7months in… Things I’ve learnt so far

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1. You can never have too many bibs. For real. Doesn’t matter how many of them you have at some point you’ll need one, find they’re all dirty and wish you had more! And it’s not cos I don’t wash them… no, no, no… the washing machine is on constantly, in fact opening my own laundrette is starting to look like an appealing business venture…

2. Baby clothes, on the other hand, you definitely can have too many of! I’m not talking vests and babygrows – both of which I don’t have enough of – I’m talking all those cute little outfits! Isla’s wardrobe is literally bursting at the seams 🤦🏻‍♀️ and yet, I just can’t stop myself from buying more. Buying baby clothes is more addictive than crack. I’m sure of it. This is worse than my previous addiction to peeing on a stick when we were trying to conceive (and that was baaaaad 🤣) They need to do some scientific studies on this so I can show my husband it’s not my fault 🤷🏻‍♀️

3. I know I’ve said this before, but I think it’s so important that I’m saying it again – you need other mummy friends! So important for your sanity!! A few of your existing friendships will carry on as usual, but the majority of them will be affected by the addition of a baby. It’s no-one’s fault, it’s just one of those things! So sign up to some classes and swap numbers!! A group WhatsApp set up from our Rhythm Time class has saved my sanity! A whole group of people, all in the same position as me, all going through the same thing – means you have experience share advice on tap with zero judgement! You get so many great hints and tips and chances are you’ll meet people who you’ll go on to have long lasting friendships with ♥️

4. You’ll never “crack” motherhood. They change so fast, and there are so many stages to go through, as soon as you think you’ve mastered something then something new comes along and you’re back to square one. And that’s okay!!! Just don’t be so hard on yourself to get things “right” every baby is different, every mummy is different, there is no right and wrong!

5. When people tell you it goes so fast, they’re not lying. According to my calendar, Isla is 7months old on Sunday… I genuinely don’t know how that’s happened, I swear I only went in to the hospital to be induced last week. So do TRY and treasure every moment. I know sometimes that’s hard, when they won’t stop screaming, or don’t want to be put down, or will only sleep on you… just try and keep in mind that none of these things will last forever. Isla stopped napping on me and I missed it so much – now she’s teething she’ll ONLY nap on me! And as much as it’s an inconvenience to be glued to the sofa for an hour at a time when there’s a million things I need to do, I truly do cherish those moments because she’ll grow out of it again soon I’m sure of it (what?! I would have done the dishes/hoovered/put the washer on again/cooked some healthy meals/done my exercises if I wasn’t on the sofa – honest 😂)

6. You’re not the same after a baby. I’m not just talking physically (although lord knows that is an understatement for me!), but your whole outlook changes. I see things in a completely different light now, and I really hope I can hold on to that. I think becoming a mummy makes you realise what’s important and what’s not. It definitely redefines what a hard day looks like. All those hours I’ve spent stressing about work – such a waste of energy!!! Physically… well… you might be lucky enough to spring back in to shape, 7 months on and I still have a long way to go, but do you know what? When I look back at my pregnancy pictures, my bump was HUGE!! Of course it’s going to take time! Could I be doing more to speed it along! Absolutely! Is losing weight as high on my priorities as comforting my baby when she’s crying? Absolutely not! I do what I can, when I can. Some weeks I manage to exercise every day, there can be weeks at a time when I don’t get to do any 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’ll figure it out at some point!

7. Teething SUCKS!!! So bad!! Not sure if I was being naive, but it also affects your little one in so many more ways than I realised. Teething poos anyone??? Jesus, these are another level!!! My sweet baby girl is currently a poo volcano!!! She’s gone from pooing once a day after her morning milk to pooing up to 8 times a day!!! And they are poo EXPLOSIONS!!! Seriously, that shit gets everywhere (no pun intended!) Aside from the poo, there’s the crying because they’re in pain… teething powders, bonjela and calpol all help but don’t fix it! I’ve heard anbesol is very good but not tried it myself yet (it’s had a bit of bad press with the anaesthetic in it).  Everything is being chewed, including my chin (apparently it makes a good teether 🤷🏻‍♀️) we have a Matchstick Monkey which Isla likes, and we’re waiting to see if Yummikeys have any Black Friday deals on to get some of those! Really great tip I had from my mummy group was to pierce a dummy, fill it with water and freeze it! Or if you have any of the silicone feeders you can just pop a bit of ice in them for something nice and cold on their little gums

