Teething: It Finally Happened

It’s been a little while since I posted ‘Please Don’t Say Teething‘. But now I’m saying it because it’s finally happened!

After months of suspecting it and blaming every grizzly stage on supposed teeth, we’ve had four pop through in the last month. Two¬†on top, two on bottom, and we can see more trying to poke through now.

It’s hard to see him in so much pain, especially as he doesn’t know what’s going on. We use a combination of Ashton & Parsons teething powder, Dentinox teething gel and Calpol when he’s really bad. We have a good supply of teethers kept cool in the fridge but he doesn’t seem too keen on them. Sticks of cucumber seem better as he’s more likely to have a good munch on them.

I have to admit, I do miss his gummy little smile. I got used to seeing him like that for over a year and it’s a bit odd to see teeth in his mouth now! It’s nice to see he’s finally catching up with his cousin in the tooth department, and he’s able to take bites of food now properly. He’s even had a go at eating meat, chunks of chicken etc, which he’s avoided before and we think was because it was too hard to break down without teeth.

Teething can cause hell at nights and the only thing you can do is offer as much comfort as possible and pray for it to be over. It’s not really what you want to hear when you’re sleep deprived and up at 3am for the third night in a row but trust me, I’ve tried to Google a magic solution and there isn’t one. Try to stick to your routine as much as possible but remember they’re in pain and might need a little extra love until they push through.

Happy Birthday Little Moore!

So, somehow, Little Moore is turning one today!

Well, I guess not technically: seeing as he was born in a Leap Year, he doesn’t get his proper birthday for another 3 years. But we’re celebrating today instead.

It’s been a crazy year since he was born. I’m not going to lie and say it was all fun and easy – parenting is exhaustingly hard work – but I wouldn’t change a thing. He’s a happy little boy with a wonderfully cheeky (still toothless) smile.

I love hearing him chatter away to us and to himself, even when it’s 5am and we just want some bloody sleep.

I love watching him crawl commando style around the living room and try to grab all the things I don’t want him to.

I love that in the bedroom, he always crawls to my bookcase and pulls out Alice in Wonderland.

I love seeing him fall asleep in my arms, just like he did as a tiny baby.

I love seeing him play with his cousin and I hope they grow up to be great friends.

I love seeing him play with his Dad and hear him say ‘Da da’ all day long.

I love that he’s learnt to blow raspberries on my tummy – I thought I was supposed to do that to him?!

I love that he know when to clap in ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ or just generally when he’s done something he’s pleased with.

Happy Birthday my little boy. You are so very loved <3

Please Don’t Say ‘Teething’

From around 6 months, babies generally start getting their first teeth. Obviously this can vary wildly: some babies are born with teeth, some remain gummy for their first birthday. Little Moore looks like he’s going to make it past 1 with no signs of teeth.

It doesn’t bother me. Obviously they will come eventually, and in the meantime it’s a blessing if anything: I’m still breastfeeding and haven’t had to go through the painful ‘don’t bite Mummy’s nipple with your new teeth’ phase that my sister had to go through.

What does bother me is how every single thing he does makes people tell me with self assured conviction that he is teething.

At 5 months he was insanely dribbly – we had to change bibs every hour or less to stop him from soaking through his clothes – and relatives, friends, even complete strangers told me he was very definitely teething.

At 6 months when he started chewing on everything he could get his hands on, they reassured me we’d see teeth any day now.

If he slept badly, had a whingey day, had a sore bum or stuck his fist in his mouth, everyone would say he was teething. Even people who don’t have kids of their own seemed very confident in the fact.

Now, at nearly 11 months, there’s not a single tooth stub in his mouth.

What annoys me is the way people say it, as if they know best and I’m an idiot. What annoys me even more is that at some point they’ll be right. One day a tooth will pop through and they’ll say, ‘I told you he was teething’. Because if you keep repeating it, it’s eventually going to come true.

It’s just a little pet peeve. But I might bite the next person who tells me he’s teething.

Rant over ūüôā

On the Move

It’s been a little while coming, but Little Moore is now on the move.

He was pretty quick to start rolling over, and for a while it looked like he was going to be an early crawler, but he stayed stuck in the thrashing on the floor on his belly phase without going anywhere for quite a while.

He’s not crawling in the traditional sense – on his hands and knees – but more commando style, still on his belly and using he’s elbows and knees to go forward. It’s super cute and he’s getting faster each day.

