I’m celebrating a huge milestone in my journey of motherhood….6 months exclusively breastfeeding my baby. It’s a target I always hoped I would reach. My breastfeeding experiences with Violet and Ezra were not easy at all. So for my third child to take to it as easily as Felix did has been such a gift.

 I’ve been thinking about some tips I’ve learnt in my varied experiences of breastfeeding my children, so here goes….
1) At the beginning you need gel for those nips while they toughen up! Felix was born at home as planned but we were then transferred to hospital. I had a basic hospital bag packed but hadn’t put in my Lansinoh gel. By the time he was 12 hours old my nipples were raw and blistered. Joe brought in a tube of gel for me and I religiously applied it after every feed. Thank goodness! I think I addressed it just in time for me to be able to carry on feeding. I think I used the gel for the first 2-3 weeks before it was no longer necessary.

2) Breastfeeding groups are worth their weight in gold. In the first 2 months I went about 4 or 5 times. I had some specific questions and wanted help with positioning. I also went along when we were feeling ready to introduce a bottle of expressed milk. The ladies who ran the groups were so welcoming, informative, helpful and encouraging. They supported me at the beginning of my successful breastfeeding journey and I’m enormously grateful.

3) Drink. Always have a drink on the go, even better, have 2 on the go! I have a sports bottle which I take to bed to see me through nightfeeds. If I’m about to feed him I make sure I get myself a drink first. Even if Felix is getting upset waiting for a feed I know how important it is for me to stay hydrated. Dddrrriiinnnkkkkk!

4) I have an electric pump which is good, but a total faff to clean and assemble. There are so many small parts! So when I came across a silicon suction pump from Nature Bond with rave reviews I decided to give it a go. I cannot even begin to say how much I love this thing! I find I get best results when Felix feeds from the other breast. It’s perfect…super easy to clean, small and works so well. I easily get 4oz from this in less than 5 minutes whereas the electric pump would take me far longer. I also don’t need to hold the cup as it stays on with the suction.

 

5) Teeth doesn’t have to spell the end of breastfeeding. I had never previously breastfed a baby with teeth so just the thought of having to go through this sent shudders down my spine! Trust my only exclusively breastfed baby to get his first teeth before he was 3 months old! Today he sprouted his 7th!! I have noticed that he tends to bite more often when he is just about to pop another tooth through. I am also reading his signs and know that when he is coming to the end of a feed he is more likely to bite, or when he is bobbing on and off in a playful way. If he does bite I swiftly unlatch him (which in itself is enough to grab his attention) and then firmly say “ouch! No biting”.

I’ve experienced the heartache and joy of breastfeeding. When it’s not working it’s just soul destroying. But when it goes right it’s one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

I have reached 6 months now. Bring on the next 6!

My wonderful baby boy is 6 months old!!!!

The last 6 months I’ve tried to be more baby-led than I was with Violet and Ezra. It wasn’t entirely through choice, as having 2 other young children means I cannot put Felix’s needs first all the time. I don’t have time to stick to a routine and I cannot be a good enough mum to Ezra if I’m focusing on Felix having sleeps and feeds at set times. Thankfully Felix is a very adaptable baby. He doesn’t need set conditions to fall asleep (hello no blackout blinds!) or feeds at certain times. I think breastfeeding has massively contributed to this as he can just feed as much as he wants whenever he wants!

Sleep… It’s a hot topic of conversation when a stranger stops me in the street for a chat. “Is he sleeping through yet?!”. Erm, NO! last night I was up 6 times!!!!!!! But on a good night he wakes every 4 hours. I can live with that as it usually means 2 night feeds. He still sleeps in the cosleeper right next to me. I’ve absolutely loved having him right there and not having to get out of bed in the middle of the night. I usually bring him into our bed for the final feed and we cuddle. It’s a way of me getting a bit more sleep but I also do love this feed as we bond even more.


Teeth! The boy has 6! The other day he bit the top off a breadstick! I thought it would cause real issues for breastfeeding, and to begin with I was getting bitten several times a day. But these days he only bites when a new tooth is coming through or if he is being playful. I had hoped he would stop at 6 teeth for a while, but I’m pretty sure number 7 is ready to pop so maybe he is trying for a full set by the time he is 1!

Movement. Well he hasn’t ever rolled, or even come close! I can still leave him somewhere and come back to find him in the same place flapping his arms to be picked up! He loves to stand and bounce. Not very keen on being on his tummy which surprises me as he sleeps on his front. Movement will come, I’m quite glad I don’t have to baby-proof anything yet. And that will be a real challenge when the time comes!! I hope he masters sitting independently soon.

Felix is such a snuggly boy. He wants to be held and cuddled all the time. He loves kisses and being tickled. Apart from me and Joe his favourite people are Violet and my mum! Violet has super powers to stop him crying and make him smile. She’s a wonderful help to me in the mornings while I’m dashing about. Felix always has smiles and chatter for his big sister. My mum has amazing powers at keeping Felix very calm. Up until recently she only had to hold him for a few moments and he would fall asleep!

Felix is such a joy. He has taught me so much. We are very lucky to have this little star in our lives.