8. We have had lots, and lots, and LOTS of teething tantrums, and there have been so many times that I’ve been tempted to cancel plans because Isla has been grumpy. If you can, push through!! Isla is soooooo much better when we’re out and about! I know it’s difficult (and I also know this won’t be the case for all babies!) but I’d definitely recommend giving it a go! If you saw Isla in any of her classes/groups you would never believe that she is capable of screaming as much as she sometimes does at home 😂

9. There are a few things that are just tough to do. I can’t give advice on them because I’m rubbish and haven’t done most of them, but what I can say is I wish I’d done them earlier on as I might not be struggling with some of the others so much now!! I’m talking switching from breast milk to formula, spending time away from your baby (managed a trip to the hairdressers so far and that’s it!), moving baby in to their own room (tried once, didn’t go to plan, has been back with us ever since 🤦🏻‍♀️) Separation anxiety isn’t just for babies!!! This mummy has a serious case of it and I know I need to work on getting better at it soon before it’s time to go back to work! So yeah – I think the sooner you can do some of these things the better!!

10. People love giving parenting advice, unfortunately the people who seem to have the opinion that they know better than you are those who haven’t done it for years… which makes it especially annoying! It’s incredibly frustrating when someone is trying to tell you how to look after your baby. The best advice would probably be to smile and nod politely – I’m actually incapable of doing this. The only things you need to know are YOU know your baby better than anyone else. Some advice is helpful, but feel free to discard any that doesn’t work for you. You don’t have to justify your parenting decisions to anyone. And don’t let it wind you up too much, it’s really not worth it (easier said than done, trust me, I know!)

11. Being a mum… it’s hard as f*ck. Like, without a  shadow of a doubt the most difficult thing I have ever done. It’s intense. It’s 24/7. You don’t get to take a break or have a day off. You can tell that we still live in a male dominated world by Maternity Pay!!! Why any government or any company think it’s the right decision to take money OFF people when they’re on maternity leave is beyond me! It’s harder than any employed job you could ever do!

 There will be times when you’re tired, when you’re ill, when you’re hormonal – it doesn’t allow for those! There will be times when you lose your patience, when you get things wrong, when you take the easy option (there are some great videos on YouTube that will keep your little one entertained so you can have a shower/cuppa/lunch in peace – Sparkabilities for learning, SuperSimple for nursery rhymes (I’ve literally had 5 little ducks on repeat while she’s been in the fifth leap 😂), and HeyBear do great sensory videos (the dancing fruits are Isla’s fave!), when you feel like you’re giving your all at it’s still not enough. There will be times when you just want to sit and cry. AND THAT IS TOTALLY OK!  We’ve all been there. Luckily, I think most babies understand mummies have a limit, and so they do throw in a splattering of super cute moments in to even the worst days, just to keep you sweet… if it wasn’t for that I think we’d all go mad! It’s all just a phase!!! You got this 💪🏼

12. Mom guilt is a real thing – the times I’ve found myself having a little cry generally haven’t been because I can’t take it anymore, it’s usually because I’ve lost my patience, I might have sighed when she’s started crying, muttered ffs under my breath cos she’s pooped all over me… again, told her to stay still a little too sharply when she keeps rolling over when I’m trying to change her nappy, etc, etc. And then it breaks me that I’ve lost my cool, that I’ve not been the best mummy. I think you just have to have it in your head that you are doing the best you can in that moment. No one wakes up and thinks “I’m going to be a shit mum today” or “I’m not going to put any effort in today” we’re all doing our best, some days are just harder than others. Just because no ones posting on social media that they’ve lost their shit today doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened! No one is perfect.

13. Despite all of that, it really is the best thing ever. There is nothing I have enjoyed more than being a mummy. Isla literally completes me. I absolutely adore her. I find myself looking at her thinking “I can’t believe I made something so perfect” and then I see how she inhales her food… and I’m like, yup, she’s definitely mine 😂😂😂  For every challenge that motherhood brings, it brings 10x more of amazing moments! Every first is magical and will have you beaming with pride. Every smile will turn your insides to mush. And I can’t even begin to describe what a giggle does to you ♥️♥️♥️ Every single day I can’t believe just how lucky to have Isla in my life. Even the days when it’s really hard, I know I am blessed. I love watching her develop from a baby in to a little person (although it does make me sad that she’s not teeny tiny anymore 😭) she’s a proper little character now, and it’s so amazing to watch that unfold! Someone said to me that you don’t really understand love until you have a baby, and I get that. It’s a different kind of love, so completely all encompassing, completely unconditional, it really is something so very special ♥️

Bedruthan… Long overdue review!!!