Which brings us to…baby proofing.

This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, and have made small attempts, but our house just looks like a death trap to me and I’m struggling to make it any safer. We finally put the stair gates up, which is one biggie out the way, and moved some ornaments and things high up. There’s now a large piece of cardboard covering the fireplace and my perfectly alphabetised DVDs have been pulled out and put back in a random order (nooooo!)

I think the problem is our house just isn’t designed for baby proofing. It’s open plan and we have a lot of stuff and nowhere to put it all. So our version of baby proofing is probably going to be very supervised play and a vigilant eye. I think it’s good to¬†let him explore things for himself, as long as we’re they’re to keep it safe.

Going Back to Work

I can’t believe I’m typing this but it’s almost time for me to go back to work.

When I started maternity leave mid-February, it felt like I had forever. I always planned to take 9 months rather than the full year, but it’s come round so fast and now I have mixed feelings about it.

I can’t say that maternity leave has been a breeze. I knew it wasn’t going to be a holiday, as some of my friends seemed to think, but I was looking forward to it all the same. I have loved spending every day with my little boy, but in the beginning especially it was hard. Once Nathan was back at work I had 4 days a week where I was supposed to take care of this tiny thing by myself. It’s a bit of a shock to the system.

I’ve enjoyed most of the time I’ve spent off, but some days were a struggle. We’re living in a new area where I don’t know many people, I wasn’t going to any baby groups and I felt horribly lonely. Plus I was breastfeeding a newborn every two hours, day and night, and I was exhausted. There were times when I looked forward to going back to work: not having to worry about feeding and nappies, speaking to people, doing a job I’m good at, being me and not just ‘mum’.

But those were rare times. For the most part these have been the best nine months and I wouldn’t change anything. It’s even more fun now Little Moore is older and able to play properly with things. We’ve enjoyed reading together, playing building games and peek-a-boo, and we’ve started messy play recently too.

Although I have mixed feelings about going back, I know it’s the right decision. I want to be able to provide the kind of life for him growing up that I did. All my parents worked hard (mum, dad and step-dad) and because of this we lived in a nice house and did fun things together at weekends. I want to provide for my son in that way, and although it might mean sacrificing some time with him, I know it’ll make the time I do spend with him even more special.

I’m also lucky in that my work is very flexible. I’m going back 4 days a week, so I’ll have 3 to spend with Little Moore. I can choose my working hours and am able to work from home too, so there’s flexibility in case he needs me unexpectedly. We’re also not having to fork out a fortune on nursery fees: Nathan will have him twice a week, we’ll have one family day, and my mum is taking care of him and his cousin once a week, so he only spends one day at nursery. I think he needs that one day to socialise with other babies and spend time in a different environment with different people.

While part of me would love to be a stay at home mum, I think deep down it’s not for me. It’ll be a challenge in the next few weeks getting into a new routine and getting used to working again, but I know we can do it, and with Christmas around the corner there’s something to look forward to too!

My Weaning Essentials

I was really looking forward to weaning and couldn’t wait to get started (although I did wait, as guidelines say babies should be at least six months and able to hold their head up before starting weaning). Now we’re a few weeks in and although the initial excitement may be over, I’m still enjoying introducing Little Moore to new flavours and textures and love watching the faces he pulls and learning what foods he likes and what he’s less keen on.

I thought I’d do a little post on some of my weaning essentials from our journey so far.

1. High Chair

This is an obvious one, but I’d say make sure you invest in a good one. We have the Mamas and Papas Pesto High Chair. It folds up a little so can be kept out the way, but also opens out with one hand (or kick of the leg) so you can do it whilst holding baby. There’s a handy pouch underneath where we keep bibs and wipes, which you’ll need in good supply once you’re weaning!

2. Coverall bibs

I can’t stress this one enough. I hadn’t really thought about these before, though we had two someone bought for us when Little Moore was born. Weaning is messy work, and if you don’t want to ruin all your baby’s beautiful clothes then it’s good to cover up with these. We’ve bought another couple but I don’t think four is nearly enough – I’m going to keep buying until we have at least one per day!

3. Feeding spoons

Although we wanted to follow a more baby led weaning approach, we got some spoons for Little Moore to try feeding himself/play with and for us to use if we did want to give any purees. Get ones with grips so they can hold them. Rubber ones are best for their gums. We keep ours in the fridge so Little Moore can gnaw on them when teething too.