It’s Mother’s day and the beginning of British Summer Time. Although I was up feeding Felix a total of 5 times between 7pm-8am and lost an hour of sleep thanks to the clocks jumping forwards I’m feeling thankful and happy!! I’m really seeing what I have around me and I’m so so grateful.

Thank you Violet.

My trailblazer. My firstborn. My only daughter. My curly-haired wonder. Thank you Violet for bringing friends into our lives who I wouldn’t otherwise have met. For growing into such a smart and enquisative girl. For trying hard and succeeding. For overcoming anxieties and pushing yourself.

My Nan always told me that I only had to “try your best, dear”. It’s my moto in life and I can see Violet has taken it on board. She’s trying so hard at school, with her reading, writing, drawing and numbers. And she has been recognised for her efforts. Violet makes me so proud to be her mum!

Thank you Ezra.

For being my first son. For living up to his middle name Onni (happy). For being our comedian and bringing us laughs every day. For his open spirit. For accepting new people readily and for his kind nature.

Ezra has a special spark. He lavishes his awesomeness on those who give him the time of day. He may think everything is the colour purple and only recognise a circle as a shape but it doesn’t matter! He has a wicked grin, the squeakiest laugh and when he hasn’t seen me for a few minutes he asks me “how doing, Mummy”?

Thank you Felix.

For being our second son. For being the smiliest baby ever. For bringing us joy but also everybody else we meet when we are out and about. He is one of ‘those’ babies who everyone stops to coo over! For gifting me the joy of breastfeeding. For allowing me to be a gentler parent. For being my home-birth baby…I will always be so grateful for having had that experience.

Today is about us Mums. But without my tribe I wouldn’t be me. So I am thankful to them every day.

Happy Mother’s Day 2017!!

I really love kids clothes. Well, I love what I like and as I’ve said so many times before I’m quite particular about what they wear. Comfy, practical, durable, simple and fun are my key criteria.

Having an older brother means that Felix already has a full wardrobe. However there have been a few additions which I just have to blog about. This post will be a bit photo-heavy but hey, he’s gorgeous!

The Hats!

These bonnet hats are all from Maxomorra. Another fabulous Scandi brand where the cotton is soft and the print is bold. They work so well with baby wearing and actually stay on his head thanks to the ties under his chin. I’m definitely on the look out for more bonnets. Practical and I think he looks beyond adorable!
The Knitted Cardigans

Thanks to my aunt, the children have all received numerous hand knitted cardigans. I think they work so well for babies because, firstly they are warm, but secondly they are so soft the baby can still move their arms and body freely. It’s a bugbear of mine that often children’s coats are so padded they can hardly move their arms! Well with my pretty substantial collection of knitted cardigans this isn’t an issue. The children are really comfy in them and they also work fantastically for baby wearing in a way that padded coats would not.

Leggings

We just love leggings. So soft and let Felix be able to move freely. We have quite a collection, but featured here are Polarn O. Pyret,  Joules and Bear & Babe. No buttons or poppers to worry about and once again they work so well with baby wearing.

Did I say already, I love baby clothes!!

So to non-parents a trip to Tesco is just that. Do your shopping and get out. But when kids come along it turns into a full on trip out. We have just spent over 2 hours in Tesco and we didn’t even do a big shop!

There’s the unloading of the car. You know… buggy, millions of children, drinks, nappies, random toy which is super important right now and goodness knows what else.

Then we get in the store and head straight up to Costa. Our trip to Tesco had the big promise of cake so we better make it happen. Over excited Violet and Ezra drive Joe a little crazy with “I want I want” but he made the fatal error and bought them DIFFERENT cakes! Never buy different cakes or drinks or anything. Because they always want what the other has. But if you mention swapping then it’s met with howling.

“No, I want my one. And that one”.

For some reason Violet turned into an animal and ate her crispie cake in the messiest way possible. And Ezra decided with each mouthful that he didn’t really like cake after all.  <sigh>

It all got too much for Felix and he demanded boob and went to sleep. Once enough cake had been eaten Violet and Ezra decided to run about feral. I guess they were buzzing from the sugar. At one point Ezra careered into Costa with a Paw Patrol hat squeezed onto his giant head. As ridiculous as it was I did laugh. Feeling self-conscious of the other people trying to enjoy their Lattes in peace we left.

There were a few things we needed from Tesco. We pick them up no problem. Onto the escalator down to the main shop Violet scurries ahead to the bottom. It’s one of those escalators you can take shopping trolleys on. Anyway, it suddenly comes to a halt with about 30 people and their trolleys which are magnetically stuck to the escalator. I look down to see a skinny 4 year old with floppy curly hair shuffle away from the emergency stop button. That moment where as a parent you imagine a giant arrow appearing over your head saying:

“THE ONE WHO HAS CAUSED YOU ALL GRIEF BELONGS TO THESE IDIOTS”!!!!!!!

Violet legged it back up the escalator to us, clearly feeling a bit shaken that she had messed up. A security guard came over after about a minute and restarted the escalator and everyone carried on with their days.

I took Violet over to the security guard and asked her to apologise for stopping the escalator. She actually did say sorry which I thought was immensely brave of her. The guard was lovely and said it’s OK and gave her a hug.

We are home now. Violet is chilling with a movie and both of the boys are taking a nap.

I think Violet learnt a lesson today. I’m just pleased she owned up to it and was able to say sorry.