42BF3B7A-9BD0-458B-A3E3-A806FC41033EB26B22E4-334F-44B7-8084-62CF77F0D576395D8907-2703-4EEF-B879-CFF86FC6BF9B Pre-Isla hotels were my hobby. There was nothing I loved more than finding somewhere new, exciting and luxurious to stay! Unfortunately the hotels that tick all those boxes are generally adults only! The other problem is when you’ve stayed in great hotels, getting new ones to live up to your expectations can be difficult!

When it came to planning our first family holiday I knew that I wanted to go somewhere special. We weren’t brave to venture abroad for our first one, so that meant finding somewhere that could tick all our boxes here in the UK.

Over the years we’ve been lucky enough to stay in some truly amazing places, one of our favourites being The Scarlet in Cornwall. As soon as you arrive and take in the stunning views of the beach you can’t help but immediately relax. The Scarlet holds lots of special memories for us – we got engaged there and have have spent many subsequent birthdays and anniversaries there. We were fortunate enough to build up a relationship with one of the managers – Lisa – there over the years. Me and Paul have spent a combined 30+ years working in retail and so are somewhat sticklers for customer service. No matter how beautiful the hotel is, if the service isn’t up to standard, then there’s no way we’d return. Lisa and her team have always gone above and beyond to try and deliver exceptional customer service during our stays, so when we found out she was moving on to go and work at the sister hotel, Bedruthan (right next door, but aimed at families) we were sad. And then we found out we were expecting!!!

Knowing there was someone we trusted running Bedruthan Hotel made the decision of where we’d spend our first family holiday simple.

So down to Cornwall we drove in a car so full I’m amazed it could still move! (Seriously, how much do you need to pack to go away with a little person? SO. MUCH. STUFF)

Now, because Bedruthan are aimed at families they knooooow the struggle is real packing to come away, and they are really helpful in trying to minimise this. So you can get a whole load of things other than the standard cot and highchair from the hotel to use during your stay. I’m talking sterilisers, changing matts, baby baths, prams, baby bouncers… even the smaller things like weaning cutlery and sippy cups… they have it and you can borrow it while you’re there! Which frees up a good chunk of your suitcase (which you will no doubt fill with packing 786 different outfits to cover every weather eventuality! No need to worry about poo explosions as there are laundry facilities on site)

So, review… I’ll try and stick to some main points else I’ll ramble on forever!!

 

Rooms – lovely actually! Modern, well equipped, and if you have a sea view (would definitely recommend getting one) then the views really are gorgeous!! If you have older children there’s the option to cordon the room off so mummy and daddy can have some privacy at bed time. We had a sea view villa which has some outside space too which we really liked

Facilities – the hotel is geared up for families and really does have everything you could want or need. There’s a kids club for older children and a soft play area, toy areas in the bar, outdoor playgrounds, 2 outdoor pools (one shallow one which is ideal for really little ones) and an indoor pool! And it’s only a short walk to the beach (the walk back isn’t so short as it’s on quite a steep hill 😂)

Location – Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with the location, Mawgan Porth is one of my favourite places, because the beach is lovely. There are stunning walks in both directions – one way leads you towards Watergate Bay (worth a visit) and the other takes you to Bedruthan Steps (also well worth a visit!). Mawgan Porth itself doesn’t have much going on in it (which I like) but if you do fancy a bit more hustle and bustle both Newquay and Padstow are only a short drive away. In fact, if you didn’t fancy driving you could get a flight to Newquay airport which is only about 10mins away from the hotel! The only downside to the location in my opinion is I can see The Scarlet from there… which makes me just a teensy bit jealous of all those staying there 😂

Food – ok, so if there’s not much around, and you have little people in tow, you’re going to want good food at the hotel right? Well, you’re in luck!! I thought this would be the biggest difference between The Scarlet and Bedruthan, however I was really pleasantly surprised! The food was incredible! Like, really, really good!! There are two restaurants – The Wild Cafe (a more casual option which you can take the kiddies in at any time) and The Herring (for more of a fine dining experience (last seating in here if you’re taking the little ones in is 18:30). Both were amazing, and both were included in the dinner, bed and breakfast rate.