4. Pouches/ready made purees 

Like a lot of new mums, I wanted to be making all my own baby foods. As we’ve gone for mostly finger foods I’m yet to make any purees, but I have given him a few ready made ones. These are great for things you’d like baby to try which can’t be given as finger food (i.e. peas) It’s also handy to have some there just in case: sometimes if he’s fussy and Nathan’s at work, I don’t have the time/hands to make something from scratch. Check what’s in the pouches so that you’re happy with what you’re feeding them. I’ve used Ella’s Kitchen and Hipp. These were mostly things I had vouchers for so we’ll see if I want to buy them full price when these have run out!

5. Small food containers

Whether you’re doing purees or finger food, you’re going to need a bundle of these. I bought a huge pack from Tesco in all different shapes and sizes – these are much cheaper than any special baby ones you can buy, and do the same job. It’s really handy to have something ready in the fridge for those busy days. When we do veg sticks etc for Little Moore I usually cook some extra and store them in the fridge for the next day. Cold veg sticks are great for teething, and even if the idea of eating courgette sticks grossest you out, your baby will probably love it!

Weaning: The First Two Weeks

Weaning was one of the things I was really excited for and did lots of research in preparation Рsee my Thinking About Weaning post.

So how did our first two weeks go?

As per recommendations, we kept the first two weeks as just vegetables, and included a mix of purees and finger foods – mostly finger foods, as I love the idea of baby led weaning, but I wanted to try a few purees for things that were harder to eat, like peas. We did ‘loaded spoons’ for the purees, so we put a little on a spoon and Little Moore fed himself. He’s been playing with spoons for a while now and really has the hang of using them, although he does seem to think they’re one use only – after having a mouthful he’ll throw his spoon to the floor, ready for a fresh one!

His favourite foods were definitely avocado and asparagus. Asparagus are the perfect shape for finger food and he loved shoving them in his mouth. Avocado was a lot harder as it was quite ripe and every time he gripped it, the slice would disintegrate in his hand. I ended holding it for him and he’d lean forward to suck and chew on it.

I loved the new faces and sounds he made, especially when he wasn’t so keen on things! His first food was broccoli and he made a lot of ‘eugh’ noises but chewed on like a champion!

As well as new faces, there were new things in his nappy too (TMI, I know!) I was a bit surprised as I didn’t think he’d swallow much in his first few weeks, but I could identify a lot of different veg in there – a fun new game for changing time!

I love being able to sit down and eat with him and Nathan together, and am looking forward to trying all different kinds of food with him. This week we’re focussing on fruit and I can’t wait to see how he takes to sweeter tastes!

How We Won the Bath Time Battle

I have fond memories of my little sisters enjoying bath time, and even some hazy ones of sharing baths with my big sister, and sometimes our two cousins too! So when it came to bathing Little Moore, I was prepared for giggles and splashes and lots of water play.

As you can imagine, it didn’t go like that at all.

Little Moore screamed for his first bath. And the next. And the next.

It got to the stage where I was dreading bath time because I didn’t want to make him cry. We only bathed twice a week – I didn’t want to make it part of the bedtime routine because of his sensitive skin – but each one was a trauma.

Until two weeks ago, when we had our first tear free bath time. And we’ve had several more since then. So how did we do it?

The first thing I realised we had to change for bath time was our attitudes. If we were unhappy about it then I think he would pick up on that, and that would make him worse. So I tried to look forward to bath times and make them happy times. We ditched the baby bath and I got in with him (bonus wash time for me!) and sang nursery rhymes with a smile on my face.

That was our first breakthrough. As long as I sang he wouldn’t cry, but as soon as I stopped for breath he’d start again.

The next step was toys. When he was born we were bought some colourful stacking stars for the bath, so we floated them next to him, as well as a rubber duck (no bath is complete without one!) We actually got his first laugh in the bath, playing peekaboo with one of the stars, which was wonderful to see together.

So toys and nursery rhymes were mostly working during the bath, but when we took him out he would scream until he was red in the face and wouldn’t stop until I fed him.

We cracked the actual bath time crying with swimming lessons and one more toy. I think the swimming lessons – which he loved – got him used to being in the water, so bath time became less scary. We also bought a bubble machine from Tesco in the shape of a penguin, which Little Moore found fascinating. The perfect distraction from the water!

