrow. My baby stayed in size 1s for a month then we had to switch to size 2s. The size 2s lasted for 2 weeks then we began putting him in size 3s because to me they seemed more comfortable 

8. TAKEN MORE VITAMINS – I felt really unhealthy during my pregnancy. I had 0% energy and I was just plain lazy but if I would of taken vitamins I believe I would of felt more energised and healthy. It’s important to make sure you have the essential vitamins to help the growth of your baby. I took 3 iron tablets when I could remember and for the first couple weeks I did take folic acid. In my third trimester I bought these vitamins from Asda. You can get them from boots but it just one tablets 

9. ATE HEALTHILY – cravings make you want everything and anything especially if you have morning sickness and can’t eat just anything. For me whatever I craved I got because I couldn’t stomach anything else and majority of the things I craved were really unhealthy. Although I sort of couldn’t help it I could of began eating healthier when my sickness wore off but I chose not to which has caused my severe stretch marks!!!

10. SPOKE MORE ABOUT MY WORRIES – it’s crazy when your in the moment of feeling really anxious and worried, you feel like you will never feel better you question yourself how life is going to be when baby is born, will this situation improve, will I be supported enough? How will I be able to financially look after myself and baby? In the end things always work out but instead of letting my head go 10 to the dozen I should of offloaded to somebody that I trust, maybe my blood pressure wouldn’t of been so high.