Option to pretend you’re child free – we didn’t take advantage of this, however, should you want just a little peace and quiet you could definitely get that here too! There is an adults only spa onsite orrrrrr you can use the facilities at The Scarlet next door (DEFINITELY DO THAT!!!) There’s also a sensory spa garden on site which looks amazing. There are child free zones in the hotel for if you’re not travelling with children, and the wild café (where breakfast is served) is spread over different areas which the team *seem* to separate families and child free peeps (might not be the case, but we always seemed to end up in the manic middle bit for breakfast whereas the areas to the sides seemed much more serene without little maniacs running about 😂). There’s a babysitting service available, or you can use the listening service (reception can listen in on your room and notify you in the restaurant if your little one starts crying)

So…. would we go back?? 100%! We had a great time. If anything I think Isla was probably a little young to really take advantage of everything on offer (she was only 4.5 months old when went) so for us the experience will only get better as she gets a bit older! I think the break was as stress free as it could be, we still got the same amazing view that we’d have got from The Scarlet and the good didn’t disappoint at all!! I can’t wait to go back ♥️

 

 

Slow down little one

7DD83608-F41F-4EB4-9EA1-F80E8C9E94C3When you’re pregnant everyone tells you to savour every second of having a baby as it goes so fast.

When you’re in the thick of sleepless nights, colic, teething tantrums, dirty nappies and the thousand other challenges that motherhood encompasses (hello development leaps 😖) it can’t sometimes feel like the next stage can’t come fast enough

That is until you stop and think about how much time has passed already.

I can’t believe my baby girl will be 6months old next week. 6 months!!! It’s taken me this long to go out without her for a few hours. In another 6 months I’m going to have to be able to go out and leave her all day, 5 days a week when I go to work!! At this point I genuinely can’t see how I’m going to get there in such a short timescale.

Nothing like a good old comparison pic to see how much they’ve changed. I can’t believe how much she’s grown 😩

mom stuck between looking forward to seeing more of her little personality emerge and all the things we can do together as a family and wanting to freeze time and keep her little forever ♥️

Baby and Infant Loss Awareness

C507B1D5-F9BE-4C96-9AB7-5C3C3F3A9EEA Two days late to the blog… but better late than never

1 in 4 women will experience the heartache of losing a baby.

On days like today I am amazed that this figure is accurate – it seems like there are so many more of us who have been through this than 1 in 4.
So, today, I remember not only what could have been for us, but also just how incredibly blessed we are to have our little rainbow baby. I realise not everyone is so lucky.

And I think we should also spare a thought for all those who may not have had a loss in the traditional sense, but who may be desperately trying to conceive and it’s just not happened for them. I do think that there should be better education around conception and pregnancy – as it’s so easy to feel like you’ve “failed” at something that is considered one of the most basic and natural processes, when the reality is there are so many people going through the same struggles, just not necessarily talking about it!

It shouldn’t be taboo to grieve a loss. There should be no shame attached to something which is already devastating. No woman (or man) should ever feel like a failure because of something out of their control.

Little miss piggy 🐷

683ADD99-D7FC-431F-BF6C-9509973E390E I can’t believe enough time has passed for me to be saying this (Isla will be 6months old next week and I genuinely don’t know how that’s happened!) but we’ve started our weaning journey!!!

As with everything in this thing called motherhood, I don’t have a scooby doo what I’m doing and am just trying to relax and go with the flow. I think we’ll probably do a mixture of baby lead weaning and purees – until we figure out what works best for us.

The good news is I definitely don’t think I’m going to have any issues getting my little lady on to solids… she seems to like food just as much as her mama does!!

I got a little silicone feeder off amazon which has been an absolute god send!! You literally just pop a bit of whatever food you want in the silicone bit and then give it to them! It has tiny holes in so they can get the flavour and mush it up to swallow without the worry of them choking on any pieces that break off!

As well as that we’ve introduced some banana porridge to Isla’s diet which she loves!! She mastered using a spoon as soon as she realised there was food on it 😂😂😂 The only thing that’s been a struggle is she screams when she’s finished it all – so greedy!!!