For post bath time, we changed up the routine a bit. Instead of taking him from the bathroom to the bedroom to get dressed and creamed up, we did all this in the bathroom instead. That way he stayed in the warmth, with all his bath toys still around him too – he always picks a star to chew on.

Now bath times are so much easier on all of us. Little Moore, plays with his bath toys, kicks his legs and doesn’t even whimper when we put him in the water. It makes all the difference now that we can all enjoy it. I hope all bath times are like this from now on!

6 Month Update: My Favourite Moments

Somehow, Little Moore has turned 6 months today. Crazy right?! It’s great now that he’s older and getting more active and interested in the things around him. but it also makes me sad as that means it’s getting closer to me going back to work (boo hoo!) and I don’t want to miss out on all the wonderful stuff he does.

Ignoring the sad though, to celebrate his six months I am sharing some of my favourite moments in his last three months of growing.

1. Rolling Over – 18 weeks

IMG_5291

We’d been expecting him to roll over for a while as he’s always been a wriggly little thing and was very good at rolling onto his side, so we were sure he’d learn to flip all the way over quickly. I think we were both worried that we’d miss it, but especially Nathan, as he’s at work four days a week. I’m sure Little Moore sensed that though as he waited until both of us were watching to roll over for the first time. It was a really special moment and I’m so glad we got to share it together. Now he does it every day and still looks so proud of himself when he ends up on his tummy (he’s not mastered rolling from front to back yet though!)

2. Swimming

FullSizeRender (13)

My sister and I decided to take Little Moore and his cousin Leo for a few swimming lessons to start getting them used to the water. Leo loves bath time but Little Moore hasn’t started enjoying it until very recently. I was worried he’d cry the whole time, but strangely it was the other way round. Leo screamed for all the lessons bar the last one, while Little Moore just took it all in, and only whimpered a bit when he started drinking pool water. I really enjoyed the lessons and now we’re going to start taking the boys to the pool with us once a week.

3. Birds

That’s right, I said birds. A few weeks back we went to Fargo Village and while Nathan was browsing, I took a fussy Little Moore to see some budgies at the pet shop. And he loved them! We stood there for about half an hour and every time they squawked and flew, he laughed. It made my heart all gooey and now I really want our own budgie!

These are my favourite moments from the last three months, but there’s been so many others that I have loved and will always treasure. And I’m looking forward to the next few months of fun!

Awesome (But Non Essential) Baby Gadgets

There’s tons of lists around for must have baby gadgets but I think the only way you find out what you truly need is through trial and error yourself. There’s some stuff we have that I couldn’t live without and others which I won’t bother with next time round.

So instead of telling you what you¬†have to buy, today I’m sharing my top three awesome, but non essential baby gadgets.

1. Baby Sling

IMG_5551

I liked the idea of these but have only bought once recently and I’m so glad I did. Little Moore has been getting a bit fidgety lately in his pushchair and I think it’s because he’s a pretty nosy baby and likes to have a good look at things. In his sling he can look at everything he likes, and he also likes to snuggle in and have a nap there too. I got this one from Daisy Baby¬†and love it, though I do find it hard to tie correctly sometimes.

2. Ice Lolly Moulds

FullSizeRender (11)

During the recent heat wave I bought these and made some breast milk popsicles for Little Moore. It’s hard to keep cool in this weather and I know I love a good ice cream, so why should he miss out?! I bought the Annabel Karmel ones and think they’re brilliant. They’re small in portion so it’s not too much for him to get through, and the handles are easy to grab, even for him at five months. It’s great to see him feeding himself and enjoying the new experience of something freezing cold in his mouth! These will still be great when he’s older for fruity/yoghurt ice lollies and good for teething too.

3. Tummy with Mummy

FullSizeRender (12)

This is a foldaway baby seat that can also be used as a tummy time platform. While not essential, I found it really helpful when Little Moore was younger and not enjoying his tummy time. The gently sloped platform means baby can look around easily (rather than face planting the floor) and you can maintain eye contact easier too, making him happier. Little Moore really enjoys his tummy time now, especially now he’s learnt to roll onto his tummy himself, but I think this helped in the early days. Along with his high chair, it’s my go to seat now he’s outgrown his bouncer chair.