So fat Isla has tried broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, mash potato, cabbage, courgette, parsnip, red pepper, cherry tomato, cucumber, avocado, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana, clementine, lemon (I couldn’t resist… bad mummy!) and her favourite – watermelon!! She’s liked EVERYTHING so far (not sure how much lemon she’d eat… wasn’t cruel enough to find out 😂)

I did also give her a finger sized piece of toast… but my heart couldn’t take watching her try to ram it in her mouth!! I got too scared of her choking and took it off her to put in the feeder instead (I know, I’m a wimp… I’ll keep trying!!)

Every mummy needs some mummy friends

A4B49BBF-A2AE-42FF-8411-F5089EAF148F For the first few months of me and Isla I didn’t think there was much point taking her to any baby groups. I couldn’t see what she would get out of them being so small. They seemed like a waste of money, and more hassle than it would be worth having to get us both ready and out the house to be somewhere for a specific time (surely one of the biggest challenges for most mamas?? I can get out, but give me a timescale and I’ll struggle to stick to it!)

After a few months of just me and Isla though, loneliness began to set in. I adore her, love her more than anything in the world, and being with her is my favourite place to be… however… she’s a baby. Her company isn’t always the best at times. The conversation is often somewhat lacking. And let’s face it, us mamas put much more effort in to making the relationship work than our babies do!!

So in a moment of bravery I signed up for a baby massage course and a Rhythm Time course. Both have been great, but the Rhythm Time course has saved my sanity. Not the course in itself (although it is very fun and I’d definitely recommend it!), but everyone who attends!

At the end of our first class the group host said that they would be setting up a whatsapp group and that anyone who wanted to join just had to leave their number and they’d add us. That evening I got a notification to say I’d been added. Along with every other mummy from the group.

Of course the group started off quite quiet, we introduced ourselves and our babies and made all the right noises about the course and being a mum. I think it took about 4 hours before we started to talk honestly about things.

Its really, really, REALLY f*cking difficult being a mummy to a baby at times! And yet no one expects you to say that. It almost feels like you’re failing as a mother if you admit that it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. That, actually, a lot of it is desperation, loneliness and feeling helpless! That you’re sometimes just as dumbfounded as everyone else as to why your baby is crying/is off their food/won’t sleep as everyone else is.

It seems a bit extreme to say that this group has saved my sanity… but I honestly can’t tell you how important it has been for my mental health! Having a group of people in the same situation as me, who don’t judge, who I can ask (what seem like) the stupidest of questions to, has been a breath of fresh air.

On top of that it also means I now have some adult company!! I can have a two-way conversation with someone in the day, I can talk and get a response that makes sense!!

So yes, a whatsapp group has saved my sanity! And the fact that Isla has got to meet other babies and have some fun in the meantime are just added bonuses

Pavlik Harness… Completed it mate

272A14C0-6387-457C-BFC5-75B782F9872D Last week we had some amazing news ♥️

After 14 weeks of being in a pavlik harness Isla has finally been told she no longer has to wear it 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

I’m so happy for her!!

When it first went on, the 16 week treatment programme that was described to us sounded like a lifetime – I guess because it WAS almost double her lifetime at the point it was put on!

I can still remember how devastated I was when we were told she’d have to wear it. I sobbed my heart out all day that day. And it took a good week to get used to how to hold her, feed her and comfort her with this new, strange contraption on. But after that, honestly, it’s gone so fast!!

Thankfully, the harness doesn’t seem to have stopped her doing anything. She’s been happily  rolling over now for a good 4 weeks, she loves being held in a standing position, and her bouncer is her favourite thing in the world! She is still the wriggliest baby I’ve ever seen… always kicking her little legs ♥️

The first night she went to bed without the harness was so funny, it was literally like she couldn’t control those little legs, she lay in her cot with a big grin on her face happily kicking them in her sleep bag (there’s a video on my Instagram… worth a look, it was super cute ♥️)

Thankfully, she adapted to not wearing them to bed after a few nights and settles down for bed easily again now.

Weirdly, I will miss the harness a bit! She always gave me the biggest smile in the mornings when I opened the straps and revealed her feet to her, one by one! I’m trying to continue this with her sleep bag, and it does raise a smile, but I don’t think it feels like the same amount of freedom as taking the harness off did!

So, yeah, 14 weeks later and we’re harness free! Super proud of my little superstar ⭐️